Category Archives: Weekly Thought

5 Classic Books Everyone Should Read

Books are a constant in my life. They are source of knowledge that can serve to teach generations for centuries to come. While some books seem to be a very entertaining past time for a specific timeframe, other books make it into the realm of timelessness, becoming classics forever.

I’ve always felt that all avid readers should invest into creating their own library. It’s okay to purchase books and resell them when you’re done reading them, but there are some classic books that should make it into a permanent slot in your library. Here’s my list:

1. Dracula Unabridged by Bram Stoker

dracula-book-coverThis book remains at the top of my list as one of my favorites. It’s a book thats been with me almost my entire life and was written by Bram Stoker, who changed the idea of reading for an entire generation, and brought imaginary fear into the hearts of the people of England. Creating an unforgettable character, Dracula has been remade, remembered, and heralded for decades.

Centered in England, this book takes you through the lives and diaries of four young and in love characters,

  • Jonathan Harker
  • Mina Murray
  • Lucy Westenra
  • Dr. John Seward

Through their stories the reader is engulfed by a world of obsession, determination, love and fear, as they attempt to take their lives back from a supernatural monster.

2. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare

shakespeare1As classic as classic gets, the complete works of William Shakespeare should be a staple in every library. His plays are timeless and show the sheer passion a writer can evoke when pouring out their heart onto a page. Shakespeare’s plays, while lacking in large, complex words, still manages to create complex feelings.

He seems the figure who’d only publish a finished copy if it was completely and totally written to the epitome of the literary version of a true feeling. In other words, if you could put an extreme feeling into words, which is often never, you’ll get something from out of the pages of his plays.

From King Henry VIII to Romeo and Juliet, his plays have brought to life stories that even today, continue to transpire within humankind.

3.  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 

Btr-Gatsby-CoverF. Scott Fitzgerald created a character that encompasses everything we want to be, inclusive of the demons we carry with us that often are the driving force behind the determined actions we take to achieve what we want, leave behind what we don’t, and the delusions we create to make ourselves believe its all okay.

J. Gatsby is a man who owns its all and shares it all because there’s only one thing in this world thats worth more than everything he has combined, a woman. Set in the roaring twenties when women dared to cut their hair and shed their layers of clothes, this book gives readers an inside look at a time when Americans were drowning in money that was available for the taking and shaping the “standards” of the future.

4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

wuthering-heightsHow far would you go to love who you love? Emily Bronte’s story takes us through a story of the depths an orphan can be plunged into when there is no one to protect them or let them know of the riches their parents may have left them. It also brings to life the love that can grow and be shared by two children who grow up together, offering a kind soul to distract each other  from the abuses of life and the lengths a tortured orphan would go through to keep that love alive.

Heathcliff and Catherine’s love story is poisonous, unforgettable, and pure all at the same time. Set on the eerie moors of England, Bronte makes the setting cloudy and misty, creating a private viewing experience for the reader. This book becomes an intimate experience between the characters and the reader.

5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

jane eyreThere isn’t much i can say about this book without offering spoilers, but its a classic portrayal of the inferiority a woman can feel in the presence of a man who has it all and shows interest and one point and indifference the next.

Jane arrives at Thornfield to play the role of governess to a child in the care of Mr. Rochester, the mysterious master of the home. The novel spans the lifetime of Jane, from her younger years as an orphan to her experiences and love affections at Thornfield.

These are my top 5 classic books and are based on my personal interests. Decide on your favorite authors, your lifestyle, your educational discipline and interests and you’ll soon come up with a grand library; from there you’ll be able to pick out those classic readings that may interest you. Not every classic book or classic author is for everyone. So dig, explore and read.

© C. J. Leger January 30, 2014

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The Achilles Heel of Business Owners

This week I want to start by taking about the serial killers of businesses world wide, all of which are often brought upon the entity by the owners themselves. You see, every business, successful ones mainly, have a few things in common that allow them to strive; and that’s the saying “Be and let be!”.

What does that mean? in life everyone has a role to play, and in business every executive position anchors a hierarchy. Where you are is where you are meant to be, managing the things of your realm. But if you stray and proceed to micromanage every other member of the hierarchy, you risk destabilizing order. You see, you must remove yourself from your duties in order to apply yourself to someone else’s. Every time you do this, the structural integrity of the entire pyramid begins to crumble. This is why you have hired various executives, to execute specific tasks.

Your business is your baby, but you cannot do it all yourself; so you hire others to do the things you can’t. If they are good enough to remain on your team with your supervision, they are good enough to remain on the team unsupervised after a period. Otherwise, you would not have them on your pay list, would you.

But most times business owners result to micromanaging, its because they have a vision of what something should be. And they hire people to execute this vision, however, in the exact way they see it. Which, my friends, is impossible. Every mind is unique and expecting someone to view things as you do entirely just isn’t going to happen.

