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The Controversy of Choosing to Die

This blog reminds me of the expression of the dog trying to catch a fly. I think you might have this same expression at the end. Most of the time, I like to write on positivity. Once you read the article and blog, you tell me!

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At age 104, scientist David Goodall has decided to end his life. At BBC.com, he details why he is ready. According to the article, the well-known ecologist and botanist is not suffering from a serious illness, but he now wants to end his life. Why? Because of his diminishing independence.

David Goodall has bid farewell to his home in Australia to fly across the world. He reports that “My feeling is that an old person like myself should have full citizenship rights including the right of assisted suicide“.

He told ABC News that he hoped that people would understand his decision. “If one chooses to kill oneself then that’s fair enough. I don’t think anyone else should interfere.”

This is how he looks now, and this lady is accompanying him on his trip to Switzerland. That’s where assisted suicide is legal.

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He looks fully functional, but he feels like he has had enough. The article details all the things that he has done recently, including editing a 30-volume-book on the topic of Ecosystems of the World.

I thought I would post this as a topic today because it deals with something that most people want to ignore… death. Plus, there are true differing opinions on whether a person should be allowed to determine the choice of when they die… versus leaving death to determination by God. There is a lot packed into that last sentence. Pretty intense!

I found this article to be extremely interesting because this man is not terminally ill. He just feels as though he has had enough.

And now, I want to lighten up the blog a bit. So……

For pic o’ day… who doesn’t want a pony?

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A Life in Full

I want to start with a bit of humor, because it’s about to get serious!

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And now to the real!

I recently saw a “religious” post on Instagram. It was a selfie of a man with a caption that basically said, “I was just kicked out of a bookstore because they caught me putting all of the Bibles in the fiction section”. There were lots of hearts expressing approval, and expressive comments laughing at the humor of the post.

I have seen several posts on social media that express the idea that there is no God. There is a large movement that believes that it is intellectual to question the existence of God. Many say that they believe in science instead. Poor and desperate people are “believers”. Those in prison, and especially those on death row, only believe in God because they are “cramming for finals”.

I am not going to spend the space of this blog in defending my beliefs. Instead, I would like to write about what I experienced on Monday, as a response to all those who believe that Bibles belong in the fiction section. It’s really a way to remember a wonderful lady.

Monday, I attended the funeral of my aunt at Arlington National Cemetery. She was being buried next to my Uncle Gene, who had been buried there in March, 2016. Here’s a picture of my aunt from that day in 2016; as we were sitting in the waiting area, ready to be called for my uncle’s graveside ceremony.

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On Monday, as we were now waiting to be called for my aunt’s ceremony; her daughter (my cousin) reminded us of why she was being buried next to my Uncle Gene. My uncle had retired from the Navy, as a Commander. At the beginning of his career, they discussed whether she and the family would move, whenever Uncle Gene’s Navy career would change where he was stationed.

At the beginning of his Navy career, she told him that “wherever he went… she would follow“. The family could have chosen her burial at other locations besides Arlington. She had lived many years in Florida. However, they had decided long ago that they would both be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. An expression again of their love and life together. Once again, where he went… she would follow.

While we are all saddened by this loss, we are also lifted by the thought that where Uncle Gene has gone, she has once again followed. The belief that there was a wonderful reunion in heaven.

As we all talked about my aunt, we reminisced about how she lived for her husband; for her children and grandchildren; and for others. On that day in 2016, in that picture above; she knew that there would be a time that she would again see my uncle. On Monday, there was nothing fictional about the certainty of heaven.  A life lived in full.

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch; like me! I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.

 

Whenever I write a serious blog, I always wonder if I should end with our typical pic o’ days. Then I remember how they make me laugh… and of course that’s how we must end the blog!

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Removing the Obstacles!

I like to think of Monday as the perfect day to fix last week’s mistakes! Here we are!

At what age do you start to say, “I am getting too old for this”.

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It’s all about attitude. Right?

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So for this Monday, I thought I that would post the obstacle story. I have read it in many positive thinking books. It’s one of those reminders that I keep around. A good one for Our Monday!

There once was a very wealthy and curious king. This king had a huge boulder placed in the middle of a road. Then he hid nearby to see if anyone would try to remove the gigantic rock from the road.

The first people to pass by were some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers. Rather than moving it, they simply walked around it. A few loudly blamed the King for not maintaining the roads. Not one of them tried to move the boulder.

Finally, a peasant came along. His arms were full of vegetables. When he got near the boulder, rather than simply walking around it as the others had, the peasant put down his load and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. It took a lot of effort but he finally succeeded.

The peasant gathered up his load and was ready to go on his way when he saw a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The peasant opened the purse. The purse was stuffed full of gold coins and a note from the king. The king’s note said the purse’s gold was a reward for moving the boulder from the road.

The king showed the peasant what many of us never understand: every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

Removing our obstacles! It’s going to be a great Monday!!!!

 

And finally, these “facts” made me laugh:

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A Story of Recovery

I start this blog out with the disclaimer that it’s a Feel Good Story for me! It involves a client and it does not involve money!

