Long ago — hilahiyu jigesv — when the Sun became angry at the people on earth and sent a sickness to destroy them, the Little Men changed a man into a monster snake, which they called Uktena, “The Keen-Eyed,” and sent him to kill her (the Sun). He failed to do the work, and the Rattlesnake had to be sent instead, which made the Uktena so jealous and angry that the people were afraid of him and had him taken up to Galunlati, to stay with the other dangerous things. He left others behind him, though, nearly as large and dangerous as himself, and they hide now in deep pools in the river and about lonely passes in the high mountains, the places the Cherokees call “Where the Uktena stays.”
Those who know say the Uktena is a great snake, as large around as a tree trunk, with horns on its head, and a bright blazing crest like a diamond on its forehead, and scales glowing like sparks of fire. It has rings or spots of color along its whole length, and can not be wounded except by shooting in the seventh spot from the head, because under this spot are its heart and its life. The blazing diamond is called Ulun’suti — “Transparent” — and he who can win it may become the greatest wonder worker of the tribe. But it is worth a man’s life to attempt it, for whoever is seen by the Uktena is so dazed by the bright light that he runs toward the snake instead of trying to escape. Even to see the Uktena asleep is death, not to the hunter himself, but to his family.
Of all the daring warriors who have started out in search of the Ulun’suti only Aganunitsi ever came back successful. The East Cherokee still keep the one that he brought. It is a large transparent crystal, nearly the shape of a cartridge bullet, with a blood-red streak running throughout the center from top to bottom. The owner keeps it wrapped in a whole deerskin, inside an earthen jar hidden away in a secret cave in the mountains. Every seven days he feeds it with the blood of small game, rubbing the blood all over the crystal as soon as the animal has been killed. Twice a year it must have the blood of a deer or other large animal. Should he forget to feed it at the proper time it would come out of its cave in a shape of fire and fly through the air to slake its thirst with the lifeblood of the conjurer or some one of his people. He may save himself from this danger by telling it, when he puts it away, that he will not need it again for a long time. It will then go quietly to sleep and feel no hunger until it is again brought forth to be consulted. Then it must be fed again with blood before it is used.
No white man must ever see it and no person but the owner will venture near it for fear of sudden death. Even the conjurer who keeps it is afraid of it, and changes its hiding place every once in a while so it can not learn the way out. When he dies it will be buried with him. Otherwise it will come out of its cave, like a blazing star, to search for his grave, night after night for seven years, when, if still not able to find him, it will go back to sleep forever where he has placed it. Whoever owns the Ulun’suti is sure of success in hunting, love, rainmaking, and every other business, but its great use is in life prophecy. When it is consulted for this purpose the future is seen mirrored in the clear crystal as a tree is reflected in the quiet stream below it, and the conjurer knows whether the sick man will recover, whether the warrior will return from battle, or whether the youth will live to be old.
(From Myths of the Cherokee by James Mooney,
Nineteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology 1897-98, Part I. )
We’ve all heard stories about the nightmare of working for a toxic boss. Some of us have even had the unique displeasure of doing so ourselves.
Red flags to such behavior often appear as early as the interview process. We’ve compiled 10 warning signs of a toxic boss. Watch for them in the interview and you might be able to avoid a negative work environment — or at least know what you’re in for:
• Disrespectful Behavior: “Don’t overlook unprofessional behavior, such as emails that aren’t returned or disregard for stop and start times for the interview without apology,” says Anna Maravelas, president of TheraRising.com and author of How to Reduce Workplace Conflict and Stress. “These mini-moments are microcosms of your potential supervisor’s style.”
• Visual Cues: “If your boss scans you from head to waist versus waist to head as they extend their hand in greeting you, they are intuitively sending a message that you are smaller than they are,” explains Zannah Hackett, author of The Ancient Wisdom of Matchmaking. Though subtle, it’s the nonverbal equivalent of a belittling comment. “This is not a good sign that your talents are going to flourish in this environment.”
• Defensive Body Language: “An insecure boss will find you threatening if you are good at your job and will use the power of the position to make your life miserable,” says Pamela Lenehan, president of Ridge Hill Consulting and author of What You Don’t Know and Your Boss Won’t Tell You. Watch for constant shifting, avoiding eye contact or rifling through papers as you talk, she notes.
