Today was a combination of two things; the hardest decision I ever had to make, and the saddest day of my life since 1998. There are few things in life, And I mean a very few, that love you more than life itself, and whose sole purpose in life is to make you as happy as they know how to.
I have been blessed to have had the companionship of several dogs in my lifetime. I truly believe they are the example that God sent to us to show us what love and joy truly mean.
But for the past 13 years, God graced me with a very special messenger of love and joy, a spirit he sent me to show me to love everyone and to find joy in life’s most simple pleasures. He was the second messenger, preceded by another golden retriever named Rusty, but Duke’s message and spirit were much, much stronger.
The vet informed me this morning that Duke had a mass on his spleen which was causing a serious heart murmur; The odds were good that the mass was cancerous, and unfortunately, the odds were also good even if it wasn’t, at his age he would not survive the surgery.
Dogs are unique in the sense that when you have children, if you’re lucky, you get to see them grow up and start families of their own. Dogs become your children forever. Their sole purpose in life is to make you happy, which makes them happy. Another lesson from God above.
Having had to watch my former golden retriever Rusty suffer through cancer till the very end, I made a heart crippling decision to let Duke go before me but I am certain that he will be at the rainbow bridge to Heaven waiting for me when it is my time.
My goal in life is to be half the human being that Duke was. Believe me, those are big, enormous paws to fill. My boy Duke–till we meet again.
I hear a lot today about what is the new” NORMAL”, what people think is a big change in what they consider to be normalcy and what the general population does, guidelines, regulations, etc., aside, people are still people and normal is still normal.
Want proof of what I’m saying? I suggest you take a small visit to Home Depot, Lowe’s home supply, the Walmart” garden” center, Costco, Target, Kroger’s, or anything else the ” government” deemed to be an essential store for everyday life. You will find the parking lots packed, the stores packed, 50 to 70% of the shoppers not wearing masks or gloves, and watching you will find that 6 feet have suddenly turned into 3 feet if you’re lucky.
I am not making a judgment here, except to say that humans are independent beings, some are more cautious than others, and above all humans are herd animals. They will not sit and wait for some government officials to ” allow” them to move about freely, but they will take it on their own to do so.
If there is such a thing as a ” new normal” it is that those who are at high risk and have some modicum of common sense will follow the 6-foot rule and wear gloves and masks when shopping. The rest of the ” herd ” will not. This is human nature and has been for thousands of years.
Government, both local and federal, would have you believe that they know best, and only they can decide what is ” safe ” for you. So let’s look at how they do. The most recent incident was the swine flu in 2009, and their performance was dismal then.
What can the government do well? Not the post office, not infrastructure, not budgets, not healthcare, nothing I can think of with the possible exception of the military, and it has never been privatized so we will never know for sure.
My point here is that people are people, and unless you put them in a cage, they will do exactly as they wish, depending upon their level of common sense and risk. Short of declaring martial law across the country, there is no way to contain the flow of people.
The feeble attempts by both local and federal governments to curtail movement and access have failed miserably, possibly creating the beginning of an economic disaster as bad as 1929 or possibly worse.
We need to let people get back to work before they become bankrupt, get businesses flowing, and for those that will listen, keep trying to institute safety measures against this virus. Some will say ” you are putting others at risk with talk like this”, I say it’s either let people go back to earning a living, or prepare to face bread lines, soup kitchens, bankruptcies in the millions, and homelessness like this country has never seen before. We are not tremendously far from that precipice now.
My advice is if you are in a high risk take all the precautions you can, but we need to let people get back to work, and get the supply chain running again, and foremost we ALL need to start buying things that say made in America, we have become too dependent on offshore, foreign countries, for manufacturing life-sustaining materials including drugs, that this country needs to be self-sustaining and beholding to no one.
So here is my suggestion, turn off the 24 /7 news cycle, research everything you hear that directly affects you or your family concerning this virus, ignore all politicians, and go outdoors and enjoy the sunshine and the fresh air. Do not let that all of this stress you out, most of the panic and stress that this man-made catastrophe has caused is being generated the sensationalism of today’s media, which, if you pay attention to today’s media you are misinformed, and if you don’t pay attention, you are uninformed. Carefully scrutinize everything you read and hear, research it, and apply simple logic to it. If you believe the 24/7 media stream if the coronavirus doesn’t get you the stress and sensationalism and doom and gloom of the media will make you sick.
Today we as a society, seem to be infatuated with so-called “Social Media”, we are so addicted to it that people actually fall down on the street while looking at their cell phones, have car wrecks trying to answer text messages, and in general pay little attention to the physical presence of anyone else.
