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Posts Tagged ‘sacrifice’

        There is a debate brewing about whether news media should have access to photograph the coffins of returning military men and women, killed in the line of duty, when their bodies are returned to Dover Air Force Base.  There is strong controversy about whether this should be allowed or not.  In 1991, President George H. Bush enacted a ban on the photographing of the coffins.  It just was not allowed to happen, by the order of the President.

         This has been a matter of contention.  Some people believe that allowing  the photographs could make an impact on the  minds of the citizens of the United States as to the cost of war; as the death toll rises from the wars in recent years.  There are many who feel that by not seeing the evidence of the coffins, people would not understand the depths of the sacrifice that our service persons were making.  In effect, out of sight…out of mind.  (more…)

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       As a person living in the midwest, in one of the coldest, snowiest winters in the last 25 years…i have to say i was irritated when i read that since President Obama moved into the White House the thermostat has allegedly gone up.  For a man who made it part of his campaign to encourage Americans to sacrifice for the world environment and to take on a personal responsibility regarding climate changes; I am offended by an article that i read today that says the Oval office is like a tropical hot house, warm enough to grow orchids in.  Someone needs to hold this administration accountable in these types of areas…turn down the heat on President Obama.

       Across our nation right now, many Americans are without electric or typical normal heat sources because of an ice storm, that is going to take weeks to fix.  This is during some truly challenging temperatures as our country transitions between winter and spring.

       Part of the perception of the recent, more relaxed environment in the Oval office…meaning that visitors no longer have to wear suit jackets when they enter in like the former administration; is really more about personal comfort levels.  It isn’t mainly about being relaxed in that room as much as it is about it being warm; so that wearing a suit and tie would be really uncomfortable.  While I applaude the more informal feel to this Presidency…I have to say that even the White House staff and aides have commented on the temperature change; including his chief of staff, David Axelrod who  allegedly, made the statement about the orchids growing in there.

         The article I read said something to the effect that even though President Obama comes from Chicago…he was born in Hawaii, and he likes being warm.  Well, no fake…most of us don’t enjoy being colder than is comfortable…but , what about that personal sacrifice he was talking about before?  I dont want to bust his chops on this or any other issue just for the sake of it…but…this subject is a little close to home when my own family has to keep the furnace set on 58-60 degrees because of the necessity of the high cost of heating our home.

        Another, more important reason this is so maddening is that in my home state…there have been several people who have frozen to death.  A man by the name of Marvin E. Schur, 93 years old, froze to death recently in Bay City, Michigan because the electric company put a limiter on his electric service and his home power was shut off…effectively causing his heating source to stop working.  He died…come on…was that President Obama’s fault….no!  However, when i hear polyanna remarks justifying his higher temperature on the thermostat in the Oval office; it makes me angry to know that others are SUFFERING AND DYING when there are others who have so much and are wasteful with it.  It is not right.

        So please President Obama…you have so many other more important things on your plate…turn down the heat in the White House so that your actions match your words and your call for personal responsibility.   That way, those who would otherwise be inspired by you and your goals of helping our nation turn towards more green living and a more positive use of our energy sources can get on board without having to defend your conflict of words and actions!  Be an inspirational leader so that you can have a powerful impact on our country with responsibile energy use.

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     I can’t believe all of the different things that this inauguration appears to mean to each person that i talk to or read about.  Some people are moved to tears by the inspiration of it all.  Some people are in awe of the historical nature.  For others it is more personal; they have invested so much of their own personal hopes and dreams into the candidates for the office of the President of the United States.  Observing the inauguration is a very personal and a very public thing.  The swearing in of the 44th President of the United States is a solemn occasion and is observed by all in a variety of ways.

      For quite some time there has been indiviual stories on the news about individuals who have made the trek to view the ceremonies in person…some have borrowed money to get there or made amazing sacrifices to fund the trip.  Others who are content to watch from their homes watch avidly….others in dismay.

      Supporters of candidates who did not win the nominations have differing views and opinions.  I watch and look for conflicting emotions on the faces of those who could have been in a different place during todays proceedings..and yet…i see pride, joy and excitement in their faces.

       Watching the former Presidents and the mixture of emotions and memories flood their visage is truly something to see.  Their wives remembering their time in the spotlight…reflecting on the changes since their moment…you can see the strength that it takes to endure the pressures and the passage of time.

