Category: Respect

Celebrating Automotive Mechanical Engineering – Part 1

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Preface: This is a series of personalized posts celebrating people, skills they've learned, things they make, and value they have added to our lives.

Today I am celebrating automotive mechanical engineering. Mechanical engineering is such a diverse field that I decided to focus on different aspects of it and since I have experience with automotive mechanics, it is a good choice to begin this celebration. Even the field of automotive engineering is huge, so I'm choosing automatic transmissions for part 1.

I grew up where the majority of cars and pickups that I saw were manual transmissions, or what we called stick-shifts. Most were three-speed with the shifter on the steering wheel column. It was a very sporty upgrade to have the shifter on the floor. I didn't own a vehicle with an automatic until 1973. When I first started selling cars in 1972, even the full-size Chevrolet Impala had a three-speed on the column standard. Over the years, automatic transmissions began taking hold and expanding in the marketplace until now where it is somewhat harder to find a stick-shift except in very sporty cars or small cars.

I watch a lot of YouTube videos because I love to learn and there are so many entertaining videos that are also educational. One channel to point out here is Precision Transmission. It's a family-run transmission shop in Amarillo, Texas, and I have come to love them and the videos they produce. Richard, the owner, likes to teach others how to diagnose and repair transmissions so they last and function better than new. He's been honing his skills for over 40 years. Watching him tear down an automatic transmission is fun and it fascinates me. He has opened my eyes to so much about automatic transmissions, but he also demonstrates and promotes developing skills, the use of good tools, a work ethic that is admirable, and he exudes love for his family, his shop, his life, and his craft. I celebrate their whole family and the time and energy they put into sharing these videos.

From watching so many of his videos, I also celebrate the mechanical engineers who have created all the different automatic transmissions. When Richard at Precision Transmission is taking a unit apart, examining each piece, looking for wear and damaged parts on even the smallest and seemingly insignificant parts, I can just imagine the engineering teams that designed all the parts and how they work together. Richard will point out the changes from one GM 4L80E to another, pointing out why changes were made toward creating better and better products. Some of the parts simply amaze me and how they all are assembled together with precision each with their specific purpose. He knows from experience what kind of modifications he can make and the use of aftermarket parts to improve the longevity and operation of a transmission. I've been watching for almost a year now and I learn something new in every video.

There is much to celebrate in the engineering of the automatic transmission, and yet there is more in how they fit into the vehicle and the importance of regular servicing. It is fascinating how one aspect affects and interacts with the other. In fact, Richard says all the time that mounting the transmission into the vehicle is as critical as rebuilding it.

Today I celebrate all the people who have learned the skills to design and create these transmissions. I celebrate the companies who employ them and the people who buy them. All of it is in motion and all of it serves others components, other systems, other people, livelihoods, and more. When viewed this way it is more like a living organism rather than a piece of engineering. Every time I get in my car now and put it in gear I find myself celebrating automotive mechanical engineering and all the people that are involved in the process. I am blessed by their skills and their creations.

Turning From Prejudice Toward Love

From the web:
“As a noun, pre-justice is a preconceived opinion
that is not based on reason or actual experience.
As a verb, pre-justice is defined
as to give rise to prejudice; make biased.”

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My father died in an accident at age 36 a couple of days before his 37th birthday. I was 13 when he died. I was born in 1949 and he was 22 and my mom was 18. I was the eldest of three from that marriage which ended when I was five years old, my sister was three, and my little brother was only one. My parents were mid-western stock from Iowa and I was born in Iowa until we moved to southern California when I was two. My father was easily angered and quite prejudiced. I grew up early in a judgmental environment. As time went on, I heard more of that. My mother remarried and nothing changed as far as the prejudging of people, things, events were concerned. I got plenty of it from my mother as well, along with friends from school, neighbors, and more. It was normal to be prejudiced. It felt like we were supposed to judge others, their behavior, how they lived, and so much more.

The television promoted prejudice. It always has. It still does today. I began watching television in the early 1950’s. Long before color TV became a reality, television was colored with prejudice. Perhaps I should say lack of color. Movies showed it vividly. The schools I went to promoted prejudice in many ways, through choices of textbooks and who was allowed in, controlling teachers and curriculum to name a few.

