A Personal History of Thanksgiving

I come by my love of Thanksgiving honestly.

In 1621, the settlers of Plymouth Plantation held what is widely regarded as the First Thanksgiving, under the second Governor of Plymouth Colony, William Bradford.

In 1624, William Bradford had a second son, his first to be born in the new world, also named William Bradford.

In 1651, William Bradford (the younger) had a son, Thomas Bradford.

In 1693, Thomas Bradford and his wife, Anne, had a daughter, Jerusha Bradford.

In 1716, Jerusha Bradford married Hezekah Newcomb.
In 1717, Jerusha Newcomb gave birth to a son, Silas Newcomb.

In 1752, Silas Newcomb and his wife, Submit, had a son, Paul Newcomb.

In 1776, Paul Newcomb and his wife, Martha, had a son, Silas Newcomb.

In 1806, Silas Newcomb (the younger) and his wife, Betsy, had a daughter, Eliza Newcomb.

In 1832, Eliza Newcomb married Jerry Williams Pierce.
In 1844, Eliza Pierce gave birth to a son, Jerry Williams Pierce (II).

In 1872, Jerry Williams Pierce and his wife, Polly, had a daughter, Minnie Sophia Pierce, born here in Michigan (as was every person mentioned hereafter).

In 1899, Minnie Sophia Pierce married Jesse George Wilson.
In 1902, Minnie Wilson gave birth to my grandmother, Mildred Leona Wilson, who compiled all of the information herein prior to the existence of the internet.

In 1926, Mildred Leona Wilson married Manley Russell Seelhoff (my grandfather).
In 1941, Mildred Seelhoff gave birth to Gerald Norman Seelhoff, my father.

As you can see, I descend directly from the founder of our American Thanksgiving, as documented in his journal, Of Plimoth Plantation.  For this, I am also thankful.

I Resolve – 2010

I Resolve

To do what I want,
and to make a living,
To enjoy myself
for a long time.

To have priorities,
and to stay on task,
To keep in touch
with friends and colleagues.

To learn my craft,
and to teach what I know,
To help when available,
and reach those I can.

To be safe and secure,
and to remain aware,
To have clean surroundings
for a simpler life.

To take care of myself,
and to watch over my family,
To find the energy and integrity
to be true to me.

Compartmentalization

Separating business matters from personal issues

Recently, I received the first newsletter of the year from (friend and former colleague) Steve Pavlina.  For those of you who do not already know about Steve Pavlina, he founded Dexterity Games (now defunct) and published Dweep, an award-winning puzzle game.  He was also the President of the Association of Shareware Professionals and was inducted into the ASP Hall of Fame in 2005.  After this success, he left the game industry to pursue a career in motivational speaking and personal development, writing the book, Personal Development for Smart People.

Anyway, the meat of the newsletter, nestled in between the various sales pitches and recommendations from which he earns his living, was a section entitled, “Living by Your Own Rules“.  This intrigued me, as it seemed to correspond nicely with my personal plans for 2010, so I read on.  However, I quickly discovered that his ideas did not mesh with my own in this case.  It had little to do with the actual content of his writings, but his radical ideas of sharing his personal life (specifically, his sexual preferences and desires) in the place in which he does his business.

Specifically, Steve made a blog post with his 2010 goals in which he reveals his personal goal of pursuing “Alternative Relationship Styles” and goes into detail (for which you will need to read his post).  I have no problem whatsoever with his choice to pursue this lifestyle, but I do question the wisdom of presenting this in a forum in which he currently (by his own numbers) sells six figures a month; it seems risky to the point of potential self-destruction.  More to the point, I wonder what benefit to his business (not to mention personal reputation) he seeks to gain from this pursuit.  (I do see a great benefit in finding compatible sexual partners, though.)

Steve is good at taking things to the extreme, completing college in only three semesters, ramping up his healthy eating through vegetarianism to a vegan diet and finally raw foods, and now personal openness to a radical degree.  He calls this last part “courage”, which it certainly takes, but I am not sure that courage is always the best choice.  Aristotle’s Doctrine of the Mean suggests that the opposite of cowardice is rashness, and this might apply here.  The more common idiom is, “All things in moderation, and moderation in all things.

Personally, I think that it is still wise to compartmentalize to some degree, especially keeping business issues separate from (potentially) controversial personal issues, such as politics, religion, and sexuality.  Discussing the particulars of these in a business context has the potential of alienating people with little chance of significant gain.  I do not have a problem seasoning my business posts with personal items, and I definitely have business friends with whom I share more, but any proclivities I may (or may not :)) have should remain discrete.

Ultimately, I guess that I am intrigued at Steve’s attempt to alter societal norms, and I wish him the best of luck, but I am also glad that it is he, rather than I, who is taking the risk of falling flat on his face.  (Ridicule I could handle; starvation, not so much.)

What do you think?