Have you Felt God’s Intervention In Your Life?

What seems like tragedy can often be God’s gift to your ignorance of what’s to come in your life. I know. I am the blessed recipient of God’s intervention many times in my life. But most recently it was two related tragic events, 1 month apart from the other, that enabled me to be a home owner and a happily married man.

In 2016 I was starting a year for the first time in 30 years as a single man, having divorced a wife who had changed so drastically from the woman I married that she was hardly recognizable, and proved no longer trustworthy or deserving of my respect. The revelation of these many facts that allowed me to write the previous sentence devastated me. I was lonely, depressed and scared. But through my re-found devotion to God and the confidence, or hope, that he would find grace with me I pressed on and tried to begin a new life by embracing the things I loved most.

One of those things I have always done and always loved was camping and all that’s associated with it, the fishing, hiking, hunting, camp fires, etc.

Michael Schuett in a river

The Author hooking something

In my previous marriage we had over the course of the years some camper trailers that made the outdoors more palatable for my family, and I have to admit, for myself as well.

So in starting my new life I committed to getting a new camper trailer. This goal I successfully accomplished in April 2016. It was one of the few happy events in my life over the previous 3 years; and I was excited to take it out. On July 4th weekend the trailer, my then girlfriend, and my teen daughter traveled to Leavenworth, WA for a five day weekend with friends. Only, we wouldn’t make it to five days. We didn’t make it through 3 days.

In the early morning of the third day I woke to take my dog for a walk. My girlfriend got up and out of the trailer to visit the showers at the camp grounds where we stayed. In returning from my 10 minute walk and coming back into the park’s camping area I saw a large plume of smoke just out of my site. It took me a moment to realize the smoke was a fire in a camper. It took me another moment to realize the camper was MINE! OMG- my daughter was in the trailer!!! My heart raced. In my oversized flip-flops I began running. My 100 lbs labrador retriever, who was never particularly good on a leash, wanted to play and tugged on the leash to go the other way. I immediately dropped the leash to let my dog fend for himself. I had to get to my daughter. The flip flops didn’t help my speed, and I soon ran out of them and made my way over the dirt and gravel road in my bare feet. I arrived at the flaming trailer just as some stranger was emerging from the smoke billowing from the trailer’s only door with my daughter in tow. Thank God she was safe. It seemed like hours but was probably more like 10 minutes, fellow campers and I used hoses and fire extinguishers to dose the flames. The trailer was a total loss.

Once again I was crushed. Fast forward four weeks. I was determined to get back on my feet and get my new life started as I wanted it to get started, with a trailer and with frequent camping trips. But, God had different plans for me. I had to wrangle with my insurance company for a fair settlement on the burnt up trailer. But upon receiving that settlement check immediate found a brand new trailer to purchase with it. The insurance settlement would go for the down payment, and I would finance the remaining balance. I had ordered some special accessories for the new trailer, so had to wait for their installation before picking up my new treasure. It was all set. And I was again looking forward to better days.

Then on the morning I had scheduled to drive to the trailer dealer and pick-up my huge expenditure; my truck died. I was on the side of the road, gritting my teeth, and knowing my dreams had once again been dashed. I knew it was the trucks transmission. And I knew how expensive it’s replacement would be. For those who have never experienced the joy of replacing a transmission on a heavy duty, 4-wheel drive truck, its a lot more expensive than replacing a standard transmission in a car. Where a car’s transmission can often be replaced for under $2000. For my truck, including some other minor repairs that were necessary, came to over $5000. I called the trailer dealer late in the day after getting the initial dark estimates from my repair garage and told them I couldn’t purchase the trailer. God clearly didn’t want me to have a trailer, at least not at this time.

