Foundations

I’ll bet some pretty good money it’s been a while since you thought about the foundation of your home.

Yet, of all the parts and pieces of your beautiful home, the foundation is the most important.

Our Structure

The same can be said about the structure of YOU.

Each of us has a foundation. The majority of it was formed in childhood and as young adults. There are some people who obsess about their foundation. They want to regale us with the stories of abuse — because they had ‘bad’ parents.

Granted, there are evil people who engender children — and, those children have bragging rights. For the rest of us older kids, we can acknowledge we had regular parents — imperfect ones. And, as a parent, I fit right in that category.

Our Foundation

Let’s take a look at the similarity of our foundation and the one designed for a beautiful home. In fact, we might start with the home, itself — and, see that the home fits the foundation.

In other words, if you live in a McMansion, the foundation is massive and somewhat of an architectural wonder — with all of its various depths and offsets. For the more humble of abodes, the foundation will be much more plain and straightforward.

In the olden days, most log cabins were built on a foundation of four large stones — one at each corner of a four-sided structure. The old-timers did their best with what they had. For the skyscrapers of today, months – and, sometimes years – are invested to provide the necessary support for what rises above.

Our Choice

Here is another of those ‘humor Kim moments” — examine the structure of YOU. Are you a Cabin? A new-fangled Modular? Or, maybe you are an honest-to-goodness Mansion. There’s no right, or wrong, to this mental exercise.

However, I can guarantee the structure each of us has built fits and matches our foundation. And, to be clear, I’m not talking about the physical manifestation of who we are. I’m making reference to the emotional, mental, and spiritual components of the real individuals underneath our personas.

I’ll bet some more money that those individuals who experienced hardship in childhood and as young adults have the strongest foundations. Those hardships are the rebar and aggregate (rock, sand, and gravel) binding with cement to support the multi-story complex of these individuals.

Magnificent

The good news for all of us is that we can continue to build. For those with a massive foundation, they will keep on adding stories.* For those with a structure they have grown to dislike, there is the option to remodel — which, generally, requires new foundations.

I hope each of us examines our foundations, revisits our blueprints, and, then, sets our hands to the construction of somebody magnificent.

* Stories — and, Chapters to the Book of their Life. 🙂

Builders

There are two types of People in this world — Builders and Janitors.

There are three types of Builders — Constructive, Creative, and Conscientious.

There are three types of Janitors — Lazy, 9-to-5’ers, and Trust Fund Babies.

Those Who Maintain

Lazy is a condition of idleness. For the hard-working men and women, this is a daydream of ours. To kick back and take it easy. Yet, when we do, there is an underlying uneasiness — of wondering, “What’s so great about this?” Imagine a lifetime on the couch with a clicker. No joy there.

9-to-5’ers make it through each of their days, doing what is asked of them — and, no more. They work for a paycheck and have no interest in making the world a better place. They are self-absorbed and, simply, wait for their shift to be over — so, they can pursue a hobby of their choice.

Trust Fund Babies are born on third base — believing they hit a home run. They are full of arrogance and ignorance, which makes them dangerous. They play not to lose and have no clue how to win. Since they have no idea of how to make anything of value, their favorite tactic is to nickel-and-dime everyone else.

The Good News

Before we examine the lives of Builders, let’s offer hope to the Janitors.

We have been created with freewill — the ability to choose our destiny. At any moment, at any time, we can make a choice to have a different life. The world is what we make of it — if it doesn’t fit we can make alterations.

Able and willing are two, very, different concepts — because, even, though we are able to do something does not guarantee we will be willing.

A mind changed against its will — will be of the same opinion still.

As an eternal optimist, I believe in possibilities. I just don’t believe the odds are very good — that Janitors will choose to become Builders.

Those Who Create

Constructive builders have something to show for their hard work at the end of their days. Every tangible blessing we enjoy has been built by the hands of the industrious. Up before dawn to draft their Blueprints, driven through the day to produce Value, and through the evening they review their Accomplishments.

Creative builders operate in the realm of Intellectual Property. Their goal is to build up People. In the intangible realms of mental, emotional, and spiritual, the creative types bring into existence thoughts never before shared with the World. From those Thoughts, flow Decisions, and Actions for the good of humankind.

