Category Archives: Taking personal responsibility

The world has enough people who are trying to police everyone else, what they do, what they say, what they think. We’d be better off if we took a portion of that energy and turned it back on ourselves. It matters what each of us do, say, and even think. We have the responsibility to make sure it reflects what we really believe.

I guess this letter is to me  

A couple of months ago I was working on a series of letters to those who were struggling with different issues and perhaps feeling lost.

Looks like I kind of got lost in the middle of it all.

Not sure it’s safe to say that I’ve been found, but I can definitely say that I’m actively looking.

P1270019And I’ll keep my eyes open this time.

You know, constant vigilance.

So, I’ll give it a whirl at taking my own advice:

Dear Greg,

Got a little too big for your britches, didn’t you? Cocky confidence about being able to be “normal” came back and bit you right in the back side of your trousers didn’t it.

That’s okay.

I still love you.

And believe in you.

I know, it’s just so enticing to feel that emotion of clarity, strength, soaring – actually just BEING alive.

In other words, our good old friend Mr. Mania.

Continue reading I guess this letter is to me  

Policing political correctness

I don’t like Donald Trump.

That being said, let’s just skip past the ranting monologue enumerating his many evils and, instead, focus on the eye-opening phenomenon of people loving that he “says what he thinks.”

Of even more concern to me is that many support him because he says what they think, but are too afraid to say themselves.

Because it’s politically incorrect.

I really wonder if we aren’t missing the bigger problem here.

Rather than being so focused on what someone may or may not say that will presumably cause offense, the more important question is:

Why do they want to say it in the first place? Why do they think these thoughts about others?

And just as significant,

Why is everyone so quick to be offended by something a stranger may say or do?

sirenYou can probably already hear the sirens getting louder. The thought police are on their way to not only tell us what we can’t say, but also what we can’t think.

Knowing that political correctness and thought police would fit right in with the adversary’s plan and not the one we chose to support, we’d be right to bristle at the mere thought.

But that doesn’t mean that our thoughts shouldn’t be policed.

We just need to police our own, and not those of others.

Continue reading Policing political correctness

Freely given, not forcibly taken

The recent frenzy over the Powerball billion+ prize was actually pretty helpful in giving me perspective on just how much money $1,000,000,000 is.

It’s a lot.

money2I’m sure we all saw the math dividing up the mega-prize into “mini” prizes of roughly $4,000,000 – one award for every person living in America.

Wow.

Call me slow, but I never connected it taking THAT many millions to make a billion. I still can’t wrap my head around the trillions in debt hanging over our heads.

Like many of you, I had that moment of “that would be SO great if the powers-that-be at the Powerball factory would even just give each of us, say, $1,000,000 – leaving them 75% of the prize.” You know what I mean, that closed-eye moment feeling like we wouldn’t have to worry so hard about the future.

money3After all, it’s only logical.

Couldn’t the government just step in and take part of it?

No one needs that much. It’s only fair.

Continue reading Freely given, not forcibly taken

Yep, it’s a big bad world out there – but it’s also an amazingly great world in here

A few days ago our niece was scheduled to be in a talent show at the high school. Being three people with two cars (wow, there’s another of those first-world problems, right?) I was driving Ann in to work so I could attend the assembly.

The skies were crisp and clean and piercing. As we headed west, the sun was just warming the top third of the Wellsville mountain range.

It was pretty spectacular (almost as much as was the company).

When I arrived at the school, my sister was watching out for me in the auditorium. We sat right up front in the middle of all the students.

flag2As the lights began to dim, I could see that the room was filled to capacity. Without warning, everyone was on their feet and I was thrilled when everyone in the audience stood, loudly and clearly pledging allegiance to the flag.

No one had to be asked, or begged, or shamed into it.

It was obviously just a part of how they did things; part of who they are.

There was moment when I noticed the principal standing in the doorway – but he’s the only adult I ever saw.

The student association directed the program, gave announcements, invited everyone to the party after the ballgame, and told us all what a RAD time it would be.

I was blown away at the talent. For the next hour we listened to singing, rapping, piano and guitar playing and watched dancing, juggling, glow-in-the-dark yo-yos, and an excerpt from the upcoming school musical.

That would have been enough to keep my attention.

But the performance wasn’t the thing that we all needed to watch closely.

It was the natural behavior of the students themselves.

Continue reading Yep, it’s a big bad world out there – but it’s also an amazingly great world in here

Our anger is unleashing monsters of which we should all be afraid

You know, it would be funny if it weren’t so critically serious.

There have always been people throughout history on the fringes with extreme and radical views. While their beginning intent may be honorable, they somehow lose sight of the actual goal. The allow themselves to get mired down in the anger of the argument and create stalemate instead of headway.

Fortunately, there were usually those who kept their eyes on the big picture. They realized that governing requires building relationships, being open minded, and learning how to pack the most from each position into a solution.

There are still those with their eyes wide open, working hard to maintain a land of liberty and justice for all.

monsterHowever, they are becoming harder and harder to hear as the screams, invectives, and literal inciting of mobs drown out all other sound.

The very people who are so angry at the government gridlock are also those who elect leaders with the directive: DO NOT COMPROMISE.

When a member of a political party does cross the aisle and work in a bipartisan manner, they are branded as “the absolute worst for completely betraying” the standard of no negotiating. Their death knell tolls and no one is willing to be seen associating with this traitor.

All the good that this elected official could do is snuffed out by a slammed and bolted door.

Like I said, it would be funny if it weren’t so true.

Continue reading Our anger is unleashing monsters of which we should all be afraid