On Retrospect: The People

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“The majority of people in the world are good.”

I’ve written those words many times here. I not only believed that statement, blogging cemented that belief into my personal ideology. It’s a personal mantra that I use in conversations and posts. Some just stare at me, but most concur.

People from Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Greece, India, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Whales, and more became important parts on my little corner of the world. Regardless of politics, religions, cultures, statements by world leaders, and more – YES – the majority of people in the world are good!

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me
(“We Are The World”, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie)

I also believe the most important decision a person makes in life is their choice of people to be in their personal orbit. No matter if friends, neighbors, work colleagues, fellow parishioners, hobbists, or wherever – others can build you up while others tear you down. Some will support you in your time of need while others abandon you in a blink of the eye. Some are positive and encouraging, but others are negative influences in a variety of ways.

Bottom line is simple: In life, each of us decide who will be around us – and blogging is no different! However, this involves luck because in cyberworld, we don’t know who is behind the words we read. On the plus side, gaining personal relationships has been the biggest and most rewarding surprise for me. No wonder this post is longer than the others in this series.

Names stick with me – so I wonder whatever happened to some bloggers. They suddenly stop – vanishing into the cyber-abyss – which is one of the reasons I’m doing this series. I don’t want others to wonder. After all, my readers respect me and I respect them. Besides, I’ve been here so long!

As with any type of social media, blogging is about making connections. For instance, I know El Guapo served as my connection point to Raye and Marc (who was Cayman then). I discovered John through Marc while Dale found me through Raye. Monika found me through Marc, plus Dale found Marc (and others) through me – and so on. I also connect with Susannah through Marc, but not through his alter ego Cayman. Goodness has a way of finding goodness!

At the risk of forgetting someone, I want to mention many fellow bloggers (sometimes in alphabetical order). Some I’ve encountered for many years, others less than a year. Some bloggers have faded away, others have cut back, and some are still going strong.  I originally wanted to say something about each of them, but I’ll group them instead. Plus I want to keep it short, otherwise this post would be a book.

Carrie, Elyse, Guapo, and Virginia no longer blog. I miss them. They were regulars and I loved the way the handled themselves and treated me – plus they excelled at their end in their own style. Although chances are slim, I hope they see this and stop by.

Nia, Robin, and Debra are my longest-running visitors – and they still visit, comment, and shine at their end. Debra and I laugh about how much we seem to have in common. I collaborated with Robin 5 times, and Nia is genuinely nice.

A special salute to two Canadians. Resa is not only a treat and frequent visitor, she got me interested in murals. Her tribute post to me will live with me forever. Dale – well – She’s one of the best interactive people I’ve encountered. She’s genuine and a hoot – and what a fabulous maitre’d she’s been at my musical events. After me, she must be the one making the most comments here. 🙂 I can’t thank her enough! After all, we are a great team.

Although relatively new here, cheers to Monika for her sense of humor and her volunteering effort with her comfort dogs collectively known as The Knuckleheads.

Marina, we go back a long time. The more we interacted, the more our bond grew. I am eternally grateful for you being you to me. Yamas!

Raye, I love your wit. John, you are a writing machine. Marc, you may be the best writer I’ve encountered. Merril, you are kind, smart, insightful, and consistent.

Archon, Betsy, Bumba Steve, CAL/Mudge, Catherine, Charlie (SoCal), Cindy, Drew, E R, Eleanor, Holly, Jo (Texas), Jo (England), Karen (Mouse), Kerry, Mary, Melanie, Mobius, Otto, Padre Steve, Pamela, Patti, Phillip, Ray, Sue, Theodora, and Yahooey like to keep me on my toes by keeping an irregular schedule for posting and/or visiting … and that’s OK.

Special shout-out to Aussie Debra who posts about her time in Italy. Her tie to my family’s region always causes me to smile, plus she knows how much I love Bagni di Lucca and that valley.

AmyRose, Eilene, Rachel, Tara, Trent, and Wendy are relative newbies, so thanks for joining us when you can and for what you do at your end – yet our time together has been too short. Fiery and Nina were also new, but gone with a flash as neither is blogging now – one announced and the other vanishing into thin air. Susannah is also relatively new, but she has a great heart and wit; plus (I think) we click.

John Erickson, wherever you are – thank you for bringing your wit and energy to my little corner of the world. I’ve missed your presence.

Lynn doesn’t post or visit as much as she once did, but our time linked together has been long.

I salute Al, Alex, Alisha, Amanda, Amy, Angela, Audra, Bulldog, Calvin, Cathy, Charlie (Aussie), Claudine, Dave (Fasab), George, Ginger, Hansi, Jackie, Jeff, Jim (Iowa), Joanne, John (Canada), John (Seattle), Kathy, Kayjai, Kellie, Kelly, Lenora, Leo, Les, Lizzie, Lorna, Mags, Maria (Aquileana), Mary, Meesh, Melissa, Moe, Mollie, Noeleen, Nonnie, Renee, Rich, Rosie, Rosy, Roxie, Sarah, Sekan, Shimon, Starla, Spinny, Suzanne, Tim V, TMB, Val, Viveka, Vanessa, Weebs (Madam Weebles), and White Lady in the Hood who were prominent here at one time. Many stopped blogging,  others still blog but have moved on, and a some occasionally stop by. I have to mention Cynthia, Larry, and Third Stone who died along the way.

