Tag Archives: politics

Something Is Amiss Here ……….

I have to say this evening that I am troubled about something.  Actually, I have been for quite some time now.  There is something very wrong going on in this country of ours anymore.  It seems that bit by bit the liberties that were once ours are quietly being taken away.  This I believe is done incrementally and by design in hopes that the folks in our nation do not take notice.  It would seem that the idea is working for not many people are taking issue with what is going on nowadays.  The level of governmental control has been on the rise for many years now.  But it has increased dramatically under the present administration which is very disturbing.  For example, we have now a national health care program and have been told by our governing body that if we cannot provide proof of our own medical coverage, then we must sign up for this national program.  And if we do not comply, then there will be monetary penalties drawn against us.  Now, for the moment let us ignore the fact that this national health care program is poorly structured and not worthy of consideration for that is not the issue at hand.  The last time I checked, I was a citizen of the United States of America and therefore my government which is to serve the citizenry is not permitted to violate the very constitution which brought this nation into being.  In short, what is being done here is unconstitutional.  And if I may cite another example of the fingers of our leaders pushing into the private lives of the citizenry here?  The suggestion has been made to embrace the concept of mandatory voting in the elections that occur in this nation.  Friends, the right to vote is simply that.  It is a right and one which we exercise.  It is also our right to abstain from voting.  Voting is not and I say again, is not a mandate put forth by this country’s governing body which would force its people to go to the polls.  These are but two issues out of many that are undermining this nations foundation as of late.  There are many more, let me assure you.  This country, our country was and is established on the basis of independence and freedom, yes?  I do recall the words “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave”, don’t you?  And how about the lyrics “My country tis’ of thee, Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing”?  The ideals that our nation were founded upon are still in place….at least for now.  But there are powers in government that are seeing to it that those ideals are being slowly worn away.  This process is called erosion, as I am sure you are aware.  There will come a day in the not too distant future that the United States will be unrecognizable when compared to the U.S. Constitution as we know it today.  Does this not bother us any longer?  Do we no longer value the gift that is this country, our country?  For it is our country.  It belongs to us, to the citizens. It belongs to all of us and it belongs to none of us.  Therein lies the beauty and strength of the premise upon which America was founded.  It is for those who would be free and free indeed!  That man or woman who sold you those shoes last week?  That youngster who mowed your lawn last week or delivered your Sunday newspaper?  And how about the teller there at your local bank who says “Good morning!” and handles your transactions for you with a smile?  Or perhaps a bit closer to your heart and your home….What of your children to which you will leave the condition of this country for them to deal with?  All these folks and all these children and more…..These are the ones who do the working and paying and living in this nation.  These are the individuals who are the sovereign here.  I know this because our founding fathers declared its citizens sovereign and it is still the truth today.  You see friends, our constitution has not changed.  Oh, there have been some amendments here and there to be sure.  But the heart of this document still carries the pulse of freedom which is the very thing that brought us to greatness.  Do we really want to accept less than what is best for those we love and hold dear?  Think about this carefully for we hold the future of these United States in our hands these days.

Now, our leaders today have a much different view on this issue.  Indeed they do.  Our public servants have become, by and large servants unto themselves.  They make sure to vote themselves a generous increase every year as well. Did you know of this?  I read a short time ago that the average salary increase for each senator and representative of the house was $3,774.00 per year!  Conversely, the national debt for which the government just keeps raising the ceiling is in the trillions of dollars now.  I must say that as a “leader”, I would have to decline any salary increase offered me and if I was as well off as most of those fellows, I wouldn’t feel proper unless I cut my present salary by around 20% or so.  And if that sounds a bit out dated for today’s world, then I am just an out dated sort of guy.  I do seem to remember reading that John F. Kennedy cut his salary down to almost nothing because he was well to do and was in office to serve the people.  If that be true, then I guess I would be in good company given my ideals.  I do know that those who hold high office are supposed to have accountability to the citizens they serve.  The position of leadership carries with it the mantle of responsibility and those who wear it well have my respect.  But my friends, respect is earned and never simply given.  It is not something to be ladled out to those who are undeserving.  No and again I say no!  Friends, surely you must agree here!  Remember if you will the words of Abraham Lincoln who said that ours was “a government of the people, by the people and for the people”.  Do these words carry the same strength today as they did then?  I am sad to say that they do not carry much weight in the eyes of our leaders today.  The words that formed our great nation have been twisted and manipulated in so many fashions and so many times that it makes me heart-sick.

I must apologize here as well for it hurts me to my heart to speak this way.  I was brought up to honor those who would lead our country and offer prayers for their wisdom that they may guide this nation in the path it should follow.  These days it seems that a great deal of prayer must be needed for we are being led down the path to ruin by those whose job it is to serve its citizens.  I want very much to be proud of our leaders.  It is my deep desire to say to all who would hear that those who represent the citizens of the United States of America have rightful possession of my faith and confidence for they have earned my respect and my heart.  It grieves me so that I am unable to make a statement like this.  What is happening and what has been happening in and around my country, our country is disgraceful.  Again I must say that I would very much like to wake up as from a very bad dream and find that all is as it should be and that our leaders of today were strong in character and had motives that were pure.  I would so like to be incorrect about the views reflected here for I love our country.  It is her government that leaves my heart sad and yes, even ashamed.

