January 28, 2011 on 2:48 am | In Uncategorized | 21 Comments

I was painting a house the other day and as I was working I was talking with the homeowner about his hometown and where he grew up. As the discussion moved on he made a comment that made me think he was talking about where he went to college. I asked him what college he attended and he informed me that he was a proud graduate of the School of Hard Knocks.

Being as I too am an alumnus of this fine institution we went on to discuss our respective majors. Larry, my customer, told me about some of the trials and tribulations that he endured. His field of endeavor was different than mine but it is amazing how we both went through similar experiences.

One thing that Larry told me that I found very interesting was how the School of Hard Knocks was more difficult than graduating from a university. Certainly I asked him how that is. He said that at the School of Hard Knocks you take the test first and learn the lesson later.

At first I laughed about this but as I thought about it I came to realize how deep of a thought this was. I went out to my truck and wrote this thought down before I forgot it. When I went back in the house I told Larry what I thought about this and asked if he minded me putting this up on my website. Of course I told him that I would give him credit. It is his thought but it is my belief.

I do get a little tired of people that have college degrees that look down upon those that did not graduate from college. I am very fond of knowledge and intelligence so I look for it every place. I try to never waste an opportunity to learn. Even I am amazed at some of the places I found new things to learn.

What can be even more amazing is some of the people that I have found that are very intelligent. I have met people that never paid attention in school and do not know about history or science and their English is poor and their math skills are lacking but I was astonished by some of the things they actually know. I guess not everyone is destined to be an intellectual but sometimes it doesn’t seem fair. There are educated people with great jobs but they are actually dumber than a box of rocks while other people go through life in poverty and they are looked down on by society when they could have been…

MLK Day.

January 17, 2011 on 4:09 pm | In Uncategorized | 23 Comments

Today is a day that America remembers Martin Luther King Jr.. There are people that think of Mr. King as great man and a great American. Others think of Mr. King and his movement as the downfall of America. I am not old enough to know anything first hand so all I know is what I have read.

To me it really does not matter if Mr. King was a great man or not. I would imagine like all people he had his good qualities and bad. What he did for this country was important enough to make Mr. King a great American, in my opinion. Nothing bad that anyone can say will ever change that.

Mr. King had a dream. Back then perhaps nightmare would have been more accurate. It was a nightmare for racists because they knew the day of segregation was coming to an end. It was a nightmare for Mr. King’s movement because of the pain and death that they endured.

I am not sure what causes a person to hate and I cannot fathom how the color of a person’s skin can be enough to cause someone to hate. What I do know is my own experiences and how I felt when I was young as opposed to how I feel today. As a child I had very little interaction with anyone that was not white. I neither liked nor disliked people that were different from me, I had no opinion at all. As I grew older I heard the jokes and learned prejudices. I still had no real experience with anyone outside my own race.

I soon grew up and began to travel out beyond my hometown. I began interact with different people with different backgrounds. Some of these people reminded me of the stereotypes I had learned as a child and some people showed me that I still had a lot to learn.

What I have learned is that it is better if I allow myself to get to know someone and decide if I want to be friends with this person or not. Like or dislike has nothing to do with it. I accept people for who they are and I no longer judge them but there are people that I choose to not be friends with. I think that is what Mr. King’s dream was about. Perhaps one day his dream will become our reality.

Today is National Freedom of Religion Day.

January 17, 2011 on 2:20 am | In Uncategorized | 17 Comments

Today is a day that we all need to step back and take a good long look at what we are doing. Every person I know thinks that they have the right to believe what they want and worship who they want, how they want. Unfortunately there are too many people that forget that the rest of us have the same rights and they mean just as much to us as theirs do to them.

