Posts

The Greatest Show on Earth

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Last Saturday I took my daughter to the circus, Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth.  It was a great time.  A friend of ours scored a few extra tickets and offered them to us. This friend’s daughter is a good friend of my little girl, so them being able to spend time together at such an incredible venue really makes the memories that much more special. I haven’t been to the circus in about seven years, I actually took my daughter, but she was only two at the time so I know she remembers nothing of the experience. And to be honest, as I sat there last Saturday, my thoughts were not of that last time, but of the time I was nine, going to the greatest show on earth for the first time.
Ringling Brothers is an amazing show; it’s really a spectacle of light, motion, color, excitement, sound and fun all rolled into one. As I sat and watched the show, periodically I turned my attention to my daughter. I saw the wonder in her eyes, the extreme concentration on all t…

Don't Suffer Injustice

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Douglas Clark
-Head writer, The Inspiration Engine

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Martin Luther King Jr
     It would be a wonderful thing if everyone had a positive moral center. The world would be a better place if a universal moral truth existed that we could all center around, believe in, and adhere to. Sadly, an altruistic moral goodness does not seem to be something we all can share. There is a major difference between having a difference of opinion, and having radically opposing ideologies. Wars have been fought, men have killed and died, people have suffered, and lives shattered in following those ideals. But what does that mean for the common man, the individual? Having conviction for your beliefs is one thing, oppressively forcing those beliefs on others is quite another. What qualifies as sharing the tenants of a belief structure or forcing it down someone’s throat? These are deep philosophical questions that may have no definitive yes/no, right/wrong …

Finding a Lost Da Vinci

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Last night I read an interesting article about a painting called the  La Bella Principessa in National Geographic magazine. Yes, I know weird right.  I still get the actual paper magazine.  I like holding a book or magazine in my hands, everything seems more real that way.  But I digress.  This painting and its mysterious story fascinated me.  Supposedly, there is strong evidence that it was painted by none other than Leonardo Da Vinci.  Leonardo is widely considered to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest master of painting there ever was.  This reputation started during his own life time.  And with a reputation like that, I would have figured everything he ever did was cataloged, indexed, and safely locked behind foot-thick glass, but apparently that isn't the case.  What really struck me was the fact that experts believe the portrait is a Da Vinci, even though some disagree saying that it doesn't look like a Da Vinci.
It's true that artists develop their own style…

Supporting Alex's Lemonade Stand

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I stood there, my legs were tired, my feet hurt, I was sure I had a sunburn, and all I really wanted to do was sit down.  But I still had about an hour and a half to go. You see, on Saturday, July 28th, I volunteered to help out at Alex’s Lemonade Stand. It’s a charity drive that donates 100% of the money collected from lemonade sales to help fund researching a cure for pediatric cancer. The mother of my daughter’s friend has been hosting a local chapter for several years now on the corner right by her house in North Park. I’ve helped out the last three years and for the last two years in a row, we’ve reached the goal we set. I would serve the lemonade, hold the bright yellow signs and wave them while I stood in the street trying to get drivers’ attention.  I’d talk to passersby and let them know what was up. I drank several cups of lemonade myself; all I had was a few bucks on me. But you know it’s not so much the exact dollar amount we raise, it’s the effort involved behind it. This…

Beware of Betrayal

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There’s an old clich√©, “your word is your bond”.  Ever hear it?  Well in the end, it’s true.  You can have all the legal documents you want stating this or that, you can have witnesses claiming this or that, and you can promise this or that until you’re blue in the face, but ‘your word’ is more than just air across your lips.  In regards to trust, ‘your word’ refers also to your intentions, beliefs, character, conviction, and worth.  Pretty heady huh?  I know to some it might seem like I’m going too far or being a bit grandiose, but am I?  People are who they are and their actions speak silent words.  Words you can trust or distrust depending on the person and circumstances. 

I think the best answer is to stay true to your own personal convictions, reinforce in your own mind what is right, true, and honorable, and go from there.  Despite how hard you may try, you can’t change anyone but yourself.  So don’t waste valuable mental energy trying to exact change from anyone but you.  The s…

What Do You Need?

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“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed” – Mahatma Gandhi


Depending on how you look at it “What do you need?” is either a rather innocuous question or a very profound inquiry about life.  Answering that question when it comes to basic survival is easy: food, water, and shelter.  But since when has answering life’s questions every truly been easy?  If you think about it for a few minutes, what do you really need?  When I say need, I mean what do you need to be happy, successful, content; those sorts of things.  Now I know we’ve all heard it, or said it.  It’s that line where we say we need something because it is so awesome or cool, or it would make things so much better than they are right now.  I remember thinking when I was a teenager thinking “I need a car”, or “I need to get a Playstation.”  Yeah, it’s funny how our priorities seem so out of whack when we re-examine them years later.  I obviously didn’t need a car or a playstation; the …

Take Care of Yourself

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When we are Young

When we are young, our parents and family have a responsibility to take care of us.  As we grow, they should take the time to nurture and protect, teach and instruct.  As children, sometimes we don't understand why those things are important or what the bother is, but children have a voracious appetite for learning.  That learning should be encouraged and reinforced as much as possible.  Teaching children to look at things from multiple perspectives and to have an open mind prepares them for the massive amount of conflict and confusion life has to offer.  Parents should teach by positive example so children can adjust to life as an adolescent and eventually as an adult.  But what happens when parents fail at preparing children for life?
Children are smart and capable. They can learn to cope, but if they aren’t given proper guidance, their coping skills will be inadequate and inefficient.  I do my best on a daily basis teaching my daughter how to cope, even with thi…