This is really cool! I was asked to read the poem, “Ballad Of The Tempest” for “Voices In Vox”, part of Porchlight Family Media! These folks are great to work with and put out some high quality content! Check this out!
Have just gone online with a consolidated web site at daggersofthemind.com . The Podcast, Daggers Of The Mind, video, interviews and blog entries will be all together at that site. It is a self hosted WordPress site, so you can subscribe just like you did here.
Thanks so much for visiting and for sticking with during this transition. There will be the content you are used to here and more.
Think Deeply Today!
Jeffrey K. Holbrook, Host,
Audrey Hepburn, Actress and Humanitarian
“Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm. As you get older, remember you have another hand: the first is to help yourself, the second is to help others.”
Audrey Hepburn is best known for her acting roles in some of the most iconic movies of the 50’s and 60’s, but her greatest contribution to humanity was through her work with UNICEF.
From Wikipedia: She appeared in fewer films as her life went on, devoting much of her later life to UNICEF. Although contributing to the organisation since 1954, she worked in some of the most profoundly disadvantaged communities of Africa, South America and Asia between 1988 and 1992. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in December 1992.
A month later, Hepburn died of appendiceal cancer at her home in Switzerland at the age of 63.
What an amazing contribution to make for good in this world. When most with her fame and success simply live the good life, she devoted herself to helping those whose circumstances made it impossible for them to help themselves.
While there are few who are as noble as that, there are many things we can do to help others around us as we travel through this life. Our best is to help others learn to be self sufficient so that when no one is around to help, they can learn to live on their own. Don’t simply give someone a fish, TEACH them to fish. Then you have fed them for a lifetime.
One organization that fulfills this mission is the Project Self Sufficiency Foundation. It is found at www.pssfoundation.org.
From their website: Project Self Sufficiency Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports low income, single parents working toward an educational goal to become economically independent. Our foundation’s goal is to raise the funds needed to provide the tools and support that will help parents achieve their independence. This is a powerful initiative for these parents, as it will change the pathway for their family, many times, breaking the cycle of abuse and building their self-esteem, which ultimately leads to a better future for generations. Thank you for your interest and we look forward to your support!
Another such organization is called Partners In Housing at
From the website:
PIH provides a self-sufficiency program, not a housing program. The emphasis of our program is helping people learn the skills they need to be economically independent. To participate in the program, all adults must be willing and able to work and, most importantly, be motivated to achieve self-sufficiency!
Giving others the tools to lift themselves up makes the change permanent. Invest in charities of that type and the world will actually become a better place, one success at a time!
Another Audrey Hepburn quote:
“I saw but one glaring truth: These are not natural disasters, but man-made tragedies for which there is only one man-made solution– Peace.”
“How many times have you been on the freeway and had someone fly by you at 100 mph then end up two cars ahead of you at the off ramp? What’s the point?”
Ahh, that amazing feeling when you jumped ahead of a few others and made it to the front of the line without really earning it. Did you have a real sense of accomplishment? We know you were the same one who jumped line in 1st grade because you were so immature, such a baby.
Somewhere along the way, you learned that to get your own way, you bullied others. Pushing and forcing a path for yourself, others are just in this world for you to measure your level of conquest. Every person you meet, there is a singular thought. “I must break you”.
Blaming it on your mother or father sounds like a good excuse, and it makes a lot of money for psychiatrists, but ultimately your decision to dominate is your own aggression against people who never wronged you at all. It’s just as wrong as it was when you were the victim.
It’s time to grow up. It’s wrong, and one of these days you will do it to the wrong person. They will come down on you so hard it will be like your childhood all over again. This time, however, you won’t be able to act like you don’t understand why you have been victimized. That aggressor is just you, only stronger and more violent. And you have just met yourself a little further in the cycle of violence than you are right now.
Stop being the bully. Get help if you must, but just stop the bullying. There are many in the world who can’t believe how much of a lowly uneducated thug you are. No matter how smart you think you are, it’s obvious that self control is the one thing that separates us from the beasts. After you are gone, that legacy of careless carnage and destruction will live on…..
Links to info about Mark Harmon and the subject of bullying with be included in the show notes at daggersofthemind.com.
Margaret Thatcher, prime Minister of The United Kingdom, 1979 – 1990
“Power is like being a lady… if you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”
Isn’t it fun to be stuck somewhere listening to someone boast about themselves? If you are detained long enough, you may get their entire life story, hearing how they were influential in all the amazing events of the world. When you hear that they probably assisted in the creation of the earth, it may be time to throw in a large amount of salt.
The phrase “take it with a grain of salt” is very timely in this case since you can’t accept boasting as truth in its original state. Salt alters the taste of food and makes it more palatable.
The very act of bragging about one’s accomplishments shows that the person feels inadequate about the situation and must embellish it to seem more important than they really were at the time.
