American Hero and Navajo Code Talker

I was honored to meet Mr. Thomas Begay, age 91, former U.S. Marine and Hero this evening at a local buffet. What first caught my eye was his red wind breaker with the big logo on back, “Survivor of Iwo Jima Feb 19, 1945”, and a print of the now famous U.S. Marines raising the American Flag on Mount Suribachi. Then I noticed his hat with the golden Marine Emblem on the side.

At first I thought perhaps this was just another old Vet wanting attention. That is until I walked back from the food line. This old Vet wore the huge silver Presidential Medal President George W. Bush presented to the Navajo Code Talkers in 2001, hanging from his neck. The medal is elegantly mounted in what I believe to be a traditional Navajo setting, a true work of art in itself.

Former Marine and Navajo Code Talker, World War II

Some of Mr. Begay’s family were seated with him. I shook Mr. Begays hand and thanked him, telling him I am honored to meet him. Of course, for me that one comment was not enough. I went back and spoke with the second man at the table. The second man at the table told me he is Mr. Begays son. He told me his dad is, Thomas Begay. A young boy is also present who is Mr. Begay’s Grandson.

Mr. Begay told me he he landed on the island of Iwo Jima as a part of the Fifth Marine Division on February 19, 1945. Mr. Begay’s Daughter-in-Law(?) told me about a video coming out on Veterans Day featuring Mr. Begay. Besides being a Navajo Code Talker on Iwo Jima, Mr. Begay’s Son told me his Dad is also in the group picture of several soldiers at the base of the raised American Flag on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima island. The group picture was taken later in the day on Feb 23, 1945 after the re-enactment of the flag raising.

I watched the video of Mr. Begay’s commercial, and was shown where Mr. Begay stood in the group picture under the raised flag. Finally, I thought I had taken enough of their time and went back and sat down, and let them enjoy their dinner in peace.

As we left I stopped to talk one more time. I told the family, it made me sad knowing that the most famous living Hero everyone in the building was likely to meet in their lifetime is sitting amongst them, and no one seems to notice. There were three or four other men in veterans hats, Korea, Viet Nam, and Iraq. No one took notice of Mr. Begay.

I felt shamed for all of us and expressed such to the family. Mr. Begay is a true Hero, perhaps the last of the Navajo Code Talkers still able to be out in public, and nobody notices? This hurt me way down deep.

The battle for Iwo Jima in WWII was especially fierce. I read the Japanese lost almost 19,000 men in the horrible fighting with only 216 men taken prisoner. American losses were 6,821 killed and 19,217 wounded. I have to wonder how many lives were saved by Mr. Begay and other Navajo Code Talker’s efforts over the 35 day battle for Iwo Jima?

I could have ignored an old man wearing a marine corp wind breaker, cap and huge silver medal. I could have decided he was a pompous old man looking for attention. I am glad I did not. In my eyes Mr. Begay is an American Hero who helped save thousands of lives during that ferocious battle.

I shook hands with, and thanked a former soldier, a U.S. Marine, who went to battle with a high bounty on his head. A Navajo Code Talker, who if captured would have suffered days of torture with unimaginable pain and suffering before he would be permitted to die.

To many of us, war is something that happens somewhere else, to other people. To Mr. Begay, I am sure war means something different entirely. Something very personal and frightening.

The commercial with Mr. Begay, retired U.S. Marine will be out Veterans Day 2015. I hope everyone watches Mr. Begay in the video. I hope we all learn from what Mr. Begay has to say, and what the other all the other Vets who I haven’t had the honor of meeting and thanking have to say too.

The commercial will be out for Veterans Day 2015. I hope everyone watches Mr. Begay in the video and appreciates his service to our country.

Mr. Begay’s video for usaa.com

usaa youtube channel: Veterans Day 2015 #ThoseWhoDared | An Unbreakable Code

Remember our Veterans this Veterans Day, both those you know, and those you never met. They sacrificed for us.

Voices in my Head, are they Mine?

As someone who was told by their Father as a young boy to listen to the little man on his shoulder whenever a decision about right or wrong need to be made, I am no stranger to voices in my head. As a little boy, of course I believed my Father. I never heard the little man speak to me though.

