Are You the Hero of Your Own Story?

are you the hero of your own story?

No, I’m not talking about fiction here (although that could be a topic for another day).  I’m talking about you.  Your life, your business, your deal, your story.

The reason I’m asking is because I’ve noticed that there is so much hero worship going on these days.  You know?  Movie stars, singers, computer geniuses, marketing gurus, TV doctors, judges and lawyers…

In fact, this story claims that we worship Tom Hanks the most.  Really?  Tom Hanks?  Like what does Tom Hanks have to do with our day to day lives?  Bupkis, if you ask me.

Most people I know are busting their humps to get through day.  Work, kids, school, business, family obligations, rush hour traffic, grocery shopping – if you ask me it takes a true hero to face that stuff.

Not people who have private security guards and a team of assistants to fulfill their every need.  I mean wouldn’t you love to have Tom Hanks’ staff for a day so you could lounge by the pool or even read a book for two hours without being interrupted?

Maybe your hero is in the last place you look

We all love role models, people we want to aspire to be like, whether because of their smarts, their success or the great stuff they do.  It’s understandable.  Most people strive to learn and be better in some way.  I think that’s great.

But and it’s a big but, I think in our desire to be a new, better and improved self we often overlook how pretty darn great we already are.

Now, I’m not suggesting that people should drown themselves in self-love, but I am suggesting that maybe we should give ourselves a break.

 Try this

Just for the heck of it, sit down and try to write down all the things you do in the course of a day, or in the course of a week.  I’d be willing to bet that you’d fill up a lot of pages.  And when you’re done look it over.  Now consider this: is that the work of an ordinary human or some super hero who can drive, put on mascara, make the kids lunch and do a conference call at once?  Could a mere mortal juggle everyone’s schedule, hold down a job; take everybody to practice and school while managing to look like Julia Roberts?  I think not.

So the next time you get all down on yourself about your shortcomings, throw on your super hero/heroine cape (a sheet will do if yours is at the cleaners), laugh you best bad guy thwarting laugh and sing out, “Here I am to save the day!”

I guarantee it will make you feel better just to be your own hero for the day.

So, what death defying task did you perform today?  Tell me all about it in the comments.

WC

Copyright 2013

 

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A Day of Independence

There is an interesting story about this painting you might enjoy.

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor. (emphasis mine)

— John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

The above is the reason for this holiday – so while you’re enjoying your hotdogs and parades and fireworks, maybe give it a read.

WC

All Gave Some – Some Gave All

You know, it is easy to forget that the personal freedoms we take for granted are not entitlements – but privileges hard won. And won through the efforts and often lives of others. People we likely never knew but who nonetheless were willing to and often did give their lives to secure our freedoms.

While Americans like to celebrate Memorial Day with barbecues, holiday sales, fireworks and alcoholic beverages it wouldn’t hurt any of us to stop at least for a moment to silently thank those who gave us our freedoms. Prayers, good thoughts, wishes spoken aloud, meditation – whatever floats your boat. Please find a way to say thank you – not just to those who have secured our freedoms and continue to do so but to the families of those injured and fallen men and women.

Regardless of the side of the political spectrum to which we align, we have much to be thankful for and many to whom we owe our gratitude. To all veterans, past, present and future and to their families I say, Thank you.

As the saying goes, ‘Freedom ain’t free.’

For those of you who missed it

Since the media is fond of under-estimating the numbers of interested and concerned citizens about the direction of the country… I thought I’d share some pics sent to me by a friend. These pictures are of the recent tax day rally in D.C., our nation’s capital for those of you who don’t know. Of course you wouldn’t have seen these in the MSM because, well after all…showing the real numbers is a little frightening even to them. Or perhaps especially to them.

As you can see it was several more than a few thousand. What do you think – are they all angry white guys? I think not. Nothing wrong with political dissention, right? I mean our Constitution guarantees it. Of course, according to some anyone dissenting from the right must be some sorta nut. Well otay then, count me in.

