Sunday, August 30, 2015

The New Status-Quo

"We are not content with negative obedience, nor even with the most abject submission. When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will. We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us; so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him. We burn all evil and all illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul. We make him one of ourselves before we kill him. It is intolerable to us that an erroneous thought should exist anywhere in the world, however secret and powerless it may be. Even in the instance of death we cannot permit any deviation . . . we make the brain perfect before we blow it out."

The ideal set up by the Party was something huge, terrible, and glittering—a world of steel and concrete, of monstrous machines and terrifying weapons—a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting—three hundred million people all with the same face."

~ George Orwell, "1984"

Just a few rambling thoughts on this late Sunday afternoon. Our world is increasingly more troubled, divisive and fractured, polarized, and more violent. All the while, ironically, we like to characterize our culture as evolved & more 'progressive.' There is an objective to corral people to a level of consensus where everything is homogeneous, where we all agree. In the words of Lennon, (John, not his homonym Vladimir) "can't you imagine (an Utopian society) where there's no heaven, no hell either." Where we all are alike and treat all things as the same. Make no mistake, there is a concerted and powerful movement to make all things equal and morally relative; nothing is a matter of being better or worse, right or wrong anymore. To characterize anything as such is inherent evidence of homophobia, religious extremism, xenophobia, misogyny, provincialism, etc., and obviously propagated thru the lens of a privileged, white, right-wing, religious extremist, patriarchal, Anglo-Saxon/European bias. (I seem to recall hearing this in a 2nd year undergrad history class repeated ad nauseam, as well as in other numerous lectures in the hallowed halls of academia). Aww, the masses just need to nod and swallow the kool-aid made by the erudite Liberal professors and move along. Nothing to see here, folks! Especially not an opposing opinion.

It has been not so politely nor subtlety demanded for people of faith to put God back in the closet where He belongs; it does not matter how much that faith informs one's worldview, it is verboten to speak of such things in public. Meanwhile our world celebrates vulgarity and lewdness, worships debauchery and depravity, and aggressively impugns and mocks those who don't follow along.

And yet, incredibly, what we have today is quite the paradox of the world that radicals grew up in the 1960's. They attack the 'establishment' for maintaining the status-quo. Yet, what is demanded in today's world is conformity. Group-think. What the elites really desire is for everyone to think the same. You dare not have a differing thought on climate change, same-sex marriage, abortion, race, the 2nd Amendment/gun rights, evolution, immigration, minimum wage, multiculturalism, universal health-care, wealth inequality/redistribution, the lack of intelligence of anyone to the right of Saul Alinsky, or any number of other issues. The rhetoric is akin to this: Listen up folks, there's really only ONE true way....and it sure isn't Jesus. It's tolerance for everything and anything (unless it's something of which we disagree with you...then YOU are obviously on the wrong side of history!!). Thought crimes, anyone? I have no doubts that is coming in the not too distant future.

I am persuaded that what political correctness and tolerance really means is that no one should have their own, differing perspective and beliefs; rather, it is best to subject one's own individualism for the greater good of all. You are alright, as long as you think like the rest of us. Otherwise, you will face unrelenting name-calling and marginalization.

We talk about black lives mattering....and indeed they do. But just watch what happens when it is suggested that cop's lives also matters. Or, that perhaps, unborn black lives also matter. Ever ask yourself why Planned Parenthood clinics are more prevalent in poor, minority neighborhoods? Never-mind. Or mention how many multiple hundreds of black men on Chicago's south-side have been shot and killed by other black men this year alone and why that doesn't merit the same attention as a cop that shoots a black suspect?

Want to see people become absolutely unhinged? Mention that you don't necessarily believe that our police and government have the ability to truly protect you and your family when bad things happen and the social compact goes sideways. Make a passing comment that you own guns, and you will see the metaphorical heads explode. Heard an interesting quote earlier today about not "outsourcing the safety and protection of our families to the government." There really is a struggle going on regarding the value of self-reliance and the belief that you alone are responsible for your destiny, security and protection.

Does the Left truly value free speech and are they consistent on true acceptance and diversity? See what happens if you mention that you are a Conservative Christian on a college campus as I have done. Or try inviting someone of an opposing view on a public university campus (Dinesh D'Souza, David Horowitz, or Ann Coulter anyone??). The protests will be angry, loud, ubiquitous and as large as Hillary Clinton's emails on an unsecured, unapproved server.

