Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Advance Indiana: Ashes To Ashes . . .

How incredibly insensitive & wrong.

Advance Indiana: Ashes To Ashes . . .

Friday, June 22, 2012

Maximizing Personal Independence: Relationships

Take a moment to read this blog post. He is a gentleman living in a nursing home who writes about his experiences.

Maximizing Personal Independence: Relationships: Well, my aide Charlene made the brownies yesterday, but she forgot to bring them today.  She promises to bring them yet this week, though.  ...

Fictional Friday: Destiny

I often write about families and individuals with disabilities on wait lists for services, often struggling with the challenges of an inadequate and outdated system that leaves them without the services of which they so desperately need.

But today, I'd like to tell you about a success story. Let me tell you about Destiny, a young lady who is on the Developmental Disability Medicaid Waiver. Destiny is 29 years old, vivacious, with round, soft-brown eyes and shoulder-length brown hair and a contagious smile.

Destiny lives in public housing, with another young lady who is also on the Waiver. Destiny works a local fast food establishment, loves to attend concerts, Special Olympic events, and is a regular at her church. Destiny and her house-mate have 24 hour supports. Like many folks who share a home, they have the occasional moments in which they don't see eye to eye. But for the most part they get along extremely well, and consider themselves close friends.

Destiny regularly exercises at a local health club for women, and has lost some considerable weight. She is known by her neighbors and numerous people in her community (read: non-paid) who enjoy her lively and bubbly personality. Her staff are also fond and protective of her.

Are things perfect? No. But Destiny has a life in which she gets to make choices about her life. She is active in her community. She has people in her life, staff and non-staff, who genuinely care about and for her. Destiny has a life of quality, a life of real choices, and a life of meaning.

Doesn't everyone deserve a chance at that?


Note:   Destiny is a fictional character, based on a composite of real individuals. Composite characters who appear in my "Fictional Friday" posts are based on people with real stories, with particular details, names, and certain specific circumstances changed so as to protect privacy.    

Departing the Text: WAY WRONG!!!

Interesting post from a blogger I follow....thought I'd share!


Departing the Text: WAY WRONG!!!: I find myself torn this week between two reaction posts and s o have decided to combine them under one heading...WAY WRONG.  One has to do w...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Top 10 Things to Do While Waiting in the Hospital

Ok, I'll admit the last 24 hours has not exactly been a party. We have had quite a scare & have been anxiously & nervously waiting for test results & doctors to speak to us about what's going on with my wife.

I am one who doesn't like to just sit and watch the minutes turn into hours. You've gotta pass the time somehow, why not make the best of it! Here are my suggestions:

10) Ask random strangers in the hallway if they've seen your red stapler.

9) Ask the X-Ray Tech if they can find that penny you swallowed when you were 4.

8) Ask the phlebotomist if they've ever practiced on a turnip!?!

7) Tell the hospital staff bad jokes, like "did you hear about the duck who used to practice medicine here? He was a real 'Quack!"

6 Hit the call button & ask for a #4 value meal, with fries!

5) Eat in the hospital cafeteria & do a review on Yelp!

4) Ask the ambulance drivers what happens when lawyers actually catch them?!?

3) Using the intercom, page Dr. Jekyll to the psych floor.

2) Think of funny blog topics to write about!

1) Pray & give thanks for the many amazing & wonderful blessings you have in this life. Remember & pray for those around you who may have not received good news today.

Article: Charley Creek Arts Fest Coming to Wabash, IN

Thought I'd share a blog post from the good folks at Indiana Insider Blog. Take a few moments & check out what's going with our neighbors to the north!


Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Ragged Edge

Forgot about these pictures I took last Spring at the Mississinewa, not far from Hanging Rock. I haven't had much time yet this summer to get out & take some pictures...hopefully things will slow down soon. Love getting away & catching the beautiful landscape around Indiana....sometimes it's not that far at all.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Lady Statue-Marion

I have tried to locate some information about this statue....but have been unsuccessful. If you know anything about it, please feel free to share!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Do People Really Change?

Ask any room full of people whether they believe people can change...and you are likely to open up a Pandora's Box of discussion. Many will comment that people in general are selfish and only looking out for "Number 1."

Pessimistic, suspicious, and overall skeptical of others, some folks will tell you to trust no one. Their view of their fellow humans isn't very favorable. They'll argue that to think otherwise is naive and unrealistic. They will tell you that people are ignorant, lacking common sense and character, and undeserving of second chances.

I'll grant there is a lot of Evil in the world. One doesn't have to look far to find that the world is full of hurt and wrongs.

And...I find myself, very often, getting caught up in the stains and bleakness of life. Switch on the news, read the morning headlines, listen to the radio...and pretty soon, before you realize it, there seems to be a lot of stuff on the wrong side of the scale. And it can be downright depressing. People committing unfathomable acts of cruelties, against innocent victims.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about change. In my professional life, it seems the only constant is continual change. Especially when dealing with government entities. I am one who doesn't like change...I often find myself shaking my head as things around me seem to happen lightening fast. Guess it's just part of my conservative makeup.

