Sunday, April 19, 2015

"If it bleeds, it leads..."

Watching Sunday morning talking heads spin the 2016 Presidential election this early on, was a huge yawn. Talking about Democratic and Republican approaches of inclusion versus exclusion; continued focus on discrimination versus touting real freedom for all Americans is beginning to fall on deaf ears. Nobody believes these people anymore. Talk is just that: talk. Who is walking the walk?

An inspirational story followed: that of Lauren Hill. Nineteen-year-old Miss Hill was buried this week as a result of pediatric brain cancer after continuing to play basketball for Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati when she should have been in Hospice care. She was a hero, and a true inspiration for many. This story made me cry. It was sad, that's true, but this young woman's bravery touched my heart. That touch is what made me cry. I want to see more stories like this on the news and on talk shows. I'm sick of the bleeding that leads news stories. I just don't watch the news anymore as a result. I bet I'm not alone either. I want to be inspired.

In a world and a society that makes it easy to be sad, angry, hateful, or depressed, we need to be uplifted. We need to be uplifted because we humans are better than the dark side of our nature that leads news stories. In the upcoming Presidential election, I would like to hear how candidates will choose to inspire us instead. How will they move our society, and attempt to move our world, away from war, killing, fighting, violence and hate? How will they attempt to allay our fears? Fear is ruling both our society and the world today. The only way to reduce the power of fear is to focus on the "light" in our human hearts. That light is what moves human beings to do acts of kindness. The light causes us to be brave, and move through our fear. I'm sure Lauren Hill was afraid of dying, but her desire to be a warrior in support of fighting pediatric brain cancer was stronger than her fear of dying.

We are all stronger than the news portrays us. We are all better, kinder and more loving human beings than the news, movies and television choose to portray. Instead, we need to be reminded of our light side. We need to see many more examples of human beings acting out kindness, and demonstrating what true heroism is. Heroism isn't just displayed in war. It is acted out every day in each life all over the world. I want to see more focus on those stories. I want to hear Presidential candidates talk about heroism in their own lives. I don't want to hear anymore "party lines". I want genuine expression from candidates.

We need to hear about forgiveness, kindness; movements towards peace and prosperity for everyone. All human beings are included in the species, and as such we have the equal right to grow and be who and whatever we choose. As Americans, we chose Freedom as the ruling value of our society when we broke away from Britain's iron fist and crossed "the pond" to begin again. America still sets an example for the world of what Freedom means. But, America is losing sight of that meaning. We must get back to the reason we began again in the first place. This remembering is what History is all about. Brave, inspiring stories are the kinds of examples of what is truly possible, and is what I want to hear dominate "the" discussion. Those are the types of topics I want to see addressed if our country and our world is to move forward, and not continue to fall backward into times when fear dominated. When one powerful faction wanted only to control the masses for greedy and egotistical means.

Enough already. We are brave. We are kind. We are loving. Who doesn't love their parents or their children? Who doesn't love a good love story portrayed, whether it be between two human beings or a human and an animal or a bird? It's time to stop ruling the world with just our heads and our egos. It's time to begin to move more into ruling the world and our society with our hearts leading the way. Tell me about how you feel about the state of our society and world, Ms. or Mr. Candidate, and then tell me how you see us move more in that direction. Forward. Away from the fearful behaviors, thoughts and laws that have dominated politics all our lives. Who will be as brave as Lauren Hill, and speak about the light instead of the dark? Whoever is brave enough to speak in Light terms, will receive my vote. Who will join me?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

I Object!

What would happen if someone actually did say, "Yes", when the officiate in a marriage ceremony spoke the words, "If there is anyone here who feels these two should not be joined, speak now or forever hold your peace." I find myself, for the first time in my life, feeling very strongly that I want to speak up and say, "Yes", to that question at my niece's wedding happening in early May. Nobody feels she should be marrying this guy, but no one, including her father, will speak up.

She would be hurt and probably never speak to me again. If I can stop this marriage, is that such a bad thing? She may get over it when she realizes the mistake she is making. But is it right to try to protect her from her own choice? She may marry him anyway. They may run away and get married. Or, will they? Support or sabotage: those are the choices I am contemplating at the moment.

I am currently supporting her choice, and am directly involved in coordinating the event; even hosting a bridal shower for her. I convinced her father that even though he objects, she'll do it anyway, and we have to support her. Or do we? I can't get away from this idea of answering that question nobody ever answers in the ceremony. Should I just take my own advice and keep silent?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

It's time to play some super football!

Sports is a big business with huge salaries for all. Most sports continue to be dominated by males. Living in South Carolina, though, we have come to appreciate the University of South Carolina Gamecock Women's Basketball Team. Our nephews here are their biggest fans. But, I digress from the point of this post. It's Super Bowl weekend, and our favorite team, The Patriots, are in it. I am from Massachusetts.

The Super Bowl telecast has become not only huge for team business, it is now one of the largest, in my opinion because I have done no research, for advertiser business. And Super Bowl half-time shows have become the brightest spotlight for music headliners. Just ask Beyonce or Janet Jackson how their appearances have enhanced their careers. Katy Perry will find out tomorrow. I digress again, however.

I just watched snipits of upcoming Super Bowl commercials on the internet. Who doesn't love the Super Bowl commercials? I think half the reason people watch the biggest football game of the year, especially those who don't watch many games throughout the season, are the commercials and the half-time show. I am one of those people. But because my home team is in it once again, I am rooting for them out of solidarity with Boston. And, I love Tom Brady, as a person and as a hottie. Still digressing...

Yahoo Answers said that 111.3 million people in the United States watched the 2012 Super Bowl game. That's a lot of viewers, and I'm sure that number has increased in the last three years. Therefore, advertisers are beginning to use this very popular venue to not only entertain us (who doesn't love puppies and horses?), but to make important statements. Political and social commentary is not just for Hollywood anymore.

The snipits I viewed just now include statements on being a good Dad, being the best human you can be, caring, domestic violence, interpretations of "like a girl..." statements, "paying with Love", and honoring your body. I am not going to make any statement about my least favorite commercials: Victoria Secret ads, or giving Kim Kardashian's ego more screen time than she deserves. Don't get me started on those, please. But, for the first time, God is brought into the mix. Amazing.

Positive social statements about "care makes a man stronger" (Dove+Care for Men commercial) are so important to highlight in this day and age. Reinforcing positive human behavior and values is new for Super Bowl commercials, I believe. I love how the puppy saved from the wolf by its horse friends makes me tear up every time. With an ever-present "dead-beat dad" mentality in our society, highlighting positive aspects of being a dad are critical. I bet many of the former will be watching, and be made to think about becoming more of the latter. At least, that's what I hope.

Now I can also be proud that in the most macho television show aired, advertisers are beginning to highlight a softer side of humanity: its heart. This new revelation makes me feel proud, for the first time, of Capitalism at its finest. I buy Dove products, and will make a point of supporting those companies who promote positive human attributes in Super Bowl commercials. How about you?

Advertising is big business, but now it is expanding into making positive statements about human society. These statements are an excellent use of the technology. But, then, this is just one person's opinion. Go Pats!!!