Live 4 Something

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I was on the treadmill the other evening. 


On the TV was Sylvester Stallone in the movie, Rambo. 


Ah, some nice welcome action to take my mind off the exercise.


Some doctors and missionaries are trying to make their way to to Burma to help the helpless victims being slaughtered by the military warlord and his henchmen. 


Stallone knows the danger in going there, and at first, he ties to discourage them from going.


The beautiful and sincere women in the group convinces him to take them there…to try to make a difference in these people’s lives who are suffering. 


Stallone takes to the lesson and incorporates it into his inner persona. 


And later he says:

“Live for something 

Or

Die for nothing!


I thought this was a really good philosophy. 


THINK ABOUT IT: 


– We can choose to make our lives meaningful and impactful or to hide in the closet or under the bed and really accomplish nothing.


Our lives are a gift, given to us to do something good with–it’s a sin to waste that gift and not do everything we can to be a good influence, help others, and make this a better world. 


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

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Between A Liberal Rock and A Conservative Hard Place

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On the alt-liberal left–a “radical Islamist” leaning and violent Antifa. 


On the ultra-conservative right–Neo-Nazi and White Supremacists.


And in the middle (regardless of political beliefs)–good people of faith and integrity with seemingly nowhere to turn.

________


{And I don’t know what this is, but this is what I am hearing…}


Behold and fear a great fear.


Evil and violence will soon be upon you.


The forces of crushing hate will collide and spread throughout the face of the earth.


And the people will suffer a very great suffering.


And they will call out to the L-rd, and they will repent from their misguided wayward ways.

And the L-rd will see their judgement and he will cause a great stirring in man.


Great weapons will be released and a very great cleansing of man’s hearts will occur.


I say to you redemption is upon you.


Redemption first by great pain and suffering, and then by great joy and exaltation.

And peace and morality will be restored on Earth.


Here this and hear it well, the time is short and good people must ready.


Gather yourselves together and prepare for the end of days and the beginning of days.


Those that are good and gathered will see peace and survive the onslaught before my mercy while many others will perish.


{Then the streaming tapers off…}

________


I don’t understand the call for a gathering–aren’t we safer perhaps spread out?  


Perhaps the gathering refers to G-d’s promise to gather His people from the four corners of the Earth.


– And they will walk the sacred middle ground through the Red Sea to the promised Holy Land. 


The liberal left and conservative right have been overtaken by violent nutty extremists and radicals.


They have “split” from normal thinking and doing the correct thing–they have gone over the top!


A new righteous center–driven by faith and a moral compass –desperately needs to emerge now.


Hopefully, this will bring us to a new peace and prosperity–because the current isn’t working. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Condemning Evil Is Not Optional

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Both are reprehensible!
 
When you don’t condemn evil and wrong-doing, there is no room for reform and progress.


Good must win over evil and righteousness will reign over the Earth. 
 
(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Mine and Yours

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In synagogue today, we read from Pirkei Avot (“Ethics of Our Fathers”).


And I talked with my friends at lunch about one passage from this timeless wisdom.


There are 4 types of people:


1) “Average Joe”

What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours in yours. 


Someone described this as “his and her–separate–accounts.”


2) Stupid

What’s mine is yours, and what’s yours in mine. 


Ah, this is just someone whose plain old confused.


3) Wicked

What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine.  


One guy described his ex-wife this way.


4) Righteous 


What’s mine is yours, and what’s yours is yours.  


We all agreed this is the meaning of life–to be kind and giving to others.


What type of person are you? And what type of person do you want to be?  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Who’s In Your Corner?

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So as the saying goes…


It’s not what you know, but who you know!


Relationships, connections, and networks are critical for all of us to work together and get things done. 


And sure, it’s good to have some reliable people in your corner who know you and can speak good about who you are, what you represent, and what you’re doing.


However, let’s face it, there are some people out there that take advantage and don’t just have advocates, but rather protectors, and it’s a way for those who may be unqualified, unsavory, and incompetent–as individual–to sustain themselves.


Frankly, some of these people should never be in their jobs and should never be a leader over anything or anybody–but they are enabled, because of who and not what they know or are able to do. 


Whether it’s the Peter Principle or bullies and those without a working moral compass or sometimes it seems even a conscience, it can be very scary at times for what suffices as leadership in many organizations. 


Yes, of course, Thank G-d for the many good, well-meaning, and hardworking folks that make getting up in the morning as well as going into the office, worthwhile.


But for those that hide behind the skirts of others, so that they can get away with things that they should never ever be getting away with…well those are not fruitful relationships being maintained, but rather caustic ones that radiate concentric circles of toxicity to organizations, people, and mission. 


People know it when they see it–because it stinks from the stench of bad apples, bullying, disengagement, lack of accountability and ultimately failure. 


We desperately need each person to perform and to band together as an A-Team. 


However, sink or swim–as individuals, each person in their own based on their conscience and contribution without a phony mask of a protectorate accomplice. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Nature of Good and Evil

Like in the Bible…


When our forefather Itzchak was about to bless his son Jacob and he said the words (are good) like Jacob, but the hands (deeds) feel like Esau.


Words are cheap, and actions speak volumes louder!


Good deeds mean something, but words are easily manipulated.


We can all spot good deeds, and that is what must guide our judgement of people and situations–that is where the truth rests.


Like my father and grandfather always taught me–some people are good and some are not so good.  😉


(Source Video: Dannielle Blumenthal)

The Key Is Calm

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So what happens to most of us when we experience the stresses, disappointments, and conflicts in life?


We feel…


– Angst


– Anger


– Upset


– Frustrated


– Murderous at times


We even question, “Why me?”


But none of this helps.


In fact, it just makes things worse.


Because we compound our life challenges with more problems in how we react!


What should we do instead?


The key is to remain calm, cool, collected, and composed. 


Don’t get rattled, disjointed, and out of whack over anything or anybody. 


These are all tests in life.


They are all fleeting. 


G-d is watching us and seeing if we have faith in him.


When you remember the creator and sustainer of all life then you can rise above the adversity before you.


Go beyond the superficial.


Experience the world beyond the earthly bounds of time and space. 


See the larger picture.


Breath deeply…a sigh of relief. 


There is nothing to be upset about that G-d can’t make right for you. 


Face the challenges with a clear head, a brave heart, and follow your conscience.


Act with determination to speak out and right the wrongs you encounter. 


Remember, you are one with G-d and the universe, and all will be for the good. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)