Tag Archives: Charity | Brotherly Love

From Rubble to Restoration – the Secret to Happiness

Dieter F. Uchtdorf recently shared a memory of his childhood in Germany during World War II. He was four years old at the time and recalls, “Massive firestorms, caused by thousands of tons of explosives, swept through Dresden, destroying more than 90 percent of the city and leaving little but rubble and ash in their wake.”

City of Dresden, Germany
Dresden, Germany after the destruction of World War II

Of Dresden, which was once nicknamed “the jewel box”, Erich Kästner, a German author, wrote: “In a thousand years was her beauty built, in one night was it utterly destroyed.”

Mr. Uchtdorf states, “During my childhood I could not imagine how the destruction of a war our own people had started could ever be overcome. The world around us appeared totally hopeless and without any future.”

However, 70 years after the war, Dieter has gone back to the city of Dresden, and witnessed that it is, once again, a “Jewel Box” of a city. The ruins have been cleared. The city is restored, and even improved.

Lutheran Church Frauenkirche after war
The Church of Our Lady reduced to rubble

“The beautiful Lutheran church Frauenkirche, the Church of Our Lady, was originally built in the 1700s. The war reduced it to a pile of rubble. For many years it remained that way, until finally it was determined that the Frauenkirche would be rebuilt.”

The new Frauenkirche—reconstructed over seven years by architects using 3D computer technology to analyze old photographs and every piece of rubble that had been kept—was formally consecrated on 30 October 2005.

“Stones from the destroyed church had been stored, cataloged, and when possible, were used in the reconstruction. Today you can see these fire-blackened stones pockmarking the outer walls. These scars are a monument to hope—a magnificent symbol of man’s ability to create new life from ashes.”

Lutheran Church Frauenkirche after rebuilding
The Church of Our Lady rebuilt with original stones

Frauenkirche illustrates that no matter how ruined your life may seem; no matter how deep your bitterness, loneliness, or broken heart may be, all that is lost CAN BE RESTORED.

Are you without hope? Are you despairing; perhaps feeling betrayed?  There is no life so shattered that it cannot be restored.

Erich Kästner said, “There is nothing good unless you do it.”

How do you rebuild? You start with a foundation of service to someone else. The love you show to another in service will be the bricks that one by one will rebuild your love of self.

Shark Tank3

Robert Herjavec, a “shark” on the TV show Shark Tank, learned that lesson when, despite his millionaire status, prestige, and blessed life, he lost the most important aspect of happiness – his partner. His wife divorced him, and Robert was devastated, even suicidal.

Herjavec reached out to his pastor John McAuley, who steered him to Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission, an innovative shelter that provides emergency care and long-term recovery services to the homeless.

The next day, a despondent Herjavec arrived in Seattle, made his way to the downtown shelter and was promptly put to work in the soup kitchen. “Nobody knew who I was,” he says. “People thought I was a recovering addict.”

The pain of his own life was soon eclipsed by the “suffering and hopelessness” of the desperate men and women he met in the shelter. Before long, Herjavec was heading out on late-night “search and rescue missions,” bringing food and other essentials to “this whole world of people living beneath underpasses and under trees, who aren’t well enough to make it into the shelter.” At one point, he bought out all of a local Walmart’s inventory of socks to hand out – “I think I’ve donated around 100,000 pairs,” he says.

“I always used to think that if you are compassionate, you are weak,” Herjavec says. “You see that on our show.”

After two and a half weeks, Herjavec left the streets of Seattle humbled.

Robert Herjavec3

“I was hollow and broken,” says Herjavec, who still volunteers at the Seattle shelter whenever he can and helps support it financially. “And these people saved my life.”

Love and service helped Robert Herjavec rebuild his tattered life. Love and service will help you as well.

You may keep the scars of whatever trauma you’ve been through – just as the Frauenkirsche has lasting scars of darkened bricks. Let those scars illustrate the strength you’ve gained, the beautiful monument your life has become, and the reminder that service to others is the only way to save your own life.

