Does Forced Diversity Create The Strongest Team?

I was at a conference recently concerning the need to fill the energy workforce pipeline with a young and diverse workforce. It was interesting to see that in the engineering profession in Florida’s Energy Workforce, 75% of the females who went through the rigors and made it to an energy engineering position, left their positions within a short time. There wasn’t data to drill down to find out why they left, but it was the biggest take away for me. These people were groomed, invited into college level education for STEM, but once they went through the entire process, ended up leaving their engineering position.

As the conference leaders spoke on and on about having diversity in the industry, I started thinking about diversity and whether forced diversity strengthens or weakens a business. While listening to the talk, I googled diversity in the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. Guess what, the only diversity among collegiate and professional sports teams is at the coaching level. The NFL and NBA are made up of a strong majority of minorities. The NHL was largely Caucasian. MLB has a good mix. I started wondering if there is forced diversity in any arena where winning is the major driving force. The answer to that question is no.

I’m not against diversity in the workplace, I am against forced diversity. To be the best, hire the best. Whether that candidate is a woman, man, white, minority, whatever. I almost think interviewing should not allow the person being interviewed to be seen. Even voice altering devices should be used so the interviewer could have no bias, just select the best and brightest candidate for the position. This would allow for a naturally diverse workplace without weakening the environment.

In the conference, they were lauding how diversity strengthens the marketplace and my question in my head was, then why when winning is the goal, there is no forced diversity but only what happens naturally?

Just some mental pondering said out loud.



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Life Change Through Mind Change

Every time I have experienced a change in my life over the years it has come in one of two ways. Either, I develop a plan and work really hard to discipline myself and make a change or my eyes are open to a new way of thinking and the change comes as a result.

The latter way, only requires a source of truth outside myself and the openness and willingness to accept that truth. The first method has never lasted for me. It requires strenuous effort and a determined will for a long period of time. The first method is how we can make things happen on our own. The second, is how life can transform with the help of God.

The Bible teaches if I will surrender my will to His will, inform and transform the way I think the outcome is life change. Some may call this experience an aha moment. The lights go on, something that wasn’t understood becomes clear and once seen, I wonder how I was blind for so long.

Note the order, surrender comes first, then a renewing of my mind and then a changed life. The only time I have experienced this true life change is when I am humble enough to surrender and open enough to hear.

Most of the major battles I’ve faced in life have come from me exerting what I want over clear teaching of Scripture and what God says is so. For my understanding of who God is and how He works to be accurate, I need to allow Him to reveal who He is to me. I cannot create Him to be what I want in my own mind.

This truth is so simple yet so profound. God has given us the natural world, His word and His Son to study for mind overhauling. When I can live in line with revealed truth, with a humble heart and eyes wide open, it is restful, peaceful rather than stressed and conflicted. Life becomes stimulating because of seeing new things.

When I have a battle internally, I can ask God to show me how my thought processes are wrong. What am I missing, what don’t I see, how am I thinking about the subject that leads me to the wrong outcome. As I ponder deeply revealed truth, He will show me. The lights go on. The battle fades. My life is changed again in some way.



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South Miami Requires New Homes To Add Solar Panels! Solar Mania!

The Mayor of South Miami, Florida led the commission to approve the ordinance that all new construction would require 175 square feet of solar panels per 1,000 square feet of floor space or 2.75 KW per 1,000 square feet. There are many incorrect assumptions made in the Miami Herald article.

It is said, it lowers the cost of home ownership, that is bogus claim number one. The National Renewable Energy Lab has a free solar calculator. It will estimate how much your solar system will produce and how much it will cost. My home has great east, south and west exposure. According the calculator it would take 14.8 years to pay off the solar system based on energy savings. During that 14.8 years paying off the cost of the system combined with the electric bill would cost me more than I’m paying now.

Bogus or misleading statement two, the mayor has a solar system and his electricity bill is $10 per month. That sounds nice till you factor in the cost of the solar system. His monthly energy cost is considerably higher, he just pays the solar manufacturer and installer rather than the utility.

