Protect and Serve

Protect and Serve

Fairly recently two police officers were killed in Brooklyn, NY by what reports have said was a mentally ill man, bent on avenging the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. This kind of mindless savagery is never acceptable or effective. I send prayers for healing in this horrible time to the families, friends, and colleagues of Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. Unarmed men being killed by the police. I knew that one day I would write about this very serious matter, and here we are. This is an exceptionally sensitive topic; and it is very polarizing. I want to be as fair and respectful as I can to the victims of these incidents and to the police. I intentionally did not say “unarmed BLACK men” because the fact of the matter is unarmed white men have been killed by police officers as well. I knew that I had not heard of any cases of unarmed white men being killed by the police. So, in the interest of full disclosure and comprehensive coverage, I went to Google. I did a search for ‘unarmed white men killed by police’. Ironically most of the search results were about unarmed black men being killed by the police. So, I dug deeper and I found two cases of unarmed white men being killed by police. Once case involved the shooting death of Dillon Taylor (an unarmed white man) by officer Bron Cruz who was referred to as “non-white” in Salt Lake City, Utah. The second case involved the shooting death of James Whitehead who was also an unarmed white man, killed by black...
Why We Die

Why We Die

I’ve heard it said that amongst all creation – “Only humans know that they will die.” I don’t know who said it, but it always stuck on my mind. I began to contemplate the significance of not only knowing we will die, but the fact in and of itself that we will die. It may seem grim at first glance, but really it’s wonderfully profound. Religious people believe it’s because we have sinned. Personally, I don’t hold that belief, but that’s a whole new article. Scientists are baffled by our mortality, in large part because of our body’s amazing ability to rebuild and heal itself. Death is not a pleasant subject, but I believe that having some empowering beliefs about it can add greater meaning to our lives. For a moment let’s consider unending life; what would that be like? With eternity ahead of us, what great accomplishments could there ever be? Would the pyramids have ever been built? Would we have ever gone to the moon? The Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, the Mona Lisa, the works of Picasso, Michaelangelo, and even Michael Jackson; would they exist if there was always tomorrow to get it done? Consider the philanthropy of so many powerful and wealthy people; would the gifts they have left, ever been given? The existence of our greatest institutions of learning was often made possible because of people wanting their name, reputation, hard work, and ideals to carry on beyond their lifetime. What if they could just put it off a millennium or two, how would that work out? There’s the saying – “A...

“Everything in my mind isn’t mine.”

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Fathers Matter…Too

Happy Father’s Day!  Father’s Day…Father’s.  I emphasize that, because I feel that it’s not emphasized enough.  When it comes to the family unit men are taken for granted or barely acknowledged at all.  I hate when I see mothers wishing themselves or other moms Happy Father’s Day.  A mother no matter how awesome, can NEVER be a Father.  I know a lot of women will disagree…but it’s OK…just bare with me for a moment.  Think just a little bit about Mother’s Day.  Mom’s are taken out to dinner, flower stands are on every street corner, and everybody is proclaiming that  ‘to be a Mom is the hardest job in the world‘.  I would tend to agree…but I would add to that statement.  Being a Dad is also the hardest job in the world. I am fully aware of the countless men who have failed to step up to the plate and shoulder their parenting responsibilities.  I know women get discriminated against, sexually harassed, physically abused, and paid less than they are worth.  All these things are intolerable.  Men who don’t take their responsibilities seriously put a stamp of shame on all men.  Men who mistreat women are punks, they are the bottom of the barrel, but they are not representative of the whole gender. I have written many times about my belief that we are all one, and that when we figure that out, it will erase most of the problems we humans face.  When it comes to parenting we are, or at least should be one.  We should be of one accord, one purpose, and that is to...

The Lesson of Newtown

In the beginning God created the universe, and in it, the earth and a people with awesome potential.  These people were created with the free will to do wonderful things and equally awful things.  As the crown jewel of perfect creation, a people able to expand that perfection were put here on this third rock, to build upon an awesome foundation.  We are exactly what God made us to be…creative and free.  Here’s the thing, God already knew what we are finding out,  time and time again…Being free ain’t free. Choices have consequences.  Wise choices yield good results, foolish choices yield bad ones.  Like an over protective parent God could have made all our choices for us, but then that would make us pretty useless.  Instead God empowered us to make whatever choices we want and to learn from the outcome of those choices. In fact the quality of our lives are the net result of the quality of our choices.  We human beings have done wonderful things, but still we make some really bad choices, and suffer because of those choices. Tragedy beyond our ability to even understand has visited our home in Newtown, CT.  20 beautiful babies, and 6 heroic caretakers were savagely taken away from us.  Our struggle to find answers digs a hole deeper into darkness, anguish, and unbearable sadness.   We clamor for answers, forgetting that no answer will ease the hurt we all feel.  We feel indignant and angry, many of us want to blame someone…but no one is left…no one but us…you and I. The shooter (I will not utter his name) was one of us.  He was a young man 20...

