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The American Constitution – A Republic if You Can Keep It
By Orrin Woodward
My adventure with the American election process began much like other young people entering college, not certain who the candidates were, or even what they stood for, I voted with zeal but with little knowledge. As I gained more experience, through reading newspapers and magazines, I quickly fell into the democratic herd, who spout their surface knowledge regurgitated from the morning newspaper, but understand little if any of why the system operates the way it does. I conscientiously cast my vote election after election, hoping to maintain my freedoms by the wonderful power of the democratic election process, until a curious thought entered my mind and would not leave. This uninvited guest, this alien idea would not depart, no matter how much I recited the alleged benefits of democracy. The thought was simple, but inarguable, if the key to our American freedoms is our democratic elections, if freedom is endangered when Americans neglect this right, how is it that every four years we seem to lose more of our freedoms that our vote was allegedly cast to secure, regardless of which party is elected? No one seemed to have a satisfactory answer to that question and I quickly realized that we all had the same pat answers espoused to us during our high school indoctrinations.
What if democratic voting isn’t the key to securing freedoms at all? More pointedly, if it is, why have Americans lost their freedoms at an increasing rate since we inaugurated our full fledged democracy around the turn of the 20th century? Many times, the worst of errors occur when the key to solving the problem is buried in the unquestioned assumptions of the ruling paradigm. These questions and others engaged my thoughts as I pondered America’s voting paradox, leading me on to an election epiphany-that it’s not the vote that ensures a people’s freedoms, but a contract between the rulers and the ruled. Starting with the
You Don't Know What You Don't Know
By Chris Brady
Learning starts with realizing that we still have more to learn. As the saying goes, "The more I learn, the more I realize how much more I still have to learn." In fact, I am continually surprised at how often I have to re-learn something. I didn't realize I had to re-learn it, until I actually did re-learn it, at which time I realized I had known it before but somehow forgotten it!
Confused? A better way to say it might be, "You don't know what you don't know." And, not only do we not know what we don't know, but we are forgetting what we used to know! So if we don't know what we don't know, and we are forgetting what we do know, it kind of makes you wonder what we DO know, you know?
The point is that the human mind is an organism that requires constant care and feeding in order to stay healthy. And the more you feed it, the more you learn, the better it does and the better you feel. Staying hungry for learning is one of the healthiest things anyone can do in life.
Those who don't spend any time learning are usually not very much fun to be around. Ignorance is normally louder than wisdom! I got to thinking about this one day, and wondered why more people don't take an active approach to learning and growing. They buy food constantly to feed their physical hunger. Why wouldn't they invest just as readily in their mind? Then it occurred to me; when we are hungry our stomachs are empty, our stomachs actually make a growling noise! Perhaps it would be good if our brains made a noise when we start getting ignorant! (Some people would need earplugs before going in to work). But actually, ignorance has a way of getting heard. It may not be "growling" per se, but our tongues normally convey our ignorance loudly enough!
Let's all avoid the "brain growl" that a lack of learning promotes. Embrace learning at least as much as you embrace that turkey dinner on Thanksgiving! A few CDs, a go
Honesty: Uncovering 10:08’s
By Terri Brady
In the car one day, I overheard my son, J.R. (6), say to his older brother: “My heart always hurts SO MUCH until I say I’m sorry when I need to.”
The doctor asked my friend’s father, in his dying days, if there was anything he could do to make these days more comfortable. The elderly man replied, “Do you have anything that takes away a guilty conscience?”
My 14-year-old emerged from his bedroom one morning, and the first words he uttered to me were, “Mom, I’m sorry.” When I asked why, he explained, “Last night, when you said I could read until 10:00, I actually read until 10:08, because it was the end of the chapter. I am sorry.”
I must confess that as he told me, I LAUGHED inside. Ha! Do you know what most teenagers are into these days? Do you know what I did when I was 14? (OK, Really, it was ALL my brother!) My son is not perfect, believe me, but “sorry because I stayed up reading”? Really? Is that an offense in the Brady house? Oh sinner! Haha! Next, are you going to over-indulge on vegetables? LOL!!!
By the grace of God (seriously!) I did not laugh, but told him he was forgiven, and then I entered into that deep thought in which we moms get lost:
I should tell him: He is acting like a geek, a nerd. This could be painful in front of peers. They could tease him. He needs to know that 10:08 is close enough. I mean, it didn’t even inconvenience me.
I then realized that I had somehow changed standards. It was as though I thought “10:08” didn’t need an apology, because
It didn’t inconvenience me.
It wasn’t bad compared to his peers.
There was some good in it. (After all, he was reading, not checking bad websites.)
He didn’t get caught.
But in the Brady home, honesty isn’t the best way, it’s the only way. So in our Guidebook, it
Enthusiasm Changes Everything in LIFE
By Dan Hawkins
Something special happens when you surround yourself with winners, people striving to move on. The enthusiasm that spreads through a room is contagious. That leads me to the question, what causes enthusiasm? I mean, many people enter a room not very enthusiastic! Then leaders became enthusiastic and the crowd followed!
People follow a leaders ENTHUSIASM
The question about enthusiasm inspired me to dig into the top five books LIFE Leadership recommends to read. (How I Raised My Self from Failure To Success in Selling, Magic of Thinking Big, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Personality Plus and How to Have Power and Confidence With People.) Now I have been through the top 5 at least 8 times, but there is always something to learn.
I began with Frank Bettger’s book How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success and with no surprise the first chapter is about enthusiasm!
Mr. Bettger shares how it was enthusiasm that changed his career in baseball, insurance sales and, ultimately, his LIFE.
Frank made a conscience decision to control his fear with enthusiasm. Here is what his coach said about it:
“This new player, Bettger, has a barrel of enthusiasm. He inspired our boys. They not only won the game, but looked better than at any time this season.”
Just weeks before Frank was let go from a team because he lacked enthusiasm and was called lazy, mostly due to his fear! You can inspire others around you and overcome fear with just sheer enthusiasm.
By Bill Lewis
At one point in my life, my definition of happiness would have been the person that had everything they want. On television and in movies they always looked happy. Most media outlets portrayed them as being happy and everyone else seemed to agree with my opinion. Now I am much older, more traveled, been exposed to many different people and have accomplished a lot of my original material goals. I have changed my original opinion.
The magazine Psychology Today sent a survey to 52,000 people asking them to respond and tell them how they believed they would find happiness. Most of the respondents said they dreamed of winning the lottery and it would fulfill their happiness. Lets take a look at one story of a lottery winner. A Pennsylvania resident won eight million dollars. Within a year his wife left him, winning alimony and child support that would cost him one million dollars; his landlady sued him for 30% of the winnings and won in court; his brother and sister in-law were indicted and imprisoned for trying to hire someone to kill him. I don’t know about you but that doesn’t sound much like happiness. The truth about the lottery is most of the winners end up bankrupt financially and end up bankrupt in their happiness account.
I know someone reading this is saying, “I would still like to have everything I want and find out for myself”. I understand, I use to feel the same way when I read or heard “dumb” people say the things I am saying. Needless to say, that doesn’t change the facts. Don’t get me wrong, money will eliminate some of life’s annoyances but money does not fill the void where happiness lies. We all know a person or have heard about celebrities that have everything...