Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

Archive for the tag “inclusion”

We have the moral obligation to make a positive difference in each other’s lives

Here is the viewpoint of a 13 year old on this topic (and more) pablo-2

Photo credti: Pablo by Buffer

It is a strong conviction I hold and there are so many outlets and opportunities to do something for our fellow people. About two weeks ago son Max held a speech at a Scouting Pacesetter event that I have copied and pasted below. He did get a speech suggestion for the event, but after reading it he asserted “ that is not me Dad” and he wrote his own version. His aunt requested that I send her the speech and along the way I re-read it again. Please take some time to read it too and scan for the sections that highlight helping community and just plain our fellow people. It also advocates for trying to learn about helping lead other people. Here is my call to action for you: If a 13 (now 14 year old) young man can find reason and outlets for providing help and leadership don’t you think we can all do that?



“Good evening ladies and gentlemen. My name is Max Weiser, and I am almost 14 years old and in 8th grade at the Avon Grove Charter School.   It’s really exciting for me to be here this evening to tell you about one of my favorite things: Boy Scouts.

I am currently a Life Scout in Coatesville. I joined Scouts 8 years ago as a Tiger Cub with a Pack in Exton. As a Cub Scout, I was able to go camping for the first time and enjoy a lot of fun activities with my Dad by my side. I earned my arrow of light award and moved up to Boy Scouts. My mother and father both encouraged me to join Scouting but I was the one who brought home the flyer and asked to go to recruitment night, since it sounded incredibly fun. I can say that I have gone on many fun adventures, made a lot of new friends, and so much more, through my experiences with Boy Scouts.

If anyone were to ask me about joining Scouts, I would encourage all boys to become Scouts.   If you have a son or a grandson who is not in Scouting, you should talk to him about joining.   He will learn things that will help him his whole life. He will make some great friends and he will go places and do things that other boys never experience, as well as develop his leadership skills and learn the importance of helping others.

       One of the biggest highlights of my Scouting career has been camping. As a Cub, I attended Camp Ware for a week with my Dad each summer. I enjoyed the games, crafts, swimming and sleeping outside the most. Once I transitioned to Boy Scouts I was able to attend Camp Horseshoe, all by myself. I will be honest, this first trip away from my family was rough at first. The first night I wrote a tear filled letter home and asked to be picked up. I am glad my parents did not get that letter until after I was home. My fellow Scouts and all the Leaders encouraged me and helped me to have fun that week. We went swimming, played camp wide games, shot rifles, climbed walls and learned many skills that allowed me to work on advancement and merit badges. By the end of the week, I did not want to LEAVE! I was tired, covered in heat rash (it was 100 degrees that week) and very dirty. But I made it! And that gave me the confidence to keep moving forward in my Scouting career. I am scheduled to go on a High Adventure Sailing Trip at Sea Base in Florida this summer with a different troop than mine. I am also signed up to go to National Jamboree in West Virginia with a group made up of Scouts from all around our council to meet up with Scouts from all over the nation. In 2018 I want to attend a National Convention of the Order of the Arrow. And in 2019 I want to join a council contingent for a World Jamboree to be held in West Virginia. I have learned to have confidence in myself and that my fellow Scouts will help me along the way if I stumble, so these new experiences will be more enjoyable.

I was asked to think about my favorite part of Scouting is, and that was tough. We do so many different things and I like them all. The best part for me is meeting new Scouts from around the nation and, soon, the world. One area I particularly like to focus on is the Order of the Arrow. Order of the Arrow is a Boy Scout Honor Society which focuses on Cheerful Service to Scouts and the Community. Our local lodge helps to take care of Camps ware and Horseshoe. Currently, I am an Ordeal member and will earn brotherhood in June or September. There, I get to meet Scouts who are as highly devoted as I am, from around the area. It’s a great way for me to be around my scout friends and provide service to my community at the same time. I am currently working on setting up a Blood Drive for the Order of the Arrow Day of Service committee that I chair. Scouting gives me the opportunity to try many different things, such as finding out what my specific interests are and to discover my strengths. Through Scouting’s merit badge program, I may even figure what I want to do with the rest of my life. So far I’ve earned 26 merit badges. Some of which have been very difficult, but Scouting has taught me that if I work hard and really dedicate myself I can do anything.

The hardest badge I have earned, so far, is Life Saving. Be Prepared is the scout motto, and one purpose of the Lifesaving merit badge is to prepare scouts to assist those involved in water accidents. This badge taught me basic rescue techniques, the skills to perform them, and the judgment to know when and how to act during a water accident.   It was a physically demanding badge. Picture me trying to drag a fellow Scout, twice my size, who is pretending to be unconscious, out of the water to safety. Luckily, I survived, and so did he!

