Monday, May 29, 2017

Why & Who Do You Remember: Thank You Fallen Heros!

Are you like many Americans who often confuse Veterans Day and Memorial Day?  Has Memorial Day become just another day off for you like so many holidays?  Have you ever asked yourself, "why do we celebrate Memorial Day and Veterans Day?  Well, I believe the question is worth addressing based on the many well wishes I see on social media.  

First of all Memorial is defined by Webster as:   "1: serving to preserve remembrance :  commemorative...2:  of or relating to memory"

Anyone who knows me know I consume a lot of news, mostly from CNN.  I found this 2010 article by Lisa Respers France that was recently updated, Get it straight: The difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day.  
In her article she states, "Inevitably, someone says something demonstrating confusion over the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day".  The article very simply explains, "Memorial Day is the holiday set aside to pay tribute to those who died serving in the military... Veterans Day is the holiday set aside to honor all who have served in the military."  [emphasis added by me].  

The start of Memorial Day according to the Department of Veterans Affairs website states, "Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans -- the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) -- established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country." The passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 by Congress made it an official holiday.  I hope you will check it out here before you discount history as fake news.

I'm a living veterans and I declare, 2 Corinthians 4:9, "persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed" (NIV).  I proudly served but I completed service without paying the ultimate sacrifice--I made it out alive.  Those of us who are living appreciate all the Happy Memorial Day" wishes so don't get me wrong.  But we made it out alive!  So today, I like so many other living veterans pause to give honor--not receive it.  Today, I answer my why I remember with "because I'm proud to be an American".  I answer the who do I remember with:  "all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice".  For me no one sums it up better than Lee Greenwood in the lyrics of
"Proud To Be An American".  As you listen to and watch this YouTube video, pay close attention to the following lyrics:

I'd thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
'Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can't take that away.

And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

Back to Webster's definition of memorial, because now that we remember there is another question.   How will you preserve your remembrance?  Go ahead, enjoy the barbecue, I will too.  But don't forget to pray and ask God to bless the USA
.  Listen closely to the lyrics in the video which says:

From the lakes of Minnesota,
to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.

From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.

That I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.


Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Women are Innovators Too: Happy Mothers' Day!

Women are innovators too so why must we ask for permission to be recognized in the technology industry?  Women whether a mother or not, learned about technology, programming, and connecting dots at an early age.  They are the living definition of the words innovation and technology.  They figured out how to train-up children.  They didn’t come with a book of instruction, did they? 
Webster defines technology as the practical application of knowledge".  You all remember, “Do as I say, not as I do”?  Well that was practical back in the day.  But today, how many mothers you know still raising children that way? Women had to transform as and learn to model behavior.  In an article by The Clemmer Group, the author writes, “Too few managers model what they demand from others.  If you’re a manager, ask yourself:  How often do I seem to be saying one thing while doing another? How often am I practicing what I preach?”  I submit, baby boomer mothers are and they have raised a lot of women innovators. 
Ryan Allis, in his article “The Top 12 Innovators of All Time”, defined innovation asthe process of creating something new that makes life better.”  He goes on to say, “Innovation is impossible without passion.  Innovators see the world differently.”  Well, when raising children, women have passion.  They train up someone new who makes life better.   They see each little one differently.  Why then is there only one woman on Ryan Allis’ list?  I’m not picking on Ryan Allis, I don’t even know him.  But I say, “The very core of raising children is innovation” so Mothers should be added to the list.  Women, stand up; you have the knowledge and the experience the innovation world needs. 
Consider for example, the Queen of Software was convinced if programming was written in a way that anyone could read then there would be more programmers.  My Sister in Arms, Rear Admiral Grace Hopper designed the language Flow-Matic which gave birth to what many technology geeks know as the Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL).   It’s amazing that Lady COBOL [in 1958] captured the essence of starting where you are.  She made life better while growing and building something unique and useful.
Then there is Jenne Saucedo-Herrera who didn’t just become the President and CEO of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation.  She started with a heart for her community and a passion for economic development.  Her start is proof positive that if you have the tenacity to start where you are, you can become a technology leader yourself. 
Finally, Take Paula Gold-Williams, after 10-months of doing the job she was finally given the job of CEO of CPS Energy. Of special note is that Jenne Saucedo-Herrera is a former executive leader at CPS and CPS Energy is a Technology entity.  No doubt, CPS Energy has a history of starting women where they are.  They recognize growth potential and they allow them to use their creativity to build out new technology. To be disruptive, technology must be developed, prototyped, and commercialized.  It takes time and commitment.  Women are used to managing multiple projects, using what they have to get the job done despite the odds, and waiting patiently for their time.
So, are we really committed to doing for young ladies on the sidelines what needs to be done so they don’t feel they have to ask permission to be in technology?  Are you ready to answer the question, why aren’t more women being counted among the top in technology and innovation in record numbers?  I submit three reasons.  First, women don’t know they have an innovation story to tell because they are so busy, innovating that they’ve never stopped to think about telling their story.  Second, those women who know they have a story to tell, don’t know how to tell it.  They spend unnecessary time all over the place, starting and restarting.  Third, women are still multi-tasking, trying to connect too many things, instead of focusing on delivering one clear technology and innovation message.
As I sit in my community space at Geekdom and look around, I observe and think.  Why are we having this conversation about gender 60 years later?  Why must we ask for permission to be in technology, when women are the very essence of technology.  Women know what it is to recognize and grow talent.  No two children are alike, yet they manage to recognize what each brings to the table and grow them up to be winners. 

