I love the beat of Cody’s tail wagging against the floor, against the door, against the wall, against the bed he is lying on. I’m not sure whether it will be Cody’s heart that gives out before his tail stops wagging.
Cody’s my 10 year old chocolate lab. We’re kinda attached at the hips. He goes to work with me every day. He goes to work most days, I am out of town on business. I now have a ramp he uses to load up into the back of my SUV. It is a ceremony. He’s not fan of the trip up. I’ve employed what is best to describe as a soft suitcase I wrap him in, to coax him up the ramp. He’s frantic, so there’s always a treat waiting for him. Upon arrival, and his descent, he reminds me of an arriving dignitary, including the obligatory pause for photo ops, before his parade trip down the ramp.
Cody knows when it’s time to go to work. He knows when it is time for his 10 and 4 o’clock walks. He knows he goes to North Park in the AM and he knows he tours the office park in the afternoon.
Most important he knows when it is time to go home. Dinner!
If you ask him to change his routine, you meet with the stubbornness of a 100+ lb. dog, who knows who’s in charge.
He knows when the UPS truck arrives. He knows the drivers. He knows whether to expect a biscuit or a good rub. The drivers know him, too. After all, “What can brown do for you?”
You might say Cody has it made. Even before you see his beds at home or the leather sofa he spends an increasing amount of time on at the office, but there’s a point to all this dribble. So bear with me.
Cody’s hips are giving in to father time, so he’s getting laser to strengthen his shoulders and flanks. If it works for him, I’m next in line.
Cody now goes to bed before Terri and I do. Both of us cracked a smile and laughed the first time he left us to head for bed. Now we know Cody has more common sense than we do.
A former neighboring business owner had a 10 year old white lab named Jack. Like Cody, he came to work with his owners each day. Jack died suddenly. We were commiserating when Jack’s owner said to me, “give Cody a good back scratch for Jack.”
When I scramble to meet a deadline, decry the political theatre, grouse over a lost order or worry about where the next dollar is coming from, all I have to do is look to my friend. He’s most often at my feet.
I am reminded. I have so much to live for, why not make things right in this messed up world? The solution?
Everyone should get a good tummy rub and a nice back scratch every day. Cody does.
Tough Love vs. Dependency
|Dependency - not confident, prone to mistakes, indecisive, desires security and support, fears having no guidance or support, frequently feels envious, not productive without reassurance, gets very attached to people, feels guilty when they disagree with people, seeks acceptance and recognition from peers, dramatizes their suffering, impressionable, can be talked into doing things, fears being unwanted or unworthy of love, never knows what to do next, personality is centered around low self esteem issues, swayed by emotions, can’t handle people being mad at me, freezes up in stressful situations, influenced more by others than self, avoids responsibilities, life lacks direction, prone to paranoia, prone to shame, daydreams about people to maintain a sense of closeness|
Does the government breed dependency? Certainly, for many, and not for all the right reasons. There are kids growing up on welfare, who don’t know any better. They don’t choose entitlements, entitlements are all they know.
As a teacher’s aide, my wife worked in a dropout prevention program. There was a young women she had taken under her wing. Our family welcomed her and her younger sister into our home and we treated them like family.
These young girls were basically in the same age group as our own daughters. We did a lot of family functions, meals, movies, theme parks, etc… together. When their behavior became more aggressive,when they began expecting to receive special treatment, whereby our own daughters did not, it was time to end the party. Tough love.
Tough love? Thinking back, there was never really any real love. There was caring. The plight of these girls still tugs at the heart string of our own family members, but there was no love given, for that matter, none shared.
It was a voluntary union by all, arguably a noble union. No one really got hurt, right? This is was what we knew. This is what we considered acceptable behavior. Others would consider doing much less, and find it acceptable behavior.
Why do seemingly noble gestures tend to haunt us? Most of us “do gooders” never learn from the ensuing realities.
Like Erich Fromm wrote about many years ago, in his book The Sane Society, as a society we’ve stopped short of loving. One of my favorite Fromm observations, is also the most thought-provoking.
“Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes and it may go. How can I judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgment and decision.”
― Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
Loving someone is very, very, tough to do. And according to Fromm, love is an art. To become a master artist, you have to practice long hours, every day. I would have to say “tough love” is becoming a “lost art.”
I have never met Thaddeus Logan, but I can share a moment in time with Thaddeus several years ago.
There’s a great restaurant, highly recommended for its blue crab, in Baltimore. To get there you had to leave your swank hotel and drive through the slums on the east side of Baltimore. What I saw from my vantage point in a Yellow Cab made me lose my appetite for crab and left me empty at the same time.
I will never forget the sight of a man, who may now own a piece of my soul, sitting on the steps in the projects in Baltimore. I have often wondered, is my soul his for the taking?
Do either of us have a choice to create a better life? If there is hope, the choices should be available to us both, should either be necessarily more gratifying?
The experience prompted me to write this:The Streets of Baltimore Our eyes met in a moment. One, sitting on the steps to nowhere. Where hallways echo empty promises. Where memories too often perish, Where misery too often survives. Ever so brief, our souls meet On the streets of Baltimore. One, just another fare, All we shared was a glare. A moment, no more. One asks resolute. Is it not too late? Can you snub out your smoke? Can you swallow that last drink? On the streets of Baltimore Both born rich in life, Both born poor to circumstance. Both bodies whole, Both born spirits unscathed, Both born undiscovered, Only one is born, On the streets of Baltimore. One white, one black. One who can’t look back, One can only look away. One lives on, in stark reality, One lives on, with memories. One lives on in misery. One lives filled with hope. One lives on the streets of Baltimore.
Alan J Wiessner
Updated Tuesday, October 23, 2012
I’m not going to get a copy of Hey Cabbie or Hey Cabbie II. Thaddeus Logan’s driven along those very same streets 1,000 fold and he too, understands, one can not look back. I have a feeling he is a good man and he has written a couple of good books that need to be read and taken to heart.
Serendipity is alive and well on the streets of Baltimore. What is going to stick with me is the romance, sadness or even the empathy I experienced, while visiting, so as for reading his books, so I’m just not going there. Not now. I believe the solution is already on the table. All that is needed is willing patrons.
On every street corner, In every pizza place,
You’re just another slice in time. In the midst of the masses,
Sits a beggar, a mere ghost, Imitating a man.
An unfortunate icon of the city, Short of shoes, sitting on lifeless wheels, His tin cup, barely clutching his hand. You…, you have a place to be, Master of Ceremony, Your parade marches on… Past his dimming, glassy eyes, Eyes you will never meet. You sail past his hopes Hopes you can never sink. Past his tin cup, from which, You will never drink. Alan J Wiessner Originally written after a trip to NYC in 2007 Updated 10-09-2012
If I could write you a song, I’d be asking you to sing along. Lyrics without the music, They just don’t belong. Like this plane I’m sitting on. Going nowhere, I’ve always been, Into the setting sun, away from you, Away from you. If I could write you a song, There’s no now, there’s no then, My life’s not taking off. There’s no place I’m landing soon, So much for life’s baggage when, I can’t even carry a tune. No place I’m going soon. If I could write you a song, The music would be all wrong. In this lonely hotel room. Trying to forget, drinking wine. Thin walls, thin lives, keeping time. Keeping me away from you. I need to be moving on. Always away from you. If I could write you a song, The lyrics would be too long. City streets, no place to turn around. Can’t keep these feet on the ground. In time, it’s always back to you. If I could write what’s wrong, This song would never end. I’d be on my way back to you, Back to you… Alan J Wiessner Saturday, August 18, 2012
I wrote “This Stretch of Road Is All Behind Me” because I often find people in places where they never want to be. I believe there is a stretch of road less traveled for those of you who live with misery, including depression. There are answers.
That road can be behind you. Depression is a horrible affliction, mostly misunderstood and largely ignored.
We need to do more not to ignore.
If you want to experience, first hand, what it is like living with depression, follow this link –> This stretch of road is all behind you now…
This stretch of road is all behind me.No more rolling down that road called misery. I’m no saint. No savior wannabe. I’m not here to take a fall. I’m just here passing through, that’s all. Cause that road I was headed down, Placed a hurt on me… a hurt on me. People bent, people broken. People’s names left unspoken. I’m not headed down that road. No. No. No more. So I’m taken a turn for right or wrong. This stretch in the road is all behind me. My mind, my bed is already made. There’s no more yesterday’s in my sites. No more yesterday’s hanging over me. Over me. All I see is ahead of me. Ahead of me… People bent, people broken. People’s names left unspoken. I’m not headed down that road. No. No. No more. There’s no going back! So don’t go there. Alan J Wiessner 10-31-2011
Rare moments in life afford you the opportunity to capture pure joy and a smile. This is one of those rare moments.