If you haven’t been trough it, divorce can be devastating to an individual’s financial well-being. Such was the case with me. Besides losing half of everything I/we owned and tens-of-thousands of dollars, I also had my credit rating severely damaged by a wife who liked credit cards and liked them so much she never bothered to tell her husband (me). I mentioned this because while severely hurt by the divorce I wasn’t destitute. And I had hopes of buying a new home. But I was under the impression that I would have to wait four years or longer to repair my credit and distance myself from my ex-wife’s atrocious spending habits. However, I was wrong. Some two weeks after my truck’s transmission collapse had destroyed my efforts to own a camper trailer I had a chance meeting with an old acquaintance who happened to be a mortgage agent. After relaying some of my tough circumstances he assured me that he could get me a mortgage; though I still needed to wait a few months, but not a few years.

To wrap up this story, I got my mortgage and my house in April 2017. Based on my mortgage agent’s opinion the closeness of my divorce, and damaged credit made my mortgage a 9 out of 10 in terms of difficulty for approval. And most important had I the debt of the trailer purchase not to mention the added insurance expense and trip/vacation expenditures I never would have had the money or the credit rating to get my home. You see, my insurance settlement covered the $5000 repair…but I had some left over. The few thousand left over from my insurance settlement would be all the cash I had remaining in my bank account upon closing of my house.

It didn’t occur to me for some months after moving into my home the circumstances that had strangely twisted tragedy into benefit for me. The fire and the transmission were both unexpected and both in combination were REQUIRED for me to be a home owner. And through God’s intervention I was independently stable, in my own home, and in being so comfortable asked my girlfriend to become my wife.¬†And BTW- my wife and I hope to have a new trailer by this coming Summer.

Perspective. Use it. Or lose it. Thank you Lord for your many blessings.

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We Need More Racists for the Good of our Country

Dictionary Definition of Racist

It’s happened again. ūüė¶

I’ve once again been called a racist. The person writing this hateful charge doesn’t know me, and we have never met. But he took exception to my opposition to the bias headlines of a news story that I felt demonstrated a clear one-sided explanation of a story/dispute. What the story is and the content of my comments are unimportant. I stand by them. They were made publicly on Facebook and Liked or Loved by a huge majority of the hundreds of those reacting to what I wrote.

Usually when this false charge of racism is directed at me I never defend myself by enunciating my life’s deeds or accomplishments. I feel to do so is akin to a true racist responding (as so many do) by saying, “I have lots of black friends”; a claim that is frequently sad and weak and doesn’t excuse a racist’s words or deeds.

But with our nation so politically divided and with claims of racism being thrown about at every little hostility or disagreement I think it might be instructive for all to see and read what this “racist” looks like (rhetorically speaking). If I’m a racist, I pray for our nation’s future that we have more and more racists going forward.

To see an interracial couple today, in 2018, is neither rare nor upsetting to most people. It’s common. And it’s properly accepted. But, in 1985 when I became engaged to a black woman and still in 1987 when we were wedded it was still rare and it was still looked-down upon by many; including my father and others in my family. But in spite of its rarity and the ignorant condemnation we received I married a black woman and remained mostly happily married to the mother of my three black children for 28 years. We lived together for 30 years.

During my first marriage I was fully involved with and accepted by my ex-wife’s immediate and extended family. In fact its true to say my black family was more involved in my and my children’s lives than my white family. We holiday’d together. We travelled together. We laughed and cried together. And sometimes we argued. In other words, we were a pretty typical family. Were it not for my ex’s severe personal failings we’d probably still be married today and I wouldn’t have divorced her. (BTW- these personal failings are sadly common among couples regardless of race. Duh!)

I love them all.

Though half their lineage is white (Caucasian if you prefer) my 3 adult children identify as black. I was always present in their lives. Coached them on various sports teams. Provided a stable home. Loved them, and tried to be the best dad I could be. I’m proud to say I taught them much and imposed strict discipline when necessary. One thing I didn’t and couldn’t teach them was how to be black in America. Individually I told them all this at times when their maturity called for it. I told them that racism still exists in our country, that it’s awful, and that to some degree it will always exist. But I also taught them there is no reason it should ever hold you back. I taught them it’s an obstacle that needs to be overcome and often ignored. The fact that its an obstacle that I never faced was immaterial to their lives. For the wise person understands that we all face different obstacles and we all must overcome our own obstacles in order to progress, be productive and be happy.

