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I don’t pretend to be a Christian.

many people do, though.

but, prayer is for everyone regardless of how or what people define faith – theirs, or otherwise. it focuses the mind and aligns it with heart and spirit.

I tend to pray most when I want something, or think I need something. I used the word “something” twice in one sentence because the concept of the what ever it is renders itself huge.

just like God.

lately I’ve been praying (or, mumbling) quite a bit because of what’s been happening to my Shockers. I’m going to lose a bunch of them and a dream long worked hard for. it feels like treachery and satan and all that stuff. I face a genuine Kobayashi Maru. however, I know darn well that change can be a good thing. it really comes down to what you make of it. character seems to be part of the definition.

so… I’m pondering the whole prayer thing. my question is now this: do I, or that collective we, pray for the things we think we want or need? Or, does He have us pray to align our minds, heart, spirit and actions with what He wants or needs from us?

my eyes are welling up as I tap these words gently into a keyboard. I’m so incredibly blessed, lucky and fortunate . my family is happy and healthy (other than some challenges with school and grades). business is great. and, I feel pretty good as my training continues. so, that list of positive adjectives could run on for some time. but, suffice it to say that the ball has bounced in my favor many times – and, possibly because I always try to do the right thing.

this post is already being populated by words that I had not planned in advance. so, maybe God is carefully at work, because, as I create this message, I’m thinking my prayer(s) need to be that God have me do the right thing(s), soften my heart, and simply steer me where I am actually needed and wanted. I’ll raise my hand.

I just need a path and an opportunity to be a beacon to light that of others.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

two words:

love and hate.

or, love and hatred.

they represent genuine extremes, I think.

as an aside… we’ve witnessed; and unfortunately, some of you have lived – “love hate” relationships.

but, some people love to hate. we assign that to terrorists, for example. other folks might submit they hate to love.

“there’s nothing in this world so sweet as love. and next to love the sweetest thing is hate.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I’m intently considering my keyboard, and thinking love is an elixir, whereas hatred is fuel. however, both can be the foundation for a cause. and, a result of a cause, I  suppose.

apparently there exists, some where, but I don’t, in truth, care precisely where, a study using a brain scanner to investigate the neural circuits that become active when people look at a photograph of someone they say they hate has found that the “hate circuit” shares something in common with the “love circuit”.

I’m thinking the opposite of love is not hate. however, it could be indifference. but, we’re trying not to introduce other words, here. on the other hand, indifference is not the same result if you say: the opposite of hate is not love. the meaning, if not the entire context changes, and radically.

what the hell, I’ll add an aside, here. me? I’ll fear indifference long before hate, and certainly love. indifference might suggest the loss of hope. And, maybe that’s the key to strapping on a vest stuffed with dynamite, or losing the will to love. love might take more courage and effort than hate, after all.

these words, and their application, might represent an important battlefield. the on-going war that rages (now, that’s an interesting word relative to this line-of-thinking) between these emotions is relentless. we seem to have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another, unflinchingly. it’s more likely that love will turn, and viciously, into seething hatred, and not so likely that hate will transform itself into love. if someone were to say: ‘I hate loving”, it’s sad, but that is more easy to relate to than: “I love hating”, which almost sounds like a chest-thumping cause for action, or call-to-action.

hate is often considered to be an evil passion that should, in a better world, be tamed, controlled and eradicated. yet, I think were you a biologist, hate is a passion that is of equal interest to love.

like love, hate is often seemingly irrational, and can lead individuals to both heroic and evil deeds. this fascinates me. how can two opposite sentiments lead to the same behavior?

perhaps that line-of-thinking led Ella Wilcox to say: “love lights more fire than hate extinguishes.”

I can’t say I agree with that. for example, love is often viewed as given, whereas is hatred is acquired. but, we can demonstrate how hatred is ladled-out carefully and becomes so much more powerful over time. if someone handed a terrorist (we really do leverage that term liberally, don’t we) a flower, they would likely shove up the givers butt, or grind it into dust and mix it with weed-killer and craftily introduce it into their coca-cola. having said that, perhaps the makers of coca-cola are actually terrorists of a sort because soft drinks are, indeed poison, and slowly killing a large portion of the worlds population. too many people say: “I love coca-cola”, and not enough say: “I hate coca-cola”. but, I digress (although shareholders of coca-cola enterprises love to make money, and certainly don’t hate it).

me? as I continue to explore the complexities of living the authentic life, I’m more likely to try and love, in general. or, at least care. this is where indifference creeps back into the thinking. I’m not sure you can win once love is part of the equation because many lines become blurred and the self can be lost. but, nobody actually wins where hate evolves. that’s a kobayashi maru. I’ll submit once indifference corrupts the soul, there exists hatreds foothold. and, I’ll often try to encourage my fourteen year old daughter to try, and hard, not to even use the word hate in a sentence – especially relative to people, and also inanimate objects (like new cellular telephones) – but more so, then, from a common-sensical standpoint. I also want her to be careful about dispensing and leveraging the word love. there is that tipping-point, after-all.

it all requires a lot of thinking and consideration. a cause, if you will, for that winnie-the-Pooh figgerin’ spot.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

I can’t say whether this line-of-thinking originated with an army in general, the army, or Chief Master Sergeant Drew, in particular… However, it’s certainly apropos wherever, or however, you might be engaged.

In fact, I just may have thought of it myself:

“If it’s not working, either change the rules, or change the circumstances”.

Some call this thinking (interestingly, another word for thinking is “contemplating”, but that won’t work, here) part of situational awareness.

God gave us all varying degrees of discernment. We might as well use it. Some just better than others.