So how do you go from start to GrOw in the technology and innovation industry?  My fellow Texans leading social enterprises, corporations, or non-profit organizations, let me introduce you to two friends I’ve met on my own journey.   Founder and CEO of Ms Entrepreneur Role Model Search, Adam Ortiz and Book-in-a Box co-founder and best-selling author, Zach Orbont are committed to doing for women on the sidelines what needs to be done so they don’t feel they have to ask permission to be in technology.  They can help you tell your story in very innovative ways.  I'm happy to be teaming with Adam Ortiz and Zach Orbont to help women learn new ways to share their innovation story.  Small Business Innovation Ranch through its InnoWomenTM program will team with them to bring you a free live event that will be shared around the world to help women tell their story to grow their business and their communities.  You don’t want to miss it so be on the lookout for the Eventbrite invitation. We need men and women in positions and in technology today to be open to recognizing technology talent in women of all backgrounds thereby granting permission while building new talent in the technology industry.  

  

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Spring Forward!

Big Easy Emporium, Coushatta, LA
30 Years
Big Easy Emporium book signing, Valentine Day, Anniversary--whew, February came in like a roaring lion and before I knew it, I was in March and someone said, "don't forget to set your clock."  Oh no, it's time to spring forward again!  

Have you ever thought about why we have daylight saving time (DST)?  Webexhibits.org states: "Daylight Saving Time gives us the opportunity to enjoy sunny summer evenings by moving our clocks an hour forward in the spring."  Check out this video from my spring walk here

Some sources say, "DST saves energy".  A poll conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation indicated that Americans liked Daylight Saving Time because "there is more light in the evenings / can do more in the evenings."   Well, I don't know about all that but I submit to another reason for liking DST.  We all go through challenges--seen and unseen:  depression, debt, diabetes, to name a few.  It doesn't matter the challenge, we will all end up at a cross road at some point.  And when we do, we can do what Franklin Roosevelt did during WWII.  He instituted year-round DST.  So, why not spring forward and empower others, constantly educate ourselves, and employ our skills and talents to improve our journey.  Expect to hear more about Empower.Educate.Employ. in a later post.

So, as I sit and ponder DST, I see it as another opportunity to just get started.  So you are here and you want to get "there".  I don't know everything but I do know that you won't get to "there" if you don't get started.  The shortest route to where you are trying to go may very well be the route you get started on.  But you won't know unless you start.  Be inspired by this video siting an ole time Robert Frost favorite, The Road Not Taken.  Please pay close attention.  It's not the road less traveled.  Robert Frost doesn't say one road is better than the other and it's not.  The lesson for me is, getting started is what made all the difference.  You will never know if you don't get started. 

Success to You!




Friday, January 27, 2017

It’s Your Time to Act!

New Year’s Eve came and we made resolutions.  New Year’s Day past and we were off to a strong start.  Martin Luther King Day rolled in challenging us to “Remember. Celebrate. Act.”  I sat in awe at the MLK dinner put on by the San Antonio Northwest Civil & Social Club (SANCSC).  And then came the unprecedented inauguration—“Make America Great Again”.    Wow!  All in less than 30 days.  We cried, hugged, cheered, danced, was angered, felt sad, embarrassed, and yes, happy too.  And now, it’s almost the end of January and you are still asking what are we going to do?
Well, I can only speak for Myra because that is the only one I can speak for.  I’m going to continue to Start. Grow. Build.  That’s what Myra’s going to do.  The secret is out.  If you have never gotten started, doing something for yourself and others, then now is your time to start.  Remember when John F. Kennedy in his 1961 inaugural address said, “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”  John F. Kennedy uttered this address before I was born, yet his words have echoed in my ears for as long as I can remember.  Neither big government, little government; left wing, right wing; Obama white house, nor the Trump white house; and no “alternative fact” will change the fact that only you can do you.  Here is a fact you can believe:  only you can do what you can do!

It’s Your Time to Act.  Time to play the hand you were dealt.  Time to act the role you were cast in.  Yes, time to get to work.  Your success will not be determined by your efforts alone.  If you are expecting to receive the best actor/actress award, you need a director and a producer.   Who is your director—the one in charge; the one ordering your steps?  Who is your producer—your financial provider and the manager of your affairs?  Maybe you just want to hear, well done thy good and faithful servant.  It all begins with you and now is your time to act.  God will do the rest!