Recently I remarried a wonderful, smart, beautiful woman. Incidental to all her wonderful qualities is the fact that she is Mexican. She and her whole family were born in Mexico. While a naturalized United States citizen she remains proudly and defiantly Mexican. And I love her so very much.

In the nearly 4 years since we first met I’ve gained a lot of learning and respect about and for Hispanic people; their traditions, their nature. It’s been quite educational. It hasn’t change my view about illegal immigration, which I oppose. I support President Trump’s efforts to stem the flow of illegal immigration and to deport most violators. My wife has a different point of view on this subject. We don’t talk about this subject….anymore.

This may shock some but in my nearly four years of knowing my wife and her family and friends I have seen more racism and bigotry directed at her and other Hispanics than I ever saw in over 30 years with previous black family, ex-wife, and children. If you think skin color is a trigger for hatred; just watch the reaction to a group of Hispanics speaking Spanish amongst white or black strangers in a public setting. It’s like a magnet for their condemning eyes. And it is sad.

Nearly 5 years ago I met a pretty black woman at a business networking event. My marriage was dissolving and I wanted to get to know her. This was before I met my current wife. Though no romantic relationship ever developed, I learned of the charity for which she worked, became involved, and for three years have served on its Board of Directors. While not specifically targeting blacks or minorities with the food service it provides, black and other minorities are the primary beneficiaries of our service work. African-Americans also make up the largest majority of this organizations workers, donors, and volunteers. It’s a 30-year-old organization that is the 2nd Largest food-distributorship to needy in the state of Washington.

I could go on and on. But what I’ve written are just some of the highlights of a life that is dominated by being-with, loving, serving and living with blacks and now other minorities. So, I’m a racist? Well, being self-confident and proud I would say…I want more of me out there.

President Trump is a racist too, or haven’t you read that? He presides over an economy with the lowest recorded black unemployment and hispanic unemployment ever recorded. And he touts that fact at nearly every opportunity. As everyone knows He was the star of The Apprentice which aired for 15 years on easily the most Liberal television network, NBC. Trump received recognition and awards from many black leaders like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. He was in the public eye most of the past 40 years. And prior to choosing to run for President no one called him a racist.

I didn’t support Trump in the GOP Primaries in 2016. Out of the 16 legitimate Republican Presidential candidates that ran in 2016 he was probably my 13th favorite. I didn’t vote for him in the Primary in my state. I never posted support for him in my social media activity. I wasn’t a supporter. I am now.

Of course, if you watch CNN or MSNBC frequently you now know that those who support our President are all racists too. Known proudly as “Deplorables”, so named by Hillary Clinton, we are all said to be hateful and intolerant of blacks and other minorities. And according to the Left we hate immigrants…particularly those with brown skin.

The facts that are lost in all this name-calling by the Left is that these “Deplorables” on average attend church more frequently than do Trump’s opposition and give a higher percentage of their incomes to charity. With both sides lamenting the destruction of families and of family values in our country…based on these FACTS all I can say is we need more Deplorables. We need more racists.

Clarification: For those too moronic or hateful to understand that the title and repeated theme of this blog is intentionally provocative and sarcastic, I feel sorry for you. Yes, this author hates and condemns true racism. It’s an ignorant scourge on people and our society in general. True racism needs to be condemned whenever it rears its ugly face. Additionally, the common and repeated and false charges of¬†racism that we all see and hear today I condemn equally. In most cases its leveled by ignorant people who simply don’t understand another person’s thoughts and actions. But when wielded by powerful elected officials it is simply evil. It’s presumed such people are intelligent enough to know what true racism is. So their use of such a charge on the President and so many others in this country must be interpreted as merely selfish acts designed to hurt their political opponents and to divide the people of this country. It’s working. And it needs to be stopped. All who agree with this post need to Share it.