As someone said the other day, we used to think that stupidity was caused by the lack of access to knowledge, but social media has certainly proved that to be a fallacy.
There is nothing ” social” about social media. No one using it actually looks at anyone else, or speaks to them, or has any general conversation other than some anachronisms that come with texting. Likewise,” media”, which means the exchange of information, is not there either unless you are interested in what people had for lunch or dinner, or pictures of their cats and dogs. We have isolated ourselves into an online prison which we think is informative.
I agree every now and then it’s nice to catch up with what friends and family are doing, but most people take it to extremes. We don’t have” real conversations” anymore, we just seem to text each other and post on social media. Families hardly talk to each other at the dinner table because they’re all checking their cell phones.
Here’s my thought for the day, put down the cell phones, go talk to your friends and neighbors face-to-face, start a rule that there will be no cell phones at dinner, and talk to each other, look each other in the eye and have a meaningful conversation.
You might be surprised at what you learn about your own little world by doing so. It might not help but it sure couldn’t hurt anything.
First let me say that this is an opinion piece, and it is my opinion.
Having lived over seven decades and on this planet I view politics nowadays kind of like someone watching rats on a sinking ship. The rats can’t decide whether to cling to the ship, or try their hand at swimming when they know they can’t swim.
I can remember a time when the Democratic Party was the party of the working man/woman, unions and workers alike, average Americans trying to reach for the American dream and raise a family, that is who the Democratic Party had as their base. Unfortunately, over the last 20 to 30 years the Democratic Party has moved away from this base. Their agenda now seems to lend itself toward at best, socialism, and at worst communism. They no longer care about average Americans, what they care about now is two things, absolute control of the government, and moving this country toward a socialist, perhaps even communist agenda.
As we can plainly see by today’s headlines, compromise, working for the average American’s agenda is out of the question for these far, far left liberals. After several decades of liberal educators, mostly in colleges and universities, filling our young people’s heads with the mush and agenda that everything should be free, work is not a requirement to get whatever you want, it should just be given to you and if you don’t like something you have every right to change it by violence without regard of who you hurt or what laws you break because law enforcement is your enemy, this is what we have come to.
If we were to think logically, let’s look at the liberal’s new Satan, President Donald Trump. While the following is true of him; he definitely has a large ego, he will never be a Thomas Jefferson or George Washington, although he may be a lot like Andrew Jackson, he fights the mainstream media at every chance, (although in my opinion he really should because they have become little more than the mouthpiece for the liberal left), small things seem to set him off on a twitter rant, and he acts more like a tough CEO than the” father of the country”, let us consider this.
The stock market has reached all-time highs under his administration. As of today the job market is better than has been in 20 years, companies that moved plants to other countries are now moving them back, has provided one of the largest tax cuts in recent memory, the GNP is higher than it has been in the past 16 years.
Logically, the average American worker, trying to raise a family, and get his or her piece of the American dream should be elated at these accomplishments. The liberals would have you believe that the country is in terrible, terrible shape. Really? I for one don’t think so. I do however think that it is time for the average American who cares about his family and works for a living to take a long hard look at the agenda of the liberal left.
Let us do that now logically, since winning the House, let’s look at the first bills they introduced, they want to impeach Trump, they want funding for healthcare for illegal aliens, they changed the rules in the house of representatives so that now they can vote on bills without recording the votes so no one knows who voted for what. If they decide to vote to raise your taxes you might want to know who voted in favor of it.Also, not surprisingly, some states have now passed laws to give convicted felons back the right to vote, this couldn’t be more obvious as an attempt to get more Democratic votes than anything I’ve seen recently. No convicted felon would vote for a pro-law enforcement conservative candidate.
It has become blatantly obvious that the liberal, far left Democratic Party has left the average American worker and the average American family out of any plans they have for the country.
At least to me, it seems as though the Democratic Party is all about HATE. They hate Donald Trump so much that this hate has become their number one agenda, and more or less, to hell with the American public. I shudder to think what would happen to this country if they were to gain complete control of everything, the presidency, the house and the Senate.
Logic dictates that there can only be a set number of unskilled alien workers in this country before they outnumber the jobs available to them. When this happens, and they are living here one of two things happens, the government must tax you pay for them, or just to survive, they turn to crime. This is logic.
Logic would also tell you that in order to have healthcare for all,” socialism” someone has to pay for it and it will be you, the American family, the American worker, the people whom America is really all about.
As I stated in the beginning this is an opinion piece, and it is just my opinion, but I believe it’s time for those silent, hard-working, Americans who are trying to raise families and have a decent life, and I include those aliens who are here legally, to stand up and say the same now famous line,” I am mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore”.
