For Whom Do You Provide Your Compassion?

A recent Facebook post by one of my loved Liberal Friends read, “I pity the legacy of a person whose life as a humanitarian ends in a death that is used to beat the drum of war. I’m sure that’s the opposite of their intent.” Obviously this FB poster was showing compassion for someone. Kayla Mueller

It was a reference to the death of American Kayla Mueller. She was a hostage held by the Islamic terrorist army, ISIS (toward what end and what purpose remains unclear). She was taken hostage in August 2013 while awaiting a bus in Syria where she had gone to provide aid to those suffering from the year’s long civil war in that country.

The Facebook post got me thinking, this person doesn’t want war under seemingly any circumstance.  I don’t know if that is true. But I do know this person and believe that to be true. It frustrated me because like too many peace lovers in this world and this country this person seems perfectly willing to let the abuses of ISIS continue unabated.

I am not beating the drums of war with ISIS. I’m not completely sold on what is America’s interest in war with this radical group. But for those peace-nics who think war is terrible I’ll remind them…war is already underway and on going. The hope is that America’s involvement would hasten peace sooner rather than later. I would also ask that those who champion peace in our time at any cost, (a la Neville Chamberlain) where is your compassion for those ISIS butchers, rapes, enslaves. and holds hostage? For whom do you provide your compassion? ISIS killing

It is well documented that ISIS is a barbaric organization sworn to live life and make everyone else live life by Sharia law. For crying out loud, they advertise their barbarity on tv and the internet with video taped beheadings of people they captured and held as hostages for no other reason than these people didn’t subscribe to their religion. Where is the compassion?

It reminds me of the immigration debate. Proponents of immigration amnesty in the United States also advocate a more open border. They have compassion for the millions of Latin immigrants who illegally cross our borders in order to have a better life in the U.S. These people leave poverty, drug wars, and other forms of hopelessness to come to a greater more prosperous country, the United States. Certainly they are deserving of our compassion…in addition to our jobs, our medical facilities, our welfare money and in some cases our prison accommodations. 

The problem is Latino immigrants who enter this country illegally are hurting American citizens. They take jobs from those who would otherwise get those jobs. That would be Americans. They also take jobs at lower wages often without government withholdings, thus driving down what would otherwise be a more competitive salary situation for American citizens in labor, service or construction. It’s worth noting that in most cases these Latino illegal immigrants are not taking the jobs and driving down the wages of America’s college educated, and well-off people. No, the poorest and least educated of Americans are the ones whose jobs and wages are adversely affected by illegal immigration. It’s these same poorer American citizens who find medical care and welfare benefits harder to come by because they’re being provided to someone here illegally.  So…I ask again…for whom do you provide your compassion? 

Here’s another one. A man and a woman are married for many years, until one of them decides to cheat on the other. The victim of the betrayal is devastated, depressed, even suicidal. They had remain true to their marriage vows and worked hard to do their part in making for a successful life and marriage. Due mostly to the betrayal the marriage breaks apart. Due to circumstances the betrayer has to move out of the home the two had enjoyed for years while the spouse who was true remains in the house. Both are hurt emotionally, psychologically, and financially. Divorce is BAD and it hurts both parties and any children as well. For whom do you offer your compassion here? The cheater is probably more hurt financially and in terms of lifestyle. They have to move out of the home they’ve had for years. They’re losing the benefit of a second income, not to mention companionship. They’re lifestyle takes a devastating blow. We certainly should provide them with our compassion? Right? But…they cheated. They caused the problem that was singularly responsible for the break up? Aren’t they getting what they deserve?

The other spouse who was betrayed is hurt too. They too lose companionship, and the benefits of a second income. They’re lifestyle is hurt too. But at least they get to keep the house in which they’ve lived for so long. At least they don’t have to move. But they’ve been betrayed. They may never trust again because the person to whom they gave all of their trust betrayed them. Certainly, we can provide them with compassion, right?

The sad part is…in this last…and usually in most scenarios of conflict compassion is appropriate for both sides. But in giving it to one…often the other is forgotten….and the hurt continues.