Conscientious builders oftentimes can be found at the end of a shovel, or broom. Maybe, because of the hand of fate – or, by design – these individuals are diligent in their high calling — to Serve. They are not servants. They do, however, offer themselves in service for the good of all. Whatever their hands find to do, they proudly do it with their might.

One, Or The Other

In today’s society, many individuals seem to be zombies trudging through their days with an attitude of Fifty Shades of Grey. To them, there is no light or dark — their world is, simply, various shades of dullness.

If distressed jeans are any indication to the mood of the wearer, then, we have many distressed individuals, today. Through the 24/7 propaganda machine of the media, these individuals have become convinced they are powerless to make a decision. So, they float back and forth on the spectrum of choice. Which shade of grey will it be, today?

Yet, they have the ability to make a black and white choice – a decision – for a different ending to their life Story. They can shun the grey pale of drudgery, turn their back against the dark forces, and open their minds to the colorful goodness of heaven on earth.

I Can Hear The Whining

Those happy in their ruts (graves with the ends kicked out) will start their chorus of whining — about what they don’t have, what they can’t do, and how they are the victims of the victorious.

On the other hand, I can hear a few – putting their foot in the throttle – who are determined to wind up the RPMs (until their engines whine), catch some gears, and make progress down a road toward their new destinations. I love the sound of Progress. 🙂

DNA, or DME (Doesn’t Make Excuses)

I’m a Builder. My dad was a Builder. His dad was a Builder. And, his dad escaped from a life of luxury on the East Coast to homestead in Fishtail, Montana. Yes, he was a Builder, too.

So — the question becomes, did my son, Ryan, have no choice but to be a Builder? As the owner of Crosswire, Inc. is it simply a matter of DNA? Maybe, although, I’m more of the belief it’s because of his DME. He doesn’t make excuses — because, Builders don’t.

Builders accept responsibility for each of their decisions. They want to earn Respect.

Janitors, on the other hand, want to be Liked. They have no idea how to earn anything, so they manipulate. In the simplest of terms, they truly are wannabes.

The Secret

Unless we are growing, we are dying — the default condition of the physical realm is decay.

How do we escape?

Start with nothing and build something special.

Too simple for the complexity of our modern world?

There is one powerful concept often ignored by the masses, “Keep It Simple Sweetheart.” — affectionately known as the KISS Principle. Try it, you’ll like it.

By bringing into existence that which was formerly unknown, YOU become a creator. Since we’re made in the image of a Higher Power, a small leap of faith brings us to the realization that the Joy is in the building, the creating, and the serving.

Birds Of A Feather

Have you noticed that Eagles do not cavort with Turkeys? Or, that Bluebirds don’t spend much time visiting with the Pigeons? And, that the Meadowlark has no use for the Prairie Hawk?

So, evidently, it is true, “Birds of a feather flock, together.”

If we choose a life of doing, we escape the Thanksgiving table fate of the Turkey.

In fact, we will soar on wings like Eagles.

Let’s build on that premise!

We The People

We The PeopleIf you wonder why you feel tired, it’s because you are. Day after day we fight enemies near and far. The greatest threat to our peace and freedom is our own government.

I’ve heard the expression, “We get the government we deserve.”

That is simply wrong. After paying 40% on our earnings, each year, in Federal and Montana income taxes, for the ‘greater good’ of Society, I don’t deserve to be used and abused — and, neither do you. We are guilty in one aspect, only, “We get what we allow.”

As hard-working people of Montana, we take great pride in pushing through (the snow drifts), gritting our teeth to take the next step forward (against 60 mph winds), and otherwise thriving on whatever comes our way (in people and events).

So, we might be guilty of allowing dysfunction at the highest levels of government — yet, the intent was pure.

We thought, “Surely, elected officials — sworn to uphold the law as Public Servants — will bring along their Cowboy Ethics and do the right things.”

We tend to give the benefit of doubt — until there is doubt to the benefit.

What follows is a real honest-to-goodness story about a recent experience with the Montana Department of Revenue. As you’ll see, it is simply another example of that from which I’ve protected my Clients, for 35+ years as a CPA. At the end of that Crusade, my health was poor, because I was burned-out, by the silliness of these kinds of games — which becomes the catalyst for this event in the first place.

