Weekly Posting Goal:

Start off your week with a new post from Spark America every Sunday to get you informed and energized, and to give you meaningful, thought provoking information and inspirational dialog to share with your friends for the entire week. I welcome your comments.

Feel free to email me at GaetanoDrake(at)gmail(dot)com

I invite you to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section. Just click on "comments"at the bottom of each post.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Real And Permanent Good--We Need A Song

A song from the heart written about real and permanent good is a song I personally would love to be able to write. If I could and were a song writer I would probably begin by sitting down and begin to take a look at my life and accumulate all the real and good memories that I could remember and jot them down on a piece of paper. I imagine at that point I would begin to visit my own walk down memory lane, and could begin a personal life journey that would help me find the words I would be looking for to write a song to share with the whole world.

In order to find, realize and live a life of real and permanent good, I believe all of us must sit down and at least try to write that song, and soon we will begin to discover who we really are, that we really matter, and that without me the puzzle is incomplete. Then and only then can we begin to live a life of that is filled with love and understanding of who we are.

If we are to be real we need to live a life that is genuine and free of pretense and full of affection. If we choose to live a live centered around permanent good it must be lasting for an indefinite period of time without essential change.

I have begun to write my song and it is about you.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Looking Up At Freedom

Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought. Let us have faith that right has "might" and in that faith let us; to that end, dare to do our duty as we understand it. Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) Politician, President Of The United States.

Freedom is worth fighting for and sometimes if we are lucky enough, we get an opportunity to see it captured on film as we take a look at a 20 year old father and Army Corporal Tony Fallico's photograph circa 1955. Just as Tony and thousands of America's "Mighty Men" returned home safely from the Korean war, he snapped this symbolic picture shot from the deck of the Marine Serpent just inside the safety of the Golden Gate bridge. With the click of his camera shutter he never realized at the time that years later what he had taken captive on film would endear the hearts of his loving family and friends to share forever; that exact moment when he and his fellow soldiers arrived in safe waters from an aggressive war that was fought for the freedom of another country, and to help prevent communist aggression from spreading to his homeland.    

This picture is just one of thousands taken on that overcast day by one soldier and will forever remind him that freedom is what matters most to all of us, especially upon returning "From the shores of battle to the shores of freedom." We can only hope all the other great young men returning from battle will find their own memories captured in a Kodak moment snapshot. These snapshots would be taken by young men who dared to do their duty as they understood it. To these young soldiers we shall be eternally grateful. 

Let freedom ring and let us answer the call.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Seeking Him

The destiny of mankind hinges on seeking the truth about who we are and why we do the things we do. We need to seek the truth, and in order to do that we must be seeking him. What is my purpose for being here on this planet called earth is the biggest question we can ever ask ourselves and it can only be answered by the process of discovering God. Most of the time we spend here we just live a life of doubt and speculation and listen to all the negativity that is shown and thrown at us.

Today and every day we have the opportunity to seek the truth and that comes down to making the right choices. To discover who we are is the only way to teach our children how to discover who they are. We can only do this by seeking him and on this search is where we will find truth and unconditional love.

Christmas is a perfect time to begin this life's journey within yourself to be a part of something so much bigger than who we are. It is time to celebrate the real reason for the season.

God is Christmas and Christmas is God. The time has come for us to accept his love.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Love Worth Finding

Love is not just another four letter word, nor is it just observed and given in the words in a Valentine Card on Valentines day. Love is what sustains us through the most difficult of times, and love is the essence of God, thus God being the essence of love. The only hope we have to begin to heal the wounds from the tragic events taking  place all over America to our children every day and to sustain order and peace in our great nation, lies in the hearts of  it's people. That hope is called love, and that love must be deposited deep into their tender hearts from us from the moment they are born. This love is a love worth finding, but first we must find this love within ourselves.

