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  • (Day 1000) Reflections On The Trust Tour

    Steve Jobs once said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life, have the courage to follow your heart.”

    Four years ago I took a risk to try something totally new; I announced I would be going on a 1000 day Trust Tour. It’s okay if you don’t know what a “Trust Tour” is, at the time, I wasn’t sure what it was either. I had thought up the concept after trying to figure out how to express an idea that was boiling up inside me.

    Now let it be known “I love life,” and I am thankful to have experienced 50 years on this planet. But, I hate that there is still so much unnecessary pain happening all around me. It all seems so primitive. There has to be a better way to live then this thin vail that stands between civility and chaos. It appears to be a human truth that to preserve our comfort, safety, and wealth we are willing to lie, cheat, and steal from each other. Now, don’t get me wrong, I haven’t lost hope and I know that not everyone is playing this game; but enough are that it threatens us all.

    I wanted to know if this primitive behavior could be changed. Did we have to wait a thousand more years to truly learn to respect each other? Did we have to tolerate a thousand more years of corruption and selfishness? Was there a way to speed up our cultural evolution through conscious thought and communication? The Trust Tour was about seeking answers to these questions.

    On Thanksgiving Day 2009, I started a journey to reach out to the most interesting people I could find and ask these questions, and listen to their stories. From senators to criminals, from the homeless to billionaires, from a monk to a space shuttle commander, from a cancer patient to an astrologer I asked them to tell their stories of trust and betrayal. What surprised me was how much I enjoyed doing this work … well actually, I loved doing it. To me, it felt like I was working on the most important issue in the world.

    The tour ended August 22nd 2012 on my 50th birthday. I may not have changed the world, but it certainly changed me. The people I met along the way taught me important lessons. You are welcome to page through the tour dates and see what I learned first hand. The next phase of my learning will be as I take what I learned and build a Trust Center headquartered in eastern Pennsylvania. It will be an experiential learning center where people can improve their lives through these philosophies.

    Thank you and stay tuned for updates on the new Trust Center!

    Much love and respect,

    Todd

  • (Day 976) My Position On Global Warming

    I have learned a great deal these last 975 days on the Trust Tour. For my final few days I feel compelled to share my position on key issues facing our world.  Like most of these tough issues, this topic tends to polarize people.

    Chief Joseph once said, “It does not take many words to tell the truth.”

    My “current” position on Global Warming is:  I need to act as if I am the problem.  I have to assume it is happening even though I really don’t know if the planet is warming or not.  It seems that every day some respected scientist comes out with a new statement about the record temps and the inevitability that humans are behind it. If there is even a remote possibility that humans are causing the globe to warm, then I have no choice but to act as if it is happening.

    I don’t know about you but I am a heavy consumer. I like my freedoms and use them often.  I like my lifestyle but at times it creates an amazing amount of waste. Small example is I sometimes like to get take-out food for my family of 4. Have you ever seen the amount of garbage take out meals create? It fills a kitchen can.  I also love to travel and do it often.  I drive everywhere,  sometimes just for pleasure. I leave the lights on more than I should. I stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I have grown up in the unlimited energy world; I like it!  I do not want to live without it.

    However, it is time for me to look in the mirror as it relates to energy consumption (I have more than my fair share in my belly alone) and I need to take a honest look at my life the way I am using energy.  If the scientist are wrong and we are not warming the earth, then all I did was create some short term discomfort for myself. But if the scientist are right then the consequences could be massive, especially for future generations. I don’t want to leave them with a planet that is sick, it would be a betrayal of epic proportions.

    Sometimes I can imagine humans to be like a cancer on the surface of the earth. While we gorge ourselves on the earth resources, we seem to have no awareness that we will die along with the host we are feeding off of. Some of us actually speak openly that we can have as much as we want and there will be no consequences. Many of us listen because it is exactly what we want to hear. Who wants to believe it is possible we are killing each other by destroying the environment?

    Trust me, I hope none of this is happening. All I can do is take responsibility for my actions.

  • (Day 968) The Light In The Mirror

    Oh God….. I got pulled over this morning. I felt both helpless and humiliated. What did I do to deserve these bright lights in my mirror? It became clear as the officer tapped on the windshield of my car that the inspection sticker was the culprit.

