Is peace possible?


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Peace of mind. It’s a wonderful thing to have, or want to have. Yet, with all the anger, decisiveness and stupidity going around today, I wonder: can anyone really have peace of mind anymore?

We are bombarded with images of crime, cruelness and destruction on a daily basis in the news. Which is not a statement to bash journalists. It’s merely a statement on the status of world events that make the reports. It’s the nature of news to report things that are out-of-the-ordinary, unusual or shocking. That’s what makes it news. I get that.

However, it can be overwhelming. How do us average citizens process it all, let alone make a difference? I suppose all you can do is make an effort, each and every day to do your part.

Whatever that may be, as I am sure it will be different for us all, it should involve some basic factors. Well, at least I would hope it would. And in my opinion, those factors would involve the following qualities…

Ethical: Are our actions ethical? Of course, everyone can define ethics differently and by their culture, religion or etc. So how do we all agree on what is ethical? I suppose the best way to describe this would be to ask, are my actions something I can do in front of/or explain to a police officer, boss, spouse or grandma?  If not, it may be something to reconsider.

Improvement: Do our actions improve anything? Now, this does not have to be on the level of solving cancer or world hunger. Though, those accomplishments are certainly wonderful. But on a daily basis, is what you spend your time on worthy of your time? Does it help move anything forward? This may be a simple as working at a bakery and making the best pastries you can. Or maybe you are that journalist that asks the tough questions on a government leader at some level, so that they stay accountable and honest. Or maybe, you volunteer to take in foster pets. And in all reality, on those really tough days, do you at least take the effort to listen to others, genuinely consider their perspective and think, what would I do in that situation?

Kindness and Respect: Do you act with kindness and respect? Many people say they treat others with kindness and respect, but do they really? Think about it and watch people interact. Step back and think about how you treat others.  Do you speak to people with real interest, approachable tones, and value? This may be as simple as looking a cashier (or customer) in the eye and speaking in a way that says, I see you. Do you listen to what others are saying in total, or are you thinking about your response? Do you jump to conclusions when the situation is unfamiliar or not to your liking? Or do you stop to consider the possibilities and facts and put yourself in their shoes, regardless of their race, religion or party? Or maybe this is being a responsible driver, not cutting people off and even merely acknowledging there are other people on the same road as you.

 

I know that I am not successful at this everyday. However, I do try. I try to be a good person. I try to consider others feelings, situation and experiences. I attempt to spread kindness through smiles, words and actions. I try to value you others. Yet, in all that I still cannot find a total piece of mind. Have you been able to do it? If so, how?

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Wandering


I’m sitting in Canada and wondering where my life is going. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy. Years ago, I was a shell and an empty shell at that. I was cold, but I smiled and pretended to be happy. Really, I was dead inside.

Now, I’m awakening to life, happiness and all the potential the world offers. Yet, I understand the dark thoughts that haunt people in the corners of their mind. Some call it sadness. Some call it depression. Some say, get over it. If it only it were that simple. No one wants to be sad. I certainly don’t. But it’s there lurking for no reason.

So, if you understand that thought, know you are not alone. Take each day at a time and seek the joy and happiness that is surely around. Maybe it’s in a flower, a smile, a salad, a pool…. whatever. Find your space of peace and quiet and joy. You can be happy. You just may need to remove yourself from bad choices/people and seek little things until you feel happy on a regular basis. You can do it. You are the only one who can make it happen.

Remembering deployment


For Veterans’ Day weekend, I look back to some of my deployments. Each has been different: Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. There was good and bad in each one. But the one thing that was consistent with them all has been the bonds that were built with my fellow Soldiers, many who are still my friends today.

Here is a glimpse at my Iraq deployment and my fellow public affairs Soldiers. I took some of the pictures in the video and am in a few too. And, the broadcaster who put the video together, is still my friend today. I am so glad she produced this video so I can look back on the experiences we all had during the first Iraqi election in 2005-2006.

So enjoy this behind the scenes look at our lives then, our mission and some of the wacky things we did to remain sane.

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For all those veterans out there.