Brett.Ullman

Category - leadership

Did you hear Justin Bieber refused Satanic child abuse?

Really great article. Please take the time to read our Christian response to Fake News.

Many Christian influencers, especially those on social media, contribute to this trend by spreading stories such as the Bieber one or by adding sensationalistic anecdotes and hearsay about newborn sacrifices at hospitals, Oprah Winfrey endorsing face creams made from infants’ foreskins, Illuminati plots by entertainers such as Katy Perry, Jay-Z and Beyonce, and other claims.

It’s an understandable reaction, but it’s not the right thing to do.

People should be able to look to Christians as a source of truth, not a source of panic.

When we ascribe darkness and Satanic attribution to everything we see (or think we see), the devil doesn’t have to do much work himself.

We see everything a little bit blacker.

As Lewis feared, it will make us into devils.

Click here for the entire article.

SO GOOD! Please take a few minutes to read. Love your comments. Thanks

Truth vs Fear – Please stop posting fear based content…

In the past year, I have seen a growing trend in the social media posts that I see … fear. I don’t really know where to go with this post as I write it. I could easily talk about all the fear that is in articles today talking about personal health

  • doctors say these 5 foods you should never eat
  • 2 exercises you must never do
  • don’t you dare exercise before bed
  • don’t you ever eat this food before bed
  • don’t ever eat this for breakfast

Or articles I see from parents:

  • these 5 apps you MUST delete from your kid’s phones
  • don’t have your kids on screens until they are at least 5
  • don’t you dare do this as a parent …

Or news articles

  • what really happened at …
  • the truth about …
  • The real story about …
  • Here are the Facts …
  • _____ destroys someone who believes in _______
  • The Eclipse on Aug 22nd was the date of the 2nd coming of Jesus. (I read 2 dozen Facebook messages and as you can tell they were all wrong)

Or the crazy stories that have come across my social media feeds recently (actual articles)

  • Justin Bieber: Pedophiles Run The ‘Evil’ Music Industry
  • Katy Perry Dragged off Stage as Monarch Mind Control Meltdown Goes Viral
  • Police: Chester Bennington Was Murdered

Is it just me or have we lost any basic critical reflection as a society? Many people seem to believe and share anything that comes to their social media feeds without doing any checking.

Let me say something that I would hope you already know:

Just because it is on the internet does not mean it is true.

I would also say that just because you want something to be true, or feel something is true does not make it true.

Something is true because it is true.

I also know that there are differing sides to any topic and that is where the good healthy debate comes in to play. We must be able to challenge the status quo in areas but it has to be done with facts and not fear.

There are some assumptions with the language in all of these articles:

  • We really don’t know what is happening but the person posting does
  • If we only “opened our eyes” we would see that is truly happening
  • For some articles, there is this vast conspiracy that if we only knew the facts we would believe
  • We are pretty stupid as people and need to “get with the program” and what is really going on

So how do we move from what all of these articles have in common – fear; and look towards teaching people how to learn what is true or not.

Let’s just take one online article and see if we can learn how to distinguish the difference between fake articles and real ones.

A few weeks ago Chester Beddington from the band Linken Park took his own life. As someone who struggles with anxiety/depression, these stories always hit close to home. Within days I saw people posting this article on social media talking about how he did not commit suicide but was murdered. This shifts all the conversation on mental health, suicide prevention, supporting friends and family etc (where the conversations should be) and moves it to a homicide investigation which by the way is just not true. So how do we know something is just not true.

I had some conversation with a few people related to this article and no matter what I said they could not think any other way other than this article was true. I had statements like “It might be true”, or “I think it is true”. We need to use some thought as we look online. I like the infographic below. It asks you to look at things from 8 perspectives.

So looking at this article about Chester being murdered.

  1. Consider the Source – the website YourNewsWire.com is not one I have ever heard of. A quick google search shows all kinds of people talking about how this site is a fake news site. Even the site itself has a tab for conspiracies. Not a site that I would trust for news.
  2. Check the author – The article says the author is Baxter Dmitry. A quick search and there is really no information on this guy. Not something a credible news source would be. Even their own website has basically no information.
  3. Check the date – There is a date for this article. It is not an older article being reposted which happens to often.
  4. Check your Biases – this is always a tough one. I do come from the bias that this article is false and fake news. We all come at the news with a bias. I just want there to be something in this article that is newsworthy and not all hearsay. For me to move to another direction there has to be something real to make me move in that direction.
  5. Read beyond – We need to go further than the headlines. I get it. The headline says Chester was murdered and then we have to look beyond that.
  6. Supporting Sources – this is where this article falls apart. From what I can see there are basically no sources. It says “police have reportedly launched a murder investigation? Did they or did they not? The title of the article says he WAS murdered. The police either did or did not launch an investigation. It says that “insiders beliving that it is extremely likely”. So which insiders? Who are” they”? The entire article is the same. No real evidence and lots of generalizations and no proof.
  7. Is it a joke – to be honest, I assumed it was when I first read it due to the shoddily written article with no sources but I think that there are people who actually believe this
  8. Ask the experts. Sites like Snopes say this is fake and if you read the comments in this article people then call Snopes fake. There are no experts arguing this. No real reporters or actual facts.