Bloggers come and go – Isadora, Jim W, Pauline, and Sylvia may not be 100% regulars, but they visit and comment when they can and have done so for many years. Others like Barbara, Steffy, and Yvette I don’t know where to include, but I want to mention.

Although I previously mentioned (in the first post) those that I consider as “Pioneers”, they helped get me started. I always smile when one of them unexpectedly pops in here. Cheers to Cheers to Tim (Beeze), Mo, Chris, Ryan, and Dave from my days at The Sporting News. A tip of the cap to Joe as he was one of my early frequent visitors and commenters.

I want to mention a few readers who actually know me. Tim has probably read a very high percentage of the posts – and eventually became an active participant. Gary also reads and occasionally tosses in his two cents – and he loves the musicals. Jim is a gentle, good person that was my work colleague for many years. He has read a lot here, but sparingly comments. Thanks gentlemen.

To the one known here as The Right Angle. I don’t think she ever understood this place or the attachments that develop with others – but she tolerated it and let me do my thing. After all, she’s the one who observed my many hours with my laptop as she watched television.

No matter the-when over the past 11+ years, everyone listed here and all the unnamed have been a joy and an honor to know. You have been good to me here, and welcoming at your end. You have played a big role in learning that blogging is about you (the readers), but not about me (the writer). You are good people.

Countless others have visited and commented here. They too have kept me motivated. I say with confidence that I wouldn’t have lasted 11+ years if not for all of you!

Everyone has a selfish side – after all, we are human. In real life, I don’t consider myself as selfish. I recall a discussion at work with a young colleague as we were discussing potential curriculum changes. I knew she understood when she said, “I get it. You are more concerned about how the changes impact the department and what students get instead of your course.” A ballroom friend told me that they’ve never noticed me bringing attention to myself while dancing.  So yes, to me, this blog has been more about you than me – hence the personal salute to many.

Preparing this 5-part retrospective closing has been easier than I anticipated. Well, until now because thinking about all the positive relationships built in my little corner of the world chokes me up. Yes, tears rolled down my face several times. To me, I have learned that blogging is more about the people than the posts – but the posts have been the vehicle for making the connections with people.

Cheers to the majority of people in the world who are good.

Next Post: The Finale (To be published Tuesday 4 Feb @ 9:00 PM Eastern US)

On Christmas 2019

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To me, the December holiday rush is about the season of goodness. Some see it through a festival of light, others through a Nativity scene, others through the secular side of a Christmas tree, others through darkness of nature and Yule, and I’m sure other ways exist. Whatever the perspective, this is the season for joy, light, renewal, and hope.

I know that Christmas is a Christian holiday. Although I am a Christian, so my thoughts will cause some skin to crawl, but I also see this holiday time as the season of goodness that goes across humanity regardless of religion. A season of goodwill to all – l season of gratitude and appreciation of others –  a season …. And at the head of the holiday parade is Santa Claus – the Spirit of Goodness.

Santa is for Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists, Naturalists, Christians, and anyone and everyone else believing in a positive humanity. Yes, Santa is for everyone!

For me and to many others here, it’s Merry Christmas – but for others its’s Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays, Happy Solstice (or Yule), or simply have a blessed holiday.  In my final Christmas post in my little corner of the world, and being one believing the majority of the world is good, I wish everyone bountiful goodness during this holiday season with the greeting that suits them.

Below are some of my favorites for the season. For me, the gift of music for you is me. Whether you watch all or some, please let me know your favorites.

Christmas Canon (Trans Siberian Orchestra)

 

Silent Night (Placido Domingo and The Piano Guys)

 

As a ballroom dancer, I must include the light-hearted Christmas Waltz featuring a variety of clips from holiday movies.

 

In the spirit of the Winter Solstice, enjoy A Fire For You (John Boswell).

 

Ever since I saw this performed live, I love it – a Nigerian carol by the Morman Tabernacle Choir.

 

O Holy Night (piano solo with beautiful images of deep space).

 

Silent Night (Mannheim Steamroller – a long-time personal favorite arrangement featuring images of nature)

On Christmas 2018

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On these pages I have stressed this point many times: “I believe the majority of the people in the world are good.” Regardless of the bad news we receive on any given day from any given place, I continue to maintain that statement as an important mantra.

Not only to I believe the majority of the people in the world are good, I also see Santa as the Spirit of Goodness because it is that spirit that touches all.

It is the season of Christmas across Christendom – and yes, Christmas is a religious holiday – and yes – I am Christian – and yes, I embrace Christmas a secular holiday for all.

Whereas some Christians (and I believe the minority) complain about the commercialism while proclaiming, Put Christ back in Christmas, I say there is plenty of room for everyone in a secular Christmas because Santa – the Spirit of Goodness – is for everyone. Santa is for Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists, Naturalists, Christians, and anyone and everyone else.

During our recent trip to the Czech Republic, were told (multiple times) that the vast majority of Czechs today do not identify themselves as religious – let alone associated with a religious community. Yet – they embrace Christmas. I’m confident the Czech example if not unique – but rather very common because they embrace the Spirit of Goodness that the season brings.

Mannheim Steamroller’s version of Silent Night is one of my favorites. Below are different videos to the same song. I hope you pick one (and let me know).

May the Spirit of Goodness be with you not only during this holiday season, but throughout life.

The original

 

Beautiful painting of the season and live wildlife

 

Featuring the Aurora Borealis

 

More religious

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 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.