For evil to succeed, all it needs is for good men to do nothing.

‚ÄĒMartin Luther King Jr.

Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spady, Suicide and Depression

Click here for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline

I am once again faced with the sadness of reading about a famous person’s depression and suicide. Like so many others I woke this morning to read of and hear about the tragic death in Paris, France of Chef and CNN show host Anthony Bourdain.

I watched his show maybe once, ever. But knew of him through interviews and commercials. Its not my knowledge of his death that saddens me. Its the suicide. Along with the death earlier this week of fashion designer Kate Spady we are all reminded of how fame, fortune, and accomplishment are not enough to fend off the terrible grips depression can have on people. It’s power can feel overwhelming. And it can take lives leaving behind a wake of incomprehensible grief for those who knew the deceased. As in the examples of Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spady, Tyler Hilinski in January, and Robin Williams a few years ago; one doesn’t need to personally know someone to be effected.

I have never attempted suicide. I have thought about it.

The betrayal of my ex-wife and the associated circumstances that lead to our divorce after 28 years of marriage caused me to fall into an almost deadly depression. For nearly 2 years I struggled to make it through each day. I cried every day. It got so bad that crying become a necessary comfort. I remember times when if it got late in the day and I realized I hadn’t cried that day, I would make myself cry because I felt I had to cry to feel normal. The will to continue living is weakened in such circumstances. The will to end it and stop the pain grows. Obviously for some ending it all becomes the solution they see as their only option. I felt that way, way to often. It’s frightening to think back on those times now.

If I could say anything to help those suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts it would be these two things. Not all people care about you. But some do. Some do very much. The other thing is that you can find salvation, literally, through God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

When I discovered my ex-wife’s cheating and she confessed it and then all the lies and false and incomplete stories came to light I knew right away I would need help. I knew the feelings in me were too strong and too destructive to try and cope on my own. After meeting with and rejecting several counselors and counseling services I turned to my church. My church provided a counseling service I had previously never known about. It provided me a new friend and sound wisdom in the face of irresponsibility and illogical behavior I was faced with every day.

I prayed every day. I read the Bible. I read lots of books. Most of the books I read were self-help books or biographies of successful people I admired. Not surprisingly I kept finding in these books a recurring theme. God was at the center of many people’s success. So, while I always felt I led a good life and believed in Christ; I made a more deliberate effort to pray, read the Bible and eliminate from my character and my behaviors things that were in conflict with God’s teachings. I am also not ashamed to admit reading the Bible and studying it taught me how to accomplish so much more in life and in my relationships. While I had led a good life. I was still doing much wrong, that I didn’t realize. I’ve done much better since. I will continue to improve.

The other thing about depression is that friends and family tire of your depressed state. Initially you can find all the support you can handle. Everyone has a sympathetic ear and kind words of wisdom and support. But as your depression lingers or if it goes away and returns many of these same people ostracize you. They stay away. They no longer want to be part of your problems. You have worn them out.

It’s easy to understand, to a point. Nobody wants to be around a sad person all the time. This sad or depressed person can bring you down and effect your own life. But, there is a difference between a negative person who is always grumbling and having a glass is half-empty view on life versus someone who is depressed. If you are the friend or family member of someone who is depressed, I urge you to hang in there. Don’t turn away from them. And realize you can positively change their life for the better. The perpetually negative half-empty glass type of person is someone you want to avoid. But the depressed person can be helped. If you were there for them at the start of their depression. Be there at the end. You and they will reap the rewards of a closer relationship in the future.

I lost friends and family through my depression. They are gone now and probably don’t care that I have rebounded and am a happy person again. I have found love. And while I now know that falling back into the spiral of depression is something I am susceptible to doing, I am wiser for having come through it and can fend it off on the occasions when it creeps back into my conscious.