WC

Oh yeah, and one interesting note – unlike those who attended the inauguration of our current president – the Tea Party activists didn’t leave a ton of trash for the city to clean up. In fact, they left no trash whatsoever. Unless of course you include the politicians and they’re working on that one too.
😉

To Serve and Protect – Officer Randall Simmons

He was a giant, both physically and spiritually – perhaps moreso spiritually. His name was Randal Simmons, he was a 27 year veteran of the Los Angeles SWAT team and the first member in its 40 year history to ever be killed. Ten thousand people attended his funeral yesterday, officers from as far away as Australia attended. Gang members, old classmate, politicians, strangers – they all went to honor this man. Why?

Because not only was he excellent at his job he was an excellent human being. He gave to the community, not just as a police officer, sworn to serve and protect – but as a youth minister. He affected hundreds of lives and helped countless youths to get off the fast track to hell and ruination and onto the path of a better life. The day of his death, and for days afterward, there were countless radio broadcasts on talk radio where people who knew him and especially young people whom he had helped called in. The calls would have broken your heart. This was a man who quietly went about his life. He put on his uniform and gun every day and headed out to the mean streets of L.A. but he went out there with an open heart and hand. His goal was to help. And he did.

I know that we all like to complain about cops. When we see them behind us in traffic, our paranoia kicks in and we drive extra careful. When they catch us not quite stopping at the stop sign, we curse under our breath and smile as we sign the copy of the ticket. Then go home and bitch and moan about it to our friends, spouse, family. And we never stop to think about the fact that these men and women literally take their lives in their hands every day for our benefit. To protect us. To keep us safe. We never stop to thank them or wish them a good day. We just take for granted that when something terrible happens they will come to our rescue.

And on that day, Randal Simmons did. A man was holding his family hostage – he had literally lost his mind and had already killed three members of his family. But Officer Simmons and his comrades went anyway. They went to help anyone who might still be alive, they went so that the man wouldn’t kill another human being. Unfortunately, he did kill one more – Randall Simmons. A man who so deserved to live moreso than many others still walking around and enjoying their lives. A man who truly did good in the world. Who cared about the world he lived in and tried to make it a better place, one person at a time.

Angels open arms
rise to their holy welcome

your spirit is home

Rest in peace, Officer Simmons. Thank you for being here and for all that you did for your fellow man. Bless your family.

If you would like to help his family, click here. To read more about this incredible man, click here.

Fire

Hi guys,

As you may have heard on the news, there are approximately 12 forest fires going strong here in Southern California. Unfortunately, several of them are rather nearby. The Governor has proclaimed a state of emergency and hopefully, we will have the National Guard and any other help we need to get the fires under control.

A few pictures:

The first one is a map that gives you the general locations of the fires. The others show various views from the fires. So far, 250,000 have been evacuated just from the San Diego area alone. Thousands of acres have been burned and our firefighters fight not just fire but up to 105 mile an hour Santa Ana winds, 0% humidity and dry brush. Hundreds of homes have been lost.

Say a little prayer for us, if you would. I’ll check back soon. I’m hoping against hope that we won’t be evacuated too.

Annie

Addendum:

If anyone is interested in helping here are a few links that you can follow:

http://www.directrelief.org/SupportUs/WaysToGive/WaysToGive.aspx

http://wcbstv.com/topstories/california.wildfire.donations.2.411576.html

http://networkforgood.blogspot.com/2007/10/southern-california-fires.html

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21444274/

USS New York

A friend sent me this in an email and I wanted to share it.

It was built with 24 tons of scrap steel from the World Trade Center.

It is the fifth in a new class of warship – designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists. It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft.

Steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in Amite, LA to cast the ship’s bow section. When it was poured into the molds on Sept 9, 2003, “those big rough steelworkers treated it with total reverence,” recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was there. “It was a spiritual moment for everybody there.”

Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the “hair on my neck stood up.” “It had a big meaning to it for all of us,” he said. “They knocked us down. They can’t keep us down. We’re going to be back.”

The ship’s motto? “Never Forget”

Now, that’s a motto I can relate to – I will never forget.  WC

Independence Day

  

The 4th of July is a significant day to most Americans and is certainly to me. It reminds me of how much I love my country and what sacrifices were made that I might live in a place so wonderful as America. I love the picnics and parades and fireworks to be sure, but mostly I love my country. I wanted to share our national anthem with everyone in its entirety. For more info on the 4th of July go here. Happy 4th everyone – and especially to our troops who continue to stand the watch, ever vigilant.  Respectfully, WC

“The Star Spangled Banner”


The Defense of Fort McHenry

by Francis Scott Key

20 September 1814

Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wiped out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner forever shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Back in Time

If you could go back in TIME and kill Hitler, would you? How about Stalin? Jack the Ripper? John Wayne Gacey? Ted Bundy? Pol Pot? Or any other maniac in history?

Is life fated? Could one go back and change a significant event in history and not upset the whole planet?

If I went back to September 10th 2001 and prevented 9/11 from happening, would that have been a good thing? All of those people we lost that day would likely still be alive today if I had.

What might they have contributed to the world had they lived? A cure for cancer? The answer to drug abuse? A new invention that could save millions, or enable 3rd world countries to compete in the world market?

Children who are now fatherless or motherless would have their parents there to guide them. That empty place at the table would be no more. Could this possibly be a bad thing? Wouldn’t any of you out there have stopped it if you could have?

Or, would it have made no difference at all? Would there have been another attack somewhere else? Would we have been lulled further into a sense of false security, only to  ultimately lose thousands more?

Would it rip the fabric of intended events and cause an even worse result? I’d like to think that it wouldn’t. I’d like to think that we aren’t just pieces in the giant chess game of life. That we have a choice. That the whole universe and all of life isn’t already mapped out and preordained. That while there may be a giant blueprint of the future and even a master architecht out there somewhere that the design elements can still be changed and improved upon. That we can opt out of certain features, even at the last minute.

Because if it is all fated. If it is all preordained then what are we doing here? What is our purpose? To sit and watch? To be spectators as the future rolls out before us? To supply the oooohs and the aaaahs and things unfold?

I don’t think so. I think we all have a choice and make a contribution. I think it is encumbant upon us to seize life by the throat and insist on changing the bad things and on making a difference.

So, I ask you – if you could, what would you change? Who would you stop? What terrible world event would you reverse?

WC

What Moms Will Do For Their Kids…

 

(My friend, the super-mom, sent me this true story of how she ‘helped’ her kids learn one of those scout-type lessons. Amazing, the lengths we’ll go to for our kids, eh?  😉 WC )

We had our Daisy troop meeting at Oakwood Park this afternoon so we could work on our “Making the World a Better Place” petal by going around the park picking up litter.  I got there with a handful of plastic grocery sacks so each girl could fill her own bag with litter.  Then we were going to talk about recycling as we took any bottles and cans we found and put them in a separate recycling bag. 

So, while the girls are playing before we get started, I look around and….. the park is spotless!!  No litter anywhere!!  Nothing!!  Our petal earning was in serious jeopardy

The only thing I could think of was to send my older daughter to our van (where there happens to be plenty of litter) to get some litter and go out and sprinkle it around ahead of us as we got started.  She said she got some strange looks from people as she was boldly and deliberately littering.  That is, before they saw our Daisies way behind on the trail squealing as they raced to pick up the scraps.

Thank God one of the boys playing basketball happened to finish his water bottle so we had something to recycle!

Technically, we didn’t really make the world a better place but I think they got the idea 😉  Too bad there isn’t a “Make your leader’s van a better place” petal.  😉

(LOL- that’s what I call ingenuity!  WC)