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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Face The Fear

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I have to give my wife credit. 


She said something to me the other day that was really profound and had a deep impact on me. 


Something bad had happened and honestly, it was a truly frightening situation.


At first, it seemed like one of those negative surprises in life that brings bad news and you are at first sort of shocked. 


As things progress though and the news unfortunately doesn’t get better, but in fact gets worse, the shock turns to fear and maybe even panic. 


Oh shit, what do I do now?


Turn this way..no good. 


Turn that way…no good.


Retreat…not an option.


So I speak to my wife, and at first she says:

“Just look away.”

But I can’t look away…I can’t ignore a problem…my instinct is that I have to plan for it, deal with it, solve it. 


I go back to my wife, and she says to me:

“Face the fear, and walk through it.”

And I had to stop in my tracks at that. 


She was right–there is no use being fearful or worrying–I would face it and walk through it, and come out the other side better for it. 


That was some of the best advice anyone I think has ever given to me. 


Got to be strong, have courage, face the challenges in life, and “walk through it!” 


What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. 


Have to have emunah (faith), and realize it’s just a test. 


And the Almighty G-d is my shield and protector. 


It’s a test, but I can pass it with G-d’s help, and everything will be alright. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Hitler Is Kaput

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So I was surprised when a great friend wrote to me the other day about Hitler. 


And he said that some people say that he won!


He wanted to destroy the Jews and he did manage to kill 6,000,000 of us!


He wanted to conquer Europe (and the world) and he sparked a world war that killed between 50 million and 80 million people, spread fascism, and Germany still today remains the economic powerhouse of Europe.


But killing people, spreading evil, and causing world war is not the sign of a winner by any means–quite the contrary! 


And I replied to my friend:


Hitler and the Nazis are gone, dead, and destroyed, and we are here–what a miracle that from the ashes and depths of the Holocaust, the Israelites were redeemed after 2,000 years of exile–and just as the prophecy foretold, Israel was reborn, lives and thrives!


The sick hatred, evil, and fascist values of Hitler and his Third Reich Germany are gone into the dustbin of history and moreover, their very mention or memory evokes disdain and contempt as being the antiChrist and archetype of evil in the world.


Over the weekend, I watched the movie, The Zookeepers Wife and it was terrific. 


While the Nazi’s perpetrated every conceivable evil on mankind, the righteous among the nations still managed to stand up in the face of evil and save innocent lives, and even when it put their own lives and that of their loved ones in jeopardy–that is true goodness!


The movie showed not only the Zookeeper and his wife who saved over 300 Jews during the Holocaust, but their young son yelled out after the miserable Nazi and said, “Hitler is kaput” or Hitler is finished!


Yes, Hitler and his evil cohorts are destroyed, but in every generation, there are new threats of evil and hate that arise, and to those, we still must bravely and with steadfast determination and strength confront–and those must be made kaput as well. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

It’s Not (Always) Easy

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Sometimes, we see people–especially on social media these days–and they look “all that!”–so happy, so loved, so rich, so with everything–so it seems (superficially). 


But there is definitely another reality out there, and that is that everyone has problems:


– Family

– Health

– Finances

– Work

– School

– Conflict

– Spiritual


Like Helen Keller said: 

“I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”


I remember as a child, if I felt sad about something, my dad at times would remind me about the children in the hospital, and to think about how we can help others less fortunate–and he was right!


What I see in life is a lot of people trying, but also so many challenges, failures, and suffering along the way…unfortunately, it’s part of the learning and growth equation, and in why we’re here. 


In college, I always remember one (English) professor who taught me from Henry David Thoreau:

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.”


Sometimes, in our solitude or when we speak quietly from our heart with our closest loved ones, we feel and express some of those deep feelings of hurt, pain, and suffering from our lives.  


Those experiences, memories, and feelings are not all that there is of us, but it is certainly a part of all of us–although maybe only the brave will admit theirs.


It’s not shameful to feel, to cry, and to be human. 


It’s certainly not what Facebook and Twitter are all about. 


But it’s a genuine and critical part of us which recognizes as my dad also taught me that–life is not easy–and that we have to fight every day to do our best and to help others to do theirs. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Left and Right Unite

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So I saw on Facebook, an image of an old, wise, Native American Indian.


And over the image, it reads:

“The left wing and the right wing belong to the same bird.”


That is pretty darn smart–and one of the best things I heard all week!


To many extremist people out there, they seem to have been forgetting this lately.


Also, the agitators don’t seem to let up–does it matter if it’s conspiracy theories or fake news–if it gets the bird in the net for clip-clip.


In an effort to “resist”–or perhaps utterly destroy the opposition–we have put politics above the National interest. 


Yes, politics matter–issues matter–people matter. 


But can the bird fly with only one wing?


Sure, we need to speak up when we see something wrong or that we don’t agree with.

But we also need to discuss, negotiate, and compromise–for Pete’s sake, work together to make the bird stronger and fly further and faster–rather than kill the bird itself. 


Our competitors and enemies have arrows pointed at and are shooting them at our American Eagle.


Will we give them the advantage as we self-destruct with loathing for one another? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Drones Vs. Man

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I took this photo of this man and drone in Florida. 


Look how close this machine is flying to his head!


Aside from the surveillance capabilities and offsetting privacy issues, these are bringing some dangerous fighting capabilities anywhere and everywhere.


Just today, I read about how the U.S. shot down an armed Syrian drone–presumably made and deployed by Iran!


I guess it’s not proprietary technology anymore!


As drones and robots become better, faster, and cheaper and ubiquitous on the battlefield and on main street, who will be (relatively) safe anymore? 


Unless of course, my drones are stronger than your drones!


It’s going to be a war of technology and machines more than ever before. 


Small ones like insects, swarms of them like engulfing locust, and large ones like Godzilla. 


What was once human flesh against a steel blade, arrow, and then bullet is now going to be an superfast artificially intelligent, armed to the hilt “man of steel” (and they don’t miss) against just regular everyday people.


Don’t hurt your hand punching that Robot in the face. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Mice End Up Dead

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So there are three main ways of reacting when in a bullying situation by someone:


1) Passive – You can sit back and take it for now, shutting your mouth and turning off your feelings, maybe even running for safety, as you get temporarily scr*wed, but perhaps maintaining the moral high ground and smartly saving your chips and choosing your battles for the right time and place to set things right and the record straight. 


2) Aggressive – You can fight back, make sure you have a good strategy, but you may nonetheless end up blamed or bloodied, or who knows, maybe you actually win the day, but also you need to be sure to win the war. 


3) Assertive – You can hold your ground, assert your rights, maintain your own opinions, and do what you believe is right, being firm in your self-determination, but you could be reprimanded or punished for not falling in line or best case scenario, you could actually end up being respected for it.


Listen, there is no one right answer, but you need to be a man and not a mouse.


Protect yourself–and as long as you don’t go overboard or act like a jerk–be you, be proud, and don’t let anyone mistreat you. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)