10 year anniversary Logo

Understanding the Six Types of Forgiveness

The link below is to an article written by Dr. Jerry E. McKeehan.

Have you ever found it difficult to forgive? Have you ever felt yourself in the wrong for continuing to hurtfully remember a wrong done unto you? Do you think forgiveness is mandatory? Or is repentance by the offender a requirement BEFORE you grant forgiveness?

What does the Bible say? Would it surprise you to know there APPEAR to be contradictions in the Bible?

This article does a great job of clarifying those purported  contradictions. I hope this is read by everyone who has struggled with forgiveness.

http://www.purposedrivenchurch.net/pdf/Forgiveness%20Six%20Types.pdf

Many thanks to Total Broadcasting Service video editor/producer Marianne Petersen for presenting us with this helpful article.

 

Value of Video Marketing Emphasized in New SEO Study

It’s like I’ve been saying for years, video is mandatory for good SEO and subsequently good marketing. Read this article.

Value of Video Marketing Emphasized in New SEO Study.

Did Michael Brown get What he Deserved?

Let me start by mentioning that I get it. I get that many people are upset that a young man is dead in a senseless act of violence. I get the need and desire to assert blame and hold someone accountable for a life being taken.

Eighteen year old Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri August 9, 2014 by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. His death sparked massive protests and riots in and around Ferguson at the time, and again last night when the county prosecuting attorney reported a Grand Jury’s verdict that Wilson was justified in the shooting.

I’m angered by the violence and senseless destruction by people who aren’t seeking justice. My guess is most of them are opportunists looking for every chance they can to be destructive and to steal. It takes a senseless violent episode and puts it on steroids. It makes a tragic situation much worse. How did the small business owners and their employees who have no job to return to today bear any responsibility for the shooting or the Grand Jury’s verdict? Explaining away such outrage as mere emotional responses to tough news is outrageous in itself. These people are thugs and criminals, not protesters; and they’re not to be respected. They’re not patriots to be viewed in the same positive light as past Americans who exercised mostly non-violent protests to convey need for change. The American tradition is not molotov cocktails, burning buildings, and assaults on police officers.

What we know about the shooting is this. Michael Brown stole a package of small cigars at a convenience store. He assaulted a store employee who tried to stop him as he left the building. Unlike what had previously been reported we now know through the Grand Jury transcripts that officer Wilson knew of this crime and suspected Brown of being the perpetrator when he came upon him and a friend of Brown, Dorian Johnson, as they walked down the middle of a street that August afternoon. We know that Wilson stopped his patrol car in the middle of the street, confronted Brown and Johnson, and that Brown attacked Wilson and tried to kill him when he tried to take the police officers gun as they wrestled inside the police cruiser. A gun shot was fired during the altercation and Brown’s hand was grazed with the bullet causing considerable bleeding. Blood was found in the car and outside on the street. And gun powder was found on Brown’s wound indicating a shot from very close proximity.

What we also know is that Brown, though only 18, was a fully grown man. He was 6-foot 4-inches and weighed 292 pounds. That’s a huge man! And angry huge men are very intimidating. I’m not as big as Brown, but at 6′ 1″ I know my temper can and has intimidated others in my past. The blood on the street indicates that Brown walked away from the confrontation in the car, but then turned around and came back at Wilson; a span of 21 feet. Wilson says Brown was attacking him again and had a fierce look on his face “as that of a demon”. That’s when Wilson fired the series of fatal shots.

By turning to walk back to the officer we know one thing. Brown was not afraid or concerned that Wilson had a gun; which leads me to ask the protesters what would you do if someone who just attacked you, tried to steal your gun and shoot you, was now coming back at you (21 feet is not just a few steps)? Would you try to talk with him, calm him down, run from him (if you could. Remember Wilson was in or near his car)? Can you seriously say you would do anything different from what Wilson did?

The death was senseless! Of this there is no debate. But it was senseless because this hulking young man committed some senseless acts including attacking a police officer who was trying to talk with or detain a suspect in a crime.

