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IconA number of people have expressed to me that they feel somewhat guilty that their lives are so blessed and/or peaceful right now while people are being blown up in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other places - and by their own countrymen!' Or that people are suffering and dying by the tens of thousands in Haiti in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake."How [they ask] can I dare to have a good day when all of this is happening?"I think that's a good question asked by decent people.'The answer is simple:' what choice do you have?Shall you undermine yourself and those who count on you by crumbling under the awareness of this cruelty of people and nature?' Does that add to the miserly of the world?' YES.' Does that minimize the misery of the world?' NO.Your job is to do and be your best and to bring light into darkness in your own mind and home, and among family, friends, and community.' Where you have the wherewithal and the expertise to extend that to deserving people and places, do so because all humanity benefits by your action of caring - if not aided directly , then at the very least inspired by your example.Where you can't extend yourself to some place around the world, be cognizant that compassion and love in a circle around you has a ripple effect to help perfect the world for whatever moments of bliss might exist.' They add up.'Whether close at hand or off to a distant land, when you extend mercy, you do an act which magnificently defines humanity. More >>

Tags: AttitudeBehaviorCharacterCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCharityCivilityHealthHopePersonal ResponsibilityPurposeValues
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IconMy husband and I were very disappointed when we learned that we could not be with our military son on Thanksgiving.' We casually mentioned to some friends that we were just going to have scrambled eggs and bagels for Thanksgiving dinner, because without him there, it just wasn't going to be worth the effort.' Well, they kindly invited us to spend Thanksgiving with their family, and we accepted.'I wanted to do something nice for them to really show them thanks for such a lovely gesture, so I knitted a seven-foot runner for their table.' When it was finished, it seemed so "plain," that I spent four hours crocheting around the entire runner twice and added a fringe to the ends.' When I gave it to her, she held it close to her chest near her heart, and her eyes teared up as she expressed her emotion for my putting in that amount of effort for her.' I have to tell you that I've never felt so moved by a reaction to a gift in my life.She and her husband were doing something "personal" for me, and I wanted to return the favor.' Having Thanksgiving with their adult children and a couple who were mutual friends made for a fabulous evening, with lots of laughs and a yummy turkey....mmmm.So, I've stopped buying bottles of wine and chocolate-filled baskets.' I've been working around the clock for weeks either knitting, weaving, or sewing Christmas presents.' I finished my last project for my "peeps" on Sunday (our office holiday party was on Tuesday), so I had a bit of a crunch for time.' While it was exhausting and sometimes frustrating when equipment has a mind of its own, I feel giddy about giving gifts that are so much of myself.' Clearly, it means more to the receiver AND the giver.To top it off, a few of my dearest friends sent me "Thanksgiving" e-mails, enumerating the reasons they felt grateful for having me in their lives.' It blew my mind.' It is incredibly touching to know that you matter to someone.I'm writing these stories to urge you all to do the same this Christmas.' Don't buy a card - write to that person and let them know why they matter to you and what you appreciate about them and how you feel grateful for them.' Instead of purchasing something generally useless that they might never use and will not cause them to reflect on your relationship, make something or do something.' For example:' plant some flowers on either side of their front door; make a rocking chair for the back porch; fix something on their property; take their kids for the night so they can have a romantic time to themselves....the list of possibilities is endless. Make it personal , and that doesn't require ridiculous expenditures for gifts that ultimately don't matter.'Oh, and one more thing.' We will see our kidlet for Christmas.' The tree is already up. More >>