My two favorite beings on this planet. Here’s my expression and my inspiration.You Wake to Her Breathing When reality escapes you, Late at night. And you don’t feel right. You wake in the dark to her breathing. To know she’ll never be leaving. Someone’s there, someone who cares. You can close your eyes, And you dream the dreams, No one else can share. Morning face in the mirror, A familiar one. Your hand on the razor, There’s a job to be done. You’re one in million, But you’re not the only one. ‘Til she reaches for you, Upon the rising sun. Point the car down the highway, There’s work to be done. You face each day, The same old way. Lift the phone off the receiver, Makin’ someone a believer, You sell your soul to be with her, One more day, one more day! And when your day is done, Your pals are lookin’ for fun. You steer your head clear, Towards her waiting arms, And the setting sun, the setting sun. You know you’ll never be a genius, But you’re sure… Nothing will ever come between us, Because she’s the only one, The only one.
Alan J. Wiessner
I Can’t Do This Anymore!
“When you bust through all the layers of brevity and you have shaken all the hands of hope, you can begin to share the depths of despair depression can bring.”
If you are afflicted by or live with someone with severe depression, you’re no stranger to words of despair. You try to remain stoic while your insides are churning. Helpless in the moment. They’re gripped by desperate thoughts. And all you can do is to tell them it is going to be OK. Tell them it isn’t going to last. Tell them they will get better. Both of you must endure.
Tears may come easy to some, sometimes for no reason. Depression can often hide behind a smile. It’s no cliché. If you have shared a moment or a lifetime with someone who is severely depressed, the eyes are truly the window to their soul. Looking into the eyes of someone you love, eyes you have seen filled with joy, mischief, love and wonderment; that are suddenly filled with tears, fear, pain and bewilderment, is gut-wrenching. The only reprieve is an embrace.
Even those closest to one suffering from depression often react with bewilderment, impatience, aggravation, even divisiveness by someone’s sudden onset and deep dive into depression. The problem is there is more than one reality.
Depression is an alternate reality, a place where all that is burdensome or worrisome is amplified tenfold and more. Those who are afflicted with depression are rolling down a road to nowhere.
There are millions of clinically depressed people who are not normally self-absorbed, who are living productive lives, who are contributing to society, who are contributing to their friends and families, yet live with a profound sadness and who are depressed. These are people who are suffering from depression, who love life, who love others and who dread the unwelcome, unanticipated, unprovoked; and most disturbing, suffer undeserved moments of despair.
Moments of despair that often metastasize into hours, days, weeks and beyond. Some severely depressed people never make it back, back to living the productive lives they were meant to live.
Those who live, love, are friends with or have a depressed person in their lives need to embrace that person, even when that person doesn’t know or care if you are there.
You have to hold out for a loved one afflicted with depression, let them know you are there without prejudice, without demands and bring a boatload of patience. Reach out to them, through the tears. Find them in your embrace. Welcome them back. Cherish every moment.
With depression, there’s always a way back. The fact is, if you can be a severely depressed person and face a severe episode (incident) of depression with defiance and say, “I won’t take this anymore.” If you can face the feelings of fear and desperation by surrendering to those feelings, letting go, letting those feelings roll over you and believe in yourself its possible you can endure each successive episode until your psyche has put these feelings behind you.
I wrote “This Stretch of Road Is All Behind Me” because I often find people in places where they never want to be. I believe this stretch of road for those who live with misery, including depression, that road can be behind you.
This stretch of road is all behind me…No more rolling down this road called misery. I’m no saint. No savior wannabe. I’m not here to take a fall. I’m just here passing through, that’s all. Cause that road I was headed down, Placed a hurt on me… a hurt on me. People bent, people broken. People’s names left unspoken. I’m not headed down that road. No. No. No more. So I’m taken a turn for right or wrong. This stretch in the road is all behind me. My mind, my bed is already made. There’s no more yesterday’s in my head. No more yesterday’s hanging over me. Over me. All I see is ahead of me. Ahead of me… People bent, people broken. People’s names left unspoken. I’m not headed down that road. No. No. No more. Hear me now. There’s no going back! So just don’t go there. You hear me? Alan J Wiessner 10-31-2011
Note to readers: There are many roads to a cure for depression. There are also many forks in the road and dead ends, too. Drug therapy is not an exact science. There are many good self-help books, good therapists, effective drugs and other forms of therapy. If the road you take doesn’t work, don’t give up. There are many roads available. Don’settle.
