The Able-Disabled Enabled

The news is full of the frightening increase in the numbers of people in the United States claiming disability. The increases are really staggering. There has been no physical disaster or national happening to create these vast numbers of disabled. The crisis has to be a cultural epidemic. Millions have declared themselves disabled. It is inconceivable that the large numbers collecting disability checks are truly disabled physically.

How then can we possibly explain why so many would be willing to enter the realm of disability entitlement? Why have we been so willing to accept such a diagnosis in our nation? Each one of us needs to ask what s(he) can do to help combat the culture of entitled disabilities. The culture of entitlement keeps spawning new species of “free stuff.” Part of the political correctness of our day is to make people feel comfortable about accepting things they haven’t earned. Part of the lie is that they are entitled to take from those who are the most successful. These attitudes suck the blood of energy, drive, hard work, and desire for excellence and replace it with an anemia of lethargy, lack of desire, and pride in not having to work. The joy of achievement, the love of earning and learning, the respect for the rights of others have been replaced with a smugness of gaming the system and anger when the system does not provide enough to feed the greed of unearned entitlement.

I have watched people strive to receive disability payments. For those who have real disabilities, there should not be the battle that  sometimes occurs. For those who are feigning disability, I have a feeling of profound sadness, because they are throwing away so much of what they have been given by their Creator and as citizens of this great nation–freedom to become all that they could be . They have to change their thoughts of accomplishment and wellness to thoughts of being disabled, to thoughts of inability to achieve. Soon their thoughts of gratefulness for being able to work, their thoughts of joy of accomplishment, must change to thoughts of I can’t do this.

As a counselor and a teacher, I have had students try to convince me that they were unable to do the work, or they were just not given the tools that would allow them to achieve. They would be happy to pick up the scraps on the beach and never even look to the horizon of opportunity. I never accepted their feigned disability; I have always felt I could serve them best by making certain that they could experience success. Expecting them to work, to achieve, to feel competent were necessary from me. I could not join their pity march to nowhere.

It is not rocket science; it is the brain. It has been said in many places in many ways that we are not what we think we are; what we think, we are.It is so true. Seeing is not believing as many would have us believe. Believing is seeing. What we believe is what we see.

This is the way of the mind. What  we think, we become. Whether it’s Biblical, philosophical, our mother and father or our coach–all tenets and instructions are to think on good things. All would want us to be healthy, productive, self-reliant, and happy. All would want us to think wellness rather than to think about ways we can get disability.

To know the science of the brain, the way of the thought processes of the brain, and the plasticity of the brain, is to know that if you think enough about how you can become disabled, you will win that battle. All the neurons in the brain that were occupied with positive thoughts of wellness can quite easily be occupied with different thoughts–thoughts of disability.

We must do everything we can to discourage phony disability. It is a total disservice to a human being, a child of God. No one can ever convince me that we have the number of disabled people in this nation who are currently collecting disability. If our government really cared, it would not battle with those who are really disabled by war, accident, or circumstances; it would do everything that it could to help those who are not truly disabled to reject their thinking road to disability. The job of government should be to help people live independent, free, and productive lives.

When the politicians and  our government have secured another entitlement vote by creating an able-disabled person making him/her believe that it is an available entitlement, they truly are robbers of the worst sort. They have taken the freedom that our Creator has given us to become all that we can be and substituted a government check and dependency.

It is evil for those who are free to gain political advantage or philosophical control of others by leading them down the primrose path of “free stuff” to a life of dependency and one that lacks the sparkle of the diamonds of self-respect, self-reliance, independence and freedom.

Every citizen should help those who are truly disabled, and enable the able- disabled to send their checks back to their government with the proud announcement: NO THANK YOU; I WANT TO BE FREE.

 

 

Boston–Why on Patriots’ Day?

So many are asking the question, “Why?” Why did the brothers choose Patriots’ Day in Boston to carry out their acts of terror? What is there about the entire picture that made it a terrorist battleground? And as I watched the horror unfold and continue, battleground is a just name. Terror was at war with liberty and freedom a week ago in Boston. The battlefield was carefully chosen by the terrorists to create maximum terror and notoriety of terror in order to precipitate the greatest fear, horror, use of resources to protect against it, to promote restriction of freedom and liberty, and to destroy economic freedom and vitality. All help to destroy our way of life.