I have my beliefs and I will exercise my right to keep my beliefs as I will fight for other people to maintain their beliefs. I include the people that have beliefs that I find to be ridiculous. I really do not care what a person believes. If it gives them comfort, more power to them. There is one thing I ask and one thing I wish for. I ask that no one uses their beliefs to harm another person in any way. I wish that everyone would just take a little time ti actually think about the religion they have chosen. Examine the religion and examine your life. Then compare the two and ask yourself if you should change your life or modify your beliefs.

If your religion and your lifestyle are at odds then there is a problem. I work very hard to find the hypocrisy in my life and change it. This can be a difficult task but it is important to me. If more people would look for and change the hypocrisy in their lives I can guarantee life would be better for everyone.

I understand a person’s choice of living their life by a set of morals and standards. I respect those that desire to be “good”. I am not very fond of those that attempt to force others to live by the same morals and standards. A person that chooses not to gamble or drink or chase fast women has the right to live that way, boring as it might be. If they would like to go around the country espousing the virtues of being virtuous, that is fine by me. However, those that feel that they must lobby their elected leaders to enact laws forbidding “immoral” behavior upset me.

Live and let live, I think everyone has heard these words. Please remember that the freedoms we all ask for ourselves must also be granted to others. This includes the people that believe in things that are in direct contrast of our own beliefs.

Of course, as always, The Universal Church of Freedom, Acceptance and Love only approves of behavior that does no tangible harm to those not participating in the activities. `

How can this happen?

January 10, 2011 on 1:45 am | In Uncategorized | 17 Comments

By now I am sure everyone has heard about the Congresswoman that was shot and the Judge that was killed with several other people in Tucson Arizona. Of course we all need to think of the victims and the families at a time like this and let them know how much we care.

We also need to take a good look at what happened and ask ourselves how could something like this take place on a busy American street? Guns are an important part of Americana and I would not suggest that we should use this as an excuse to start banning them. Tighter controls and gun laws that make sense would be a step in the right direction. Now before anyone says that we have a Constitutional right to own guns I would say very firmly that no we do not. Show me one place where The Constitution states we have the right to own guns, it does not. It does say that we have the right to bear arms with no mention of what arms or how many.

There are some weapons that we just do not need. I do not know enough about guns to be the one that determines what should or should not be legal but I am smart enough to know that we do not need 30 round clips for weapons. Large clips like these are what makes single gunmen so lethal and they are not necessary for personal protection.

The second part of this equation is the violent rhetoric that the political right uses in this country to motivate their voters. Unfortunately their are people that misinterpret this and take the message literally. No one can possibly know who will snap and kill but if the politicians and pundits cannot be responsible in their speech then they have blood on their hands.

Once again everything boils down to rights and responsibilities. We all have the right to arm ourselves and we all have the right to say what we want. These are two of our most sacred rights and as such we must not act carelessly in exercising these rights. When even one person abuses these rights we all risk losing them.

Now that it is over…

January 3, 2011 on 2:03 am | In Uncategorized | 28 Comments

can we get back to normal life. December is such a pain in the neck for me that I am always happy when January finally arrives. The New Year always gives us hope for a better future. Other than my father passing away 2010 was a pretty good year for me.

I have never been into New Years Resolutions. Maybe I should. Setting goals to better my life seems like a noble effort. Then again setting the goals really is not the problem. Coming up with a plan to achieve those goals is the difficult part. I once heard, former NFL head coach, Herm Edwards say, “A goal without a plan is a wish”.

Years ago I tried my hand at selling cemetery property and some of the older sales people taught me about goal setting and how important it is for success. I am just not the type of person that can plan out my life. I guess I like surprises. Maybe I am afraid of success.

I am going to make an effort to be a nicer person. Through the years I have made some improvement on this but I know I can do better, so I will try. I often get upset with people that do not respect others and I sometimes react in ways that make me worse than the person that made me mad. I do not believe ignoring the other person is the right reaction but I will use a little more decorum in dealing with them.

I hope that everyone will have a safe and prosperous new year. For those making resolutions go ahead and write down a plan for achieving those goals. As for me, I’ll just go on being surprised.

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