One of the best sites on Depression.
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Life is large!… and so amazing!
Don’t let a few bumps in the road stop you from experiencing your potential.
You have an awesome future.
Don’t waste time on worry, anger or reproach.
Life’s too short.
The “what if’s?” can be endless.
The “why not’s” can be endless too.
Choose one and you will be lost in life.
Choose the other and you will find endless possibilities.
So “why not?”
If you have ever stood in line, reached the checkout counter and the cashier asks you if you want to donate to one of a plethora of genuinely legitimate and pressing charitable causes how do you feel?
You could have donated ten percent of your income to your church or to your favorite charity but now you are being called out publicly to donate “just a buck” to a good cause.
What do you do? Maybe the real question is, “What can you do?”
You are challenged publicly and personally to reach a little deeper into your pocket. You are faced with a decision to arbitrarily part with a buck. Maybe it is 1%; 10%; 50% of your purchase. Maybe you are a frequent shopper and a frequent contributor. Maybe you have factored the additional dollar or more into your purchase price. Maybe you linger in the vicinity of the register so you might checkout without an audience, should you choose to reject the request for just a buck.
That’s the question posed by President Obama tonight to the Republican Party. He clearly conveyed in his message to the American public this evening, this is a personal decision and it’s only a buck. What’s a buck?
President Obama has made this personal. He is hoping those who oppose him are now faced with making their own very personal decision.
The difference is it’s $400 billion bucks. The deal was $800 billion in new revenues. The president raised the ante to $1.2 trillion. He waited until the Republicans had bought in, ready to swipe their credit card and the line behind them was long, impatient and tired of the delays, lack of service and needed to get on with their lives. You can pay for it later. Next month or next year. What’s $400 billion? After all it’s for a good cause. It’s for charity.
How can this get any more personal?
In 2009, Americans reported nearly $34.9 billion worth of donations to private charities serving the public interest on their federal tax forms, as they claimed the federal government’s tax deduction for charitable contributions on their taxes. Of all these donations, $19.14 billion, or 54.9%, were made by taxpayer households that reported $200,000 or more in annual income.
Needless to say, that’s a lot of money that President Barack Obama believes would be better spent by the U.S. government in the form of spending controlled by elected U.S. politicians who would receive political benefits from it, which is why the President has repeatedly proposed cutting or eliminating the charitable contribution tax deduction for Americans who earn high incomes.
The President most recently went after the charitable contribution tax deduction in his original budget proposal for the U.S. government’s 2012 fiscal year, which could limit the amount of a tax deduction for high income earners by up to 30%.
Assuming that if not for the tax deduction for charitable contributions that Americans earning high incomes would not donate as much money to private charities, we estimate that the potential effect of the President’s FY2012 budget proposal would affect up to $1.9 billion of charitable contributions.
Eyes wide open… Reflections
In the darkest hours of the night, when sleep should prevail, without prejudice, without mercy, questions pour into my head. I lie awake and I wonder…
Have I lived well enough to make many friends and fewer enemies?
Do I have the courage to cherish my friends and to vanquish my enemies?
Have I spread enough smiles?
Have I shared enough hugs?
Have I planted enough kisses?
Have I caused enough laughter to earn reciprocity?
Have I studied enough history?
Have I been engaged enough in current affairs?
Have I earned a degree in knowledge?
Is knowledge a benefit?
Is knowledge the revelation of truths, or is knowledge the realizations of falsehoods?
Have I learned from every victory and every folly?
If so, am I a benefactor; more important, am I a teacher?
Today, in this world that reports the past in real time; in time to worry for our future; and I only see and images of life, albeit in real time, can I relate?
Have I focused long enough on the anguished faces, I cannot truly see?
Have I listened hard enough to the desperate voices, I truly cannot hear?
Have I seen enough of their pain, I truly cannot feel?
Have I felt their hunger, I cannot feed?
Have I shared in their grief, I cannot quell?
Have I touched enough people?
Has cuddling become a lost art?
If you learn my darkest secret, will you forgive me?
Will I forgive myself?