Our culture has grown increasingly desensitized to violence against the innocent, despite all the 'touchy-feely' arguments to the contrary. Criminals are told they are not really responsible for their actions, but they are merely the product of a biased and unfair society. And we feign shock and surprise when atrocities are committed, sometimes before our very eyes on a news broadcast. We forbid teaching morals and values with our children in classroom settings (especially if there's even a whiff in the air about those Big, know from those tablets that came off Mt. Sinai). So in the name of conformity and keeping the peace, let's keep this environment as neutral and sanitized from the potential exposure to any tenements of Christianity (and most certainly don't let them read any historical primary-source documents by our Founding Fathers, especially any quotes about their faith or belief in a Creator). Interestingly enough, when some of these same kids later join the criminal justice system, there is really no discouragement to keep intact the the lines of church and state. If they want a Bible or a Chaplain, please let them have access. But never, ever, confuse the proper place and context. Wouldn't want young, impressionable minds and souls to be exposed to such 'opiate of the masses' until it's too late. I suppose there's some sort of inexplicable reasoning and logic in this....but I have failed to find it.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Planned Parenthood is caught on video tape, blase discussing the marketability of baby organs as if they are commodities to be publicly traded on the Dow, all while sipping on red wine over lunch. Can we seriously doubt whether the preciousness and sanctity of life has been cheapened? You won't find much disgust at Huffington Post or on MSNBC, I assure you. But if you broach the subject and share an opposing opinion with certain polite company, please have no self-deception---you will be thought a right-wing, anti-choice zealot, preaching and promoting the war on women. (Anyone looked at the recent stats on the atrocious treatment of women and girls in certain Muslim countries? It's hard to find those on the evening news. But you won't have any shortage of analogies on the war on women and a nod to any of the 16 Republican Presidential candidates on any given cable news program tonight).

You see, you must have the proper view. The socially-acceptable viewpoints and perspectives. Otherwise, you really aren't among the enlightened. You might need to be re-educated. And taught how to fight against your own thoughts and ideas (read: ignorance). In the not so distant past, Americans used to value honest dialogue and reasoned debate. We found value in our differences of opinion, and believed that we could see two different aspects of an issue without relegating the person to the abyss that occurs with political correctness; marginalizing people just because you don't like how they think or believe. Seems to me we once thought highly of those old and wise Founding Fathers that believed in individualism and the right to pursue Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. And then there's other Big 10 thing....they've been called the Bill of Rights. But several of these might be thought to be antiquated and politically incorrect nowadays. You have the right to free speech and having a belief in a Creator. But you just might think twice before sharing it with anyone.

Oh, sure, we still have certain unalienable rights. For now. It's a Republic, if we can keep it.


Saturday, October 25, 2014


One of my favorite mustached heroes, Ron Swanson (aka Nick Offerman),
sporting the perfect mustache.An exemplary example of true masculinity

Ok, dear readers, now for one of my more edgier* and serious blog topics: Movember.  One week from today begins the important month, Movember. Yes, Movember. It is a time in which some of the masculine among us will begin growing mustaches.  Movember is actually fun and humorous, but it also is a worthwhile global movement about a serious issue: to increase awareness & raise money for men's health issues, particularly testicular & prostrate cancer.  

As one who had a mustache for over twenty-five years (with a few exceptions; I did cut it off when my youngest son was born in 1995). Two years ago I grew a beard, something I often do during the winter. I have always considered myself a red-head, although in recent years it has become darker and a different color (especially after several months of chemotherapy a few years back). But when I grow facial hair, it comes in much brighter red, much like when I was younger. Although there is some noticable gray here & there in the mustache & beard, too.

In the Spring of 2013, I shaved off both the beard & mustache. I've now been without a mustache for a year and a half. Although I've gotten used to it, it took a long while to get used to being entirely clean-shaven. I was told I looked different, even 'funny' without it. Someone even referenced Homer Simpson (I presume this wasn't complimentary). I thought it made me look ten years younger. This is the longest I've been without a mustache during my adulthood.

After thinking about the extremely harsh winter last year, I thought it would be entirely appropriate to grow the beard (and mustache) in anticipation for another frigid winter. My bare face about froze dozens of times last winter. Recalling the 'Movember' event, I thought, "what a great time to grow the facial hair back." It would only be for a few months, because my wife dislikes my beard. Just only until the threat of scraping ice off the windshield has passed. Then I'll probably return to my 'ole clean shaven, baby-faced countenance.

