Jaren's Blog

June 25, 2010

“The Bracelet”

Filed under: My Book — Jaren @ 10:57 pm
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Does “Made in the USA” matter anymore?

Filed under: Nick Galieti — Nick Galieti @ 10:02 am
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There was a time where the phrase “made in the USA” was a badge of quality and pride. While I am not aware of any one particular event or reason why, but from my view of things that badge seems to have been set aside.

With events like the world cup, American principles are once again challenged and tested in our dedication to quality. The last world cup game for the United States showed a quality of the American spirit that is admirable and repeatable; to keep on fighting to the end regardless of how many times we may fail.

Does quality still matter? The success of Wal-Mart and e-bay would lead a person to conclude that price, not quality, is more important to the majority of consumers. Fast food is a constant in diet where the dedication to a well constructed quality meal is suffocated by other time consuming priorities.

So I wonder, has the pride of quality phrase “Made in the USA” faded because our nation has faded from a dedication to quality?

Nick

June 23, 2010

OK, I get it now.

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 1:07 pm
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Do you want to put into practice those things you know will make your life better?  Success is gained from learning and growing through experience.  If we desire the deepest level of comprehension, commitment to what is learned; there are things we can do to see that we are fully engaged.

When we hear words spoken, they are on our minds for only a short time; often readily forgotten.  Think of the last time you listened to a motivational recording or listened to a radio program with words of great wisdom?  How long was it until you forgot what you heard?

Think of learning in a class, attending a seminar or doing anything similar.  As a student, you were paying attention to the words being taught, but did it sink in?  Our ability to comprehend is enhanced by adding another sense; in this example sight.  We now see and hear.  You may have wanted desperately to adhere to the new advice given while in attendance, perhaps now you remember what was said, but did you implement this new learning?

Our minds operate in a way where our greatest learning comes from doing.  The best example is when we teach (do); we learn.  If you are in a place where you have the benefit of hearing, seeing and doing what is being taught; you will understand.  Your new perspective allows for implementation, which leads to change.

To genuinely learn from experience; we need to know that our just hearing words may be forgotten, hearing and seeing could create a memory, but gaining understanding comes exclusively through doing (action) what is desired.

Jaren

June 19, 2010

Who has given more?

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 9:43 pm
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It started as casual small talk; catching up on life events since our last encounter.  The conversation turned to a new topic, one I will never forget.  This friend of mine, a mother, with a son serving our country in special operations began to share with me his recent experiences.

She described a situation where her son while under attack, was with his comrades moving toward their objective.  Unknowingly, he stepped over an IED.   He was fortunate; however his friend was not so lucky.

The impact was immediate, his pain more intense than anything he could describe.  All he knew was that he was in a different place; wondering to himself, “Is this what dying feels like?”  The next thing he remembered was hearing a slight groan coming from nearby.  Looking over his shoulder he noticed it was his friend, lying on the ground.  It seemed at the time as though lower half of his body was missing.  “Could this be; am I still alive?” He thought.  Rubbing his eyes, checking with every sense he could muster.  Yes, it is my partner, then sudden reflexes kicked in.

Getting up quickly and anguishing over the intensity of his newly realized pain he made his way to what he now hoped was only a bad dream.  Unfortunately his friend was real; it was not a dream.   Everything was in disarray; nothing made sense at all.  What was part of their world just a minute before was now gone.  How could this happen, it was  in the flash of an eye.  What went wrong he thought to himself.

As he bent over to help, the immediate fear of knowing everything was real hit.  Instinct kicked in, all the years of training were paying off.  He knew he was his friend’s only hope.  This dying soldier needed his full attention.  His legs were gone; blood was rushing out of his body everywhere.  It would be only minutes; maybe seconds and his life would be over.

Grabbing anything he could find which could be used as a tourniquet, he miraculously stopped the bleeding.  After waiting for the gunfire to subside, he picked his friend up off the ground leaving a pool of blood where he lay.  He carried him off to safety.

As this friend of mine ended her story, she shared that her son saved the life of his comrade that horrible day.  He was awarded with a medal of honor and recognized for saving this soldier in record time.  Oddly enough, this story, while nearly unbelievable, is not the one that has changed my understanding.