    I fumbled around for my paperwork, finally handing him all my information. He told me to stay seated and walked back to his car (see picture above). The longer it took, the more I found myself becoming defensive. Was it a slow day in the criminal world? Had I really let my fellow man down by not inspecting my 16 month old car? I was causing no harm to anyone. I have a clean driving record. The officer made a risky u-turn at high speed to get me – this is ridiculous. [...]

  • (Day 950) Dry Cleaner Karma

    Did you ever wake up in the middle of the night wide eyed, thinking OMG I forgot…

    Well that happened to me last night.  I left some money in my pants pocket.  The problem was my pants are at the dry cleaners, on rush for delivery today. So this morning, as I headed to pick up my dry cleaning, I started wondering if the money was in those pockets and if so, was it still there.  The amount was also unclear, it might have been as little as $40 or as much as $100. When I arrived the young lady behind the counter looked up at me, immediatly reached behind the counter and handed me an envelope. I had only been there a few times so I was surprised she knew who I was. Even more surprising was the $82.00 I now held in my hand.  I thanked her and asked why she returned the money. She said, “Karma.”

    Karma in the Indian religions means the concept of “action” or “deed,” understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect originating in ancient India and treated in the Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh religions.

    If everyone lived believing in karma we would all be having a much better experience on the planet. In return for her honesty I gave her half the money. She refused it several times before agreeing to take it.  I asked her if I could record her story so you could meet her, again she agreed.  Kellie works for East Bay Cleaners in St Pete Florida.

  • (Day 948) Happy Birthday BS&W

    On July 1, 1967 Bowers Schumann and Welch was born.   It was destined to become a leading insurance agency  in North Jersey Eastern Pennsylvania, employing 100 people.  It was a special place by almost anyones definition. It had humble beginnings and humble founders, of which was my father was one . You can tell from his message on the front page of this newsletter he loved the people who were associated with the company. He was so thankful to have the opportunity to lead such a great organization. He was a rare find in those times. Looking back  the culture he created seems even more important in these times  of ramped corruption.

    The philosophies created here were the foundation for the Trust Tour.  I loved this company almost as much as dad.  Today would have been it’s 45th birthday.  With that in mind I would like to honor the legacy of his great company  with a reminder of how the “Wx Carx” newsletter got it’s name.  It is based on the belief each one of us is important, no matter how small the contribution. I hope you will enjoy and pass this on to others!

    Xvxn though my typxwritxr is an old modxl

    It works quitx wxll xxcxpt for onx of thx kxys.

    Thxrx arx forty-onx kxys that function, but

    Just onx kxy not working makxs thx diffxrxncx.

    Somxtimxs it sxxms that an organization is

    Likx my typxwritxr—that not all thx kxy

    Pxoplx arx working propxrly.

    You may say, “Wxll, I’m only onx pxrson:

    I don’t makx or brxak an organization.”

    But a succxssful organization, to bx xffxctivx,

    Rxquirxs thx activx participation of xvxry mxmbxr.

    So thx nxxt timx you think that your xfforts arx not

    Nxxdxd, rxmxmbxr my old typxwritxr and say to

    Yoursxlf: “I AM A VXRY KXY PXRSON IN OUR

    ORGANIZATION AND I AM NXXDXD VXRY MUCH!”

  • (Day 930) Walls, Walls, Walls!

  • (Day 920) Thank God For Problems

    This is a “book report” of sorts from my friend Dr. Ed Lundeen. The name of the book is, “The Beginning of Infinity” by David Deutsch. This book is very insightful, but for me an impossibly hard read. This is why I am thankful for other brilliant minds to help ease my learning. The book speaks to the fact that problems are inevitable. This of course, makes me very happy because if we have problems, we have work – if we have work – we have meaning. My answer to problems is always “collaboration innovation” or group problem solving. I find it interesting that these two skills require both trust in oneself and trust between people. Enjoy.

    Dear Friends et al.

    Again, you are the unwitting recipient of my need to share with someone this great experience I’ve had. A few of you have heard, David Deutsch’s book, “The Beginning of Infinity” is the best I’ve read in many years.

    This email is in 2 parts. There is the easy, swift summary of the book here, and below many points of interest I tried to pull out of the book to make it clearer how many things he ends up talking about that are of such great import. I say this now so, before some of you delete this, you will read for just a few more seconds.

    Deutsch’s is one of the most optimistic books I’ve read. It posits 2 things (among many).

    1) Problems are inevitable

    2) Problems are solvable (soluble in his words)

    [...]

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The Trust Tour ended August 22, 2012 at 1:20pm EST
 
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