So, I suppose the question with regards to us, to the people who make up the backbone of this country, to the folks like you and your next door neighbors is a simple one.  It is a simple question with an answer that is equally simple.  What is the question here tonight for us all?  The question is “What is to be done about the going-ons in this, our country?”  And it is our country, folks.  It always has been and at this point, it still is.  And the answer to said question tonight?  As I said, it is simple.  However like anything that is of value, it can also be difficult.  Simple has never meant easy, has it?  Here is the answer for you just now.  Since this is indeed our country and it is our land, we simply and collectively must say that “Enough is enough!”  Mind you, it is not the efforts of one or two.  Nor is it safe to say that 30 or 40 folks will bring about change.  Or 300 or even 500 people is not a sufficient number.  It is by way of a sweeping movement which brings in its wake the many, many Peoples of this country that change, positive change and a reclamation will come to our nation, to our home.  In this way, the next generation will not be left in the disarray that has become our country.  And if I may state one other thing?  Any government will only push as far as its’ citizens will permit it.  To put it another way, when little Johnny misbehaves, he is put into a time-out which lets him know his bad behavior will no longer be tolerated, yes?  This is what I meant when I said the answer for government reform was a simple one.  It is the same premise.  Our leaders are in place today because we agreed that they could be in that position and our agreement of the same was either a vote or by way of being complacent and not caring about the situation.  Either way, we the people gave them position.  Thus, we have the power and ability together to say, We have tired of your bad behavior and enough is enough!  Do give much consideration to these words this evening for it is most important and quite urgent as of late.  And if you are honest with yourself (for we all must be), you will find that this message will resonate with your spirit or within your being, if you prefer.

I apologize for going long this evening.  However, this has weighed upon me for a bit of time now.  In truth, I was even hesitant to put these words out this evening for our right to speak freely in our country has been brought into question as well which is very sad to me and I am sure to many of you as well.  Perhaps I am overstating this here but I will say it once again.  I love our country, the United States of America and the flag she wears.  I always will.  Please let us stop closing ourselves off from each other as we seem to become increasingly plugged into our electronic devices while becoming more and more unplugged from our neighbors and humanity.  Take care and be good one to another, yes?

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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God Loves You!……..

Has Life left you wondering

And you haven’t got a clue?

Well, remember this today, my friend

That God Loves You!

Have you had some disappointment?

Are you sad and oh so blue?

Then you best not forget, dear one

That God Loves You!

Have you suffered a lost love?

Is your job all but through?

Then I must truly tell you

That God Loves You!

Did the doctor give you bad news?

Is there nothing they can do?

Please, may I tell you something?

Your God Loves You!

Are you worried for the future?

Does your past Life torment you?

Then I will tell you once again

That God Loves You!

No matter what the problem

Or the issues that ensue,

You may always rest assured

That God Loves You!

Just ask in faith believing,

And He will be there on cue!

Now, know this thing for certain,

Your God Loves You!!

 

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To The Leaders Of This World, I Say To You That Enough Is Enough!!!

I am writing this tonight because I am frustrated….No, I am angry and incensed with the situation that has presented itself today. I speak of the situation that involves North Korea and these United States.  For any of you that have read this blog, you may have an idea of how I feel about the politics and the goings-on in our nation and our world.  But this issue today will have consequences that will be dire no matter what the resolution is.  What is being presented here is the possibility of nuclear weaponry being used, one country against another.  This is more than just politics as usual.  It is even more than ignorance on the part of the USA and North Korea.  This is blatant stupidity and a lack of leadership in action.  And sadly, we and the rest of the world have ringside seats.  We may have the sad opportunity to see the self-serving actions of a relative few affect literally tens of thousands of lives, the lives of regular folks.  People such as you and I who no longer have a say in what happens in and to our world.  This is simply wrong.

To the leaders of this, our country I say “Shame on you all for bringing things to this point!  Shame on our president who has not demonstrated proper leadership in this and many other situations that have run rampant across our country.  And shame on our elected officials, our senators and representatives who have made service to themselves an art form, voting themselves generous cost-of-living raises each and every year for the last 5 years while so many in our country work 2 and 3 jobs to survive.  Even worse are those who cannot find work and are unable to feed their families.  What has happened to the honor of your positions?  I am sadly embarrassed to recognize the bulk of the so-called “leadership” of my country.  And it pains me to say so!” 

And as to the leaders in North Korea?  I say to you there that you are not without fault as well.  It is your slothful pride and anger that brings this to bear.  Is our nation, the United States of America blameless in all of this?  I would say most certainly not.  I love my country dearly but I cannot and will not lie or make excuses for her.  But Kim Jong-Un, you are also not blameless here nor are any of your constituents.  And since we are on the subject and since it is “in for a penny, in for a pound” as the saying goes, I will say this as well.  The political games that have been played over these decades, these power games, if you will are the games that are played by those in power and by those who stand to profit mightily from said games.  To all of you I say, “Shame on you all for playing with people’s lives and with the lives of their families for the sake of your pocketbook!” 

I must say that in previous pieces that I have written, I have tried to put a message out to folks that would hopefully get their attention without speaking disrespectfully about those in power.  I have tried to convey a message to let us, “we the people” know that we still have the ability and the collective power to effect change in our country and therefore the world, if we come together as those united.  But what is going on here, what is happening now and today, this minute sickens me.  It is physically revolting and turns my stomach to see what is at work here.  And do you know why this is so??  I will tell you just now so please attend your ear to my words.

What I am about to say is quite simple really and very obvious.  It is only through a coming together of our various countries, ethnicities and beliefs that there will ever be peace on Earth.  Why do you people, the leaders with whom we have placed our trust fail to see this glaring truth?  “Well, it’s not so easy as that”, says Mr. Senior Statesman.  Oh but is, kind sir!  And that is indeed the truth of it.  The political arena is really little more than a very large sandbox in which the world leaders, politicians and special interests play.  And truthfully, I don’t believe I would begrudge them their games except for the fact that they have never learned to play together well. No one wishes to share the sand within the box because to them the sand is indicative of power and it is power they crave.  It is power they must have for power equates to money and more money is more power.

