Happy Holidays!

 

In this season we are so busy. I want to encourage you to stop, take a deep breath, and consider all the beauty of the season, both in decorations and in relationships. To all my friends and family: you have my best wishes and sincere prayers for the best of Holidays. Below are some of your smiling faces. I love you folks.

 

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Diversity

Diversity has been a term that has almost become religious among some. The word itself according to Merriam-Webster means…

: the quality or state of having many different forms, types, ideas, etc.

: the state of having people who are different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization.

I was asked if I believed in diversity. That was a hard question to answer without more information on the diversity involved. For instance, I have friends that are a diverse group. Some are from Liberia, Uganda, Norway, Australia, Argentina, Mexico, Canada, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the U.S. and others. My friends are old, young, black, white, educated, uneducated, blue collar, white collar and more. That is a kind of diversity.

But consider this. Do we consider diversity of ideas as good diversity? Sometimes. But to take it to an extreme that could be disastrous. Do we really believe that the Nazi-ism of Adolph Hitler and the selfless service of Mother Teresa are equally good? They certainly model diversity.

Diversity is a word to be considered in context. I am richer because of diversity. But accepting all differences as equal in value can be problematic.

“Diversity”  must be considered in context. Just saying “I believe in diversity.” means nothing without a specific context.

SOME OTHER EXAMPLES OF DIVERSITY

They have a commonality, I care for them.

Have a great week.

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A little silly, a little serious.

Silly

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Stylin”

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And in the first round…

Tim Elliott at Christmas

Yeah, it’s me, not Santa.

  • I named my dog “10 miles”. So that I could say to people that I walked “10 miles” daily.
  • Do you know what desperation is? It’s shaving all your body hair before stepping on the scale.
  • At the bank I asked the new counter lady to check my balance, and do you know what she did? She pushed me.
  • How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.

Seriously…

I saw Miracle on 34th Street again recently. In the movie one of the main characters is a mother who has been hurt and therefore does not have faith. In this story the faith they want her to have is faith in Santa. Leaving Santa out of it, we all probably know people who withdraw, become cynical or pessimistic because of hurts or disappointments.

It is important to help them recover. The truth of the matter is that optimists make great things…even nations. Pessimists never can. Their minds and emotions won’t allow it. We may be in an era in which more pessimism than optimism is found in our young people. It raises concerns because optimism is another word for faith that we will get through turbulent times. People who have given up hope will also give up our freedoms our constitution our republic.

We do not need blind optimism but faith that we can get to the other side of partisan rancor with our freedoms and republic intact.

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A Richness of Friends

This Thanksgiving season, while I was thinking of all I had to be thankful, I thought of the many friends who have enriched my life. I was raised in a rural area of Iowa. I was taught through my Christian upbringing that God loved all kinds and colors of people. But our county was mostly full of white folk of northern European ancestry. At the time there was only one black family in the county. So what I knew of people unlike myself was the caricatures I saw on TV shows or the news. It wasn’t that the news was false as that was the only “real world” view I had of other groups.

Thankfully I met good folks from across the spectrum while I was in the Army. I found out that folks are folks and are often a lot more similar about important things than different.

Jessie Riggs my Navajo buddy, Lanny Logan my black friend, Doc Litzmann an American of Jewish-German roots, Sam Rodriquez from Laredo, Guytano Collantonio our mail clerk, J. C. Carrierre the low rider from the west coast all helped me know, understand, and care for people different from myself. We cross-shared music, food, and perspectives and all served our country honorably.

After my initial service I lived in Tacoma then Bremerton Washington, meeting more varieties of folks I seemed to get on well with all kinds of folks unless they had a chip on their shoulders against white folk. My experience, though, is that if you treat folks with respect , they will reciprocate. I consider myself very rich because of the friends I have had.

When I attended grad school at Oral Roberts University we had a lot of folks there from around the world. I made many friends and thanks to social media I can contact my friends in Europe, Asia, and Australia. I also am blessed with friends from Mexico, the West Indies, Madagascar, Argentina, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda and more.

A country boy from Iowa has been blessed with many friends and many new experiences. I am indeed rich…white, black, brown, red…are out many hues of good folks. They there. Look for them. Be rich.

a personal message

Tim Elliott at Christmas

As we enter the holiday season, I want to spend some time expressing my gratitude to those of you who have enjoyed my blog posts. Thank you for your positive feedback. It is good to hear that these blog posts are appreciated.

Some of you I don’t know personally. But I wish you a great holiday season…and a positive new year.

To my friends and family you too have my best wishes and prayers. You have been real blessings in my life. Following are pictures of some of you friends and family.

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

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Perspective

I have heard many times that things have become worse and worse. We’re going down the tube. A little perspective from an older person may help. To the young who know so little of history and have lived so short a time every evil seems the greatest. This is no disrespect to the young. We need their energy and confidence. But sometimes the young people I talk to are less than fully informed about our past.

I spoke to one young man that felt that race relations had never been worse. BUT we have come a long way from slavery, Jim Crow, and segregation. Don’t get me wrong. As long as there is evil in the world there will be bigotry and racism. I am remembering a time when myself and other soldiers in uniform were turned away from bars and nightclubs because some of us were black. Instead of cursing the darkness of bigotry we need to continue to light the lights of love and understanding and be thankful that some of the bad old days are past.

Likewise some things are not as they should be for women and we should continue to press for justice. But let us rejoice in the fact that much progress has been made since the days when women had virtually without rights. In sector after sector of our society women are taking their places. There is much work to be done but much progress has been made.

It is not productive to assume our “bad” is the “worst”. When we do, it is easy to lose hope in the future. Giving up hope and giving in to anger will not get us where we need to go. Keep the faith!

The Noise

It is election time. This isn’t a rant about how you should vote. It is a short warning about the noise. During election cycles there is so much noise…people not listening, shouting over one another, claiming those of the opposing party are totally “other”…than decent or caring.

It is my belief that most Americans live their lives closer to the center than to the radical left or right. Many in the main political parties don’t want us to acknowledge that. It is so easy to practice political bigotry rather than use our hearts and heads to make our political decisions.

This short blog is to encourage you to tune out the noise. And in spite of what the two main political parties and their mouthpieces in the media say, who ever wins, the sun will rise on the day after, and those of us regular folk who live and work with each other will still be going about the business of taking care of our loved ones, doing our jobs, loving our country.

Elections are important. A civil, caring, and thinking society is even more important to the preservation of freedom.