A Simple Choice: Rejecting Fear & Hate

I have something on my mind and this is the perfect opportunity to share it since I am in between some heavy marketing projects at work. I am writing tonight to challenge all of you to join me in rejecting fear and being the change that we would all love to see in our wonderful world.

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Louis Armstrong – Photo Courtesy of The Louis Armstrong House Museum https://www.louisarmstronghouse.org/louis-armstrong/

Yes, we live in a wonderful world here in the United State of America…despite what you may be consuming on social media and TV. In the wake of two hurricanes on the gulf coast, we all have seen what Americans really are at our core. We respond in love and compassion when times get tough for our neighbors. That is who we are as Americans! However, there remains this pipeline of fear and hate that is fostered by all media.

We live in a nation of many different types of people who come from places all over the globe. Each person in this country can choose to be more educated or less educated. We can choose to vote or not to vote for our officials in leadership. We can choose to work hard or not work at all. We are free to speak our minds, even though speaking our minds may not be the best choice. We are free to earn the respect of others or lose it. No matter who you are or where you grew up, you can choose to be a better person or not. We can choose to engage the purveyors of fear and hate or we can choose to ignore them and move on with our daily lives working and raising our children to make wiser choices than we made. The United States of America was founded on the simple principle of the freedom to choose. If you consistently choose wisely in life, you will eventually be in a position to have a chance at owning a home and starting a family. Everything is a choice. When you say you do not have a choice, you have accepted fear as something that is real and you are defeated by your own choice to believe that there is not a choice to be made. Confused? I hope not.

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Photo by Caleb Fisher on Unsplash

Fear and hate are commodities which are purveyed through all information outlets. We see and hear about people in our country who are rioting and raising hell against…well…everything. I see my friends on social media constantly getting up in arms against this group or that group because of rhetoric about racism, classism, liberalism, or some other “ism” that is supposedly rampant and about to destroy our country and society as we know it.

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Friends, please read my words and take them to heart! Our world is not as bad as the talking heads would like for us to believe. Besides, do you really think that posting crafty replies to articles and memes will change hearts and minds? If you do, then you are deceived. When we do that (and I have) we are wasting our time and energy that we should be investing in something more tangible. Invest in your kids, invest in your neighbors, and your co-workers. Remove fearful thoughts and replace them with hopeful and positive thoughts. Each one of us, individually, gets to decide how we will treat other people when we engage them in our day to day lives. We can all choose to be a$$holes to one another or we can choose to be good to one another. I will be the first to plead guilty to being a horse’s a$$ to certain folks when it would be better to simply give them a smile and move on. Fear sells so well in our society only because many of us choose to react poorly to it. STOP! Stop engaging the fear and hate mongers. The tongue and the keyboard are both very powerful tools. It always amazes me how hateful people can get when they are behind the keyboard of a computer. We tend to write things we would never say to people in person. We can choose words which will unite or we choose words that will divide. Sometimes, no reaction is the best practice. Fear sells and words of division should not be our default reaction to any situation.

I encourage each of you to pay close attention to what you are consuming each day on your devices and social media accounts. I challenge you to stop reacting out of fear. Here is why:

https://youtu.be/wSKzLtRzY78?t=10s

I have seen this movie, “After Earth” twice. It is quite the Sci-Fi story about a father and son who are stranded on Earth far into the future (supposedly) when humans can no longer subsist here. Of course, there is a political message to this movie and I simply chose to ignore it. There is truth in this particular clip. Fear, is not real. It (fear) only exists in our thoughts of the future. So why are we so quick to be fearful? We are conditioned by nearly everything we see and consume on a daily basis to be fearful about our future as Americans or our future as humans. Reject this. It is a choice. Know that no human can truly predict the future. It is up to each of us to choose how we treat one another on a daily basis. Join me in this daily challenge. We can choose hope and love instead of fear and hate. We can choose not to respond to fearful and hateful rhetoric. We can choose to only engage things which are good and positive. If we do this, then we can starve fear and hate completely out of the picture. We give life and momentum to fear and hate when we respond negatively to that rhetoric. Do something radical today! Ignore it…all of it.

-RW

 

 

 

Gravity Applies

There are many who believe our new president will bring about good changes and there are equally as many (or maybe more) who think our new president will destroy America as we know it. I have lived through seven U.S. presidents since my birth. Four of which were Republican and three which were Democrat. As I grew older and began to follow American politics, I discovered that most Americans seem to think that the President of the USA has all of the power to either make or break this great country of ours. As each election year has come and gone, political rhetoric has become more fearful, angry, and hateful between candidates and that simply carries over into the voters.

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Let’s come back down to Earth, shall we? My life has stretched from President Ford to now President Trump. Not a single POTUS has caused me to gain or lose a job that I have worked. Each time I changed what I did for a living, the POTUS had nothing to do with it. Not a single US President in my lifetime has produced a policy that determined whether or not I had a hot meal to eat each night. My Grandfather survived the Great Depression in the Texas Panhandle. He had very little money and few resources but he kept on working and got through it without government assistance.

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We Americans tend to give the POTUS too much credit for the power they supposedly have over us as individuals. Yes, taxes can be raised or lowered and interest rates can be made to be high or low under certain regimes. However, we as individuals possess the power to work, earn money, own property, access water, grow food and defend our family from harm. The US Constitution allows us the freedom to succeed and to fail as individuals based on the decisions we make in our daily lives. This is miles ahead of many other countries on the Earth whose citizens do not have the freedoms, rights, and responsibilities that we Americans have been granted. We Americans should all be on our knees daily and thanking our creator for the US Constitution and what it means to each of us. We each have the ability to chose our own destiny in life and then we must work hard in order to achieve it.

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All it takes to live a wholesome and good life is a few resources such as land, tools, a pickup truck, a rifle, some common sense, and good bit of ambition. There are many who would disagree with me on this which brings me to my next point. Those who do not believe they have the power within themselves to carve out their own destiny are the reason we have too much government. These are people who think that all forms of life must depend upon a body of elite politicians to keep them safe and place food on their table. Ultimately this represents the sharp divide that exists in our country these days. One group makes life happen as they move forward in their daily work. The other group believes that life (good or bad) is what happens to them as a result of the action or inaction of others.

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The pendulum swings left and swings back right and then back left again. Gravity applies as interest rates and taxes go up and then come down and then go up again. I have seen and experienced the regime changes in Washington DC and Austin many different times now. Here is what remains. Those who are determined to make their own way and seize upon the opportunities to improve their lives will live a full and good life. They have bad days and good days, good years and bad years…no matter what. Gravity always applies. Those who are determined to depend on a government made up of elected officials to make their lives good and full will always be disappointed and found to always be wanting more.

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So we all have a choice.

1) We can boot strap it like the Americans of old have always done. Which means we just keep our head down, work hard, and enjoy the breaks we get with our families and friends. I must do this.

2) We can choose to exists in a constant state of fear and anger. Allow cynicism to consume us and find ourselves never being happy with anything because someone else is in charge and we do not like him or her.

So choose. Enjoy your life or lose it.

-RW

 

 

Understaffed? Keep Going.

Keep playing Whitaker! There is no one available to be your backup! I don’t care how much it hurts, we are counting on each of you to stay in the game and give it all you have. Full speed. No time to look back and consider the previous play. We won some and lost some but we always kept playing the game the best we knew how.

They called us the dirty dozen. There were only 12 of us on my 8th grade football team. In the sparsely populated Texas Panhandle, we often traveled over 2 hours [one way] to play a game. Each of us played offense, defense, and special teams. Most teams we played were bigger, faster and had greater numbers. Only one player stayed on the sideline. It was usually the guy who had the most severe injury from the last game.

I was taught early in life that you cannot just take a break. You cannot even slow down. Does it feel like this in your work life somedays? I can recall several instances in my working career that my team was understaffed. I was being prepared for this in 8th grade and I appreciate that experience.

There is no replacement for you. Keep going. There is no one here to lighten your workload. Keep going. If you quit, you lose. Full speed. Keep going and know that someday, this season will be over.

-RW

The Black 40

According to a Google search, the average lifespan in the USA is presently calculated at 78 years. Today, I turned 40 years old so that means I am already beyond halfway through my expected life according to Google. When I was 18 and graduating from high school, I pictured my life to be a certain way when I turned 40. My expectations were met and I can honestly say that life has been good. I took an inventory of my life and this is what I came up with.

I pictured that I would be married to a woman that I love very much and she loved me back. CHECK!

I pictured that I would be the dad of some really awesome kids. Yep! CHECK!

I did not picture that I would be living in South Texas. I thought I would still be farming and ranching  in the Texas Panhandle instead of working in the veterinary medical industry.

I do hope that there is still some time to catch up with that farming and ranching aspiration. To somehow make that happen would be an awesome accomplishment over the next 40 years. Well, the ranching and farming part anyway. I am not so sure I would leave the paradise that exists down here below the 30th parallel. We have two seasons, hot and no so hot.

Here are some things that I consider a bonus that I never thought would happen to me:

I have built a fun and rewarding career in veterinary medicine that has provided well for my family for a few years now. BONUS!

I have traveled all over North America, Europe, Hawaii, and the Caribbean for recreational purposes. BONUS!

 I was able to enjoy learning and playing the sport of all sports in the Texas Rugby Union with an awesome group of mates at the San Antonio Rugby Football Club. BONUS!

 I was able to forge strong friendships with a few awesome people. BONUS!

 All of this I count, as blessings. I thank God for carrying my family and me through the good and bad. My first forty years have been one heck of a ride and I am excited about the next forty. Thank you to all of my friends and family who are always there for me and always support me…even when I am being a horse’s ass.

-RW