To those who are in a position of leadership in this country as well as across this grand world of ours, I will say this and it will be my close.  And I mean no disrespect to those who are in earnest and wield their power fairly and honorably.  You are indeed present but are sadly in the minority.  As for the rest of you, let me say this.  I am ashamed of you and of how you have used and continue to use your position for anything other than the good of the people who put you in office.  I believe that one day soon, your day of  reckoning will come about.  I do not know how or when it will occur exactly but it will.  I would also say to you that you might do a bit of self-introspection and consider making some changes.  Perhaps you should bring to remembrance who exactly you were placed in office to serve. (And in case you were unaware of this, it was not the special interest groups whom you love so well.)  It is the citizenry of this country who once entrusted you with the power to serve said citizenry.  You would do well to remember this and re-acquaint yourselves with the folks who provide you with not only the power you wield but with your paycheck as well.  Yes kind sirs and madams, we are the ones who pay your salary.  Just in case you may have forgotten that fact.  Oh and by the way, citizens today are not quite as accepting or ignorant as they may have been in years gone by.  Food for thought, if you will.

Now, one last thought here tonight and please be kind enough to indulge me here.  What I am about to say here will make me sound like a broken record.  However, there are some things that bear repeating.  I will say this again and again or at least as long as I think it will make a difference.  This evening it would seem I have  blasted away at our leaders and at world leaders as well.  Perhaps I have.  But at the end of the day, where does the real fault lie?  Who is really to blame for what is happening round’ about us today and in the day’s ahead?  The accusatory finger must be pointed at us, at ourselves.  In reality, there is none else to blame.  Now you may say, “Wait just a minute here!  How can this be so?”  To answer this question, I will ask a question.  When little Jimmy is being petulant and misbehaving, how do you get him to stop? How do you get him to get back on track, as it were?  And to those who would say a good hard swat on the rear would do the trick, I would say that isn’t really the answer.  The way to get the child back on the road to proper conduct is to let the child know that his bad behavior will no longer be tolerated.  And this message must be conveyed firmly and consistently.  In dealing with those whom we have elected and entrusted to the position of their office, the same principle must be applied.  And it must be applied firmly and consistently until the desired results are achieved.  Those who we elected to office will not “misbehave” any more than we allow them to.  Now, would the same principle apply to the government in say, North Korea?  Probably not.  But there was time when it was said that “as the United States of America goes, so goes the world”. We have pretty well lost that particular foothold over the last few decades.  But I suppose my point is that if we clean up our own political backyard, then perhaps we would regain enough of our world’s respect where they just might look to us for enlightenment and leadership.  Just a thought.

I apologize for going on here.  And if I have wandered off point a bit, I beg your indulgence.  This situation has upset me greatly just as I am sure it has you.  What will bear out here?  I do not know.  I pray for our country and for those in North Korea as well as the rest of our world.  The big boys are playing with their big toys.  I heard someone say that once.  It disturbed me then and it disturbs me even more today.  We do not need weapons of mass destruction and we do not need more political power plays.  What we do need is for those who claim to be world leaders to begin to lead responsibly.  It is the only avenue by which this country and our world can be brought into the presence known as Peace.

Thank you for your attention and kind patience.  Please consider what is here and act upon it. We the people. Remember those words.  It is our country and our world.  It was gifted to us by our Creator and belongs to us and all of our sisters and brothers across the Earth.  It does not belong to the politicians and the select few.  Pray for resolution with regards to the major issue before us.  Good night.

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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The Color Of Racism Is Fear……

The color of racism is fear.   What better description could ever be offered as a definition for that word racism.  The embodiment of this word has caused more problems in this, our world than any other word ever has or ever will for that matter.  Racism is at the base of all divisiveness and hatred.  It was racism that gave rise to the Holocaust and it was racism that brought forth Apartheid in South Africa.  Racism was at the core in the Bosnian war where genocide was the ultimate goal.  The faces that racism chooses to wear are many, some of which are blatant and others which are not so easily seen with the latter being done by design.  This evil has been with us since time eternal. It can be called racism or it can be referred to as bigotry or prejudice as well.  Racism is the reason that there was ever such a thing as slavery.  The very idea of buying and selling human beings is abhorrent to me.  Each human being carries within it a soul, a radiant spark of the Divine.  No one has the right to buy or sell Divinity.  Is this not the truth?

And I will say that if I chose to do so, I could give to you immeasurable examples and instances of how as well as where and when racism has been permitted to control so much of our world.  I speak of ages past and of our world today.  And that, my friends is most unfortunate.  You see, in today’s world we are supposedly so much more enlightened and vastly more intelligent than those of bygone eras.  So why is it that racism is still so much a strong force that runs rampant across this Earth of ours?  Why do people hate or even dislike another person because of the color of their skin or because their belief system differs from our own?  People, human beings which are born of our Creator are still being terrorized, being victimized and ostracised and even killed simply because of their race, religion or gender preference?  “The evil that men do…”.  We have all heard these words before.  I will tell you that if we were able to trace back each evil deed ever committed, I would wager that it was somehow brought about by some form of racism.  So, I would repeat my query here……If we are so much more intelligent and enlightened, why in God’s name is there such an abundance of prejudice, racism or whatever else you wish to call it in our world??

Well, perhaps the first item I would call to your attention is that there is a huge difference between intellect and wisdom.  So many of folks today have MBA’s, PhD’s and a number of other college degrees behind their name and I applaud them for their tenaciousness in obtaining such an education.  I am not against education and schooling.  It is a part of a strong societal backbone, if you will.  But intellect is not wisdom and it is wisdom we lack, my friends.  Wisdom is knowledge tempered with discernment and cloaked in compassion.  We must allow wisdom back into our hearts and then into our minds.  Therein lies the difference and I believe I am just now able to see this truth.  Wisdom begins in the heart and wisdom once received then involves the mind.  Intellect has always been and always will be relegated to the mind.  So let us first gain wisdom.  This is to be our armour when in combat with the enemy called racism.  Agreed, yes?  We have an accord then.  Good.

