Should we be looking to Groucho to understand the future of networking relationships?


Potential life outside the Milky Way
Cyber crimes


We have thrust ourselves into the next industrial revolution. The only difference between the 1880’s and now is that the end product is 1/1,000,000th the size. With more content, knowledge and information being shared every second, how do we absorb it. More importantly, when do we have time to interpret and respond to that content before the next piece is fed on our plates? We no longer have to share content in real time; we can schedule when real time will be.

The pressure is building. Which will explode first, the robotic brain or the human brain?

I am done with the dramatic portion of this commentary.

Where can I possibly be going with this?

I believe we are transgressing back to a simpler time when connections were about two people working together for the common goal. That goal can be a job, a collaboration or a project. Needless to say, relationships are becoming more and more critical in the employment community as technology is fighting harder and harder to build on innovation and gain market share.

This is an interesting conflict to wrestle with.


Let us look at the state of career IT solutions:

  • Programs are developed in IT solutions that monitor activity levels.  As individual move closer to a change (loss of job, move, etc.) they tend to become more active including updating profiles and resumes.
  • We are no longer identified by the wealth of experience we bring to the table but by a series of skill tags.
  • We are not people but a brand.  Some a simple brand while others saturate the market with their image.
  • Business cards are not exchanged, meetings are not had; We are officially engaged with a Facebook friend request, a LinkedIn request or a Google+ circle initiation.
  • The summation of our growth and development is summed up with visual or verbal sound bites and our performance is rated by the number of +1 or likes we receive.
  • Big brother is watching.  The difference between Big Brother of old vs. new; He doesn’t have to try very hard to find dirt on you.
  • Jobs are posted everywhere but no one is hiring?  How bizarre.
  • If it involves physical effort, there is an app for it so sit back and relax.

Where exactly does Groucho Marx come into the picture?  As you can see from his famous mirror scene, the impostor was trying to convince Groucho’s character that he was looking at himself in the mirror.  By mirroring his moves, he was creating a relationship.  One of deceit but still a relationship.  Throughout his career Groucho would  befriend woman, professors, government leaders and con men offering them the world and then dancing the night away in the end.  Sometimes it takes an old film to remind what is still the most important thing in our lives; the relationship.

Connecting with others, not by common tags or mutual friends but by the respect and passion their have for their career choices is critical for you to continue to grow.  We live in an employers market and most likely will for the rest our lives and perhaps our children’s.  Opportunities are limited and skill requirements more specialized.  Now is the absolute time to find those that share your passion; your energy and you desire to continue to grow.

Network with them.  Not through a network but human interaction.

Without that element, we are lost in a cyber melting pot.  Once you fall into the deep abyss, there is no turning back.


Don’t ever be afraid to say goodbye


  • “How lucky I am to have known someone who was so hard to say goodbye to.” – Unknown

“Why does it take a minute to say hello and forever to say goodbye?” – Unknown

Change is frightening and physically holding someone’s hand that you love one last time is a feeling most of us never want to face. It is an inevitability of life that every person will face. Some goodbye’s are as easy as walking away and not looking back while others are wrapped in final closure.

Everyone you ever face in your life, you will say goodbye to in spoken and unspoken word. You can’t neglect that fact of life. Perhaps that is why fear of death and commitment are two of the top ten most feared things. So many of us will try and find the silver lining in a goodbye with phrases like:

  • Every goodbye is one step closer to a new hello
  • Every ending is closer to a new beginning
  • You have to say goodbye to know how much they really meant
  • Don’t think of this as a goodbye but a reflection on all the wonderful times you shared
  • You will always have the memories

It is all psychological bullshit. It is an attempt to sugar coat a bitter cupcake. Farewells suck. Especially to ones that have brought you so much happiness and contentment. Why would we ever want to to let go of someone that has affected our lives?

There is the difference.
Letting go and saying goodbye are very different.

Everything in life has a purpose, or at least we have created the perception that it does. We have all had the one that got away. The lost love; the true soul mate; the person that made me believe in love; you got the idea.


Is there anything wrong with those moments of solace when you light some candles, drink wine and remember the times you shared and even create a scenario in your mind where you two are still together? Actually no. It is healthy and so often you feel better afterward. Maybe after the hangover has gone away. It is a flushing of feelings that is necessary. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t have decades of sappy love songs from Richard Marx to KC and JoJo.

An emotional flush. What a great thought. It is healthy and can even burn off calories.

Now, let us get back on topic. As a person who is well traveled and has had more than my share of people come in and out of my life, I can feel comfortable saying some were harder than others. Some even still are. Do I miss a few every single day? Absolutely. I have also put life in perspective and come to expect this.

