This new year Can be a time for a change. Sometimes the things we need to change are our assumptions. I want to challenge two negative assumptions and ask that we rethink them.
This is SO untrue, I should not have to address it. I hear it a lot. “Americans don’t care as much as they did.” “It is a more selfish place.” Well, how about a reality check. We are a very generous people, we Americans. Over 63 million of us are volunteers. The charitable giving in the U.S. in 2017 was over $390 Billion. 80% of this was given by individuals. The other 20% was given by corporations and foundations. We lead the world in private philanthropy giving levels as % of GDP. The tradition of helping our neighbors remains strong in our country. (If you want to check some statistics, go to http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org and http://www.givingusa.org.)
We are a divided nation.
First, let’s be honest. Any nation which is made of many diverse groups will have many differences in its society. We love our differences in food, music, and family traditions. The narrative by the media about our divisions at this time is about our political divisions. I hear otherwise quality people, who I know, fall into a negative bigotry. A political bigotry.
There are those in this country who make money and gain status by promoting hate. To the extent that they succeed, will be the extent of serious divisions. I am very blessed to have a wide variety of friends. It gives me some greater insights. Many of my friends and I vote differently. Others that I thought were friends now have bought into the political bigotry narratives. “All conservatives are bigots.” “Only conservatives are patriotic.” As foolish as this bigotry is, people, sometimes good people, believe these to be true.
I have the advantage of knowing people different from myself. What I observe is that most of them live their lives similarly. They love their country. They work hard for themselves and their families. They care about social justice. They give. They volunteer. This is not a description of just Democrats OR just Republicans. These are real people who vote differently but live their lives similarly.
Don’t let those who profit by hate win. Get to really know people unlike yourself. You may be delightfully surprised.
Seriously, here is a little about me. I have worked in wholesale, retail, white collar, blue collar jobs for public and private companies, the military, and the government. I am a consultant, minister, researcher, and volunteer. I’m a lover of wide varieties of food, music, and literature. I’m blessed to have friends from many parts of the world and from many ethnic groups in the U.S. I could write a long time but you might find it BORING at some point. Let’s not reach that point.
Music: If you like creative and talented pianists, check out Chooka Parker (Australia) and Tokio Myers (Great Britain). The cheapest, easiest way to find out if you like the is probably YouTube
Food: Wouldn’t it be great if someone would open IHOT, International House of Tacos.
Nature: I used to love playing in the snow. Now I appreciate the beauty of a snow-covered landscape better through a picture window with a cup of hot chocolate in my hand. It is still beautiful…and I am WARM!
People Riches: Harry Johnson is a great artist (painter) and a great guy. My last information was that he is living in the SeaTac area of Washington state. His Nature and wildlife paintings are awesome. He has done much of this kind of work for our National Parks,
Humor: What do you do when you cross a porcupine and a tapeworm? About ten feet of barbed wire.
Charities Worth Supporting: Many of us served in the armed forces and now we are finished. Many of our brother and sisters are still paying the cost of freedom. They are the wounded, disabled, and paralyzed. Please consider supporting. the Wounded Warrior Project, or others who are still supporting those troops.
Stop. Take a deep breath. Be thankful.
During the holidays we get so busy that we forget to enjoy ourselves. So in the middle of all the activity, take a little time out. Take a deep breath. Be thankful. Then get busy again.) lol
Today is Christmas day 2017. It is a good day to start a POSITIVE PLACE website. The purpose of this site is to provide a positive place to visit. Our goal is to share positive ideas, great food, and great music resources. Whatever can help and offer encouragement I want on this site. ON PURPOSE I will be positive. I do not deny that there is a lot of negative stuff out there. Indeed there is. So more positive places are needed.