To deny our children of this love is not an option anymore, it is an urgent necessity, and it has to begin right now, today. We must move closer to God and the child in us so we can begin to understand the true meaning and the power of this love. Only then can we lovingly infuse this love into the life blood of our children. Do we owe them any less?

Perhaps if we look at in a very simple way. Picture each one of us as a love seed. If we were to be swept up by the wind of love maybe we would be lucky enough to land in the arms of a loving God. From the arms of God it will find its way into the hearts of our children.

We cannot allow the media and other evil perpetrators to suck them into a world that they consider the new way of life in the United States of America. The idea that anything goes here is unacceptable and we must insist our children will grow up in a safe America, and through our commitment to love them unconditionally as God loves us, they will grow up  living in a loving family called "America".

We have no choice and we have very little time for lip service, the time has come to show the love.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Past---A Great Christmas Present

At Christmas time we all seem to be looking for the ultimate and most meaningful gifts for our loved ones not realizing one of the best gifts we can give is a gift from the past. A gift that is a part of our local and American history is one that keeps on giving to generations to come. Learning about ones past history can open doors that will lead us on a journey to discover how we can begin to build lasting relationships, as well as secure a strong foundation for America's future. We as her building blocks with the wisdom we will discover from the past can achieve the hope to create the path that our great nation must go down. Discovering our past will lead us to a stronger present and a better future.

I grew up in a wonderful time in American history in a small historical village I remember lovingly as Dolgeville New York. The celebrated and recognized history of Dolgeville can show us how an immigrant from Germany made enormous contributions to this peaceful village and to the America we love today.

Alfred Dolge was originally an importer and manufacturer of piano materials and later became a manufacturer of felt products. This great man instituted a program of Earning-Sharing whereby an employee received a portion of the earnings according to his contributions in brains or the value of his work.This was not to be turned over until retirement, but was to be reinvested. The pension plan was non-contributory by the employee. The employer paid all.

Because of Dolge, Dolgeville had these:
First Social Security, 1876
First felt slipper and shoes made in America, 1881
Second electric dynamo run by water power, 1879 (Edison's was the first dynamo)
First public kindergarten in New York State, 1889
First park system in the Dolgeville area, 1876
First upstate village lighted by electricity, Dolgeville 1891

Need I say more?

Now get into that history book or better yet get into that search engine supported by 4 tires and get going. History waits for no one. There's a little Alfred Dolge in all of us,we just need to find it. Let's make our present a great past for others who will follow.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Democracy---America--Let Us Stand As One

Today, the principals and core values that were present at America's birth still beat deeply and strongly within her lifeblood and heart. For some people in this great nation there seems to be the opinion that these ideals that sustain us to this day, have been left behind, by the "beat" generation. If this is true, we must now begin to re-energize that heartbeat.These principals and values are also being watched by the rest of the world to see if we can sustain this deep rooted democracy, that today, seems to be coming up-rooted. For the standard is still being held high by some around the principals and ideals that America continues to hold true and dear. The some needs to become the majority. 

There seems to be a slow moving fear among the many,that these principals and values seem to be eroding with the dawn of each new day. What is crucial at this time is to remain true to the principals which form the heart and blood of what has become the essence of America. We must not give into this fear, we must not let it divide us, we must replace this fear with love, trust, and faith, that will strengthen our core values and will not allow this great nation to become less than the "Statue Of Liberty"

Let every heart know that what once was foundation upon which this nation was built remains strong and true. This foundation shall stand in pursuit of its own destiny and will continue to be the "light of the world."

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas For The Child

What do you remember most about Christmas when you were a child? Was it Christmas Eve with all the anticipation of how many gifts just for you from Santa would be in a neat pile, thinking he really DID read my list. As you were trying to force yourself to get to sleep you realized that letters to Santa really DO matter. Does the aroma of all the home made food made by a loving mother linger in your head remembering you always ate too much. Was it the once a year heavenly smell of the freshly cut Christmas tree you got to pick out with just you and your dad, that you got to decorate some times all by yourself?

