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Ego & Blind Spots + Why is Theatre Essential? + Where Are You Calling From?

Good Morning from Prince Edward Island,
Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Glady’s Who?
Glady’s it is the weekend and time for a cuppa!
I asked our daughters in their late teens if there were anything they would like me to change about myself. Seeing that I was their father, I wanted them to be proud of their Dad.
In unison, they chimed in. “Yes, Dad….your silly jokes!”
Sorry, ladies, that was a change too great for me to make.
I can’t swear to it, but I think they have grown to appreciate my attempts to bring a little fun to life now and then.
Sometimes, I like to sit and read at our dining room table, and Millie likes to watch. How cute is this?
I am still reading and marking up Principles, Life + Work by Ray Dalio. A five hundred-page testament to Ray Dalio’s experiences in becoming one of the world's leading experts in economics while not being an economist. He sought to learn and document lessons learned from everything he set out to do as a man, father, business owner and philanthropist. The lessons learned blossomed into a set of ‘principles.’ The book is not only about ‘business,’ but about the business of life as well.
It is tough to choose only a few quotes from his book, but here we go.
“Whatever circumstances life brings you, you will be more likely to succeed and find happiness if you take responsibility for making your decisions well instead of complaining about things being beyond your control.” ~ Ray Dalio
“One of the hardest things for people to do is to objectively look down on themselves within their circumstances so that they can act as the machine’s designer and manager. Most people remain stuck in the perspective of being a worker within the machine. If you can recognize the differences between those roles and that it is much more important that you are a good designer/manager of your life than a good worker in it, you will be on the right path. To be successful, the "designer/manager you" have to be objective about what the "worker you" is really like, not believing in yourself more than you deserve, or putting yourself in jobs you shouldn't be in. Instead of having this strategic perspective, most people operate emotionally and in the moment; their lives are a series of undirected emotional experiences, going from one thing to the next. If you want to look back on your life and feel you've achieved what you wanted to do, you can’t operate that way.” ~ Ray Dalio
“Humility can even be more valuable than having good mental maps if it leads you to seek out better answers than you can come up on your own.” Ray Dalio
“The two biggest barriers to good decision making are your ego and your blind spots.”~ Ray Dalio
In earlier blogs, I had written how COVID had made it hard to focus long enough to relax and read. The anxiety this dang virus caused was debilitating. So I set out to devise a disciplined system of scheduling my time on the calendar. It started with paying attention to my habits and my routines. Once I could document them, I could look at them and decide what was useful. When lined up against my desire to “grow’ in knowledge and understanding, I made the necessary changes. 
You may find this article useful. Written by Alexandra Paddock, Lecturer in English and Assistant Senior Tutor, University of Oxford and Kirsten Shepherd-Barr, Professor of English and Theatre Studies, University of Oxford. If you have found reading challenging at the best of times yet desire to do so, you may find this helpful. Five tips to get reading again if you’ve struggled during the pandemic.
This week a young poet, Amanda Gorman, took the stage and the world by storm after reciting her poem a Hill to Climb at the US Presidential inauguration. If you have not seen it, please take a watch/listen.
Below is an introduction to the film: Why Theatre is Essential to Democracy.
Truth comes from the collision of different ideas, and theatre plays an essential role in showing us that truth, says legendary artistic director Oskar Eustis. In this powerful talk, Eustis outlines his plan to reach (and listen to) people in places across the US where the theatre, like many other institutions, has turned its back -- like the deindustrialized Rust Belt. "Our job is to try to hold up a vision to America that shows not only who all of us are individually, but that welds us back into the commonality that we need to be," Eustis says. "That's what the theatre is supposed to do."
I salute and celebrate the talents of those I have written about today. I share another quote from Ray Dalio’s book, “Principles.”
“Most people don't understand what it means to be radically open-minded. They describe open-mindedness as being "open to being wrong" but stubbornly cling to whatever opinion is in their head and fail to see an understanding of the reasoning behind alternative points of view. To be radically open-minded, you must:
a. Sincerely believe that you might not know the best possible path and recognize that your ability to deal well with "not knowing" is more important whatever it is you do know.
There are six more principles associated with this statement, but I will leave it up to you to seek out his book.
Let's Dance - Staying Alive
Have a nice weekend and a great week ahead.
With love from Prince Edward Island,
Bruce & Millie
Ps. Your Morning Smile
Gallagher opened the morning newspaper and was dumbfounded to read in the obituary column that he had died. He quickly phoned his best friend, Finney.
‘Did you see the paper?’ asked Gallagher. ‘They say I died!!’
Yes, I saw it!’ replied Finney. ‘Where are ye callin’ from?’
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Peggy Freeman - January 24, 2021