Montana Department of Revenue sent me a Bill for $50. Yes, I was tempted to just pay their Usury Fee — much as in the corrupt end-of-days Roman Empire — yet, more than the money, it was and is the Principle of the thing.

(Note: If you prefer, you can read the actual Email thread from PDF copies located in this Google Drive Folder ~ MT Governor)

Request for Waiver of Penalty

Fri, Mar 30, 2018 at 3:56 PM

Kim Foard <kimfoard@gmail.com>
To: MT Business Tax <DORobjections@mt.gov>

Business Tax Division:

The purpose of this email is to file a Request for Informal Review.

Please, see the attached PDF of Form APLS101F — along with the Notice dated March 16, 2018.

If any questions, I can be reached at the Mobile phone number, below.

Thanks,

Kim

Give Me More Information

Tue, May 1, 2018 at 11:47 AM

Flaherty Settle, Kelly <KFlahertySettle@mt.gov>
To: “kimfoard@gmail.com” <kimfoard@gmail.com>

Kim,

Can you give me more information regarding the serious health issues you experienced. *

Kelly

* Notice that she chose to use a Period, rather than a Question Mark. She wasn’t asking — she was demanding an explanation.

Incredulous

Tue, May 1, 2018 at 6:26 PM

Kim Foard <kimfoard@gmail.com>
To: KFlahertySettle@mt.gov, serve@mt.gov

Kelly,

Really?!

Why are you willing to harass a good Citizen of this great State of Montana over $50?

Evidently, in the weekly Staff Meetings, your Supervisor — or, Department Head — has not reminded everyone that you are Public Servants.

YOU work for me — I do not work for your amusement.

This episode is worthy to share with our Governor, Steve Bullock. For resources of the Montana Taxpayers to be wasted in this way is very sad.

Since the Governor will probably want to know, please, share with me – via an Email response – what Value is provided to anyone by this (your) request of me.

Here’s my answer about the serious Health Issue, “After 35+ years as a CPA serving the Entrepreneurs and real Creators of Value (Farmers, Ranchers, Oil Producers, etc.), I grew tired — literally, worn out and burned out — of these types of silly and petty games played by bureaucrats of all stripes. From October 26, 2015, through January 11, 2018, I was holding on for dear life. Each day was a struggle to find the will to live. Now, after that period of rest and healing, I’m back in the game — with the new venture of SageTalk, LLC.”

Click the two hyperlinks, in the Signature Block below, to get a new perspective on your JOB. By focusing on the Three-E Formula, I intend to Enlighten, Empower, and Encourage everyone in my sphere of influence. That includes YOU.

Over the course of 50 Years of producing Value – and, hundreds of thousands of dollars paid in Real Estate and Income Taxes to provide for the salaries of “public servants” — I find it odd that you’re challenging the truthfulness of my original Statements.

You go ahead and waste more Time and Money to make a decision about the waiver of a $50 Late Filing Penalty on my final Form CLT-4S, Corporate Tax Return for an accounting practice that no longer exists because of Serious Health Issues.

I am amused.

Kim

Citizens Advocate Office

Wed, May 2, 2018 at 8:37 AM

Citizens Advocate <citizensadvocate@mt.gov>
To: “kimfoard@gmail.com” <kimfoard@gmail.com>
Cc: Serve Montana <serve@mt.gov>, “Bullock, Governor” <governor@mt.gov>

Dear Ms. Foard:

Thank you for contacting Governor Bullock’s Office about the issues you are having with the Montana Department of Revenue.

I have sent your email to the Director of Montana Department of Revenue for their review and they will be in contact soon. I’ll also make sure that Governor Bullock and his appropriate policy staff are able to review your comments.

Thanks again for contacting the Governor’s Office, let me know if you have any additional questions or information regarding this issue.

Sincerely,

Tyler J. Campbell

Hopeful of Progress

Wed, May 2, 2018 at 10:19 AM

Kim Foard <kimfoard@gmail.com>
To: citizensadvocate@mt.gov
Cc: ServeMontana <serve@mt.gov>, governor@mt.gov

Tyler,

Thank you for your timely Response.