Now to truly bring about change, to truly hit racism where it lives, we need to be able to do what?  In any battle (And make no mistake about this.  This is a battle) we must be able to recognize the enemy for we cannot possibly win the war if we are unable to discern who the enemy is.  Which brings me to our original point.  The color of racism is fear.  All racism, all prejudice and bigotry are deeply rooted in a particular soil called fear.  So perhaps we have been attacking this problem of racism the wrong way?  We, often with considerable effort, attempt to uproot the weeds of racism from the garden which is our world.  And many times we do meet with some measure of success.  But still we wonder and are puzzled why these same weeds return again and again to plague our world.  I believe the problem to be not so much the actual weeds of racism as it is the very soil, the soil of fear that feeds and allows those same weeds to return and they often return with more strength than those that came before them.  Does this make sense at all?  If so, then what is truly the answer to this question, this problem we have called racism? 

The answer, as most answers usually are, is simple but it is hard.  It is the soil, the soil of fear that must be addressed here.  This soil of fear is rancid.  It is poison, to be quite honest.  The soil of fear is soil that has not been tended to properly for a very long period of time.  In large part, the soil I speak of is representative of the Heart of our World.  In order to bring the soil back to its original goodness, we must once again give heed to what is allowed into this soil, yes?  And for any garden to grow abundantly and in goodness, the soil therein must be tilled, turned over and aerated so as to permit Life to enter in anew and afresh.  And how do we accomplish this task, you might ask?  We accomplish this through by using the wisdom we discussed a bit earlier.  The formula for racism is not difficult to understand if we think for a moment about it.  The formula is simply this  –  Ignorance of any given situation by any individual brings forth fear.  And fear gives birth to the problem at hand which in this case happens to be racism.  So, if we can bring wisdom and enlightenment into the places where ignorance resides, we can effectively cast out the fear which is indeed the basis of racism.  People are afraid of what they do not understand, whether it be consciously or subconsciously and what we fear we perceive as threatening in some fashion.   The answer then is to gain understanding and in doing so, we obtain wisdom.  And in obtaining wisdom, we learn what tolerance really is.  And my friends, if we can understand the true meaning of tolerance, it is then that this issue of racism will no longer be the issue that has plagued us for so long now.  It is then that we will have truly been brought forward into wisdom.  Wisdom is based in love and understanding, yes?  So, it is in true wisdom that we will know peace in this, our world.  If you would, please give this some thought for I believe it has much merit.

As always, I thank you for taking time from your day to read these thoughts that have been given me, thoughts that I truly enjoy sharing with you.  Be blessed abundantly in your day and please be sure to share the blessing with all those round about you.  Take care with yourselves.

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

 

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Our Nation Teeters On A Fiscal Cliff? What Is Wrong With This Picture?

We live in the greatest country in the world!  This is still the truth today.  It is our government that has become our Achilles heel, if you will.  Our grossly overpaid, self-absorbed senators and representatives cannot agree on anything.  Look what is happening with this “fiscal cliff” issue.  Oh yes, this cliff was avoided in the 11th hour with much dramatization.  But this should not have been an issue in the first place.  And now, there is still much question about how this is going to affect the citizenry of this, our country.  Like so many these days, I am most unhappy with the manner in which our “leaders” are leading us further and further down a road of financial irresponsibility.  The animosity between the Republicans and the Democrats which has been going now for far too long reminds me of the feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys.  It has sadly reached comedic proportions which would indeed be laughable if the position it has placed our nation in was not so dire.

The whole idea of a two-party governmental system was to facilitate balance in the government overall.  The premise on which it was set up was ideal, actually.  But over the last few decades, it has degraded so far that one cannot even recognize it when compared to the original model.  Why do you figure that is?  Is it the fault of the lawmakers, of our elected officials?  Yes, it is.  But it is also our fault.  The true burden of blame rests upon our shoulders.  For you see, we elected these people and they are accountable to us, the citizens of this country.  Their paychecks are drawn from the very taxes that we pay into our government.  My fellow Americans, just in case we have forgotten it, I would like to bring up the fact that our senators, our representatives and yes, even our President work for us. It is not the other way around.

Oh, and speaking of paychecks and salaries, it might interest you to know that for the 5th year in a row, our lawmakers voted not to reject their automatic “cost of living” raise that will increase the annual salaries of members by $3,400.00 which will give them an annual income of $158,103.00 per year.  This figure would not include monies received from special interest groups and so on.  Doesn’t this piece of information set fire to your soul?  Personally, I work 65 to 70 hours a week in order to survive. I drive a 4-year-old automobile which makes me fortunate compared to many others.  And believe me, my income does not rival or even come close to the $158,103.00 that our leaders are more than happy to pocket, those dollars coming from the very taxes paid by the average citizen, by you and I.

And I will say this as well.  If our elected officials were working industrially in our best interest instead of their own, I would not begrudge them the money they are being paid.  But they are like children in a schoolyard who not only cannot get along, they refuse to get along.  The in-fighting in our nations Capitol has become a disgrace.  A disgrace!  I am sure much of the world regards our once great nation as somewhat of a joke.  And the money that our leaders keep borrowing from other countries is helping to push us into what will be a disaster.

Where does all of this stop?  Or perhaps a better question is this……..When will you and I as a people take a stand and start to reclaim what is and always has been our country? It is within our power to do so and it is our right to do so.  Furthermore, it is our duty to do so.  We owe that much not only to ourselves but to the generations which are to follow. We owe it to our children.  So, when do we wake up and stand up?  When do we begin to require those we call our leaders to be accountable for their actions, actions that even now are changing the course and direction of our country?  Because my friends, if you are unaware of it, we are headed as a country down the wrong road and in the wrong direction.

Again I wish to say that this nation, our nation is not the real problem here.  And it is not even our leaders for whom I have lost much respect for overall.  The problem here we must defer back to ourselves.  It has been our apathy and our complacency that has permitted the decline in our nation’s leadership.  Our elected officials are misbehaving simply because we are permitting them to do so.  If we, as a people raise our voices as one and tell them, “Enough is enough! This behavior is no longer acceptable!” , then and only then, will things begin to change.  The time to do this is not tomorrow or next week or next month.  This has been allowed to go on for too long.  The time for change and renewal is now, today.