So help those that you can. Share God’s word. And if you are suffering yourself be proactive in combatting your depression. Take steps. The pain can go away and happiness can be your end story.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is: 1-800-273-8255

 

Nazis, Communists, Homeless, and Bums and other Things I don’t Understand

Today’s world is becoming increasingly hard to understand. Here is a list of my thoughts in no particular order.

 

In Seattle and other cities, you have to pay to park your car on the street beside the curb for a short period of time. But you can pitch a tent on that curb and pay nothing.

 

In Seattle, and other cities, if you stay in that parking place too long you will be ticketed and have to pay a fine. But that tent can stay on that curb/sidewalk indefinitely and pay nothing.

In Seattle last year the city paid over $200-million on homelessness last year and the problem got worse. But rather than take a new approach Seattle’s City Council and Mayor are preparing to spend more and do the same things.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan proposed a plan that will provide beds for 500 homeless people each year above what is already available. But with 10,000 homeless people living on the streets of the city and the homeless population growing at 44% over the previous 2 years many more than 500 people per year who are homeless are coming to Seattle; resulting in a net growth in the homelessness population under Durkan’s plan.

The same people this week who are applauding ABC for firing Roseanne Barr (and her whole TV crew and cast) for offending people with Barr’s ugly racist Tweet about Valerie Jarrett are the same people who protested the NFL’s new anthem policy last week and protested lead anthem protester Colin Kaepernick not having a job in the NFL.

Roseanne can Tweet a 2a.m. drug and alcohol induced racist comment, but dozens of national political pundits across the country speak of white privilege, and white people keeping down the black man and other clearly racist claims and nobody bats an eye.

Men are repeatedly and deservedly berated for cheating on their wives. But studies show that women who work out of the home (nearly all women) cheat as much as men and nobody ever condemns them.

People drive in the right lane of a multiple lane freeway inhibiting merging traffic when no right lane exit exists for miles.

Democrats say Republicans are NAZI’s, or condemn the GOP because many Neo-Nazi’s vote Republican. But many admitted Communists and Socialist are part of and vote for Democrats. And Communists and Socialists have killed, murdered, and falsely imprisoned FAR more people than NAZI’s ever did.

Many American youth advocate for Communism, or Socialism while ignoring the historic train wreck of such societies not to mention the current, present-day examples of Venezuela, North Korea, Cuba, the Czech Republics and other authoritarian regimes like Iran.

Democrats say they are for the common people. But they actively advocate, protest and march for the removal or restrictions on the common people’s Constitutional Rights. Under fire by Dems is the 2nd Amendment, free speech as guaranteed in the 1st Amendment, free to exercise of your chosen religion also the 1st Amendment, freedom of peaceable assembly (unless you agree with them) also 1st Amendment, the sixth Amendments right to a trial by jury (choosing instead to condemn and ruin lives via mere accusation on Social media), and of course the 9th and 10th Amendments are to be ignored completely.

President Trump is hated by 1/3 of the country and at least disliked by 1/2 the country despite all the good that is coming out of his Administration such as lower taxes, a strong economy, rising worker’s compensation, record low unemployment, continued low interest rates, rising home prices, illegal immigration border crossings at 40 year lows, a renewed respect for military and law enforcement, peace talks with North Korea, recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capitol, defeat of ISIS, and more.

He’s doing a good job.

Countless people spending hundreds of dollars they can’t afford, enduring tremendous pain and permanently scaring their bodies with tattoos.

Liberals continue to perpetuate the myth that homeless people are poor unfortunate people who but for the grace of God go I; when abundant evidence continues to show that the lions share of homeless are people who by choice live on the streets bereft of personal responsibility.

One successful parent is ostracized by adult children for having imposed fair, responsible discipline in their youth; while those same children embrace the other failing parent who imposed no discipline whatsoever, lied, cheated and spent the family into financial ruin. Examples of such are wide and varied. We’ve seen it a lot.