 

Spoons Should Be Outlawed and Other Crazy Ideas

I’ve been writing this leadership blog for several years. Today’s post is personal. It may sound political. It may sound religious. It may even sound judgmental. No matter how you interpret it, this post is MY opinion and I own it! At it’s core, it is about leadership. I invite you to weigh in whether you agree or disagree.

In the wake of another mass shooting at a school, there are many questions being asked. The leader of our nation, President Obama gave his personal opinion shortly after the tragedy at UCC in Roseburg Oregon last week. In listening to his message, I witnessed a “leader” who displayed traits that disqualify him as such.

President Obama didn’t put ANY responsibility on the young man who cowardly shot a dozen or more unarmed individuals, and killed 9 of them. Instead, he used the power of his office to blame society – a society he has had direct influence over for more than seven years. A society that has become more divided than it was when he took office seven years ago.

Mr. Obama took opportunity to blame his team members in congress (yes, Mr. President we are all on the same team even though you refuse to acknowledge that) He blamed guns. He blamed inanimate objects for the murder of human beings. How does that even make sense? Do automobiles cause car accidents? Do spoons make people fat? Are sidewalks the cause of childhood scrapes?

I’d like to see Mr. Obama, (or anyone else) file a lawsuit against a gun, a car, a spoon, or a sidewalk. As ridiculous as it sounds – his remarks, blame, and shift of responsibility are just as ridiculous. True, exceptional leaders don’t blame their team, and they don’t pass judgment prematurely.

The President tends to put blame on anyone else but the actual person whose actions inspired the outcome. Take a moment to recall Treyvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Freddy Gray. Precious lives lost due to their own choices. They put themselves in a position where their life was threatened because of their own actions – not the actions of police officers or other people. We don’t yet know the outcome of the Freddy Gray case, but he was a known drug dealer, and therefore his choices long ago took him down a road that led to his final destination.

Despite the facts, President Obama has been responsible for influencing people (through his poor leadership and message) to divide our nation rather than unite us. HE has made the aforementioned cases about race, instead of about criminals clashing with police or citizens, resulting in unfortunate deaths.

With a severe lack of respect for police officers and those in authority in our nation, there are people on the fringe of society who will use that situation to justify their own evil. School shooters are that kind of evil. True leaders have to stand against evil and NEVER justify it.

True, exceptional leaders enjoy helping others empower their lives. They act to help individuals see their strengths, and encourage them to overcome weakness. Great leaders are grateful and show appreciation for the people who protect those who can’t protect themselves.

Here is how my philosophy differs from what I believe Mr. Obama’s philosophy seems to be.

My belief:

Humans are born as innocent children. These children learn quickly how to manipulate, cheat, and deceive. Seriously, the first truth a newborn learns is – “if I cry, I will be fed”.

You can see how we quickly learn to manipulate and influence the actions of others. We enjoy this manipulation and, generally speaking, if there was no discipline for breaking rules, we would all likely enjoy breaking them.

Rules however are necessary to a civil society.

As we grow, we learn that good choices will bring good consequences; while bad choices will bring unhappy consequences. (Touching a hot stove, for instance) This helps us learn that PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY is the key to our happiness – not anyone else. That knowledge helps us WANT to be good and we make choices accordingly.

My belief: Good choice = good consequence = personal empowerment

Obama’s belief (based on what he’s said and done):

Humans are born as innocent children. Everyone is good, and government knows how to care for everyone. Mr Obama thinks that government makes better teachers, managers, and parents. He seems to believe that rules are restrictions to who we are, and that if “I want it” then “I should have it”.

Our president believes that when someone makes a bad choice it is an indication that society failed this person. (In Obama’s belief system touching a hot stove would lead to a lawsuit against the stove company, which would then require all stoves to be locked until dinner, at which time children would not legally be allowed in the kitchen)

Mr. Obama believes society is to blame for hatred, poverty, and crime. He believes that if government legislates the way we speak to, speak of, and treat each other that we will all be equal, that it will all be fair, and that there will be no hatred, poverty or crime. In reality, this philosophy does exactly the opposite. Government takes away any reason to be good on our own, and therefore punishes ALL of us when ONE of us does something bad.

