Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dear Brett,


Dear Brett,

I did not sleep well last night after your news that Marines denied you to join them. You did nothing wrong. They came to a “moment-of-truth” and asked for a complete confession of past transgressions. You were honest and forthright, the highest quality of character and of which this world is short on. You shared that you had taken a friend's prescription pain-killer a couple of years ago for a headache when visiting because he had no over-the-counter pain reliever. Unfortunately, policy trumped common-sense and wisdom and the Marines denied you the ability to serve.

Unfortunately, the Marines taught you a bad lesson. Don’t tell the truth, because you will be punished. They put a kink in trust not only in being a Marine but in serving this country.

I wish I could have taken this “bullet” for you. I wish that I could have spared you the pain. I have felt your pain and know how gut wrenching it is. I remember being told by a woman I loved that she no longer loved me. It turned my world upside down. I felt all my hopes and dreams were broken into a million pieces. I felt unworthy. I felt embarrassed. I felt shame.

Fortunately, there were people who believed in me, who loved me, who assured me that a new day would come. It took time. It took patience. It took work. The wound healed. I believed I was good enough to love and be loved. You are an outcome of that healing.

I know you. I know your heart. I know when you believe, you make things happen. I saw that back when you were in the grade school when you decided you wanted to be the lead in the 5th grade musical. You persevered and succeeded. I saw it on the soccer field when you wanted to be the starting goal keeper. You persevered and not only got the starting position but became captain of the team. I saw it when you wanted to go to a division I college to play soccer and realized it did not meet your expectations and chose a different course. You persevered and graduated from college.

As low as you are, you have a history of overcoming adversity. Your expectations have been altered by someone else, but it does not mean you cannot pursue your goal.

I believe in you. You are one of my role-models. You are an inspiration to me and others. You are loved and you have a gift to share to make this world a better place. Do not let someone deter you from making that difference.

I love you.

Now go Carrpe Diem!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I'm Blue...

Today it all comes to a screeching halt. Our nation will try to select a president. It does not look good. No matter who wins, a large number of people will not be happy.

We've justified who should be president as well as who should not be president. Over Six Billion Dollars has been spent on justification. I have buyers remorse. I'm blue. I threw some money into a campaign and wish I'd thrown it into the Red Cross basket for victims of Sandy.

I'm blue. It has become increasingly evident that policy and ideology have trumped the ability for civil conversation. If someone doesn't believe in our "brand" of religion, our "brand" of politics, our "brand" of sexual orientation, our "brand" of race and heritage we label "them" as sub-human, retards, idiots, neanderthals or any other name that demonstrates superiority over "them." It's as if some have a monopoly on the truth, the facts, the RIGHT WAY and the light. 

You know the facts of life. Life is ambiguous and the longer we live the more it becomes evident. Life is hard and the longer we live, the more evident it becomes for the need to simplify. Life is grace and the longer we live we might recognize how truly blessed we are!

I realize this is a generalization, but I find people tend to fall into three categories:

- The cynics. The cynics tend to be older, wounded, have unfilled expectations, feel cheated, and do not trust people, systems and process. They are see a fresh bouquet of flowers and ask, "Who died?" I'm blue around cynics. It's tough to have a civil conversation with cynics.
- The entitled. The entitled believe they deserve. They give "this" and deserve "that." They payed their dues and expect a return. It's about going up, never sideways or God forbid, downward. Their motto, "You owe me!" I'm blue around the entitled. When I'm around the entitled, I wonder if I'm square with them. Civil conversation might be possible with the entitled until you step on one of their entitlements!
- The humble. The humble are the few. They have no score to settle and no scorecard to keep. Everyday is a gift. They serve where they are needed. They give without expecting anything in return. They take responsibility and step up as needed. They have balance in their lives. They are selfless. They are spiritual. They laugh often. They are a blessing to be around and to work with. Civil conversations are the norm with the humble!

Two key questions that have come up in this campaign that continue to rattle around in my brain:
- Are you better off than you were four years ago?
- Don't you deserve...?

I'm blue. The cynics and entitled, who seem to be the majority, see themselves as not being better off and deserving more. 

I'm looking for more humble! Are you out there? Would you like to have a civil conversation?