As I have entered what many call the” Golden Years”, I have begun to notice a complete lack of two things that I was taught as a younger person, observed my elders practicing, and was told if I wanted to be a success at anything, I needed to practice as an adult. At the time I was taught this it was commonplace that people treated each other, more or less, this way.
The two things I’m talking about are respect and civility. There seems to be an utter lack of both in today’s world. Some, and I emphasize some, although it is a growing number, of today’s young people treat their elders as though they cannot wait for them to either retire or die and get out of their way. I have no doubt that they were not taught, as I was, to either treat my elders with respect and civility, or suffer the consequences for not doing so. The consequences when I was young was to hear the sound of a belt being unbuckled and released to be used as a” learning” tool.
However, I can’t blame this all on the young people because adults are now acting like spoiled children. If they don’t get their way, they treat other people verbally like I’m sure the plantation owners spoke to their slaves.
Social media has become a place where there are no consequences for vile and uncivil behavior because one can hide behind an alias, or even a false name. My grandfather had one rule, never say something about a man behind his back that you wouldn’t say to his face. That rule seems to have been forgotten by some today.
I also noticed a decided increase in the number of people who seem to think now that they are in some kind of a caste system and they are in the” upper” caste. One thing I have always tried to do is to treat everyone with the respect due them as a human being. I treat the janitor with the same respect I would treat the CEO. In fact, many times I have learned more from the janitor about how the business is run that I learned from the owner or the CEO.
All work deserves respect, if you look around you will see that no matter what the job, some people produce excellent skills and others do as little as they can to get by. Everyone, no matter who they are, deserves respect as a human being, and because everyone likes to be respected, you have to give respect to earn it.
The other aspect of society which has not completely disappeared, but seems to be on the endangered species list is civility. It costs you nothing to say hello to someone, a passerby, a fellow traveler, a complete stranger. A smile and a hello is like the” butterfly effect”, because you never know the circumstances or troubles of strangers. Over the years I have heard countless stories of someone engaging a complete stranger and making a difference in the strangers life without ever knowing it. In large cities we don’t speak to each other, we don’t make eye contact because were afraid, we don’t smile at each other, we don’t engage each other in any kind of human contact. But we rush home to post on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and a plethora of other social media applications knowing that complete strangers will read them. The art of face-to-face conversation is fast becoming a lost art.
If we would all just try to engage five complete strangers every day with a smile and a” hello” or a” how are you today?”, who knows what kind of difference in may make in someone’s life, maybe even our own.
The one thing I’m very certain of is that we say that cancer and heart disease are the number one killers in our society, but I can tell you this, depression and loneliness probably top both of those.
When we all leave this veil of tears, and pass on into the great beyond, one thing is certain no matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you think you are, the only real legacy we all truly leave is what we leave behind in the hearts and minds of others.
As my friend Zig Ziglar was fond of saying ” Some people look for a fault like there’s a large reward for it”, or as my Grandfather used to say ” some people can find a black cloud in a silver lining”. there are many people who spend life totally immersed in the negative.
Reflecting on 50+ years in business, sales, and management, some of these people are so toxic they can suck the positive out of almost any situation. In meetings, they have a problem for every solution. Surprisingly, they often show up in management positions, most of the time through their length of service, luck, nepotism, or patronage.
The worst of these people, or buzz killers as I like to call them, live in a constant state of negativity, denial, and excuses. I remember vividly being at an executive luncheon one day where one woman was remarking upon the good fortune of a relative who had just won a very large amount of money from playing the lottery. Sure enough there was one of these buzz killers at the table who, without hesitating for a second, remarked, ” Yes, but just think of all the taxes they’ll have to pay on that money”. To be fair to the buzz killer, it wasn’t malice on their part, but just the way this person’s mind had been taught to think over years of negative thinking and unhappiness.
We all deal with “buzz killers” everyday. Whether it’s at work, church, home, family, or organizations we belong to, everyone deals with these negative people. We have turned society into looking for excuses or people to blame rather than looking for solutions. Business owners will tell you they can’t find employees because they want a “position” not a job. It was announced yesterday that, for the first time in decades, there are more jobs available than unemployed people to fill them.
But people now blame “the economy” , Trump, democrats, republicans, bad breaks, “people out to get them”, their mothers and fathers, their enviorment, etc.etc. for their inability to be sucessful. We give out “participation trophies” to yougsters, but unfortunately LIFE doesn’t when they get older.
How to deal with the negative “buzz killers” ? there are two ways to do just that. The first is, if possible, avoid them like the black plague. If one can’t, then call them out on their negativity, “if you don’t like this idea, what is your’s?”, you’ll find they seldom have one.
