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A COMMUNITY OF VALUES

Wow.  That's my and everybody else's reaction to our first To The Point Rendezvous in Las Vegas last weekend (1/26-28).  The abundantly clear lesson we learned was:  members of To The Point really get along with each other!

At every get together, I was so hesitant to begin speaking as I didn't want to interrupt folks who were having such an obvious good time together.  Then again, I had such a good time.

We had drinks and dinner on three successive nights.  We explored the Valley of Fire and hiked in Red Rock Canyon.  And during it all, we all took every opportunity to get to know one another.  

We were from all over America – and a few from Canada as well (let's hear it for Stephen Harper, eh?).  Folks came from Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Boston, Buffalo, Philly, Baltimore, Chicago, Atlanta, Phoenix, Taos, Colorado, California and elsewhere.  But it didn't matter where anyone came from, for we were a community of values, shared values of love of country and love of freedom.

This wouldn't have happened if not for To The Point's General Manager, Miko de las Reyes.  (In fact, TTP would not happen if not for Miko.  I get to focus on writing, and Miko takes care of everything else.)  Thanks, Miko.

And I'm so appreciative of my two good friends of many years, Don Snyder, former president of Boyd Gaming Corp., and Somer Hollingsworth, president of the Nevada Development Authority, for so graciously taking the time to speak to us.

We got an insider's view of how Vegas came to be and what really "happens in Vegas" that few people ever get.  Then Somer (whom I've known for 30 years) proceeded to tell stories out of school about me.  Sorry, you had to have been there as I'm not about to repeat them here.

One major highlight was Dr. Joel Wade being with us.  He spoke to us about the value of optimism and answered dozens of questions on living a genuinely happier life.  "I can't recall a group of people I enjoyed being with more," Joel told me.  That feeling was certainly mutual.

(I should take this opportunity to make you aware of Joel's uncanny ability to help people achieve a greater happiness in their lives – by telephone.  It's not psychotherapy although he is a professional psychotherapist.  Rather, he calls it life coaching.  I really encourage you to find out more about it at Joel's site, Virtue of Happiness.)

Another thing I learned is that TTPers are a curious bunch.  I can't begin to remember all the topics we discussed.  Countries all over the world.  The Washington circus.  How politicians exemplify a Hyper-Peter Principle.

The Peter Principle, that people are promoted to their level of incompetence, applies to companies.  Politicians (and bureaucrats in general) shoot way beyond it, into hyper-incompetence.  The just-elected governor of Nevada, Jim Gibbons, is a perfect example.  He is an absolute fool, and is wife Dawn is an even greater ditz.  Sad to say, he's a Republican.

Yet a neighbor Democrat governor, Bill Richardson, is even dumber.  "Dumb as a stump" is the consensus opinion here in Washington.  And this guy is running for president, and may very likely be the VP running-mate of whoever the Dem nominee is!

How good a time we all had can be explained by a question:  Have you ever gotten high off the energy of other people?  Everybody felt so good being around everyone else – absolutely me included.

I can hardly wait to do this again.  And that's what everyone else said as well.

This Rendezvous was the start of a real To The Point Community.  We kept it small, limiting it to only 40 or so folk, for this was an experiment.  Since the experiment so obviously worked, we'll expand it next time.

When will that be, and where?  We could have a Summer Rendezvous in August if that works.  The location of Colorado Springs was suggested.  I'll keep you posted.

A lot of friendships were made last weekend.  I so much enjoyed meeting everyone.  For all who were there, it was a privilege for me to get to know you.  For those TTPers who weren't, please consider participating in the next Rendezvous.  I'll see you there.