Little Lessons

Memorial Day Will Be Different This Year

Posted by Mark Fallon

May 22, 2020 4:45:00 AM

Flag and marker
“Green sods are all their monuments; and yet it tells a nobler history than pillared piles, or the eternal pyramids.” - James Gates Percival

My earliest memories of Memorial Day are watching my father march in a parade with the American Legion. He looked very sharp in his uniform.

When I was a teenager, I marched in Memorial Day parades as a member of two drum corps – the Immaculate Conception Queensmen and the Middlesex County Guardsmen. I remember how silent it became when we entered the cemeteries – just the beat of a single bass drum to keep the entire corps in step.

After my father died, I began marching on Memorial Day again. This time, as a member of the American Legion – a long circle completed.

This year will be different. No parades. No large gatherings at monuments. No readings of veterans’ names at cemeteries.

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Topics: reflection, inspiration, love, values, veteran, family, memories, people, little lessons, emotions, father, parents, honor, service, compassion

There’s Nothing Left to Watch – Read a Book

Posted by Mark Fallon

May 15, 2020 4:45:00 AM

Books on a shelf
“There are so many thousand good books, in so many languages, suited for so many different moods, and needs, and individuals, that all a man ought to do is to say a given number of books proved of interest and use to him personally at a given time under given conditions.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Netflix – watched everything.

Amazon Prime – watched what was good.

Cable TV – nothing left except the news. And I can’t watch much more of that.

We need a break from the screens.

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Topics: reading list, Reading and Books, moment, little lessons, rest, social media, books

How We See the World

Posted by Mark Fallon

May 8, 2020 4:45:00 AM

camrea obscura
“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.” – George Bernard Shaw

Staying at home, staring at screens. Television screens. Laptop Screens. Smartphone screens.

Our daily intake of news and opinions through cable networks, social media and messages between friends. There may be an unlimited number of choices, but we have a limited amount of time and attention. Either intentionally or subconsciously, we’ve either narrowed our channels or expanded our viewpoints.

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Topics: improvement, learning, values, growth, positive, challenge, little lessons, social media, trust, perspective, information, balance

Time to Change the Station

Posted by Mark Fallon

May 1, 2020 4:45:00 AM

car radio
“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” – Berthold Auerbach

When I'm driving my car alone, I listen to mellow music. When I was in college, my friends would give me a hard time, because my radio was always tuned to the “soft rock” station. I haven’t changed all that much in 40 years.

Occasionally, I'll change the station and listen to something new.

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Topics: love, learning, people, happiness, little lessons, expectations, music

The Unseen Strength of Beauty

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 24, 2020 4:45:00 AM

tulip in snow

“Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow.” – Alice Mackenzie Swaim

I love watching the first blooms of early spring. Tulips, daffodils, and crocus have been lying dormant for almost a year. When they make their appearance each April, it reminds me that warmer weather is on the horizon. The promise of more daylight, more time outdoors and even more flowers.

Every so often, winter ignores the calendar. We wake up to find that the grass has disappeared under a fresh coat of snow. The temperature has dropped below freezing. The daffodil stems are bowed down in submission. A lone tulip stands defiant.

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Topics: love, fear, growth, moment, challenge, little lessons, rest, beauty, nature

Acting With Intent

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 17, 2020 4:45:00 AM

boat lake

“A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally.” - Oscar Wilde

A trip to the grocery store. Work responsibilities and schedules. Conversations with friends. Keeping close to family and loved ones.

With no part of our lives untouched, we’ve been forced to abandon many routines and rituals. The impact of the smallest decisions may carry serious implications. We have to weigh the potential consequences of our actions. Before running the simplest of errands, we must ask, “Why?” and “What might happen?”

Normally this type of questioning is reserved for life-changing actions – taking a new job, buying a house, getting married. But today, any physical contact may be life-changing. Anytime we leave the house, we need to know the intent of our actions.

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Topics: reflection, Reading and Books, thoughtfulness, moment, challenge, little lessons, social media, perspective, informed

Do the Right Thing

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 10, 2020 4:45:00 AM

flip phone
“Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” - Mark Twain

Several years ago, I was at the National Postal Forum (NPF) in Washington, DC. The NPF is my favorite conference and I’ve been attending shows every year since 1992. It’s a great opportunity to listen to postal executives and experts in the mailing industry. More importantly, I get to see the many friends I’ve met over the years.

On Tuesday evening, I jumped in a cab and headed to a dinner I was hosting for clients. We gathered in the bar while a table was prepared, and I introduced guests to each other. When the hostess announced they were ready to seat us, I reached into my pocket to shut off my cell phone. But – it wasn’t there!

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Topics: values, thankfulness, thoughtfulness, people, little lessons, kindness, help, good, National Postal Forum

What To Do Now

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 3, 2020 4:45:00 AM

Sunset1
“No matter how bad a situation, you have to ask yourself, ‘What do I do now?’” – Bob Howard, Medal of Honor Recipient

As we enter a new phase of the current crisis, our concerns continue to grow. While we adapt to new routines, the future remains uncertain. There’s no part of our lives that aren’t impacted by the virus.

The internet has become of source of both connectivity and divisiveness. We’ve watched videos of generations using webcams and software to close the “social distancing” gap. People offering suggestions and humor to cope with the boredom and exasperation. Others expressing their concerns and frustration, which have unintended consequences of provoking backlash and arguments.

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Topics: strength, love, challenge, little lessons, kindness, mail, help, service, volunteer

Being the Essential You

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 27, 2020 4:45:00 AM

Rose2

“We have to go into the despair and go beyond it, by working and doing for somebody else, by using it for something else.” – Elie Wiesel

I love language. When reading a book, I’m always fascinated by the way great authors assemble words to form powerful messages. Like master chefs, writers take the basic ingredients – the words available to all of us – and deliver marvelous creations.

A word that has been in use a lot lately is “essential”. Only essential businesses are allowed to remain open. Only essential travel is permitted. Only essential employees should report to work.

Is your business essential? Is the trip you make to the store essential?

Are you essential?

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Topics: networking, personal relationships, fear, challenge, little lessons, kindness, letters, social media, empathy, nature, balance

We All Need Someone to Lean On

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 20, 2020 5:00:00 AM

hug
“Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of intelligence.”

The current crisis has revealed the worst and best of human nature. The number of internet scams and criminals trying to take advantage of people’s fears is disheartening. Just as unfortunate is the number of people unknowingly spreading misinformation through social media.

There are also stories of ordinary people demonstrating the power of goodness. Friends organizing trips to the store for senior citizens. Teachers using innovation and technology to deliver lessons to homebound students. Parents finding ways to provide stability in uncertain times.

Then there’s the professional caregivers – the doctors and nurses on the front lines. Being separated from their families and love ones during extra shifts and rotations. Putting their lives at risk to save others and prevent this disease from spreading. We owe them an unpayable debt.

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Topics: strength, reflection, positive, people, little lessons, team, empathy, compassion

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Our blog helps the reader focus on the little lessons - taking place every day - that will lead to sustainable, long-term success.

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