Giving Thanks After Thanksgiving

An attitude of gratitude often seems to be seasonal. Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, and some other happenings are thanks giving days. In between, we often live a life of entitlement; good things happen and we forget to be thankful. Not so good things happen, and we complain and forget completely what we have to be thankful for.

 We just take things for granted.

I have talked about taking my gratitude walk to the end of the driveway as a reminder to be grateful. It helps, but it is not nearly enough. Having an attitude of gratitude every moment of every day is the real goal. When I maintain that attitude, my day is filled with accomplishment; everything and every moment has meaning and worth.

The morning shower feels more soothing to body and soul. The aroma of the freshly ground and brewed coffee is more inviting.  With an attitude of gratitude, I notice what is in my refrigerator and remember when I was young and didn’t have a refrigerator. I am thankful for the food that I have, not what I don’t have. The rainbows on my living room ceiling are more vivid and beautiful when I am grateful for the promise they bring. When I venture outside for the first time of the day, the sky is more beautiful as the blue of the California sky becomes the magnificent palette for the wispy clouds floating overhead. The breeze is more gentle in the palms, the songs of the birds are a symphony, the blossoms on my elephant foot palms are new to me and very interesting. The jade bushes are in full bloom and striking as they declare their ability to bloom in the winter. The air is fresh after the recent rain.

Oh, my goodness!!!  And to think that I would miss all of these wonderful blessings and gifts if I took them all for granted, if I were not grateful  for my incredible fortune, each day a gift from my Creator.

An attitude of gratitude pays huge dividends. I highly recommend it as a great investment.





Mr. President, Your “Hope and Change” Are On the Way

Listening to the President this morning in Athens, Greece, was like inhabiting a parallel universe. He just doesn’t get it. Humility at this point would be in order. Or perhaps an honest evaluation and simple statement about what just happened in our election would be helpful. Instead we had another chapter in the blame game. “My ideas were the right ones,” stated the President, ” but the Republicans wouldn’t cooperate.”

Mr. President, you reminded us many times that you were not on the ballot, but your policies were. You even told us your legacy was at stake. You campaigned vigorously and with great passion told us you would be disappointed if we didn’t vote for Hillary; it would be a personal insult to you. I don’t think the “deplorables” meant to insult you when they didn’t listen to you on election day; I think they wanted to instruct you. I think the women, blacks, Hispanics, and others you though you had wrapped around your little finger with your soaring rhetoric were doing  the same thing. They wanted a change; they were trying to instruct you about your policies, Presidential edicts, regulations, and “help” you insisted was right for them.

Mr. President, I think your “hope and change” are on the way.


































































































































































“Who Could Even Dream of “Sanctuary Colleges”

We’re a nation of immigrants.  We all came from somewhere else. Why don’t people understand that our strength is our diversity. All the immigrants in our country are a net asset. And on the protesters who want to make colleges sanctuaries for students who are here illegally. These students seem to be taking a lesson from those who are proponents of sanctuary cities. But back to the colleges. These student protesters go much beyond safe sanctuary.

They want the students to have free tuition, free housing, free books–in other words a “full ride.” In the meantime, middle class families are struggling to pay the bills for their kids. They are mortgaging their homes, going  without vacations, and finding that the college funds they contributed to every month since their kids were born are woefully underfunded. They were quite sufficient when they started, but the cost of college has risen far beyond ordinary inflation. Not only have the parents struggled; the students took all the AP classes to earn a high grade point average. They were leaders and volunteers, hoping that the college admissions officers would notice their contributions inside and outside of their high school classrooms. They played sports, sang in the choir, played in the band, worked on the yearbook, and even tutored other kids.

They and their families did all the right and legal things over the years to be able to choose their dream college. The students may even have to take a year off to finish because the funds available are just not enough to meet the rising costs.

How about the protesters giving the sanctuary, safe-place, uninformed, self-indulgent kids giving up their spot in the university plus their scholarships, loans, and funds to one for whom they are protesting? 

