On a Beach Walk: No. 44 (A Community of People)

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I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Today is a Friday. The morning is cool – even cold to some – but, I am confident this afternoon will be comfortable for all. No matter how cold it is here, it is still warmer than home – but today I think about that distant place I call home.

There, our normal Friday night routine is ballroom dancing. We won’t be that here – but I think about that home dance community on this day.

The Friday night crowd is typically 50-75 people gathering for dancing and socializing. Most are regulars – many I’ve gotten to know – other I have not. It is an interesting collection of people that make it work.

Dance abilities range from A to Z. Only several compete, while others don’t hear the beat or the timing well. Most are in between.

Some dance with a variety of people while others dance with only their partner – but everyone has a good time.

There are married couples and married solos. Others are single, divorced, widowed, or re-married. There are parents, grandparents, and the kidless. There are American born and foreign born. Ages vary – but most are over 40. Those over 60 and 70 say, “Dancing keeps them young by keeping us moving.”

There are the tall, the short, and the in-between. The overweight, underweight, and the just about right. The fit and the not-so-fit. Introverts and extroverts. Locals and transplants.

There are the retired, still working, and about to retire. A wide range of professional skills including engineers, electricians, teachers, doctors, realtors, lawyers, technicians, pharmacists, firemen, scientists, accountants, physical therapists, service industry workers, managers, customer service representatives, carpenters, IT professionals, machinists, and the self-employed.

There are certainly Protestant and Catholic Christians, Jews, and Agnostics – and I will assume some Atheists. Surely a wide range of thoughts exist about creation.

There are Democrats and Republicans, while others are unaffiliated or don’t vote. Throughout the room are conservatives, liberals, ubers of each, and moderates. Nationalists and globalists are also present.

The music plays – people smile and dance. They laugh and converse. A wide variety of people with variety of backgrounds, personalities, interests, and personal philosophies that make it work despite their differences.

As I walk, thinking about this group at home causes me to smile. It also reinforces my belief that the majority of humanity is good – and this is a good feeling to accompany me because I like walking the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

A Small Step Saw a Big Need

Coming off the Thanksgiving holiday, I felt the need to do something for the community. After all, my two posts about Brendan Foster continue to occupy my mind. So yesterday, I drove into the city for some spontaneous volunteer work at a church that had a free clothing day.

November temperatures in Cincinnati were lower than normal, and the trend continued as December 1st was a cool, damp, bone-chilling day. My three hours at the center was gratifying, but my soul was still unsettled as I kept thinking about those seeking simple items as gloves, hats, and warm socks.

A short time ago I contacted my pastor and others in leadership at my church explaining not only the needs for hats and gloves, but also what I was willing to do. Hopefully, we can help.

So now, I also reach to all of you living in areas that experience winter, please remember the less fortunate. I challenge everyone to think of ways you can get hats, gloves, and warm socks to help those in need.

Thanksgiving for Brendan

Earlier in the week I posted a short tribute to Brendan Foster, the 11-year-old boy from Seattle who a short time ago was taken from this world by leukemia. That post included a CNN video about his dying wish.

In memory, honor and respect to Brendan on this Thanksgiving Day, I provide this ABC video about the impact of his legacy. In his short life he accomplished much more than many (if not most) long-living adults do in their lifetime.

For this Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to the Brendan Fosters of the world with hopes that their examples spills onto each of us not only during this holiday season, but in all the days ahead.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

A Tribute to a Meaningful Life

The past election was consuming; let alone partisans of both sides have behaved ever since. The final weeks of the college football season is also consuming because it’s the time for many rivalry games and the race for the BCS rankings. This short post isn’t about neither politics or college football, but a story that places politics and college football into perspective about life.

Not that long ago I learned about Brendan Foster, a boy suffering from leukemia. The touching story delivered a powerful message to all of us and for all of us. This past Friday I learned of Brendan’s passing.

I thought about including this in a mish-mash of topics, but Brendan Foster deserves so much more. As we enter the holiday season, not only remember Brendan, honor him by doing something that fits his spirit.