Friday, December 2, 2016

For him it makes a difference

Another one of those "internet parables" came my way the other day, and although you may have heard it, this one again is worth sharing. Like others I have shared here in the past, I have no idea who the author is.

It seems an old man was going for a walk one day when he noticed a little boy feeding a thin, shaggy looking dog with bits of bread. He went up to the boy and asked him why he was sharing his bread with the dog.

The little boy answered, "Because he has nothing. No home, no family, and if I don’t feed him he will die."

"But there are homeless dogs everywhere," the old man replied. "Your efforts don’t really make a difference."

The little boy looked at the dog and stroked him. "For him, for this little dog, it makes all the difference in the world."

I wish I knew who wrote that because they get it so amazingly right. Did you ever hold back from donating money or food or anything else because you could only spare a small amount and thought it wouldn't make a difference? If we all fed those homeless dogs - if we all fed those homeless people, it would make such a difference. I'm thinking we just might wipe out homelessness!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fifty

Walking down an unfamiliar street in Buffalo, New York many years ago, it suddenly began to rain. It wasn't a light shower but rather a cold and pounding downpour. I wasn't wearing an overcoat and had no umbrella, so I was soaked almost immediately. My usual sunny mood had turned to quite the opposite, but all that was about to change.

Hurrying up the sidewalk with water pouring off of me, I looked down and there in front of me was a fifty dollar bill! Oh my! Now the rain didn't seem so bad. If it hadn't been raining, surely that money would have blown away. I put it in my pocket and continued on my way.

Later when I mentioned my good luck to a friend, he said "But it isn't yours. Did you even try to find the rightful owner?"

This wasn't a wallet or an identifiable piece of property. It was US currency that someone had likely dropped without knowing, but since I didn't witness it, how could I possibly find the person it belonged to?

I'm telling you this story today to solicit your thoughts. Was I wrong to keep it? Was that a dishonest act? What would YOU have done?

Monday, November 21, 2016

What to you think?

My thoughts and the ideas I put forth each day in this space, are not the only concepts out there. Yes, I make suggestions on how we might all help make this a better world, but are my ideas any good? Are there better ways? Your sentiments are worth hearing too, even if we might not agree with them.

I have said this before, and will likely say it many more times, but even though this blog is NOT about me, it is written by me, and therefore is heavy laden with my opinion. What about yours though? You much have thoughts on the subjects I post here. Do you agree with me or disagree? Let's hear YOUR opinion too!

Right under the last line I write each day it says "blogged by Michael Fullam at time." Right next to that you will see a place where you can comment. I'd really love to hear your opinion. I'm sure many people would like to look at the thoughts of others as well.

So, after all these years, you pretty much know what I think about a LOT of things. You have read countless suggestions from me and I've told you about good deeds and folks I consider inspirations to me. Now, take a moment or two and tell me what YOU think!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Wheels on the bus go round and round

Back when I lived in San Francisco, I rode the bus nearly every day. There was a lot of complaining about the buses being crowded at certain times of day, or about them running late, but it was still a pretty good way to get around. When I saw the same driver and he or she would smile or call me by name, that was a nice warm connection that seemed to melt other problems away.

Dealing with so many people every day would seem to be a pretty tough job, and yet most of those bus drivers were so good at their task. It particularly warmed my heart when they gave you a "bonus" like the drivers that sang out the stops or who made those extra announcements, especially when there were some jokes thrown in.

Last week, a friend of mine told me that he had lost his wallet while riding a bus. Losing money is never good, but when your ID and credit cards, and all those other things you carry are gone too, it can ruin your day. When the mail came a few days later, and it contained his wallet, that was a lovely surprise! Enclosed with it was a simple note: "I found this on my coach. Signed, Bus Driver." He wanted to get it back to its owner, but didn't care about any thanks, so didn't leave his name or any kind of identification. What a nice driver!

The operators of public transportation preform an important service. Too often we moan about the negative moments and ignore all the positive. The next time you ride a city bus or taxi, let your driver know they are appreciated.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The passing of a journalist’s journalist

Through my many years in broadcast journalism, I never met Gwen Ifill, but I'm sure glad she came our way. Hearing news of her passing yesterday after a months long bout with cancer, brought me to tears, and more tears have flowed at various points since then, as I hear tribute after tribute.