There is another great website that I would encourage people to go through. https://checkology.org They have a number of great videos to walk through 4 main steps to decide if something is real or fake. They talk about how anything posted could be made to entertain as opposed to inform. Great thoughts.

  1. Filtering News and Information
  2. Exercising Civic Freedoms
  3. Navigating Today’s Information Landscape
  4. How to know what to believe

I think that we have to be really careful what we post these days. We live in a world where anyone can post a blog or news article online. In our current culture we have a responsibiltiy to not be perpetuating any articles that are just not real. Before you post to take some time to think through what you are posting, sharing and “liking” online.

Love to hear any comments on this. How do you discern real news from fake or fear based news?
Thanks

Do You Feel Lonely As A Leader? Study Says You’re Not Alone.

Interesting stats on loneliness as a leader. Worth the time to read.

The authors cited survey findings that “half of CEOs report experiencing feelings of loneliness in their role, and of this group, 61 percent believe it hinders their performance. First-time CEOs are particularly susceptible to this isolation. Nearly 70 percent of first-time CEOs who experience loneliness report that the feelings negatively affect their performance.”

Your first reaction may be: cry me a river.

Corporate CEO behavior and lavish salaries haven’t exactly instilled empathy. Should we care if billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos aren’t reaching the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?

I would argue, any leader’s isolation has negative ramifications on others. And it’s not just CEOs who experience this kind of loneliness — it’s team managers, entrepreneurs, and community leaders too. In fact, anyone who finds themselves peerless can feel isolated. This isn’t good for decision-making, culture, or performance.

Click here for the entire article.

Words of advice for all graduating students.

Today my son Ben graduations from Grade 8. To Ben and all graduates today here is my favourite graduation song/poem.

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97
Wear sunscreen
If I could offer you only one tip for the future
Sunscreen would be it

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
Whereas the rest of my advice
Has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience
I will dispense this advice now

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth
Oh, never mind
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself
And recall in a way you can’t grasp now
How much possibility lay before you
And how fabulous you really looked
You are not as fat as you imagine

Don’t worry about the future
Or worry
But know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindside you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday
Do one thing everyday that scares you

Sing

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts
Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours

Floss

Don’t waste your time on jealousy
Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind
The race is long
And in the end, it’s only with yourself

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults
If you succeed in doing this, tell me how

Keep your old love letters
Throw away your old bank statements

Stretch

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
Some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t

Get plenty of calcium

Be kind to your knees
You’ll miss them when they’re gone

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll divorce at 40
Maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary

Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s
Enjoy your body
Use it every way you can
Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it
It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own

Dance

Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room
Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them
Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly

Get to know your parents
You never know when they’ll be gone for good

Be nice to your siblings
They are the best link to your past
And the people most likely to stick with you in the future

Understand that friends come and go
But for the precious few you should hold on
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
Because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young

Live in New York City once
But leave before it makes you hard
Live in Northern California once
But leave before it makes you soft

Travel

Accept certain inalienable truths
Prices will rise
Politicians will philander
You too will get old
And when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young
Prices were reasonable
Politicians were noble
And children respected their elders

Respect your elders

Don’t expect anyone else to support you
Maybe you have a trust fund
Maybe you have a wealthy spouse
But you never know when either one might run out

Don’t mess too much with your hair
Or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85

Be careful whose advice you buy
But be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia
Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off
Painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth

But trust me on the sunscreen

Overnight summer camps are better for your kids than SAT prep classes

I saw this article on Social media this morning and thought it was too good not to share. My kids have been attending Camp Mini-Yo-We since they were 7 years old). My wife and I both grew up going to camp. Dawn was a camper at Circle Square Ranch and Camp Mishewa and worked at Muskoka Woods for 5 years. I grew up at Pleasant Bay Camp and Camp Widjitiwan. These are just a few of the amazing camps just in my small part of Canada. Please feel free to post the camp you were a camper at or where you worked.

Away from the city, technology and academic pressures, kids can grow in creativity, independence and other qualities of successful people.

Summers provide a much-needed opportunity for my children to unplug, achieve focus and develop those creative thought processes and connections.

Click here for the entire article.

’13 Reasons Why’ holds many important lessons for parents of teenagers

As a full time speaker who spends 1/2 of his life speaking to high school age students I think this article is a great wake up call for parents. I find that many students today seem to be raising themselves with parents who are so busy with the downward spiral of their own lives that they have little time / capacity left to be actual parents to their own children.

Successfully parenting today’s teens requires close supervision, effective limit-setting and SM monitoring. Identifying symptoms of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal thoughts is imperative for early intervention and improved outcomes. But what is most important for parents — and lacking in 13 Reasons Why — is curiosity. Curiosity about teens’ friends, hobbies, homework or hairstyle choices. Parents too often dismiss their teens’ emotions as entitled, or their school-related struggles as trite, which leads to a feeling among teens that they are misunderstood and alone. But adolescence isn’t trite. High school experiences and the decisions made during those formative years shape teens’ mental and emotional development for life.

Please take a few minutes to read this article.

Click here for the entire article.