What a great conversation I had with my best friends last Thursday night on Zoom. While I don’t love Zoom meetings and things, with these guys its always a blast. Sure we talk about Coronavirus, current events, etc., but in order to break that up we have done homework assignments. If you are doing zooms with friends, I think this is a great approach to making sure you talk about new things / different things, etc.
Previously we did, bring 3 pictures to the meeting (digital, etc.) and explain what it means to you. Last night was bring a favorite quote to the conversation and explain why you like that quote. In both cases it got all of us talking about things that were more meaningful and deeper than we probably expected. We spent hours going into the roles of fathers, our deeper moral convictions, some of our religious differences and a few things that helped us to understand where we all came from a bit more. I am so blessed that God brought us together despite our disparate views - it’s just comforting to know that we all can look past the commercial / societal differences that we may have to see the inner person who exists underneath it all.
What was my quote? I went biblical - Deuteronomy 8:3-5 - you can look it up if you like, but essentially getting back at how a father disciplines his children the Lord disciplines the “you” - and it really hit home as we deal with children pushing their limits and testing our rules…as we sometimes get frustrated and say “when are you going to learn that…”, couldn’t we assume that God says the same thing to “us”…how many times do we consistently act one way that we know is in defiance of what we should be doing?
For me, right now, as I look at certain foods. I know I need to make better choices day in and day out to stay on the path to better health, but how many times have I said, this “one” won’t hurt as the voice of my conscience continues to chastise me alongside with the scale?
Some More Things I Love About the US Leading Up to the Fourth of July
#22. Seasons!!!! The US is blessed to be large enough to span the Gambit of different climates. Some zones are fairly tropical and don’t see much change, but here in the Northeast we have these beautiful seasons that we walk through each year. Winter has cold brisk smells and long nights that we see start to disappear when Spring takes hold with flowers and leaves exploding out of emptiness. Spring turns to summer with bountiful greens and bright colors along with long days, and culminating for “me” in fall with crisp nights but warm days surrounded by changing foliage, ample harvests and cider donuts…ok fresh apples, those are better for me anyway ;)
#23. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: It was a memorable moment from a Junior high trip, and I always look at it as one of those rituals that grows in importance the older we get. If you have not seen it or visited it when the soldiers change, you really should attend. There is a camaraderie that is felt by those paying honor to their fallen brethren that can help people understand the importance of “not forgetting” those who were lost - even those who may never have been found. https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Explore/Tomb-of-the-Unknown-Soldier
#24. Immigration. While the laws of the nation continually change, the constant influx of dreamers and people looking for a better life is a story worth celebrating. Politics aside, some estimates have immigrants today representing nearly 14% of the population, and like with most populations, the vast majority trying to work and contribute as best they can. I think most Americans would agree that immigration is a good thing - the HOW is where the disagreement comes into play. Bringing new blood into the US helps bring new innovation, identify new talent and bring people in with an ethic to improve their current lot in life. These are largely people who don’t take the US country and its core ideals for granted. So if we take a second to remove the “how” from our mind for a moment, and think about a couple of friends of ours who may have been from another country or whose parents were from another country, then we can see the benefit immediately from having people willing to come into the US and fight for their slice of the pie. Some of my best friends are immigrants who came with a dream and are working their @#$’s off to attain it.
For some stats: