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Archive for December, 2012

Peace

“Your Merry Christmas may depend on what others do for you. But your Happy New Year depends on what you do for others.”

Peace 

As you know, I honor everyone’s right to believe as they choose, Christian, Jew, Moslem, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist and all the rest. I also believe if we respect others’ rights and expect respect in return (win/win), we can create a more positive, loving world. In that light, I wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season.

My childhood was in the Christian religion, and there are traditions and songs I personally and dearly cherish. Below are a few songs that have special meaning for me and in the spirit of the season, I share them with you now.

When I was first married many, many years ago, we lived in Switzerland. I remember the beautiful German Christmas songs that played while snow fell gently to the ground leaving a pristine blanket of white. It was magical . . .

Oh du Fröhliche“, performed by the famous German Regensburg Boys’ Choir.

My daughter, Gabi, is now living in New Orleans and I will miss seeing her this Christmas . . .

Louis Armstrong, Christmas in New Orleans

When I was very young, I remember attending a performance of the Vienna Choir Boys with my mother. She instilled a love of music in me. One Christmas, our “family gift” was a record player that looked like a piece of furniture. She was so proud of that. I can still hear the sound or the Vienna Boys Choir singing as I ran down the stairs to see what Santa brought . . .

Vienna Boys’ Choir – classic German Christmas song is

Fröhliche Weihnacht überall

 My mother’s favorite song . . . I miss you, Mom, and I will love and honor you forever . . .

King’s College, Cambridge – Oh Holy Night    

Memories from my childhood . . .

Nat King Cole: Christmas song    

 My Prayer

  

May the spirit of love gently fill our hearts and homes and may the closeness of friends and family renew our spirits with kindness this holiday season.

 May the energy from the harmony we create, ripple outward to those around us and may our troubled world take one step closer to sanity and peace.

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“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.”

José Narosky

  This may be one of the best videos you will view this Holiday Season. It’s about Christmas and much more and well worth watching.

 A Bob Hope Christmas

“Lord, bid war’s trumpet cease;Fold the whole earth in peace.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes

 Don’t forget to support our troops

www.supportourtroops.org

troops

 Thank you to my good old Navy friend, Dave Lester, for sharing this video with us.

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I am sorry…

 “I am sorry . . . I am so very, very sorry . . .”

Dear Friends-sorry

My heart goes out to all who knew the victims of our most recent tragedy in Newtown, Conn. No words will ever be able to heal their deep wounds. But perhaps some action may help. I just received the following email from an old friend and he stated his views so well, I am passing it on exactly as he wrote it. I URGE you to TAKE ACTION! In addition to meaningful gun control, I am also asking for restrictions on violent video games where our children are repeatedly trained to be skilled killers in the comfort of their own homes. Garbage in . . . garbage out. Gun control or any kind of control is not the ultimate answer, because the problem lies not in guns or videos but in the context of our culture. However, until we change our framework of thinking as a nation and become a more enlightened people (which I’m afraid is a long way off), I believe action IS necessary.

To quote Gail Collins of the NY Times, “We have come to regard ourselves — and the world has come to regard us — as a country that’s so gun happy that the right to traffic freely in the most obscene quantities of weapons is regarded as far more precious than an American’s right to health care or a good education. We have to make ourselves better. Otherwise, the story from Connecticut is too unspeakable to bear.”

And Ezra Klein of the Washington Post: “If roads were collapsing all across the United States, killing dozens of drivers, we would surely see that as a moment to talk about what we could do to keep roads from collapsing. If terrorists were detonating bombs in port after port, you can be sure Congress would be working to upgrade the nation’s security measures. If a plague was ripping through communities, public-health officials would be working feverishly to contain it. 

Only with gun violence do we respond to repeated tragedies by saying that mourning is acceptable but discussing how to prevent more tragedies is not. ‘Too soon,’ howl supporters of loose gun laws. But as others have observed, talking about how to stop mass shootings in the aftermath of a string of mass shootings isn’t ‘too soon.’ It’s much too late.”

Below is the link to the President, and please contact your own senators and representatives as well. Also, please send this to your own email lists. We may not be able to stop all killers and mentally deranged people, but we can certainly help slow them down! A few small changes could make a big difference.