People lament the loss of personal responsibility and family values all while church attendance continues to decline.

People are ticketed for j-walking but in Seattle you can openly indulge in drug use.

Homeless are called homeless and not BUMS which is a much more fair and accurate description because calling someone a bum is mean but calling someone homeless is compassionate.

Having compassion for the homeless is what we’re all supposed to feel according to Liberals even though compassion solves none of the homeless’ problems. We are not supposed to be tough on the homeless and expect more of them because that’s mean, even though doing so would solve a lot of the homeless’ problems.

President Trump is engaged in Peace talks with North Korea and is being criticized for engaging with a tyrannical Dictator.

Drivers do something wrong, like cut-you off, and when you honk your horn they flip you off like you did something wrong.

Men wear shaggy beards that women…for the most part don’t like…and the men wonder why they can’t get a good woman.

Slow walkers. They’re everywhere!

You smile or say “Hi” to someone who walks right by you and doesn’t acknowledge you in any way.

People not recognizing that illegal immigration is a bad thing for our country. 55% of illegal Immigrants that are here are on welfare. Those that are not on welfare are working jobs that would otherwise be filled by Americans or legal immigrants. The people whose jobs they are taking are generally the least educated and most needy in our society. And illegal immigrants are more willing to work for lower wages thus forcing the wages to remain low for everybody else…especially legal Americans.

Failing to recognize the lives of Jesus’ apostles as concrete evidence of his divinity or of their mass psychosis.

People who endure the long, cold rainy Northwest Fall and Winter and complain that its too hot after a few days of 70 or 80 degree temperatures.

And lastly, I don’t understand why those who share my thoughts, feelings and lack of understanding of today’s world won’t share them or theirs more publicly.

Thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

Tell Homeless to Leave

At some point America has to wake up and accept that some age-old values really do have merit and benefit. There are a lot of things that I could be talking about with the preceding sentence. But for now, I am talking about how to deal with homelessness.

I live near Seattle, WA and drive through the city at least 5 days per week. What I’ve seen over the past 5-8 years is a city that used to call itself The Emerald City become something more akin to the Brown and Gray City…or whatever color you would most frequently assign to trash. Because trash is everywhere. And its piles are only growing.

The former pervert Mayor Ed Murray declared a homeless “state of emergency” in 2015. And since that time the number of people who live on city streets, and under overpasses, and in traffic mediums has only grown. Little has been done, and what little that has been done has actually been decreased since Murray resigned in disgrace after numerous allegations of him molesting teen boys decades ago.

What is most disturbing about Seattle’s homelessness is the increased brazenness of those who occupy our streets. As reported in this story from FOX News, many homeless are bragging about not paying rent and living off the welfare services and the generosity of others:¬†http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/04/09/homeless-residents-brag-about-makeshift-mansion-near-seattles-famed-space-needle.html

The city’s leftist political leadership and charitable organizations have tried lots of things. But one thing they haven’t tried is making homelessness and vagrancy the crime that it ought to be. I’m fully prepared to take the hateful comments that will follow the preceding statement. Because such thoughts are what have perpetuated this national disease.

Let me ask those who would condemn me for my tough statement by asking, what about the current situation shows love and compassion for those affected? Do you actually think letting people live on the streets is good for their well-being? For their health? For their soul, if you believe in such things?

All this so-called compassion and tolerance for the problems the homelessness create shows no tolerance or compassion for those negatively effected by the filth, the crime, the drug needles strewn about the city, the¬†aesthetic decay of the city, or any of the big cities across America ill with this problem. To the contrary. All that’s shown for those who want to stop this Liberal Holocaust is contempt.

Here is what I’d like to see. Start arresting the drug users and dealers, and thieves and vagrants, . If the jails fill up, then incarcerate them in make-shift fenced, and guarded internment camps. Provide them tents, food, and medical care. Deny them drugs or freedom until they have served time enough to get off their addictions or found housing upon their release. Again, I expect a lot of hate coming for such comments. But again I ask, how is what I’m proposing not better, significantly better, than what these poor people are currently enduring?

