On a Bridge to 2018

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The time has come for the annual rite of transition of passing from one year to the next. The changeover from 2017 to 2018.

For each of us, 2017 brought us trials and joys – tribulations and elations – agonies and thrills. After all, that’s what life entails. We are human – so the tendency of dwelling on the negatives seems much easier than focusing or even recognizing the positives.

I’m not sure what 2018 will bring to this blog – my little corner of the world. Two milestones are approaching: 300,000 visits (probably this or the next post) and 2,000 posts (about a dozen to go). I know I still have more to say, but I’ve also seen many of my loyal visitors stop blogging – and I’m not up to rebuilding. I would like to do one more blog musical, more beach walks, and more about the intersection of science and religion, but time will tell. Posts about Iceland are almost ready.

Let us raise our glass for a toast.

To the goodness of the WordPress community …

May 2018 helps us see the oneness of humanity.

May 2018 shine the light on kindness and generosity.

May 2018 bestow a positive understanding of others.

May 2018 bring good health and happiness.

Salute! Yamas! Proost! Skål! Sei gesund! A la votre! Şerefe! Gān bēi! Terviseks! Kippis! Salut! Cheers! … .and I hope you select a version of the grand song (plus let me know your choice).

My personal choice for this post.

For those desiring a touch of the pipes with beautiful scenery.

For those desiring a rock legend for the song.

For those wanting to sing along with the crowd


On Christmas 2017

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For much of the world, December is the season. A season of joy and light. A season of warmth and kindness. A season of spirit and belief. A season of renewal and hope. As those thoughts are with Christians and Jews around the celebrations of Christmas and Hanukkah, I contend this is the season not just for these two religions, but this is the season for all of humanity.

Santa Claus is the leading spirit of the season. He’s is the one of binds joy, light, warmth, kindness, spirit and believe not just to Christians, but for all of humanity. Santa is a positive spirit for all humans across the globe to embrace. Santa is the one that reaches into everyone’s childlike heart to touch an anticipated goodness. It is in this spirit that Santa crosses the barriers of culture, gender, skin color, religion, language, sexual orientation, nationality, and politics.

Santa carries the spirit unlimited goodness to all humans for them to embrace. No – embracing Santa does not carry an automatic endorsement of Christianity. I know those proclaiming “Put the Christ back in Christmas” shutter at my thoughts and banish me to the fires of Hell, but Santa is powerful spirit and symbol that allows humanity to pass goodness among itself – to pass goodness across cultures.

Yes, I am a Christian – and I understand why some believe the over-commercialization of Christmas is too secular – thus less religious. Yes, it is important for me to remember the religious aspect of Christmas. However, Christmas has also evolved into a secular holiday – and the Spirit of Santa leads the way by transcending all people in all cultures regardless of religious or non-religious beliefs.

Merry Christmas to those who accept Santa as the spirit of Goodness. Happy Holiday to those preferring that greeting. To those embracing the Winter Solstice and Yule, may the quiet, fire, and calm of the night lead you to a positive returning sun that will bring peace, joy, and love in the days ahead. To my Jewish friends, my the blessings of your light bring you happiness. To my Christian friends, a blessed Christmas wish to you.

My season gift to you is for you to enjoy at least one of the music selections below. Which did you enjoy?

Enya’s And Winter Came celebrates the winter solstice

The Piano Guys playing a song of the season

Manheim Steamroller’s Silent Night with glories skies is a personal favorite

On Respect

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On 2nd October I did a post On Respect, one that I featured a 5-minute speech by a USAF Lt. General. Reactions to the post were positive in many ways with several comments mentioning that respect starts at the top.

Yes – respect starts at the top of each family teaching others the meaning of respect while modeling respectful behaviors.

Yes – respect starts at the top in every school classroom with its teacher leading the way.

Yes – respect starts at the top in every school building with its principal dealing with the staff and students.

Yes – respect starts at the top in every school district with top leadership in their dealing with the district staff and the community it serves.

Yes – respect starts at the top of every group, department, section, division, and headquarter of every corporation across the world.

Yes – respect starts at the top of every customer service organization as it deals with the public it serves.

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Yes – respect starts at the top of every local, state, and national government entity on how it deals with its constituents and opponents.

Yes – respects at the top, and President Trump displays more disrespect than any American leader in my lifetime. He’s a pathetic role model, but he is not a reason to disrespect nor he is the cause of disrespect.

Yes – respect starts at the top for individuals in every human encounter regardless of background, position, gender, ethnicity, age, religion, skin color, and more.

Yes – respect starts at the top when one says Respect your elders – but that doesn’t give the elders the right to disrespect – nor does elder status command automatic respect.

Yes – respect starts at the top of every human encounter – but “the customer is always right” doesn’t mean the customer can be disrespectful to customer service employees.

Yes – respect starts at the top – but there are many tops, and each of us are top in many situations.

Yes – respect starts at the top – and each of us are at the top – Respect starts with yourself, then one can respect others.

Yes – respect start at the top of each individual – in the head containing a brain – the center of all choices each person makes in personal and cyber encounters.

A person is a person – no matter how small. (Dr. Seuss)

On Thanksgiving 2017

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Today (Thursday 23 November 2017) we in the USA celebrate Thanksgiving – a day of fun, feast, family, and fellowship. Bountiful Thanksgiving wishes to all.

On this day, I want to give thanks for a few things … OK … just a dozen.

I’m thankful for WordPress providing a platform for linking me to others across the world.

I’m thankful for encountering so many bloggers from across the globe who reinforce my belief that the majority of humanity is good. After all, goodness does not have boundaries.

I’m thankful for YouTube as a platform for everything and anything video, which allows me to share so much with others.

I’m thankful for first responders, caretakers, volunteers, and support staff who are there for the marginalized in any way: the disabled, the disenfranchised, the downtrodden, the abused, the poor, the suffering, the oppressed, and more.

I’m thankful for the good people I’ve encountered in life through work, neighborhood, church, community, school, events, and more because being around positive people is essential for a good life.

I’m thankful for my senses that allow me to experience the grand nature of creation.

I’m thankful for the ability to learn because the byproduct of learning differentiates stupidity, ignorance, and knowing.

I’m thankful for getting older because I am wiser than ever – therefore I don’t believe in going backwards.

I’m thankful for my Italian roots – and the attraction it gives me to a land afar.

I’m thankful for my wife – for her love, trust, support, companionship, and more for 42+ years of courtship and marriage.

I’m thankful for the existence of joy, happiness, and smiles – along with the many ways they can be attained.

I’m thankful that I don’t get tired of this video because it speaks volume to me about my belief in people.

On a Forced Possession

People buy things on credit all the time. Credit cards are the natural way of buying now and paying later. This plastic money is actually a less-formal version of a loan. Then again, instant plastic money can also lead to an inability to pay the bill – especially with mounting interest – and then the credit card becomes what it always has been – a formal loan.

People also make big purchases with bank loans. Cars and houses are the biggest purchases, but not the only. An unfortunate aspect of most new motor vehicles is that they automatically decrease in value over time. That brand new car is worth less as soon as one drives off the dealer lot for the first time soon after signing the papers.

Many banks and credit cards departments of companies have their own collections department dedicated to getting the money owed to them. Other companies hire a collection services company to do the same. I can’t imagine the difficulty of having a job like that – but people do – and like all work positions, some people are very good at it.

This story is about a forced possession – a repossession. Seemingly a sad tale, but not this one because this story is about goodness – about kindness … a story worth the 2+ minutes to watch.

On Transitioning to 2017

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2016 is about to end, and we will usher in 2017 … so a toast to you – my readers and those in your life.

To peace, good health, and smiles.

To good people in our lives and the goodness throughout the world

To the kindness and generosity that people are willing to share.

To the people here in this WordPress community that bring me joy.

Salute! Yamas! Proost! Skål! Sei gesund! A la votre! Şerefe! Gān bēi! Terviseks! Kippis! Salut! Cheers! … and take your pick below. (Of course, I want to know your choice). 🙂

On a 2016 Season of Lights

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A candle is a small thing.
But one candle can light another.
And see how its own light increases, as a candle gives its flame to the other.
You are such a light.
Moshe Davis and Victor Ratner

Interfaith graphic by Justice St. Rain (Bahá’í Community) of Interfaith Resources

Interfaith graphic by Justice St. Rain (Bahá’í Community) of Interfaith Resources

Such a short poem, yet so profound in many ways … and even better in the season of the lights. On the religious side of 2016, Christians and Jews have celebrations on December 24th – Christmas Eve and the first day of Hanukkah. Three days earlier was another day that provides spirituality for many – the Winter Solstice. Toss in the fact that Christmas also serves as a secular celebration for many, these days impact many.

To me, Santa Claus is a symbol that crosses all cultures – all people – simply because he is the symbol of goodness. After all, goodness across the world as it transcends religions, languages, cultures, skin colors, gender, ages, sexual orientations, and even politics.

As my regulars know well, I enjoy using videos in many of my posts. In the spirit of Santa’s goodness, thank you for all the joys you give me through your interaction here and for your posts. Even through all the craziness in the world, the good feed off each other.

Enjoy any or all of the music selections of the season that are below … but I appreciate knowing which you enjoyed … so stay as long as you wish.

For all who find peace and renewal through the Winter Solstice.

For all finding the light shining bright through the night.

For all who appreciate the music of the season done a different way A few weeks ago we heard – Little Drummer Boy done to the rhythms of Ravel’s Bolero.

For the many regulars here who enjoy The Piano Guys … (I had to include them.)

For all who appreciate the music of other cultures (This one has stuck with me ever since I saw this in person many years ago).

For the fans of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, who meld their words with the beauty of Pachelbel’s Canon.

For all who find awe and wonder in deep space with this classic.

For all attracted to one of the most beautiful natural lights of the season – the Aurora Borealis – and set to my favorite version of a classic tune of the season.

Whether it be Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Christmas, Happy Holidays or whatever greeting you prefer, I issue a greeting of your choosing for the season … plus Peace and Joy to all!