Inspiration through Rocky Balboa

By now, this speech from the 2006 installment of the Rocky film franchise, “Rocky Balboa,” has circulated the Internet and made it’s rounds as a solid motivational/inspirational clip.  This version of the scene, posted on YouTube, has 1.4 million views alone.  But I figured I’d post it as well.  I seem to watch this speech, at minimum, once every 6 months to check myself.  It’s been watched in some dark times.  It’s been watched in some lighter times.  But it has definitely cemented it’s place in the foundation of motivational/inspirational material I use on a frequent basis.

Rocky’s motivational speeches could be called simple, but there is no way to argue with the wisdom and important messages they deliver to us as human’s, working to do our best to succeed at this thing called life.

Thoughts after Dallas police killings

After the killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and 5 Dallas police officers this week, an African-American friend of mine posted on Facebook that, essentially, white people can never fully understand the plight of the African-American and what it’s like to live in the U.S.  Naturally, a series of comments followed.  A lot had been bubbling up inside me, as I’m sure it had for a lot of American citizens. I ultimately responded with the below comment.  These are just some of my thoughts on the current situation.  It sickens me, but I believe we as American, truly are better than this.

As a white man in America, I wholeheartedly agree that I will never completely understand the African-American struggle. It is impossible for me to have the same perspective. But what I very much do understand is human struggle. And while I can never totally understand, I do empathize and I do deeply care about it. The killings of innocent black people by police officers disturbs me, deeply. The killings of innocent police officers in Dallas disturbs me just as much. The whole situation right now sickens me. I wish I had a magic solution but there is none. But the killing of innocent people, of any color, is completely wrong. So in my opinion, there needs to be major systemic change in police departments across the country to weed out bad or racist officers, and stop the unnecessary use of excessive/lethal force. And, in my opinion, the way these stories are portrayed by the media and by politicians needs to change. As long as it’s “us versus them,” “blacks versus whites,” black versus police,” there will continue to be tension. There will always be that misguided, frustrated person who will hold onto that, easily find a gun and take action. Killing innocent, unrelated officers in Dallas does not bring back the innocent who have been killed by officers elsewhere. And it does nothing to unite the people against the real problem officers out there. All the focus in the world should go towards the individual police officers who abuse their power, and in seeing that they are removed from the force, and ensuring that their precinct takes responsibility and action. We have to, have to, have to come together as a people, have a real conversation, and focus on removing those who do wrong from power, instead of blaming an entire group. The killing of innocent people is wrong. The stereotyping and profiling of an entire people (Black, white, police officers, Jews, Muslims, Christians, etc.), it’s just wrong. It’s not honest. It’s an excuse. We need to find a way to unite, fix these issues, recognize the progress that has been made in this country, and be honest about how far we still have to go. It may be 2 steps forward, 10 steps backwards, but progress continues to be made. As long as we have checks and balances in this country, we should have the means to continue to root out those who do wrong. The good things happening in this country do seem to get drowned out by the 24-hour news cycle, but progress can’t really be stopped. I still believe that most of us in this world want to see justice. And by justice, I don’t mean revenge. My post here is more of a response to the entire comment section, not necessarily your post. I still think there is more good in the world than bad. And I know the United States is better than this.

11 Things To Remember When Going Through Tough Times

My family and I have been through a seemingly endless streak of what I’d characterize as extreme traumatic/trying/stressful situations in the past couple years–especially when you list them all together.  But even through all the pain and stress and depression, I hold onto something a friend told me a few years ago when he reminded me, “your life is still better than 90% of the people in the world.”  And it’s true.  No matter how you slice it, I’m blessed. And we are all blessed, just to be here.

So in that vein, when my Mom shared this video in a family Facebook  chat group, I watched it, and figured it was a good thing to post.  These are simple reminders, but things that anybody going through tough times should be reminded of:

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper

Here’s another great bible verse I like to read from time to time.  Whenever I’m in tough times. When I feel the world is against me. When I feel that I’m in a social situation where I’m the outsider. When a woman I wanted to date not only rejected me, but threw her new relationship in my face for months, for reasons somewhat unbeknownst to me.  When I’ve been in personal or professional situations in which I’ve let my guard down and people have taken advantage and thrown me under the bus.  Whenever I feel flat-out attacked, period, I find strength in this verse (among others):

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.”

Isaiah 54:17King James Version (KJV)

For more on this verse, here’s some good analysis:

Studylight: Isaiah 54:17

NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST YOU SHALL PROSPER – REALLY?

San Diego to celebrate America

I’ll be heading to San Diego in the morning to celebrate American Independence Day (the 4th of July).  I’ll be staying in the Pacific Beach area.  This is an incredible place to celebrate the 4th of July.  Beautiful beach. Incredible summer weather.  Laid back, oceanside bars/restaurants.  San Diego is a great American city. Blessed to be able to make the trip.  Looking forward to an early morning drive over to “America’s Finest City,” and an extended weekend by the beach.  Happy Independence Day, everybody.  America!

One of my favorite bible verses

This is one of my favorite bible verses.  With all the blessings I’ve had in my life, I repeat it consistently, to remember.  I’m sometimes embarrassed when I think back on the things a younger me would get upset about.   But I guess that’s life.  The last few years have more than reminded me of what’s important.

Many have probably heard the quote, “to whom much is given, much is required.”  Well, here is the verse from which it originates:

“But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.”

Luke 12:48

Greetings from Formby, England

Greetings from Formby Golf Club in Formby, England.  I’ve been here this week, helping my Dad and his company, Golfstat, work the 2016 Arnold Palmer Cup.  It’s been a great event and week of golf, despite the U.S. being dominated by Europe through the first three rounds.  Europe currently leads the U.S., 13-7, overall. Europe needs 2 1/2 points to secure the victory here at Formby.

Mostly, though, it’s been great to be here helping my Dad and spending a week with him.  It’s been a rough couple years, and a rough couple months for the family.  Always good to get away and see family.