Things around us certainly do change, regardless of whether we desire it or not.

But the concept that "people" can change really is important. Can we impact the world around us for the better? Can we change mindsets, behavior, and hearts? Is it truly possible for a man to turn his life around? Or does a person's history, personality and psychological traits set their course in life?

I once heard it said that libraries are based on the idea that people do change. Why write and read books, if words and ideas are futile in helping people change to their minds?

I am persuaded that people are not only capable of change, but the very heart of humanity depends on it. We must change from being self-centered, to a place where we put the best interest of others above ourselves. For many, becoming a parent is the first experience of that sort. Authentic, powerful love for another life to the extent we would die for them.

For me, I think the most poignant example of personal change is the story of John Newton. Yes, I do believe people really can change.


Business Insider Article: 11 Homeless People Who Became Rich and Famous

Thought I'd share an interesting article I found today at Business Insider about people who literally went from rags to riches. I wonder how these folks look back on their times of adversity and how it shaped who they are today.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Trickle Up Poverty: Part Two

Gone Are the Days of Leave It To Beaver

According to a recent study, 85% of recent college graduates have returned home to live with their parents. The dismal job market hasn't been kind, and inexperienced college students aren't exempt from this cruel economy in which we find ourselves. 13.5 million Americans are currently looking for work but remained unemployed. We currently have an 8.1% unemployment rate, relatively unchanged, (the lowest it's been over the last 3 years, but still much higher than in the previous administration. 1 in 7 Americans are on Food Stamps, with roughly the same number facing something called "food insecurity." Adding insult to injury, is the recent news that JP Morgan is the largest processor for electronic food stamp benefits in the United States. For every new person found eligible for food stamps in 26 states, they make money. Big money. 

Part of the impetus behind Occupy Wall Street crowd's battle-cry is income inequality--the fact that the people who fall in the 1% category have seen their wealth experience unparalleled growth, while for the rest of us (the 99%), our income has failed to keep pace with the growth of inflation, and in many cases, dwindled as people face job losses or salary cuts. Many working class/middle-class folks have not seen raises in years, while the cost of living climbs (and so does the bottom lines of Fortune 500 companies, and salaries of hedgefund managers, CEOs of large financial institutions and corporations. The bottom-line: the "Average Joe" has less and less money, and has to somehow figure out how to make due with less, while everyday costs soar. The middle-class have less disposable income, which exacerbates the struggling economy. People hold their money a little closer to their chest when they're fearful about what tomorrow holds for them.

"Daddy Warbucks?" versus "Spread the Wealth?"

Much has been made about the wealth of presumptive GOP Presidential nominee, Mitt Romney. Money will be a crucial and deciding factor for many voters. Obama's campaign talks frequently about the plight of the working poor (or, depending on who frames the argument, "politically astute advisers" who know their targeted demographics, know that many of the working poor vote based on their pocketbooks). In fact, Obama's campaign has a new twist on Reagan's "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" question, turning it into a concern about the future, "Will you be better off in four years under a President Romney?"  Political pundits and talking heads digress into complicated discussions about euphemistic terms as "growth plans" versus "austerity measures" and proposed cuts in spending (or cuts in the "growth of future entitlement spending"---again, depending which pundit is talking). 

These politically divisive issues underscore some very basic things: Money is important to most of us. Scarcity of resources is a reality. Not everyone is going to have the same sized piece of the pie. Economic theorists argue the merits of one economic system over another, while mostly ignoring the true source of human misery and impoverishment (stay tuned for my take on that in upcoming posts!). Some argue that the goal should be to grow the entire pie so everyone has a bigger piece. Meanwhile, other egalitarians maintain that everyone should have the same size of the pie across the board, regardless of ability, talent or work ethic. Is the answer really some modern version of Robin Hood?

The Love of Money is the Root of All Evil and other Tales

Any casual study about wealth in the USA will reveal some very interesting statistics. There really is a huge disparity in wealth in America. The top 20% of the richest Americans own 85% of all privately held wealth. That leaves 15% of wealth for the remaining 80% of the population. Fully two thirds of all recent economic gains went to the top 1% of our wealthiest citizens.  Meanwhile, many are seemingly able to escape Uncle Sam. It seems that the cliche' that the rich get richer has some truth to it. Surprisingly, another study indicates that money really doesn't buy happiness. But that doesn't stop the elites from seeking more. The Biblical adage, "The love of money is the root of all evil" is no less relevant than today's news headlines. Story after story can be found about how avarice has lead to unfathomable heartache and broken lives.

So...the questions remain: why is poverty so prevalent? How do we fix it?


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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