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Archive for the ‘Intelligence’ Category

Jefferson Memorial by MShades on Flickr

Jefferson Memorial by MShades on Flickr

I am sure that the blogosphere is just flooded this week in posts about Obama, but how can we help ourselves? I didn’t get to see his speech at the time he made it, but I watched it online when I got home from work. Fantastic. We don’t currently have a working television in our home, but I would be tempted to set one up JUST to watch this guy lead our country.

Throughout my life, I have always had a disdain for politics. Not because I didn’t like it or didn’t believe in what politics meant, but because it was just NEVER RIGHT. It never fit my ideal of what it is supposed to be and it was just too disappointing to watch or get into it.

When I was about fifteen, I saw the movie, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” and I cried. I cried because I knew that was what we as a country wanted for ourselves and we could never find it. Our country’s ideals are just so beautiful and they’ve laid fallow in a wasteland of greed and “what’s in it for me?” for so long that we have forgotten what we stand for. This Spring, I was in Washington DC for the Cherry Festival and I read the walls in the Jefferson Memorial. At the time, Obama was fighting for his nomination for Presidency with Hillary Clinton and I was moved by these words:

“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

Here we had two very pioneering people (Hillary and Obama) pushing our nation to change it ways. Change was inevitable.

I guess what it comes down to with my ideal version of government is HOW WE LEAD. Where are we going? For so long now, so long that the grounds between the Capitol and the Washington Monument were filled during the Inauguration Speech…for so long now, we have been lost as a nation. In the past, our leaders have been chosen for reasons other than what is truly leadership. A handshake here, a promise there….B-O-R-I-N-G! More than just boring and uninspiring, but downright detrimental to who we have become. Our choice of leadership is a token representation of who we ARE as a nation. And who have we been? If you stop and think about it, have we even been conscious of it… EVER? Not in my lifetime. Not until Obama. Obama brings us back. He asks us to wake up and take a direction. He inspires all of us to take a look in our own lives to where we are going because that is only a microcosm of where we are going as a people. As a nation. Yeah, I am proud. If that man who stood on those hallowed grounds yesterday and spoke with such reverence to our nation is a chosen representative for our people, I am proud of us. We are strong and we are a beautiful nation and I am happy to be a part of it. Thank you, Obama, for helping us see ourselves better and for leading us back to our goal.

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It seems that just about everywhere you look these days, they are lowering the bar. Maybe not in words, but most certainly the bar has been lowered in many ways in today’s society. It is a human tradgedy, in my humble opinion. The bar has been lowered so that everyone still feels good. It’s ridiculous. I think that many people just need a good swift kick in the pants!

I was fortunate enough last week to do an interview with a person who is very successful at my company. It was my first interview and I was not at all sure how it was going to go. I was very impressed. This person is quite young and has surpassed many people in his quest for success. His attitude and assumptions are very simple – He sets his goals high, he keeps track of them and he succeeds. He doesn’t compare himself to others, but rather looks only to meeting and exceeding his own goals. I learned a lot in that conversation.

A few weeks ago my daughter had a big project due in school, so we set aside some time over the weekend and did it. I was proud of her. I know that it wasn’t an easy project, but we made it fun and we did it together so we enjoyed it. She brought it to school a few days before it was due, so she had to set it in a pile to wait for the due date. When the due date finally arrived, they were all supposed to complete the project by presenting their project to the class. Well, the project was due last Friday so I asked my daughter how it went when I saw her again. Here is how it went:

“We didn’t do it,” she said.

“Why not?” I asked, incredulous.

“The teacher said that we aren’t doing it because a lot of the kids didn’t do it.”

“Whaatt?” I asked.

Yikes. What is going on? Why would a classroom teacher do such a thing? Why are the ones who do the work getting punished? This is not just in a child’s classroom. It is everywhere. There is an expression called, “the dumbing down of America”. I think, in many ways, that it is true. Unfortunately. Crappy behavior goes virtually unnoticed and definitely unchecked.

But, guess what?

I am not dumb and neither are you. I, for one, refuse to cave. I loved the words of my colleague, who has never looked to others to determine how high his bar will stand. He pushes himself. You realize at some point in your life that you will really get nowhere if you look to others to compare. People who achieve great things don’t generally waste their time in comparison.

As a mother, I can only hope that my actions and attitudes with my daughter will somehow echo in her life enough to guide her in the right direction. We were both disappointed with the teacher’s decision, but we can still be proud that we worked hard and completed something. Every day, what pushes me to do my best is knowing that she is there watching me and may eventually behave as I do – good and bad. Someday she will be on her own and I hope that she will take pride in how she lives her life. That is all I ask. Just give her that one thing to live by.

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I caught a bit of the Beijing Summer Olympics on the television this morning. I am not typically an Olympics fan. I always saw it as a competition. “Who is winning?” people always ask when they gather to watch. All of that has never really appealed to me. But as I sat there watching the men’s volleyball match between Brazil and Russia, I saw another side of the Olympics.

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