Michael Brown ought to be on Thanksgiving break from college this week, as he was planning on furthering his education. He ought to be hanging with friends and preparing to watch Thursday football and stuff what must have been an enormous appetite with turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, candied yams, and whatever else his family puts on the table to celebrate that for which they are grateful. He ought to be. But he’s dead. And he’s dead because of, based on a preponderance of evidence, his own choices.

It sucks. It’s sad. It’s even maddening. It shouldn’t have happened. But until this country solves its race problems it’s going to happen again. Police and others in authority need to completely wipe out and eliminate all people responsible for truly guilty acts of unnecessary violence and discrimination. And African-Americans need to vigorously fight such people and such acts. But they shouldn’t cry wolf every time an African-American is hurt, killed, or jailed because of their own criminal behavior. Such explosive outcries only foment distrust and hatred. And its my belief this distrust and hatred is learned, and was at the forefront of Michael Brown’s mind when he took the steps toward Darren Wilson that ended his young life.

Teddy Roosevelt and Overcoming Depression

Ken Burns has done it again. The King of PBS documentary programing has produced another historic series worth anyone’s time who value’s United States history. The Roosevelts ranks with Burns other classic creations which include Baseball, Jazz, The National Parks, and others. I’ve enjoyed watching it this week and encourage those who have missed it to look for it on-demand or DVD in the future. It tells the biographical story of America’s 26th President Theodore Roosevelt, America’s 32nd President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and FDR’s wife and cousin Eleanor Roosevelt (who had the fortuitous opportunity to maintain her maiden name after marrying). I’ve read several biographies on Theodore Roosevelt and consider him a true American Hero.

In two years in the west Roosevelt worked relentlessly to escape depression.

In two years in the west Roosevelt worked relentlessly to escape depression.

A statement in the second episode of the program struck home and I felt was worth sharing for those like me, and like Teddy Roosevelt who have faced great disappointment or tragedy that led them to despair and depression. Unknowingly, in my own experience, I have done as TR did and am repeating the rewards. While my rewards are not on the scale of what he did I can’t help but believe in his and mine own and many others stories there are lessons to be learned.

Teddy-Roosevelt-Was-the-Toughest-Person-Ever

On Valentine’s Day, February 14th (my birthday), in 1884 Roosevelt’s first wife and his mother died in the same house on the same day. Alice Lee died only two days after giving birth to Roosevelt’s oldest child, Alice. Alice Lee and Theodore had been married four years and a loving couple since their youth. Roosevelt, though only 26 years old, was already making a name for himself in the New York State legislature. His wife’s death devastated him. He wrote that “…the light has gone out of my life.” He was so incapable of dealing with the grief he ordered those around him to never speak Alice Lee’s name ever again. If he ever did himself, its unknown to historians.

Rather than wallow in despair and depression the energetic TR decided to dramatically change his life. He decided to get busy. Roosevelt left the legislature and left the East Coast. He took himself to the Badlands in Dakota Territory and set out to be a Cowboy, Sheriff, rancher, and big game hunter. He did all those things, and mastered them, having never even attempted being such an outdoorsman at any time prior to the death of Alice Lee. Roosevelt was a New Yorker and raised in privilege. and he had been a weak, sickly child. But his depression from losing the love of his life was so impactful that he escaped that life in favor of a hard life in one of the hardest environments in the country.

During the snowiest winter on record in 1886 nearly all of Roosevelt’s cattle herd perished. Shortly thereafter Roosevelt left the Dakota’s and returned to the East Coast politics and considerably more adventures. His frenetic manner continued until his death in January 1919. As was mentioned in the PBS program Roosevelt said “Action” is the road away from despair and depression. And he fearlessly pursued every challenge ever presented to him. He even sought out those challenges. “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”- TR

In all my life I’d never faced serious depression like I did nearly one year ago. I was devastated and found merely getting through each and every day very difficult. But I pushed through it. At the start of 2014 while at the height of my lethargy I made two statements that have carried me to a place I now know is the pinnacle of great things to come. I said my 9 year old company, Total Broadcasting Service, would have its best year ever and that by the end of the year I would be debt free.