However, after some very diligent research at the Movember website, I discovered there are 5 rules for Movember. Among these rules: no beards. Just the 'stache.' So beginning next Saturday, I will be growing only the mustache. The beard will have to wait until sometime later, probably sometime shortly before the snow is knee deep and the outdoor temperature can freeze boiling water in seconds.

So, back to mustaches. A good mustache compliments a man's face. It should exude confidence, strength and virility. Many great men of history have carefully cultivated the 'stache (e.g. Ron Swanson). There are certain characteristics of mustache growing that a man should follow. One needs not try to mess with it much during during the first month (which is about the time it takes to properly grow out). After the first month, a guy should ensure it is well-groomed. Then there is the issue of what kind of mustache you want to grow (there are whole website devoted to the many different styles...and arguments seem to be infinite. Your significant other will most certainly appreciate an occasional trimming of the 'stache, especially during instances of smooching. They probably don't enjoy sharing whatever leftover crumbs of lunch you may have hiding there. May I also suggest for your mustache research needs perusing an excerpt from Mr. Swanson's Mustache Manifesto (warning, there are some off-color things on this site).

So while assiduously delving into this most austere of subjects, I thought about some of the more famous guys sporting great 'staches. (Not to leave out any of the fairer sex, I just can't think of many attractive & popular ladies with hairy upper lips).  I would argue that most of the ladies out there find some of the more handsome and attractive men sporting the 'stache. My I suggest looking closely at these gentlemen's fine mustaches:

And then there are some guys that mustaches provide a certain distinguished look:

And then there are some rather funny looking mustaches:

And, of course, how could I leave out one of my most favorite political & historical figures, a true American Hero: President Teddy Roosevelt.

Possibly the Greatest President!

So, as we approach the hallowed month of Movember, I encourage any of my potential male friends to join the movement. Become a Mo Bro. You can sign up here! And remember, all silliness and kidding aside, it does help bring awareness of serious men's health issue, something that is often ignored, perhaps because of the its seemingly awkward and sensitive nature. The Movember site even has the ability for us to join/create teams, if so desired.

And, just because I do enjoy a bit of trivial things, take a look at the following famous mustaches and see if you can correctly guess who they belong to:

You can also play TV Guide's Mustache guessing game here.

Happy mustache growing, my Mo Bros!

*See Diveboard-Dave Makes a Return. This statement here is my sad attempt at humor & facetiousness. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Never Waste a Crisis

"You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before"            
                                                                                                                                               ~Rahm Emanuel, former Obama Chief of Staff

Presuming that you have not been living in a cave during this past month (and if so, hopefully, it wasn't in a bat cave in Kenya),  you cannot have possibly missed the ubiquitous media discussions about the CDC, NIH, and Ebola. You may have even watched the recent political television commercial, "Republican Cuts Kill" produced by Agenda Project, a New York City-based progressive political non-profit group. You just might get the not-so-subtle hint that Republicans are solely responsible for most of the world's evils (and from the tone of the video, after they spend time denying crucial funding for the CDC & NIH, they probably eat babies in their leisure time).  

As a student of politics, I'll admit it's a rather impressive video, with powerful, heart-breaking images. It gives the appearance that the homework has been done, and ties it all together so nicely at the end, with a call to action: Vote.  Project Agenda has produced a convincing and poignant video. It's also extraordinarily deceitful and misleading.

The fact is that the National Institute of Health's budget more than doubled between the years of 1996 and 2005 from $14.8 to $32.4 billion. After the stimulus bill, NIH spending shot up to $36.1 billion. The Centers for Disease Control's budget follows a similar pattern. CDC's annual budget in 1996 was $3.1 million, skyrocketing to a high of $7.5 billion in 2010. The CDC's 2014 budget has been tempered to $6.8 billion, but still quite a chunk of change.


Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, stated, '"Aid that a decade of stagnant spending has "slowed down" research on all items, including vaccinations for infectious diseases. As a result, he said, the international community has been left playing catch-up on a potentially avoidable humanitarian catastrophe. NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It's not like we suddenly woke up and thought, 'Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here,'" Collins told The Huffington Post on Friday. "Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would've gone through clinical trials and would have been ready."'

