The Measure

April 27, 2020

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” -FDR 1963

The Times

April 25, 2020

Courtesy of Craig Dew:

I talked to a man today

I talked with a man today, an 80+-year-old man. I asked him if there was anything I can get him while this Coronavirus scare was gripping America.

He simply smiled, looked away and said:

“Let me tell you what I need! I need to believe, at some point, this country my generation fought for… I need to believe this nation we handed safely to our children and their children…

I need to know this generation will quit being a bunch of sissies…that they respect what they’ve been given…that they’ve earned what others sacrificed for.”

I wasn’t sure where the conversation was going or if it was going anywhere at all. So, I sat there, quietly observing.

“You know, I was a little boy during WWII. Those were scary days. We didn’t know if we were going to be speaking English, German or Japanese at the end of the war. There was no certainty, no guarantees like Americans enjoy today.

And no home went without sacrifice or loss. Every house, up and down every street, had someone in harm’s way. Maybe their Daddy was a soldier, maybe their son was a sailor, maybe it was an uncle. Sometimes it was the whole damn family…fathers, sons, uncles…

Having someone, you love, sent off to war…it wasn’t less frightening than it is today. It was scary as Hell. If anything, it was more frightening. We didn’t have battlefront news. We didn’t have email or cellphones. You sent them away and you hoped…you prayed. You may not hear from them for months, if ever. Sometimes a mother was getting her son’s letters the same day Dad was comforting her over their child’s death.

And we sacrificed. You couldn’t buy things. Everything was rationed. You were only allowed so much milk per month, only so much bread, toilet paper. EVERYTHING was restricted for the war effort. And what you weren’t using, what you didn’t need, things you threw away, they were saved and sorted for the war effort. My generation was the original recycling movement in America.

And we had viruses back then…serious viruses. Things like polio, measles, and such. It was nothing to walk to school and pass a house or two that was quarantined. We didn’t shut down our schools. We didn’t shut down our cities. We carried on, without masks, without hand sanitizer. And do you know what? We persevered. We overcame. We didn’t attack our President, we came together. We rallied around the flag for the war. Thick or thin, we were in it to win. And we would lose more boys in an hour of combat than we lose in entire wars today.”

He slowly looked away again. Maybe I saw a small tear in the corner of his eye. Then he continued:

“Today’s kids don’t know sacrifice. They think sacrifice is not having coverage on their phone while they freely drive across the country. Today’s kids are selfish and spoiled. In my generation, we looked out for our elders. We helped out with single moms whose husbands were either at war or dead from war. Today’s kids rush the store, buying everything they can…no concern for anyone but themselves. It’s shameful the way Americans behave these days. None of them deserve the sacrifices their granddads made.

So, no I don’t need anything. I appreciate your offer but, I know I’ve been through worse things than this virus. But maybe I should be asking you, what can I do to help you? Do you have enough pop to get through this, enough steak? Will you be able to survive with 113 channels on your tv?”

I smiled, fighting back a tear of my own…now humbled by a man in his 80’s. All I could do was thank him for the history lesson, leave my number for emergency and leave with my ego firmly tucked in my rear.

I talked to a man today. A real man. An American man from an era long gone and forgotten. We will never understand the sacrifices. We will never fully earn their sacrifices. But we should work harder to learn about them..learn from them…to respect them.

Security and Threat

April 20, 2020

The greatest assurance of civil liberties is a robust exercise of law enforcement and the judiciary. The greatest threat to civil liberties is an unregulated exercise of law enforcement and the judiciary.

Amen

April 20, 2020

“(Jesus) He is Amen in every single title which he bears; your Husband, never seeking a divorce; your Friend, sticking closer than a brother; your Shepherd, with you in death’s dark vale; your Help and your Deliverer; your Castle and your High Tower; the Horn of your strength, your confidence, your joy, your all in all, and your Yea and Amen in all.”—CHS

The Times

April 18, 2020

“Hard times make hard men. Hard men make easy times. Easy times make soft men. Soft men make hard times.”—Unknown

Re vs Ac

April 15, 2020

A wise friend once told me the difference between responsibility and accountability.

“Responsibility feels great. ‘Look at all of these people I am responsible for. I’m really important.’ It feeds our ego.

Accountability sucks. Nobody likes being accountable, especially when things go wrong. But good leaders own their mistakes, even when they have to pay the price.”

Remember

April 8, 2020

Just so I never forget….. April 2, 2020

-Gas prices in Maryland are $1.87
-School cancelled until at least 4/30/2020
-Schools transitioning to distance learning.
-Tape on the floors at grocery stores and others to help distance shoppers (6ft) from each other.
-Limited number of people inside stores, therefore, lineups outside the store doors.
-Non-essential stores and businesses mandated closed.
-Parks, trails, entire cities locked up.
-Entire sports seasons cancelled.
-Concerts, tours, festivals, entertainment events – cancelled.
-Weddings, family celebrations, holiday gatherings – cancelled.
-No funerals
-Churches are closed.
-No gatherings of 50 or more, then 20 or more, now 10 or more.
-Don’t socialize with anyone outside of your home.
-Shortage of masks, gowns, gloves for our front-line workers.
-Shortage of ventilators for the critically ill.
-Panic buying sets in and we have no toilet paper, no disinfecting supplies, no paper towel no laundry soap, no hand sanitizer.
-Shelves are bare.
-Manufacturers, distilleries and other businesses switch their lines to help make visors, masks, hand sanitizer and PPE.
-Government closes the border to all non-essential travel.
-Fines are established for breaking the rules.
-Stadiums and recreation facilities open up for the overflow of Covid-19 patients.
-Press conferences daily from the President and the governors. Daily updates on new cases, recoveries, and deaths.
-Government incentives to stay home.
-Barely anyone on the roads.
-People wearing masks and gloves outside.
-Essential service workers are terrified to go to work.
-Medical field workers are afraid to go home to their families.

This is the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic, declared March 11th, 2020.

Why, you ask, do I share this status?

One day it will show up in my memory feed, and it will be a yearly reminder that life is precious and not to take the things we dearly love for granted.

We have so much!
Be thankful. Be grateful.
Be kind to each other – love one another.