        It is no simple time …the respect of the responsibility, the solemness of the swearing in…the honor…the pride…the exaltation…it is such a mixture of the past, the present and the future.  Truly…can feel the waves of deeply held beliefs and expectations.  For this one day, we can enjoy the coming together as a nation.  There will be time on another day to examine the differences, the disappointments, the frustrations and the solutions to problems that exist…For now…today is momentous!  I am thrilled that God is acknowledged as the ultimate authority of our nation…I pray that President Barack Obama submits his actions to be wholly acceptable to the only person who he should be in submission to at this point and that is God himself.  May God bless our nation…and may we live up to the standards that he expects from us.

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       It is a historical moment in time, this presidential inauguration of 2009; just like every other presidential inauguration since the beginning of the United States.  Yet, this one feels different.  It feels as though this particular inauguration is getting more attention than any other one, in my memory.

          I did not personally vote for Barack Obama…still, i can appreciate this moment…as it will be a moment of history as well as a moment for our future in America.  There is hope, excitement, fear and anxiety, as this nation faces huge difficulties.  That hope and excitement creates an air of expectancy; yet, we must temper that.

          To hear the media tell it…Obama is the answer to all the issues facing the nation.  That can not be,  he is just one man after all…even though he is a powerful man.  It isn’t fair to put that kind of pressue on him.  He cannot fix all of the issues facing this country in a way that is going to satisfy everyone.  There will be frustration, there will be disappointment…and, there will be a reality check for those who believe that things can only go up from here.

           The reason for that is…President Barack Obama is human; he is not God.  I believe that he realizes that…but, there is such a building up of who people think he is; that i think it builds a false sense of what he will be able to do.  He will represent the people…not just the black population, not just the white population or the male population.  I do think he will do his best.  I do think that he will accomplish much…but, it will be in partnership  with the Senate, the Congress,  and even the citizens of the United States.  This country will change…for better or worse who knows?  History many years from now will be the judge; when we look back to this period of our history we will have the advantage of knowing what came before and after.

          The Presidency is also a conditional thing; people forget that you must balance your expectations with reality, because reality is based on the conditions during that president’s time of the leadership.  The reality is that there are foreign governments, there are terrorists, there are internal struggles that create situations that each and every President must face during their term in office. 

     What we as a nation want to know is that our leader is a strong person, a person of good moral fiber, a person of commitment and a person who we can trust; we want a president who is wise, who knows good counsel when he hears it, a person of integrity who knows how to balance compassion and strong leadership.

          I say for now…let’s enjoy the excitement of the moment.  Let’s celebrate with the Obama family at this accomplishment. Things will get real soon enough with all of the demands of the office on the President, his family and friends.  This is a huge accomplishment and honor; but, let’s not forget it is also a sacrifice.

            The sacrifice comes by way of a sacrifice of schedule to have family time whenever they want it; it comes with pressure like no other job, it comes with a lack of privacy, it comes with media scrutiny that is justified; and, with scrutiny that is not. 

          So for now, can we not just honor the new President of the United States…acknowledge his tipping of the hat towards President Lincoln and his respect for the man and the office…while quietly considering the possibilities before us? Let’s celebrate our patriotism with our fellow citizens and not let ourselves be divided at this time…let’s look forward to the future and it’s impact on us and those around the world.

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      This week we celebrated two very special things here in the United States: one was Monday, November 10th which was the Marine Corps Birthday…and yesterday, which was Veteran’s Day.  Both dates give honor to our military men and women.  We should celebrate our armed forces because they sacrifice so much for us.  We have men and women who are seperated from their families, often in dangerous situations; defending our country and those in other countries who need defended.

       We have some pretty awesome troops who need support.  I have heard about a wonderful program that does just that.  It is a program that would be a wonderful project for school children or teen youth groups across the nation.   Activity directors in nursing homes would also be a great source for this project.  Even former Veterans can continue to serve their country by reaching out to those who presently serve our great country in the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and the Marines. 

       The idea behind http://www.make2tell2.com is to make 2 cards of love and tell 2 others about the project.  They can be holiday cards or just cards that express respect and caring.  This is a great way to lift the spirits of those serving our country when they need an emotional pick me up.  These cards can express patriotism, faith, gratitude, caring, support, encouragement, and communicate comfort to those who need it!

         Please spread the word…get involved…support our troops today.  It doesn’t take much effort and it can mean so very much to the individual who receives it.  After you make the cards…please send them to:  Make 2 Tell 2, 991 Road
325, Harvard, NE 68944  This is also a great way to teach young people about service and about community.  We all need encouragement at times…this is a wonderful way to do that for our troops overseas; it can have a tremendous impact on our military personel.  Thank you!

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       Today is the Marine Corps birthday…hope it is a great one for all of our men and women in the Corps.  God bless you for all of your sacrifices for us civilians.  For those serving overseas we thank you and we appreciate you. To all of the Marines who serve here at home on U.S. soil…your sacrifice is also appreciated.  May you have safety and well-being till you are stateside and home again with your family & loved ones!

         Quite often on the news, all we hear about is those who dishonor the Corps or who choose to perpetrate violence outside of war.  Those stories put a black mark on the minds of people who don’t have personal knowledge of the quality of most Marines.  I want to acknowledge the fact that there are more men and women who serve the United States in good standing; than there are who fail to act honorably.  Just by living their lives decently and serving when called upon to do so…they are heros.  It takes courage & commitment to serve in the armed forces.  They risk life and limb and deserve respect for what they give during their time in the military.  We need to honor them and support them; not just at the holiday time…but, year round.  Support their family members who sacrifice alot as well…by being seperated from their service person.

        This week, several Marines made the news with their heroic actions by saving many people staying in a hotel when they discovered that the hotel was on fire.  They immediately went into action and alerted the hotel guests to the fire and told them to evacuate.  One Marine said…this is what we are trained to do…when there is danger we are trained to go in…not run away! The williness to serve, that the Corps instills in it’s personel, is nothing less than admirable.  God bless each and every one.  So, for those who are serving in the Corps today; or, those who have formerly served in the Corps…thank you.   If you see a Marine today…tell them thank you for serving and wish them a Happy Birthday!  Semper Fi

      

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      I have been thinking about leadership alot lately and it’s direct connection to success or failure.  Leadership whether it is in government, business, organizations, religions, education or, in personal relationships is very important.  Not everyone can be an effective leader.  There are more followers than leaders; so it is extremely important to follow the right person. 

       Whether a leader is skilled in certain areas determines how successful his/her leadership is.  Leading is not for the fainthearted; you can’t please everyone or, be their friend.  Some of the decisions a good leader has to make are extremely unpopular.  You can have productive relationships though, that are built out of respect, authority, compassion and hard work.  Those who are under your leadership have to know that you are informed and that you respect & understand their sacrifice to get the job done. 

        A good leader knows how to inspire, how to instruct, how to encourage, and how to redirect someone who is misguided, ill informed, has a poor work ethic or is saturated in a poor attitude.  A good leader knows when to use incentives and when praise or recognition will be more effective. 

        I know our country is in the midst of some deep and difficult issues.  Positive and productive leadership has never been more important.  A good leader also recognizes when they are out of their league and seeks a higher counsel…someone who is an expert in the area of concern.  I hope that those who are taking the reins of government leadership in our country are willing to lead with proper education and guidance… it is not a failure to admit that you don’t know all of the answers; it is a failure to not be willing to be educated in those areas.  We have much to accomplish and overcome in a short period of time.

        There is a great new book out by Lee Iacocca on leadership called, Where Have All Of The Leaders Gone?  I recommend reading this one.  This book gives some great advice on leading.  It also gives a bit of background information on the automotive business. 

         With the financial crisis hitting our country and the obviously failing auto industry…Lee’s book is timely.  I suggest that the new President elect Barack Obama consult with Mr. Iacocca on any proposed government bailout loan of the auto industry.  There has been some criticism about President Bush’s alleged lack of response to the auto industry’s struggles.  Now, if the American auto industry fails to succeed…we all will suffer the consequences.  I think that we already have been …but, it is only going to get worse without addressing the issue in a real purposeful way.  They are many businesses and employees who will be affected in a trickle down kind of action if and when the auto industry hits the roadblocks. 

        It would be wise to remember that whenever one major industry fails it generally has a domino effect on those sub-supportive businesses that supply the chain of industry.  We need to figure out some answers before we are all out of jobs.  We must demand competent leadership and hold them to a higher moral & ethical standard of conduct.  We are tired of those in business and industry who are content to take the money at the top and move on when they get their rewards…not caring about the outcome for those under their leadership.  Enough of the high salary CEO’s (or politicians) who don’t look long-term at the consequences of their decisions and their actions.  Americans must demand success in our leaders because the potential impact of failure is unacceptable!

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        Dreams are pretty important stuff, did you know that?  Most of us live our lives with a dream tucked away in our hearts.  Every now and again we take it out, polish it up with our tears and a loving swipe with a soft cloth, all the while going over the reasons why now is not the time to make them come true.  Regrets for not achieving our dreams can eat away at a person’s soul.  Why doesn’t everyone who has a dream try to make them come true?   Oh there are many reasons; don’t you know any of them? 

         There is never enough money, too many people are depending on us to keep our heads and not risk too much, health problems, demands on our time, a shortage of support, self doubt, low self esteem, fear, fear of failure, lack of hope, a lack of encouragement from others, a need for security, no experience with stepping out on faith, trust issues & even more amazingly, people are afraid of success, wow !; You get the idea…i could fill up this page with reasons why some people not to enable their dreams into become reality.

         So what is the secret that dream achievers have discovered that allowed them to turn a thought, a wish, a dream into reality?  You would have to ask each person what it was that was the turning point; the part where the light bulb came on and they pushed through and turned a corner from underachiever to dream accomplisher. 

          Each person’s answer would probably surprise you.  Each answer would be correct because the very thing that allowed them to move forward and achieve, I suspect is also the very issue that held them back in the first place. 🙂  Get it…i think that is the key, facing the issue that is holding you back and discovering how to use it as a tool to overcome and succeed!  Ahhh ha…the light bulb comes on, the key is placed in your hand, you now have the ability to turn it in the lock and walk through the door to success.

           But a successful dream has a price, for each successful dream there is a cost…a sacrifice.  Nothing that is worth anything of real lasting  value comes without a personal sacrifice.  When we sacrifice to accomplish the things that mean the most to us…we are showing our dedication, our commitment to it, we are acknowledging how valuable the goal is by how much we sacrifice.  Is it scary?  You bet.  Does it work?  Sometimes…but it is important to note that you have to have 100% commitment to achieving your goal…no wishy washy half hearted attempt will get you where you want to be.   Is your sacrifice worth the price?  Only you know the answer to that.  Know what you are giving up to achieve your dream and understand the consequences; and, be ready to accept them as the cost…otherwise…you might achieve your dream and loose something equally important or more imporant, to you than the dream!!!!  Communicate with your loved ones and make sure that your goals are in alignment with your most important relationships…that you have their support!  How much more powerful will your accomplishments be, when those you cherish most are backing you up?

          So what have you sacrificed to achieve your dream?  Are you satisfied?  Did you trade up your sacrifice, for your dream…or, did you make an error in judgement; and, cost yourself your dream and your sacrifice?  It is important to have your priorities in place to have your dream, and be happy with the purchase price.   Tell us what have you sacrificed to achieve your dream!!!

          Did you know that accomplishing your dreams can have a huge impact on others?  Sometimes, achieving your dreams can help lift up others, who don’t even know you.  Think of Michael Phelps the Olympic swimmer who just won 8 Olympic gold medals…he has inspired many, to reach out and try for their goals and dreams.  Most of us don’t collect medals for our dreams; but still, we accomplish milestones which feel like a nice shiny medal to us!  What motivates a person to achieve their goals, hopes and their dreams?

           I know of a group of people who are stepping out on faith…they are sacrificing much, to do so…they are going to walk in scary places…they don’t know all of the risks…but still…their commitment to helping others achieve their dreams is going full throttle…they are called the Impact Boot Camp Action Team.  They are headed to Philadelphia this weekend to learn important skills and techniques that will enable some very special person or organization to achieve their dream of impacting others in a positive uplifting way.  Read all about it here:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/impact-action-team-makes-a-difference-in-the-world-through-boot-camp-training/  

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     Nine years is a relatively short amount of time to change lives, community, and environment.  Luckily, Franklin D. Roosevelt didn’t let that thought stop him when he created the Civilian Conservation Corps through his impactful New Deal which created over 59 agencies that worked to help America get out of the Depression Era.

      The Great Depression was a devastating period of time in America that impacted every facet of family life.  Food was in short supply, jobs were scarce, families were large and hope was wanning. 

       The year 1933 began to change that…the Depression had already dumped four years of hardship on families and the country.  Franklin D. Roosevelt became the President and promised the country a New Deal.  He created many agencies that would ultimately turn the country around…but those things took time. 

         When he created the Civilian Conservation Corps it was intended to take young men out of the city who were on the “help” line or what would today be called welfare.  The CCC did in fact help many young city men to leave the city life and got plenty of young men out of an environment of trouble.   When some of the young men/boys didn’t want to leave the city…boys from the country also went.  If the young men couldn’t work during this time, they were a drain on the family food supply; the CCC provided a solution to that by sending the young men to the camps…not only didn’t their families have to feed them…they could in turn, send home money helping to support their family at home. The requirements were such that the young men were supposed to be 18 years of age, collecting help or welfare benefits, and were willing to leave their families to go to the CCC camps.