I am available to share my Thoughts with any and all Stakeholders of our great State of Montana.

Best,

(Mr.) Kim

A Supervisor’s Comments

Mon, May 7, 2018 at 11:30 AM

Milne, Rachael <RMilne@mt.gov>
To: “kimfoard@gmail.com” <kimfoard@gmail.com>

Hello Mr. Foard,

The Governor’s office forwarded me your email regarding the late file penalty assessed on your 2015 S corporation return. I am Kelly’s supervisor.

It is customary for the department’s auditors to follow-up with taxpayers regarding their requests for waiver of penalty based on medical reasons. Kelly followed up with you to ensure that you met the reasonable cause guidelines outlined in the Administrative Rules of Montana (http://www.mtrules.org/gateway/ruleno.asp?RN=42%2E2%2E512)

Additionally – Montana law states that a pass-through entity is assessed a late file penalty when the owner(s) are not compliant with their filing and payment requirements. Since your business was an S corporation and you were the sole shareholder, we reviewed your income tax account to verify that you were up-to-date with your filing and payment. Unfortunately, we could not find your 2015 individual income tax return. If you can provide us with a copy with your Montana individual income tax return as well as provide us with more information regarding your request for waiver of penalty, we’d be happy to review it.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Rachael Milne, EA

The Plot Thickens

Mon, May 7, 2018 at 12:23 PM

Kim Foard <kimfoard@gmail.com>
To: RMilne@mt.gov, Citizens Advocate <citizensadvocate@mt.gov>, Steve Bullock <governor@mt.gov>

Rachael,

This just gets better and better, doesn’t it?

Now, we’re wasting another person’s time — yours.

And, it seems the Montana Department of Revenue has lost my 2015 Form 2, Individual Income Tax Return. A PDF copy is attached to this email.

Is it because the great State of Montana owes me a Refund of $1,017?

Did you even read the Narrative of my Serious Health Issue described in my email of May 1, 2018, below?

What part of “Close to Death” don’t you understand?

I suggest You, Citizens Advocate, and the Governor quit while you’re ahead — because this is already a “Great Story” to be shared with the Taxpayers of the World: https://www.kimfoard.com/blog-sagetalk/

After 35+ years of enduring Bureaucrats, I’ve had enough.

My purpose is to Enlighten, Empower, and Encourage “We The People” to take back our Lives.

Either do the right thing and resolve this $50 issue (after all you are a ‘public servant’) and join with me in this effort — or, continue to be part of the Problem.

The Best,

Kim

Finally

Mon, May 7, 2018 at 3:42 PM

Milne, Rachael <RMilne@mt.gov>
To: Kim Foard <kimfoard@gmail.com>, Citizens Advocate <citizensadvocate@mt.gov>, “Bullock, Governor”
<governor@mt.gov>

Hello Mr. Foard,

Thank you for your quick reply. We will process your return promptly and respond to you regarding your waiver request via mail to ensure we protect your confidentiality.

Thank you,

Rachael Milne, EA

I Have Only Just Begun

For the last 50 years, America has been at War. I’m 62 years old and remember a Time when we were proud to be an American.

Yes, the battles abroad have seen many casualties. Yet, our entire Country has not been affected by them as much as the Culture War — at Home.

From the Hippie free-lovers of the 60’s, to the Wall Street sharks of the 70’s, to the Go-Go dancers of the 80’s, to the Self-absorbed of the 90’s, to the Irreverent of the 00’s, to the Disrespectful of today, good people have been used and abused by those determined to tear our Society apart.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ~ Edmund Burke

Well, the Time has come when Good Men have had a belly full of the “No Rules – No Problems” crowd. Universal Principles (think Gravity) are for our benefit — and, the recognition and observance of them keep us Safe.

Good Men everywhere are Standing Up and are Committed to meeting the Enemy — with the appropriate Force — to bring back the High Standards of principled Life.

I’ve begun my new Crusade to give an answer for the Hope within me. So far, the results have been spectacular — from those Individuals in disbelief that I no longer will “Go Along To Get Along.” And, from the encouragement of those silently cheering the Warrior in me — I am determined to provide a Refuge for all of those in need.