When we were young boys our parents would load up the car with hidden Christmas gifts in the trunk of the car and Dave and I would be off to our aunt Nettie's house in Utica to await the arrival of Santa on Christmas eve, always wondering how would he know we weren't going to be at our house. Ask him when we get to the North Pole was the answer from the front seat.  One night we were afraid to peek out at the tree because we thought we heard Santa delivering all the gifts on our list. We even pretended that we got a glimpse of him drinking the milk and eating the cookies we left out just for him. I can remember one Christmas asking; how did Santa get down the chimney when there was not a chimney in Aunt Nettie's house? The answer was because he can and you can ask him how he does it when you visit him at the North Pole.  Christmas day was another joyous day filled with lots of presents and more home made Italian food than you can even imagine.

But what I remember the most was the love.

I believe it is such a wonder when we can see Christmas through the eyes of a child. Christmas is that magical  time of the year that always seems to bring out the child in all of us. The Christmas music and movies we could experience and only dream about was when St. Nick came to OUR house. We as parents must most definitely cherish the opportunity to build life long happy memories for our children so that some day they will pass on their love for their children at Christmas time.

Only love can be the carrier of our children's walk down Christmas's memory lane, because isn't love what Christmas is all about anyway ?

Let the magic and love of Christmas linger in your heart all year long and find someone to share that love.

My brother Dave is no longer with me but the memories of the Christmases we shared together still live deep within my heart. This holiday season please share your memories of Christmas past with your friends and especially with your children. It will be the best present they will ever receive from you.

Merry Christmas Dave, sleep in heavenly peace.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mighty Man ----Abraham

In a recent blog I wrote about what I believe it takes to be considered a "Mighty Man". After watching with astonishment Spielberg's latest blockbuster "Lincoln", it goes without question that our 17th President personifies my definition of a man who is not just an ordinary man, but a "Mighty" one.
Mighty is the man who changed the course of this great nation; he recognized and understood that bringing slavery to an end would open the door to end the Civil war and bring peace to America. I can't even begin to imagine what the history books might have written about the course America would have taken had it not been for divine intervention that gave this just man the will, determination, and guidance to put slavery in its final resting place.

The things that struck me the most were his humor, passion, and his compassion for equality for all mankind. He appeared to be such a gentle and loving man; despite the fact he was fighting depression he seemed to be seeking to find God in his later years. I believe he was sent here at that time in American history to change the tide of current events and lived to at least fulfill his destiny.

I would think that anyone upon seeing this movie would have a life changing experience. I did.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Patriotism---A Tale of Diversity

There is a word that needs to circulate more within America to establish the credibility and morality of those who should claim it. The word is "Patriot". Those of us who claim to be patriots are proud of this attribute. It is considered to be aligned to what is morally right. Such things as moral value, goodness, kindness and courage to seek the truth, lie deep within the conscience of a patriot.

Much of the meaning of the this word patriot belongs solely to those who honor it's true meaning and does not belong to those who disagree. Today this exclusion of others not considered to be patriotic seems to play a role in polarizing the American way of life today. If we are to move forward we all need to move toward the true meaning of patriotism.

We must build on what it means to be a patriot which has become to be a variety of things to different people. Some attributes are stronger in some individuals than in others. Some of the things that the word patriot has come to include:
love for one's country
willingness to defend her
understanding and commitment to the ideals upon which she was founded
desire to rectify the mistakes that were made in the past
commitment to obey with respect the founding documents
faithfulness to the constitution

Although we may disagree with these principals and the practices of past and present governments, we must respect everyone's point of view. America is not one thing, but many things. Patriotism is not one thing , but many things.

Trust and believing in the good that lies within all Americans will re-establish her might. Love for America has many colors and we must join together to work toward a common good.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mighty Men --The New Spark

The call is going out now in the United States to find the solutions to all the problems that are plaguing us and threatening our role in the world as the leaders of world peace. The call is coming but it is not coming from Washington DC, it should be coming from every man who calls himself a man. We don't need just ordinary men, we need "Mighty Men".

Ordinary men just sit there and watch as the core values this great nation was founded upon erode faster and faster with the dawn of each new day. We must turn ordinary men into"Mighty Men" and begin again to rebuild those precious and strong values that will spread like wild fire across this great nation to begin a new path of truth and rightfulness.

"Mighty Men" will be men that will give their all and will begin by pledging allegiance to this great land and show everyone the true meaning of volunteerism. They will be the example to our younger generations of men what it means to be the lead dog. When ever dog sleds are needed they always put the dog with the strongest heart, physical strength, and the ability to lead in the front, knowing that the other dogs will follow their lead and will always have their back, knowing pulling together as a team will lead them to their destination.

In being good men, husbands and fathers, they will always be the example of what unconditional love is and will always seek and speak the truth to others and always be strong and protective.

Becoming a "Mighty Man" will not come without struggles and determination, but with these struggles and true grit will emerge a stronger, caring, and loving America. It will be these men who will keep on giving even when there seems to be nothing else left to give.

To this end we will need the spark we will get from our "Mighty Men". You can't start a fire without a spark, the time to spark is now.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Light America's Spirit

We need to ask the question, is it time to create a new vision for America? I believe we need to, in order to understand how America is different now than the America we remember growing up in. This New America already exists in the heart of her people for it a vision of seeking to find the truth and a path to becoming the beacon of hope to the rest of the world. We need to create the dialog that will spark and uplift us to understand that we must take the first step now.

This New America will not come without struggle, but will bring with it a new knowledge that will rise on the shoulders of honor and will create a heart that longs to help the needy and the downtrodden. Along with this will also come with the tolerance that will become the new foundation we can build our New America upon.

With the new awakening of America's consciousness, we will create the desire to be the source for world peace. Let our hearts beat faster as we await the opportunity to show the world the New America with it's new American Spirit. You cant't light a fire without a spark.

The time has come to spark-on  America!

Monday, November 5, 2012

God Bless The USA --- The Real Deal

For those of you who care:

If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I'd worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.

I'd thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can't take that away.

And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

From the lakes of Minnesota,
to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.

From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.

That I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

And I'm proud to be and American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Wednesday November 7 2012 ---- A new Beginning

America seems to rely on pills too much. Sometimes they are necessary and some are hard to swallow. One pill that is hard for me to swallow is the one a lot of people in this country are taking with regularity these days. It's the "let the government or someone else take care of us pill". I think the reason  they are so popular is  because you don't need a prescription to get them. Wake up America! I am prescribing a morning after pill that should be taken starting the day after this infamous election on November 6 and continue taking for the rest of your life.

The only place to find this pill is in your own heart. It is called "LOVE" and you are going to have to dig deep to find it. Remember, you do not need a prescription from your doctor to get this pill.  Some doctors are already prescribing them to their patients. This is a doctor you must seek to find.
Wednesday November 7th can be just like any other day for us where we rely on .Gov to take care of us, or we can begin to see the future; a future in which we will take care of each other. This is the future I know we all want. This is a future we can have. This is a future of peace.

Many people who lived before us in this great nation gave us all the words of wisdom and tools we need to build a peaceful world. If you choose to seek these great people you will find their message is all the same, love one another. Until we do this and put the needs of others before our own we cannot achieve peace. Let's give peace a chance, we together as one can do this; it is possible. Just don't ever give up because the time has come and the time is now.

Wouldn't it be so wonderful if things were just normal? Do we even know what "normal" is anymore? To me normal is taking care of the needs of others. Waking up every day being grateful for all we have and having an opportunity to make someone else's day wonderful. It's taking a Sunday drive with our family using the real deal search engine. Normal is thanking law enforcement for protecting us and school teachers for doing all that they do to educate and nurture our children. Thanking all the doctors and nurses and all those in the medical field for providing us with preventative alternatives to keep us healthier and living longer is being normal.Try the pursuit of happiness for normal. Normal is just being what normal has always been in America. How can we look at "Old Glory" and NOT know what normal is?

