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Showing posts from February, 2012

I am Gladiator

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Have you ever seen the movie Gladiator? It is one of my all-time favorites and I have watched it many times. The lead character Maximus is one of those guys every man would wish to be. He is a true man’s man that is willing to die in the name of honor as he seeks to avenge the death of his beloved Emperor and family.

My favorite scene in the movie takes place as Maximus is standing in line with the other Gladiators awaiting his first fight in the grand coliseum of Rome. Slowly he rubs some soil in his hands and soon after a terrified man in front of him pees on himself out of fear.

There is no fear in the heart of Maximus. Instead there is a steadfast resolve to face whatever challenge waits on the other side of gate.

Soon after the epic arena battle has been won the evil Emperor and murderer of his family asks “who are you?”

And here is his famous answer:




In many ways I see this as a picture for the battle that is our lives. Every day we are stepping into an arena full of enemies and…

Leave them better than you found them

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No Troop 168 campout is complete without a police line through the entire area where we have been camping and gathering over the weekend. The Scouts form a line and walk across the area slowly looking to pick up every scrap of trash along the way. The goal is to leave the area looking even better than it was before we arrived. The phrase “Leave it better than we found it!” can be heard at the end of almost every outing as the Scouts prepare for cleanup.


As the Scouts walk slowly, there is also a designated person that no one is to pass. This ensures the line stays relatively straight and that everyone has time to thoroughly check the area. If trash is found after the line has completed the job then guess what happens next? You are right! They do the whole thing over again.

“Leave it better than we found it” is not an official Scout saying like “Be Prepared” or “Do a good turn daily” but to me it is just as striking

How different things would be if we strived to ensure we leave every…

Dad reacts to a teen's post on Facebook

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It looks like this video has just gone nuts on the internet this week with views, comments and debates. Clearly this father is angry with his daughter’s Facebook reaction to her family's rules. Just as clearly when you read the comments that are flying in as reaction this has struck a chord with many people. I guess I am most surprised by the many words of support that other youth are leaving for the dad.


What do you think? Was it appropriate for the dad to do this? Has it opened your eyes a bit to the danger of social media when people post emotions and have public family quarrels?

Is this a loving father demonstrating consequences for actions or a reaction that helps demonstrate the root of the teen’s frustration?

I am curious to know what you think.

Why we have two ears

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“God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. We should listen twice as much as we talk”


In my professional life I worked as a leadership skills trainer for several years. One of my favorite and to this day most impactful courses were the ones that discussed listening skills. This is been a hot leadership topic for years and back then we did not have the additional distractions of today with instant messages, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Angry Birds and a whole slew of other things in our hands beckoning for attention.

It seems now more than ever that listening to others is a skill that people are losing. You see it all the time with teenagers that are sitting together but the entire time instead of talking they are tapping away at something on their phone. Adults my age are just as bad. Just a few weeks ago I was at a birthday party for a good friend and noticed more than half the folks there were on their phones a great deal of the time vs. enjoying the conversation and company …

My twitter fast

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Whew I am back! Today is my return to Twitter after a 21 day fast from it and a few other things. With over two years, 15,000+ tweets, and four accounts under my belt, I felt compelled to take a little break. Amazingly, during this time the world kept turning and people did not go running through the streets yelling, “where is David Copeland! I must know what he is thinking today!” Chances are that the vast majority of my followers did not even notice my absence.


It has always been my twitter desire for a two sided fluid experience. The fun for me is getting to know people through conversation and interaction. It may sound silly but I am genuinely interested to learn about the lives of others and this is way more important than number of followers or any other twitter metric.

So what did I learn during this time? Mostly I learned that twitter like all things needs to be kept in perspective and that life indeed does go on just fine without social media.

My inspiration for this fastin…