Hey, why not just become a better person and then others will notice and boast about you instead of having to do your own sales job?
One way to get this started is to obviously live your life in such a manner that others will WANT to speak well of you. Second, find good things to say about others. I don’t mean fluffy, insincere praise, I mean promote others in a truthful way that helps them in their own journey of life.
As you concentrate on that task, you will be surprised to find later how many people are speaking well of you! It is natural to feel warm feelings for someone who has supported you in full view of others. Diverting your attention from yourself not only stops your boasting tendencies that others hate to listen to, but it increases your integrity in their eyes.
Soon you will find that you actually ARE praiseworthy, and others will return the favor in spades. Don’t say what you wish you were, BECOME what you want to be.
“When boasting ends, there dignity begins.”
Owen D. Young
A link to a Values for Life!! Blog article on this subject will be included in the show notes.
Margaret Thatcher on Wikipedia
Margaret Thatcher Foundation
Olivia de Havilland
“Famous people feel that they must perpetually be on the crest of the wave, not realising that it is against all the rules of life. You can’t be on top all the time; it isn’t natural.”
How many surfers do you know that have a never-ending ride? Every wave has a beginning and an end. Most waves are caught close to shore and only last for a short time. Then, every dedicated surfer goes in search of the next one. After a few years however, even the best surfers have to realize they are no longer physically able to keep up with the sport, and are forced to move on, looking for “waves” in other areas of life.
The ride at the top of any profession is exhilarating, but you can’t stay there forever. Working your way up to that crest is a process that builds the character to stay on top longer, but the inevitable result is that there is nowhere to go but down after that.
Where is your life in this cycle? Have you reached your full potential? Some peak during the work years, earning enormous amounts of money and building monuments to themselves to last through the ages. Others have a quiet life working and raising a family, or deciding to go through life in other arrangements, and then when they retire, a whole new life opens for that seasoned and experienced individual who then has major accomplishments in the later stages of life.
The preparation phase at the beginning is very important. Never pass up an opportunity to learn something new. As an example, I went to the doctor today to consult on the dislocated shoulder I managed to obtain last week. On the way out, I asked to see the xrays that were taken before and after it was reduced in the emergency room. He put the before and after shots side by side so I could get a feel for the difference. That was really cool. While I have no definitive idea when that knowledge may come in handy, whether in my writing or if I am present when someone else has the same misfortune, I have that knowledge now, and I can pull it out as needed.
At the crest, you will need all those things you learned at odd times to stay up there as long as you possibly can, for maximum benefit to yourself and others.
As you start down the other side, give some others a shove upward to help them realize their goals. Be a teacher. Make a difference in someone else’s life. Freely you have received, freely give.
“My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”
Imagine you are building the foundation for a house using cinderblocks. As you work your way along, you find one is severely cracked and is starting to crumble. You realize that there is a place in the foundation where it would never be seen, so “What’s the harm?”
Another quote by Oprah Winfrey:
“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”
So, what’s the harm? The weakest link in the chain is the one that will fail when put under pressure. A few years down the road, when the homeowner finds cracks in the walls because of the failure of that block, the real harm will be revealed.
Ok, how about the harm it will do to you? If you get by with it now, you will do a little more next time, then more, and soon you won’t even recognize yourself because of your utter lack of integrity. It happened gradually. If you had been offered that drastic choice at the beginning, you would have been so flabbergasted you could never do it. But by sliding away a little at time, you could eventually end up in jail.
I found another quote on the subject that pinpoints the integrity issue directly for the ladies.
“Character contributes to beauty. It fortifies a woman as her youth fades. A mode of conduct, a standard of courage, discipline, fortitude, and integrity can do a great deal to make a woman beautiful.”
Have you ever seen an older woman who was beautiful in her bearing and was such a lady? We all want to keep our 18 year old body, but that is not to be. If physical beauty is all you have, you will be in trouble later when the real you defines your life.
Use your time to build a foundation of integrity, and the other virtues Ms. Bisset spoke of. If you do, your beauty will last a lifetime.
When faced with an integrity choice, always think, not just of this moment, but think several moves ahead like a chess player. Ultimately, that is how you win the game of life.
Peter Falk was suggested by my mother, June Gibson-Holbrook
“Sometimes I see my father in me.”
It can be really entertaining when you see yourself saying or doing something that reminds you of your father. My father’s name is Floyde, so if we find ourselves behaving like him, we call it a “Floyde-ian slip”.
While my father will be the first to tell you he is not perfect, that acknowledgement of his limitations is precisely what makes him such a great man. One thing I can say definitively, he was always there.
In spite of working lots of overtime to make ends meet for a large family, he was available every chance he got. This was not just a sense of duty, but because he really was proud of us, and he wanted to be there for every event of our lives.
