Important versus Urgent?

I don't know about you, but I am not very good at taking care of the important things in life as opposed to the urgent things.  I seem to I focus on urgent issues of the day, often just to put a check mark in the box.  There are things that are urgent that we all have to take care.  There are also things that are very important that we should take care of.  It always seems urgent to answer emails, return calls, go to the grocery store, and do the laundry.  Granted those are mostly necessities and they need to be addressed.  However, there are more important things like consoling a troubled neighbor, spending quality time with your kids, mentoring a young associate, or visiting an elderly relative.  There are important things in life that we should prioritize above the urgent issues of the day.  As you plan your day, think about the important versus the urgent...

Happy Monday Morning!


Who am I?

I lost my dad way too early,
Who am I to doubt it was part of God’s plan?

His mother lived to age 98, why couldn’t he?
Who am I to question God’s timing?

He loved my mom and all of us so dearly,
Who am I to ask God why we don’t have him anymore?

He was married for 50 years, had nine grandchildren and a great grandchild,
Who am I to not thank God for the time we did have?

He had wood to carve, golf to play and trips to take,
Who am I to ask God why not?

He was kind, loved and respected,
Who am I to ask God why him?

For his disease there were no more options,
Who am I to ask God why no cure?

There were things I had not done or said,
Who am I to ask God for more time with him?

I never heard a bad word spoken towards him,
Who am I to ask God why not someone else?

He deserved so much more,
Who am I to question that God knows what he truly deserved?

I lost my dad far too soon,
Who am I to question God’s plan?

Barry D. Blanton
In loving memory of Don Blanton
January 6, 1935 – June 23, 2007

This MMM was originally issued 07.02.07.  I will repeat it as long as I write MMM’s on a Monday near the anniversary of the passing of my father.


Listening, now more than ever…

Real conversations about uncomfortable topics cannot be held without genuinely listening.  If you follow the MMM, you know my thoughts on the importance of listening.  It is a critical skill that is needed now more than ever!  As an additional follow up to the Special Edition MMM from June 3rd, consider the following…

·       Make the effort, it takes effort, to listen and understand the perspective of others

We typically seek first to be understood. Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply.  Often, we are either speaking or preparing to speak.  Think about what it means to listen with the intent to understand.  I mean seeking first to understand, to really understand.  To understand someone does not imply that you agree with them.  It means that you honor them with attentively listening and you truly care about their viewpoint. 

The issues we are facing in this country require conversations, which requires listening, which requires effort.  Take the time.  Make the effort.  Listen!


Regarding the Special Edition MMM last week, here are a couple of follow up thoughts on my suggested responses…

Be thoughtful and intentional with social media posts, and be careful about what you believe on those forums.

·   Consider the old adage, “think before you speak”, a similar thought process should be applied to social media posting, “think before you hit enter”.  There is a lot of misinformation out there, as well as just plain useless information.  Impactful social media posts are grounded in facts and well thought out opinions.  We need more of that and less one-word shares of attention getting false information.

Educate yourself with facts from a variety of sources

·      We know that many media sources are full of biases and agendas, as such we need to broaden our sources to gather various viewpoints.  Educating yourself by researching topics and verifying stories takes time, but it is necessary.  Take the time. Educate yourself.

Be blessed…


Special Edition

As if we did not have our hands already full with a pandemic, our society is now engulfed in a fragile state of racial division and violent protests.  This divisiveness is not new, but that does not make it acceptable.  The senseless killing of George Floyd is certainly not acceptable, but neither are the violence-oriented protests in response.

I am a 61-year-old white male with no idea what it feels like to be a man of color in this country.  However, I am pained by the stories of the fear felt by black men walking in their own neighborhoods and driving in their own communities. If this is not unsettling to you, it should be.  Simple answers and clarity do not come easily, but we cannot sit idly by.

A few responses seem clear to me…
  • Pray
  • Give grace and be slow to judge
  • Speak out loudly against racism and all forms of hatred
  • Make the effort, it takes effort, to listen and understand the perspective of others
  • Be inclusive and blind to ethnicity
  • Support elected officials, communities and organizations that are inclusive
  • Be thoughtful and intentional with social media posts, and be careful about what you believe on those forums
  • Educate yourself with facts from a variety of sources
  • Spread love by your actions in our communities and neighborhoods
  • Start conversations with your friends and families, with people of different races, and with people of different opinions
  • Pray

The MMM is not a current events or political blog, but a person I respect made a statement that tugged at my heart, “silence is seen as indifference”.  I am not indifferent and the MMM is not about indifference. 


Make One Change

The world as we know it has drastically changed over the last 120 days.  What have we learned from all of this?  I am not talking about how to use Zoom or buy groceries online.  What have you learned about yourself?  Has being at home with your family presented some growth opportunities?  Does working remotely lead to more efficiency or more frustration?  Think about how you have changed and what you have learned.  What positive change do you plan to take with you from this experience.  Pick one significant change; make it meaningful and challenging for your personal growth.  It can be like a New Year’s resolution made on June 1st instead of January 1st. 

Make one positive change from these challenging times…