Inspirational Sundays: Maurice Ashley

Last updated on April 5th, 2021 at 09:34 pm

A sunrise with text overlaid: “The thing always happens that you believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.” —Frank Lloyd Wright (on belief)

Earlier today, I was taking a break and indulging in some TV (a rarity for me), when on PBS, I came across a documentary called America Beyond the Color Line. While I don’t often have the patience or attention span to sit through a documentary, this one struck a chord when I saw an interview with Maurice Ashley — the first Black chess international Grand Master in history. It wasn’t his accomplishments that piqued my interest, though—it was his views on what chess can do for others, especially the people we often let slip between the cracks in society. You can see what I saw below:

It’s when those who’ve managed to share fame, prestige and power in life choose to share it with those less fortunate than themselves that we start to make some real change in the world. As is said later in the same documentary by someone else, the program that Maurice helps with is trying to convert “people eating up $60,000 in taxes a year to people who pay $60,000 a year in taxes”.

With a lot of work, little by little, and more people like Maurice Ashley—we can make it.

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Inspirational Sundays: Instapaper Saves the Day!

Last updated on April 6th, 2021 at 10:43 am

Sometimes you come across things in life that are so awesome that you can’t help but share them. You’re COMPELLED. They improve your life in ways you would have never imagined, and now, you’d never look back.

With this in mind, cue Instapaper.

I’d heard of Instapaper before—it’s one of those things you see often enough in tech blogs, on Twitter, etc.—I knew it was used to mark things for later reading, but I had no idea why I’d want to use another service that was just like Delicious or Springpad, collecting my bookmarks (albeit conveniently) for later use.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Inspirational Sundays: Undercover Boss

Last updated on March 23rd, 2021 at 11:09 pm

It took me 22 hours to come up with something inspirational that I wanted to share with you today, but I eventually came across it when Sarah asked me to watch an episode of “Undercover Boss” with her. In it was Scott Sibella, the President/COO of the MGM Grand casino in Las Vegas, and man! It was INSPIRING.

These were the players involved:

  • Donn, Roulette Dealer
  • Angelina, Front Desk Agent
  • Eddie, Blackjack Dealer
  • Sandy, Guest Service Representative

And it was amazing to watch someone at the top of the ladder learn about how business is really operated not from the boardroom, but getting in the shoes of his employees and understanding what it takes to get through each day.

  • From Donn, he learned about how a Vietnam war vet learned not to sweat the small stuff and made a donation to a veteran’s society and sent Donn and his brothers to a football game in a private box
  • From Angelina, he learned about how employees were working so hard that they had no time to invest in their family lives, so he sent her and her husband on a week-long paid romantic getaway
  • Eddie is a single father with five boys, so Scott helped him out with $10,000, and since his boys mean more than the world to him, Scott arranged to fly Eddie and his five boys to a UFC game with VIP treatment, so they could all be reunited one last time before the eldest went off to join the Air Force
  • And with Sandy, he learned about the struggles to excel at one’s job with no incentives—she also delivers flowers to a nursing home each and every Monday, but often feels constrained because of lack of funds and volunteers; so Scott volunteered HIS family and gave a donation to help her along—he also paid for her and husband to take the cruise they always wanted

These were all amazing gestures of gratitude from a boss who was finally understanding the amount of blood, sweat and tears that it took to keep their operations running. If you’re a boss, I implore you to make sure that your staff feel appreciated; I promise you that they’ll be more likely to offer you their loyalty and be happier to do their jobs. If you’re working for a boss who doesn’t appreciate you, I hope you can get them to catch glimpses of things like this, and hopefully get them to change their ways.

We are not built of stone. We all need to know that there’s a reason why we do the things we do. Not much gets me teary-eyed. Seeing a boss finally get it? Yeah, it did a little.

Here’s the link if you want to know more about Undercover Boss, or see some clips from the show:

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Inspirational Sundays: Enter Obama

Last updated on April 6th, 2021 at 10:35 am

So being a Canadian, usually, I don’t get too involved in things like the American presidential election race. But, as many can attest to, the ’08 Obama-McCain race struck a chord with people from all over the world. Was it a Black thing? Maybe. Was it a stand against the remnants of George W. Bush and the 8 years of insanity that he’d heralded? Well, yeah, sure. That was definitely a component. But I don’t think there was any election that I’d paid attention to prior to this one that made me feel like there was the possibility of hope for a nation.

I got a stack of newspapers and magazines from the morning after—then remembered that they’re just things and probably won’t ever be worth anything, considering the massive rate at which we produce things these days. But it’ll be all about the memory of how it all went down.

However, let it be said that some of us will have far more poignant memories of the presidential race than others—Leola Brock-Reese will always be one of those individuals, having received word of Obama’s victory from the man himself:

Inspirational Sundays: Team Hoyt

Last updated on April 6th, 2021 at 12:45 pm

Sunday means different things to different people. To some people it’s a day of rest. To others, worship and praise. And to others yet, it’s just another day. I like Sundays to be a bit special, myself, so I’m thinking that maybe I’ll start taking some of the things that inspire myself and others and post them on Sundays to see if they just might do the same for you! So without further ado, here’s the first—the story of Team Hoyt!

So my friend showed me a video of Rick and Dick Hoyt yesterday—if you haven’t heard of these guys, they’re pretty amazing! Rick and Dick Hoyt, otherwise known as “Team Hoyt“, “is an inspirational story of a father, Dick Hoyt, and his son, Rick, who compete together in marathons and triathlons across the country.” It’s the story of a man who was born diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, and his father who has dedicated his life to making sure his life is lived with as much fulfillment as possible. And this is definitely achieved. Having competed in over 1,000 races, with each and every one of them having Dick push, bike and pull his son every step of the way, it’s a testimonial of being able to overcome whatever circumstances life has in store for us.

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