Boston on the third Monday of April is a soft and important target to “hit” for maximum  effect/results. There are miles and miles of free access to crowds of people. The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest marathon. It draws contestants from every corner of the globe. This year over 26,000 contestants registered. As many as 38,00 have entered for one race. The streets are lined with 500,000 joyous people. This is a significant global event each year in the Boston area and in the Boston psyche.

This event commemorates the anniversary of the beginning of the Revolutionary War, the battles at Lexington and Concord. Bostonians celebrate the spirit of independence and courage of the famous Boston Tea Party. Boston is wrapped in the garments of freedom and liberty. Winthrop, the first governor of Massachusetts, in a famous sermon, “A Model of Christian Charity,” called Boston “A City upon a Hill.”

Yes, the terrorists may have studied more about their target than many of the children of Boston learn about their great city in their history lessons. They knew that the world would be watching at close range through the eyes of all the participants from around the world; they knew that the civilized folk around the world would be horrified and frightened by the scenes in Boston. Near and far, people would ask, “How can any human being casually enter the range of cameras and scenes of exhilaration and joy of the day and casually place his backpack with a bomb inside near a child, his mother and his sister,  hoping for the greatest devastation possible. The child is dead, the sister has lost a leg, and the mother has sustained horrible injuries.

We could speculate and look for reasons in psychological or social terms for behavior that is beyond our comprehension. It cannot be found in psychological jargon or new illnesses or in social isolation or a variety of niceties that might help us excuse behavior that causes such horror and such civic restriction as Boston experienced. Political correctness or excuses will never explain the behavior of terrorists.

People who are trained and indoctrinated to feel justified to kill and terrorize those who do not believe as they do, must be called by their correct name–they are terrorists, in this case, Muslim extremists. How can it be otherwise when they are trained to blend into our society, do what we do, go to school, be well-liked, be adjudged a normal teen-ager, grow up enjoying our freedoms and never indicate the nefarious activity going on, or give any inkling of any Jekyll and Hyde brain. A totally compartmentalized thinking structure of normal behavior that would not cause any orange flags in one compartment, and the other compartment filled with hate and duty to do the dastardly acts carried out in Boston. The training was so effective and complete that the terrorists could pursue “normal” activity after their slaughter and maiming. They could walk the campus, go to the gym, and look for new targets  to use the remaining bombs and weaponry to cause more mayhem and destruction. The terrorists were programmed to kill and terrorize.

We mourn for those who died and we pray for those who are still suffering .

When Bostonians returned to the streets after the lock-down, it was with flags and shouts for freedom and liberty, and the USA. The Red Sox fans and the players filled the entire stadium with the Star Spangled Banner sung in unison and with the gusto of defiance and pride. Yes, the terrorists will continue to look for the soft targets; but their defeat will be in the greatness and strength of the hard targets: the spirit that made Boston the city of Patriots’ Day, and the Founders who were willing to die for the freedom that was born in places like Boston and now thrives in many Cities on many Hills.

The spirit of liberty and freedom travels where bombs cannot reach.

The Iris and the Hawk–Lessons of Faith

My walk to the end of the driveway always is amazing. The lessons abound with every step. Today the mysteries of faith popped out at me. Or perhaps they aren’t so mysterious. Perhaps they are so simple we just don’t bother with them.

As I looked across the valley, the foggy sky obscured the twin peaks and the hills they occupy. My first lesson on faith. Even though I could not see them, I knew that they were there. I knew that the houses on the hills that I see on those hills every clear morning were still there. I had faith.

I looked for the iris blossom that was partially open yesterday. I knew that it would be open more today. That’s what flowers do unless eaten by bugs or otherwise destroyed. They are on a mission to grow and become what they were meant to be. I knew there wouldn’t be a daffodil or a rose on an iris plant. I have faith in that process. Sure enough. When I came to the plant in question, it had two fully opened blooms. The path of the iris is a model of faith expressed.

There was another lesson on the way. About halfway down the driveway was a fully-opened iris blossom even bigger than those I had so diligently been watching. There it stood–a single gorgeous, large blossom that reminded me of the great diversity of growth and development within one species. Such an obvious encounter should help me understand the human conditions surrounding the everlasting premise that the Creator is the ultimate purveyor of faith in the created–whether iris or person.

As I sat to ponder the lessons of faith I had experienced on my walk to the end of the driveway, I was treated to a special scene. I have watched the red-tailed hawks swoop to the earth to catch their prey with deadly accuracy. I have watched them soar to heights against a clear blue sky or duck behind a low-hanging cloud. When they just glide across the sky they are especially fascinating and beautiful. Just a little tip of a wing or the tail and the change of direction or altitude is accomplished. Amazing birds, these red-tailed hawks.

But about the treat. As I was piecing together my lesson on faith from the walk, a red-tailed hawk flew into the tall palm nearest me. Wow!! Of course. It had to have a home somewhere. Now I felt I had a different relationship with one hawk. I knew where it lived. As I sat with a big smile on my face and gratitude for the special moment, the hawk flew away and pursued its diving and soaring and doing what hawks do. It too, was being fully faithful to its place in the universal patterns of being a red-tailed hawk.

As I continued my walk, I knew that what the fog obscured in the west, or east, or south would be there when it cleared. Surely I can have as much faith as the bird that sings before the dawn breaks because it knows that the dawn is coming. By the time I continued around the house and back to the end of the driveway, I could see the outlines of the twin peaks. In just another few minutes, the hills and the peaks were clearly visible, outlined by he fleecy white clouds and the blue sky behind them.

Thank you nature. And special thanks to the iris and the red-tailed hawk. Surely I can take the timelessness of their lessons and be grateful that they are present to teach me. Yes, I will use the talents that I have been given to me to make a difference, to serve and grow. Almost 92 years of living should be a good place for new beginnings. New measures of faith should grow well in a soil of gratitude, love, curiosity, and joy.

Grandma Tucker

Each Day a Gift

Many things have been written and said about the gift of a day and how we  live that gift. What if it were the last, some ask? Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow… What if you had a week, a month, a year to live? How would you use the gift(s)? And on. No one knows the day or the hour; we only know it is always in the future until the last breath, or the heart beats for the last time. All of this is a part of the great freedom we have been given at our birth to be all that we were created to be. That is the gift. Freedom to choose what we do in the minutes, hours, days, and months in our life bank.

This day is the gift. Certainly the days after Easter are good days to think again of new life. The great gift of the resurrection should only remind us to look at the opportunities around us to begin anew, to think positively, and to live each day with the gratitude, zeal and service it deserves.

As I walk to the end of the driveway, I encounter the effort of the iris blossoms now opening a little more each moment. It is as if they are trying so hard to open before my eyes. They push against the enfolding petals to open to the glorious color they are intended to be. What a lesson for me. Each moment requires my best effort to know that I was created no less than the iris to push against the things that would keep me from all that I can be, from enfolding to the beauty intended.

Some daffodils and narcissus are trying to stay just a little longer; then they will center their attention on increasing the size of their dormant stage, the bulb, only to be twice as big for next spring. They will not forget. Nor will I. As I walk to the end of the driveway next spring, I will look for them, and I will smile back at the first daffodil that opens its smiling face for me.

As I continue my walk, I stop to see the giant patch of nasturtiums extending their vines to claim more territory for more gorgeous orange and yellow blossoms.

Around the corner, the orange trees are loaded with beautiful white blossoms;  the air is fragrant with their perfume. It is such an elegant fragrance. Some blossoms have already dropped to the driveway. One could be sad, but the departure of the blossoms heralds the presence of little green bumps where the blossoms were. These little bumps will soon grow to be the elegant oranges against their beautiful green dense foliage. Orange trees with blossoms or oranges are equally beautiful. They will become what they were created to be unless things that hinder their development interfere–bugs, disease, a trimming shears, or an entity has decided otherwise.