Expect more of them. Expect them to be humble. Expect them to seek help and be responsible for their own well-being. If you expect more from them, I am 100% confident most of them would live better and would stop being the blight on our city that they currently are.

I would never deny a hungry person food, or a sick or ill person medical treatment. But that doesn’t mean I have to let them live where ever they want, doing whatever they want. We used to have standards. It’s long past time that we embrace those values again and stop tolerating decrepitude.

I pray my proposals are right and helpful.

Thanks for visiting.

(1) Video Production in Seattle-Customers – YouTube

We’re not listening to each other

Can anything be heard over the screaming?

When did all this start? When did our American society become so divided? And when did our people become so angry with each other?

A pessimist might say it began at our nations founding when a two-party political system was established. Founding Father John Adams, our nations 1st Vice-President and 2nd President as well as co-editor/author of the Declaration of Independence warned us against such a system. John Adams said: There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic intotwo great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.

Some might say division of cultures with the Civil War was never resolved and those divisions continue to this day.

It’s hard to argue that men and women think differently which is why most men are Republican and most women are Democrat. So, perhaps our slow decline began in 1920 with the ratification of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Prior to then our nations leaders were chosen almost exclusively by white men whose interests and ambitions were not too different one from the other.

True political division was seen in the 1960s and that might be the beginning of all of today’s troubles. It is when many historians say America’s government stopped trusting its people, and people stopped trusting its government culminating emphatically with the Watergate scandal.

I tend to think today’s specific problems began more recently. In 1992 after 12 years of relative progress in worldwide peace, the end of the Cold War, racial relations, and economic well-being we elected Bill Clinton President. Republicans were furious at losing the White House to a small state Governor with serious personal-morality flaws who took the highest seat in the land¬†having received only 43% of the vote.¬†They saw it as a stolen election with Ross Perot taking what they felt was rightfully the votes of President George H.W. Bush. And to¬†make sure the anger and resentment was shared equally on both sides of the political aisle Democrats were enraged eight years later when in 2000 Bush’s son won the Executive Office in the closest election in history. Historians have calculated that George W. Bush beat Democratic nominee Al Gore by less than 200 votes in Florida only after a Conservative Supreme Court ruled that the Florida vote recounts must stop. And the win in Florida gave the whole nation to Bush.

Yelling and pointing fingers

Barrack Obama won election in 2008 as the most leftist President this country has ever had. And no matter what any pundit thinks the cause, no Republican, not John McCain, not Abraham Lincoln, was going to win in 2008. The economy was in shambles, we were at war over seas, and more importantly the pendulum had swung back to the left as it tends to do in this country every 8-to-10 years. But having the first black President with a decidedly left ideology made the extreme right in this country “Angry”; most of the anger was for genuine disagreements in Obama’s political stances. Sadly some was racist. But I truly don’t believe racism was the primary reason for opposition to Obama. Democrats think its was the only reason.¬†After all, what did Obama ever say or do that wasn’t spot-on perfect? ūüėõ

As an older white man I hold a pretty unique point of view on society and race relations. While not exclusive, I am one of a very small minority to have lived and experienced the variety that comes from three very different and divergent cultures. I was raised in an upper middle class almost exclusively white city of Bellevue, WA. My parents and grandparents were all American born with German ancestry. Our traditions followed the American-European traditions of my ancestry in faith, (we’re Christian) in politics, food, dress, celebrations, etc.

At age 23 I married a black woman. For 28 years I was closer to her black family and their traditions and customs than I was to my family and traditions. And yes they varied. Not a lot. But the differences and certainly the beliefs were distinct.

Sadly my marriage ended, and while not entirely or even largely, I believe my ex-wife’s ardent devotion to Barrack Obama (as with nearly all other black Americans) and my opposition to him began to divide us ultimately leading to the dissolving of our union. Her total commitment to him was so unmoving that I strongly believe she began to look at me differently and more critically.

