Author: D. Paul Graham

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Of Ari, Randy, James, Bill, & 4 Brits …..

Aristotle wrote in his seminal tome, “Ethics”, that there are three types of friendship. The first is a friendship of utility or advantage. Each person may not even really like each other, but there is a mutually profitable relationship in which each person provides something that the other needs. The second is a friendship based on pleasure or fun. Once the fun stops, a deeper friendship can break through. The third and most profound, is what Aristotle called the “friendship of good-will”. A genuine friend that loves another for the sake of that other person. In a word, “true”. With a nod to Aristotle, and other lesser recognized philosophers Randy Newman, James Taylor, Bill Withers, and the Beatles, today’s M5T looks at true friendship.

“Monday 5 Things” ™ ….. Patterns …..

It was a long but productive week. I was enjoying a cleansing ale as the waves of the evening tide meandered their way higher up the beach. I softly sang along with the guitarist playing on the patio of the hotel, leaned back in my chair, and looked up. Contrasted against an azure sky, golden sunset light painted the cotton-like cumulus and thin wispy strands of cirrus clouds. Soft sea breeze winds leisurely fashioned patterns with the clouds. The serenity of the moment served not only to wash off the stress of the week but left me with a sense of deep gratitude and awe. Jotting down thoughts of patterns, this morning’s M5T took form.

“Monday 5 Things” ™ ….. Everyone …..

I recently read about a newspaper reporter for the Lewiston Morning Tribune named David Johnson. For over 20 years, he has picked a name out of the local phone book and, if the person called agrees to be interviewed, their story is printed in his Friday column, “Everyone Has a Story”. Wow do I wish I had thought of that. Johnson inspired this morning’s M5T by starting a new week considering things that everyone has.

“Monday 5 Things” ™ ….. So I Asked Myself …..

Taking a meandering drive through the back roads of upper New York state, I pondered the movie and the father/son relationship of Carl and Bud Fox, as well as the complexities of Gekko, Darien, Sir Wildman, and Lou. As I crested a hill, one of the stunning finger lakes of that area came into view just as ‘Once in a Lifetime’ began to play. Existential questions raised by the lyrics of David Byrne began to fill my head and I had to pull over.

“Monday 5 Things” ™ ….. Marked Time …..

Time. Five days that focused on time. Departure and arrival times. Session times, start times, lap times, finish times. Prep time for the team to get the cars ready for testing and racing. Time through the bus-stop, the esses, the boot, the heel, the toe. Time between corners to photograph beautiful cars at speed. Time to observe, to contemplate, to appreciate.

“Monday 5 Things” ™ ….. Sunsets, Mermaids & Un’s …..

It was a perfect low country evening. Wispy clouds, no gnats or humidity, and a rising flower moon that was a day away from being full. All were minor in comparison to our serious task at hand. Four-year-old Nellie was on her first boat ride and we were on a quest for mermaids and dolphins.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Thumper’s Theorem…..

Each year since my mom’s passing from Alzheimer’s, I’ve devoted the Monday after Mother’s Day to her memory. My mom was a gentle soul, who did not have an easy life growing up, but she always had a smile, a memory, or a story to share with anyone she met. I rarely ever heard her say a negative thing about anyone else. As far back as I can recall into my childhood, she drummed into me, the “Thumper” approach to life.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Four Letter Words …..

Sitting in my office in the wee hours of a Thursday morning, I heard two men loudly arguing on the sidewalk right under my window. It seemed that every second word from each of them was a expletive that rhymes with buck. I looked down from my window to keep an eye on them until they parted ways. As I sat back down at my desk, the heaviness of their anger, the violence of their speech, and the use of their profanity got me thinking about other four-letter words. This morning’s M5T considers four-letter words to live by.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. If I Had A Million Dollars …..

This morning's M5T may give you some insight into how somewhat peculiar thought patterns in my brain work. I leave you with some distinctly ironic names (which I did not make up – you can Google them) of finance professionals to hopefully start your week with a chortle.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Risen Indeed …..

I quietly stepped out on the balcony of our room and for over two hours watched as the storm slowly moved over the ocean and meandered up the Georgian coast. Dazzling flashes of lightning illuminated the grounds of the resort, the whitecaps of waves, and backlit the dark and ominous clouds. The winds drove rain sideways and buffeted the palm trees. My body resonating with every concussive tonitruant of thunder. I have always marveled at thunderstorms; so much peace found in the midst of so much turbulence.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Before You Grumble About Monday…..

