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Re: Gardenweb web site

     Andrew with all the respect I can give another, hear me, or not, we are
all blessed with choice. I take the time and energy to joust with you because
I respect you and care for you. Your energy and strength of spirit is
refreshing (even though a bit misguided) It is VERY OK that we disagree. You
remind me of me. The achiever, the winner, the most dedicated, the most
enthusiastic, gifted, intelligent, driven, motivated, perfectionistic and yes
the "Lead Dog." Andrew, been there done that. I relish the thoughts of
"Hanging with the Winners" that is precisely why I choose to hang with you
and others in this incredible family of choice. There are truly dynamic
brothers and sisters in this family that have come together to share a common
love of Hosta. All walks of life and life experience. BUT winners in a
different context. A very different context.

>>>I feel that working hard, and smart, to achieve your God given potential
and doing it with such fervor that if you can't win then you are making the
one ahead of you break the record, then you're paying due respect to your
ancestors who perhaps sweated long and hard so that YOU could have get a
break in life--your life wouldn't have to be one of constant struggle.<<<

     Andrew, I could have easily have written this statement a very few
years ago. I believed it with the same conviction that you do. Hear me out.
This is extremely difficult to put into text. In a more intimate setting
(face to face) it would be easier for me. I suffered, struggled, achieved all
of what Helen was saying, the accolades, prizes, trophies, medals that I
could collect on my road to "achievement" (whatever the hell that is) and I
found a very lonely and desperate place. A place of isolation, desolation and
fear. ALL that I had believed to be true had failed me. I was called and
labeled "A Man Among Men" (Helen have fun with that one) by my peers.
Elevated to a place of status by what I thought were MY accomplishments. When
I stooped to take a breath I was alone with a life threatening and "Terminal
     Those that loved me the most had deceived me. Mentors that cared for me
set my feet on a dead end road. The society/culture that I thrived in was
touting False Prophesy. The Great American Dream was a nightmare.
     Andrew allow me to alter your words to include my truth of today.

     I feel that working in a paced and measured way all of my God given
potential is here with me now realized, actualized and fulfilled in today.
Working and relishing the air of peace and serenity inherent in supporting
and helping another to reach beyond my achievement and find there joy in self
actualization. Today I choose to forgive, love and respect my parents and
other mentors in my life who truly thought they were giving me their best but
were misguided by those before them. Today I know that life is not fair it is
just life. Today I will take time to teach all those who will listen that you
will get what you get in life, not what you want, not what you work for and
not at all what you deserve. Above all else, respect the struggle and give
thanks for its painful truth because it is in the struggle that we MAY become
all that we can be.

>>>You are right Jim, winning isn't everything.  It's the ONLY thing. <<<

     Wow Andrew, If you really believe this you are destined to share some
of my experience. You exhibit the strength and intelligence it will take to
survive such a belief. I have shared time and space on this road of life with
many possessing equal strength and intelligence that have not survived the
lesson. In the recent past experience of this family we all witnessed a man
who had "won" at the cost of everything. My God what has he won? Ownership of
a Booklet and the profit it produces. A small prize indeed. An event in his
life that will give him meager comfort in his old age

>>>Spike at the Gardenweb (finally back on topic) has done a superb job of
putting together an excellent forum for lots of folks who enjoy discussing
plants.  I know of no web site that enjoys a larger market share, simply
because there is no one that is providing a better service.  So, in that
regard, Spike is "the lead dog" and the one who has set the standard of what
a "winner" looks like in that industry.

A winner of what? Where is his fulfillment? What has he achieved? A
venture that will consume him if it hasn't already. A chain around his neck
that requires constant monitoring and exercise in control. A site that will
require more control and delegated controllers as time goes on. Where is the
better service? Can you honestly suggest that his censorship is a better
service than this forum of free speech that we are posting on at this moment.
Do you think that this very discussion would be remotely "permitted" on his

>>>And, if you don't like winning at what you do, maybe we're describing this
concept differently.  Do you have goals that you want to accomplish?  Well,
when you accomplish them, you are a winner!  :-)<<<

     We are not even in the same ball game. Today I enjoy achieving goals.
It has nothing whatever to do with winning or losing anything.

    Andrew lets keep talking. You are helping me more than I could ever
convey to you. You are stimulating me to think and rethink my hard earned
values. Even more importantly for me is re feeling my values as I share them
with you and others that care to share in the journey with us. What a dynamic
family this.

Jim Towle......





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