 Being a citizen of this country has responsibilities and making sure your voice is heard is one of them. Do not complain so not claim sadness, and do not mourn without doing something! Your vote just might save a life. Sometimes it takes a horrific slaughter of innocent little angels like we have just experienced to wake us up, but remember, innocent, sweet children are being killed in our inner cities every day. . . WITH GUNS!

 The President: The White House

To find your senator:  The Senate

To find your representative: House of Representatives

 Here is the letter from my friend . . .

 “Like all of you, I was sickened by the tragedy in Newtown yesterday and angry that the NRA and the gun lobby have blocked all rational discussion of meaningful gun control. I was and still am angry that our elected leaders haven’t had the courage to deal with this. Yesterday I emailed the President, my senator and representative, urging them to do something now. Last night I decided that wasn’t enough.
 
This morning I’m emailing you and everyone else in my email data base to urge that you do the same. Personally, I think it’s reasonable to require all guns be registered, that background checks be required before any gun sale, and when a gun changes hands, that it be reported to proper authorities. I think it should be a crime to alter the serial numbers on guns. Our vehicles are subject to such laws. Why shouldn’t our guns be?
 
I’m not asking you to agree with any of these measures. All I’m asking is that you contact our elected officials today and tell them you expect them to do something. Then I ask that you email your friends and urge them to do the same.
 
I’ve sent this email to several dozen of our friends entering everyone in the ‘bcc’ box to protect your identity. You don’t need to respond to me but please, make your voiced heard.
 
Thank you.
Jack Dexter”

Thank you, Jack, and all of you who are DOING SOMETHING. . .

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100%

“Commitment is a big part of what I am and what I believe. How committed are you to winning? How committed are you to being a good friend? To being trustworthy? To being successful? How committed are you to being a good father, a good teammate, a good role model? There’s that moment every morning when you look in the mirror and ask: Are you committed, or are you not?”

LeBron James

 100%

 What makes 100% commitment? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they’re going to go over 100%? I’m always a bit leery of this. We’ve all been to those meetings where someone says, “I’m in 110%,” or you hear someone say, “You can count on me 120%.” 100% is 100%. You can’t get more than 100% and to speak otherwise, only serves to dilute the full meaning of what 100% means.

 100% means just that. It is a true commitment. Words matter. Anything above that is hot air and I don’t trust it.

From a strictly mathematical viewpoint, here’s a little formula that might help you see what the different percentages mean . . .

If:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

then:
H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%

and
K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E
11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%

but,
A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E
1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

What takes you over 100%???
B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T
2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%

 Solution to last week’s Moral/Ethical Dilemma:

“What would you do?”

Solution: Give the car keys to your old friend, and let him take the old lady to the hospital and then use the car to go wherever he needed to. Then, stay behind and wait for the bus with the woman (man) of your dreams and share the blanket with her (him).

 Never forget to “Think Outside the Box!”

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A Moral Dilemma

“About morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.”

Ernest Hemingway

 I believe there’s a solution to every problem. Whether that’s the absolute truth or not, I am not prepared to argue, but I do know that when I look at life this way, my chances of finding a solution increases significantly. Additionally, I believe it’s possible for the solution to be within moral and ethical limits and unless it is, it isn’t an acceptable solution. As you seek answers to challenging problems in your life, I encourage you to think outside-the-box. Know deep within your heart that there IS an honorable solution. Look at every angle, go down every possible avenue and don’t give up until you find it. Here’s a little quiz to test your solution thinking . . .

 A Moral/Ethical Dilemma

 You are driving along on a cold, wild, stormy night. Howling wind and driving rain are pounding everything in sight. You pass a bus stop, where you see three people waiting helplessly for a bus.

  1. An old lady who looks as if she is about to die
  2. An old friend who once saved your life now desperately trying to save his own
  3. The perfect woman (or man) you have been dreaming about

 You realize you have a big, warm blanket in the back seat.

To which one would you offer a ride, if only one other passenger could fit in your car? What would you do with the blanket?

You could pick up the old lady, because she appears to be in the greatest risk, and thus, you could save her first. You could give the blanket to the friend and/or the dream lover.

Or you could take the old friend since he once saved your life, and you now have the perfect chance to save his life. You could give the blanket to the old lady and/or the dream lover.

 However, you may never be able to find your perfect dream lover again.

 What would you do? 

(The solution will be in next week’s WoW)

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