Here are a few solar system facts for the uninformed. Solar only works when the sun is shining! If you want battery backup your front end cost is considerably higher and you no longer are doing anything positive for the planet because of the mining required for battery components and then their disposal. The biggest times of energy use in the USA is between 6-8 am and 6-8 pm. Drawn out on a graph it looks like a duck’s back, thus called the Duck Curve. Solar is most productive during sun tanning hours 10 am – 2 pm. It can produce before and after those hours but the output is curtailed considerably. Solar is most productive when the need for it is at the lowest point. Also, solar panels ratings are what the absolute maximum performance would be in a perfect world. They often actually only produce 80% of the rated output. Solar panels degrade at an estimated rate of 3% annually. In my case, by the time I paid off the system in 14.8 years, its output would be half of what it was originally. The last thing, if you live in town, you will still need connected to the grid and will receive a utility bill. You only have a couple of options here. You must have some type of storage for your solar system, or be able to live with no electricity all night and anytime the sun doesn’t shine or keep paying your utility company for taking up the slack when your solar isn’t working. For a city to make an ordinance requiring new construction to have solar is ludicrous!

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You Spot it; You Got it!

Several years ago, a friend taught me this little slogan, “If you spot it; you got it.” He said, one of the best ways to grow as a person is to observe what bugs you in other people. The things that stand out to me the most are usually the very same things that are unseen to me in my own life.

In this emotionally charged political climate, I have been amazed by the people who seem to just be waiting for President Trump to do something they can pounce on. The name calling and irrational nature of the attacks is so obvious to me. This weekend a group of people were held up getting back into the country due to the new vetting process. A plan that just went into effect Friday didn’t work perfectly Saturday and the attacks are brutal, harsh and pretty unrealistic. I’m thinking to myself, it doesn’t matter for these people what Trump does it won’t be right. If one person was held up for an hour at some airport, there would be marching in the streets! When I was thinking about how irrational these people are, it hit me, if you spot it you got it!

I felt the same way about President Obama! I would have felt the same way if Hillary Clinton would have won the presidency. They could do no right in my eyes because my political bias would not allow me to see any good in them. So, the pendulum swings from election to election and the divide in our country seems to become stronger and more entrenched.

Until I can accept our president, no matter what party they represent, as Scripture teaches, I am part of the problem not part of the solution. Until I can accept no one becomes President of the United States unless it is God’s Will for this period of time, for His purposes, I will end up filled with distrust, and unrest in my spirit. Unless I stop fueling my bias by watching biased news reporting and listening to others who are biased against the President, I am part of the problem.

It has always been difficult to admit, the ugliness I see in other people around me is also deep within me. It causes me to pause and admit, the United States does not have a political problem we have a heart problem. The solution begins within.

If you spot it; You got it!



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Today’s Experiences; Tomorrow’s Memories!

I’ve been known to become nostalgic, especially during the holidays. Life has changed so much during my lifetime. As a kid, almost our entire extended family lived in the same community. My dad had two brothers, one of which had four kids. My mom had five brothers and a sister and there were a ton of cousins. In the early years, we all went to my grandma’s home for Thanksgiving. In later years, mom would host the whole gang at our home. I remember Thanksgiving Dinners when there were so many people in our small home that to use the bathroom, you’d have to go out the front door, run to the back door to be able to make your way to the facilities. crowdinyard

I couldn’t find any pictures of the old Thanksgiving Dinners but this same kind of crowd from a backyard summer picnic represents what size of family gatherings we had on a fairly regular basis.

I remember Christmas Eve, carpooling around town to drop in on family members and then off to another and another.

Those were some amazing experiences that are great memories today.

But life continues, doesn’t it? In our society many go off to college and then pursue careers in many different parts of the country. I’m guessing it is rare for an extended family to stay in the same community today. One by one, we move off to follow our dreams. One of the consequences of this lifestyle is extended family becomes very extended. I have cousins scattered to the four corners of the USA. My own children are scattered. We still have a small nucleus of the family in the Williamsport, PA area where we grew up but only a remnant of what used to be.

Somehow in our scattered world we need to create festive holiday traditions that will be great experiences now to be reflected on as great memories down the road. Today’s experiences create tomorrow’s memories. Where ever you find yourself, take initiative to gather family and friends. Life is too short to do otherwise!



