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.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Seabiscuit--- Symbol Of Hope

Recently I had the pleasure of watching the movie Seabiscuit (2003) and at one moment in the film I came  to a realization. There is a distinct similarity to the lack of hope that existed in 1938 during the Great Depression and the lack of hope that exists in the United States today. The difference I discovered is that during the Great Depression there arose a horse and horse race that from the moment the two steeds dug their hoofs into the track that day of the match race, til the final strides that brought them to the finish line,  hope was restored to the multitudes after witnessing an undersized thoroughbred who was claimed to be an underdog, beat the mighty horse War Admiral who possessed Triple Crown winning power, by 4 gaping lengths. A great example that life sometimes seems like a horse race where we always seem to be racing to our own finish line.

Seabiscuit didn't look like much-small in stature, inauspicious, the butt of stable jokes, but possessed a heart that held the hope of the sea of humanity that watched the race that day at Pimlico from both sides of the track. There on that historical day at the track were forty thousand hopeful Americans, and millions all over the globe listening on the radio. This one event was the most electrifying and popular event in sports history in 1938, making it the most popular news story of that day ahead of FDR, Hitler and Mussilini.

What happened at that racetrack that day was something that was not supposed to happen. With the ring of the bell War Admiral, one of the quickest break away horses of his day, was supposed to take the early lead and finish the race with Seabiscuit only getting a perfect picture of Admiral's hind quarters and rear end. Instead and suddenly, the unanticipated event happened. It would be Seabiscuit would take the early lead on that fateful day, and when War Admiral did get neck and neck at the back stretch, the mighty Seabiscuit got a glimps of the Admiral's eyes and assumed the offensive. It was  jockey George Woolf the famed rider atop the mighty mount Biscuit who at that moment in history coined the phrase "so long Charlie". Seabiscit would not yield his destiny. When it came to the home stretch it was the heart of Seabiscuit that took him into overdrive and it was War Admiral who got to see what a great undersized Thoroughbred  looks like from the back end. When the race was over we may assume many thought they should change War Admiral's name to "Rear Admiral".

That anticipated race and the winner Seabiscuit secured the hope for the future that Americans were looking to find at that remarkably important time in American history. The hope that even a small person can overcome the odds and skepticism of the few, and find the heart and endurance to win the big race. Maybe today we will need another great horse race to bring us the hope we need because it seems a Presidential race will not foster that hope that will lead us to the finish line like the immortal Seabiscuit did.

May we all make it to the finish line in time together.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Grand Hotel---People Come, People Go

Sometimes in our lives we are up and sometimes we are down. People come, people go. Nothing ever seems to be happening. Nothing ever seems to change. Maybe its because we don't take the time to really see what is happening right in front of our very eyes. Maybe its because we should make an attempt to include others into our lives. People come, people go because we let that happen. When nothing ever seems to change, it is time to start changing things. What a great script for a movie.

A great example of this can be found in the great American Classic movie "Grand Hotel" (1932). Berlin's most extravagant and expensive hotel sets the stage for the words spoken by Dr. Ottenschlag (Louis Stone) when he says, "People coming, going.Nothing ever happens." One mans dismal outlook on life.. Rent the movie and watch what really happens. A gem of a movie that must be seen.

As the movie opens and starts to unfold you meet Doctor Ottenschlag (Louis Stone) who is usually so drunk that he misses seeing that the Baron von Geigern (John Barrymore), a Baron, mind you, who is totally broke   steals eccentric fledgling dancer Grusinskaya's (Greta Garbo) pearls, and later on confesses to the crime. He gets caught in her room where she is ready to end her life and utters the famous line "I want to be alone". He interrupts her suicide, she forgives him and he ends up stealing her heart as well, and of course they fall in love.

Watch how a powerful German businessman, Preysing (Wallace Berry), brow beats Kringelein (Lionel Barrymore) a terminally ill bookkeeper working for his company, but in the end Kringelein gets the upper hand. Meanwhile, the baron also steals the heart of  Preysings mistress Flaemmchen  (Joan Crawford) who plays a stenographer working for Preysing, in the end of the movie he doesn't end up with either one of them.

This classic movie delivers a classic message that still resonates in America today. People come, people go. Nothing seems to happen. Let's not let that happen.

Together we can make it happen. Include someone into your life today. It is time to start changing things.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Gift Of Freedom----Priceless

Within the challenges that face Americans everyday lie the distractions that keep us from seeking where our freedoms came from, and why we need to be grateful for these freedoms. Seeking the truth to finding the answer to these questions will eliminate the need of weapons of mass distraction that lead us down the road to discover our true destiny. The destiny of America was not shaped by a few men who became the signers of the Declaration of Independence, it was shaped by all the people who partook in the separation from the British and arrived here infused with a higher purpose of hope  of what they could possibly become.

Today that hope and purpose is still the cry of many and needs to be heard. The freedom not to do what is best for us, but what is done for the hope of the many shall be the new song to be sung.The freedoms of today are as priceless as they were in the days of our ancestors who came here to build the bridges to these freedoms. Freedom is not just another word, it is what sustains us a nation and global community; it is not something you can take to the bank, it is something we can bank on, only if we choose to preserve it. Our only hope for an America at peace is to teach our children -not by just our words, but by our actions,  that when all freedom is lost, we will cease to survive.  After all, we need not look any farther than our history books to unlock the doors of many human events that have dared to try and rob us of one of our most precious reasons to exist.

Let us awaken to the need to protect and preserve the freedoms upon which America has been built and to propagate and protect the fundamental principals on which we stand.

Mighty rings the bell of freedom in America.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Love Is A Many Splendored Thing

Websters dictionary is one of the easiest places to find the definition of the word love. The word love has probably been one the words most often used by humans since the beginning of recorded time. Yet to just say the word is not enough to sustain us through even the worst of times. We need to show the love.

Showing the love is such an easy thing to do but most of the time we find it such a difficult task to make it a daily event. It's the little love shows that really mean the most anyway. The hug done the right way is undoubtedly the best way to show someone how much you love them because it encapsulates the body and the soul, while immediately lowering your blood pressure.

Loves little shows consist of the simple jesters such as doing the laundry, grocery shopping and countless other errands, bringing someone a bouquet of flowers especially when they least expect it, go with them to see a movie they have been dying to see, a cup of coffee or tea somewhere and give them your ears for as long as they need them. You can add to all this love and do the rest because the list is endless.

Love is a many splendored thing , the reason to be living.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thoughts Become Things--Choose The Good Ones

Every day we have to make choices that always begin with the thoughts we have in our heads. More often than not our heads contain too many negative thoughts particularly if we allow them to seep into our process of thinking. Since we do have a choice as to how we process these thoughts, within us lies the ability to choose the good ones. Choosing the good ones allows us to light the flame of happiness that exists in all of us.

Let us begin to light that flame. We are America, the land of plenty. I am strong, I am proud, I am the flame of endless possibility. I am freedom, I am golden opportunity, I am prayer and I am gratitude.

I am blueberry muffins, I am playgrounds with cherished children, I am Fourth of July parades, lawn chairs and iced tea on the front porch. I am friends coming over for coffee , fresh baked pie and a little talk. I am rolling hills, tall grass with milkweed and the smell of new mowed hay drifting past from a nearby farm.

I am America! I am me.