I grew up in a white-dominated world. I heard so many words to describe those who weren’t white and even one group who was white but so far below standard as to be called trash. The N-word, the J-word, the other J-word, the C-word, the S-word, the other S-word, the I-word, along with all the color words that began with Y, R, B, the other B. Next, they were nationalized in groups based on where they lived now or where they were from or their lineage was from. Some were Mexican, Asian, Italian, German, African, South American, Icelandic, Pacific Islanders, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and many more.

Indeed, we have so many ways to segregate each other into compartments and categories dehumanizing the world. Even the word people has us and them and they. All of this doesn’t even address the various languages that are spoken, the religions we’ve created and fight about, the foods we eat, lifestyles, and so much more. All of this is easily a place to stand in prejudgment.

Of course, this is not news. It is normal. It is only called normal because it has become habitual and it only became habitual by repetition and it all came from somewhere to get inside of each of us. We learned it. It does not come naturally. It is taught, shared, preached, legislated, from our parents, other family, peers, friends, schools, churches, leaders, government rules and laws, and more. And, it cannot be different until we each decide to be different, to let go of those teachings, to see something more, to change, to grow. Based on this, it will never change outside of us. It can only change within us. The outside world that we think we see is but a reflection. We choose to love or we choose fear. Prejudice in all its forms is simply fear. So when I hear someone spouting nonsense about a group or a country, or idea, I see it for what it is. It is a fearful person sharing their fears. Many will share it openly. Rather than push against them, acceptance is the way toward love. Pushing against anything is expanding fear.

We’ve had such volumes and constant repetitions of prejudicial points of view brought into our lives that to release this and become prejudice-free is a real challenge. However, just like walking five miles is taking the first step and then another and another, releasing our learned fears and turning toward love is releasing some here, some there, again, and over again. We have such a tendency as people to focus on the destination when it is the journey that is life itself. We are all and always a work in progress. All we need first is to become aware. Then choose differently. Seeing how fear rules our lives is enlightening, and we always have had and always will have the power to turn toward love and drop the rope of fear. In so doing, we create the world in which we want to live. It doesn’t matter who or how many may follow our lead. Our own choice and actions are all that matter. Allowing the world to be whatever it is serves us. Allowing all others to think and act in whatever way they think is best for them is empowering for us.

My past is what it was at a different now. I get to choose every second of every day. I choose to release prejudice and have been on this beautifully unfolding journey for many years now. It is a joyous journey of constantly seeing contrast and then pivoting toward love. Love is my home base now. I am home. I am love.

Being The Change Comes From Appreciation

“If you can just appreciate each thing, 
one by one, then you will have pure gratitude. 
Even though you observe just one flower, 
the one flower includes everything.” 
 
— Shunryu Suzuki Roshi 
 

[Classic post from 1-15-16]

How can we live in the same world and yet each of us live within our own personal world? How can things that we don't like be going on and we not pay attention to them? Aren't we supposed to pay attention to them? It's so hard not to be upset and to complain. I wish it was different. I wish the world was different, more loving, less violent. I wish it was the way I would like it to be…

The answer to these kinds of thoughts and many more like them is to begin appreciating which will cause us to stop complaining. Gratitude rules by appreciation. To become truly grateful, we learn to appreciate–regardless of what is going on in that world around us. We find things and people to appreciate and we change our world perception while allowing the “other” world to do as it wishes to do.

Here's a little from Abraham, Esther Hicks that says it so well and to me, it is exactly like this:

“When you feel gratitude, often you are looking at a difficulty that you have overcome, but there is still some of that “struggle” vibration present. The state of appreciation is seeing whatever you are looking at through the eyes of Source. . . You could walk down a crowded street with all kinds of things that a lot of other people would find reason to criticize or worry about, and you would not have access to them because your vibration of appreciation is picking out for you things of a different vibrational nature.” 

Here's another good way I have found: I change my gaze. So, I'm driving across town and the traffic is heavy at this time, so I don't complain about traffic or how much longer it is taking, I change my gaze from the traffic to something pleasing. I might look at a specific car or truck and find appreciation for that, or the sky, or the clouds in the sky, or people standing on the corner waiting to cross. There are a number of things that I can focus on instead of the thing that would cause me to complain.

The antidote for complaining is appreciation. The antidote for unhappiness is appreciation. The antidote for anything negative or bad feeling is appreciation. In fact, I would have to say that it is a universal antidote for a better life.