Driving back and forth between Savannah and Jacksonville these past few weeks has given me a lot of windshield time to think, to pray, and to generally be thankful for all the incredible blessings in life. This morning’s M5T looks at changes that have affected all our lives.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. …..Chuck’isms…..

The current state of life for Ukrainians has brought many people, your scribe included, to their knees in prayer for a country under siege. I was reminded of a M5T that I wrote six years ago about one of the most prolific preachers that the world has known. Charles Spurgeon is said to have preached 3,500 sermons over 40 years. He was known for speaking clearly (with surprising wit and humor) and for making the bible relevant to everyone’s life. The profundity of his words is a legacy over 130 years later. This morning’s M5T considers some of my favorite Spurgeon quotes.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Shake It Up …..

For as long as I can remember I’ve had this thing about anthills. Whenever I come across one, I have this insatiable need to poke it, kick it, and mess with it. I continue to enjoy a child-like fascination of the structured chaos that ensues with the ants. This mornings M5T looks at shaking things up.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Dreams …..

Dreamland. Dreamer. Sweet Dreams. Dream On. Dreams. Dream Weaver. Dream Cars. Six songs and sixty-four very fast Italian ponies. Songs about dreams seemed to follow me everywhere last week. Chasing dream cars with my camera has always been a dream of mine. With thanks to Amos Lee, Supertramp, Eurythmics, Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac, Gary Wright, the dream team of the Speedbourne Racing / Ferrari of Atlanta race team, and moments of solitude trackside in Austin, this morning’s M5T shares contemplations on dreams.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Power of Living Passionately …..

..... All that deliberation brought to mind the people and things that I’m passionate about; how thankful I am for the many blessings you are in my life. I renewed my conviction to making the choice to live a passionate life. And all of that led to thoughts of the power of living passionately in this morning’s M5T.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Of Number One…..

Today is Presidents Day here in these United States of America. A day that was started to celebrate the birthday of this nation's first president. I thought it fitting for this morning’s M5T to reflect on the wisdom, and positive nature of the words of George Washington, a great leader who shaped this great country.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Letters of The Heart…..

The last time Valentine’s Day fell on a Monday was in 2011. I started writing M5T in November of that year, so this is the first time that Valentine’s Day has fallen on a M5T Monday. I will admit to being a romantic and a hopeless one at that. This morning’s M5T shares some of the most romantic letters and admissions of love that I enjoy reading and share with you to inspire the start of this Valentine’s Day.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Shoulda Coulda Woulda’s…..

Foregone. Missed out. Lost out. Missed the boat. We’ve all had those moments of shoulda, coulda, woulda in our lives. Hopefully those missed opportunities haven’t defined you but have been lessons in life. This morning, M5T looks at as some of the SCW’s that you may recognize but not know the back story.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Of Gretsch and Carnegie.....

.....As I wandered around looking at guitars played by some of the worlds most accomplished and famous musicians, the old joke of “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” came to mind. This morning’s M5T postulates on the ponderance of practice.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Two Kinds…..

This last week I came across one of my Kodachrome images taken in England in the 90’s.It epitomizes the thought of two types of people: those that stay with the herd, wanting to fit in by looking like the herd and those that are most comfortable breaking way from the heard and wanting to have their own look. As such, this morning’s M5T looks at Two Kinds of people in our lives.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..One Dream…..

Taking a long mid-afternoon walk this week to clear my head, I watched two people arguing at a stop sign. Both yelling vindictive things at each other with expletives interjected almost every third word or so. My walk took me by the Second African Baptist Church on Houston Street. The church has an incredible history. It was at this church that General Sherman read the Emancipation Proclamation to Savannah in 1864. Almost a century later, in 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr., read parts of his “I Have a Dream” sermon in the church before he took his March on Washington in August of that same year. Reflecting on the anger I was witnessing of the two people I encountered, I had to wonder if King’s message would even be heard at this time when there are so many violent actions, destructive thoughts, and angry words in our world today. This morning’s M5T once again draws on the profound words of a man whose dream is a legacy for us all.