Follow the leaders …

January 1, 2021

Fearful people teach us what can’t be done. Leaders show us what can be done – from a blog titled How to Think Positive Thoughts by

A consistent complaint heard from healthcare experts concerning the Coronavirus pandemic is about the lack of leadership at the national level. That lack of a clear strategy and any attempt at leadership has now resulted in the chaos that is unfolding in the immunization effort.

The Federal government’s lack of leadership has thrown the responsibility for planning and administering the vaccine developed under the Warp Speed program onto the states and their already overstressed public health departments. Now the nightly news shows are filled with stories of poor execution of the inoculation programs at the state level. The problem really starts at the top with a President more concerned with his failed reelection bid and tweeting about conspiracy theories than providing clear leadership in a time of national crisis.

What are we to do? There will soon be a change at the top and the President-elect has indicated that he will take a strong leadership position in this fight against the virus. That certainly will help. We can also get behind the leaders at our state and local levels who are trying to provide some guidance on preventing or slowing the spread of the disease. The stock phrase “we are all in this together” has never been truer that it is right now. While there is some truth in the claims of unequal healthcare access made by the black and brown communities, the virus itself plays no favorites – it is an equal access killer.

The idea of getting solidly behind our leaders in this effort is no different than it would be if we were facing an invasion by some human enemy or even from space. Can you imagine if space aliens were walking around shooting people with ray guns and there would be people ignoring the warning not to go out when they are around? Maybe if there was a magic shield that our leaders advised us we  could put on so that the aliens could not see us, would people disregard that safety option and still venture out without their shield? Yet that is want is happening with our current battle against the COVID-19 enemy. The masks that we have been advised to wear to make us less visible to the virus are ignored by far too many people.

One has only to look at the example set by the people of New Zealand. They followed the guidance of their leaders, even as it involved a painful total shutdown of all foreign travel in and out of the country and a lockdown within the country. They are the only nation of earth that has totally stopped the virus. Their leaders showed great political will and resolve and I’m sure faced some level of popular resistance; however, they preserved and won.

Perhaps, with the change of leadership (or maybe one should say, finally with the presence of leadership) in Washington we will see the United States make progress in defeating this enemy. Let us all hope.

Change starts with me…

June 17, 2014

“No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap.”  (Carrie Snow) – A quote I saw on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

I liked this little quote when I saw it on Jack’s blog. I had no idea who Carry Snow is, so I Googled her and she is a very funny comedian. Click here to see a You Tube video of one of her routines.

As I get older the thought of a nap during the day becomes more appealing, even if it isn’t a bad day. I think you could stop Carrie’s little saying right after the word fixed and still have a good thought for Gandhithe day, because I also ran across another  short saying from one of the original cool dudes of my time (before the Dalai Lama), Mahatma Gandhi –  “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

How true is that? It is so easy to sit back and lament the things that we see which need changing, most of the time because we have this feeling that we can’t affect them ourselves. Many times those involve big things that require widespread change to have an impact; but, consider that widespread change most often happens one person at a time and you have the opportunity to be the next person to change. If you abhor the poverty and misery that you see in the world you have the next opportunity to give or to volunteer. If you hate the bullying that you see going on around you; maybe you have the next opportunity to intercede or to offer your help and friendship to those being bullied.

If you are appalled by things around you, change them by taking action and not by just being depressed about it. Reach out, help out, be an agent of change. It is much more satisfying at the end of the day to have helped make one little change in things than to spend another night in front of the TV lamenting all of the misery and wrong that you see reported. In fact, if you’re really into helping make the needed change you won’t be watching the news, you’ll be on the news.

Whatever the things are that you see and feel need to be changed to make the world a better place; that change begins with you. So, go ahead and take your nap, if that makes you feel better; but when you wake up, jump back into the world with the attitude that if things are going to change, that change begins with you. I suspect that, when you adopt that attitude, you’ll have a different and much better day for the rest of today and beyond.

Your fate is in your own hands…

June 16, 2014

“The fault is not in the stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”  (Shakespeare) – from the Jack’s Winning Words blog. Jack goes on to talk about the movie The Fault in our Stars” and the arguments that some make that their fate is somehow in the hands of the stars or preordained by God; while others  believe that our fate is in our own hands. My thoughts (and Jack’s) tend to run with the latter crowd.

There was a story in today’s Oakland Press about Makaya Morgan, a young girl who has just finished high school in Novi, Michigan, and is going to college in the fall on a full scholarship. In and of itself that doesn’t sound too extraordinary; however, this story is about a young African-American girl who has bounced around through various foster home situations, whose father was killed when she was 4 years old and whose mother is homeless and suffering from dementia and whose brothers and sisters have been broken up into various foster homes. Through all of that she has maintained a resolve to control her own fate by hard work and studying to get ahead. She has a goal of graduating from college with a degree in a medical field and one day getting her family back together.

That young girl could surely tell you that her fate is in no one’s hands but her own. So, not only is the fault in no one but ourselves, the future is there, too. It is all too easy to cop-out and lament that somehow the stars and the world were against you and that is why you failed at something. It is harder and much more rewarding in the long run to take the attitude that leads you to learn from women dreamingthat failure and try again. In a nod towards God, it is perhaps His hand that is helping you with that attitude towards life. God is not there to hand you things, but to make sure that you never stop
reaching for them.

I went looking for a quote to throw in here and found a really great one that seems to fit nicely –

Until you are broken, you don’t know what you’re made of. Being broken gives you the ability to build yourself all over again, but this time around build yourself stronger than ever. Therefore you will be unbreakable. – Melissa Molomo.

I’m not sure anyone is ever unbreakable, but you can become unflappable and unstoppable; or at least more so than before. That is what that young girl in Novi, Michigan has become out of her travails. She never stopped believing that she could succeed and she has and will in the future.

While Googling around to find out more about Melisa Molomo, I found another saying that Melisa had posted on Pinterest  that seemed to be a good  fit for this post and a good Monday morning start to another week.

“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” – Estee Lauder

Makaya Morgan is surely an example of that philosophy. She still has to work while in college because her room and board are not included I the scholarship; but, you kind of know that she’ll do fine, because she is a winner and has her fate in her own hands. What about you? Are you ready to take control of and responsibility for your life?