         The work was hard.  The environment was sometimes empty lands that the “boys” had to clear and build their own shelters that would eventually become the camp barracks.  The discipline was tough because it had to be.  The camps often were blending boys from city life with boys from country life.  The times were tough…and many men and boys came without much clothing.  The camps provided uniforms to wear, food to eat, a place to stay, and a purpose for the young men and boys during a time when left to their own devices, many were prone to get into trouble.  The uniforms helped to instill pride in the work that they performed…for their families, their communities, and their country.

         The work that the CCC did was varied around the country…but, basically, they built roads, dams, installed telephone lines, paved roads, built state and national parks, built dams, constructed fire breaks to help control fire damage, planted forests and so much more.

          In return for the priviledge of being clothed in uniform and taking pride in the work that they were able to accomplish, the young men had to agree to the payment plan.  That payment included three meals a day, housing, clothing, and $30 dollars a month…the men were allowed to keep $5 dollars of that money and the rest was sent home to help their parents; or, if they were married with dependents, then they sent home the $25 to their spouse to help take care of their responsibilities.  Many of the young men had to not only leave their homes but some even had to go to camps out of their home states.

          This program, the CCC was wonderful at rebuilding a sense of pride in young men who did not want to take help from the government…it allowed them to feel as though they were once again restoring their families by the manual labor that they did.  At the same time, the CCC used the young men to construct projects that impacted the country in ways that; to this day, we are able to reap the rewards from.  The work ethic that the men exibited during this time was to set a standard for generations to learn from.  It was run with a military type environment…not quite a boot camp…but strong discipline and lots of physical labor.  Often, the men went on to join the armed forces and used the skills they learned through the CCC to help the military in other areas around the world. 

          Many of the parks and dams still exist and are enjoyed.  The CCC camps lasted 9 years; this year honored the celebration of its 75 anniversity.  The CCC put over 2.5 million young men and boys to work.  They planted over 200 million trees…my own grandfather was a part of that.  In the area where he worked…they planted pine trees that still stand to this day.  In the area where he worked…those trees were instrumental to helping to stop the progression of a 10 acre parcel of desert which turned into over 1000 acres before the trees were able to do their job.  That gave farming families a chance to regain their farm land which provided their families a place to live and plant their food supply.  

          All of the men who joined the CCC did work to be proud of.  They worked hard, they sacrificed time away from their families and they provided for other members of their families by doing so.  Many formed long lasting friendships with their co-workers and all had stories to tell when their time was done.   It is a legacy that should not be forgotten.  All of the work was important and should be honored. Many of the workers are gone now…some are living still and to them all…we owe a big thank you!   Do you know anyone who worked for the CCC?  How did it impact their life?  How does it affect the environment where you live today?  Should we organize something similar today to help our economy, our youth, and our country?  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/impact-action-team-makes-a-difference-in-the-world-through-boot-camp-training/

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        Have you ever known a couple that is going through a serious trial in their marriage?  What about when one partner wants a divorce and one does not?  Have you ever wondered how hard someone should fight for their marriage?

         I know someone who is going through the battle to save their marriage.  He says he didn’t know how to show love.  His marriage was jepardized because of it.  He grew up with a father that was only able to show his love by working hard for his family…he didn’t know how to express it in any other way.  His children grew up to repeat those patterns.

         Now another generation is struggling to find ways to communicate love and devotion…but it may be too late.  His wife is ready to move on.  And yet, he still hangs in there…sacrificing his own wants and needs to bend over backwards to give her control over what happens to their future.  Not knowing if she will stop the divorce before it happens…not knowing if she can even remember what drew them together in the first place.

            She admits that she wants Prince Charming.  When she wanted to work on the marriage…he didn’t realize the depth of the issues.  He was in denial.  She was tired of trying to fix things on her own.  Things never got fully resolved.

          The hurt goes deep.  The clock is ticking…the legal proceedings are moving along.  Can it be saved in time before the divorce takes place…maybe, but they both have to want it.  They both have to find news ways of communicating with each other without falling into old patterns of behavior.  No one is blameless in this…we all are products of our previous relationships in family and romance.  Is it possible to move on and be happy if you can’t resolve the problems from your present relationships?  I hope healing can take place.

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