In 1973 a popular group of the time named Pink Floyd released a song named, “Brain Damage”. Pink Floyd had decided to sing about voices in our head. The song was a solid hit with me, though I am sure the song, and Pink Floyd itself was more than a little strange to people in the mainstream of life.

We all have voices in our head. For most of us the voices are background noise and little else. For a few these voices are far more serious. What these voices are and where they come from is an unending discussion on several levels. This however is another topic for another time.

As I was falling asleep the other night, I was relaxing, quieting the chatter in my head. Most of the conversation is seemingly nonsense. Bits of phrases that make no sense in the context they are presented. Most are very bland. The other night however, one phrase took me from the edge of sleep to wide awake.

As I was almost asleep, I heard in a never before heard voice the words, “…going to touch your hands with hands of love and kindness…”. As I was almost asleep I do not really remember the beginning of the sentence. In the moment it was one more voice waiting to still.

Perhaps not all voices in our head are ours.

Perhaps not all voices in our head are ours.

As the voice and the phrase was said, my attention focused on the voice and the words. I was immediately wide awake and listening for more. There was no more to hear. This voice and the others chattering away in the background of my thoughts became obviously and loudly silent. They all stopped the instant I wanted to hear what was being said.

 

 

Was it real or was it just noice in my head? I am of the opinion the voice was real and not created by me as I drifted off to sleep. I do not think these types of thoughts.

This phrase stays with me as a comforting thought. “…going to touch your hands with hands of love and kindness…” I hope you too enjoy hearing something of the same as you are drifting off to sleep, quieting the voices in the background.

Long Term Rental Plan

I saw this comment somewhere, “You do not own gold, you only rent it.” In the moment I thought how silly that comment was. Of course I can own gold. I can go to a jewelry store and buy gold jewelry. I can go to a coin shop and buy gold coins. What is this person thinking?

After some weeks when the quote resurfaced in my mind again, I understood. We really do not buy gold, we only rent gold. We live only a short time in when compared to a thousand years. Gold has been around longer than we have a history of remembering gold. I understood in a moment, we really never own anything. Gold is only a focus point.

We buy several assorted items such as food, clothing and sundries, and we use them for our benefit and well being. Eventually as happens in the bigger scheme of things, the food is all eaten, the clothes wear out, and the sundries are all used up. In this manner we really own nothing.

Even when it comes to our person, we are on a long or short term rental depending on our point of view. Our cells are replaced at a varying frequency depending on which cells they are. I have read that about every decade we are  completely new in that every cell in our body has been replaced with the exception of some brain neurons. No idea whether this is really true or not. For the most part I imagine it is true.

Everything we are and own is on a rental plan. Someone or something used it before us, and someone or something else will use it again after we are done. From the precious metal we buy to the food we eat and the clothes we wear. Evberything is disposed of during some time in our life span. Life span not to mean the same as being alive, but rather when we are forgotten by those who came after us.

Depending on what our beliefs are, even our spiritual self is cycled and recycled over and over. Some people believe when we are born, we are not a product of a single former personality, but rather a collection former personalities who lived before us. We either formed ourselves, or were formed using splinters of peoples personalities who lived before us.

Rented living, Rented us, we are all on the Rental Plan

Rented living, Rented us, we are all on the rental plan

A splash of Madam Currie, a dash of Drusilla, a smidgen of Cleopatra if you are a woman. If you are a man, perhaps a few grains of Napoleon, a slice of Da Vinci, a drop or two of Confucius. Several other bits and pieces of other famous and not so famous personality traits possibly added for a perfect combination that becomes us.

Of course many of us are in the eternal court. We have the same spirit evolving and changing over lifetimes, yet remaining the same spiritual essence it was when we were first created. Our creation also a matter of perception and beliefs, as old as the winds of time. We change bodies as we change clothes.

No matter we are only renting. Everything we know as us, and everything we pretend to own is transient. We are what we are. We are the only “us” here in this instance of our existence. Ignoring even us is open to speculation.

No matter what we think we are, or who we will become, or are prevented from becoming, we are all we have to work with. We divide ourselves into differing percentages of the spiritual and mundane worlds (spiritual and physical, with spiritual not to be confused as being religious though they can be the same, but do not need to be the same) and build our existence to our liking. Would we choose to have it any other way? We are all on the long term rental plan.