Now for the absurd things that have been largely unreported and ignored by most in the media.  National Review's article, "The CDC's Laughable Pet Project"  reports a colossal waste of the additional funding. Among the various projects National Review reports that the NIH & CDC paid for: 

  • "The new Arlen Specter Headquarters (named after the chairman of the CDC’s appropriations committee) cost $110 million — including $10 million for furniture alone — a cost of $12,000 per employee. The nearby fitness center included $200,000 for light-shows, saunas, and zero-gravity “mood chairs” — all free for employees on CDC’s Atlanta campus."

  • $1.7 million spent to make sure "Hollywood's portrayals of medical portrayals on TV shows are accurate."

  • A CDC-funded Stop AIDS Project in San Francisco included a four-part erotic-writing workshop, “practical tips for friendly relations” with prostitutes, and a “bar night” for HIV-positive men. 

  • $667,000 for a study on the health benefits of rerun television.

  • $1 million on the sexual proclivities of fruit flies

  • The agency also spent $117,000 in taxpayers' grant dollars to discover that most chimpanzees are right-handed
  • Other winners of NIH grants consumed $325,000 to learn that marriages are happier when wives calm down more quickly during arguments with their husbands.
  •  $257,000 to make an online game as a companion to first lady Michelle Obama's White House garden. 
  • $939,000 to find out that male fruit flies prefer to romance younger females because the girl-flies' hormone levels drop over time.
  • $550,000 to determine that heavy drinking by people in their 30's can lead to feelings of immaturity.
  • Researchers at the University of Kentucky were given $181,000 to study how cocaine 'enhanced' the sex drive of the Japanese quail. 
  • Another NIH project included $2.4 million to develop 'origami' condoms designed with Japanese folding paper in mind.

During a time of alleged austerity and tight budgets (all federal employee's wages were supposedly frozen between 2010 and 2013), there were still some creative ways to dole out $25 million dollars in bonuses to certain elites at the CDC.  Think about the roughly $7 billion dollars per year spent at the CDC over the last few years, and then we are told that "Republican Cuts Kill."  Well, you know what else kills? Stupidity. Precious resources have been squandered on trivial pet projects at the expense of critical research that could save lives during a pandemic. Stupidity. Unfortunately, those in charge who allowed the gross mismanagement of tax money will likely never be held accountable.  

Progressive groups like the Agenda Project can put together a campaign to assign blame and quickly politicize the Ebola crisis, essentially using volatile situations and hot button issues to further their own political goals. They are good at distilling a potential crisis and turning it into a means to further their agenda. 

Americans need to see beyond the propaganda. Duplicitous pundits can spin things in such a way that can give primate scat the appearance of fine European chocolates.  Take the time to dig a little further and get the facts. Truth should win every time, but we must be courageous enough to withstand the adversarial rhetoric when asking legitimate questions. Get past the smoke and mirrors, and you will discover a bureaucratic government that has not only allowed gross mismanagement and frivolous spending on pet projects, but propagated it. No doubt some U.S. officials are more concerned about avoiding political blow back and saving their own backsides, than how such a mess was permitted in the first place.  If there was competent leadership at these government agencies, the United States wouldn't seem so unprepared for Ebola and other potential pandemic viruses. The red herring of 'lack of funding' (insert: by a certain, evil party in Congress) makes for a much easier and sensational scapegoat.  Left-wing groups can repeat falsehoods enough times, and soon myths become facts in some people's minds.    

Maybe I'm just a good 'ole frugal and simple-minded Hoosier. Call me provincial, but it frustrates me to no end to read about abuse and mismanagement of hard-earned American tax money which we regularly and willing fork over to Uncle Sam, for ludicrous pet projects which have no merit or value. Worse, the diverted funds never went to the things that could prove to be life-sustaining during a national crisis. This wasted money is gone, forever. These precious resources should have been responsibly allocated in accordance with the NIH & CDC's mission to truly ensure the health & safety of our fellow citizens.  Let someone who believes studying why monkeys fling their dung, or creating designer origami condoms to be of such national importance, fund it on their own darn dime!

Meanwhile, beware of scary videos that simplistically assign blame, and conveniently fail to mention the rest of the story. It's what they don't say that says the most. 


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Diveboard-Dave makes a return.

For those who follow my blog, my long absence from writing may have been noticeable. I'm no different than lots of other folks when real-life happens. Sometimes, no matter how much one wants to do the things they love, other important things (read: work, family, life's unexpected surprises, and any number of things that takes precedence) leaves little time for other stuff.