This story is about what I saw, felt and experienced as these words of praise were expressed by this loving mother.  We stood face-to-face.  I listened staring into her eyes witnessing a miracle.  For a moment, her eyes became the window to her soul.  Tears appeared creating a brilliant shimmering glow.  No longer was there a physical appearance but a clear radiant projection into eternity.  I could see directly into her soul; I could feel the beat of her heart!

I ask you, “Who gives more serving our country?”  The brave men and women who are willingly giving the ultimate sacrifice?  Perhaps, hard to argue another way, but for me I know differently now.

This mother, fully engaged in the life of her children, knows without question that her son is doing what he wants, what he believes, what is necessary.  He will sacrifice all if required, knowing it is his duty; sensing it is what he was born to do.  She lives for nothing more than to know of his safety.  Combat and all that comes with it are a part of their lives now.

This friend and mother of a soldier lives everyday with two objectives.  First, she awakes every morning offering words of prayer for the safety of those who have dedicated their lives to protect ours.   Knowing now more than any other time, there is a Creator and this Divine source will help, even if it is only to comfort.  Second, as she retires to bed each night, she thanks Deity for another day passing with “the black car” not driving up the driveway delivering news from the field.

We praise and honor those who serve our country.  We pray for their safety and well-being.  We know with certainty; it is our freedoms they protect.  For me, I know now, after looking into the soul of a mother; there are some who give more.  They, the mothers, will argue differently; I know better.

To the mothers of our service men and women, “Thank you!”  We are with you praying for the protection of your children and for your peace and safety.  Hoping your rewards in life will be all that you yearn for.

May I personally acknowledge you for giving more than I could give, more than I had known possible and more than what has been described as, “the ultimate sacrifice.”

I know mothers will remain noble; may peace, comfort and understanding be yours.  Let those you have brought into the world receive recognition, love and respect.  May the hope and inspiration we receive from you be given back tenfold; it is we who have benefited through your gift.

Jaren

June 17, 2010

A Family is Only as Well as the Mama – Part 2

Filed under: "The Gonzo Mama" — TheGonzoMama @ 5:39 pm

Whew! After Part 1, you probably thought I died, didn’t you?

Well, I didn’t, praise the Lord! I rose from my death bed to get things in order for the launch of my book, “Everything I Need to Know About Motherhood I Learned from Animal House.” My first reading and book signing is TOMORROW! I’m pretty doggone nervous about it, too!

If you don’t happen to be in the vicinity of Chelan, Washington tomorrow, and can’t attend my book signing, you can watch the trailer and pretend like you’re there! (I do have to give the trailer a PG rating, due to one brief, colloquial phrase… but if you’ve ever used the term “LMAO,” you probably won’t be offended.)

If you want a signed book of your very own, just click on over to TheGonzoMama.com and order one by PayPal! Use the “leave instructions to seller” feature to tell me who to inscribe the book to.

But enough about that happy news… You really came here to hear about my duel with death, right? Let’s get on with it, then…

***

I wasn’t better. In fact, I actually felt worse. I tried to drink as much water as I could, but promptly threw it back up.

Wednesday, the brakes on both our rigs needed to be changed. Mr. Wright got Curlytop off to school, then jacked the cars up and went to work, leaving Snugglebug in bed with me.

Upon waking, my thoughtful Snugglebug, not wanting to wake her poor, sick mama (who, at this point, was beginning to resemble a mass of butterscotch pudding; yellow, quivering and completely incapable of rational thought), helped herself to breakfast and set about her planned activities for the day. Snugglebug is three years old. What she considers acceptable creative activities and those her parents consider acceptable are not exactly on the same page. In fact, they’re not found in the same book.

The first car’s brakes installed, Mr. Wright came inside, pulled me out of bed, and carried me outside. “I need you to help me bleed the brakes,” he said. With my head propped up on the steering wheel, I dutifully pumped the brakes when he instructed. “Okay, this car is done. You can go get Curlytop at the bus stop now.” He had to be kidding. Curlytop’s school bus stops a mile up the hill.

“Look,” I said, teeth chattering. “I have a fever of 104, tunnel vision, and I’ve been hallucinating.”

He considered my condition for a moment, then said, “You’re right. You’d better drive slowly. You should probably leave now, so you aren’t late.”