Look at the most successful businesses in the world. Google for example; this company allows a significant amount of unique thinking from their employees, because they recognize that they’ve hired them for their unique set of skills, which they will apply to their job. But if you hire them for their skills, and expect them to apply your skills to your job, then why are you wasting money on their salary? You might as well do it all yourself. In other words, micromanaging is completely useless.

Expecting the World

Your employment opportunity is set to a certain degree of demand. Most employees will go above and beyond to make sure things to your benefit get done. But they still get paid the same amount for more effort; and its all to your benefit, not theirs. Offering a thankless job is not a good move, no one will stand for it, and eventually your team will move on because being your lackey just is not anyone’s life dream.

Pay VS Workload

Make sure you have a good balance. Although you are offering a quick job, something on the side, if the pay is good for the amount of work, however, there isn’t enough work, many may find it easy to jump ship. Here’s an example. John gets hired to make you 2 info graphs a week for $20 a piece. That’s a “whopping” $40 (note the sarcasm). Although $40 is good for this amount of work, if John gets invited to 4 parties that week, he’ll be very likely to skip out on work, because “what’s $40 now and days”. Get it?

Try offering John 4 info graphs per week. $80 is a lot more appealing than just $40. Yet your price per, hasn’t changed.

Finally I’ll leave you with one more thing to think about. Your life is your business, but your employees do not reap any of the extra benefits it offers to you. Therefore, your business is not their life. Do not expect it to be. No one likes a slave driver.

© C. J. Leger November 14, 2014

Ethics vs Religious Morality: Which Prevails in a Perfect World?

ethics-and-compliance

I do not own this photograph. Photograph courtesy of acfe.com Not used for monetary gain.

Before I start, let me state that this is not an attack on religion. I am a christian, and I ask you the reader, to view this post with an open mentality.

There are many similarities between concepts of ethics and the concepts of religious morality. By religious morality we are referencing the standards people worldwide adhere to in the name of their religion, but where religion and it’s teachings differ across the board, ethics remain universal.

What do I mean? set yourself in a modern day utopia, where religion is neither existent or a source of reference for legislation or civil behavior. In this Utopian society, we will call Ethina, the driving force behind the interactions of its citizens is ethics. Here, concepts such as the teaching of why plagiarism is wrong, is based on personal integrity. Not the judgment of a higher God or Gods.  It would only be here, that society would be face to face with a functioning civilization void of war in regards to religious inequality, differences and the pressures to convert.

“Ethics is what you do when no one is looking”

Religions offer a stupendous set of moral guidelines to live by. But those guidelines differ across the board; creating various arguments between followers simply because what may be right for one group, is not necessarily right for others. And what is the definition of “right” when it comes to religion? Well, it’s whatever its God deems to be right, sets as a rule to live by, and uses as a criteria in judgement when entering heaven. Here is where ethics diverts from religious morality. For what is the principle meaning of ethics? Long story short, ethics is what you do when no one is looking. Ethics is the standard of what is good, just, and right that one lives by. And the sole purpose of living by these ethics is to preserve your personal integrity because it is what is universally right.

This is often why the pursuit of philosophy excludes the ideals of religion. For philosophy is a quest to learn and gather knowledge, and create standards for which all peoples can live by; regardless of religious standing and compromise. In religion, the way of living is determined by how a God or Gods will pass judgment on you if you veer from their rules. This is not just in terms of  whether or not God deems you to be dammed to hell; moreover “hey you should not do that, its against my laws”. More people tend to do right or wrong, based upon the question of “What would God do?”, and that’s not often what is the right thing to do, depending on the religions. The real question should be “What should I do based on what is ethical”. In these two sentences the words would and should differ greatly.

Going back to our Utopian society; everyone’s God would do something different. But here, ethics paints a clear picture of what everyone should do.

“I say to you this, I would not live in a world where I could not dabble into philosophy without being strapped to and bound by the influences of religion.”

I leave you with this. As a Christian, I believe in God, and believe in everyone’s right to worship theirs. But I am no blind person. I see that my religion, and that of many, have their faults as well as great qualities. But I am an avid defender of ethics and practice it daily.

I say to you this, I would not live in a world where I could not dabble into philosophy, without being strapped to and bound by, the influences of religion. The whole purpose of philosophy is to explore the world and reason, without the influences of God and religious pressure. For that’s the only way humans can find what is truly right, not what a belief tells you is right.

So here I stand, a Catholic and an ethical thinker. While I would like to bring my religion with me into Ethina, I cannot ethically risk the success of peace and perfection, by including bias truths of morality. That is a question we must all ask ourselves. Would you?

© C. J. LEGER September 13, 2017