We Watched In Horror and now Wait in Terror

This past Wednesday, we watched in horror as an army of thugs overran our nation’s Capital. Encouraged by Donald Trump, the mob marched to invade our cathedral of government, which was ratifying the Electoral College vote.
Four days later, new questions have surfaced about why there was not sufficient security to prevent this unprecedented attack. Who knew what? Who were the people in this angry mob? Yes, some genuinely believe what Trump has been telling them for the last four years, that the Democrats stole the election despite the lack of evidence. Today some speculate that there were some law enforcement officers as part of the riotous crowd. Investigations are beginning.

What are we learning about our way of life? Our government and the way we do business? Are we witnessing Sedition?

Where are the Statesmen and Women who will represent the people without obstruction, self-serving headline-grabbing tactics? The Hawley’s, Cruz’s, and Marshalls are complicit and need to resign or step back and serve their constituents with honor rather than false narratives. They only care about themselves and will grasp any straw they think will promote their political future.

I pray that our nation will survive the next ten days without further disruption. I pray for a safe and peaceful Inauguration of the new administration.

…that’s 30. May God Bless our nation.

A country divided?

Division

I have been trying to understand the events of last week and find my words to express the hurt, concern and utter discust I feel. Until I can figure out my own feelings, I offer the wisdom of Pat Bell. (Full disclosure, he’s my brother-in-law and someone I hold in great esteem.)

IN My Opinion

Are Americans actually so stupid and naïve? Can’t we see why we’re so divided and angry in this country? And how this division is destroying us?

“Divide and conquer” may be the most effective military strategy. And it works in defeating cultures and societies as well.

Think about it. Those who encourage division do so with rhetoric that places blame on others for all problems. They demonize all who have differing opinions in order to achieve their own objectives. They are politicians trying to remain in power. They are media (on both sides) whose goal of larger audiences (and advertising revenue) is furthered by more and more and vitriolic and divisive language. (True journalism may indeed be dead.) And there are the true enemies of our country (both domestic and foreign) who would be delighted at our collapse.

All of these people/entities encourage and plant the seeds of division, distrust, exclusion, and anger. But in the end, it’s another group that ensures the growth of these things. We can see them every morning when we look in the mirror.

We, as Americans, have taken the bait of division….and run with it. We have embraced the idea of contempt and confrontation and blame. And we are as guilty as any of spreading division with disrespectful conversation and social media posts.

We have done this to ourselves.

Can we not show even the slightest acknowledgement of the merit of a different opinion by listening? Can we not at least try to understand that opinion without an emotional outburst? Can we not try to express our own views without blame and offensive words?

Can we defeat the division that could destroy us? Entirely? No. We will always be somewhat divided by political beliefs, religious beliefs, ethnic or racial or a host of other differences. But we have, mostly, been able to appreciate (and even celebrate some differences on occasion) respectively for the greater benefit of all.  We’re far from being the perfect nation. We have certainly shown our weaknesses and sins in the past. And yet, on whole, we Americans strive to be a better society.

Our elected leaders pledge to defend us….from all threats. Division is a serious threat. They must unite us to begin the process of defeating division. But it’s not just the responsibility of politicians. It’s our job too. We have to be smarter…to survive.



Let’s think about what we can do as individuals…that’s 30

“Just find me 11,780 votes”

I find it unbelievable that the President of the United States would try to con the Georgia Secretary of State into changing the vote count of the general election. I listened to the recording obtained by NBC News.

Trump’s insistence that he won the election and that the people of Georgia and the entire country were mad at the Secretary of State’s reluctance to change the vote. What I heard ranged from veiled threats to a good ole boy, wink-wink, con job.


If, and that is a Big if, Trump or anyone else had evidence of voter fraud, errors, or “skulldugery,” I believe those in Georgia’s government would gladly consider the evidence. However, they are on the record that there was no wrongdoing, and the results are accurate.