Wednesday November 7th is the day we need to take the pill of our choice.

Monday, October 29, 2012

"Made in USA"-----What Does It Mean?

The "Made in USA" designation means that "all or virtually all" of the product was made in the United States, according to the Federal Trade Commission, the agency in charge of enforcing the labeling standards.
More specifically, all significant parts, processing and labor that went into the product must be of U.S. origin.
Except for cars and textile and wool products, it is the choice of the manufacturer to say whether a product was made domestically.
In contrast, imported goods generally are required to be marked with a country of origin, such as "Made in Japan." Those labeling requirements are enforced by the U.S. Customs Service. (Fresh and processed foods fall under separate labeling guidelines).
U.S. companies also can make qualified claims that describe the extent or type of domestic content or processing for their goods. For example, "Made in USA of U.S. and imported parts," "Assembled in USA from Italian leather and Mexican frame," or "60% U.S. content" are qualified claims.
Even when it comes to qualified claims, the product must have a "significant" amount of U.S. content or processing, according to the FTC.
Products that include foreign parts may be labeled "Assembled in USA" when the principal assembly takes place in the United States and the assembly is substantial. The last "substantial transformation" of the product also must occur domestically.
That means that a computer whose major components are imported and are put together in a simple "screwdriver" operation in the United States would not qualify for the "Assembled in the USA" designation.

Friday, October 26, 2012

U.S. Manufacturing----Moving Forward

National News

When I was growing up, it seemed like everyone believed that United States manufacturers made the greatest products in the world. From our home appliances to our cars, we all chose made in America products for their quality and their value. No other country put as much pride, innovation, and workmanship into their design, and looking elsewhere wasn’t even an option.

U.S. manufacturing was a flagship of our economy, and nothing could knock it from its pedestal -- or so we thought.

Of course, the sentiment has changed since then as the economy has grown more global, and countries like china compete on price. But the pendulum is swinging back -- or should I say forward -- as made in America quality once again becomes a status symbol for consumers and a competitive advantage for manufacturers here at home.

In the end, more than 1,600 manufacturers, and nearly eight out of 10 of them indicated that they expect growth this year.

By standing behind their made in America quality, these manufacturers are even taking back business from the Chinese. They’re borrowing a page from the playbook of the Rodon Group of Hatfield, Pennsylvania, an injection molder of small plastic parts. A few years ago, when they sensed Chinese competitors gaining ground, Rodon launched an online “cheaper than china” campaign to focus on their American manufacturing values. Within two years, their sales jumped more than 30%.

These companies never lost sight of the glory of American manufacturing, and now the world is coming to share their point of view.
Research shows that U.S. manufacturers are entering new markets, expanding into new regions, and increasing their exports. With their gears fully in motion, American companies are looking to hire more workers to meet new market demand.

And that’s where this engine of economic growth suddenly starts to sputter.
Research supports what we are all seeing every day: despite an unemployment rate of close to 8%, manufacturing jobs are going unfilled. Nearly half of  respondents want to bring in line workers, skilled trade workers, and engineers. But the people who are qualified for these jobs are either untrained, or uninterested.

This is a symptom of a larger problem. Despite the resurging interest in U.S. products, American manufacturing is in need of a brand makeover.

The changing face of U.S. manufacturing

While Americans are proud of the quality of our products, many have a far different perception of manufacturing jobs. They see manufacturing as “dead,” lacking opportunities or challenges, and even as dirty or “undesirable” work. They’re blind to the reality that today’s manufacturing jobs blend design with technology and robotics, and many pay extremely well.

With shop classes disappearing and families and educators pushing students of all abilities toward a bachelor’s degree, however, younger generations have no opportunity to be exposed to the rewards of a manufacturing career.