Here is what you need to remember:

  1. Don’t ever let go of anyone.  Whether they were a friend, lover or enemy, they impacted your life.  That is critical to understand.  They shaped your morals, feelings, actions and lifestyle in some small or big way.
  2. Saying goodbye takes tremendous courage.  Look deep inside your soul and gather all that courage.  It is hard and you will resist but it is essential, not just in that moment but in the future as you reflect back.
  3. Farewells are healthy.  They are part of our growth process.  Life is a constant evolution of growth, change and adjustment.  We want to accept that as we strive to become the best person we can
  4. The hardest thing for most people when saying goodbye is to make peace with yourself.  Often times we blame ourselves for the separation.  Never ever blame yourself.

That is it.


Goodbye will happen many times throughout our lives.

Some will be heart wrenching and others will be subtle.  It will happen.  More often for some of us.

We need to accept it will happen and use the courage we all have inside to allow it.

2013 Charleston International Film Festival – Why is it important to attend?


The 2013 Charleston International Film Festival will be help April 24th – 28th 2013 in Charleston, South Carolina.

2013 Charleston International Film Festival – Program Guide

Why is it important to attend?

Film has a responsibility to bring social awareness to its viewers. We are a country rich in culture and proud of the individual freedoms we are given. Many of us are unaware of the cultural and moral differences that are understood and accepted around the world. Film has an obligation, through its passion and commitment to share a message of awareness and education. It also strives to promote discussion and bring our own personal passions to a higher level.

This year’s Charleston International Film Festival will:

  • Introduce us to Willy Grunch who thinks only about love, guitars and snails
  • Explore a daughters search for her father in World War II
  • Show the effects of a plague in a small village
  • Examine how photography can open the world up to a whole new meaning through the lens
  • Show how a young girl tries to save her family without a word spoken in this silent short
  • Let us into the wonder of underground caves and all its beauty and majesty
  • Tell a remarkable story of three early 20th century baseball players and their journey through life
  • Film1

  • Have you meet a young girl, who on the night of her graduation will begin a new life of challenge and decisions that will affect her life forever
  • Love will finds its way from the screen to you while divorce will hit home for many
  • Bring you to the heart of Nicaragua where disease is spreading
  • Show us who is the man behind the clown make up
  • Uncover a conspiracy
  • Put us face to face behind the man behind Catch Me If You Can
  • Lets us ask questions to the man that produced the Oscar winning film Argo
  • Answer the question, what would happen if you were caught in the middle of 70 million dollars?


These stories, all remarkable in their own way will take you to:

  • United States
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Hungary
  • Spain
  • Australia
  • Germany
  • France

There will be East Coast Premieres, South Carolina and a few World Premiere events


Why is it important that you attend this years Charleston International Film Festival?

  • Blocks are only $10.00 / VIP access to all shorts, longs, animation and after event activities is only $129.99
  • This is a unique cultural event for all ages that will make you think long after you leave the theater
  • This is the only event that offers a world perspective through the magic of film
  • There is a remarkable group of actors, writers, directors, staff and volunteers who have poured their hearts and time into bringing the very best in film from around the world
  • It is a memorable experience that is entertaining, educational and critically provoking

It is an honor to share in the arts and be a part of such a collective endeavor of this size and magnitude.

Whether you attend one block of films or several, you will walk away looking at life in a different way.

Festivals are meant to entertain, but in a rare instance, they can change you.

Purchase Your Tickets Today

You can also visit the festival ticket office at 556 King Street daily for tickets or information.

In tragedy there is light – Original Poem


I hugged my child today
The warmest hug I ever did feel
So safe; so warm; so tight
I could not let go

I could not release him into a world fueled by hostility and death
The fire and smoke has clouded my vision of the future

In a moment of sorrow I bowed my head

Humbled by the prospect of peace
Warmed by the heat of a new sunrise
Spiritually enlightened by humanity

My son looked up at me with sadness in his eyes
In a soft trembling voice asked me “why?”

I hesitated as I closed my eyes willing the answer in a way to sooth my child and ease my wounded heart
Words did not find their way to me


Guided by instinctive love, I looked at my son and said “you”

You are my reason for living
You are my my hero
You are are the happiness I find every morning and the final thought every night

Without you, I don’t know why

You are the meaning of my future not yet written
You are the legacy that will show the world the path to the grace of humanity

I looked at my son and once again began to believe

The smoke is gone now
No longer clouded, I find the strength to rise again and walk, hand in hand with my child to the promise of a new tomorrow.


Do you know how to save a life?