About five years ago, I began representing a teenager who was a backseat passenger. Their car was rear-ended and his body was physically driven into the seat in front of him. It caused a significant injury to his knee. A few months after the crash, he had surgery on that knee. Unfortunately, he did not get better and could still barely bend his leg.

Throughout high school, he was unable to play any sports and he continued to experience pain and limited mobility. He went back to his orthopedic doctor to see what could be done. The doctor recommended another surgery that included putting permanent hardware in his knee to stabilize the kneecap.

My client and his family told me about the possible surgery. I met with their doctor. I just didn’t feel good about my teenage client having such a restricted life; but maybe there was no other alternative.

I called another doctor and told him about my client’s injury and additional surgery. I sent over his records. He went to meet with the doctor. A different surgery was discussed. About two months after that, my client had surgery with the second doctor.

The insurance company questioned the surgeries and made a small settlement offer. Fortunately, the jury sided with my client.

I had not heard from my client in a couple of years. Recently, he called to say that he had graduated from high school… and had just joined the army. He passed their physical!

A fabulous testament to hard work and recovery as well as a doctor who did a great job and made a difference. A true great ending!

 

I hope you have a great weekend… and get some “Lion Around Time”.

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A Friday “Living Life Happy”

Because!

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Today, I am posting a story from livelifehappy.com. Even that website makes me smile! A story from a student…

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know.

I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me
with a smile that lit up her entire being.

She said, “Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?”

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze.

“Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked.

She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids…”

“No seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

“I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!” she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months, we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this “time machine” as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was
introduced and stepped up to the podium.

As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, “I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell
you what I know.”

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, “We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day.

You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.
We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it! There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.

If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old.

If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.

Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change.
Have no regrets.

The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those
with regrets.”

She concluded her speech by courageously singing “The Rose.”

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives.

At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.

Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s
never too late to be all you can possibly be .

And for pic o’ day, more in the genre of dogs… because

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The Wet Ball Drill

For Our Monday Blog, I again start with a picture to just get us going. It could be a leadership theme…right? Plus Uncle D reminded me that I have been posting a lot of dog pictures lately. So the streak continues!

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As a lead-in to the blog, I reference a line from the poem written by Samuel Coleridge in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, (Wikipedia) He wrote about the men on the ship, after the Mariner had shot the albatross that was going to lead the ship out of danger, as it headed toward Antarctic waters.

They had a plan and expectation to survive, because of the albatross. Then, that plan was gone. One-by-one the men on the ship began to die. The poem describes the ship as “Corpses man the ship; dead men pull the oars; dead men hoist the sails; dead men steer the vessel”.

They had no plan. They had no purpose.

Without getting too crazy into the analysis of the poem (you can read the poem and the analysis in the attachments) that was published in 1798, I only borrow from it to make a point. The blog today is about a picture that I see, as I sit in my study at home:

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Above the picture is a framed poster that summarizes the football season of the Indianapolis Colts. That year, on February 4, 2007, they won Super Bowl XLI by beating the Chicago Bears 29-17.

The weather report for that game in Miami was indicating a probability of constant steady rain. As part of that season’s preparation, Peyton Manning and his center, Jeff Saturday, would practice the wet ball drill. Saturday didn’t like it very much because he always ended up soaked by the time that practice had ended.

The Colts managers  would soak several balls in water to make them a bit soggy. That way, the practice exchange between center and quarterback prepared them for rainy games.

The morning of the Super Bowl, Manning woke up knowing that their rainy day preparation, with the wet ball drill, was going to be important.

During the game, there were six fumbles between the two teams. But, Saturday and Manning had no problem from center to quarterback. They followed their preparation.

I remember the excitement I felt when the Colts won that Superbowl. I also remember how proud I felt, when I saw the picture of the Colts, all huddled in prayer. It’s what I see in my study.

It’s going to be a great Monday! And speaking of planning… our pic o’day:

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The Heaviness of Loneliness

We all know that obesity is a problem. Now, we’re told that just sitting and working at a desk is much like smoking for your health. But from Telegraph.com comes another “health issue”. The article is titled Loneliness is Deadlier than Obesity.

Researchers in more than 200 studies evaluated the health effects of social isolation and loneliness. The studies evaluated four million people.

Their findings connect loneliness to length of life. The primary finding: lonely people had a 50% increased risk of early death, compared to those who had relationships. As a comparison, obesity raises the chance of dying before the age of 70 by around 30%.

Lead researcher, Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Professor of Psychology at Brigham Young University, Utah, advises that the study shows that people should be preparing for retirement socially, just as they prepare financially. For most, the workplace is their biggest source of companionship. I think that’s a great response to those who think that people that are injured on the job, don’t want to get back to work.

According to Holt-Lunstad, “Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need—crucial to both well-being and survival. Extreme examples show infants in custodial care who lack human contact fail to thrive and often die, and indeed, social isolation or solitary confinement has been used as a form of punishment. As she notedYet an increasing portion of the population now experiences isolation regularly.”