Time is one of those ever elusive things. We all wish we had more of it, and there's seemingly never enough hours in the day to do everything one enjoys. As you may guess, I love to write. If fate would permit, I would love to spend a great deal of my time writing. My dream is sit in my home office, overlooking the fields and woods in the distance, with a great cup of strong coffee and typing away about whatever issue has stirred my literary indulgence, with the terrific silent countryside (aww...silence--a post for another day) interrupted only by the occasional sound of fingers tapping on the keyboard. But alas, my life over the last few months has been decidedly distracting. 

And as byways lead to other byways, the longer one gets away from something, it's harder to jump back to the way things used to be. I'll leave the details for future blog posts. I have promised myself to try to get back into writing regularly, including on this blog. My goal is to post at least three times per week.

Recently, I have had some ideas about new topics and subjects. I have given some thought about the tone & vein of this blog, and decided I am open to it being a bit more edgier then it has previously been. As one who loves history, politics, social issues, and as an admitted news junkie, sometimes it's difficult for me to refrain from being totally candid. I like considering each side of the coin (story).

However, working for a not-for-profit company, for which I am sometimes in the public eye, I have tried hard to be cautious in writing nothing that could be considered in bad taste or cause potential embarrassment for my employer. As Falstaff in Shakespeare's Henry IV rationalized, sometimes 'discretion is the better part of valor.'

Nevertheless, it would truly be a boring world if we were all identical, thinking alike all the time. Differences make for interesting conversations (and topics for blog posts). If we truly believe in liberty and a free society, then one should be free to express ourselves without fear of the political correctness that would extinguish the marketplace of ideas and discussions that someone may find disagreeable.

I have friends with diverse backgrounds and beliefs. Some have vastly different views of faith and God. Others have extremely different views of politics and social issues. There are those of us who actually enjoy a good debate every now and then. And then there are a few of us who, well, let's just say we just agree to disagree and leave it at that.

I do not want to seem to be an arrogant egomaniac, pretending to have all the answers. I am far from perfect. Perhaps more human than I care to admit, even with some of the basic things. Sometimes, I find myself wishing for a volunteer editor (I am often aghast at finding simple typos or grammatical errors. Kinda embarrassing.  Well, perhaps more than just a little).  So, no, I don't have all the answers. I want to always be respectful and mindful that humanity is fraught with imperfection, frailty, and often given to self-deception. We live in a lost, broken, and hurting world. I've always thought the solution to bad ideas and misconceptions isn't censorship, but the freedom to have better and more frequent, thoughtful discussions. By doing so, perhaps we can leave the world in a better place than we found it. And, paradoxically, maybe we'll find that in spite of all our differences, we just might find more common ground than expected.

Well, anyhow, the Dive-Board-Dave blog is back from hiatus. I encourage you occasionally test the waters and take a dip. Poke around and take a look. Dive in & don't be afraid to disagree. Maybe we'll have some fun and make a splash along the way.



Saturday, September 27, 2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Losing Self-Control: a Moment of Anger

“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” ~Ambrose Bierce

Yesterday, I failed to maintain my composure. I expressed anger and dished back what I had thought been given. I believe myself to be one who usually can rise above pettiness and boorish behavior. Yesterday was different. I allowed others to get under my skin, and push buttons I don't usually let people know even exists.

I believe strongly in manners and politeness. In fact, I would say that most people that know me well would probably say being too nice is among my (many) faults. I have a different take on this. I take great pride in the fact that I (almost) always use great discipline in not expressing anger and personal unpleasantness. I try very hard to not share everything thing I think or believe, even when it is so tempting to "set" a person straight on where they are wrong. (Of course, there are exceptions, and I do believe in some cases, especially those where it is clearly a 'right or wrong' moral issue, silence condones consent. I absolutely have no problem voicing my difference). But more often than not, I think most people think their 'opinions' are the most correct and subsequently make it very apparent, with no discretion, in advertising confidence and certainty of their 'rightness.' A lot of these folks are the type who just love to hear themselves talk....

Communicating every random thought or feeling with the world is just not what I want to do. Keeping things close to the heart is increasingly harder. We live in an age that anyone and everyone can have a megaphone (FaceBook, Twitter) to express every inane and tawdry stream of consciousness tidbit. Rudeness is celebrated and encouraged (cable news programs & reality shows, anyone?). Civility has become a precious commodity and seems to be increasingly scarce. So often we see calculated and deliberate attempts to ridicule, disrespect and destroy others with impunity.

