Laughter to Lift the Spirits

thHave you laughed enough lately? In challenging times, it’s hard to find humor. Gallows humor maybe, but side splitting laughter escapes me in the wake of Las Vegas and the California wildfires. The gravity of the tragedies sucks the air from the room. Even tears escape until I read of the remarkable recovery of one Las Vegas shooting victim. I offer my prayers knowing she will make a full recovery.
Scenes of Santa Rosa’s devastated neighborhoods are apocalyptic. Where do those people find the strength to rebuild? One can hope the power of prayer will lift them and guide them. FEMA and countless individual donations will help. These are everyday Americans. It could have been you or me. Planning helps, but doesn’t prepare anyone for the size of this destruction.
It’s time for each of us to take a moment and offer positive energy for the greater good of every single living being on this planet. We come from different countries, contents or ways of life. Yet, we each live, breathe and love. The things separating us need not define us. Sounds simple. Our collective dreams are for the best for our families. This earth is big enough to sustain everyone if we choose to untie.

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Disheartened

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I walk my two dogs every day and my Weimaraner is relentless in his search for a slow reacting lizard. We have a new batch of babies. They’re an inch long and they like to sleep on the sidewalks. I’d be horrified if I stepped on one. Travis for his part is just curious. Then we have the suicidal rabbits and ground squirrels. They dart across the busy road to eat. We flush a few from the brush when we pass. I hold my breath and pray no cars coming.
Where am I going with this? I woke up last week with a spiritual hangover. Sadness for the senseless loss of life in Las Vegas. I can’t bear to step on a lizard or see a rabbit crushed by a car. I’m heartsick over this senseless act of violence. I don’t get it and right now I’m finding it hard to pray. My spirit is sad at a soul level. I have no answers. I trust in my faith and will continue to pray for the greater good.

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End the Violence

untitledI woke this morning to the news of the Las Vegas shootings. My heart breaks for those who lost loved ones, were injured, or those scarred by the ordeal. I turn within and I pray for peace and healing. Anger only stokes the hatred of the people committing these terrible acts. It is past time for people everywhere to bond in prayer and create a world were random acts of violence is unacceptable.
Sound to simple? I’m no Pollyanna, just a keen observer. Whatever we are doing isn’t stopping the carnage. Calls for tougher gun control, harsher punishment doesn’t work to deter crazy people. What we must do is stop hateful speech, rhetoric and mean-spirited exchanges. When did our country loss the ability to disagree respectfully? As a people we demonize those we those we disagree with. Why? I don’t know.
What I know is we can’t let these random acts of violence change us as a country. Living in fear is not the answer. Help those in need. Serving wherever we can. Knowing the way forward is together. United in our love of God and every living sentient being. I pray for us and refuse to give in to despair.

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Kneel or Stand It’s Your Right

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The First Amendment guarantees ever citizen of the United States freedom of speech. Nowhere is it written or implied the speech be agreeable to all. The right to peaceable express opinions is inherent in the Frist Amendment. A right I cherish. We’re a diverse nation with many differing points of view. This is a good thing.
Listening and respecting other’s right to differ makes our country great. People who disagree aren’t silenced. Players in the NFL or any team have the right to kneel. I have the right to stand and honor the flag. Neither means we don’t respect our country. No country or person always makes the correct choice or decision.
I’ve often asked myself, what in the world was I thinking. Work to change what you disagree with and support what you like. Disparaging others only widens the divide. It’s long pasted the time to come together in respectful dialogue. I urge everyone to turn down the rhetoric and tune up your ears. Listen.

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North Korean Threat

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“He who forgets history is doomed (or condemned) to repeat it, by George Santayana. I’m old enough to remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. In October of 1962 the Soviet Union placed missiles on Cuba in response to U.S. missiles in Italy and Turkey. Then President Kennedy blockaded Cuba until the Soviet Union removed the missiles. The U.S. ended the blockade and removed the missiles in Turkey. Avoiding the possibility of a Third World War.
Are we on the brink again with North Korea? The entire world is holding its collective breath waiting to see what North Korea will do next. The United Nations meets this week to continue to discuss options for dealing with North Korea. Whatever decision the safety of the entire world hangs in the balance.
Dramatic, no a realistic assessment of a rogue nation with atomic capabilities. No one wants a nuclear war. No one wins. What the world needs to understand is what drives Kim Jong-un. World condemnation hasn’t phased him nor economic sanctions. The people of North Korea are poor and dissidents killed or imprisoned.
There aren’t any easy answers. The safety of our allies in South Korea and Japan are paramount. Threats of attacks on Guam or the continental U.S. make this a major U.S. concern. Calm, thoughtful deliberations and dialing down the rhetoric is a solid beginning. Goading a maniac like Jong-un is the wrong approach. I grew-up during the Cold War with Nikita Khrushchev threatening to bury the U.S. Today’s children should not face the same threat.

