Sunday, January 5, 2014


Sundogs.  So no, dear readers, there will be no busking today.  I am not about to don my Black Sheep toque and black Tommy Hilfiger leather winter coat and lined Wind River blue jeans and Columbia winter hiking boots.  It is minus 51 degrees with the windchill.  It is just too damned cold! 

(Not yet am I that brutto tempo busker that I long to be!)

And yes, dear readers, there will be a belated blog on a New Year’s resolution!

As a counselor I have spent years studying the behaviors of clients.  I have come to the point in my career where I can distinguish between embellishers and liars, bullies from victims, the maudlin from the drama major, and the sincere from the deceitful.

As a counselor I have spent years convincing clients that I am an intrinsic formalist – simply put, I try to stay within their stories.  Even though I know that all of their stories are not true, I do believe the solutions to all of their issues are contained within their personal stories.

Everyone has a story to tell, and hopefully, once the therapy begins, the stories my clients tell are really the beginnings to solving their problems.

At certain points in life, we need new beginnings.  This does not mean recouping from failure; it means recouping from complacency.  Moving through life is like climbing staircase upon staircase.  You get to a certain floor and you level off.  You climb to another floor and level off again.  Some of us get a floor or two up and our lives are level forever.  Lingering too long on any particular floor makes for a mundane life, a conservative and boring existence.

Climbing stairs is not a metaphor for climbing in your career; nor, is it a metaphor for climbing in sociability.  Climbing stairs is meant to serve as a metaphor for rising to new adventures, be it changing careers, changing habits, changing stages or venues.

Life only gets boring when people get boring.  If you are bored, it means that you are boring.  And if you are boring, you have leveled off.  You need to connect with new things, and doing so will connect you to a new life adventure.

People who are constantly searching for more stairs to climb are people striving for constant zest.
Leaving one stage to rise to another is a good thing.  Every stage attained will add life to your years.  Every new stage gained is certainly a celebration.  And your celebrations in life should end only when you end.

Your future need not be determined by your past.  You need not be the prisoner of your experiences.  Rather, you need to be the product of your experiences.  Where you are is where it’s at.  No matter what has happened, right now you are here, and the next staircase is close by. You need to be curious and take the first step up again.

You need to stop your bad habits. (My bad habit is procrastination when it concerns anything to be written, mainly my songs and books.  I can rationalize by telling myself that I am creatively procrastinating … and it works!) 

You need to get active, and this is not about joining a gym, though it is about physical exercise.  You need to go for a walk, go for a run, go for a bike ride, get dancing.

Starting up another staircase is about striving for real happiness.  You are worth it and you deserve to be happy.  Investing in yourself pays rich dividends not only to selfish you, but to those around you.  And please remember that during your life the stair cases to climb are interminable.  They will only end when you end.

Enough of this abstract.  Allow me to put into concrete an example of which I’ve written above.
If you want a resolution, this is your solution.

As a faux busker I know that I am suffering from BRECKLES, a disease of artificial plants (THE BOOK OF LIFF).  If artificial plants can be diseased then so can faux buskers be diseased.  And here is what the self-medicating medico has ordered for curing my disease of complacency -- the enterprising pursuit of being a social entrepreneur.

My biggest goal for 2014 is to re-create my long-time notion of being a busking social entrepreneur.  I do believe my existential calling to be that of a social entrepreneur whilst busking.  And to do this, I need to step up.  I need to leave my present stage.  I need to behave in the way that I continuously purport myself to be – a BUSKOLOGIST (one who studies people and their behaviors while busking). 

The first rule of social entrepreneurship is to identify a social problem.  Anyone who busks for a living knows that one not need look far to identify some glaring social issues.  One that keeps shouting at me on every downtown street corner is the need for street people to blurt out their issues … whilst they pan for spare change, of course. 
I have decided for this new busking season to provide not only spare change for coffee but … to provide free counseling services for anyone on the street seeking such.

The second rule to successful entrepreneurship is to sign with some strategic partners.  In this department I am so far, so good.  I have over the past few years established informal partnerships with the CANADIAN MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION (CMHA) and the SCHIZOPHRENIA SOCIETY OF SASKATCHEWAN (SSS).  Fact:  I have signs for each that I proudly display in my guitar case whenever I busk, and both signs were created by these agencies for just such a purpose!  Wherever I busk, my consumers know my purpose.

The third rule is to run your emprise as a business.  I cannot imagine going busking without my signs, because busking for the CMHA and the SSS is my summer business.  It keeps me in strings and American decafs, and generally, in good company.  My new sign, STREET COUNSELOR -- FREE COUNSELING SERVICES is currently being manufactured.

Make it fun is the fourth rule of social entrepreneurship.  On my recreational time, if I’m not having fun, I don’t go.  This is true for my behaviors in the Grand Trunk Troubadours (our community service band), playing floor hockey (I am, you must remember, a former NHL’er from the Notekeu Hockey League), long-distance running (everyday there is no snow I run around Wascana Lake), and in the weight room (I lift five times a week).  In any of the above activities, if it’s not fun for me, it stops for me.

The last rule for social entrepreneurship is to stay committed.  For a busker, this is difficult because of the weather.  Real buskers need to strum every day.  Faux buskers should strum whenever the sun is shining.  This seems simple but it’s not.  In my thesis I created the theory that whatever a person desires to do, it is always easier not to.

As a buskologist I’m interested not in mimesis -- I’m interested only in social entrepreneurship.

Remember this: 

IT'S ALWAYS EASIER NOT TO (just fill in this blank)!


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