Gwen Ifill, who co-anchored the PBS News Hour, was referred to as "a journalist’s journalist," and every single thing I have heard about her has been positive. Last night, everyone was reporting her death and her own program devoted much of it's time to memories of her.
 
One of her contemporaries said that her office almost looked like a museum because of all the trophies and awards. Earlier this year she added to the many, receiving the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism from Columbia University. Oh and she's received more than twenty honorary doctorates.

I was touched by her strong faith too. She was a minister's daughter, and that frequently means you run away from the church, but she was very involved. Her pastor said yesterday that she was present each week for worship

I remember the Gwen Ifill years at NBC, because during part of that time, I worked for an NBC affiliate. Her former colleague Pete Williams was brought to tears yesterday several times when he tried to report on her life. Former NewsHour reporter Charlayne Hunter-Gault began sobbing as well. Fighting back his own tears, CNN's Don Lemon closed his thoughts to Gwen Ifill with: "I won't say goodbye, because goodbyes are so hard. But I will say, so long and thank you."

There are countless stories that I could retell here, but the biggest thing is that she made a difference. She was a trailblazer for African Americans and for women and she was a mentor to many. She was fair and honest and she was always real. Gwen Ifill will be missed.

Monday, November 14, 2016

It's My Life

He is one of the nicest guys in the world. You already know him as an excellent singer, a gifted songwriter, a superb produced, and a fine actor, but Jon Bon Jovi makes a difference in this world by doing much more than entertain us. He get's involved. You may already know about his political activism from some recent news stories, but his chartable involvement is even greater.

Jon Bon Jovi has done things for Covenant House, the Special Olympics, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Project HOME, and the American Red Cross, to name just a few. He was appointed by President Barack Obama to the White House Council for Community Solutions. He's also raised awareness with Habitat for Humanity for the past eleven years. Bon Jovi has done work too for STOMP Out Bullying, Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, Save The Music Foundation, Musicians on Call, and more. It seems like I hear about some good thing he has done, just about every day.

Oh and then there is the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, which he founded. This is a really exciting operation that helps a lot of people. I'll let you find out details for yourself from their website at http://www.jonbonjovisoulfoundation.org/ - be sure to read about JBJ Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, NJ too. It's a remarkable concept that feeds and teaches and much more. Click HERE to get a lot more information about the kitchen.
 
After listening to him sing It's My Life one day, I made it my unofficial theme song.  The song inspires me, but much more, Jon Bon Jovi inspires me.  I've never met this man, and I didn't even interview him for this (my information all comes from numerous public sources), but this is someone who makes a difference.  Our blog is all about giving back, and this guy could easily be our poster boy.  I never have seen such a giver.  Support his efforts.  Consider donating to the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation or volunteering your time. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Boxing with Chieh Huang

Just over three years ago, an incredible company was launched in the garage of Chieh Huang. I LOVE their products and I LOVE their service, but this isn't a shopping blog, and most of you know that I never talk about commercial operations. I do want to tell you about Mr Huang though because it seems he is some sort of saint.

As CEO of this company, called Boxed, you might expect him to be sitting in some stuffy office, issuing orders to all his underlings. Nope. Not this guy. Although I have never spoken to him, I've been reading a lot, and it seems his employees adore him. Is that because he pitches in and works alongside everyone? Is it because last year he announced a College Tuition fund for his employees' kids? Is it because he said they would pay for the weddings of their employees, up to $20,000? Is it because he has provided an endless supply of Boxed snacks? People who work at Boxed say Huang has a heart of gold. By the way, Boxed was named to the 2016 Best Places to Work in New York City.

Last month Boxed employees volunteered at Riverside Park on New York City's Upper West Side. The donate time to many great causes, in fact just this week Boxed workers put together 50 boxes filled with toiletry items for parents of pediatric cancer patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The company, and individual employees, are generous with donations of money too.

I could go on and on, because this is an organization that really believes in giving back, and there are numerous examples. I'm happy to be a customer, and I'm even happier that people like this still exist in our world! You can find out more at their website, https://www.boxed.com/ (and although, I don't endorse businesses on this blog, you can also place orders via that site with no delivery charge on the first order). Chieh Huang and Boxed - definitely making this a better world!