So much of what is going on today on our college and university campuses is very sad. I spent a lot of my career on these college and university campuses. I’ve lived through student strikes; I held my classes because if students have the right to strike, they also have the right to attend classes. It’s the other side of the coin that I always tried to maintain in my discussions and in my behavior with students about difficult and controversial issue.

Their is no other side of the coin for these protesters who want to make our colleges and universities sanctuary safe-havens. Where are those professors and administrators who are willing to show our young that a coin has two sides?

The Other Half Spoke–Rights, Responsibilities and the Republic

What had happened to the three R’s–RIGHTS, RESPONSIBILITIES in a REPUBLIC?

Understanding about them appears to be something lacking in many of our people. As I watch the protests/riots on my television screen in the places that I spent many of my years, the college and university campuses, I am so sad. These young people seem to have little knowledge of the gift they were given when they were born in a republic, nor do they appear to have any sense of what a republic is. Because I spent so much of my career in that environment, I do understand the ever-growing change from true educational institutions where our young are able to explore their world and all sides of a question or idea, to political and cultural indoctrination factories.

Why have students been taught that their view of the world of self-indulgence is the only one? Why do they feel they have a right to infringe on the rights of others who don’t hold their views? Why have so many such disdain for their flag, and why do they believe that patriotism is for the uneducated? Why do they believe that their country is racist in spite of a black president serving two terms? Why are they allowed to think that it is OK to skip class, not take a test because they don’t like the results of an election? Why????

Because the transformation of America and the destruction of our republic could not be completed or maintained without owning our young. It is the young that become the next generation of believers. There are few colleges and universities left that truly deserve the name of fair and open learning institutions, safe for our young people’s creative, growing, inquisitive, formative minds. Fortunately, we find some strong, vibrant, young historians who honestly know the documents of their America, and whose souls are not for sale.

We have created our own political landscapes. Our colleges are no longer those wonderful places of debate, differing opinions, honest intellectual discussion of all sides of an issue or idea, or true dialogue. The riots that we see on our campuses and in our cities, and the unrelenting negative responses by citizens and the press, are the results of the monolithic, elitist, universal, non-debatable view of the world and the way half of our people would like to see our republic become.

The other half spoke, folks. Try listening to them. So students, get back to your classes, dry up your tears, and demand the freedom to think.  

Why Vote? Because YOU are ONE and You Matter

A nice hot shower in the morning helps some of my 95 year old aches and a few joints that seem to want to continue to rest or move slowly. But the few exercises before getting out of bed, and the hot shower helped to convince them to get going. If only a hot shower could cure all the aches and terrible pain in my beloved nation. But I fear it is in great need of serious infusions of ethics, morality, integrity, honesty, courage, and responsibility. And mix the blood with some truth serum. Our nation has been sucked dry of our heritage. The question then is why will I vote if things are so bad?  Because I am ONE, and ONE matters. I matter, not only on election day, but every day.

So for me today, it is all systems go. I start to think of all the things that I will be able to do today despite my 95 year old aches. What to do first. Well, reaching the end of my hallway from my bedroom,  I’m greeted by all the rainbows on my ceiling in my living and dining room, reflections from the crystal cross and snowflakes in my east window. They caused me to stop dead in my tracks, shift gears, guide my walker into the living room, sit down under the canopy of rainbows, and look up and smile. They always make me smile, and the shape of that smile will last for the day, even when I sit down for lunch, turn on the TV and find that my Capitol is in a state of convulsive and repulsive seizures.

Unfortunately, the alligators in the swamp in Washington, D.C. have found swamps outside of Washington to be inviting, also. But fortunately, in my star-spangled land, my nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all, there are millions of people just like me, looking up to see rainbows on their ceilings. They see the promise of tomorrow for our great nation. So look for the rainbows on your ceiling and vote on election day and matter, every day.

 May our nation again have the Divine Guidance that we had at our birth.