I would also like to say that it pains me to speak this way.  I love my country, the USA.  I am indeed a flag-waver and proud of it.  I am not speaking ill of our great nation.  I am not really even trying to verbally abuse this country’s leadership although I am more than displeased with what has been going on within the walls of our government.  I want to respect those whom I have elected.  However, respect is not given to those who have not earned it.  That is a truism no matter what a person’s vocation is.  Personally, I would like to look forward to a time when I can again have respect for those with whom I have given my trust by way of the election process.  Unfortunately, I cannot make this statement today without compromising my own integrity.

My friends, the choice for our country’s direction lies within each one of us individually and collectively.  Let us work together as one nation, united and bring our country back to where it should be.  I am very concerned and very sincere about this issue.  Please do not continue with the mindset of “What can I do about it? The government does what it wants to do anyway!” It is that type of thinking and inactivity that has brought us to where we are today.  That must change if we are to change the direction of our country.

Please consider the ideas that I have tried to convey here this evening.  The issues that face us as a people, as the citizens of the United States of America are critical.  It is past time for positive change and renewal.  On a positive note, it is within our power to bring this positive change and renewal into a state of reality.

I thank you for your time and attention this evening as always.  I am open to any and all feedback from those who have read what is reflected above.  Please take care with yourselves and always be good to one another.  I offer my wishes for a blessed day for you and yours.

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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Do You Hear What I Hear?

“Do You Hear What I Hear?”  This is one of my all-time favorite Christmas songs.  I have heard it over and over again yet I never grow tired of it.  It’s message is strong and pure.  But sitting here this evening, it occurred to me that I never took the time to check into how it came about.  So, with my curiosity peaked, I did a little investigating.  This song came to be in 1962 and was a combined effort of Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne.  It was written as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Regney was inspired to write the lyrics “Said the night wind to the little lamb, “Do you see what I see?” and “Pray for peace, people everywhere” after watching babies being pushed in strollers on the sidewalks of New York City.  So this is how this beautiful song came to be and what the circumstances were, or what served as the backdrop, if you will.  All of this and more can be found on Wikipedia, if you are curious.  I read this and quite honestly, just sat for a while thinking.  I had always just enjoyed hearing this song, often singing along in the pure rapture of the music and what I perceived its message to be.  And of course, the song is indeed about the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.  But as always, if one looks just a bit further, there is always something more, yes?

In truth, I am sitting here even now and wondering how to proceed with what I intended to write.  I mean, think about this for a moment.  These two people (who were married, by the way) are literally in the midst of what was one of the biggest crisis of that time period.  The threat of nuclear war, one that could take place on our own soil was very, very real.  People everywhere were more than a bit concerned about how this was going to turn out.  I was very young but I was there in 1962.  Too young to realize the magnitude of what was happening but smart enough to know something not very good was going on.  People were fearful and the prospect of panic was not very far away.  This was indeed frightening stuff, my friends.

Obviously however, not everyone reacted with fear.  These two people, the lyricist and the musician, this husband and wife chose to actively do something to try to allay the fears and perhaps change the outcome of this crisis.  Do you think that they just had a Holy boldness in that moment or do you believe that they felt the same fear and trepidation but decided to feel the fear and do it anyway, as the saying goes?  We know the answer to this question, do we not?  They were frightened as badly as anyone else.  Yet they chose to take action and move forward in spite of their fear.  And because they did so, thousands of people back then were comforted and calmed.  It was a message of hope and strength which was so much-needed then.  And that song has sold tens of millions of copies since then and has been performed by hundreds of artists.  Amazing, isn’t it?  The power of words which are given properly at the right time in the proper moment can and will change our world.  Words have done so in the past and will continue to do so today.  And those words my friends, dictate what our future will be.

“Life and death are in the power of the tongue.”  Does this sound at all familiar to any of you out there?  Of course it does.  So, I would share a few items with you this evening, if I may.  First, choose carefully and wisely your words for they are as feathers in the wind.  They are not easily reclaimed once they have left the safe haven of our heart.  And trust me, they are never forgotten no matter how hard we may try to do so.  Just remember that as humans, we are all fallible.  We all become angry at some point or offended or hurt…..You can fill in the blank here yourself.  The bottom line is when the unfavorable attacks us, we want to react and defend ourselves in some fashion for we feel we have been wronged!  And we react with our what?  Our words and those words can often hurt every bit as much as attacking someone physically.  Actually, wounds caused by a verbal attack do far more damage than almost any physical hurt can cause.  So I ask of you, please think and rethink before you react.  Is there not enough pain in our world to satisfy us yet?

The second thing I would like to speak with you about is….Well, let me just say this.  Do you hear what I hear?  When a statement is made and when words are spoken, do you hear what I hear?  Yes, you do indeed hear what I hear.  Or better said, you hear the same words that I hear.  But your perception of those same words, what you glean from their meaning is almost always different what I or anyone else derives from those words.  I might also add that the emphasis we place on any particular word in a sentence changes the meaning of that statement.  As an example, please be kind and read this sentence  –  I didn’t say he took the money.  Okay, easy enough, right?  Now read it once again with emphasis on the word in bold print  –  I didn’t say he took the money.  Now again  –  I didn’t say he took the money.  Now indulge me a few more times please  –  I didn’t say he took the money.  –  I didn’t say he took the money.  And then try this  –  I didn’t say he took the money.  Or how about  –  I didn’t say he took the money.  Do you see how your perception of the statement changed based on what word has the most emphasis put on it?  As I say, we all hear the same words but in truth we do not because of how our mind perceives those words. This is why we should become well-practiced in the management of that potentially vicious little fellow who resides in our mouth, our tongue.  How is it said?  “Out of the same mouth comes forth blessing and cursing.  My brethren, these things ought not be.”  Realize the truth of these words, friends and neighbors.  If what comes out of our mouths is a flow of inconsistency, then how do you think this affects those around us and how then does it ultimately affect this, our world that was given us to care for and manage???  Is it any wonder then that this world of ours is in conflict and confusion? You see, the words we use are to be consistently peaceable and kind and therefore easily entreated by the spirits of those round’ about us.  This is how healing will come upon the Earth.

There are other factors, of course.  Nothing is perfect in an imperfect world.  But it is what we can strive for, what we can become.  And if you wish to place blame for the conditions on our planet somewhere else?  Say, on the shoulders of our leaders perhaps?  Okay, I will give that one to you for that is fair enough.  To those whom we place our faith and confidence in to responsibly make decisions for the welfare of our country and world, we expect more.  To properly serve its citizenry, those who have been given the mantle of leadership are expected to be servants of said citizenry.  But I would ask you this question as well  –  If it becomes a situation where the leaders are no longer acting as the public servants for which they were elected but rather have become servants unto themselves, what then?  The answer there is a simple one but not an easy one.  If they will no longer fulfill properly the position they were entrusted with, then they should be asked to leave that position.  And it is the citizens who elected them, you and I who must hold them accountable for their office.  So you see, we are the ones who are to blame for a lack of leadership in our respective countries and nations.  Because we are the ones who either allow or disallow things to continue as they are, be it good or bad.  It is our job, our responsibility to speak clearly and say our leaders, “Do you hear what we hear?”  So, the good news is that in order to effectively change our world is that it is all up to us.  And the bad news is that in order to effectively change our world it is all up to us.  It’s kind of funny if you think about it.  But it is the truth of it, to be sure.

In closing, I would say that our nation and our world is in turmoil.  That is an irrefutable fact.  There is violence and discord in so many areas of the world.  A good many of us, the majority of us actually,  feel anxious and fearful much of the time.  A sense of foreboding is quite prevalent nowadays.  We seem to be a nation which has lost its way in a world which seems to be spinning out of control.  What are we to do and in which direction do we turn in the midst of our fear?  I believe we know the answer and we know where to begin already.  You see, back in 1962, there was a lyricist and a musician who were living in a fearful time. I believe we spoke of them earlier this evening, yes?  And in response to their fear, did they withdraw and run away, hoping desperately that someone would step up and do something?  No, they did not as you already know.  Instead they took a stand and used the gifts and abilities they were born with and wrote a song that affected the masses then and still blesses millions today.  “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Well my friend, do you hear it?  The winds of change are blowing now.  And please do remember that our words carry much power, power that can and will bring about a different outcome than what has been set forth.  Will you now step up with me and greet those winds head on with a grand expectation and the confident hope for a better tomorrow?  And be not afraid for fear is indeed the real enemy of our spirit.  Come, let us bring about change in our world for it is our world after all.  What do you say?  Do you hear what I hear?

I do apologize if I have kept you longer than usual.  As I have mentioned, most often when I write something I don’t know where it is going.  I simply follow what flows through my fingertips.  I truly hope this has been worthy of your time this evening.  I speak of our being able to effect change because I am led to do so.  And I believe I am led to do so because we can, through a collective effort bring our world back into balance, if you will.  But to do so, we must become accountable to ourselves and more importantly, we must become accountable as well to all those who share this Earth with us.  I pray for blessing and goodness upon us all.  If you find these words worthy, please pass them along.  I thank you for your attention.  Take care with yourselves.

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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And Now That The Election Is Over………What Happens Now?

Well my fellow Americans, the votes are coming in and being tabulated.  The media is discussing and forecasting who the new President will be.  The prognosticators are prognosticating and the experts are making themselves heard.  Will the current president remain for another term or will the reins of leadership be turned over to another?  The answer will be made clear in a matter of a few short hours.  And the answer will be of interest to the citizens of this country, myself included.  However, I am going to pose a more interesting question to those of you out there and would be most interested in what your answer would be.  For this question and how it is answered is of far greater importance than the question of who will become our next President.

My question to you, to me and to all of us is a simple one.  What happens now?   The last four years have gone by and our politicians have played the same games that were played in previous years.  Nothing has really changed other than our economy has worsened and our leadership blames this on the leadership that was in place before they got into office.  Which is kind of funny because the administration before our present one made the same statement about the administration that preceded it as well.  And if you look back beyond that administration, you will find the same story repeated again.  And I will mention another parallel to be drawn as well.  In each of these terms of office, our leaders have always voted in favor of themselves receiving annual raises in salary and enhanced benefits.  Oh and lest I forget to mention, if you do your homework on this you will see that the liberties we have enjoyed, those liberties granted us in the Constitution have been decreasing in the last several years and continue to do so.  I don’t know about you, friend but I work the equivalent of 2 jobs to survive and make ends meet.  It would seem to me that we should have a say in how our elected officials are running our country.

I have made mention of this subject before but on this, the night of the presidential election it just seemed rather important to me.  The vast majority of the citizenship of this great country of ours are pretty intelligent folk overall.  So this being the case, why do we allow this to go on, year after year, four-year term after four-year term?  Come on people, be honest with yourselves.  Whether the current president is re-elected or the new fellow gets voted in, do you truly believe in your heart, in your spirit that the game of politics will be played any differently?  You know the answer to this as surely as the sun will break the new dawn.  It will continue to be business as usual in our nation’s capitol.  And the sad part of all this is that we are the one’s responsible for allowing our leaders, our elected officials to continue in this fashion.  It used to be that our senators and our representatives were servants of the citizens who elected them in the first place.  Now they are servants unto themselves.  Yes, I have made that statement before and I am making it again.  And I say it because it is true.

And I apologize if I sound like I am degrading this country because I am not.  I love this, our country.  In actuality, I am not even berating the ones who are in leadership.  I know it sounds that way.  The truth of the matter is that our leaders are human beings and are therefore fallible, as are we all.  And being human, they will take things only as far as the citizens they serve will allow.  So, who am I berating and chastising here, really?  You know this answer as well as you know your own name, don’t you?  I am taking to task the citizens of this country for it is our complacency and apathy that has permitted things to go as far as they have.  I am speaking to myself as well as to anyone else.