They Lived Well

It may be impossible to accept it…and understandably so.  When it happens earlier than expected, it is even harder to fathom.  No time seems to be the right time…and yet it always comes.  Each of us knows at some point that it will.  Amongst all of God’s creation…we alone, are fully aware that our lives will come to and end.  Even though it is sad, sometimes unbearably sad, our awareness of the brevity of our lives is a blessing.  Knowing that we have a limited amount of time, to live, and to love, and accomplish,  gives us a sense of urgency, that we couldn’t have otherwise.  Knowing that our lives are but a “blink of an eye”, we have a chance to make this world a little better when we leave here, than it was when we got here.  We are all blessed by those who use the time they have, by living well. Some people hate it but I really enjoy Face Book.  However, occasionally there is a dark cloud…a certain heaviness, that hangs over the virtual community of Face Book.  Recently a young man, who was a father, a son, an uncle, and a friend passed away.  I didn’t know him…but I feel like, I wish I did.  So many pictures on display to document that this man lived well.  Pictures of him smiling, holding children, hanging with the fellas…managed to break through, if only slightly… the deep sadness of losing him.  I read stories of his generosity and kindness, and my heart breaks for the people who loved him, and now have to live on without him.  Clearly...

Father’s Day

We live in a society that expects so much from, and honors so little,  the men that father the children in our country.  Men are universally condemned for not providing for the physical needs of their children…I think…rightly so.  Men are expected to do whatever needs to be done to provide.  When the union (however temporary that union may be) between man and woman results in a pregnancy, feminists and women’s rights advocates say that “a woman has a right to choose”.  Implicit in that position, is that a man does not have a right to choose whether or not a pregnancy will lead to a child birth.  Abortions happen at the sole discretion of the pregnant woman…the man…has no say.  Bear with me…I’l get to Fathers Day, I promise. Fast forward nine months, after the woman has decided to have the child, the man, who previously had no say…is now obligated.  Whether or not he wanted a child…he is now obligated to provide for that child.  After a child is born women’s rights advocates are curiously absent.  Even if the man and woman are no longer together (some unions just don’t last) the man is legally required to provide for the new child, for at least the next 18 years….Very Interesting. I think the rules, laws, and expectations surrounding abortion, child birth, and child support are sometimes…how shall I say…questionable?  But, what is not questionable are the moral obligations of a father.  The laws written on our hearts are more clear, concise, compelling, and I think, more fair than the sometimes convoluted laws or society has jumbled together. Here’s how...

Not A Man?

I sometimes wonder, how far I will fall.  I realize there is an element of self fulfilling prophecy at work in that thought, but if I’m being honest, I wonder how far I will fall.  I agonize over how bad things can get, how humiliated I’ll be.  I’m talking about my financial struggles.  I’ve written about it before, and I hope there’s not a lot more of these articles that I’m gonna need to write….need to write…I NEED TO WRITE.  That’s it, I need to write. This blog is as much about me talking myself out of a funk as it is anything else.  I’ve said it before “teach what you need to learn”.  So, I’m teaching…or writing…hoping I can find myself.  I know there are many, many people affected by this recession, a lot of them worse than me.  I don’t pretend I’m the lone victim of those Wall St. vampires.  Still when I go to bed at night, not knowing where my next dollar is coming from, being aware of other hardships doesn’t help me sleep better…if anything it makes me hurt more…and hurt is something I do not need more of. I’m a man of many talents, I’m not bragging…it’s just true.  I work hard…and I always (almost always) have.  I have read many positive thinking and motivational books.  I’ve been to seminars, hell…I have considered creating seminars.  Still here I am, at the edge…at a place I wouldn’t have imagined a couple of years ago, when I could buy pretty much anything I really wanted.  Now every week brings more pressure.  I have grown to...