After listening to the call, I can’t help but wonder what else he will attempt between now and January 20th? I also worry about how this will impact his base and what they might do. Hopefully, this madness will soon end, and we can recover the soul of America.

…that’s 30, for today.

Goodbye 2020

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

As we close out this year, let’s remember the 341,000 Americans that died this year due to Covid-19. To the family’s friends and co-workers who did not get a chance to say goodbye.
Goodbye to the divisive atmosphere we have endured. Goodbye to the false information, some have taken as fact.

Hello to the opportunity for all of us to turn the page and start anew. Caring for each other, especially those who are lonely, hungry, cold, and suffering. Love thy neighbor. Because the calendar year changes tomorrow, many of our challenges will still be there. How we handle them could make a huge difference. It’s up to you and me.

Many make New Year Resolutions. Health clubs love this time of year, but how long does it last? We have new leadership waiting to address the problems of 2020. I, for one, am hopeful they will live up to their campaign promises and focus on rebuilding the American culture and image to what we have known in the past.

“The beginning is the most important part of the work.” –Plato

…that’s 30 for this year.

Healing relationships.

I recently read an interesting article by Ambassador Allan Katz, CEO of American Public Square. He wrote the following:

So, I want to propose an idea to every person reading this column: If you voted for President Donald Trump, find someone who voted for President-elect Joe Biden. If you voted for Biden, find someone who voted for Trump. Engage them in a real conversation to understand why they did what they did. Don’t judge them because of their choice. Understand that they did what they did for reasons that they thought were right for the nation, as well as for themselves. Begin to listen to what they are saying; seek to understand their perspective. You need neither change your mind nor try to change theirs — that isn’t the point. Try to build a trusting relationship. It isn’t easy, but it can happen. I have successfully tried this myself, so I speak from experience.

Amb. Allan Katz

Now that the election is over, I suspect many of us know someone who did not have the same beliefs about who should be elected. It could be a relative, and the holidays may well present an opportunity for some relationship healing. Listening and understanding another’s opinions does not come naturally for me, so I’m asking my family and friends to call me on this if they feel I’m not listening.

Understanding others is one of the reasons I started this blog; let the discourse begin.

…that’s 30, if your are listening.

Do you understand Anti-Maskers?

As this pandemic drags on and local governments try to deal with the spread, they also must deal with those who feel their rights are violated with mask orders.  These same people wear their seatbelts, most wear helmets when cycling, and to avoid being arrested for public nudity, they wear clothing.

On several occasions, I’ve seen people in stores without masks; I want to say something, but I know it will most likely cause a problem.  Don’t these people care about others?  I sure don’t think so.   I think most of us are doing our best to wear masks, sanitize our hands, and keep a safe distance.  Yes, it is not how we have lived most of our lives, and let’s hope it is not how we will live the rest of our lives.

   

I realize this blog post will not change the minds of those who feel so strongly about wearing a mask. I wonder if they are also going to refuse the vaccine when it is available? As someone who lives with COPD, I am in the vulnerable group and appreciate those who are doing their part to control the spread.

If you know someone who refuses to wear a mask, joins in large gatherings, or other dangerous activity, please use your influence to change their behavior.

…that’s 30, stay safe. 

Our Last Move

Last week our house went on the market, and within two days we had three competing offers. It sold over the asking price. Our home had been “staged,” we held an open house, and now we move on to closing. It has been about 18 months since we first started thinking about selling and moving to a senior retirement community; now, we are a couple of months away from moving to our new home.

During our time of discernment, we attended seminars, toured facilities, spent hours of online research, talked to our children, and together determined it was time to make ‘the’ move. We have accepted that we are aging, and this move is an opportunity to manage our independent living situation.

We realize that the mid-’70s are a stage in life when the body thinks differently from the wishful image that we are still 40-ish. Our neighborhood is perfect if you are a young family with kids.
Retirement has been great, we rarely annoy each other, but we need a social life. We need new options to stay actively engaged. We don’t need our four-bedroom, three-bath house with a finished basement and all the required upkeep.