FTD Rainbow Cup and LBGT Community

What I thought as a surprising comment was made to me, and I am not sure what my reaction should be to the comment, if any. It all surrounds a coffee cup. Actually two coffee cups. Some years ago, the flower people, FTD came out with a rainbow cup. It is a white cup with a rainbow on each side of the cup.

This cup has become a symbol for the LBGT community

This cup has become a symbol for the LBGT community

My Mother purchased one of these cups and flowers(?) for her older sister. Her older sister reciprocated and bought one of the same cups for my Mother. These coffee cups were very special, and took Sister Bonding to the highest level ever. No idea why, but these cups did.

They would call each other, and in the conversation, one would either be drinking from their rainbow cup, or tell the other sister, they had used their earlier in the day. Each had several coffee cups and mugs in the cupboard, but their rainbow cups were very special to them.

Bottom of FTD Rainbow Cup

Bottom of FTD Rainbow Cup

My Mother died some years back, and I inherited her FTD Rainbow cup. Some years later, my Aunt died, and I was fortunate enough to also inherit her FTD Rainbow cup. I use one of them, and the other is put away. It brings them back in my memory, thinking warm and happy thoughts of them.

I was drinking a cup of tea the other day using one of the rainbow cups, when someone visiting observed, “You know that is an LGBT cup don’t you?” Someone else is going to see you drinking from it and assume you are Gay.” “Huh? Was my response.” I didn’t expect that one.

I become confused with ideas like this. Okay, I understand that Rainbows have been adopted as a symbol for the LBGT community. Good for them I suppose. Rainbows have been adopted by many people and groups over the years.

The oldest adopted Rainbow I am aware of is the sign of the new covenant in Christianity. The newest Rainbow I am aware of was the bond between my Mother and her Sister. Until in the conversation when I learned it is a LGBT symbol.

For me, the FTD Rainbow cups represents happy memories of times passed between my family members. I think this is the most important meaning for the two cups for me. Any thoughts one way or the other about the cups and the comment?

Lessons from a Fatal Accident

I found myself in a very surreal situation a few weeks ago. I want to share with you, as this could be you some day. Things happen, and they happen suddenly. This was one of those things.

I was at a stoplight on a busy four lane street. It was dusk. I was the third car in line in my lane. When the light turned green, the two cars in front of me took off as fast as they were able. Within seconds the front car hit its brakes and violently swerved to the right.

In an instant the second car did the same. I was looking at the cars wondering why they swerved out of the lane. I thought to myself, someone was hauling something and part of what they were hauling fell off the truck or trailer and was laying in the street.

Accidents happen quickly and without warning

Accidents happen quickly and without warning

I started slowing down looking in my rear view mirror deciding which lane would be safer to turn into. When I looked forward to the road surface, I saw a large something laying in the lane.

As I came closer, I thought to myself, that looks like a human body. I quickly turned into the right lane, and stopped on the side of the road. When I exited my truck, I was sure it looked like a human laying in the street. From here on what happened became very surreal.

My next thought was call 911. I had my work phone with me, but I turn it off after work. As I walked towards the form on the street, a woman was standing with her phone out and one finger over the screen.

I asked her if she knew what happened or knew the person on the street. She said no. I asked her who she was calling, and she said, “I’m calling emergency”. Unfortunately she was frozen in place. I asked to call 911 as I walked towards the body.

It was dark, and the lighting was not good. My first thought was it was sick prank, what else could it be. Someone threw a human looking dummy into the street thinking it would be funny watching vehicles swerve to avoid hitting it.

After some seconds of staring at the body, I knew it was not a dummy, and I also knew he was not alive. I am now standing in the middle of a fifty mile per hour four lane street with a dead body on the ground. No sign of an accident and no reasonable explanation of how it got there.

I think that pretty well describes the situation. As I stood there, I thought to myself, ‘people get killed doing what I am doing’, trying to do the right thing. I could not leave the body alone to get ran over by someone not thinking about their driving, so I stayed in the lane with the body.

I looked over to the woman who was still frozen in place, and this time I commanded her to dial 911. A few more people had gathered and two of them said they would call 911. The woman was likely in shock and probably could not remember the number to 911.

I remembered I had either a tarp or a blanket in the backseat of my truck. When the light turned red, I walked to my truck to get it. The woman was still frozen in place. I found a blanket in the backseat, walked back into the lane, and with the help of a person who stopped and put on their flashers so I would not get hit too, we covered the body with a blanket.

I saw a woman walking up the lane from a distance. there was a car with its flashers on stopped in the lane some distance away. When she was about twenty feet away she broke down, sobbing and crying she hit the man and did not mean too.

One of the bystanders told her to go to the side of road which she did. It sounds harsh, but I did not care if she stayed standing out in the street in front of traffic that probably did not see her. She was not my concern, and her actions did not fit what happened. I realized later, she was probably in shock too.

The police eventually arrived, two officers in two vehicles. One officer started controlling traffic, and the second came to where I was standing next to the body. After surveying the situation and listening to me telling him there was a dead man under the blanket, he lifted the blanket, and confirmed what I said.

The policeman stood, and announced to the five or six of us that were at the scene, that this was about to become a crime scene, and if we were not involved in the accident, or had pertinent information we should leave, unless we wanted to stay there three or four hours. Myself and the others who were not involved left the scene.

There is good learning here even though the situation is horrible.

Things happen which are way out of our comfort zone.

The two drivers of the two cars in front of me at the stoplight will have to live with their decision not to stop and render aid for the rest of their lives every time they are reminded of what they did.

Sometimes even with the best of intentions we are not able to do what we know we should do.

Risk taking is a personal choice. Not everyone should be willing to stand in a lane with a dead body with cars flying by on each side of you.

If people are already stopped and helping, and it looks as if you can not help too, it is probably best to drive on. Too many people could mean a second accident, as driver are sometimes too preoccupied.

The person who was killed deserves some of the responsibility for what happened. Crossing eight lanes at night, not in a vehicle, is an extreme high risk activity. It is horrible what happened, but it can not be undone.

When driving, pay attention to the road in front of you. The driver who killed the man IMHO, was unfortunately distracted somehow. She will have to live with what happened for the rest of her life. I would not want to be her, and I am sure you do not either.

If you are on foot or on a bicycle, skateboard, or something else, weigh the risk of street crossings carefully. The person hit and killed may have crossed this street at this time night thing often over time, and was safe every time, until this time.

Melancholy Reminders of Family Past

A phone call from the past last evening made me realize how much I really miss my sister Lana. She was nuts, but she was always there for me. She would go off on these tangents of thought. Wasps for example. I never really thought about Wasps, but Lana was consumed by them for months on end.

She asked me during one phone call if I ever noticed how high tech Wasps were? I had to admit, I really had not given wasps a lot of thought. Lana pointed out to me how their insect body shape was different than other insects. They looked as if they wore helmets. They were streamlined, made for flying fast. Lana thought they came from a different place than most insects. Some high tech aliens introduced them to the earth was a possibility.

I listened to Lana talk for hours on end over the course of a summer about how cool and unique Wasps are. She was feeding a Wasp colony, and wrote the editor of the local paper about it. The paper published almost of her letters over the years. Humor maybe? It did not matter to Lana. Something as uniquely odd as feeding Wasps sugar water was perfectly normal in Lana’s thinking.

When Lana wore herself out about Wasps, she would get around to me. It was an expectation that I had come across or was thinking about something oddly unique. I do not remember much about my end of the conversations, it has been a while. For some conversations I would struggle to come up with a topic, thinking what I would say why she prattled away. Generally I would choose a topic Lana would relate too.

Sometimes Lana amazed me with her insights. Other times, she would go through three or four phone calls hashing over something that was important only to her. Lana made a connection between whales, dolphins, and birds one year during one of the single topic multi conversations we shared.

Lana told me that God created certain animals that performed specific duties for the earth. Sea mammals, some fish, and birds all had a specific role. Through their calls and chatter, they introduced and maintained a calmness over the earth, in the air and the sea. Without these animals, Lana told me, all animals would live in excessive fear because there would be no calming voices in the background of our hearing.

I shared her thoughts with friends at times. Frozen looks, and no response were the norm. I did not mind, her fixation was never ordinary. Often it took a leap in thinking to get to her level. I was okay with it.

Melancholy MemoriesLove and relationships were out of the question. Taboo to put it mildly. She had lost any normal feelings of love and family, thirty years ago. We traded letters and talked in person when I was in town, and over the phone for almost thirty-five years. “I love you”, was never once uttered.

Anything tribal, Native American, or low IQ people were off limits. This was the domain of the ‘nuts’ part of Lana. I would listen to her berate, lament, and attack these groups of people for what would seem hours. Then she would get it out of her system, and she would return to almost normal.

I was able to share many parts of my private life, and my private thoughts with Lana when she was connected with the idea that her brother was on the other end of the phone. I think that was the greatest thing about having a Sister whose connection with reality was fragile.

Lana was a steel trap about my innermost thoughts. Nothing I told Lana in three decades ever went from Lana to another person. All my secrets were safe with Lana. I could express my fear, frustrations, and occasionally my warped thinking with her. Lana would take each utterance of mine, dissect it, rehash it, and find some value in it for me, unless it infringed on one of her taboo topics. When I infringed on a taboo area, the phone would end shortly.

I would wonder what I was giving Lana, that she needed in return for her listening to me. After some years, it became obvious we were different sides of the same coin. I listened to Lana and she listened to me. For Lana it was enough of a connection, probably the only one she could make. For me, Lana was my repository of thoughts that would never really see the light of day.

Lana spent most of her adult life seeing counselors in one form or another. Maybe she took on that role when it was my turn to create conversation. Maybe she was really interested in what I had to say.

There are parts of all of us that should never see the light of day for various reasons. They need to remain in the cracks and crevices of our mind. I know now, how fortunate I was to have a sister like Lana. She did not mind that I too had a side of me that was not public I could share with her. Maybe we kept each balanced.

Art of Saying Hello

One of the most overwhelming psychological problems facing homeless people is isolation. Think of yourself as homeless for a moment. You have no family that wants you around, no home, no address. You spend today day trying to make it to tomorrow.

Most people do not want to talk to you, they give you some change to make you go away. People fear you, people make you invisible. No one gives a crap if you are around tomorrow or not. Now imagine that is your life, and you are walking down the street, and you say hello to a passing stranger in an attempt to reach out and make a connection, however small. You may as well have said hello to a tree.

If you were alive in 1614, saying hello would not be an issue. You would seldom venture more than a short walk from your home, especially alone. You would be born, grow old, and die with people who live close to you. Once you walked more than a short way from your house, you were a stranger, either someone to leave alone, someone to rob, or worse.

Because you are alive in 2014, quite a bit has changed. You are safer now than in any time in history. You do not have to worry about war and plunder arriving in your neighborhood. You can walk down the street without being robbed. You can drive across town or across country without fear of being raped, robbed, murdered, or captured for slavery. Sure it happens, but let’s be real for a minute, it is not something likely to happen to you. There are easier targets for those people who prey on others.

We now know the bogyman is a fable. Dirty old men are very hard to find. Your neighbor or the person walking towards you is probably not a psychopath concealing a bloody knife they are about to use on you.

Don’t be afraid to say hello to a passing stranger, homeless person, adult or child you do not know. You never know how much one word may mean to another. Saying hello costs nothing, and has the ability to change both your worlds. Unfortunately in extremely rare instances, your saying hello may be the last word you ever say to another human being, or the last word they ever hear.

No longer do you need to be frightened of strangers. All fear does is lead to isolation and loneliness. The greatest love stories, the strongest relationships, and the greatest people you have ever met or read about practice the art of saying hello.

Saying, “Hello” is more than good manners. When you say hello, you acknowledge the other persons existence and worthiness. You let them know they are alive and they are somebody. You may be the only person the other person will see today, and you connected with them in a small insignificant way.

Stress Relief You Will Actually Use

I know two stress relievers so profound I try to keep them in mind throughout my day. We should repeat them several times a day, every day.

The first stress reliever may have originated in the Christian bible, possibly from Paul’s writings.

This second thought is a suggestion I learned from Burt Goldman, American Guru, in several of his videos. You can find Burt on you-tube. These two thoughts we need to add to our lives and our day starting as we wake up, during the day, and before going to sleep. They will change your life for the better!

‘I have everything I need within me to not only manage every problem in my life, but to solve every problem in my life. All I need to do is use the tools I have learned, and think before acting’.

And from Burt Goldman, ‘I am getting better and better and better every day in every way’.

…On a side note…If you haven’t heard it yet, an awesome feel good song you need to hear is: Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass. Check it out!…

These two thought help me relieve daily stress. They will help you too. Remember the mustard seed parable? The song is awesome, thank you Meghan Trainor.

Memories of Sixty Years of Changes

I brought up some life changes that have happened over my life in a conversation yesterday. I thought they are kind of interesting, and thought I would share them with you. I grew up in rural Minnesota, so the experiences of others may be different. Below are memories I remembered off hand.

1. Telephone lines were shared between different families in the same neighborhood. You knew of the call was for your family by the ring. They were called party lines, and your neighbors could listen in on your conversation if they were quiet and sneaky. Children were rarely allowed to talk on phones as they mostly for the adults in the house.

2. Dancing was much tamer than it is today. I remember my sister telling me that during school dances when a slow song was played, there had to be at least a three inch gap between the couple. Chaperone’s were responsible for couples maintaining the proper distance. In the seventies, people would be kicked out of dance halls for performing a too suggestive version of the song Locomotion as an example.

3. Music had a much different meaning than it does today. Most songs were love songs with the exception of the blues and jazz which was off limits to most people who were not raised in the south. Fats Domino songs, Twist, and Blueberry hill were on the edge of what were acceptable songs.

4. There were no movie ratings. Parents generally had to call the theater to see if it was okay for their kids to go to a movie. It was big event and caused lots of discussion between my parents when the beach movie, “The Ghost in the Tiger Striped Bikini” came to town. My folks thought it may be too adult for kids to see.

I walked out of the movie, “Last House on the Left”, as it took violence to a level that made me sick to my stomach. Some people actually threw up before they managed to leave the theater.

No one who saw the movie, “The Exorcist”, went home and had a good nights sleep for a number of days.  The Exorcist took the Devil out of church and put him in daily life. I knew a man who committed suicide because he was supposedly told he was possessed by a priest, when really he was mentally ill.

Sidelining, speaking of mental illness, my Sister after marrying and leaving home, told my Mother, the walls were talking to her. My Mother told my Sister that was taboo subject in so many words, and she did not want to talk about it. My Sister by that time had read, “Valley of the Dolls”, learning how to quiet the voices on her own, along with most of who she was.

5. There were no skateboards. The closest to a skateboard was taking steel roller skate wheels or cart wheels off and screwing them unto a board. Neither option worked too well.

6. When I saw my first calculator which was only rumored to be in a store, it cost around $360.00. Of course we weren’t allowed to actually touch it, as the four function (+ – * /) calculator was locked behind a glass case.

7. It was every kids dream to have their very own transistor radio. They were about the size of a cell phone, only thicker, worked on a 9 volt battery, and if you lived in a big city, had something called FM radio which was thought to be better than AM radio.

8. We did not have a television until I was about six years old. We did not have a television channel that stayed on morning until midnight until I was ten. We didn’t have a color television until I was about thirteen. The movie, “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, was about as racy as it got in those days. Of course cartoons and westerns were full of extreme violence, but that was okay for the time.

9. Our milk came from a daily farmer. It was milked from the cow, chilled and bottled in gallon root beer bottles we brought from home. The cream would float on the top, and the bottle would have to be shaken before being poured out. When the Farmer and his family  got sick with the flu in winter, all his customers usually did too.

10. Tea, Milk, and Bread Men were common when I was little. The Tea man sold tea, hygiene products, hair and tooth brushes, and of course cheap little toys for toddlers that were not old enough for school.

11. Abuse in the home was much more common that it is today. Spanking, and beating (both children and wives) was not uncommon. Children were to be seen and not heard. Never questioned the authority of an adult, and kept out of sight unless it was meal time. I remember a friend of mine went to baby-sit three young boys, and one was proud to show off a hole in a the wall that his Dad made when he threw the boy into the wall. One boy in my class was discovered by our teacher (who touched his shoulder) to have black and green welts on his back from his mother beating him with a rubber garden hose. I also had an eleven year old alcoholic friend whose father never noticed the missing liquor.

12. Skate boards as we know them today did not exist. Bicycles were made of iron, and at the slightest grade you generally got off and walked it up the hill. Back packs were only for hiking and camping. Bumper Tennis shoes were the rage, Hoods had Duck Tails, and wore blue jeans and black tee shirts with engineering boots if they could afford them. We voted on whether or not girls would be allowed to wear slacks to school.

13. The Pill, otherwise known as birth control pills. Sex was a rare event, believe it or not except among the high risk taking group. Parents frequently slept in separate beds. To be intimate and risk having sex was dangerous at best, because the chance of pregnancy was very high compared to life today. The Pill started the sexual revolution of the sixties, giving Women more power and control in their lives than any time previous in the worlds history.

How to Feel Better Each Day

Some months ago, I was given a little cellophane bag of some homemade chocolate rolled into the size and shape of marbles, and coated with powdered cocoa. Trying to describe how good the taste was would take more skill in description than I want to do. I will just say they were great.

I thanked the person that made them, because making anything takes time and money. I  wanted them to know I appreciate how special I felt that they took the time and effort to make those little chocolate balls, package them up and share them with me.

The story could end here, but time has passed. My freezer has packages of meats I purchased intending to use right away. I plan on making a real meal, but time flies, and life moves on, and a hot dog works when your busy. Of course I would not recommend eating as many hot dogs as I do for dinner over the course of time.

Fortunately I find myself with more free time the week, so I want to start using up the meats I have stored in the freezer. Some people do not make the connection, but I do.

Each package of meat in my freezer represents one animal that was killed so I could have meat for dinner. I am respectful enough of this to make use of those meats, so the animals death serves a higher purpose than being displayed in a grocery store and being thrown out on trash day, rotting.

I looked at the pile of frozen meat bricks in my freezer. I had less of a variety than I hoped. I looked at chicken legs, chicken thighs, pieces of chicken, boneless chicken, and more chicken. There were also a few small amounts of ground beef I had placed in baggies planning to make a quick burrito filler via microwave.

So much for shopping creativity. As I pulled out the last brick of frozen chicken, my fingers felt and my ears heard a small cellophane bag I did not remember putting into the freezer. It was hiding in an ice tray covered by a couple of frozen fruit bars.

As I took it out, I thought it was something gone bad. It was a dark brown with some powder on parts of it. I was trying to remember what I had placed in the freezer that was going bad to keep frozen until trash collection day when I would put it in the trash can to be picked up.

Then it dawned me. It was a second package of those precious little chocolate treats, which were hand made. Lucky me, I was given a second package after I raved on about how good those little chocolate treats were.

I had placed them in the freezer because I knew if I kept them in the refrigerator, they would be gone in a single day. They were that good. In that moment, I once again grateful, that someone took the time to collect all the ingredients, make those little chocolate wonders, package them, and share them with me. When I next see the person that made them, I will share this story with them.

Being grateful is not difficult. Being grateful is a simple three part step:

1. Someone does something for you they did not have to do.

2. You take a moment to internalize what is being done for you.

3. You smile and give thanks (feedback) to the person.

Taking time to add gratefulness to your day only takes a few seconds out of your day. Often it can be combined with something you are already doing. You are going out a door, take a moment to hold the door for someone coming in. It is as simple as that.

If you want to take a display of gratefulness to the next level try this. Smile at a stranger and say hello. Smile and say hello to someone who most people normally would not smile and address.

Sure it is easy to smile at a beautiful woman, or a great hunk of man. It also feels good both ways when that smile and salutation are given to someone who you normally would not give a second thought too. Sometimes they are taken by surprise and forget to smile and return your hello, but that is okay. It was a surprise to them.

Paying it forward in a faceless line has its place. Nothing feels better than the gratefulness you receive from someone you acknowledge, smile at and speak to. You have touched someones life directly. You won’t be a faceless someone who did you a favor. You will be that wonderful person who took a few seconds from their day to smile and  say hello.

Which would you really rather receive, a free coffee in the drive through, or the wonderful feeling of smiling and speaking to someone while sharing a brief moment together? I will add, a few pieces of Chocolate definitely help the feelings flowing in both directions.