Our leaders are elected by the citizenry of the country and therefore are to serve the best interest of said citizenry.  And since our elected officials are indeed voted in by those people they are to serve, those officials, those leaders are to be held to a higher standard.  To whom more responsibility is given, more is expected in return.  In other words, we entrust ourselves and our children to those who we elect to govern our country.  We expect them to act in the best interest of our country.  If this is a responsibility they cannot handle properly or do not intend to handle properly, then they should not have the position so entrusted.  It is quite simple really.  Everything seems to get overcomplicated in today’s world when most things are still easily seen if we take the time to view them through the eyes of what is right and what is wrong.

We still have choices in this country and at present, we still have the time to make some proper choices so as to bring this nation back to greatness.  But time has a tendency to run out and this issue in front of us is a bit more important than trying to get to the shopping mall before it closes or making that deposit in the bank before the doors are locked for the day.  There is quite a bit more at stake here.  And if I may, a quick suggestion for all of us.  If you haven’t ever read the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States, you should.  It is your birthright as a citizen and besides that, it is pretty interesting stuff.  Oh by the way, you may have noticed that I didn’t mention any names in regards to who is running for office.  That was intentional because it isn’t about who is running for office.  It is about what they will do if elected.  Let us set aside for now who is representing what political party and all the rest of that.  That is a secondary issue at best.

This is our country.  This is our nation.  Therefore, it is our responsibility to keep it on course and in keeping with that, we are accountable for keeping our leaders accountable for how they care for what is our country, our nation and our home.  Let us together bring about the much-needed changes in this land in which we and our children live.  Think about it and then take the next step.  Follow your thought with action.  I love this country and I know you do as well.

Thank you once again for your kind attention this evening.  May your day be blessed and may you bless others in return.

 

William J. Thompson, Jr

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We Are All Of Us The Same….

There is something upon my heart this evening which is weighing upon me rather heavily.  Often times in writing, I am able to achieve some level of clarity and my heart seems a bit lighter.  I had intended to complete another piece I had started regarding how Love defines our hearts.  But that will be for another day, I believe.  As before, I pray for your indulgence here as I try to express what my heart wishes to say.

I am disturbed greatly by the lack of tolerance which is so clearly demonstrated in our world these days.  If one takes notice, it is quite prevalent and seems to become more of a problem with each day that passes.  I ask my spirit almost daily why this so, why do people of one nationality have the desire to inflict pain and death upon others simply because of the color of their skin or a religious belief that differs from their own?  Do they not see what madness this is?  Why are so many so consumed with such hatred so as to take the life of another?  And I wonder as well if when someone ends another’s life, do they and can they truly feel good about this deep in their heart?  The logic of my soul says this cannot be so, that when the heart of another ceases the rhythm that is indeed Life, the person who caused this cannot truly rejoice in what they have done.  They may have acted in the name of religious fervor or in the name of the supremacy of their race, or in the name of any other belief that has diseased their soul and mind.  But when they are alone in their room, away from the chanting and rantings of those they associate with, does such a person feel conflicted and deep within their spirit feel pain and doubt about their actions?  I believe this is true at least in most situations for if I did not believe so, then I would have to say that our world is racing at breakneck speed towards its own destruction.  I do not sense in my spirit that this is the case as yet.  Oh, you may have noticed I referred to “the logic of my soul” a bit earlier.  To some, it may sound an odd thing to say.  But every soul does indeed come with logic programmed in.  Make no mistake about this.  Perhaps this will be a subject for another day.  But I digress and for that, my apologies.

I just want to say that we are all of us the same in that we are all different.  Those of you that breed hatred within you and spread it about as a disease, may I ask you this one question?  Why can’t you see that this is true?  This statement is perfect in its logic because this is logic that was born of the soul.  Our differences were meant to be celebrated for in celebrating our differences, we are become as one people.  Am I saying then that we would all adhere to the same mode of dress and share all the same ideas and worship in the same fashion?  No, not at all.  What I am trying to convey is that we have so much we can learn from one another and in doing so, we have unity one with the other.  I am who God created me to be and therefore I do not want to be that person from a far off land and become someone I am not.  However, would I like to know this person from this far off land and learn from he or she what it is that brings to their life goodness, joy and fulfillment?  Yes, yes, and yes again!  And perhaps they will find something of worth in what my life style has to offer as well.  This is called understanding and with understanding comes tolerance.  And my friends, with tolerance comes wisdom and in wisdom lies true Life, the most precious of gifts.  Can you not see the truth in this?