Campaign To End Loneliness states that 17 per cent of the elderly see friends, family and neighbors less than once a week, while one in 10 may see more that one month pass without seeing any loved ones.

There was a time that people would walk next door to get a cup-of sugar and spend some time on the neighbors porch. (At least you see that in the movies, right?)  Now, Facebook, email, Instagram and other methods on the Internet have become the preferred way of staying in touch. Just a thought of our reality.

Some ways in combating loneliness include making a habit of helping others and staying connected. Proverbs 18:24 tells us that “For a man to have friends, he must show himself friendly“. (Be Friendly)

Unfortunately, I see some clients who are hurting and isolated and don’t feel like connecting with others. Emotional trauma from a car crash can ultimately lead to isolation. Being alone doesn’t necessarily mean loneliness. I think that loneliness really comes from not feeling valued by someone else.

On a positive ending, it’s a great feeling to feel connected!

And for pic o’ day, two great expressions that made me laugh:

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And

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The Story of Warrick

Every day, I see team in action. It starts when I receive an email that tells me that a new case has been entered into our case management system. Soon, the case is assigned to a team that includes the attorney, paralegal, assistant paralegal; and sometimes an additional negotiator and investigator.

I truly enjoy the concept of team. I was reminded of that when I read the following motivational team story at teamworkandleadership.com. The story of Warwick!

Once there was man who was lost while driving through the country. As he tried to read a map while driving, he accidentally drove off the road into a deep muddy ditch. Though not injured, his car was stuck. So the man walked to a nearby farm.

There he saw an old farmer and asked for help. The farmer replied, “Warwick can get you out of that ditch,” pointing to an old mule standing in a field. The man looked at the old run-down mule and then looked at the farmer who just stood there repeating, “Yep, old Warwick can do the job.”

The man figured he had nothing to lose. The two men and Warwick made their way back to the ditch. The farmer hitched the mule to the car. With a snap of the reigns he shouted, “Pull, Fred! Pull, Jack! Pull, Ted! Pull, Warwick!” And the mule pulled the car from the ditch with very little effort.

The man was amazed. He thanked the farmer, patted the mule and asked, “Why did you call out all those other names before you called Warwick?”

The farmer grinned and said, “Old Warwick is just about blind. As long as he believes he is part of a team, he doesn’t mind pulling.”

 

And for pic o’ day, here is some ole-fashioned spam!

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Motivation, A Source, and a Story

Sometimes for the Monday blog, I like to get started with a thought for the week. How about:

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I hope you are coming into this work week with plenty of motivation!! (But maybe a different kind of motivation!)

And now a correction on a past blog. David Amkraut wrote me to say, “My understanding is that the expression “More than one way to skin a cat” refers to skinning a catfish, not a cat”.

I love when I learn something from the blog! That email truly made me smile.  Plus, that’s what happens when I am just writing from stream of consciousness. I should have done some research, Right? To talk about a cat like that sure does seem a bit crazy… and it was.

I just saw a great quote reminder, “Life is short. Take the trip. Buy the shoes. Eat the cake”.

And now for a quick story mention, in case you haven’t seen it yet. It’s the story of a stray dog who found a connection, a purpose, and then a home. And now he’s on the cover of a book.

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The Adventure Racing World Series involves a team of four competing in events that include trekking, adventure running, mountain biking, paddling and climbing. During the 2014 competition, a team from Sweden picked up a “fifth member”.

Team Peak Performance, “met” Arthur while sharing a meal before the 20-mile race stage through the difficult terrain in Ecuador. Mikael Lindnord, one of the four team members, felt sorry for the dirty, lonely stray dog, and shared a meatball with him.

As the grueling race continued, Arthur continued to follow the team through muddy difficult jungle and across the Amazon river.

At one point they were in a kayak and did not take Arthur with them. They watched him as he ran along the side of the river. All of a sudden he jumped in the water and began swimming toward them. They realized he was willing to drown in order to stay with them. So, they pulled him into the kayak and off they continued to travel together.

He followed them all the way to the finish line. Lindnord was so moved by Arthur’s loyalty, that he adopted him and brought him back to his home in Sweden, where Arthur lives today. A story of connection, and a story of never giving up.  I so enjoyed it that I decided to put it in our Monday blog!

Here are some sources and additional details. (ESPN)(Forbes)(dailymail)

 

And for pic o’ day,

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A Shark’s Limitations

During a recent UNC/Duke basketball, Michael Jordan was giving a halftime inspirational speech about reaching goals. To express “no limitations”, he blurted out “The ceiling is the roof“. His saying became an immediate internet sensation.

I like the thought against self-imposed limitation.  It reminds me a little bit of Yogi Berra’s thoughts on success in baseball, “90% is mental and the other half is physical“.

That leads me to a story for the blog about a shark experiment. There are many versions of this online.

And finally, our pic o’ is also about limitation. Somehow… I really blogged on theme today. How? Best stop before I start random blogging!

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