Now what are you going to do?
Myra Evans-Manyweather
Storyteller for




Start Where You Are!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas! A New Beginning

     A couple of Sundays ago I was sitting in church and Pastor Sam reminded us the reason for the season--Jesus is the reason for the season.  Now that is nothing new but he went on to say, "the birth of Christ brings new beginnings."  That's when it hit me--Christmas is about New Beginnings.
     So let me recap, in October we started where we were--at The Beginning.  Then in November, we paused to remember, reflect and rejoice for the gifts we have to use to achieve our purpose.  So what's left?  That's a good question!  Today, we give praise and worship for a new beginning because when we start where we are and grow our gifts and talents, sometimes we strike; sometimes we foul; and sometimes we hit a home run.  But I have learned each day to just do what you can because that is all you can do.
     Hey New You, do what you can!  You simply cannot do what you can’t do no matter how hard you try.  So what if you foul or strike out.  Ask yourself, "did I do all that I could do?"  Chances are that you did because who wouldn't hit a home run if they could?  Doing what you can must become your drive and determination.  So when you miss the mark at any time, you can rest assured there is a lesson to be learned and tomorrow is a new beginning to try something new and get a new result.
     Amelia Earhart once said, “the most effective way to do it {whatever it is} is to do it.”  When she was nearing her 40th birthday, she was ready to attempt to fly around the world and she is quoted as saying, “I have a feeling that there is just about one more good flight left in my system” and this after her first attempt had severely damaged her plane.  She didn’t fail; she just hit a pothole on her way to her final destination.  If you have the drive and determination, every day is a new beginning, another opportunity to start again anew.   We won’t fly until we are no longer afraid to fall so let your fears and failure fuel your 2017.  In less than a week it will begin a new year.  Resolve to start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can do to make 2017 your best year yet.
     Merry Christmas and a Happy New You!


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Reflect. Remember. Rejoice

     Happy Thanksgiving!  I woke up this morning full of gratitude for grace, growth, and greatness.  I'd like to thank all of you for your prayers and support.  This has been an amazing year and I wouldn't be at this point on my journey if it wasn't for your support.
     Also, as I pause this morning, I reflect on where I am today, remember from where I came, and I rejoice in the possibilities of where I'm going.  After you start where you are, you will realize it's easy to do the next step.  What's the next step Myra?  I'm glad you asked.  It's quite simple!  Just USE what you have and GROW.
     I know you want to know why you should use what you have.  The answer is so simple.  Use what you have because genius or not, you can’t use what you don’t have.
Think about it, have you ever tried to use what you didn’t have?  Go ahead and try and you will find, it’s way too hard.  My nail represents keeping it all together with whatever your gift or talent is despite the lot that’s dealt you.  A young woman by the name of Wilma Rudolph was born 20th of 22 children, born prematurely weighing only 4.5 lbs, born to very poor parents, and born during racial segregation.  While very young, she had every childhood disease imaginable but because of the lot she was born into, she was not permitted to be cared for at a local hospital.  When her left leg and foot were becoming weak and deformed, she had to go to the doctor.  Her mother was told that she had polio, a crippling disease that had no cure and that she’d never walk.  With hard work and determination, when she became twelve years she could walk normally without crutches, brace, or corrective shoes and she decided to become an athlete.  Some of you may know the story.  She became the first American woman to win three gold medals in the Olympics.  How did she do it?  She started where she was and used what she had—one good leg to train the deformed leg and the rest is history.  What do you have?  I encourage you to start using it!  Because if you start using what you have it will grow and so will you.
     So go ahead and start where you are, start engaging with your community, start collarborating with others, even those who don't look like you.  Grow your network, polish your gifts and talents and then you can... Oops, I'll have to save that one for next time.
     Wishing all of you a blessed Thanksgiving Day and always.  Remember to Start Where You Are!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Start Where You Are: The Beginning


Myra, The Storyteller
My partner, Loeka has been pushing me for weeks to write an op’ed, write a newsletter, write a blog, write, write, write…And what do you think I’ve been saying.  “I will one day. I will as soon as I figure out how to start.”  And then I hear my words coming back at me, “start where you are”.  Now some of you may be laughing because you know I recently published my book Start Where You Are:  My Journey from Childhood poverty to Passionate Entrepreneur.   So I’ve decided to address the question, everyone may ask themselves at some point in their life, “Why should I start where I am?”  It is actually quite simple.  Start where you are because you cannot start anywhere else.  In fact, I will go out on a limb and say, you cannot start anywhere else.  Do you know anyone who started where they were not?  Can’t think of anyone can you?  Now unlike my partner, Loeka, I’m no genius but I do know this.  You cannot start where you have never been.  You can read about places you’ve never been.  You can even write about places far, far away.  But just try if you must to start somewhere you are not and you will experience what I experienced, disappointments, disagreements, and depression.  You see we all want something to change.   We want the economy to change.   We want our spouse to change.  We want our children to change.  The list goes on and on.  Heck, we want the candidates to changeBut what about wanting ourselves to change?   Do we ever hunger for change in ourselves?   Do you want a better you?   I learned that if I wanted a better ME, then there were three things I had to do and the first is start where you are?
I will cover more about my start as well as the second and third things I learned in future updates so  stay tuned.  You might just be surprised at what you learn. 


The Storyteller



Why & Who Do You Remember: Thank You Fallen Heros!

Are you like many Americans who often confuse Veterans Day and Memorial Day?  Has Memorial Day become just another day off for you like s...