• Bad Attitude: If your interviewer exhibits a general lack of enthusiasm or interest in the company, watch out, warns Donna Flagg, a principal with human resources and management consulting firm The Krysalis Group. It could be a bad day, or it could be a bad boss. “Ask for company turnover [data] and turnover [data] for that individual manager,” she suggests.
• Excessive Nervousness: Don’t ignore extreme behavior, cautions one worker. “My boss used to eat sugar packets and raisins, and she downed them with large cups of black espresso,” she recalls. “And she spoke in triplets: ‘hi, hi, hi,’ ‘good, good, good,’ ‘when, when, when.’ Her stress level telegraphed to everyone in the department.”
• Distrust of Others: A toxic boss “openly displays a lack of trust in people, especially for those on the team in which he or she is supposed to lead,” notes Gregg Stocker, author of Avoiding the Corporate Death Spiral: Recognizing & Eliminating the Signs of Decline. Ask what the company’s problems are and what their causes might be. “If the answers to these questions consist of blaming others in the organization, especially those on his or her team, the person lacks trust in others.”
• Fear Used as a Motivator: Ask the prospective boss about others on the team with whom you will be working — specifically, how well they work together, stay focused and meet objectives, Stocker advises. Be wary if the response identifies a lack of respect for people. When managers disrespect and distrust others’ motivations, they resort to extrinsic means with which to motivate, such as threats, public humiliation and comments about layoffs.
• Word Choice: “Your ears are your best hunch barometer,” Hackett says. “Our choice of words sets up a dynamic that can raise or lower the energy in a room. If they begin every sentence with a negative message and then try to diffuse it somewhat, it is likely that negativity prevails in their life and carries over into work.”
• Extreme Friendliness: “It may sound odd, but what should have tipped me off was how nice she was,” one administrative assistant says of her toxic boss. “I compare it to children being lured into dangerous situations with candy. How many kids don’t want candy? And how many adults don’t want to work for a boss who is nice? It was a trap I could’ve easily avoided had I caught on earlier.”
• Self-Absorption: “If his ideas seem to be more important than finding out about your ideas, or if you provide an answer and the interviewer tells you you’re wrong or interrupts with his own answer to the question, it may be an indication that he will be difficult to work with,” notes one technical support staffer.
As we go through life, things become more important than interpersonal relationship, companionship, sharing, caring, and each one giving freely to another.
In my life, I have truly been honored to be among the greats of our times. Looking back I see a great domino effect happening. Take for instance, Daniel Bonade, the founder of the American School of Artistry on the Clarinet. Speaking musical lineage, I am a second generation Bonade student. I’m one of many (what a huge family it is). Just from my standpoint, seeing the effect these great teaching have had in my life and being allowed to pass them on to others, has been and is a great joy in my life. Passing the skill sets as well as the inspiration to others extends his life and influence perhaps into the next millennia, that is if the world doesn’t implode on itself in the meantime.
Taking this concept to another level, Thank you Leonardo DaVinci , for modern day air travel. What a visionary, a dreamer and a true master. I know, in present day, the colossal impact one life can be, no matter how current or ancient it is.
Most of us seem to be merely actors in a bad play. Others stand out as true performers that can inspire others to achieve and make the world a much better place for future generations.
God see all the performances and applauds for everything and everyone. Some performances are ok and acceptable; others are mediocre but still acceptable. On the other hand, some are truly awe inspiring and we all applaud uproariously, for a space of time….and then go on with our lives, changed or unchanged by the experience. I believe that’s our choice and our free will.
Real and unreal, seen and unseen, what is, is, what is not, is not,
What’s real – people hungry with basic needs not met, human dignity – gone, wiped away, crushed for the amusement of others.
What is real – awe inspiring performances, gone unseen or squashed for whatever reason.
What’s seen and unseen (perhaps at the same time) are performances of faith, hope and love.
What’s really unseen – the very thing behind all of these….Faith can move mountains, Hope can bring peace, Love can heal the world.
A single human life is truly more valuable than any building, bank, insurance company, greedy corporation or war. Great performance… looks good on paper and television….great spin…..but who in human form will be around to give the applause if we take care of each other…