Daily Living

Summer Heat – Skirting the “No Shorts” School Policy

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What do you do when you are a male student and the temperatures rise to 34 degrees Celsius (93.2 degrees Fahrenheit) and your school has a “No Shorts” policy? Some lads at the Isca Academy in Exeter, England decided to protest the school’s policy and showed up for classes wearing a skirt instead of their usual school uniform trousers. Little did they realize, however, that their protest might have initiated a trend of sorts. This is a hot trending topic on Twitter at the moment.

According to The Guardian, dozens of teenage boys turned up to school wearing skirts after their headteacher refused to relax the uniform code banning shorts despite the heatwave that has gripped Britain this week. The boys argued that it was too hot to wear long trousers and asked if they might be allowed to wear shorts instead. When their request was denied, a handful showed up for classes on Wednesday in school uniform skirts borrowed from friends and sisters. By Thursday, about 30 boys were wearing skirts.

The Guardian reports that one boy was told that his skirt was too short and his legs too hairy. Some of the boys took this into account and brought razors to shave their legs. One boy in year nine wearing a skirt said the protest had started with five boys wearing skirts but he expected “hundreds” to follow suit. When asked if he were enjoying the experience, he commented that he appreciated the “nice breeze.” Another boy said that it was “quite refreshing.”

Speaking about boys being allowed to wear shorts to school, the headteacher, Aimee Mitchell, said: “Shorts are not currently part of our uniform for boys and I would not want to make any changes without consulting both students and their families. However, with the hotter weather becoming more normal, I would be happy to consider a change for the future.” None of the boys were penalized by being put in isolation or detention for wearing a skirt.

One mother said, “Children [also] don’t like injustice. The boys see the female teachers in sandals and nice cool skirts and tops while they are wearing long trousers and shoes and the older boys have to wear blazers. They just think it’s unfair that they can’t wear shorts in this heat.”

Bullying is WRONG on Every Level

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A new music video by the amazing group BYU Vocal Point released on their YouTube channel on 2 May 2017, appropriately illustrates the effects that being bullied can have on an individual. The video is an excellent a cappella cover of “You Will Be Found” from the musical “Dear Evan Hansen.”

Often when the topic of bullying is discussed, it is about a student bullying another student or students on the school campus. However, that is not the only place that bullying occurs. It also occurs in the workplace, in the public square, oftentimes in secret, and sadly, it also occurs within the walls of churches. Regardless of where it occurs, the point is that it is wrong.

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

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God is Still in Control

Good morning family and friends! This is not a political rant nor is it the intent to turn it into one. However, I awoke this morning with these thoughts on my mind and felt impressed to share them with all of you.

With all of the hatred, tumult, and confusion that exists in our nation, nay our world, at this daunting hour, there remains one important fact that so many people seem to have forgotten or overlooked. That is that God Almighty is still on the throne and in total control. He did not relinquish His power or authority to any individual or group of persons on Inauguration Day or any day for that matter. He is still God Almighty – the Lord God Jehovah.

He is the Alpha and the Omega. That is to say, He is the First and the Last – the Beginning and the End. In Hebrew, He is the Aleph and the Tau. He was from the beginning, and He will be in the end. He wrote the beginning chapters of this story, and only He knows what the ending chapters of this story will say. He spoke all things into existence. Therefore He alone knows the end to all things. He is the Author and the Finisher.

When all is said and done, it will not matter who I voted for, who you voted for, or if there were those who did not vote at all. Lest we forget, those who have human authority over us have only been dealt the measure of authority and power that God will allow them to have and not one thimble full more. Lest we forget, they, like you and I are mortals. And like you and I, they will one day stand before the Eternal Judge and give an account.

Therefore, as for me and my house, we are not going to use what precious time we have to worry and fret about the things that are happening at this moment. Why? Because we are leaning on the Everlasting Arms – Jesus Christ – and not the arms of flesh.