 

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Hand in Hand Telethon

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The telethon raised 44 million dollars and counting. Thank you, America. This is the country I love. We show up for each other when the need is great. The need is dire after hurricane Harvey and Irma. There is no natural disaster we cannot overcome.
Can we also unite to overcome small thinking? Mean spirted thinking? The answer is yes. We are all children of a higher power. None of us better than another. We need each other for the trials and tests we cannot predict. It is past time to but our human opinions and prejudices aside. We show time and again we are bigger than our differences.
Step up America if we cannot who can? No more divisions over race, religion, politics or gender. There is room for us all. We all wanted someone, anyone to hug after 9/11 or Sandy Hook. What are we waiting for? It’s time to step up.

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Where Were You on 9/11

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September 11, a day no American will ever forget. Days like November 22, 1963 president Kennedy and April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King. The list never ends. No date in the history of our nation have so many citizens lost their lives. The number was two thousand nine hundred and seventy-seven. This number doesn’t include the hundreds of first responders who have died from exposure to toxic materials.
A staggering loss of life. Where were you? When President Kennedy died, I was at West Point on a class trip. I was sixteen when MLK lost his life. On 9/11 I watched in horror from home. Unable to absorb what I saw broadcast on every channel in the country. I prayed and still do unable to comprehend the senseless loss of life.
Sandy Hook, San Bernardino and the Pulse nightclub continued the carnage. Not one of these children and people deserved to die. I have no answers. My heart breaks at the thought. My spirit and resolve never waiver. Great love is needed to combat this hatred. As Mother Teresa stated, “do small things with great love.” As I remember, I pray for greater love and understanding for all. Namaste

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Great Love Needed Now

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There’s no escaping the reach of technology and instant connection. Like it or not my phone alerts me to the latest news. Globally these are challenging times. Natural disasters, wars/skirmishes, famine and fighting. It is time to turn down the rhetoric and open our ears to listen.
Labeling a different point of view and demonize another’s perspective comes to easily. Listening deeply is harder. Like it or not free speech is guaranteed by the constitution. Yes, I find a great deal deeply offensive. Rather than shout down these individuals I refuse to listen.
We don’t need to demonize people with differing views. Hate filled chants and slogans help no one. The world needs to work for everyone. Enough food, shelter, health care, religious freedom. My faith tells me there is enough. God wouldn’t give us more than we can handle.
People are capable of horrible behavior and capable of showing great love. We’re all children of a higher power. America’s people demonstrate compassion. Look at the outpouring of aid to the people of Texas. Time and again our citizens show tremendous heart and caring. The Cajun navy saved who knows how many.
Our citizens show this every day. It doesn’t matter how you voted, the color of your skin or what your faith is. Treat everyone with the same love and respect you want. Sounds simple. America, we are better than this. We cannot change the past, but we can start today to be more caring and loving.

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Letting Go

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I adopted my daughter at forty, she a mere month old. The second of seven children, I thought I understood everything on an infant’s first year. Upon reflection infancy remains the easy part. The teenage age years were no walk in the park. They pale compared to the child’s fight for independence.
The time between when a child moves out and before becoming self-supporting. Wise parents don’t move to warmer climates for the weather. Distance is a wonderful thing. It’s much harder to drop in and ask for cash. Never advice, just money. Loving is easy, watching them struggle to create a future isn’t for the faint of heart.
A strong faith sustains me. Yet, I’m still a mother. Daily I ask God to keep her safe. I no longer can and she doesn’t want my help. Upon reflection, my path wasn’t pretty. I made it and she will too. Now faith is needed.

 

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What the World Needs

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Thich Nhat Hanh tells a story about refugees trying to escape in rickety, small boats. The boats weren’t sea worthy, and the area besieged by storms and pirates. He states, “If everyone panicked, the boat would capsize. If only one person remained calm and centered in God that was enough to save everyone.” Awe-struck by the simplicity of thought, I found my purpose.
Turn on the news, pick up a paper. Headlines scream about Charlottesville, the attacks in Spain or the carnage in our cities. It is beyond depressing. What if one person in each setting remained calm and prayed? Do we have anything to lose? Name calling, hatred and fear fan the flames. Quiet prayer and loving thoughts heal.
This planet is worth saving. Every person is special. What do we have to lose? Together we can create a world that works for everyone. Will you join me in a calm, centered place where we remember to treat people with love and respect?

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