Part of the Solution — Or, Part of the Problem?

Since I have heard nothing from our Governor, Steve Bullock, I intend to follow up regarding his silence. Was he not informed of this matter? Does he not care? Or, maybe, the comforts of the Governor’s Mansion have clouded his judgment?

Whatever the excuse, I intend to find out why he thinks our Constitution has limits.

Here are his proud pronouncements in USA Today – May 30, 2018:

Americans calling for protection of the Second Amendment want their families to be safe. I know because I’m a gun owner who believes in the Constitution, yet also recognizes its limits.

Thoughts and prayers are not solutions. They are excuses.

As governor, I hear directly from the people I serve. They want action. They recognize that like most policy issues, there is no single proposal or prescription that will solve the issue of gun safety. But they are tired of the enormity and complexity of the challenge being the excuse for inaction.

As individuals and as a nation, we can no longer be paralyzed. We have to act.

Well, big fellow, I’m going to find out what YOU intend to DO about the miscreants you’ve allowed into My Government.

There is an expression known as a fact in the Private Sector, “The work will always match the people — and, the People will always match the Work.” In my experience, only two out of ten State employees are doing the work — of solving problems. The other eight are part of the problem. After ridding our Government of the unproductive, this proverb will ring true, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.”

While it is sad to lose even one life because of a nut with a gun, what do you say about all of the lives you are allowing to be ruined in Montana — from the action and inaction of Government Employees?

If, only, I could line up the People ruined by Bureaucrats and call the Media to take photos, your little soapbox rant about guns would pale into insignificance.

Unless you choose to resign, YOU are responsible for wasting vast amounts of Time and Money over a $50 Usury Fee. Those state Employees work for YOU.

What improvements have been made in the last two months to prevent your minions from harming another single Montana Citizen?

You’re right, “I want action.”

Conduits of Goodness

If you’re ever in need of a conversation starter, just look right into the eyes of another person and ask this question, “What is the passion at the core of everything you do?”

One of two things is guaranteed to happen: Immediate animation, as the person begins to share that passion with you. Or, a deer-in-the-headlights look, with a really long, awkward, pause, as the individual painfully looks for a way to escape.

Escape from what — their own life?! All we want is to understand what makes them tick — that which empowers them to take a licking and keep on ticking.

Boundaries

Recently, I was the beneficiary of these questions from a young man:

How do you set boundaries?

How do you keep your boundaries from being a box that you live in and one that keeps you from fulfilling your potential?

His questions, above, came several days after a conversation, which included me asking him the question, “What is the passion at the core of everything you do?” His response, “I do not know.”

Passion At The Core

Do you, know?

Can each of us answer these questions?

Why do I exist?

How can I make a difference in the lives of others?

What is the best way for delivering my value to the world?

For those who know (and, those who don’t) the answer is, “Become wonderful chunks of conduit — for the goodness from above to flow through us for the benefit of others.”

Wonderful Chunks Of Conduit

You know — conduit: a hollow tube for the transference and protection of something valuable.

Those without a connection to the source of goodness and void of a desire to share are, simply, an empty tube. In other words, they have no purpose and worthless boundaries. Tap on them and they ring hollow. Squeeze them and they collapse into a wrinkled mess.

Yet, imagine conduit connected to streams of living waters — bubbling, high-pressured, and dynamic at the source. At the destination are beneficiaries eagerly waiting to be served.

Service

Service — now, that’s a novel idea — Bended knee, Caring attitude, Humble heart, Patient spirit, Kind mind, Generous soul, and Helping hands. Yes, please.

So, it’s really quite simple to discover the Passion at the core.

Hint: It comes from the Source above.

As for boundaries, the secret is to say, “Yes, please,” to everything that makes us better conduits — and, “No, thanks,” to everything else.

In fact, we have complete freedom to manage our boundaries. Boundaries are, simply, the outside diameter dimensions of our conduit. Individually, we have the right and responsibility to expand them for the benefit of those in our sphere of influence.

In the physical realm of steel conduit, expansion requires cutting, grinding, torching, bending, and welding new pieces into what already exists, to make the core larger. In the emotional, mental, and spiritual realms, the process will feel about the same.