For the first time I hired a business coach, knowing I needed the direction and guidance for my business while my personal life was in disarray. He helped steer me into the things I wanted to do. The coach also asked me every week to do something “courageous”. With each passing week I found my focus easier to come by and my ability to do the hard things, ask the tough questions, make sales appointments, close sales and even volunteer my time became easier and easier.

I also became a voracious reader of books, mostly self-help books. I’ve read more books in the first 9 months of 2014 than any year in my life. I always knew reading was important and beneficial, but I never MADE the time for it, outside of my daily viewing of the Sports page. Each day I fill my mind with good ideas and motivational thoughts from authors who are accomplished in one way or another, one field or another. And I’m a better man for it.

I find myself exhausted at the end of most days. But unlike the time of my worst depression my exhaustion is not caused by emotional energies being spent worrying about what has happened or what might happen. My exhaustion is a good exhaustion earned by “action” and exertion.  I wake at 5:30am and seldom pull the plug on my day’s efforts before 8pm. And when I pull the plug…I’m done.

The good results of my relentless drive were immediate, but not dramatic. I could chart greater income for my company. And I could definitely know my hurt heart and emotional challenges were easing as I focused more and more on what needs to be done right now at this very moment.

The gradual improvement in all things in my life has recently turned into a tidal wave of good fortune. Not even through September Total Broadcasting Service is exploding past our previous revenue records. My home is neater and in good repair and could be argued in better shape and appearance than at any time in my 11 years of living here. 247881_129703920442554_4713491_n I’ve given considerable volunteer time to a great organization called Emergency Feeding Program of Seattle and King County and even applied to be on the non-profit’s Board of Directors, something I expect to be officially named to in a matter of days. My family is happier and healthier because of my efforts. And I now look forward to a future that once scared me, but that I now know holds great promise and opportunity.

Challenges remain in front of me and my despair returns for short periods now and again, but through action, diligent, non-stop daily effort I have followed the example set by Theodore Roosevelt and made my life better. Time will tell if my achievements can be comparatively similar to the ball of energy that was TR. But I honestly expect great things, and that’s half the battle. I would counsel anyone in despair or depression to dive into your work if its work you love. I would advise them to focus on helping others. When you help others you forget about your own troubles and become a problem solver.

Lastly, I honestly belief God see’s our good work and rewards us. He may not reward us right away. But the rewards are coming. I promise.

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

The Poverty Myth: It’s not for a Lifetime

tbs-avalanche-12-2010-102.jpgWhen considering those in poverty it is far too common to think of them as perpetually poor and forever on the public dole. This sentiment has long existed and been perpetuated by claims of generational poverty; families that have nothing and leave nothing for their kids, thus creating a cycle that keeps the kids poor as adults and their kids raised in unrelenting poverty as well. These people are forever a burden on society and forever in need of our tax dollars being redistributed to them in the form of low or free rent, food stamps, medical care and more. Or so the myth goes…

While its true that many in poverty can stay poor for a significant portion of their lives, that’s often not the case. A 10+ year old study found that a significant percentage of those who were in the bottom third of income earners in the 1970s at some point over the following 20 years actually attained a level of income putting them in the upper third of income earners. This illustrates the point that those in poverty and receiving assistance are often only in that financially troubling position for a short time in their lives. 

This makes sense when you consider that many of those who are poor are young adults or young families who have not yet attained the wisdom, experience, resumes or income to keep them out of poverty. But as they age and gain work experience and the wisdom on how to earn and save money they lift themselves out of poverty and often into financial well-being.

The author taking a break at his 3rd radio job in 1986 when my income rose to the grandiose level of $1000 per month.

The author taking a break at his 3rd radio job in 1986 when my income rose to the grandiose level of $1000 per month.