Did I stop smoking soon enough to live forever?
How much double churned ice cream is too much?
Will I die and when?
Will it be too soon! Of course!
Would I fight for my life to the very end?
Out of fear?
Out of courage; for you?
Will I let go?
Can I fall away?
Will you miss me if I’m gone?
Will you miss me when you are alone?
Will you miss me when you are amongst friends.
Will you still laughing and smiling?
And for how long? Don’t tell me.
My dog is asleep at my feet.
He has all the answers.
He won’t say, but I finally get it.
It’s not about me.
So now, I can close my eyes…
There is no warranty on life’s journey. The only guaranty is the past. And then there is Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is a horrible debilitating disease that sets about diminishing the past.
Today there is no remedy for Alzheimer’s. For Alzheimer’s victims, tomorrow may never come. It has become an ailment of epidemic proportion, not unlike the “C” word and other world class diseases.
Ronald Reagan had it, my Dad, Martin Gerald “Jerry” Wiessner had it. Dad was in a losing battle with an unforgiving and relentless disease, Alzheimer’s. Simply put, Alzheimer’s is an hour glass of life’s memories forever sifting and slipping away. Hundreds of thousands of people, regardless of their position in life, have it. Hundreds of thousands more will be afflicted and so the journey continues.
President Reagan’s birthday has recently come and gone. Still an inspiration, five years after leaving office, his final public comments included the following sage words…Excerpts…
“So now we feel it is important to share it with you. In opening our hearts, we hope this might promote greater awareness of this condition. Perhaps it will encourage a clearer understanding of the individuals and families who are affected by it. “
“Unfortunately, as Alzheimer’s disease progresses, the family often bears a heavy burden. I only wish there was some way I could spare Nancy from this painful experience. When the time comes, I am confident that with your help she will face it with faith and courage.”
“I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead.”
With Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) the effect is a diminishing past and memories once shared are forgotten. For us, the Wiessner family, especially my Mom, we lived with AD and its hold on our lives for just shy of a decade. We had been missing my Dad long before he was gone. There was no despair. We had and we have each other and we are united in our efforts to heighten awareness for a cure for AD.
I am very proud of my entire family and how they came together and have held together throughout this ordeal with a family member with AD. They have exhibited unheralded measures of endearment and respect for the spirit of Jerry, the man, the husband, the father, the grandpa and the grand pa-pa (Ba-pa). As you embark on your next journey please know, “We are all going to miss you now that you’re gone Dad, you will live forever in our hearts.”
Visit my amazingly talented sisters’ blogs in support of the fight against Alzheimer’s, where they have given of their time and talent to fight this terrible disease.
There is a wonderful community of support out there. Both sisters Beth and Diane have received nationwide recognition for their art through an organization well known for their support of a cure for Alzheimer’s http://alzquilts.org/
Note: Please help us get the good word out. Share us on your favorite social media site and Stumble Upon. Thanks.
The expression can truly be a misnomer because it works both ways. In my case, Cody is my best friend. I’m not mincing words. Everyone knows he’s the guy. There’s no competition.
I’m not picking up anyone else’s poop. I won’t give anyone else a bath, at least not with flea and tick shampoo. If you’re nudging me with your cold nose and you’re asking me to get up in the middle of the night to take you out so you can pee in my back yard, what are the chances I’m OK with that? Only for my man Cody Bear.
What are best friends? I have to believe best friends will do just about anything for you. They aren’t going to pick up your poop, but they are willing to change your diapers and clean up after you.
I’m saying, they will drag your ass out of bar when you are being booed for singing karaoke.
They will refuse to loan you money when they know you’re throwing good money after bad.
They are your best friends in the first place because they share your “bucket list”.
Best friends will give you grief, let you grieve, and they will be there when you are ready to let go.
There is no such thing as fair weather friends. Friends are friends or they are suspects. It’s not their decision to make. Friends are friends until you decide otherwise. You can take them or leave them.
What’s wrong with having sometime friends? That is the key to friendships. If you decide a friend is no longer a friend, is he still someone else’s friend?
Why can’t you have a friend that likes a part of you? Friends may like some of what you do, some of who you are; but not all of you. So what?
You have to be a saint to be everyone’s best friend so why not just be a friend to anyone who wishes to enjoy your company? It’s not mutually exclusive. I have friends I have offended, at least in some respects. They may have even been offended by some of my other of my friends.