So many fathers today are absent from the lives of their offspring. The children are left with no male role model, and the teaching and nurturing that only a father can give. A mother does her best, but something is missing that the mother can’t provide completely.
Enter the stepfather. I have long believed that family is less about blood than it is about relationship. Stepfathers CHOOSE their children. If the biological father is not around, a stepfather can fill this void in a child‘s life. The stepfather walks into the situation with eyes wide open. He WANTS to fill this need.
A quote from Steve Harvey
“All I knew growing up was that my father was married to and loved my momma, period. He worked hard, made some money, and put it on the dresser. She spent it on the family, and he went out and earned some more. He taught me the most about love.”
Fathers, please don’t be absent from your child’s life. Your child needs all the help and support you can give, and most of all, your time. Be there for them and make sure they have all the advantages a family unit can provide as a well rounded institution.
Dare to be the Dad. Now it’s up to you to live up to your responsibility. Mr. Falk‘s point of seeing your father in yourself, can be good or bad. Don’t blame your own father who wasn’t there for your negligence. This is you, now, making the manly choice. Be there for them. Nurture them so they don’t have to go through what you did.
One final quote from Gwyneth Paltrow
“My father, he was like the rock, the guy you went to with every problem.”
“Everybody’s a teacher if you listen.”
At what age should a person decide to stop learning? Many figure that by the time they get out of high school or college, the learning curve is over and it’s time to apply the knowledge they have worked so hard for in real life.
Sounds good. I think. What are you going to do when new technology arrives and you have to use it in your employment or everyday life?
Yes, that is a little extreme. Of course we WILL learn things we are faced with that MUST be mastered to continue our employment, but what about the stray bits of knowledge and insight that just sort of come our way?
A constant stream of valuable info is washing over us every minute of the day. The average person simply doesn’t recognize this valuable resource because they are only tuned in to info they need to solve the current problem, and don’t see the need to keep updating the store of random data for later use.
My wife and I were watching a movie yesterday about a pioneer woman who was left alone in the wilderness after their wagon was separated from the rest, then her husband was killed in a raid. We kept finding ourselves annoyed when she would walk away from some valuable resource such as clothing, shelter, or a food source she would certainly need later, but didn’t have the insight to simply pick it up.
So many facts and insights we would most certainly have a use for are streaming past as we ignore them in pursuit of our current goal. Our current goal would be so much easier to accomplish if we had only paid attention to information long since past.
Our brains are in no danger at all of being completely filled up and overrun with information. We are told that we only use a small portion of the full potential our brains are capable of in our lifetimes. Current wisdom says that the more you exercise your brain, the less chance you have of developing dementia.
So much valuable information is available from those impromptu teachers you encounter on a daily basis. Just like college professors, each person you meet is a specialist with their own experiences and aptitudes. You could consider a person completely ignorant of most basic knowledge, but then, if you just listen, that nugget of truth and insight comes through.
Grab it, stuff it in your brain, and someday, you will need it, or you can pass it forward to someone you love. It could even save your life someday.
Check out daggersofthemind.com.
“You only mature when you face problems you can’t deal with.”
Think back to the finest moments of your life. I imagine the path to the accomplishment was simple, and you and everyone else knew it. The acclaim you received was so immense because you didn’t really have to work for it at all.
Nope, not even close. A victory that you just breezed through is not really a victory at all. The glory, and the maturity only comes in the struggle. You must actually learn new skills, not just draw on old lessons if you are going to grow from it, to mature.
I have mentioned my daughter Ecil in previous episodes. Here is her Facebook posting regarding a crisis she faced and her reaction to it.
Feeling pretty epic at the moment. A couple of weeks ago, I found out that there was a clerical error which resulted in me being 4 credit hours short of graduating in December and it was too late to enroll in another course. Not being the kind of person to take things lying down, I’ve been busting my rear since that phone call to get into the Credit-by-Examination program at WVUP. As of today, I have passed two tests which has put me over the four credit line. Barring any other surprises, I get to graduate as planned. Unlike many in this world I refuse to be a victim of circumstance, and I wasn’t about to let something like this keep me from my goals. I’m glad this was able to be resolved with the first two tests so I can focus on the rest of this semester with a clear head.
Needless to say, I am quite proud to say, “That’s my daughter.” She seems to gotten the best of the personalities of both my wife and myself, with few of the liabilities. You can’t ask for more than that.
How do you react when an impossible obstacle is presented? Most people fall into two categories.
The first is to sit down and wait for someone to come by an get you out of it. If no one comes by you just keep sitting and accept the situation and live with the failure.
The second is that group of people who immediately begin to examine the situation from all angles, asking advice of others, and when they have grown in knowledge and confidence, they proceed and conquer it.
The reaction at the crossroads makes all the difference. One fork is “I wonder if someone will get me out of this”, and the other is , “What must I do to solve this”? Will you stagnate in place, or will you grow and mature? It’s your choice.