Does finger-pointing and yelling ever lead to resolution?

I have since been blessed to meet and love a Mexican woman and to receive her love in return. It’s been an adventure and sometimes a challenging one learning her culture and traditions. But it has been instructive.

Here is the single most obvious societal and cultural fact I have learned about my life with whites, blacks and Hispanics:¬†WE ARE SEPARATE.¬†We may live side by side, and in most large cities in this country we do. But we are as separated as if we lived oceans apart. Not surprisingly blacks like to hang out with blacks, whites hang out with white people, and in my view to an even MUCH larger degree Hispanics congregate with other Hispanics. And while I have no experience living with and co-mingling with Asians I don’t think its a stretch to say Asian people like other Asian people. Right?

Black, Asian, White, Hispanic

So is this a problem? Obviously the answer is yes it is…and simultaneously no it is not. It’s a problem because we all reflect to some degree or another that which we are most frequently exposed to. And if our exposure is limited to our own minority (or majority) ethnicity, traditions, beliefs and cultures our actions, words, and beliefs will be reflective accordingly. And the problem with that is we tend to look at other cultures and traditions and beliefs as different (which they are) and bad or evil (which they are not). They’re just different.

I’ll give you one personal example. My beautiful Mexican lady and I have celebrated 2 Christmas’ together so far. And MY tradition of Santa Claus being part of Christmas is not only not celebrated by my lady-love, it’s actually a point of antagonism. Mexicans don’t celebrate Santa Claus; nor do most other countries or cultures in the world. She explains that the Mexican tradition is to teach children that Baby Jesus brings them gifts on Christmas eve. She looks at Santa Claus as evil because it takes away from the true meaning of Christmas, which is to celebrate and worship the birth of our Lord and Savior. She feels so strongly that she won’t even use gift wrapping paper or holiday cards with Santa depictions. Conversely, I too celebrate the birth of Jesus. But I look at Santa as a magical tradition dating to the true story of Saint Nicholas and representing everything that is good…love…generosity…sharing…charity. Our loving, peaceful life together depends on each of us respecting each others traditions. I can’t expect her to ADOPT all of my traditions. Nor can she expect that of me. But in this example and other unmentioned ones our survival as a happy couple requires that we listen to each other and accept the differences and embrace as many of them as we’re able.

How is this different from society at large? I maintain that it isn’t.¬†Based on what I’ve seen in these three different races and cultures that I’ve experienced in my life I think its foolhardy to expect blacks to change who they predominantly choose to hang out with and get their points-of-view from. Same with Hispanics. It’s the same for white people…but liberals seem to think this fact makes white people racist. It doesn’t. It makes them normal human beings.

So finding a solution to the political and racial tensions in this country is as simple as finding collaboration between two people enjoying Christmas together and with family. As simple as a¬†man who loves football and a wife who doesn’t co-existing 5 months out of the year. As simple as a rock-n-roll fan and a country music fan cohabitating. Open your present from Baby Jesus Christmas Eve and then tear into the stockings Christmas morning. Watch your football alone or with friends while your non-football fan wife goes shopping or to the Salon. Listen to your Rush, Led Zeppelin, Journey or Fleetwood Mac on your time while your partner listens to Shania Twain, Garth Brooks, Rascal Flats or Sam Hunt on their time. Then take turns when your together or don’t listen to anything at all…except each other.

It’s clique, but its true. The things that unite us as Americans far outweighs the things that divide us. Be generous, be accepting, compassionate and empathetic. When faced with people who think differently than you listen and avoid anger. Some may think more emotionally; some may think more logically. Some may base their thinking on their beliefs and traditions and what they’ve been taught. It’s important to remember its different from what you’ve been taught. And you will never change their mind yelling and pointing fingers. You might win them over if you just accept them, wish them well, live and let live.

May God be with you all and bless your  lives.

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