Parenting from one’s deathbed is as difficult as it sounds, and I do not recommend it to anyone. If you see light, just go through the tunnel. I mean, really… it may be a bright light or a keychain flashlight. See the light? GO FOR IT. Run. If you have more than one toddler and you’ve been extremely ill, you know what I’m talking about.

My mother took pity on me and picked up the toddlers.

I regained consciousness long enough Wednesday night to tell Mr. Wright I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to make it to the gala, three hours away, we’d purchased tickets for on Thursday. I added that it would mean a lot to me if he’d stay home with me.

“You don’t want me to go because you’re sick?” he asked.

“No, I don’t want you to want to go.”

What is it with men? Don’t they get it?

My fever was continuing to spike. It would come down to a reasonable 99.1, then shoot up to 103.6, 103.9, 104.1… Thursday morning, Mr. Wright said, “If your fever doesn’t stay down today, maybe you should go to the doctor.”

Really.

I opened one eye, grabbed my digital thermometer, and put it under my tongue. Mr. Wright was packing an overnight bag. “Whur ur oo o-ing?” I asked, trying not to gag on the thermometer.

“To the gala. I have a house to show, an offer to write, some errands to run, and then I’m heading over.”

*beep*

I looked at the thermometer. 99.5. That was encouraging, and the pain in my ribs had greatly subsided. Maybe it was a 48-hour flu, and I was through the worst of it.

Mr. Wright really was planning to go to the gala without me. I couldn’t believe it. “Look! I’m under 100 degrees! I can go! I’ll just get up, get in the shower, and…” I stood, swayed, and collapsed to the floor. “Maybe a little more rest, then. I’ll rest a little more, and I’ll be fine by the afternoon.” With great effort, I crawled to the side of the bed, not quite ready to pull myself onto it. “Just lay out my gown, will you? I’ll be fine…”

By afternoon, I was back up to 104. I lay in a growing pool of sweat while the room spun. I called Mr. Wright at his office to give him the update, and informed him I’d decided to take his advice and see the doctor.

“Good idea,” he said. “Drive carefully, okay?”

“No, you don’t understand,” I moaned. “I can’t drive. In fact, I can’t even get up. I have a large bowl by the side of the bed because I can’t make the three steps to the bathroom. I really need you to come get me.”

I have a theory about husbands; one I have to believe for the sake of my own sanity. I have to believe that the reason some husbands are so cavalier about their wives’ illnesses is that the men are so terrified of the prospect of losing their mates that they simply refuse to acknowledge any threat to their wives’ health.

I have to believe, for the sake of my own sanity – and in order to keep Mr. Wright’s hard-earned money out of the pocket of a divorce attorney – that he just couldn’t bring himself to believe that I was really, truly, very seriously ill.

He sighed. He whined. He complained, and he shouted his annoyance that I was ruining his plans for the evening. He came home from the office, yelled some more, picked me up and put me in the car, and yelled some more.

It’s twenty-five minutes to the clinic. That’s a lot of yelling.

The receptionist took one look at me and went in the back to tell the on-call nurse practitioner to drop everything – there was a woman on the brink of death in the waiting room.

My temperature read 105 degrees. Medical people were scurrying in and out of the room, talking about scary things like “potential for brain seizure” and whatnot. I was curled into a ball on the floor because I couldn’t make it onto the exam table, or even a chair.

I got a shot. And a pill. And a couple more pills. They were trying to bring my temperature down as quickly as possible, but they really wanted to load me into the ambulance and take me to the hospital.

“I don’t have time for that,” I protested. “You’re going to have to fix me here, because I just don’t have time for a hospital. I have seven kids, you see, and…”

Mr. Wright was beginning to look a little bit scared, even though he was saying things like, “Calm down. You’re not going to have a brain seizure,” and “Hey, I dropped a quarter. Since you’re down there on the floor, could you look under the exam table?”

My lungs sounded clear. I didn’t have any abdominal pain. I just had that sharp pain in my ribs, and that was a mystery.

An x-ray solved the mystery. Even thought I didn’t have a cough, and even though my lungs sounded clear, I had collapsed lung tissue in my left lung, caused by bacterial pneumonia. The doctor sent me home with some extra-high-powered antibiotics and promised I’d feel better in a couple days.

You know what? He was right.