I Change My Gaze To A View Of Something I Can Appreciate. 

Spread Some Joy Today–love and joy are united. Go spread some love and you will be spreading joy.

A Confession Of Our Character

“People do not seem to realize 
that their opinion of the world 
is also a confession 
of their character.” 
 
— Ralph Waldo Emerson 
 

[Classic post from 1-10-16]

We may often think that our opinion of the world around us, the community we live in, the sphere that we work and dwell in and around is based on facts or circumstantial evidence, but it is not that at all. It is our own character, which is simply what we think, what we feel, and how we behave, that drives our opinion of that which is outside of us. In other words, it is that within us, that which we have become, that shows the outside world to us. We could even say that we see what we are.

There is grand value in knowing and understanding this concept that our opinion of that which is without comes from the character within. I think the highest value is that we can choose to change how we see the outside world by tinkering with what we think, and consequently how we feel, and consequently how we act. When we do, our opinion of the world is guaranteed to change. Changing circumstances is pretty much an impossible task in comparison to what we can change within ourselves.

This applies to worldly events and even relationships that touch our lives deeply. Below is a wonderful offering from Abraham, Esther Hicks from 2002:

“You don’t have to worry about what their vibration is if your vibration is one of connection. Because if your vibration is one of connection – you’re going to dominate the vibration. This is the way you learn your relationships. 


The thing that most people do not understand, is that you get to control the way you feel, because you get to choose the thoughts you think. 


Most people think that they only have the option of responding to the circumstances that surround them. And that’s what makes them attempt the impossible, which is to control the circumstances around them, which only feeds their feeling of frustration and vulnerability because it doesn’t take very much life experience to discover you can’t control all of those circumstances. 


But you can control your vibration. And when you control your vibration, you’ve controlled everything that has anything to do with you.” 

This was originally a paragraph that I broke apart only to make the beautifully stated points more powerful and make more sense too. And, it is, in my opinion, certainly worth considering in some depth, particularly the first line about connection to our Source within.

What You See Is Who You Are. What You See Is What You Get. We Choose It All. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by a willingness to look within ourselves at how we view the outside world. Joy is simply a natural result of a certain train of thought or thoughts.

They Pay You To Learn!

“They pay you to learn.” 
 
— Garry Marshall 
 

[Classic post from 3-10-16]

In the last month or so, I've listened to the unabridged autobiography audiobooks of several famous comedy writers, movie directors, TV producers, such as Carl Reiner, famous as the producer of the Dick Van Dyke Show among many other endeavors, Norman Lear, most famous for TV sitcoms, All in the Family, The Jeffersons, One Day At a Time, and more, Garry Marshall, great movie director of such films as Pretty Woman and TV producer of Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, to name a few, Penny Marshall, sister to Garry and a movie director of movies such as Big, A League of Their Own, and many others.

All of these people had fascinating histories, and all of them had one thing in common. They were willing and eager to try things they had never done and acted with a certain amount of confidence in their abilities to have it turn out well. They were all on a path where many have said, the Universe conspired to help them succeed, even in spite of their lack of knowledge or specific skill set. 

Although I'm not famous as they, in looking back, I did the same kinds of things in order to move into positions and businesses that I didn't have any experience in.

Sometimes, I hear people complain that because they have no experience, they are not given opportunities, but that is just noise. They just like complaining. And, it is also true. They are blocked, but not by others. They are blocked by their own thinking.

They might make up all manner of excuses, such as needing a college education, a certain college degree from a certain type of college, or that in general, they need to learn a whole lot more before they can get started. My long-time mentor Jim Rohn talks of that as a builder who is going to build a tall building and keeps bringing materials to the site but never seems to get started building, always needing more materials, more preparedness, more, more, more. Alas, if the building will get built, we must begin building and have confidence in what will be needed will be there when we need it.

The quote above came from the audiobook I just finished by Penny Marshall where her brother, Garry Marshall was encouraging her to direct a movie even though she had never directed a movie. She had directed several TV shows. He said to her that they pay you to learn. That is so true.

They paid me to learn.

They paid me to learn how to be a good sales manager having never been one, paid me to manage tens of millions of dollars of inventory having never done that, start several businesses, having never done that, and more. It's so interesting to look back and see how little I knew and yet figured it out as I went.