By the way… Do any of you spend time thinking about alternate words, and how they can be applied in a manner that demonstrates both the richness of our English language, and creative resourcefulness? It’s okay if you don’t. But, it’s vitally important that you understand that I do such things.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

what is change; how is it defined?

why do we change?

and, what is the meaning of change?

what if one changes back? Is that also a change, or do you lose points?

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Last week I found myself driving Haley Anne to summer soccer practice recently and faced with something of a challenge.

We were in my Ford F-150 (also known as the: “big black bad-ass soccer and dog truck”). And, it’s currently my vehicle of choice. Rowdy can sit comfortably in the back, or ride shot-gun. And, there are always soccer balls bouncing around in the back. It’s insight into my life and priorities. It’s cool and formidable, but also practical (it could pull the boat, in a pinch).

We witnessed a yellow Ferrari navigate a corner in good form and amidst a spray of gravel.

Haley Anne turned to me and asked why I didn’t drive a Ferrari (I do drive a Porsche, but she is apparently aware of the difference). “You can afford it can’t you?”, was the secondary question.

I almost told her that I am seriously considering a Volvo Cross Country Station Wagon (and, it’s true, I am).

The question that ended-up dropping out of my face was: “whom do you think has more money, the fellow with a Honda, or the fellow with a Ferrari?”

See… I thought this was a rather sage question. It was certain to set the stage for a ground-breaking dialogue between my beloved daughter and myself that would further establish our bond while I appeared wise, and she my able student.

I’ll pause here and admit that a quick image of Bill Pope popped into my head. I found my heart in my throat (I sure do miss my red-headed-Errol-Flynn-type-friend). I was also quickly thinking this was a good time to get her ready for the news that we are seriously considering a move from the big beautiful house in Milton (Alpharetta) to a more sensible home in the Crabapple area (I’m trying to send a message to my community – more about that later).

It’s still a great question, for obvious reasons. And, it raises so many fascinating ideas around wealth management, good stewardship, and self-image.

But, all that aside, I got a simple shrug with a: “who cares Daddy. Why can’t we have a Ferrari?”

I’m already thinking this is a great challenge (isn’t character always best when challenged?). What steps does this alert me to, and prepare me for, to curb her views around materialism? A defining Authentic Life moment and possibly a Kobayashi Maru.

…sigh. Lift me up, and stay tuned.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

It’s no secret that I got my butt seriously kicked in Colorado.

There was a period of time where it felt like God was taking so many things away from me and my family.

It would have been so much easier to duck and not be accountable. My partners took that path. But, I held firm in my belief of self and some form of unrealized potential for good. I faced a daily Kobayashi Maru. There was no sense of righteousness, mind you. Just a steely resolve to do what felt right. And, I learned there is a vital difference. And, perhaps thusly, began my own path understanding God’s gift of discernment.

I’m grateful for the pain, much of it burned into the back of my head; the wound fresh and itchy, as if it all happened just yesterday. The hollowness in the pit of my stomach a constant reminder of what I don’t want to be; and, what I can be.

Today, if I’m judged in an unfavorable light, I probably don’t “see” it because I am surrounded by so many good people and great opportunities. My Grandad – and, you’ve read a lot about him on this Blog – said: “if you are going to judge a man, do it by those around him”.

All of my experiences – the good, and the seemingly bad, have prepared me in the form of what God needs me to be, to help other men (I’m a surfer, so everyone’s a dude), make ever-better decisions, and realize their own potential. It’s part of living an authentic life.

So, God puts good men in my hands because I think he pushed me hard; he tested me and my mettle – and he trusts me.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

I spend my business-oriented days surrounded by hearty and ferocious entrepreneurs that seek me out for guidance and the fulfillment of dreams.

Here is a stark economic reality:

A theme that I am teaching and coaching, currently, represents a harsh (but not so grim from my perspective) reality that, regardless of which side of  thirty five years of age you are (and, this is a new paradigm in itself) – if you want an upwardly mobile economic future, you are going to have to make it happen yourself. And, this likely means you will have to start your own company. Once you’ve navigated those pioneering trials and tribulations, you must learn to trade stocks by sitting at the feet of people you genuinely know, and have good reason to trust.

Often this means realizing and facing your fears – and taking the steps, anyways. Ponder the Kobayashi Maru. Like the early pioneers of our nations history, most of you won’t make it. You’ll have to form your own militia and calvary. Count on your truest friends and allies. This means a thinner gene pool. But, a good one. So, yes, we are once again addressing the Laws of Natural Selection.

Those of us that fancy ourselves leaders must light candles and be beacons, in our own right, for truth and light and best practices.

Thusly, great good (I’ll take a hot for the grammar for the sake of the point, here) will be accomplished. Justice must be, and shall be done.

As interesting as this is to me, and as important as it is to you, the only real purpose I can offer for pointing this out is simple gainsaying. I’m telling the truth; I’ve had, lived and shared the dreams. Don’t bother to dispute that for a second.

I suppose you can fight me, if you dare.

I’m living proof of what happens to a man that lives the authentic life and seeks only to be part of the solution, and not the problem.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

what’s all this about?

I can’t explain what that damn tree means - or, if it might stand for something.

However, here I do discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman.

brian cork by John Campbell

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"Perhaps victory can be realized best when the heart changes."

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about this particular Theme:

I'll warn you now that Tarski is theme of this blog created by Benedict Eastaugh and Chris Sternal-Johnson. It is named for the logician Alfred Tarski. I'll recommend his papers ‘The Concept of Truth in Formalized Languages’ and ‘On the Concept of Logical Consequence’, both of which can be found in the collection Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics.