Parenting and politics: My views are similar on both

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Lately I have been thinking a lot about how I have done / am doing as a parent. Two of our kids are in college and a third headed there this fall. With them leaving the nest and approaching the big wide open spaces of the world, it has struck me that my views on parenting and on politics are very similar.

When I think about what I wish for for my kids, I do NOT wish for a world with out obstacles, unfairness, bumps in the road or mountains to climb. Those same mountains that are daunting for them now will prove to be what provides the scenery when they have reached the summit.

I do not wish for them to never know the sting of unfairness. Instead I wish for them to rise above it and learn the lesson of treating others kindly and fairly. They can learn that lesson no other way. If I teach them to rely SOLELY on the protection of others and not to defend themselves and their loved ones, then they are destined to not be able to teach my future grandchildren that same lesson.

The same in both of these cases applies to politics, of course.

I cannot teach my children to rely on government, or bureaucrats and also to rely on themselves simultaneously. I cannot teach them self reliance, and also to expect to depend on a handout from the government. Getting the latter in the long term undermines the liberty and sovereignty that I wish to provide them.

I cannot teach them to voluntarily submit their will to their Creator and Savior and to follow his example in serving others and giving freely to those in need, if I teach them that the only way that one is compassionate is if they provide their income to a government at the point of a gun and that the government and the politcians will be the benevolent ones to distribute it. I must teach them to render unto Caesar that which is Caesars, unto God that which is God’s. One is a forced act of submission, the other a willing act of contrition.

I must teach my kids to care and give freely rather than submit and be manipulated. The latter is a poor substitute for the former.

I must teach them the fine balancing act of being tolerant to all beliefs and yet unyielding in defending theirs. I must remind them that accepting others for who they are requires an equal amount of respect to be reciprocated. Always.

I must teach my kids that true freedom requires responsibility. They are inseparable.  Irresponsibility always leads to captivity, it always has. Whether to a habit, to pain, to embarrassment, or simply to the consequences of the irresponsible act. They are inseparable.

I must teach them that taking from others is wrong. Anytime. Everytime. If it belongs to others, then it is not yours. Period. If it belongs to you, then it is yours. Defend it vigorously. Give of it freely to others. Do not hoard. Keep enough for you, but provide others around you the opportunity of success that you enjoy.

I must teach them to defend the defenseless, shelter the homeless, serve the weary, comfort the sick, and take joy in small moments of kindness to others… and that noone smiles when they write a tax check thinking “wow I have this warm feeling of providing for others.” Yet personally giving of your time and money and heart to individuals will allow you to feel all of those things.

Finally, I wish for my kids Liberty. The Freedom that allows them to be what they want, even if that is counter to my will or beliefs. I cannot show them the joys and value of Liberty and confine them to my way of thinking.

Free will is a gift that I treasure, and while I am responsible for guiding them, I am equally responsible for allowing them to freely choose their future and their success.

An ode to Dish Network. Breaking Up is Hard to Do. :-)

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Posted without comment other than to say look towards the end for the funnier parts. These guys do NOT take no for an answer.

Donna (ID: A6F): Hi, my name is Donna (ID: A6F). How may I help you?
Donna (ID: A6F): Hi, Eric! I hope you’re having a great day today!
Eric Blackwell: Hi Donna – We wish to cancel our account
Eric Blackwell: How do we go about that
Donna (ID: A6F): It is sad to hear that you want to cancel your service. May I know the reason why?

Eric Blackwell: Sure. We talked to a customer service rep and they said they would reduce our bill by about $25 per month and this month = was not the case.
Donna (ID: A6F): I am sorry about that, Eric.
Eric Blackwell: So we just want to cancel.
Donna (ID: A6F): We’d hate to lose you as one of our customers. Let’s completely review your account and see what we can do to keep you as a valued customer.

Donna (ID: A6F): May I know your phone number please?
Eric Blackwell: REDACTED
Donna (ID: A6F): Thank you.
Donna (ID: A6F): For security purposes, would you please verify the 4 digit Security Code on the account?
Eric Blackwell: Thinking it is REDACTED
Eric Blackwell: is that correct?
Donna (ID: A6F): It does not match what we have on file. But that’s okay.
Donna (ID: A6F): In order to access your account, would you please answer your online security question – What is your mother’s maiden name?
Eric Blackwell: lets try REDACTED
Donna (ID: A6F): Thank you.
Donna (ID: A6F): That is correct.
Donna (ID: A6F): When was the $25.00 credits promised?
Eric Blackwell: I do not remember exactly. It was my wife Jennifer that talked to them. She received the bill and said to just cancel.
Eric Blackwell: She is at work right now
Donna (ID: A6F): I see.
Donna (ID: A6F): The reason your bill is high this month is because we did not receiver payment last February.
But here is the thing, I am seeing that there is a credit of $15.00 on your account. You will receive it for 10 months, starting March.
Eric Blackwell: That is not what she was told. Let’s just cancel
Eric Blackwell: thanks
Donna (ID: A6F): I understand.

Donna (ID: A6F): I am sorry to hear that you want to disconnect your service. We prefer that you call us and allow us to review all of the options available to you. You can reach an account specialist at 866-218-2297 who will personally handle your request and ensure that we cover all of the necessary information needed to cancel your account.
Donna (ID: A6F): Or I could connect you directly to our Account Specialist for this concern. Which do you prefer?

Eric Blackwell: not going to change my mind. Whichever will terminate the account the easiest
Donna (ID: A6F): I understand.
Eric Blackwell: I am working as well, so looking for the quickest solution. Chat is preferred
Donna (ID: A6F): No problem.
Donna (ID: A6F): Please give me a moment to make some notes on your account first.
Eric Blackwell: sure np
Donna (ID: A6F): Thank you so much.
Donna (ID: A6F): Thank you for waiting, Eric.
Donna (ID: A6F): I consulted my supervisor about this, and here is what we can do, since you are already receiving the $15.00 credits. Let me give you $5.00 credits for the next 6 months.
Eric Blackwell: appreciated but just want to cancel please
Donna (ID: A6F): I understand.
Eric Blackwell: thanks
Donna (ID: A6F): No problem.
Donna (ID: A6F): One last question, Eric.
Do you know anyone who is willing to take over the account?
Eric Blackwell: ?? no idea what that means
Donna (ID: A6F): Someone who will take over your account, like a new account owner/
Eric Blackwell: but dont think so
Eric Blackwell: no
Donna (ID: A6F): I understand.
Donna (ID: A6F): Thank you for taking your time off to contact us. We have a Specialized Department who can further assist you with your concern and provide you with the necessary information that you need. Please stay online while I transfer you.
Donna (ID: A6F) has disconnected.
Michelle (ID: N35): Hi, my name is Michelle (ID: N35). How may I help you?
Michelle (ID: N35): Thank you for contacting the customer Loyalty Department at DISH. Please give me a few moments to review the previous chat. If you need to reference this chat my name is Michelle and my operator ID is N35. I look forward to helping you today.
Eric Blackwell: Hi Michelle. Just need to cancel please. Not more offers. Just cancel
Michelle (ID: N35): I’m sorry that you wish to cancel your service, Eric. May I ask why?
Eric Blackwell: Look. I am at work and I have already explained it in the chat above. Please read that and if you have questions let me know. I wish to cancel, that should be enough.
Eric Blackwell: Getting irritated now.
Michelle (ID: N35): I’m sorry about that, Eric. I see that you are upset about your bill because of a discount you are receiving. What I show is that you were offered a $15 discount on your programming package which you are currently receiving.
Eric Blackwell: My wife was offered a $25 discount verbally. It did not show up on the bill. We do not do business with people who say one thing and do another. Simple as that. We wish to cancel.
Eric Blackwell: I stated that above.
Michelle (ID: N35): I’m sorry you feel that way, Eric. I see that the previous representative offered to have someone take the account over for you, would you like to reconsider? This is a perfect option for any friends or family members that may not be able to qualify for our service.
Eric Blackwell: Which part of “Please CANCEL my account” is not CLEAR to you? I am REALLY getting irritated now. Please do as I ask. I work in online marketing and you TRULY do not want the negative publicity that I can generate with a single Facebook post. Is that more clear?
Michelle (ID: N35): I’m sorry you feel that way, Eric. I’m just trying to do what I can to assist you today.
Eric Blackwell: What you can do is please cancel my account.
Michelle (ID: N35): What we can do is offer an additional $10 credit for 10 months. That would provide you with the $25 discount you said you were offerd.
Eric Blackwell: Oh for crap’s sake. PLEASE cancel my account. Period. Done.
Michelle (ID: N35): When would you like to cancel your service? I can cancel it today or schedule it within the next 30 days.
Eric Blackwell: Now please. Immediately.

I am proud of my kids.

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I try to tell them often. But I know it is not often enough.