One of the funnier Scouting experiences I have had so far was when my troop camped at Camp Karoondinha for the weekend. One evening, my fellow scouts and I were sitting around the campfire. We kept hearing weird sounds coming from the woods. We were almost convinced it was Bigfoot! In reality, it was group of other scouts hitting the trees with sticks. Once we all realized we were scared the for no reason, we had a good laugh. It wouldn’t be a Scouting trip without some good natured laughs. Sometimes we provide the laughs and sometimes Mother Nature does. For example, the Valley Forge Encampment this past February, which really tested our ability to laugh in 20 below wind chills. We took classes ahead of time, came prepared, and conquered the elements until the wind blew our tents over and the Township made us go home. But now we all have a great story to tell and a greater respect for our Revolutionary troops!

It’s not hard to see that Scouting means a lot to me, but it’s not the only thing I do. Like most Scouts, I’m involved in other activities. I enjoy playing flag football, doing abstract art as a hobby, being active in art club, and participating in Odyssey of the Mind competitions. Who knows, maybe in a few years, if my love for art flourishes, I may end up being the next famous artist to come from Chester County. When you see my art in the Met, you can tell all your friends you knew Max Weiser when he was a Life Scout!

Of course Scouting has also taught me to keep my options open and to be prepared for whatever comes my way in life. Every meeting and every day throws something different at me

If I could give you a practical example of how Boy Scouting is a great place to grow up, it would be this: I am a patrol leader for my Troop back in Coatesville. But what really makes me love scouting is being a den chief. This means I attend a Cub Scout meeting every week in addition to my own Troop meeting. I enjoy watching the young boys grow from Tiger Scouts in 1st grade to Webelos 2 in 5th grade. I also help them transition from Cubs to Boy Scouts. No matter how loud they are, (and believe me they are LOUD) they still respect me as a Leader and even requested that I return this year even though Den chief is usually a one year term. They always make every experience different for me. Leading your peers is important, but leading the youth to enjoy Scouting is even more gratifying.

Even though I have already accomplished a lot through Scouts, there are lots of things I still want to accomplish; the first is finishing the requirements for my Eagle rank. I set a goal for myself two years ago that I would make Eagle Scout by the time I was 15. I am finishing the last Merit Badge and I am well on my way with my project. I turn 14 next week and I hope to achieve Eagle rank by this Fall, ahead of schedule, mind you.

Thank you for allowing me to tell you my Scouting Story and let me end by thanking all of you for doing your part to help kids like me discover the world through Scouting.

On behalf of the 5,700 Scouts of the Chester County Council, I thank you for your support. And I salute you.”

A historic day in front of the building where America started – Pope Francis in Philadelphia

A historic day in front of the building where America started – Pope Francis in Philadelphia 20150926_164514

Photo credit: Ralf Weiser

I did not know what to expect when a good friend of mine invited me to join him and another friend of his out to see Pope Francis’s address in front of historic Independence Hall. I was really looking forward to being there for this trule special occasion. Kudos to Philly’s public transportation and police; the crowds were manageable even though there were huge amounts of people roaming the streets. The tickets we got were for the area immediately in front of where the Pope would speak. We were elated to be here and we got front row seats. How could this get any better?

Well, it certainly did. The program included speakers and performers leading up to the Pope’s speech who were truly remarkable. A tango dancing group performed a few awesome dances and one even had a female couple dancing. “Wow”, I thought to myself. Could this be a sign of a change?

After various speeches of public officials Pope Francis arrived with his motorcade. The spectators lining the streets went wild. He was led through Independence Hall and took his place in front of the lectern President Lincoln used in his Gettysburg address. His speech, which he held in Spanish, was truly historic. I really liked how he repeatedly emphasized that we have to include and love everyone worldwide. He also asserted that we represent “spheres” and how we have to guarantee that everyone can be a true human individual. Wow! To me, he provided another small sign that he his a truly unique and refreshing Pope came when he quoted a key sentence from the Declaration of Independence: “…that all men and women are created equal..”. Wow, he had included women.

A panoramic view of Independence Hall 20150926_165226

This comes at a time of history in which our news are full of stories where people try to divide, spread hate, polarize, and in all want to single themselves out for selfish reasons. It is so refreshing to have the religious leader of the world who wants us to remain true individuals and yet collaborate and join in Faith whatever it may be. Wow. Folks, we have a truly special Pope who appears to try bringing people together. Most of all, he is providing hope that we can and will live in peace as long as we take the first step in living according to the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” What a historic day in historic Philadelphia. I am glad I had the incredible luck and fortune to be there.