Mr. Wright broke down a little bit later and apologized for all that yelling business and the whole “you’re doing this on purpose to ruin my plans” thing. Through tears, he told me he doesn’t know what he’d do if I died… which only cemented my theory about husbands and the reason for their refusal to acknowledge severe illness in their wives.

Just goes to show – I’m always right. Mr. Wright shouldn’t forget that.

I won’t let him.

When I got out of bed the next day, I actually GOT OUT OF BED! I didn’t crawl out. I didn’t roll out. I actually sat up, and got out of bed like a quasi-healthy person. Four-year-old Curlytop said, “Mommy, you’re not sick anymore?” I answered, “I’m feeling better, but I still need rest.”

“Okay, Mommy,” she said. “I’ll be gentle with you.”

The day after that, I felt almost normal. I made it all the way down the stairs, and noticed the pain in my side was gone. I even managed a cup of coffee. While I waited for the magic machine to brew my caffeine, I poked around in the kitchen, noticing that all the dishes were put away in the wrong cabinets… but they were put away. Evidence of pre-teens preparing meals (a jar of peanut butter left on the counter, an empty mac ‘n’ cheese box on the stove) littered the kitchen, but I knew my kids had been fed.

The older kids all needed something… money for an after-school activity, help with a project, a ride somewhere… “Why did you all wait until the last minute to ask me?” I cried.

“Well, you were sick all last week, and we talked to Dad, but…”

“But what?”

“…but he’s not you.

That, my friends, is reason enough not to run through the tunnel to the keychain flashlight. For all that Mr. Wright is – handyman, provider, spiritual leader, dad, and husband – he just isn’t the mama, and our family needs both of us.

We’re like gears. Together, we mesh, and as long as we’re turning in the right direction, we make things happen.

I’m so grateful for the lessons I received during my illness:

1. If I need help, I need to ask for it. If I don’t get it right away, I need to keep asking.

2. Fear and stress come out in different ways in different people. Sometimes, waiting until a high-stress situation has subsided to react to another’s behavior can save everyone a lot of sorrow.

3. Things that can hurt or destroy us aren’t always obvious. Sometimes, we don’t take notice of them until they become impossible to live with.

4. My husband and children love and value me; even when it doesn’t feel like they do!

5. The Lord is faithful, and He is good. Even when I feel like I’m dying and my husband is yelling at me and my kids are running wild… He is good.

June 15, 2010

Love Yourself as Your Neighbor

Filed under: Micah McAllister — mikeutah @ 12:14 am

Many are familiar with the 39th verse from Matthew chapter 22 in which Jesus says, referring to the 2nd great commandment after loving God with all you heart, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”.  To love your neighbor as yourself implies or requires that you must also equally love yourself.  Since we are generally our own worst critics, it is often easier to love others more than yourself.  To not love yourself first is to try to give water to the thirsty from an empty well.

In the teachings of Buddhism one can find the saying,  “you can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”  I would add to “love and affection” respect and acceptance.  How we treat others is often a reflection of how we feel about ourselves.  If we are feeling unhappy, dissatisfied, rejected, unloved or a world of other emotions about ourselves, we will likely project those feelings and emotions into the environment around us and thus strive to bring others down to our level of suffering.  As the saying goes, “misery loves company”.  However the opposite is also true.  If you are full of love, acceptance and peace towards yourself, those will be the same attributes with which you lift, treat and see in others.

To turn this self perpetuating spiral around, you’ll need to start by committing to unconditional love, acceptance, respect and forgiveness towards yourself.  Don’t focus on changing yourself for the moment, just introspect into your inner most core and see yourself from a 3rd party point of view.  Recognize and accept the way you are, how you are, and for what you are.  The decisions and actions of yesterday are merely a reflection of what got you to where you are today.  The only thing to be done with the past is to extract any wisdom or lessons which have not yet been realized, and then let it go.  The only real mistakes are when we fail to learn something from the lessons life provides.