I try very hard to filter what I say, and try even harder to demonstrate maturity and politeness (yes, probably to my own detriment at times).  I don't believe it wise to show everyone the 'metaphorical' cards I am holding. There are people who would never know that I personally do not like them or think them to be incredibly sophomoric. Some would perhaps call this duplicitous. Maybe so. But the intent is much less sinister. Why engage in something that really isn't necessary, and may cost more than expected?

“Angry people want you to see how powerful they are... loving people want you to see how powerful You are.” ~Chief Red Eagle

One of the basic tenets of leadership is self-control. Anger, pride, avarice, and ambition have ruin many a powerful person because they allowed themselves to be consumed by such things. Often, "Power" is the pinnacle achievement for the corporate and politically ambitious. The pursuit of power without self-discipline becomes a noose in which they hang themselves. I've personally seen how those in leadership positions have used their anger to make others fearful and acquiesce to their demands. I would argue this really isn't leadership but cowardice & bullying, if not even an outright flaw in character.

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” ~Gautama Buddha

I am frustrated that I allowed others' anger and stupidity to become mine. I like to think it is rare. Lately, though, it seems that I care less and less what others think and tempted to just let things spill out without thinking. It's not so much that I am concerned about what people think, but rather, that I don't allow myself to be drug down to the lowest common denominator of crass and shallow behavior. Self-discipline and self-respect means to hold yourself to a higher bar of expectations and accountability....yesterday I failed. I hope to do better today. 


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Now that's big!

I found this mushroom this was oddly heavy (I'd say it weighed roughly 2 lbs). I found it grotesquely fascinating.   

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Offerings by Sprowl...a new website

My better half!

So my better half is an artist. We've recently have talked about ways to market her works...and decided to start a new website. She will also have a new store on the Etsy website soon. For now you can check out her art at So take a moment & check it out...and if you happen to want to buy something, let her know!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Dad

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! For those men that are truly 'fathers,' you should be proud of fatherhood, and all the privileges that come with being a dad.

Today, my heart is heavy as I think about my father. He died when I was just fifteen. My dad was an unusual man. A grade school education is all he had. He sounded like a hillbilly when he spoke. Old fashioned and strict, things were simply black and white. He believed in discipline, respect for your elders, politeness and common courtesy. As a young teenager, I found his ways difficult and outdated. He truly was from a different generation.

My father was a consummate gentleman, setting a high bar for me in how he treated my mother. Such love I rarely witness today. His love for my mother was among the strongest things I've ever witnessed. He had his faults, and he struggled with things that were beyond his control. His health kept him from being financially secure, and was hard on himself for not being able to provide for his family like he thought he should have.

He was a devout man of faith, and believed the scriptures to be the inerrant Word of God. As a young man I had countless hours of conversations and debates with him. Ultimately, I found him to be right more often than wrong. He would be considered entirely politically incorrect by today's standards. He wouldn't have cared. He reflected a simple belief that Christians should be as much like Christ as possible.

And as stubborn and inflexible as he may have seemed, he was actually a man of incredible love and compassion. He loved others who had wronged him. He fiercely loved his wife & children in such an incomparable way. He demonstrated compassion and empathy for others, especially for the underdogs and those who had nothing. My dad loved animals, and taught us how to care for those beings who needed us.

My father had a crazy sense of humor. I can remember his hearty laugh to this day. It was genuine and contagious. And I miss it sorely.

Compared to the benchmarks of worldly success, my dad wouldn't have measured up very well. He taught me that materialism and temporal things are insignificant. Our focus should be on the Eternal. What we do with what we have in this life will make all the difference in the next. My father was a man of principal, and believed that one's values and morals speak far more about who you are than money and fame.

The older I get, I find myself saying the same things he said. Every day that passes, I realize how much he taught me (I must have actually listened at some point). As a young, self-absorbed teenager, I thought my dad was irrelevant. I often compared him to other friend's dads, and thought how lucky they were to have the comfortable lives they had. To an extent, I had allowed growing up poor to created a covetous mindset. How wrong I was. My father had given me a priceless inheritance. After his death, I began to realize those intangible things that couldn't be bought.

 As a husband and father, I've missed the mark many times. I can only hope to be the kind of man my father was. I miss you, dad.

About Me

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I work for a Community-Based, Not-for-Profit agency. I have worked in the disability field for over twenty-five years. I am the father of two boys, and have been married to my teenage sweet-heart for 23 years. I live and work in the same town where I was born & raised.
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