There are so many obstacles in the world these days specifically designed to tear kids down and family life apart. I know that the decisions of life are tough for them to make. I am proud of them for making them.What they do not realize is that with each passing day, the decisions that we make gain more importance.

All of those little decisions, turn into patterns, and then in to habits, and the consequences of those decisions, patterns and habits serve to flake and form who we are and what our destiny turns out to be. I wish I could take them on a journey from where they are to where I am and back again.

Not only would it be fun, but it would be educational. :-) Yet the amazing truth is that cannot. The future is theirs to explore, engage in, and figure out. My future includes theirs but they are getting to the point where it is time to launch. There is a scary sense of satisfaction in that.

Bottomline is that I am proud of my kids. I am proud of the decisions they are making, even when I disagree. Life is an adventure. I am proud of them for approaching it with gusto…and an appropriate amount of respect, all at the same time.

If it does not hurt a little bit, you did not do it right.

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I don’t believe in saying Goodbye.

That is not because I am mentally weak, and I cannot handle the fact that some folks move in and out of our lives from time to time. I am fine with that.  It is because saying “goodbye” is inaccurate.

See you later.  Now THAT is accurate. I like that much better.

Whether we are talking about friends moving hundreds of miles away or whether we are grieving over loved ones who have passed..it makes no difference. We will see them later. There is NO need to use the “G” word.

This week for me is full of those types of experiences. That is NOT a bad thing, but it is a thing.

If it does not hurt (at least a little bit) to watch folks head into their next adventure or venture, then you did not do it right. I mean that. You NEED to feel the sting of friends leaving. Love, whether the friendship type or the more intimate type, is always a mistake worth making.

The heart aches and heart pains of life are what tells us that we can feel. They let us know that we are alive. To protect yourself from that completely means that you are wearing gardner’s gloves versus the thin latex gloves of a surgeon.  One protects us from the hurts, but it does not allow us to be sensitive and feel. You cannot have it both ways.

Another interesting thing that I have experienced is that everyone says “see you later” differently. Some folks need to grieve a bit and then they are ok. Others grow silent and contemplative as separation grows near. Some get angry. Some get stoic.

And it’s all good.

Reactions to parting friends are personal, deep, and part of who each of us is. And it is all ok. Different people, different needs.

It should and does teach us to not waste time and savor the moments we have. Love like there is no tomorrow. Don’t be afraid to sing, dance, smile and wear Hawaiian shirts when it is below freezing, just to see what people say. Like I said, if it does not hurt just a little bit, you did not do it right.

 

It takes no courage to enhance your power…

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Forget which party I am talking about. It does not matter.

If you are in politics, you will always perceive that you are there to enhance the base of your political power. You will be a slave or a closet slave to polls. You will worry about appearances and what people think more than you should. It is the nature of the beast.

That is the GUTLESS path. That takes little in the way of courage.

The COURAGEOUS politician is one who sticks to their principles when they kmow that it will weaken their power. I admire those sorts of people. They are the kind of people who shrink government’s role in our lives rather than simply go along with an expanding government in the hopes of one day controlling.

Yeah, it is only one distinction. But it is a big one. ;-)

What inspires me…

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From time to time, I like to post things that lift me up and help me through. A little Mark Knopfler is a favorite Saturday treat of mine at the end of a long week.

Other people medicate in different ways. Great music heals me.

Property

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I have an open ended question that I would like to ask the world. If you feel inclined to, please provide your comment below.

“When is it right for one person to take another person’s property from them? (Money, land, anything of value)?”

Some instant things come to my mind. If the person has directly wronged you and you sue them in a court of law, that could be one of those times. But for the sake of arguement, let’s stipulate that that is right.

When else is it right?

(follow up questions will be posted once we have discussed your answers.)

Common Sense

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My goal in creating and working on this blog is to create what I consider to be common sense. Once that is done, my goal is to persuade others that what I consider to be common sense is in fact sensible. This blog is also a search for that same common sense that I think many people find missing in today’s world.

Whether you consider today’s political chicanery. Or the latest business trend. Or power mongers trying to inflate their importance in either Politics OR in Business. The bottomline is that they are all subjects that need the light of truth and common sense shined on them.

If you spot some areas where common sense needs to be applied in a nonsensical world, please feel free to comment or contribute. I reserve the right to edit or delete comments at will. This is my online home and I will invite whom I want to contribute and visit. Be kind to people from all points of view. Discuss logically. And let’s learn together.