Don’t go on with your life without reading this book

Don’t go on with your life without reading this book 20150407_163249

Photo credit: Ralf Weiser

This past week we shut down operations of office and production for the day and we had an all day workshop instead. Friend Mary Lore stopped by with a very powerful concept: Manage your thoughts. Don’t act from and through them; look at them first and then make an intellectual decision how you will react instead.

Mary is a successful book writer, speaker, and is just the sweetest person you will ever meet. Early in her career she was so successful in business that she developed serious illness. While she had success, she didn’t have meaning and purpose. Not being happy with that situation she developed courses helping other people deal find purpose and structure in life – leading up to meaningful success.

Fate would lead to writing her book just to then be faced with a year worth of her greatest challenges: during the week of her book coming out her husband of 3 months suddenly passed away, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she lost her business, she accrued significant financial losses, and this was just the tip of the iceberg.

She thought to herself what a good way it would be to live what she had preached to others. She managed her thoughts and it was only through extending unconditional love to everyone, including her fiercest enemies, that helped her turn her life totally around for the better. She even successfully fought cancer. Today, she is a sought after speaker and workshop leader.

Check out her how-to-style book “Managing Thought – A way of living to achieve personal and business success.” You will not regret reading or listening to her book.

As for me and the other 90 workshop participants, it was a wonderful day of co-creating our future together. Many life changing thoughts and concepts were shared and I am confident that these will soon bear significant fruit.


Would you trade a hug for a FB like or a Retweet?

Would you trade a hug for a FB like or a Retweet?  jim gilbert

Photo credit: Jim Gilbert, Wheels and Deals

To me there is no question. I like to give hugs and no FB, Instagram, BitStrip, Instagram, Tweet like, follow, or re-post can provide a proper substitute for the experience of a hug. To me it’s the epitome for being a human. Being a great human is to accept and also giving hugs. No, this is not some feel-good hokum, but some serious business vision/ mission and marketing approach as well.

Why do we hug in the first place? It just feels great to be part of a mini community. You feel like you are being taken seriously; you are being understood. Empathy and compassion comes out best when you are allowed to make the closest connection a human can make with another; you are forming a mini community by being that close even if it is ever so brief. Giving and receiving hugs means a desire to understand each other. You are part of an extended family that can keep on growing indefinitely.

A few conditions must be met in order for the hug to really mean something and for you to be receptive to accepting one:

  • It must be genuine
  • You have something in common
  • You must be able to respect the people
  • You must be able to trust the other person
  • It must happen in the correct cultural settings
  • Someone has been looking out for you and it is a reward and shares a mutual sense of joy

Moving from Germany to the U.S.A. was initially a lot more difficult than I thought. At first I could not quite feel comfortable receiving and much less giving hugs. At least where I am from in Germany it was frowned upon hugging “strangers”. Hugging back then was reserved for immediate family and friends – really good friends. Once I got acclimated and assimilated I just started loving the concept of hugging.

Now enter the business world and the emerging trend of storybook marketing. One person whom I am blessed to having gotten to know personally is someone who you should also know. It is Jim Gilbert from Wheels and Deals in Eastern Canada. He is known as “The Most Huggable Car Dealer in Canada” (please watch his video, it is worth your time). It was not a marketing ploy. Jim and his wife Dawna have always been very personable and taken pride in providing honest value on top of a hug. This is a used car dealership(!). Used car dealers used to have a very bad reputation. Trust and used car dealer in one sentence? Who would have thought this could be possible? Jim and his team totally turned that around by being huggable: Being trustworthy enough that you get the family treatment! Here you have folks who genuinely look out for your well-being.

This section may be tough to understand and to comprehend for even new car dealers. Just do yourself a favor and check out the many (and I mean MANY) customer videos in Jim’s Youtube channel. How many car dealers do you know can offer this kind of an impressive hug-worthiness portfolio? Go check out his website in more detail – you will not regret it. When you go there you are being taken care of and not taken advantage of. Jim and his extended family offer becoming part of this family – and you get a car that is new to you. Awesomeness!

Superficial social media banter and “liking” etc is worthless; I solid human to human connection via being huggable is priceless. Only a real story that is worthy telling and connecting with is also one that will be long term sustainable. That it is also fun and profitable comes all but automatically. On a scale from 1 to 10 (10 being the hug-meister), how hug-worthy are you?


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