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The Story of “Chipper Dean”

It’s Friday! That means positivity and that I can blog on anything. And yes…I am positive that positivity is a word!

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Unbridled positivity!

I always wanted a nickname. But, I learned early on that you cannot give yourself a nickname.

My full name is Joel Dean Bieber. As a little kid, I wanted to be called Chipper Dean Bieber. I cannot say why. Maybe from the RCA dogs Nipper and Chipper?

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My parents wanted to teach me how to introduce myself and shake hands. So, they would tell me to introduce myself to an adult. I would stick out my hand and say, “Hi, I’m Chipper Dean” and my parents would immediately correct me and tell the confused person, “That’s not his name!“. How can you be angry at Chipper?

As a sixth-grader, I was the manager for the junior high and high school basketball team. They all had this “thing” where they would transpose their first and last name letters. For instance, Rob Dibbert would be called Dob Ribbert. So I called myself Boel Jieber. (Bowl Jeeber) No one called me Boel Jieber…thankfully!

When I went to college, I refused to wear glasses, and my contacts hurt my eyes. So, I was constantly asked, “Why are you squinting?”. On the back of my fraternity shirt I put “Squint” as my name. Again no one called me Squint… you probably are getting the continual theme here.

I guess I could now try to call myself Happy Joel. However… again… no one would!

Have you ever heard someone describe themselves as “I’m a people person” or “I’m a real salesman“. I don’t think you can say that about yourself either.

Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver or gold“. Today we would say that a good reputation and respect are worth more than silver and gold.

I guess trying to give myself a nickname is much like trying to tell someone about your character or reputation. It’s what others think about you…not how you describe yourself.

Every day, I am working on my name in my personal and professional life.

And I have to sometimes remind myself of that when driving! Right?

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I hope you have a great weekend! These are the good days!

 

Positivity Over Negativity. (Plus Barney Fife!)

In the world of strange facts, dolphins sleep with one eye open. That doesn’t seem like good rest! Maybe there are just some things that are not meant to be seen!

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This is really a blog about negativity… and then positivity.

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I read over the weekend that Lindsay Vonn had announced that she would not be attending the White House as a winning Olympic athlete. Then, in her first event, she failed to medal in the downhill Super G and dropped to sixth in the standings. (ESPN)  That’s when an avalanche of negativity hit her online.

Because of her previous political statement, she received tons of hate tweets. (USA Today) Such tweets as “You got what you deserved”, and “One loss down and only two more to go”. 

One USA teammate was sickened by the negativity directed at Vonn. She tweeted,  “It’s gross. I have been mistakenly getting her hate mail for weeks!”

A lot of times when I read a news article online, I find myself scrolling to the bottom of the article to read the comments. Even on tragic stories, you can find some of the meanest comments attached to the article. Sometimes it involves an attempt at bad humor, and other times just a remark about how the person deserved it.

Several years ago, one of my friends lost his mother in a car accident. There was a news article in the local paper that even included a picture of the her car that was in the crash. The story reported how she had been killed on impact. I was so saddened by the story and my friend’s loss. But sure enough, at the bottom of the article there were negative comments that included one that basically said, “She got what she deserved. Old people shouldn’t be driving anyway“.

The Vonn story is a reminder that there are people who think that their disagreement means that there is license to be mean. You can’t change the anger in society. You can only control your own thinking and how you treat others. Just typing that makes me feel like I need to post something right now, just to make me smile.

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I read that Vonn story while drinking coffee on Sunday morning. Then, during the Sunday morning church service, the minister included Psalms 103 in his message, and remarked that he thought that it was the most positive passage in the Bible. (Here)

 

The Psalm includes such verses as  “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” and “Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul“.  Reading it made me feel positive. Being grounded in what is important and not to be influenced by the negativity of others. And then… I felt so positive!

Sure, some days it can feel like this… Right?

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But other days it’s really the positive!

 

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