What I am writing this evening came about because of a friend I have who resides in Tunisia and we converse now and again thanks to todays technologies.  I came across an item he had posted and it broke my heart.  It was a photograph of the face of a man who was of Arabic descent, I believe.  If I am incorrect in the nationality, I apologize.  I mean no disrespect.  You see, I view others through my spirit so all I really see is a human being.  But with regards to the photograph that I mentioned here?  Well to make this easier, please do something for me. It will only take but a moment or two.  Close your eyes and see this photograph now.  Do you see the face of a man, possibly Arabic in his mid-thirties with a dark bread and prominent cheekbones?  Do you see the turban he wears on his head as is the custom?  Now focus in for a moment on his eyes, if you will.  They are beautiful and dark brown in color.  Do you see reflected in those eyes a gentle kindness looking out at you?  It is difficult to miss, to be sure.  But look deeper for just a moment.  If you are observant enough, you can see also a quiet pain there, one that says to those who will hear, “Why do you dislike me so and why do you judge me based on the actions of but a few?”  Now, do you have this picture, all of it in your minds’ eye?  Good, for now I want you to visually pull back and see what else this picture contains.  It might be difficult for a moment ago, you really “saw” this person in a true light.  Now as you look at the photo again, you notice that someone has placed labels all over this beautiful human face.  Labels such as terrorist, fanatic, Muslim, Al Qaeda, militant, Saddam, prisoner, o9/11, Taliban, fundamentalist and others as well.  My friends, this photograph demonstrates the ignorance of our world.  But as disturbing and sad as this photograph was to me, there was something else which grieved my spirit.  There was a caption nearby with regards to this picture.  It read “Unfortunately, it is how others see us”.  That comment was written by a fine young man, the friend I spoke of in this writing.  He is a beautiful and kind young man with a gentle spirit and the soul of an artist.  I cannot tell you how many beautiful photos he has sent my way which have graced my day and expanded my heart.  I cannot express to you the depth of his thoughts he has shared that have caused my spirit to become more than it was previously.  And yet this wonderful soul endures much pain and trouble because of the many who believe that we are so much different, that we have no commonality in this world.  I saw this photograph he posted months ago and did make mention of it to him because it troubled me so.  I did not tell him of the tears that filled my eyes and the pain which tore at my heart because of it.  When will we as the people of the world recognize the truth of things?  And as you know, that photograph could have just as well been of a person of Hispanic descent or Asian descent or African descent or……Well, you see what it is I am saying.  It is not the nationality or choice of belief system at issue here.  It is how we as a people label and judge those around us.  Adolf Hitler did that, you know.  And if you know anything of history at all, then you know this one thing.  History will repeat itself unless we do something collectively to keep that from occurring!  And what is wonderful about that is that it is all up to us.  We can control these types of things.  Do you wish to know the frightening part of this as well?  It is also the fact that it is all up to us.  Think about that for a moment.  It is so much easier to leave things like this up to others and hope all will be taken care of properly, isn’t it?  It does not work this way however.

Whether we accept it or not, we are indeed our brothers (or sisters) keeper. We are responsible one for another.  And that responsibility includes loving your neighbor as yourself.  It is past time to realize this.  Besides, if you participate in the way things should be, you may find out you will enjoy Life that much more.  We are here on this Earth, our Earth together, are we not?  Take the time each day to speak and smile to those who you believe are different from you.  You will be surprised how that we are all of us the same!  May the blessing and the fullness of this day be yours to share!

Thank you for your kind attention.

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

 

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Enough is Enough!

With the presidential election pressing in close upon us and the candidates playing politics’ games, there is a question I must ask you this night.  Haven’t you, haven’t we as a people had enough?  Enough of a government mired in mediocrity, one where our elected officials are no longer public servants but instead have become servants unto themselves?  And are you not tired of the reckless government spending yet?  We are over 14 trillion dollars in debt and that number is steadily climbing!  Does this not disturb us, you and I?  If it doesn’t, then it should!!  Wake up, America!  And wake up before it is too late to do so.  It is our own apathy and complacency that has brought our nation to where it is today.  This needs to change and quickly.  Our nation’s elected officials are there to serve the people, not to serve themselves.  This ride of leisure that they, our leaders have enjoyed has gone on far too long now.  Whether they realize it or not and whether you realize it or not, this is still a nation that was founded “by the people, for the people”.  Send a message to Congress and to our President.  Let them know that this is our country and that “Enough is Enough!”  Do it today!

William J. Thompson, Jr.

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A Few Kind Words for Superstition

I must pose a question to you this evening for the subject has been on my mind as of late.  Are you a superstitious being?  Now, do not answer immediately, if you please.  I would rather that you turn the idea over in your mind for a bit before responding.  For you see, I asked this question of myself and was a bit surprised at my own answer.  I asked myself, “Do I, a rational and intelligent being, indulge myself in any superstitious behaviors?  My immediate response was, of course, definitely not!  I pride myself on taking the logical road when situations, either large or small, present themselves.  However, I was forced to take an introspective look at myself since logic does insist upon honesty with one’s self.  I must say, I wasn’t entirely pleased with my findings.  Now I am not one of those who believes in wearing a lucky shirt or in tossing salt over your shoulder.  Nor do I believe that black cats are bad luck.  And if my right hand itches, it does not mean that money is coming my way or conversely, if the left hand is so affected, that yet another expense is headed my way.  But, I have been known to cross my fingers for luck even though I don’t “believe” it helps.  So, why do it at all?  Perhaps on some unconscious level, I do subscribe to that superstition.  I prefer to believe otherwise.  I only cross my fingers because that particular action is so heavily entrenched in society, right?

And, on this matter of superstition I also had to question myself on another issue.  How many of us, when we are getting ready to leave the house, will check to see if the stove and other appliances are turned off?  We do this even though we know that the appliance is off.  But, better to err on this side of caution, right?  Of course, this is normal behavior.  However, do you ever recheck the iron or the stove before leaving?  I hope some of you have.  Otherwise, I am alone is this.  I have, on occasion checked the front door, making sure it was locked only to go back and check it again before I leave the house.  This same action has occurred in checking the stove or the iron.  I know it is a foolish thing to do.  I mean, it is fairly certain that the dog did not go behind me the first time and plug the iron back in!  Yet I do it anyway.  I believe this would fall under the category of superstition.  I say this because superstition has its base in uncertainty.  A prime example of this is the belief in astrology.  People are so uncertain of what life will bring their way that they “look to the stars” for guidance.  In regards to this, allow me to make mention of an experiment that took place in one of our colleges and then I will close.  A professor made copies of a horoscope and handed them out to his students.  No one student knew what the other’s said.  The professor told them he had these made up for them from a renowned astrologer based upon their month of birth.  The students read their “personal” horoscope and every last one of them said, “Yes, that’s me! How accurate!”  Imagine their surprise when they found out that not only had they all been given the same horoscope but also that it had been written specifically for Jeffrey Daimler.  Wow!!  Unbelievable, yes?  I suppose what I am trying to convey here is that superstitions are, in a word, foolish.  I know this to be true, but still can be charged with this offense.  How about you?  If you are still unsure, just flip a coin. That’s what I do.

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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