Five Points – 47

Sears – 

Sears filed for bankruptcy on Monday.  Founded after the Civil War, the original Sears, Roebuck & Company developed a catalog business that sold the latest dresses, toys, build-it-yourself houses and even tombstones. The company was, in many ways, an early version of Amazon.

This is an interesting article on the history of shopping in the modern era, with 4 distinct stanzas –

I found this perspective very interesting as well: How the Sears Catalog Undermined White Supremacy in the Jim Crow South –

Paper Airplanes –

They are just a lot of fun to make and fly!!  And super easy…well, most designs are.  I recently found this database of designs and have tried a few.  Perfect to have on hand as the holidays approach.

Vote – 

Everything you need to vote:


If you are planning on voting in this election in Tennessee here are some things you should know:

– This is a close race, your vote will make a difference…no matter what side you choose to support

– Uber and Lyft are both offering free rides to the polls.

– ID Requirements: You DO need an ID, but the ID CAN be expired.

– Voting Leave From Work

Tennessee law requires employers to provide employees with a reasonable amount of paid time off to vote up to three (3) hours. To be eligible, an employee:

must not have three (3) or more hours before their shift begins or after their shift ends in which to vote while polls are open, and request the paid voting leave by twelve o’clock (12:00) noon on the day prior to the vote or election.


So, you’re committed to vote!  A few things to remember:

– asking other people who are not involved in the campaigns of those people running for office is a good way to learn how to vote.  It can be as easy as asking folks in a text message, email, or on social media, “What do the candidates that are running stand for and how will it affect me as a citizen”? It is important to note here that when asking this question, that one let the person whom is being asked know that you are simply curious and interested in being informed.  Politics can be an incredibly heated subject, so letting them know that you are just trying to learn can be a good way of allowing them to be honest with you, without feeling treatened because of their view.  Now, once they explain their perspective, it is critical not to judge them for their views, that you honor your promise to just be collecting information. Once you have done your surveys and collected the information, you can develop your own perspective and vote accordingly.

– voting is anonymous.  That means that your friends and family and neighbors and everyone else will not know who you voted for unless you tell them.  In that spirit, it is totally ok to decline to talk about politics and who you voted for.

– Discussing politics often times gets folks really engaged and passionate…and upset!  Part of this comes as a result of feeling as though the person we are talking to just doesn’t understand our perspective and worse, that by voting for someone other than whom I might be voting for, that the person I’m speaking with is ‘against ME’ or ‘on the other side’.  It is important to remember that this doesn’t have to be true and it takes patience and acceptance to remain objective in this scenario, but it is totally worth it.

John Wesley offered some good advice in 1774 that a great reminder:

“I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them
1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy
2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against, and
3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.”

Pondering In The Face Of Hardship – 

It was nearly 15 years ago and I’d recently been laid off from a job. I’d taken a temp position and found myself working in an environment I really did not want to be in: serving frozen nutty bars at the entrance to the Mummy ride at Universal City theme park.  One could see it all over my face and I acted like it…and that’s when an older fellow whom also temped for the same company (so he could go on auditions during the day) came over to me with a piece of guidance I’ll never forget:  “Find the love, Aaron.  No, you probably do not want to be here, but all those folks that have come from far and wide to be here at the theme park, especially the children, deserve better than you are giving them.  So, my suggestion is to embrace what you’re unhappy about and find the love, so you can turn around your outlook.”  I did immediately and it worked.

I recently found this bit from the final passages of Billie Jean King’s memoir about embracing hardship and finding the love in the little things espcially apropos.


But more important now, I must think in terms of very specific goals and realities. Of course, I can just say I want to win all three — the singles, doubles, and mixed. Easy to say and easy to want, but so difficult to execute. How can I do it? More than anything else, I must love everything that is part and parcel of the total Wimbledon scene. I must love hitting that little white ball; love every strain of running and bending those tired knees; love every bead of sweat; love every cloud or every ray of sun in the sky; love every moment of tension, waiting in the locker room; love the lack of total rest every night, the hunger pains during the day, taking a bath in my favorite tub, buying lollies for the ball boys, looking at the ivy and the trees and the flower arrangements, driving through Roehampton on the way to the courts every morning, practicing on the outside court with your stomach in your throat before the match; love watching people queue, knowing some of them have waited twenty years to experience one day at the Wimbledon; love playing on the Fourth of July, talking with Mrs. Twyman, having a rubdown, hearing the women talk (or not talk), and feeling the tension in the air, running up to the tea room through the crowds; love feeling and absorbing the tradition of almost one hundred years.

In essence, I have to possess enough passion and love to withstand all the odds. No matter how tough, no matter what kind of outside pressure, no matter how many bad breaks along the way, I must keep my sights on the final goal, to win, win, win — and with more love and passion than the world has ever witnessed in any performance. A total, giving performance: give more when you think you have nothing left. Through the desire the inspiration will be present. Love, passion, attitude, ability, intensity — the only way, a street with no curves or cul-de-sacs. I must let my inner self be out front and free. Love always.


The take away: amor fati

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