Thank you so much, Bruce, for including Amanda Gorman’s beautiful poem “A Hill to Climb”. I watched the inauguration all day this past Wednesday with joy in my heart and hope for the future of our country. I truly believe we will heal and unite and come back so much stronger for having dealt with the problems we faced. Have a marvelous week!
Sincerely, Peggy Freeman

Murdock Morrison - January 23, 2021

Dalio’ principles were wonderful markers that affect democracy and all of his quotes were bringing in that focus. It was absolutely wonderful to watch that young girl, Amanda Gorman, read that that poem Hill to Climb at Biden’s inauguration as it was definitely a highlight for me. Yes " Ego and Blind Spots " are areas that will get one in trouble over one’s lifetime. Enjoyed this blog very much. Murdock

Wendy Barker - January 23, 2021

Each week the music video you share is one I just love. I don’t know if it is because we have the same taste in music or if you just happen to find a piece that resonates with me each week. I’m not really a dancer but I’ve been taking Zumba for a number of years (exercise to Latin type music usually). Since the pandemic hit my instructors have been offering classes through Zoom so I’ve been taking up to 6 Zumba classes a week whereas before I was struggling to make 2 or 3. The increased dance experience has improved my sense of rhythm and co-ordination and even my balance. This morning my instructor complimented me by saying I looked like a real Latina dancing. Music and dancing go a long way to relieving anxiety about this whole pandemic for me. Thanks for all you share.

Sharon Kalich - January 23, 2021

Awwwww…..Millie, such love and devotion in one picture.

Anne Gillis - January 23, 2021

Someone commented to me on Jan 21st that the ‘climate’ had changed – meaning post US innaugration and an increased sense of optimism. Your message always helps my own ‘climate’ change when I read it. Grateful.

Brian Rice - January 23, 2021

From time to time, my mother, MaryJane Rice, will share your blog with us, her children. Today she shared your blog about “Why Theater is Essential”. THANK YOU!
As someone who has made a career out of theatre, it was refreshing to be remembered as a vital industry that has shuttered its doors and feel forgotten.
The Theatre and Live events were one of the first industries to shut down. After months and months of hearing about how the Airlines and Restaurants are suffering and need assistance, frustration in me would often grow as I would hear little, if anything, about the survival of the industry in which I work.
In spite of shut down, we in the theatre shifted to use our skills in the best possible way. Costume shops shifted to making masks and other PPE. Singers turned to virtual concerts. Live theater experimented with reduced audience when possible or out door entertainment. Performers lent their talent and time to messages of everyone being “in this together”. And stagehands shifted to setting up remote hospitals, step down units and other areas where their special talents of setting up large, temporary infrastructure was needed, including the recent Inauguration.
We are a resilient industry that has been “dying” for 1000+ years. We will survive and grow again, but sometimes, it is nice to be remembered. So, thank you for not forgetting about us. We look forward to seeing you all again when we dim the house lights, raise the curtain. See you then!
Best, wishes,

Pat - January 23, 2021

Where are you calling from? Thank you for sharing this. Great way to start the day.
“Staying Alive” love it!
Millie watching you read at the table reminds me of my dog and cat when I am knitting. They want to sit on my lap.
Great blog as always

althea - January 23, 2021

Morning, Bruce. Huge smile when I noticed your use of Amanda Gorman’s ending. My first thought when Amanda finished was “Bruce can/will/must use that”. How’s that for a joining-of-same-minds-across-the-country. Love. Blessings. (P.S: Understand feelings of your daughters: young people rolling their eyes at their ‘old’ parents! P.P.S. I like (most) of your joke endings.)

Pat - January 23, 2021

Sure looks a lot nice than sloppy, slushy concrete.

Terry Greenham - January 23, 2021

Your January 23rd Blog is outstanding!
I hope you have followers in School Boards who ask for your permission to make your Blog each Monday a, “Thought for the Day” option for High School students, prior to completing their weekly assignments.
Best Regards,

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