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Education Vs. Indoctrination

Thinking about the current election and the obvious division in our country has me pondering higher education. The truth is all higher education has two purposes. The first is to educate a person in a specific skill set to be able to effectively enter a career field. Most people would agree, once entering the career field far more is learned doing the job than was ever learned in school. The education is meant to be foundational, but it is no substitute for the real world experience gained in the trenches.

Not all foundational education is created equal. The benefit is multiplied by the student’s passion, individual effort and desire to learn. Two students of equal aptitude can take the same course, with one working for a sheepskin and the other working to learn all they can and the outcome will be vastly different.

It is my opinion, that all schools of higher learning also desire to indoctrinate the students with the school’s particular world view. This is often passed on to students in philosophy courses and other courses not specific to the main topic of study. This part of the “education” is not education at all but rather indoctrination. The proof of this can be seen when opposing views, open discussions, intelligent debate are not welcome. This can be seen in nearly every school. Private universities to state-run universities have this trait in common. For example, to graduate from the school I went to, I had to sign a doctrinal statement showing I lined up with the schools belief system. I remember irritating more than one professor by challenging their views on various topics. When indoctrination is the objective, debate is not welcome. Go to a state university and say you don’t believe climate change is destroying our planet or you are pro-life or don’t believe gay marriage is beneficial to society. At that point, logical, friendly debate goes away and name calling begins. Why? Because at this point education is no longer what is at play. Education is always willing to debate, discuss and entertain contrary views and theories. Indoctrination, on the other hand, does not want to have debate, it desires conformity. When conformity is challenged, shaming and shunning begins to bring the person into lock step with the accepted views of the group.

All the hateful name calling we see in our society comes from groups of people who have been indoctrinated and don’t believe it is possible to hold a different view than their own. With 322 million people in our country, that is an untenable view.

Unity, acceptance and mutual respect can only come when we acknowledge we don’t know what we don’t know. None of us has perfect knowledge of our world. We all are somewhat a product of our education and our indoctrination. We need to listen to each other and attempt to understand. Our country is divided and I believe this is a significant reason why.



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I Had A Dream!

Two nights ago, I had a vivid, clear, movie like dream. My wife of 43 years had been out somewhere and was mugged. A young, strapping, 19-year old, named ColbyScott&GayleRehearsal, fought off her attackers and saved her. The first scene of my dream, was Gayle explaining this story to me.

Then the bombshell. During the rescue and following gratitude, she fell for Colby. She told me that as well. When she told me, we were standing in front of a fancy hotel somewhere. She said, Colby was coming to get her. About then he came pulling into the hotel and she said, here comes Colby. He got out of his car and I approached him, as I did, he backed away and said he didn’t want any trouble. I said, I don’t want trouble either, I just want to meet you.  Then he bypassed me and went right to my wife and they hugged and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen her so happy. I woke up, got up and went to the bathroom and came back to bed and as soon as sleep came the third scene of the dream did as well.

Gayle was going to marry this 19-year old kid. I was very upset and saying, we’ve been married 43 years, you are 63 years old and you are going to marry a 19- year old kid! But when I saw there was no changing her mind, and when I saw how happy she was,  something in me changed. I told her, I loved her with all my heart and wanted her to be happy and if this was her choice, I thought it only fitting that I walk her down the aisle and give her away in marriage. I said, you’ve been mine for 43 years, who else should give you away.

The dream was so vivid, I remembered every detail. I lead a men’s group at our church. Unfortunately, I’ve had many men never wake up to how much they really love their wives until something like my dream happens for real and their spouse is on her way out the door.

My Gayle is the most committed lady I know. I have never had any reason to believe she would leave me, she has stood by me through thick and thin. I believe my dream was from God. I felt emotion in the dream and really ever since have looked at Gayle through different eyes. I’ve been realizing how blessed I am to have her as my partner.

This morning I bought her some flowers and both the lady at the flower booth and two young men checking me out, asked, what is the occasion? I was able to tell them, I’ve seen too many men not realize what they have until it’s too late. I just wanted her to know I love and appreciate her. I said, we’ve been married 43 years and I think she is staying but I don’t want to take any chances. Then I came home and read in the Message this passage found in Matthew 19:

But Jesus said, “Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn’t for everyone. Some, from birth seemingly, never give marriage a thought. Others never get asked – or accepted. And some decide not to get married for kingdom reasons. But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.”

Ponder this,




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