Tags: AbortionCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCharityFamily/Relationships - FamilyFriendshipsHolidaysMorals, Ethics, ValuesRelativesThanksgivingValues
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IconI am sick to my stomach and soul that Scotland freed the Lockerbie bomber on compassionate grounds, allowing the terminally ill creep to die in his homeland, Libya, and rejecting American pleas for justice in the attack that killed 270 people.Abdel Baset al-Megrahi served ONLY eight years of his life sentence.' Because he's been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer, Scottish Judge Secretary MacAskill felt that since "Mr. al-Megrahi now faces a sentence imposed by a higher power," he should be set free to die in his own bed in Libya.' The mass murderer was convicted in 2001 of taking part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 on December 21, 1988 - just before Christmas.' The airliner exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, and all 259 people aboard and 11 on the ground died when it crashed.This evil man has been given three months to live, or so the doctors guess.' He is being given the luxury of dying in his country, in his town, in his home and with his family.' Is that appropriately compassionate?' Well, my take is that this is definitely compassionate, but definitely NOT appropriate.'It is an appalling, disgusting, sickening decision made by misguided notions of compassion.' Compassion for this man is an insult to all the victims.' The compassion should be directed to the victims and the ongoing, permanent suffering of their families.' This is misplaced compassion, misdirected compassion, and inappropriate compassion.' All the families of the victims got the bits and pieces of their loved ones returned to them in a box.' The same should happen to al-Meghari.'Why is this happening?' As one wise man once said, "Follow the money...or the oil."' Libya's leader, Moammar Gadhafi collected al-Megrahi on his private jet.' Western energy companies (including Britain's BP PLC) have moved into Libya in an attempt to tap the country's vast oil and gas wealth.' Gadhafi, as reported by FoxNews.com, has renounced terrorism, dismantled Libya's secret nuclear program, and accepted his government's responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing.' He has paid compensation to the victim's families.' I don't know why he wants this vile creature back in Libya to die.' Perhaps it's because there's more to the story...When al-Megrahi landed in Tripoli, more than 1,000 young Libyans gathered to welcome him, cheering and waving Libyan flags.' You should know that large public gatherings are rare in Libya, and tightly controlled by the government (especially on the tarmac where Gadhafi's private jet lands). For a country that is supposed to have turned its back on terrorism, protecting, nurturing and celebrating a terrorist murderer is perplexing.' Perhaps it means that the roots of Libya are still firmly planted in extremist mentalities.' Or maybe it means that, having bowed to economic and political pressure, Libya wished to flex a bicep at the expense of 270 victims and their innumerable family members and friends.To have put al-Meghari on a plane and then to welcome him as a hero, allowing him to die in peace is, in my opinion, an insult to the values of all civilization which believes that life is precious.' He forfeited the preciousness of his life when he thought it righteous to murder, killing men, women and children who didn't mean him or anyone else any harm.'Shame on Scotland.' Shame on Libya.' Shame on Scotland again, for not inflicting a death penalty on an unrepentant mass murderer.' We do not show the world that we value life when we impose minor consequences on those who devalue and steal lives. More >>

Tags: AbuseCharityMorals, Ethics, ValuesPoliticsReligionSocial IssuesValuesViolence
IconI love "Law & Order" and "Cold Case" types of programs, because of the cleverness of the characters in discerning truth from lies (either from witnesses or clues at a crime scene).' I find it fascinating.' Detective Goren from "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" seems to know everything about just everything, which is a plot device that sometimes strains credulity, but, in general, I find the most interesting leaps to be that of a "gut feeling" or a "hunch" which is not easily explained by logic until after the fact.Some people are better at this than others - perhaps it's an inner talent that is unique, or maybe that individual just pays more attention to detail, or maybe it's just the willingness to listen to that still, soft voice that tells you something just isn't right.I find that many people who call my radio program with concerns about the behaviors of someone they're dating already "knew" on some level that something just wasn't right.' But they ignored or denied those feelings because they wanted the fantasy to be true.' Generally, these desired fantasies turn into disasters.One caller earlier this week met a guy online who immediately treated her like he was her fairy godmother.' "Zap" with his wand, and they were off to foreign lands for lunch and distant places for vacations.' She found out that he was still married, even though he had said he was divorced.' She called me all upset and sad.I told her that she had behaved like a slut (yeah, I said that), because he had money.' Certainly, she couldn't have believed that he loved her - he didn't even KNOW her! She was gullible and pretty and sexually available and that was what he was looking for.' He wasn't looking for the love of his life.' She, however, wanted the princess fairy tale, and she had it for two months.' Meanwhile, she had suspended her good sense about why a man would operate like this with no real knowledge of the woman.' Answer?' Knowledge of the woman was not of interest to him.' Showing off and having passionate sex with a very willing woman was what he really wanted.Instead of worrying about not being able to trust men, and sobbing with great hurt at being dumped, I suggested that she start behaving like the kind of woman a real man without a selfish agenda would value.' She didn't listen to that small voice, and ended up used and humiliated.'Don't deny what you know in your gut, even in the midst of what seems like the most unbelievable reality.' It is unbelievable, because it is not to be believed. More >>

Tags: CharityMorals, Ethics, ValuesSexSexualityThe Proper Care & Feeding of HusbandsThe Proper Care and Feeding of HusbandsValues
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