Living Streams

If we have a passion for what flows through us, we are constantly pushing at the boundaries of the Why, How, and What of our existence. In fact, we will be busily learning and growing to become, better, “Conduits — for the goodness from above to flow through us for the benefit of others.”

(Originally Published ~ January 28, 2012)

Steel and Velvet

Life is experienced on a tightrope.

Fine lines of distinction separate This from That.

As an example, the short riddle below, comprised of two sentences, is deserving of being solved. It will be our segue into the Thought Du Jour.

Each sentence is accurate.

Together, they become powerful in thought and deed.

Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are.

Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation.

While appearing contradictory, the Secret is within each of us, at our core. If we know who we are and are generous of spirit, the ‘answer’ becomes obvious:

We refuse to follow a foolish person down rabbit trails — and, we boldly share our beliefs with them.

Men of Steel and Velvet

You might ask, “What does this have to do with men of Steel and Velvet?”

The answer, “They can be firm and soft — at the same time.”

In fact, they are who they are — yet, they generously share of themselves. The perception of these differences become reality when interacting with the individuals who approach them. For example — these men of Steel and Velvet have the patience of a Saint. Some people will recognize the character trait as a virtue — others will perceive the same trait as weakness.

Two Sides of Same Coin

The first group will experience the softness flowing from mutual respect — as stories are shared. The second group will experience the hardness resulting from a rude awakening — as they are jolted from their ill-conceived perception to the harsh reality of a definitive limit. While giving the benefit of the doubt, these men of Steel and Velvet will defend their boundaries — for the benefit of those who seek protection.

Boundaries are simply ‘fine lines of distinction’. One of these fine lines separates forgiveness from flaccidity. Forgiveness is hard (to do) — flaccidity is (by its very definitionsoft. Forgiveness lets us enjoy the present moment — while moving forward into a future of opportunities. Flaccidity is for those who allow themselves to be a doormat for the feet of their enemies — while remaining tethered to the past.

Lambs to the Wolves

Lambs

Is it possible for lambs to move through a pack of wolves? What is the Secret to that?! Answer: “We are to be as wise as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

Wisdom is the forerunner to success. In fact, a four letter word is the pun intended to create a new beginning in our lives — Fore.

Yes — that which comes before. Have you ever wondered how generous people got to be that way? They give here, there, and everywhere. What came first? What is at the very beginning of their current efforts?

Answer, “Fore-give” — and, in the vernacular, Forgive.

Forgiveness

One of the best definitions of forgiveness was received in a place far removed from a religious setting. Yet, it dovetails with a belief in a Higher Power and summarizes the distinct black and white choice we will each make in our, individual, lives.

Forgiveness: Let go of the notion that there can be a better, or different, yesterday.

Simple enough. Yet, check your thoughts. Where are they? Dwelling on an episode, conversation, mistake, hurt, offense, etc. of the Past? If so, look again at the definition above.

“But”, you might say, “I have tried to forgive and that person does not deserve it, will not accept it, continues to do it, etc.” (the excuses continue on ad infinitum and ad nauseam)

DovesFore-giving is not about anyone else. It is about us and totally within our control.

Does it mean we condone the actions of another? No.

Does it mean we continue to allow another to use and abuse us? Heck, no!

Does it mean we forget, for now, with hopes of revenge, later? Again, the answer is — No.

We, simply — Let go of the notion that there can be a better, or different, yesterday.

Then, we assuage ourselves with, “Right here, right now, it’s great to be alive!”

The Offended

Many will choose to be offended. They will be envious of the peace and tranquility in our lives. The pathologically challenged will remain tethered to their past, while we move forward.

Each new day will bring the tightropes for us to walk boldly and in balance. Through it all, we retain our innocence by being able and willing to, quickly, ask for forgiveness when we are wrong and offering it freely to erase the foibles of others. By doing so we achieve —

The Reward

We ignore the foolish arguments — while sharing our core beliefs.

We wisely chart our course through danger — while being careful to remain harmless.

We forgive ourselves and others — while receiving an invitation to the future.

We, eventually, learn the inherent principle of Steel and Velvet
Easy is hard and Hard is easy.