Category Archives: Commentary

No Greater Gift

When they say, “There is no greater gift than to lay one’s life down for another” most people think they are talking about dying, as in sacrificing oneself in war. But I often thought that when we dedicate ourselves to others – family, friends, or a commitment to service – then we are, in a very real sense, laying down our lives for others – one moment at a time.

And which is the greater sacrifice – to have an instant of bravery in which one is not thinking about ceasing to exist and jumps almost instinctively in front of the bullet, the decision to stay behind to run the escape elevator, knowing you will slowly suffocate, or to choose everyday to lose your own life, dreams, even personality, for the benefit of those you love?

I personally believe that later choice is the most noble of all, for it is made alone, within oneself, over and over again each time you awaken.

Sure, we are able to pursue some of our interests to some degree, but the sacrifice is real as we watch the dreams that once drove us pale and fade into impossibility.

Still, the rewards are many – the smiling faces of our children, the peaceful face of our mate when he or she sleeps, the relief (expressed or simply exhibited) by those to whom we have been of service.

I believe we must come to realize that while we may wish our lives had evolved differently or that the choppy seas of fate might have cast us higher on the shore, life is not perfect nor is happiness a right, only the pursuit of it.

And, in the end, if we had chosen any other more self-oriented path we would find the sum total of our lives and the contentment of our hearts would be far less by a magnitude than it is by having laid it down for others instead.

We Pulled Out of Paris- WE did…

We are the United States. What our country does reflects on us. As a government, we move as a people, whether we individuals support it or not. There is an identity to being an American. That identity has now changed. When you identify yourself as an American now, in the rest of the world, you are the people that pulled out of Paris. We pulled out of Paris. WE did. Because we let it happen. And we must either stop what is happening, or stop calling ourselves Americans, because Americans did this.

Dr. Who vs. Donald Trump

This meme comes from an early Dr. Who episode in which a woman becomes PM in England and gets overcome with the love of power.  Dr. Who tells her he can bring her down with just six words.  She dares him to try.  He whispers something to her assistant, and in short order, word spreads and all the new agencies are reporting how she may not be up to the job.  Questions about her ability to govern are on every headline and every cable show.  Finally, the Dr. is asked what the three words are.  He replies, “Don’t you think she looks tired?”

Today’s Commentary from Dan Rather

President Barack Obama was mercilessly ridiculed by Republicans for his supposed strategy of “leading from behind.” There is a lot of legitimate criticism with which one can debate President Obama’s tenure in office, particularly his foreign policy. There are strong arguments to be made for and against his efforts and ultimately history will have to help us sort it out.

But as I watched President Trump stumble his way through his recent trip through Europe, I couldn’t help but think how hypocritical and hollow those criticisms were. Leading from behind? Tell that to the climate which President Trump and his GOP allies seem determined to pollute when almost every other nation on Earth is leading in the opposite direction. (Recent news shows how India is turning from coal to renewables, and China as well) Leading from behind? As Mr. Trump cozies up to Vladimir Putin it is up to France’s new president Emmanuel Macron to lay out the case for democracy and human rights, you know the kind of speeches that President Reagan used to make. Leading from behind? Our friends in Europe used to respect the United States and join us in strengthening a world order. Now Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany can’t trust us. And why should she? Most of Europe agrees with her.

Mr. Trump is praising murderous despots like Rodrigo Duterte, the President of the Philippines, and literally pushing his way past the leaders of Europe as he preens on the world stage. Our enemies and allies are taking the mark of a man for whom they have little respect. So far, most of Mr. Trump’s allies in Congress seem to fiddle as our foreign policy burns.

Whatever you thought of the president of the United States in previous administrations, there was no doubt that he was the leader of the free world. But today there is a serious vacuum coming out of Washington – on both the leadership and the free world part. The world is rushing to figure out what this means. I think new leaders will rise in response to the challenge, both here and overseas. In the meantime we spin the wheel of fate without a moral or strategic compass guiding our ship of state.