No President, Vice President, nor even the Supreme Court justices or any other elected officials of the land will have the final say. The Lord God Almighty and He alone will have the LAST word. And as long as I have my complete trust, confidence, and faith in Him, I know that everything is going to be alright. Amen!

Standing Firm in What You Believe

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These are my final comments. Before I begin, I want to humbly apologize to anyone who for whatever reason felt that they had been offended by a few of the things that I wrote in my post on 21 January 2017. The post in and of itself seems to have created a “fire bomb” as far as some are concerned, and that was never the intent.

In re-reading what I wrote this morning, I made the following comments, “Honestly, I know kindergarten children who act more mature than some people are behaving at this moment. Some people need to grow up and act their age and not their shoe size.” These statements were analogies and general comments. Nevertheless, I have been accused of mud-slinging, calling names, and causing divisiveness among people. Again, that was never the purpose nor the intent.

I did not call anyone a kindergartner. I was merely making the comparison that some little children act more mature than some adults have behaved throughout this whole election and inauguration process. I find it astounding that people only read and hear what they want to read or hear when they are angry and frustrated.

The acts that were done on the streets of Washington, D.C. even on inauguration day by supposed protesters were deplorable and inexcusable. That was not a protest by any stretch of the imagination. That was a riot. If anyone believes or feels differently, that is your prerogative, but I do not, cannot, and will never support your views.

There were more peaceable ways of showing their dissatisfaction with the new administration than what was displayed.That is my stand on the matter, and I will not back down from it. Hence, my analogy and general statement based on what my dear departed parents and grandparents used to tell me, “Act your age and not your shoe size.” Again, if anyone felt offended or that I was degrading them in any way, I humbly apologize, but that is what YOU read into it as it was never the intent. I have far better things to do with what precious time I have than to insult, degrade, demean, or otherwise belittle other people.

I still believe and will forever stand firm in the belief that hatred only begets more hatred. I still affirm that the hater often suffers more than the hated. You cannot extinguish a raging inferno by continuing to fuel the fire and fanning the flames. I still believe that peaceful resolutions are not wrought through obscenities and acts of violence. Whenever acts of violence are introduced, it is no longer a protest but rather a riot, and riots, if not brought under control, can quickly become war-torn blood-stained battlefields. I believe that if there is something worth fighting for that we should speak up and let our voices be heard but do so in a rational, calm, and civil manner. People will be able to understand you better and be more willing to listen to you when you are not screaming and shouting at them or using accusatory tones in your elocution.

I made the statement in another comment last evening, and I make it here again. It appears that the nation is in a terrible state of tumult, confusion, and unrest. Too many people are walking around like ticking time bombs that could explode at any moment. That is scary to me. There needs to be more understanding and compassion from both sides of the aisle, and sadly I don’t see that happening at this moment in time.

For What Are We Protesting?

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Trump Election Protestors

I am just going to put it out there, and people can like it, love it, or ignore it. They can like me, love me, or hate me for saying what I am about to say. But, here it is!

I am so fed up with all the nonsensical rhetoric, temper tantrums, whining and crying that is going on because the candidate that some people had hoped to be our President is not the one who now sits in the Oval Office. I cannot wrap my mind around and even pretend to understand what people hope to or think that they will carry out by all of their protesting and messages of hate that they are posting throughout social media channels, in particular, Facebook. The bottom line is that they are solving, and will solve absolutely nothing by their behaviors. Whether people like it or not, Donald John Trump is now the 45th President of the United States.

Yes, we are supposed to be the United States of America, but instead, we are acting more like the “Divided States” of America. Never in my young 58 years, after living under the direction of 11 Presidents, starting with Dwight David Eisenhower, have I ever witnessed such turmoil, mud-slinging, and undeniable hatred, as I have seen with this entire election process. When Barrack Obama was elected President (twice) people did not respond in such fashion, so why now?

Honestly, I know kindergarten children who act more mature than some people are behaving at this moment. Some people need to grow up and act their age and not their shoe size. Some people need to stop and think about the message that they are sending to the young generation now and the generations to follow. When the current “video” is played back, the message that will be conveyed is that if we are angry or disagree with an issue, the best way to resolve our grievances is through boycotting, protesting, and outward displays of hatred.