As I proceed to the south side of the house, I enter rose territory. The foliage is so red it is hard to see red rose buds competing with the dark foliage. Those first rose buds seem so perfect; they are spirited in their message: see I am being all I was intended to be. And I know when I walk by the many different rose bushes, each will be its destined self. Yellows will be yellow, pinks will be pink, whites will be white, and so on. Do I not owe my Creator as much effort to become all that I can be?

The next discovery is a little hummingbird nest resting on the edge of the driveway. Shall I be sad with the thought that some unfriendly neighbor in the air harmed the inhabitants and knocked the nest down? Or perhaps the little former inhabitants have finished with it and the wind blew it down. One thing I know: the tiny little high-speed-flight machines will be true to their destiny; the little marvels will be tasting the nectar in my flowers with their specially designed long beaks.

My daily walks take me out to the end of the driveway the second time as I finish the trek. As I sit at the end of the driveway for a moment, I note that the sky is absolutely clear and blue. It’s like a message to say that nothing can obscure the gift of the day. What you see around you, it says, is confirmation that each day should hold its special efforts, desire, and commitment to be all you were created to be. It must be my covenant with each day. How fortunate I am to be born in my beloved country, the shining city  on the hill. How fortunate I am that I was taught early to be self-reliant, diligent, independent in thought and deed by a mother and a father that modeled hard-work, ethical behavior, pride, and cleanliness. Respect, dignity, honesty, and integrity were lived. Money was not the object of goals, nor was it ever an excuse for not achieving goals. The American Dream was open to become my dream because America was created to assure the freedom to dream my own dreams.

Freedom!!! That’s the gift for each of us for each day. We must cherish it, protect it, fight for it, live it, and never allow anyone to distort the two freedoms that come to us each day–the freedom from our Creator to become all we were created to be, and the freedom assured us by our Founders in our founding documents.

The Fraud of “Free Stuff” from Government

The real fraud in the “free stuff” is what its acceptance steals from the individual.  When  people are tricked into believing that living the cultural life of “free stuff” is normal, so much has been taken from the will of the individuals to be all that they can be. When mom or dad accepts the cultural pattern of their right to have a share of what they didn’t earn, the entire family has its model. And it become the norm for the person when what they see is a culture that exists on what it does not earn. The way of life becomes a norm that is devoid of the promise of this great nation. Our founders didn’t promise us a rose garden, but they most certainly did not expect us to live in the briar-patch of dependency.

We are created with such potential to experience the joy of achievement, the exuberance of learning, the exhilaration of growth, and the total fascination with the endless potential in the human heart and soul. x

People who “help you” by giving you what they think you need, aren’t serving you. There are always strings attached. The folks with the strings are great puppeteers. They make certain that they control the strings. You always owe them–one way or the other. It’s much like the company store; the debt never really ends. There’s always more opportunity for you to add to the bill of dependency. InAmerica, the ultimate puppet string they pull is your vote.

The human spirit is not meant to be a slave to dependency. It is not given to each of us to be squandered in doubt and discouragement. Life is not given to be used up in idleness, lack of achievement, personal dependency, and little or no desire to change the scene. This life of dependency is one of contagious entitlement, a search for more “free stuff.’ To make the control of your life complete, the puppeteers convince you that these things they give you in which you have not invested one bit of energy, thought, or time, are your right.

Yes, when it become your right, you walk the streets and carry the signs. You feel you have a right to what others have earned without lifting a finger.  It is you who loses. You are the recipient of the fraud. It is your God-given right to be all that you were created to be that is lost. It is your freedoms under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights guaranteed you with the blood of your ancestors that you have willingly given up.

You may even have a sense of pride when you “game the system.” The fraud is so deep that your conscience doesn’t plead with you to stop. Your brain has  been so washed with the corrosive acid of “free stuff” that it neutralizes itself with just looking around and seeing the other thousands who have lost their American way that the idea is self-perpetuating.  “If they can do it, I might as well get mine.”

Our country was founded to secure  religious freedom. Out of that great passion came the zeal for the kind of government and the freedoms necessary to secure and preserve the rights of the individual for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Remember that when you are in need, those who serve you and expect nothing in return are your friends. Those who expect your allegiance in return are your fraudulent enemies.