Respondents to our survey are vocal about this issue. They stress the importance of stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) curricula, along with support for technical and vocational schools. One of them notes that we must “get the message out that manufacturing isn’t dead in the U.S.; it has just gone high-tech.”

It’s gratifying to hear from individuals like Tracy Tenpenny, vice president of sales and marketing with tailored label products (TLP) in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

Tracy advocated for TLP's sponsorship of a program called second chance partners, which helps high school students to gain manufacturing skills. Many of these students come from challenging backgrounds, and they are at risk of not finishing high school. Through second chance, they continue working toward their diplomas while beginning to learn a trade. TLP actually installed a classroom at their plant so that these students can continue their academics there for two hours a day. The rest of the time, they are working at TLP and other area manufacturers. TLP is not only introducing them to a new profession; the company has hired two of these students.

Rodon, too, has innovated to develop a solution. The company formed a consortium of about 50 local manufacturers. Together, these firms have approached two-year colleges and trade schools in their area, asking them to send graduates their way. Not only does this help Rodon and neighboring companies to grow; it’s a competitive advantage for the schools, who are able to demonstrate a return on their training. In addition, consortium members are presenting at middle schools and high schools to ignite students’ interest in manufacturing.

These are just two of many examples of manufacturers who are taking the initiative to help their industry make a comeback. Families, educators, associations, government, and businesses are all stepping up. We were gratified to endorse national manufacturing day, another wonderful example, with manufacturers opening their doors to students and their families, and associations offering insights and resources to aspiring and current manufacturers alike.

U.S. manufacturers, after all, have a passion for their industry. Eight out of 10 of those we surveyed would choose their industries all over again, and they want to share their enthusiasm with the next generation. Great things are possible when bright, ambitious young people have the opportunity to apply skills and knowledge to real-world applications, and contribute meaningfully to the growth of a company, a sector – and ultimately the economic vitality of our nation. To engage this new generation, we must restore -- and elevate -- the U.S. manufacturing brand.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Leo Buscaglia----Six Part Series -YOU MUST WATCH THIS!

This is a MUST!. Go to youtube.com, search Leo Buscaglia. Watch the entire six part series, it will change your life.

George McGovern--Looking Back At Small Business

Just finished a read about George McGovern by one of his friends who happens to be one of my favorite syndicated columnists. One of the examples that he gave about McGovern's life lessons was that after he bought a Connecticut Inn and failed to make it in business, George wished he had known more about the hazards and difficulties of such a business.......and that during the years he was in public office he had had this firsthand experience about the difficulties business people face every day.
This out of touch understanding of small business by Congress even today is the real issue that no one in Congress can possibly comprehend unless they were small business owners before getting elected to Congress. They need to feel our pain.
How can someone understand the pain of a physical or mental disorder if they themselves have not first hand experience?
Small business is still the backbone of this great nation and the engine that drives the economy. It is time for the White House to put on its apron and go to work for small business America.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Where Is JFK When We Need Him

With the election just around the corner here is something to think about. No matter who gets elected, life in America will probably go unchanged. It will take millions of mighty men to make the changes to galvanize this great nation. Ultimately it will take ONE mighty man to be the great leader to spark this new generation of young people to energize America. 
John F. Kennedy was a political hero. He was a president who like other great presidents before him, is the standard by which we should judge the two candidates we will vote for on November 6th. 
Shall we never forget "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country". No truer words were ever spoken that need to be repeated across this country more than ever today. President Kennedy passed the torch of optimism and imagination to a whole generation of Americans.
We are standing on the edge of a new frontier. Will we find that leader when it comes time to vote this November? Maybe we should be looking down the road a little and take some time to find that next leader after what may be four more years of business as usual. We MUST raise the bar!
Let this be an era of change, change for the better.
The death of John Kennedy changed everything in the U.S. We can only hope our next President can take over where JFK. left off. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Memory Lane Is A One Way Street