Fountain View at Tallgrass Creek our soon to be home.

We have moved many times in our 40+ years of marriage, and hopefully, this is the last move. We focused on Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC), which will allow us to enjoy independent living until one or both of us needs additional support. At that point, assisted living and or skilled care is available should we need it.

So, now we wait. Our new home is in the final stage of construction, and we have accepted an offer that allows us a simple move from one place to the other. We are anxious to see our new home in person.
The floor plan is excellent, but an in-person visit will make it real.

We look forward to this new era. We will have access to a pool, fitness center, several dining options, on-site medical staff, and a wide variety of activities. Most of all, we look forward to making new friends. We have seen a few of our new neighbors on a couple of Zoom calls.

A big eye-opener was realizing that we are those old folks we saw during our tours of potential senior communities. We are aware that we are fortunate enough to move to such an upscale community when many seniors are alone in less than ideal circumstances.

Part of this process is downsizing. The “stuff” we have accumulated over the years is shocking. Getting rid of it is hard work; our kids don’t want it, but thanks to several social media sites, we could sell quite a bit. A two-day garage sale helped, and what was left, we donated to a local nonprofit and the Salvation Army store.

Perhaps others have been through this process, but for those who haven’t, take your time. Study the options. Visit the properties that interest you and ask a lot of questions. Check with state and medicare reports on their site inspections.

As George Carlin said, “So far, this is the oldest I’ve been,” now we’ll spend time meeting new friends and staying active.

…that’s 30 for today.

Our Election Process

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

Tomorrow is Election Day, and I believe our country is stressed. I know I am. We received our mail ballots, competed them, and delivered them to the county election office. Now we wait, and I suspect that wait will be longer than we all would like. I can only imagine some of the news in the coming days—glitches in counting, lost ballots, challenges, and surprises in outcomes.

It has been a long election season, and I feel many Americans are tired of our political systems and would like some profound change.  Here some suggestions off the top of my head; set spending limits and equalize the playing field.  Then we could move to Truth, a novel approach to letting us know the candidate and their positions. Another idea to consider is vetting the candidates to determine if they have the qualifications and demeanor for the office they seek. 

Now I’ve vented and would like to hear from others how we might improve selecting the right people to serve this wonderful country and its people. Now, go vote if you haven’t and say a prayer for a peaceful resolution of our differences.

…that’s 30 for today.

In One Week

Photo by Artem Podrez on Pexels.com

Here we are just one week from the General Election. Many have already cast their ballots while others wait to vote in person. I am hopeful that the voter turnout is a record-breaker. I expect we will not know the final count for sometime after the polls close. I hope I’m wrong. Today, my purpose is to ask anyone who reads this to share it and encourage your family, friends, and followers to Vote.
We hear all too often; my vote won’t matter; I don’t like the candidates or some other reason for not voting. Call me naive, but I am hopeful that we can start healing the divisions in our beloved country when all is done.

...that’s 30. God Bless America

Your Vote Does Matter

Voting is taking place in a significant part of the county, and I don’t think we can say it enough, your vote counts. Some people I care dearly about tell me they can’t vote for Biden, but they don’t want Trump for another four years. I suspect there are many conflicted voters.  All I can say is to take a long look at the bigger picture.  Consider the quality of life for all people, our planet’s condition, and issues that impact the common good.

Vote your conscience because you will want to live with your decision and not wonder, “what if I voted the other way?”

While the Presidential race is getting the most attention, study your local and state issues. Get to know the candidates and what they stand for.  The bottom line is these races will impact your daily life more than the top of the ticket. 

Once the election is over, I am hopeful we can focus on healing relationships, restoring civility, and the future for our children and grandchildren.

Vote, then ask your family and friends to vote.  Drive a senior to the polling place or babysit for a neighbor so they can vote.

…that’s 30 for now.