How many of you hang out with someone else’s friends for a friend’s sake? That’s a good friend!
Cody Bear, “Bear” being the operative word, is a saint. Bears forage for food heavily throughout the Summer and Fall months so they can hibernate throughout Winter. They survive until Spring on the fat they have stored.
Unfortunately Cody, my Chocolate Lab has exceeded his quota and he doesn’t hibernate, choosing to forage throughout the Winter months, as well. Before you jump to any conclusions, he is fed two measured cups of dry all natural, gluten free food each day with a rawhide chew for dessert and a small treat each time he does his business. So think thyroid problem.
We treat him for that, too, but the medication makes him hyperactive and if you knew Cody, hyperactive means heavy breathing. “This dog don’t hunt”! He’s not jumping through burning hoops or running in circles chasing his tail. A fifteen minute walk/sniffathon is enough to drive a patient man to the brink and Cody to barely avoid the 911 call for an EMT.
All that said, the Bear and I are soul mates. If I want Cody to lose some weight all I have to do is leave town. I can pull out the suitcase and just watch him go into a tailspin. It’s to the point I pack in the dark, when he’s not around; carry my roller bag so he can’t hear me roll for my exit.
I will be home soon my friend!
An interview with a family guy, entrepreneur and small business owner.
How did you become a small business owner, and why?
The simplest answer would be, no one would hire me. My first job out of school was working for my dad. Nine months later, my dad fired me. I knew it was coming. My dad ran the business out of the house. That morning my mom had made me my favorite breakfast, blueberry pancakes.
Thereafter, I have had successful stints with large and mid-size companies, but there’s only so much a person will do for money. I had reached my limit.
What do you love the most about running a small business?
Gainfully employing good people. Growing the business. Being more innovative and responsive than our larger competitors and winning.
What does owning a business allow you to do that most folks do not get to enjoy?
This question has the potential to be long on clichés, but the right answer is that I never have to think twice about getting out of bed in the morning.
What is your biggest challenge right now and how are you dealing with it?
Ok, now it’s time for a clichés. My favorite expression is from Alan Kay, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” In the software development (technology) business we are reminded of this expression daily. We have to constantly reinvent ourselves.
What has been your proudest moment as a small business owner?
I’m going to equate pride with reward and say my most rewarding moment was when an employee, I held in high regard, walked into my office, and stuck out his hand. We shook hands and I asked him, “What is this all about?” He said, “You promised me within five years, I would be making “x-amount” of dollars per year and I am. Thanks.”
My proudest moment was March 7, 2013 when we celebrated 25 years in business.
What have you not yet achieved that you would like to?
I’m not a “bucket list” kind of guy. Certainly I have revenue goals and long-term objectives for the business. Call it a 20/20 vision, annual twenty (20) percent growth in both revenue and profit. The real challenge is balancing the physical challenges with the mental challenges. Next year, I’m looking forward to both cross-country skiing and cycling around Crater Lake.
What is the best part of your day?
Getting out on my bike for an hour or two in the middle of a work day, and not getting run over.
What do you read?
I’m reading an amazing, gut-wrenching, inspirational story of personal struggle and entrepreneurship titled Born to Rise: A Story of Children and Teachers Reaching Their Highest Potential by Deborah Kenney
What has been your biggest mistake and how did you learn from it?
I’ve made many. I’m going to make many more. My biggest mistake would be not to learn from them.
We’ll not forget the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT.
While we grieve the slaughter of innocents, this tragic act serves as a reminder of how precious, how fragile, the gift of life is.
Whatever your religious beliefs, let’s not forget to appreciate the Christmas spirit.
Set aside your politics and prejudice, the spirit of Christmas is about giving. In the spirit of Christmas, we need to turn to those we love, family and friends and give of ourselves.
Not to pontificate, it’s easy for people this time of year to find a reason to be unhappy. Let’s not forget those less fortunate and find joy in all we have been given.
These lyrics from Santa Claus is Coming to Town come to mind…
You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Holidays! And be good for goodness sake!
Author’s note: I debated posting the cartoon caricature of Santa and decided it was too compelling (not the message, the picture of Santa). My apologies if you find it disturbing, but I wrote this to remind myself what Christmas means to me, how I am dealing with the unimaginable evil of the mass murder at Sandy Hook and I decided to share.