Obama’s belief: Bad choice = bad society = government empowerment

With that groundwork laid, please read why I believe these mass school shootings keep happening and how it relates to bad leadership which has influenced individuals in our society.

There are evil people who act in evil ways. When people don’t care about right or wrong, then wrong choices are right. When government is responsible for teaching what is right and wrong – based on the philosophy above – then evil people with evil intentions do evil acts. On the other hand, when morality is based on religious philosophy such as The Ten Commandments, people are empowered to govern themselves correctly.

Years ago government began changing the moral compass of our nation. We began to take a path toward political correctness instead of moral correctness. Schools were no longer allowed to use the word God. Then, we could no longer pray at school assemblies and sporting events. Teachers were instructed to stop teaching virtues such as humility, integrity, accountability, and faith. Children don’t even pledge allegiance to the flag of the nation who gives them the very freedoms they no longer see as important.

We’re at a point today where a 12 year-old girl can’t be given an aspirin by the school nurse without a parent’s permission, but the same girl CAN be taken to an abortion clinic without parental permission. RIDICULOUS!

And while we’re talking about morals – what does legal abortion teach our children? (Let’s face it, Planned Parenthood IS NOT an organization that has any interest in empowering women. They MAKE MONEY from abortions. Why would they ever suggest a different solution to a woman faced with a difficult choice?)

Abortion is violence. Unwanted pregnancy? Destroy the “problem”. Kill a fetus so YOU can be rid of something you don’t want. Planned Parenthood teaches that an unwanted pregnancy is an enemy to happiness and an inconvenience. Once it’s gone, all will be well – you’ll have a better life. TAKE A LIFE TO HAVE THE LIFE YOU WANT.

Currently, our government FUNDS this organization, which is under investigation for selling human body parts. This is a travesty, Our leader, Mr. Obama has praised this organization – even saying “Thank God for Planned Parenthood”. Thank GOD? Are you serious? God has NOTHING to do with Planned Parenthood, and neither should our government. Bad leadership run amok!

Is it any wonder why young men who are on the fringe of society, and who have few friends, and who feel that society has in some way wronged them, choose to destroy other human beings that belong to that society? They have been taught that violence is the answer. TAKE A LIFE TO HAVE THE LIFE YOU WANT. A woman has the right to choose murder – why shouldn’t a man?

Mass shooters want to win. To them, that means “take as many people with you on the way out”. This is how they go from being unknown and faceless one day, to becoming famous the next. Violence and murder give them the life they want. And when our leader will blame their act on the inanimate object they used to commit the crime, instead of calling attention to the evil, cowardly person they were, that’s icing on the cake! Their legacy will leave a country more and more divided.

Then the president goes on television to blame society for one man’s heinous act. Not one mention is given to the brave men and women of law enforcement who brought the carnage to a halt. Why would he give them credit? Police officers are all part of the bad society that creates more bad people because of their brutality. That is the mindset of our president.

Should there be more stringent gun regulation?

In my opinion, there should be more responsible gun owners. In almost every case of a school mass shooting, the ONLY reason the evil cowards were stopped was because the police showed up with guns. It took a few good guys armed with legal weapons to stop evil people from killing more.

Gun-free zones are exactly the places where the evil cowards will go for their violent and murderous acts because they will encounter NO resistance. The students in schools are sitting ducks. There would be fewer mass shootings in schools if there were more guns in schools. I’m not suggesting that students are armed, but security guards should be, and there should be more security guards.

The next time President Obama sings his song of more gun regulation, I suggest someone ask him to take the guns from the security detail that protects him daily. Perhaps he’d then see what it’s like to live in the inner city of Chicago – his hometown – where gun laws are VERY strict yet the criminals have them – which accounts for the 2,322 gun deaths since January in Chicago. Innocent people cannot defend themselves. They are sitting ducks in a supposed “gun-free city”.