This was certainly true for this author. I have worked in the radio industry for my entire adult life. I began professionally in 1985 as a 21 year old country music DJ and part-time high school sports play-by-play announcer. This auspicious position paid me the awesome sum of $600 per month. A little extra scrambling for more work usually got my check up to $650.00. And that was gross income, paid to me with only one pay check per month. I worked 50-60 hours per week, 6 days per week; thus not allowing me to hold a second job. I was poor. I didn’t qualify for food stamps. At the time I did apply and was told I made exactly $5.00 too much each month to qualify. I lived on Top Ramon, Mac & Cheese, and Cheerios. Oh…and beer. Priorities, right?

Twenty years later my income climbed to a level in 2004 where my earnings put me in the upper 2-3% of income earners. I owned a home, a rental property, and was raising a family. In 2005 I started my own business, Total Broadcasting Service.

Total Broadcasting owner Michael Schuett does most of the camera work provided to customers, both still and video.

Total Broadcasting owner Michael Schuett does most of the camera work provided to customers, both still and video.

And I’m not special. Lots of people can tell the same story.

The myth that poverty is a life sentence has two deleterious effects. If believed by some of those in poverty it helps keep them in need. It also discourages generous giving from many who could dramatically impact the lives of those in poverty. “Why give if these lazy, drug using poor people are only going to use my money to get drunk and high and buy tattoos and other frivolous expenses? I was poor and I lifted myself up. They should do the same.”…or so seems to be the thinking.

When its understood that poverty is more usually a temporary condition Americans can feel more comfortable generously offering a hand up while not seeing it as a hand-out. If someone is too young to have learned and earned you are more likely to see their potential and give them the assistance you probably benefitted from in your own youth. When its plain that a medical condition has prevented a person from working and they lost their income and haven’t yet found a means by which they will eventually support themselves, you can maintain a much higher level of empathy for their plight. Even when someone’s own poor decisions or foolishness have driven them to the poor house, you can feel a greater desire to help them get back to being self sustaining if you have the confidence of knowledge that most people in their positions will use your generosity wisely to change the direction of their lives and improve their situation.

My faith tells me that its my responsibility to help those in need. But if my faith (or yours) didn’t dictate charitable giving, common sense would. Few people, regardless of political persuasion, like the government’s gun to your head (otherwise known as the IRS) approach to monetary redistribution. And frankly its terribly inefficient anyway. But many non-profit charitable and church based organizations provide efficient and meaningful help to the needy. 

One of these organizations in my community is Emergency Feeding Program of Seattle and King County. I met it’s Director, Glenn Turner, this year. He carefully explained to me and others how EFP fills the gaps in food distribution for the needy. Food banks typically only provide food enough to last an individual or a family for 2-3 weeks per month. The obvious problem being that every month is at least 4 weeks. Emergency Feeding Program will help those who can’t provide for themselves over each month’s final 1-2 weeks with carefully constructed food bags tailored to the specific dietary and ethnic requirements of the recipient. They provide 15 different types of emergency food bags to match their clients. Emergency Feeding Program has been doing this since 1977, and are Washington State’s third largest food distribution service for the needy. And they do it through the generosity of people. They have many people who volunteer their time. And many generous people and organizations who donate food and money. You can help them too. And this writer hopes that you will.

Isn’t it easier to help knowing you are actually helping. Isn’t it best to look at those in poverty as merely folks who are down on their luck and with the kind and generous assistance you provide they won’t stay where they are; they’ll rise up support themselves and in the natural evolution of their lives help others; maybe even you, should you someday be a victim of misfortune, poor health or unfortunate decisions. 

We can’t and shouldn’t rely on government to carry us through. We’re a free nation. And we should be free to help those we want to help. And we should help. It’s in our best interest as well as the recipients of our generous money and efforts. 