So, the message here is to make a decision and get moving. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” I'm pretty sure, no one ever sees the whole staircase ahead of moving forward on it. And, even if they imagined that they did, the Universe would probably guide them in such a way that they could not have seen anyway. So, what the heck? Let's get started! Who knows what wonderful adventures will come?

First Step: Decision. Second Step: MOVE! 

Spread Some Joy Today–by letting go of any tension. Relax. It's all good.

Truth and Lies

“Truth is beautiful, 
without a doubt; 
but so are lies.” 
 
— Ralph Waldo Emerson 
 

[Classic post from 1-25-16]

Just as I’ve learned that there is no way, but there is your way, my way, and their way, the same philosophy applies to truth and lies. One person’s truth is another person’s lies, and so on. It is purely a personal judgment that thinks one is better than the other. With many billions of us on the planet, that idea is even more valid.

I love how Abraham, Esther Hicks makes such sense of this idea:

“There is a big mix out there, and there are lots of different things going on, and there is no one way that was intended to be the right way. Just like there’s not one color or one flower or one vegetable or one fingerprint. There is not one that is to be the right one over all others. The variety is what fosters creativity. And so you say, “Okay, I accept that there’s lots of variety, but I don’t like to eat cucumbers.” Don’t eat cucumbers. But don’t ask them to be eliminated and don’t condemn those who eat them. Don’t stand on corners waving signs trying to outlaw the things that you don’t like. Don’t ruin your life by pushing against anything. Instead, say, “I choose this instead. This does please me.” 

Allowing the entire mix of things and ideas and choices to be and relax in our own ability to choose what is important and pleasing to us is to live a very healthy life I think. Pushing against unwanted only increases unwanted. What we resist persists. But we always have the personal power of choice. What we choose could be easily seen as our only responsibility.

To Each His or Her Own. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by realizing as Eckhart Tolle said so succinctly: “All problems are illusions of the mind.” That means that we can choose not that, but joy instead.

Love IS Forgiveness

“Then Peter came and said to Him, 
“Lord, how often 
shall my brother sin against me 
and I forgive him? 
Up to seven times?” 
 
Jesus said to him, 
“I do not say to you, 
up to seven times, 
but up to seventy times seven.”” 
 
— The Bible,
Matthew 18:21,22, NAS 
 

[Classic post from 1-24-16]

Seventy times seven would be 490 times, but I think the point here is not a number, but always.

From the first time I read or heard that passage, I've taken it to heart. That doesn't mean that I haven't been in Peter's position, but that I haven't forgotten the lesson that this wonderful passage contains. 

Whether it is a debt or some other grievance that has caused conflict with another, how many times should we forgive them? Seventy times seven.

There is often confusion about forgiveness. The word indicates that we are releasing the other and giving them relief from the debt, or the transgression. That would be like Peter saying, “I hate this that happened by the poor dealing of another to me, and I don't want to forgive them, but you teach forgiveness, Lord, and I want to learn. I am willing to forgive them. How many times do I have to forgive such things? Did you say up to seven?”

Then, it is like the Lord saying, “No Peter. Not seven times. This isn't about them. It is about you. Forgiveness isn't letting them go free, it is about letting yourself free from the burden of carrying that weight with you affecting everything that you think and do. That's why I say, not seven, but seventy times seven. When you pay attention to your own feelings, you will know what feels right and what feels wrong. You will notice the tension and the resistance, and the joy. I want you to have joy. That is the purpose of forgiveness. It is to release you to experience more joy and to lighten any burdens that you have accumulated. Let go of it. Love your brothers. Love your so-called enemies. Love is the most powerful force in the heavens, and when you love yourself enough to let go of the hurt, you then can let go of the blame of the other, and allow love to fill all that space.”

Love Is Forgiveness. Love Is Kind. Love Is… 

Spread Some Joy Today–by releasing any of those accumulated hurts and so-called failings. Drop the rope. Just let go of it. Feel the relief in that. That is the path to joy.

I Am Already Complete

“We must be our own 
before we can be another's.”
 
— Ralph Waldo Emerson 
 

[Classic post from 1-18-16]

There are a lot of ways so many give their power away. One that is so predominant in our world has to do with the conditional loving of romantic relationships. Who hasn't heard the very famous line from the movie, Jerry Maguire: “You complete me.” And songs. . . wow, thousands of songs about this subject, like the classic, All Out of Love by Air Supply. You know, “I'm all out of love, I'm so lost without you. . . I'm all out of love, what am I without you?” Even in songs at contemporary Christian churches, it is easy to hear these kinds of lyrics and messages, except referring to us and God or Jesus instead of two people.

The idea of being lonely or feeling lonely comes from this place of imagined incompleteness. This whole idea of thinking that “I'm nothing without you, or lost without you” makes me want to bust out laughing, yet I used to plug into that concept just like so many do today.

I began to see myself as whole instead of trying to find my missing part, and now I have my own power back. When we think that we are incomplete and we require someone else to complete us, we are powerless until that happens, yet within a certain amount of variable time, after we find that special someone, something is likely to cause us to feel incomplete again, even with the one who supposedly completes us. It is simply because we aren't loving ourselves and realizing that we are whole and complete already.

I think that a healthy vow would be, “I don't need you to complete me. I want you to be with me because I enjoy being around you. I feel good when I'm around you. I love your laugh. You're smart and you are great to talk with. I love myself just the way I am, as I love you just the way you are. For however long coming together will enhance and benefit us both, I'm in for that, and when it's not, I'm okay with that too. Thank you for being my friend and lover. I so enjoy being with you. I look forward to enjoying being with you in the days to come. I love you without any conditions attached as we come together freely seeking to enhance our joy.”

This is true when it comes to careers, jobs, other kinds of relationships, and more. We keep our power within ourselves when we don't need those people or situations outside of ourselves to know our value. Our value within is a gift from our Creator, and She will never take that away, and as long as we choose to be full and not give it away ourselves, we are complete within. A relationship based on need is weak. A relationship based on desire from a place of fullness is always strong.


Let Us Come Together As Equal Whole People, Whether In Business Or In Our Relationships. That Place Is Limitless. 

Spread Some Joy Today–Whatever the weather wherever you are, there is joy in the air. Grab some.

Each Of Us Stands On Top Of The World

“When I look at the rainbow, 
I find myself at the center of its arch, 
but so are you, 
and so is the man who sees it 
a mile from both of us. 
So also, the globe is round, 
and every man therefore 
stands on the top, 
King George 
and the chimney sweep 
no less.” 
 
— Ralph Waldo Emerson 
 

[Classic post from 1-5-16]

Though our ego often says differently, we are not better or more worthy, nor is any in the world better or more worthy when it comes to how God, or the Universe, or All-That-Is sees us. Though we may have different education levels (while on this planet, at least), different skills, and different ways, that only shows that each of us is unique. It also shows that each one of us is special and valued. Take to your heart your specialness. Delight in your unique offerings, views, and ideas.

There Isn't Anyone On This Planet That Is Better At Being You, Than You. You Are Worthy Of Anything You Can Imagine. You Are Lovable And Equally Loved By God. 

Spread Some Joy Today–What joy lies in the discovery of your own value.

Measured Esteem

“Men have looked away from themselves 
and at things so long 
that they have come to esteem 
the religious, learned, and civil institutions 
as guards of property, 
and they deprecate assaults on these, 
because they feel them to be assaults on property. 
They measure their esteem of each other 
by what each has, and not by what each is.” 
 
— Ralph Waldo Emerson 
 

[Classic post from 1-4-16]

As we deal with things virtually every day of our lives, and we have a tendency to place judgment on people and where they are on the scale of what they own or lack of what they own, how much money they have, or the lack of money they have, and so many other comparisons, it would be beneficial to make the effort to see the person inside beyond that facade as if it were true that we are all on the same journey of living a life in a body, yet we are all connected in spirit.

We don't have to change our whole world of things because things are such a part of our world, but it is beneficial to see beyond this limited view as often as we can to keep our loving perspective. 

Whether we are being given our cup of coffee, or talking to a prospect for our services or product, passing someone in the hallway, seeing someone on the news that seems to hate our ideals, if we can take even a second or two to acknowledge that we are all related, and yet unique, we open ourselves to the joy of living and better enjoyment of our own journey.

Who Is That Person, Really? It Is Me On A Different Journey. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by loving each other.

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Mesa, AZ