I want to set the record straight that I did note vote for Donald J. Trump for President. Nevertheless, as a citizen of the United States of America, I will support him as the President and Commander in Chief. Barrack Obama was given a chance to prove himself, and I believe that the very least that we can do is settle down and show President Trump the same amount of respect and give him an opportunity to prove himself. Hoping and wishing that he will fail is a ridiculous way of thinking.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are all in this together. Continuing to fight against one another will solve nothing. Continuing to spew out obscenities and hatred toward a person who you may not particularly like or agree with will solve nothing. We need to work together and resolve our differences peaceably. Remember that “Together We Stand, but Divided We Fall.” In my humble opinion, with some of the erratic behaviors that are taking place, we are showing the world that we are not as united as we once were and should be now. And believe you me, the world is watching!

All I am saying is give President Donald John Trump a fighting chance. Don’t be so hasty to write him off as a failure. Again, he was not my candidate of choice. Nevertheless, I will give him the respect that is due him as President of the United States, and I hope and pray that everyone else will do the same.

Controlling the Anger Within

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Control Your Anger

Each of us become angry at times for one reason or another. It is a part of human nature. I make no claims to know what causes anger inside of a person as I am by no means a therapist. There are different triggers for different people depending on circumstances and situations. To a degree, however, I believe that anger is a choice. If we allow every little thing that happens to us or said to us or about us, to upset us, then something or someone will always trigger our anger.

We need to realize that there are people in the world who pride themselves on pushing other people to their limits. Hence they incessantly cause strife and contention. The sad commentary is that we are the ones who become upset and angry, all the while, 99.99% of the time the person who triggered our ire doesn’t care one iota. In fact, they mock us. It is a lot easier to say than do at times, but we must learn to laugh at some things even through the hurt and the tears.

When people attempt to annoy me or make me angry, here is what I do to make light of the situation. I imagine them either standing on their deceptive soapbox wearing nothing more than their underwear making a spectacle of themselves or standing on a stage before the entire world stark naked (I do not mean to come across as being gross or crass) as they deliver their soliloquy of insincerity, rudeness, and ignorance. Quite honestly that image can be funny. In other words, I believe that it is far better to let the foolish wallow in their folly than to entertain their diabolical behavior by becoming infuriated.

When someone is rude, arrogant, or annoying, we should try responding with a smile. Most people who are trying to make us angry cannot deal with us not reacting (getting angry) as they would expect. Therefore, we must find a way to defuse any situation. We have to make the conscious decision that we will be happy in any given situation – we will focus on the positive, and not the contrary. Remember also that we cannot resolve bitterness and anger by fueling an already raging inferno with more pain and anger.

Family and TRUE (I emphasize the word TRUE) friends can also help by not continually bringing up the past. The past is the past – LEAVE IT THERE! We also have to get to a point where we let things from the past go. Let’s not pitch our tents in the lands of the past and attempt to dwell there. That in and of itself can be poison to our soul and spirit. Also, if we know that we are prone to become angry or hostile in certain settings or situations, then we have to disassociate ourselves from those settings or situations if possible.

Remember, it is the poisonous venom of the rattlesnake (anger, hostility, hatred, unkind words, rage, etc.) that causes death. However, it is the anti-venom (kind words, kind deeds, happiness, smiling, making wise choices, etc.) which if administered appropriately and promptly brings healing and restoration to life.

These are just a few of my thoughts on the matter. I would love to hear what you have to say.

The Aftermath of 11 September 2001

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11 September 2001

What happened to the American attitude and spirit of unity after that tragic day on 11 September 2001?

What happened was that after the shock of 9/11 was over, Americans fell asleep and soon dismissed from their minds that the unthinkable and unfathomable had just taken place on our shores. We resolved to bond together in the midst of the crisis, but once the night had passed, and as soon as the air of despair began to dissipate, we went about business as “normal” convincing ourselves that nothing like it would ever happen again.