At its core, government is corrupt. The 2nd Amendment was put in place because of the fear of corrupt government. An armed citizenry would be able to protect themselves from a corrupt government.

There is no value system in our nation. Political correctness has all but removed the ability to teach values. Then we have young people who decide killing is the way to make a statement. We are to blame for electing leaders of our government who protect the rights of extremists who say, “Death to America and Israel” but ruin the livelihood of a baker who didn’t want to support a gay wedding. It’s insane!

And we wonder why this keeps happening? When you’ve been taught by teachers and government leaders that there is no God, no reason to be good for a better purpose, then why be good? Killing others will be your glory, not loving and serving others.

I would encourage you to consider who you’ve voted for in the last several elections. Have they brought a moral compass to our nation or have they deleted any moral compass we’ve ever had? Are they leading with true, exceptional principles, or are they found lacking those traits. Do our leaders unite people, or divide them? Do our leaders shift blame, and preach that ANYTHING is okay as long as it leads to the outcome they want?

My message may sound political. It may sound religious. It may even sound judgmental. No matter how you interpret it, this post is MY opinion and I own it! True leadership is important….no, it’s vital! YOU can make a difference. YOUR choices in the next election will matter. True leaders will engage in the process rather than try to politicize their agenda.

I invite you to weigh in whether you agree or disagree. Remember to communicate politely and with kindness.

Conversations that Heal has allowed me to guest post

Hello leaders!

My friend, Susan Jacobi has allowed me a guest post spot on her blog – Conversations that Heal.

Please read my post on her blog.  And remember, in the world of blogging, a comment on a post is like GOLD!  Please consider commenting and sharing with your friends!

Happy BLUE FRIDAY!  GO HAWKS!

Service is the Best Medicine – Reason #6

The Unlimited Love Institute researched the question: “Does the unselfish love of others contribute to the happiness, health and resilience of those who give it?”

They discovered the answer is YES!  They report:

“….Contributing to the lives of others allows those who love their neighbor to flourish by living an active life free from preoccupation with the self…self destructive emotions, lack of purpose, loneliness or isolation”.

The Jewish philosopher Martin Buber noted, “…We can pretend that we are the center of the universe, and fail; …or we can relate to others in love and respect.”

In my book, I testify using personal experience how SERVICE and LOVE kept me alive!  Service was a medicine that healed.

Martin Luther King Jr. noted, “Everybody can be great….because anybody can serve.  You don’t have to have a college degree to serve.  You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve.  You only need a heart full of grace.  A soul generated by love.”

If you appreciate the sentiments of the Unlimited Love Institute, Martin Buber and Martin Luther King, Jr., then you will LOVE chapter four in my book, SELF Centered Leadership.

It is now for sale on Amazon and CreateSpaceIf you want to serve others, please purchase my book at www.smile.amazon.com and choose the charity Oral Cancer Cause, and Amazon will donate 5% of your purchase to this worthy foundation that helps cancer patients during treatment.

You will see that service truly is the best medicine!

Reason #16 for reading SELF Centered Leadership

This time of year, we are more familiar with CHARITY.  We see examples of people doing good deeds for others unselfishly and anonymously.  I think these charitable acts inspire the “spirit” of Christmas that we often hear about, and look so forward to feeling.

How do we have that charitable, brotherly love?

In my book, SELF Centered Leadership, I spend am entire chapter talking about love – charitable, brotherly love.  Wouldn’t it be great to feel that “spirit” all year long?

If you read my book, you’ll learn how!

SELF Centered Leadership: Becoming Influential, Intentional and Exceptional is available NOW on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.  Check it out!

After your purchase, be sure to write a review!  I want to know how the book influenced your SELF!

Please comment below with a experience you’ve had with charitable love – whether giving or receiving…..