Regardless of what now lies in your past, forgive yourself fully for it and return to loving yourself unconditionally.  What has happened in the past is done and can’t be changed.  For this reason holding onto anger, guilt or regrets about the past is largely a waste of time and likely impeding you from getting to where you would rather be today.  Instead fill your thoughts with positive affirmations with which to repeat to yourself while looking into your eyes in the bathroom mirror or as you go throughout your day.  For an example script to repeat to yourself, you can say or think the following: “I completely love and accept myself just the way I am”.  If there is a specific trait or challenge that you are working to change, improve or forgive yourself for, you can add to that: “Despite having a problem with <insert undesirable here>, I completely love and accept myself”.  While it may seem strange to accept yourself the way you are now, “flawed” and all, it’s a primary way to seeing clearly to the source of those “flaws” and being able to live with new resolve and insight going forward.

As you continue to build this well of unconditional self love, respect, and acceptance, you will begin to appreciate and see in others aspects of yourself for which to either have compassion for, or celebration and peace of.  Because you are becoming more gentle towards your own “flaws” or issues, that same gentleness expresses itself more naturally towards all you encounter.  Anytime you find yourself excessively bothered by the behavior, actions or decisions of another, take that as an opportunity to return to self introspection to see if there’s something there for which you still haven’t forgiven yourself.  Again, often what we see in others is a reflection of unresolved hurt or issues in ourselves and is an opportunity to bring about healing in yourself and subsequently the healing of society.

To return to the altered words of Jesus, love yourself as your neighbor, which is the replenishing well of unconditional love that flows through you to others.

Namaste-

Micah

June 11, 2010

A “prostitute?” Now that is truly embarrassing

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 2:55 pm
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Karen and I were eating the other night at a casual diner.  There was a small bar next to our table with a few people enjoying small talk.  It was evident to Karen and me that one of the men was interested in one of the ladies seated few seats away.

As we watched the group; we bet on whether or not this guy would ask one of the ladies out.  It was very obvious he was shy yet held back no evidence that he was in hot pursuit.  My bet was he would, cheering for the guy; Karen’s that he was entirely too introverted.

We were nearly finished with dinner when he got up to make a move.  I was cheering him on, hoping his trepidation wouldn’t overtake him as he approached the peak of his fear.  In his nervous approach he asked, “Can I sit here and visit with you?” pointing to the seat next to her.

She must have known he was going to ask and yelled, so everyone in the restaurant could hear, “No, I will not sleep with you!”

Karen and I about fell on off our chairs; we knew what he asked and that was not it at all.  I started to get up, with Karen holding me back.  “Let it be, not any of your business,” she commented.  This shy fellow, with his head held low, began to walk out of the restaurant.

The lady then got up out of her chair, following him, saying,  I am sorry if I embarrassed you.  I am writing a paper on “How people react in embarrassing moments for school.”

To Karen and my amazement he turned around and yelled, “Two hundred dollars, are you kidding me?” then walked out of the restaurant.

I wanted to chest bump this guy but he was gone.  Power in the astuteness of the shy!!!

(This is only a phunny story I made up from remembering an old joke)

Jaren

June 10, 2010

The impossible Dream!

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 2:44 pm
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We need today, more than ever before, people who are willing to be engaged in their personal quest.  People who will reach beyond limits; those who are prepared to live out their dreams and have the courage to do so.

I am reminded of a scene in the musical, “Man of La Mancha.”  Don Quixote was with his visionary dream girl, Dulcinea, answering her question; “What is your quest?”  By singing the popular song, “The Impossible Dream.”

The lyrics (out-of-order) are:

This is my quest

To follow that star

No matter how hopeless

No matter how far

What is your quest?  Where is your star?  We have many who have gone on before us who lived life with no limits.  These were people who kept hope alive and were unaffected by the journey.

To dream the impossible dream

To fight the unbeatable foe

To bear with unbearable sorrow

To run where the brave dare not go

 

We are living in a world today that were the dreams of yesterday.  Yes there were fights; the strong prevailed.  Of course there was pain; they moved forward knowing it was worth it.  They ran where others won’t go; each time being better for it.

And the world will be better for this

That one man, scorned and covered with scars

Still strove with his last ounce of courage

To reach the unreachable star

Nothing else needs to be said.  Just know those who survive, those who make a difference in our world and those who are remembered; lived the impossible dream.