We soon forgot about how important it is to stand together as a nation, and once again turned our focus on ourselves, forgetting about others. It never ceases to amaze me how we as a country can become close brothers and sisters in the time of a tragedy such as 9/11, and how quick we are to revert to our ways of treating each other once we feel that the trauma is over.

To those who lost their lives on that somber morning, we will always remember you. You were gone too soon, but will never be forgotten.

Let us also bear in mind that if America is to stay the great nation that it is, it will take the efforts of the many, not just a few. We are all in this together. America is our country. Let her flag forever wave in the breeze and may we always be the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Keith Lionel Brown
ET1, USN Retired

No Man is An Island Unto Himself

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A Walk Along the Beach

What a wonderful, beautiful world this would be if we could learn to set aside, or at least, put less focus on the differences that seem to divide us, and put more focus and emphasis on the commonalities that could and should unite us.

We do not have to agree totally with everything that people do or say, but by the same token, we should not allow our disagreements and differences to make us mortal enemies.

May God speed the day when we learn to bury our weapons of pride, egotism, self-righteousness, prejudice, hatred, bigotry, racism, and the like, and vow to war against one another no more. May God hasten that day!

Call me a dreamer, but I dream of the long-awaited day when all of God’s children – ALL OF GOD’S CHILDREN – can sit down together at the banqueting table of brotherhood and sisterhood. I dream of the day when all of us will be able to join hands across the table with the full and complete realization and understanding that hatred only begets more hatred, but LOVE conquers all.

The truth of the matter is that I need you, and you need me. If we are to continue to survive as the human race, we must begin to realize that no man is an island unto himself. TOGETHER WE SHALL STAND. We shall be victorious TOGETHER, regardless of our race, our culture, our background, or any other wall that seemingly is a barrier between us. However, if we choose to remain divided, our “little islands” will soon be washed away by the passing winds and waves of time.

10 Important Things I Would Teach My Children About Racism, Bigotry, and Hatred

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Children of Different Races

1. Never label any particular “race” of people as being stupid, ignorant, or bigoted. Stupidity, ignorance, and bigotry comes in all shades.

2. “Race” is a man-made term used to divide groups of people and often to build walls of division, derision, degradation, belittlement, and even hatred.

3. Accept all people for whom God created them to be, and always try to build bridges of hope, love, peace, and understanding.

4. To judge a person by the color of his or her skin is to prove your level of misguided ignorance, and not necessarily your level of intelligence. Intelligent people do not allow the color of a person’s skin to create walls of division, but rather they work together, regardless of “race,” to build bridges of hope, love, peace, and understanding.

5. Never make rash and hasty decisions or opinions about any person until you have tried to walk a mile in his or her shoes, and have strived to make some effort to at least understand what makes him or her who they are. In other words, at least try to view the world through their eyes and not always your own.

6. Never be quick to criticize another person, or quick to point out their shortcomings and faults, unless you have seriously taken the time to look carefully at the individual who looks back at you in your mirror and can honestly declare that person whom you see as being “perfect.”

7. Judge no person by the color of his or her skin, but only by the content of his or her character. The color of the skin has nothing to do with intelligence levels or anything else for that matter.

8. Be quick to show love, patience, and understanding, and slow and careful to despise or reject another because of supposed differences. Strive to find the commonalities that can bind you as brothers and sisters, and focus less on the differences that supposedly cause division between you.

9. Treat all humanity as persons of dignity and self-worth, and strive to eradicate the words “hate” and “hatred” from your vocabularies. For to hate another often, in turn, leads to more hatred, which eventually leads to a bloody battlefield of contention and strife. Always remember, hatred only begets more hatred. We need not be at war with one another, but should try to find ways to live together as brothers and sisters.

10. Those who are incessant to use the “race” card for every situation, or to judge another person according to the color of his or her skin or “race” are in and of themselves racist and bigots regardless of the color of their skin. Beware of being numbered among their ranks.