Today is a day in which we have an opportunity to make the right choices as to what we do and what we say to others because tomorrow they become memories, and we will have to live with the choices we make today. If we choose to be the example of what we want others to be, every walk down memory lane will be a joyful one.
In America today we seem to be focused either on what has happened in the past, and do not see a bright future.This is a path that we have the opportunity to change. Take every day and seize the opportunity and seize the day. If we fill every day with optimism and look forward to helping others we can create peace.
Peace in our own lives and in the wonderful community in which we live. Remember, memory lane is a one way street. Some things you just can't take to the bank.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Change Your Words, Change Your World

The words we choose to use can change the world around us.
One of the lessons I have learned in life is that if you change your words you can change the world around you. Picture this: You are walking down the street and pass a blind man sitting on the sidewalk. As you approach him you see on a cardboard sign the words” I am blind, please help.” You stand there for awhile and notice people are just walking by without giving him any money. The dollar you leave him just doesn’t seem to be enough to make up for all the people who gave nothing. On your way back from an errand you decide to walk by the blind man again to leave a more generous amount of money. As you round the corner you witness a large number of people leaving money in the coffee can  as if some one had told them to do so. A few steps closer and you see the reason why. Someone had changed the words on his sign to say “It is a beautiful day and I can’t see it.” When we change the words we use, we can often change a person's life.
Maybe if we took the time to change our negative words to more positive ones we could change the world around us. I know it can, you know it will.

Friday, October 5, 2012

America's Greatness

It seems that all we read and hear about are the insurmountable problems we have in America. What we need to do is to find and be a part of something much bigger than we are and the problems we face. I believe that ”bigger” is staring us right in the face and we cannot see her. She is America!
A few weeks ago my wife Debbie sent me her first picture ever of standing facing the Grand Canyon. The words attached to that message: “This brought me to tears”. It was at that moment that I realized what had happened to her. She had just experienced the thrill and vastness of something so much larger than all of us. We can only imagine. I wish I was there to share that moment with her. What she really experienced was the wonder and vastness of mother America. I am sure it also took her breath away.
We as a nation need to find that vastness and wonder in her; she is in trouble and needs us and we need her. She is and will always be the ”bigger” we will always need. This can only come from we the people. She belongs to us and we belong to her. Let the love affair begin. The time has come.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Get Back In The Race

In the media and  many social conversations today we seem to be comfortable with the understanding that we need to be discussing people as “generations”. Generation this, generation that,  and what each generation has and has not accomplished. This is a conversation that because all we seem to do is blame the OTHER generation for life as it is in the US today, will never be a conversation of action. I am a part of the “Men of a Certain Age” generation that seems to have given up and stopped carrying the torch that will help Americans to win the race. Who told you to give up and get out of the race? Who told you to give up your commitment to be a “Mighty Man”, for its ok  just the way things are? Things haven’t changed in American for at least the last 30 years. It is time for the” Men of a Certain Age”generation to  get back in the race and show the other generations what it means to be a man of Integrity and honor. Mighty men who used to stand for something and have decided it is better to sit. That it is ok for someone else to show us how to get the job done. Now is the time to wake up and be the generation of men who spark others to follow their lead. Through our life long commitment to help others, we will be that catalyst that will demonstrate through our actions that putting the needs of others before our own is what shapes a nation and builds a strong foundation. We men of a certain age MUST be the generation of truth and love. We are the last line of defence against all that seems to be going wrong in this greatest country in the world. Our time is now. If not now, when?