Looking for the positive and not making excuses, and taking responsibility for your actions and decisions is the number one key not only to success, but to happiness in life.
As Zig Ziglar always said, “a positive attitude won’t get you get everything in life, but it will get you a 100% more than a negative one”.
Stay positive and happy my friends, take time to live, love, laugh, and enjoy the ride, if you don’t think the creator of the universe has a sense of humor about it all, take a long look at the United States Congress and then tell me he doesn’t.
I wish the best to all of you, work hard, but play and rest well also…
Faith, definition of : firm belief in something for which there is no proof, trust in things unkown or unseen.
Let me say first that this is not meant to be a secular post. As a very wise And well-traveled elderly Catholic priest told me once, “All over this globe God is called by many different names, just because the names he is known by elsewhere are not familiar to you doesn’t mean he doesn’t answer to them.”
Everydaypeople who profess to have no religious faith live by faith 24 hours a day. They set alarm clocks to awaken the next morning taking it simply by faith that not only will they be alive to hear it, but that the little blue marble that we call earth will still be in existence. They venture out into the world assuming by faith that they will not be struck by a passing automobile or bus, and that no great natural disaster or cataclysmic cosmic event will befall them. Almost every aspect of everyday human life operates because humans take it on faith that they will survive another day.
As I get older, the one thing that strikes me about mankind is the tremendous amount of hubris it has developed. The human race now seems to think that it has answers to all the possible questions in the universe. We teach our children now not to search for answers, because Google has all of them. Mankind now thinks it knows exactly how the universe was created, and although we have never set foot on any of them, exactly what the other planets look like, and what they are composed of.
We have turned the infintesimal amount of science we have developed and technology into God. One of our greatest minds of all time was Albert Einstein, who said ” The more I learn the more I realize just how much I don’t know”. One of the gurus of recent science was the late Stephen Hawkings, not to say he wasn’t a brilliant scientist, but he had explanations for almost everything about the creation of the universe, except for one thing. When he was asked what was there before the Big Bang, his answer was “Nothing”. Most people I know, and it’s a given that they are not nuclear physicists, would still find that answer hard to believe.
Many well thought of mathematicians, physicists, and astronomers have come to the conclusion that the universe and the cosmos didn’t, and some believe, couldn’t have simply “come” into existence by itself. They have stopped short of calling this God, they call it a “Grand Designer”.
Call it whatever you chose, but when you set your alarm clock, plan a vacation, start a retirement account, buy a house, or simply cross the street tomorrow, remember we ALLlive by faith.
Currently everyone seems to be over wrought about politics, on both sides. The Democrats seem to be almost foaming at the mouth daily about Trump. The Republicans seem to want to blame the congressional Democrats for their own lack luster performance. It has become tiring to everyone to watch this yip-yap every day with little getting done on healthcare or taxes.
Let’s all take a collective breath here and take a logical real-world view. If Clinton had won do you truly and honestly think YOUR life would be different today? If you’re completely honest with yourself, the answer is an emphatic NO. It makes little difference in the average citizen’s daily life who is POTUS. We all have to go to school or work, we would STILL be worried about the same things; family, finances, friends,health, etc. At the end of the day, no matter Trump or Clinton, when either left office they would still be filthy rich and unaware of the average person’s daily struggles to raise families, meet financial obligations, maintain their health, put food on the table and pay taxes to finance governments, state, local, and federal , which have become increasing unresponsive to their needs.
The governments, (all), have become more of a country club of over-paid whiners instead of representatives of the people who put them in office. They have their OWN health care plan, and somehow,on a salary of $174,000 a year or more, manage to become multi-millionaires in just a few short years. How? They kow-tow to lobbyists and special interest groups for re-election funds, and if these group’s interests conflict with your’s and mine, well guess who gets the cheese!
The founding fathers NEVER intended politics to be a “career” path, rather an honor and a chance to serve your fellow countrymen. They left their businesses and jobs to SERVE, not be served, and where expected to return to their jobs and businesses after a SHORT term in government.
We have, over the decades, created 535 “Count Draculas” who, as my mother used to say, are more than happy to suck the public trough dry. I heard someone say just the other day, “the difference between an honest politician and a crooked one is about 1 year in office. My Grandpa used to say, “the only difference between the government and the Mafia is that the Mafia makes a profit.”
Stop and think, we have got to a point where the people who makes policies and laws for US, the average citizens of the country, most of them, have NEVER held a regular, real-world job, other the public sector, a place where your politics is far more important than your performance.
In my opinion, we need to stop looking UP to these people until they actually start looking OUT for US.