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Thankful To Be an American

Happy 4th of July. In our world of time and space, wishes before or after are in bounds. Timeliness is usually a good thing until it becomes drudgery. Please honor this emancipating freedom every moment of your life.

On US holidays I wear the colors. Dressed in my red shirt and flag-vest, someone mentioned that I must"be a proud American." My reply, “I am a thankful American”.

I am humbled to be a born-in-America-white-privilege-woman with unlimited opportunities. I am saddened by the continued unrest on many fronts. Previous events in our time/space continuum meant to correct errors are being revealed as illusions.

Through marvels of the internet, my incomplete education is becoming competent. I am learning such things as “Why Christopher Columbus wasn't the hero we studied about in school.”

It's not that Columbus was not a man with skills, talents and value, it’s just that he didn’t do what he is credited. He was not the first to discover the Americas. Not only were natural born citizens living here, but others had been embarking on these shores centuries before 1492. With history’s error being corrected, statutes of Columbus are being torn down and replaced with figures of indigenous people. Acknowledging and respecting all people as heroes.

And the needed push back continues.

Although multitudes have risked oceanic peril, arriving penniless and with a dream of making good, far too many were captured, kid-napped and forced. It is a sad history upon which the US is built and continues; from pre-Civil War slaves to sex trafficking slaves. Same immorality and devaluing of person hood for selfish gain.

Motivational speaker Krish Dhanam, born in India, tells of his families struggle to come to the US to live the American dream. He notes his deep disappointment in complaining ungrateful Americans. I may want to dismiss these assessments despite an inner conviction of reality.

July 4th is a grand celebration of our freedom. Unfortunately, freedom has the potential for harm as well as intended good. Perhaps the blessings of America have rendered many of us with a spirit of entitlement.

Freedom without moral living turns to debauchery. Freedom of speech has led to profane language in music, movies, TV programs and literature. Freedom of expression has led to vulgar displays in the media and the arts. Freedom to bear arms has given leeway to school massacres and drive-by-shootings. Freedom of independence has led to littered highways, “me attitudes”, wasting of natural resources and lack of community.

Freedom is not the liberty to do what one wants, but the freedom to do the right thing. Right and wrong, good and evil are moral facts. Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl recommended a Statue of Responsibility be erected on the west coast to balance the Statue of Liberty on the east coast. We can have no true liberty without being responsible for our choices.

I find that the more gently responsible I am, the greater my freedom. The more disciplined I am, the more numerous my options. The more respectful I am of all others, the deeper the depth of my happiness. Let us live interdependently so future generations will judge our everyday deeds as honorable and respectful, for the good of the whole.

For a healthy pride to be restored, may each of us individually embrace truth, even when the revelation is ugly. And the truth is, on some level, each of us has varying degrees and shades of good and evil. Except for the grace of loving kindness.


Memorial Day Tribute to Veterans Past and Present

Author unknown. The following poem does not give the author’s name. It saddens me when someone has been gifted to write such a beautiful memorial and they did not receive credit for it. Maybe it is an indication of how we truly are a part of each other. As you read the poem and your heart stirs, or a lump is caught in your throat or tears form in your eyes, know those are noble emotions. Feel it, embrace it. And be thankful.


He was getting old and paunchy, and his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion telling stories of his past.
Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies – they were heroes, every one.
And though sometimes to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.

But we’ll hear his tales no longer, for old Bill has passed away,
And the world’s a little poorer, for a soldier died today.

He was just a common soldier, and his ranks are growing thin.
But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier’s part
Is to clean up all the troubles that others often start.
If we cannot give him honor, while he’s around to hear our praise,
Then at least let’s give him homage, at the ending of his days.

Perhaps a simple notice in a paper that would say,
“Our Country is in mourning, cause a Soldier passed away”.
Author Unknown

May we always remember that it is the soldier who gave us freedom of speech – even though it has been abused. It is the soldier who has given us freedom of the press – even though it has been taken to extremes. It is the soldier who has allowed us the freedom to fly the flag – or to burn it in protest. It is the soldier who has given us peace in the past, and it is the soldier who will restore peace and enact justice in the present.


Truth or Dare with Social Distancing

In the long ago Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In TV series (1967-1973), actress Lily Tomlin portrayed Edith Ann, a five-year old with outlandish truths about life. Edith Ann sat in a huge rocking chair and recounted strange adventures from her childish point of view. Each segment ended with her looking directly into the camera and boldly proclaiming, “And that’s the truth!”

Life tickles your funny bones. The audience saw comedy in Edith Ann’s truth because it emphasized how we, too, may see things askew. You find humor in situations with which you identify. And sometimes it’s good to laugh at ourselves. To see our foibles. To recognize our shadow side.

Sometimes life breaks your hearts.
The heart ache is not from seeing truth, but from refusing to be set free by the truth we see. Truth hurts only when it is supposed to. Allow the sting to take you to self-evaluation for loving adjustment or forgiveness.

Feelings don’t tell you the truth; they just emphasize how you feel. Beliefs are not necessarily truth, they are just what you tell yourself you believe. What you believe is your best guess in the moment at what is real. Your best guess at reality is conditioned by the society in which you live.

Society doesn’t tell you the truth; society goes with fads, trends or the in-thing. Your thoughts don’t tell you the truth; they just try to tell how you measure up to society’s dictates. Or not. Circumstances don’t tell you the truth. No matter how real they seem to be they are really your thoughts trying to prove to you that your beliefs and that your feelings and your viewpoints are truth.

What does tell you the truth? Life.

Life demonstrates truth. Truth is universal and applies to everyone equally. Life speaks truth whether we believe it or not, whether we can handle it or not. Rain or drought, hurricanes or tsunamis falls equally on the just and on the unjust.

Life reveals when actions are plume. It matters not if one is a skilled iron worker or a nuclear scientist or an adventurous roof-scaling child, the truthful law of gravity shows itself to always be accurate. Whether gravity works for us or against us depends on our respect for its truth.

Don’t Cope, Overcome. There is a big difference in thinking you are a fool and in thinking you did a foolish thing. When your thoughts bring increased frustration, anger, sadness or instability, then maybe it is time to challenge your truth. Does what you believe hold water? Is your attitude working for you or not?

When circumstances are less than ideal, look deep inside to see what lesson life is teaching you. Obey the rules of the road and the chances of a speeding ticket, wreck or traffic violation are greatly diminished. Listen to your internal moral compass. NOTE: it speaks quietly, softly and gently. It must be tuned into to be heard. It must be given space to grow. It must be proven to stand firm.

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