Jaren

June 9, 2010

We are One Planet

Filed under: Micah McAllister — mikeutah @ 4:22 pm

If there is one thing to be learned from WWII and the creation of the Atom Bomb, it is the very real capacity of man to destroy this planet.  Today’s nuclearthermo bomb is equivalent to the combined total of all TNT bombs dropped during WWII, or two megatons.  Albert Einstein said he didn’t know what weapons WWIII would be fought with, but that WWIV would be fought with clubs and stones, meaning the very real possibility that the technological advancements of future weapons would possess the real possibility of throwing modern man back into the stone age, if they survived at all.

As frightening as this possibility is, it has also had and is having the positive affect of waking more and more of us up to enlarge our circle of family, friends, tribes and so forth to transcend national, religious and ideological boarders.  Modern social networking technology is making that even easier and more vast.  Through the advent of facebook and twitter, it is now possible to maintain relationships and reach hands out to people of nearly every country of the world.  By expanding our circles to people of other lands that we would otherwise only know about through books or world news, we can begin to dispel myths we may have heard about them and come to find that for the most part, they are very much like us.  Any differences in beliefs or approaches to life that may exist are far outnumbered and outweighed by our commonalities.  More than ever, respect and acceptance of people who are different than yourself is needed if we are to survive as a species, as a planet.  Respect and acceptance doesn’t equate to agreement, but are principles of the Golden Rule to give others what you yourself desire.  As the Dalai Lama has said, “People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.”

In the final episode of the PBS series “Cosmos” (Who Speaks for Earth) by Carl Sagan, he said “The old appeals to racial, sexual and religious chauvinism and to rabid nationalism are beginning not to work. A new consciousness is developing which sees the earth as a single organism and recognizes that an organism at war with itself is doomed. We are one planet.”

As you contemplate your connectedness and dependence upon the vast resources and lands of planet Earth, consider the profound words of the Stoic Philosopher King (Roman Emperor) Marcus Aurelius: “… We should not say ‘I am an Athenian’ or ‘I am a Roman’ but ‘I am a citizen of the Universe.”  I invite you to broaden your definition of family and kin to encompass all of planet Earth and the life that has sprung forth from her, to love your neighbor as yourself, and to embrace the tenets of the Golden Rule by respecting and accepting people as they are, though they may follow a different path.  If hypocrisy and bigotry is to come to an end, it must begin within yourself.  You may find that accepting and loving yourself just as your are is key to affording others the same gesture and to transforming your own nature.

Namaste

Micah

“That’s all I have to say about that.”

Filed under: Jaren's Writings — Jaren @ 2:52 pm
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There are many life lessons’ we can find in entertainment.  Some examples aren’t what we may want but many out there are priceless.  Music gives us emotion quickly, books take us away into a new world and poems touch our passion.

Movies often give us an opportunity to be captured into another place.  This is perhaps why the movie industry is doing so well in our current economy.  Those of us trying to find a way back on our feet can find peace in moving to a different dimension temporarily.

Do any of you remember the movie, “Forrest Gump?”  There are many one liners and stories which give us a new perspective on life in this story.  The most common statement was, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”  So true; both the simplicity of the character and these words ring actuate.

Do you remember when Forrest was dressed in his military uniform and asked to address a large crowd?  He was discussing his involvement in what was an unpopular war to the crowd gathered.  He was an active soldier having had a different perspective than those assembled to protest.

As Forrest stepped up to the microphone, there was a technical difficultly which he was unaware of not allowing his words to be heard.  He delivered a passionate speech, covering (in his simple and honest approach) his feelings on serving our country.  None of what he spoke carried to the audience until the end.  Correcting the problem, the microphone went back on just as he said his final words, “that’s all I have to say about that.”

How often should we have waited for our circumstances to improve before delivering our heartfelt feelings, knowing others could hear?  On the other side; how often are we ready to espouse some great cause or share some personal feelings to find it would have been better if our microphone was not working?  How often do we innocently mistake our audience for one who cares or will listen openly?

Today’s world is filled with messages pushing the limit to gain popularity; the more outrageous the better for ratings.  If we find the words spoken to be truth; stand up for them.  If we know comments are taken out of context or exaggerated; why perpetuate them, fueling the fire?

We need to find commonality to get our country back on her feet.  There are about 99 shared aims for every 1 rare difference among us.  While it may not be as fashionable to find harmony; it does exist.

When you find the microphone working and have a willing audience; thank them for shared values.  Find ways to ensure our future.  Be an example to those who are following us; those who will make a difference in our world!

Jaren

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