Monday, October 1, 2012

All We Need Is Love

All we need is love. Love will build a bridge between your heart and mine. The capability of loving is what defines us as humans. There is no greater love than he who is in me. Love is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, it has no end.
Just a bunch of words until we begin to live them every day of our lives.
Find someone who needs love and love them.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Got Your Back

Close your eyes, open your heart and try to picture this. You are watching your favorite evening national news show and they are telling you to stay tuned to view an awesome event. Please still keep your eyes closed and your heart open. They take you to Yankee Stadium on July 4 and begin a story that will make your eyes tear and your heart swell. Remember, eyes closed, open heart.
Dressed in only the clothes her mom could afford, a 12-year-old inner city girl starts to sing ”God Bless America.” Her voice immediately captures your full attention. As she sings the beloved words to this beloved song, your heart begins to swell with pride and tears come to your eyes as she delivers an awesome rendition of a song that represents our love for America.
Now take that pride and love for America that you feel at that point and keep it inside of you always, and let it shine from sea to shining sea. While the storm clouds gather far across the sea, let us swear an allegiance to a land that’s free.
By the way, to those of us who are old enough to remember, this young girl could be the next Kate Smith. We can only hope. Put your help where your hope is.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

We The People

It is apparent that in the United States today we seem to feel that the decisions coming out of Washington, D.C., are the decisions our nation’s leaders want us to believe in, and are trying to persuade us follow their lead.. They seem to be playing the game 'follow the leader', or in this case, don't follow the leaders. It is in my opinion that if we lead, the leaders will follow us and if this were to be true, that would make us leaders!
In the year 1776, in the great city of Philadelphia, the imperfect statesmen of the day, ratified and gave us the Declaration of Independence. Today, in Washington, D.C., the also not perfect Congress is trying to re-write the Constitutions true meaning, seemingly trying deliver another document called the Declaration of Dependency.
We the people need not be dependent on anyone, for it  is we the people who made this a great nation, and we can continue to make it an even greater nation than ever before. Within each of us lies the leadership it will take to do the right thing and be the example of the message that we need to send to Washington in order for them to wake from their restless sleep and begin to do the right thing. The right to live freely and to remain in charge of one's own destiny is not something that has been part of the human consciousness forever, but rather something that has developed through a long period of time and strife.

This awareness of this intrinsic freedom to define one's own values and existence, has been a progressive development. Our ancestors, in this growing need for freedom, had to endure many hardships to help them consider themselves more than just a nation hampered by lack of freedom of expression, to become a nation of one.

It is our God given historical right to determine what did and still to this day does enunciate by us,  as to what we the citizens need for the protection of our civil liberties. The birth of democracy in America must be preserved and nurtured for it was the first step forward for humanity.

Our decisions do not rain supreme across the land as decisions of perfection, but if we remain true to our forefathers principles, we will let every heart that what was once true to the ideals of our great nation, be filled with pride knowing the everlasting foundation for liberty and democracy within America, will remain true.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Day At The New York State Fair

While on my early morning walk in Eastwood recently, I had time to think about all the things I was going to do at the state fair — all the things that make the fair a great place to be. The food, the horse show, the Center of Progress Building, the entertainment, the Horticulture Building; I could go on forever. But as I continued walking and thinking about the oldest fair in the United States, I had no idea until I got there what the fair is really all about.
The people!
I personally got the opportunity to see my wife, Debbie, compete in one of the best horse shows in the country. As I strolled the fair, I now have the memory of watching my loving daughter and niece bestow their love upon my grandson.
Walking a little farther, I watched a blind girl and her loving mother strolling arm in arm. I could see this beautiful day and all it had to offer; the blind girl could not. I got to see the love in the eyes of parents who had brought their severely disabled son to enjoy a day at the fair. A senior man was fanning a baby he did not know, giving her a few minutes of cool air on a very hot day. The appreciation in the eyes of the parents was worth the price of admission. I got an opportunity to thank a state trooper for protecting me and my family every day of his life.
On the lighter side, I also came upon a young lady with every color of the rainbow – and then some – in her hair. A man with a braided beard. The main event at the fair: people watching!
The Great New York State Fair is not just about the multitude of wonderful things to do. It is really about the people. Next time you go to the fair, I hope you take the time and experience the best part.