We are all alone wandering the world, one interaction at a time. We are born into this mystery of existence for a finite time and enter a new plane of being alone. During the moment between the first and final breath, we will make decisions, take risks and question. We will each fall and pick up the pieces to live another day.

Each moment, a new encounter; a new perspective.

Have you touched a soul so deeply that the connection changed them forever? Have you ever saved a life? Have you ever guided someone that lacked directly; giving them hope with an outstretched hand; finding promise in the darkest hour?

The greatest wealth in life is the grand gesture; the selfish act of kindness led by a pure reaction of energy fueled by love.

A decade later, we no longer talk of the destruction of September 11 but the individual stories of courage and triumph that will live on and serve as a benchmark for true heroism.


So many of us go undiscovered

So many unfulfilled

So many longing to be needed; to be yearned for.

The sign of love is not the Tiffany necklace but the way he looks in your eyes when he puts it around the soft circle of your neck. Do you know how to save a life?

Can you deal with the responsibility of seeking out a lonely heart and giving it protection, nurturing and love?


The ability to save is only achieved when:

  • You have the strength to believe you can
  • You accept that an act of heroism is simple and true
  • You no longer look in the mirror and see yourself
  • You see the act of kindness as a mutual bond and the energy shared is a power greater than the energy of one
  • You believe in something much greater than yourself
  • The music never stops playing.  It is a heartbeat, a songbird, a thank you from someone less fortunate who was blessed with your kindness.
  • You find light in a field of darkness

This is a responsibility more important and difficult than any job. This is one where the greatest reward is lifting someone to a better place.

Do you know how to save a life?

Stop – Original Poem


In the body of a dead soul these words find shelter from the cruelty of reality

Stop the madness screaming inside my head

Run to me through these frosted fields
Let the jaded edges of the ice cut your skin and heal you through the warmth of your blood

Stop the insanity that is controlling this prose

My words take me where I want to be
Closer to you; yet still so far

Stop the pain I cannot feel, but yearn for in the valley of lost feelings

I found this piece of heaven resting on my lap
Her shadow growing in the sand as the sun sets into the night
She speaks her kindness in silence
As the fire in the sky turns to darkness, your warmth comforts me from the evening chill
Angels sigh


Stop the resistance that fences me in this prison

I have finished the race that led me into your arms
The pain in my legs has subsided
I have gained the strength of a strong oak protecting the river from the terror of natures revenge

My search is over
Clues in my words led me to the ending I always dreamed about

My dream is intoxicating like the nectar of wine

First kiss
Never want to stop
The sky has opened and a spiritual lift has taken these words and spread them across the universe to be shared

I no longer have to stop
I no longer have to write

My words are now the reality in your eyes


Are we missing the signs of depression on Facebook


“That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key.” – Elizabeth Wurtzel

Depression is all around us. It does not discriminate by gender, age or lifestyle. In infects us and spreads like a cancer and takes over our lives. For some, the signs are very clear while others hide it very well through their actions or lack of actions. With the world being brought at our finger tips are we missing the clear signs of depression or choosing to turn a blind eye to them?

Facebook is populated by over one-sixth of the human population. It has bridged our worlds and put the idea of voyeurism and stalking into every day activities. There are so many common indicators of depression and so many of us need to be aware and take action to help.

After all, these are our “friends”.


What are these signs that a person may be suffering from some level of depression?:

  • Aggressive use of language on the social networks (Facebook, Google+, Twitter)
  • Constant uploading of self portraits.  When someone is constantly putting up pictures of themselves or re-issuing their favorites looking for reinforcement of their “beauty”, that can be a clear indicator
  • Constant quotes about seeking a better place, a better life, a true utopia
  • Constantly checking in to reinforce to their circle how socially active they are
  • Posing a number of “what if” questions or commentary on society
  • Not having any pictures of yourself but friends and family only.  Perhaps a sign of hiding behind unfriendly aging
  • Showing many pictures of drinking or many check ins to bars
  • Late night random thoughts out of character
  • Adding many new friends often.  Needing to be surrounded by strangers and constant attention can be an indicator as well

This is just the tip of the iceberg.   We can list off another ten or fifteen behavioral indicators on Facebook that could be a silent scream for help.

How many of these have you seen?


How often have you reached out to try and help or even ask if someone needed help?

I am going to lean on a small percentage that have taken on the task of question number two.

I have witnessed these signs and later learned of depression, rehab, loneliness, sadness and rejection from these same people.

Maybe Facebook is the great savior for avoidance of responsibility since it is a virtual tool or maybe we have a higher responsibility to help.

Next time you witness behavior that is unorthodox, it doesn’t hurt to ask and just maybe you might be saving a life.