247881_129703920442554_4713491_n

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

As an addendum: Emergency Feeding Program is hosting its first ever Summer musical event to raise awareness and donations. Jazz on the Houser will be from 3-9pm Saturday August 23rd. Click here to learn more: http://www.emergencyfeeding.org/events-wedge-details/354217/1408824000

Robin Williams’ Death Scared Me

The Dark Tunnel

Depression is insidious. It’s a dark tunnel from which seeing the light is difficult. And when depression grabs you and holds you in its clutches its very hard to escape. When you’re a victim of depression you may find time and again reasons to carry on. But usually you’re only saved by the end of the day, or by a phone call from a friend. Getting through the day becomes the top priority, and a considerable challenge for those with depression. But time and again you do it. Time and again you overcome. And then…the next day comes.

Robin Williams couldn’t get through the day, yesterday. The end of the day or that phone call from a friend never came. He was trapped in his despair as he apparently had been many times in his life. But this time he failed to make it out alive. From what we know about this brilliantly talented man he successfully overcame his demons time and time again. But they kept returning. It’s like he gave us all so much; so much of his energy and his joy that when left to himself he had none left, he had no reservoir from which we all tap into in our souls, our minds, our hearts, our faith. From wherever Robin Williams achieved the self-preservation instinct to check himself into substance abuse rehab repeatedly, including last month, he couldn’t find it yesterday.

Darkness Comes with DepressionFor those like myself who had stared the blackness of depression in the face it represents a particularly scary event. I found myself asking “If this universally loved man can be taken by depression what’s to happen to me if my despair returns?”. And I asked,”If this man feels unloved, insignificant, or in some way a failure…what about me?”

Prior to eight months ago I didn’t know depression or understand it. I thought it was equivalent to sadness, which like everybody else I have experienced many times in my life. I thought depression might just be sadness x 2. It’s not. It’s sadness x 1000. It’s sadness on steroids with a jet rocket pack strapped to its back. It’s not what I thought. It’s so much worse.

When first depression hits many friends and acquaintances are curious and perhaps caring enough to lend an ear. But usually that’s about it. It’s an ear. After the depression lingers even close friends drift away. They don’t understand and they don’t want to be dragged down by the depressed person’s mood, darkness, troubles. It takes the truly compassionate with a degree of understanding to provide assistance. And it takes professional help. Friends too often think a kick in the butt, or a pep talk should be sufficient to help the victim of depression. And when that proves insufficient they move on. A professional has the education and understanding and hopefully the compassion from which help can be supplied.

As I emerge from the darkest period of my life I can thank some truly helpful people. They include a family counselor from my parish, supplied to me and other church members at no cost. She has been a God send for me. I hired a business coach to keep me on-task with my company knowing my personal troubles might make the business falter or even fail. He has been tremendously effective in exactly what I needed from him. A single individual long time friend who has experienced that which I experienced has never failed to be there for me. Unlike so many others…he never faded away. Lastly, my son. He has seemed to sense my challenges, though I never revealed them to him and did my best to protect him from my shadows. His love and compassion, his hugs, and smiles have been beyond what I would have expected from such a young man. I miss him, since he’s out on his own building his own life, tackling his own challenges. But he pops in and never fails to lift my spirits.

Total Broadcasting's Picture/Quote Service is great at improving interactivity between businesses and their customers.

Total Broadcasting’s Picture/Quote Service is great at improving interactivity between businesses and their customers.

I know Robin Williams felt unloved, unsuccessful, insignificant, and as he grew older perhaps he had a fear of his future, of aging. I don’t know specifically. But I know these are the issues that trouble the depressed. Even someone who is as loved and successful as the comedian and actor who blessed our lives for 40 years. But I have turned away from my initial fear. I can’t accept that his fate is my fate. I’m a different person. Unlike him I don’t have a substance abuse problem. I will overcome and live in the moment, for my future is scary. It’s scary because its unknown. But I will climb on that roller coaster and forgo the merry go round.

You can help those who face depression by making them feel significant, accomplished and loved. That’s what they need. And if they need it more than others…so be it. Give it to them. You are never diminished by holding someone up. Know that you are enhanced. And you too are significant and loved.

Total Broadcasting Service. When you want marketing help that you can understand and afford.

Total Broadcasting Service. When you want marketing help that you can understand and afford.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 768 other followers