Archive for November, 2010

Despite the first four letters of what we cherish, but sometimes take for granted, freedom comes with a price. We don’t necessarily see the bill, but the soldier does. Valiantly, such warriors leave behind friends and loved ones to help pay for our liberation not knowing when or if they’ll be reunited. They are fortified by training most outsiders would view as callous punishment. Their comfort and lives are essentially placed on hold until their duty has been served. As we go on, they shoulder the burdens of our gift of freedom. And for some of those who manage to return home alive, they find it hard to come to grips with the contrast of reality. Who they become after their service to this country is often very different from the person they once were. Yet, we go on. Unlike them, we are not plagued by the memory of their difficult tasks, sights of devastation and the first-hand brushes with war and death.

Their bravery and dedication has preserved our freedom to this very day. Sometimes this fact is obscured by our daily obligations, but it remains true. I am thoroughly grateful for the sacrifices our veterans have made to honor and protect this country. All things considered, a simple thank you doesn’t seem like enough. I believe one of the best ways to honor those who are fighting, have fought or died for liberty is to do something honorable with it. Take the opportunity to learn and grow—something many people in the world still don’t have the right to do. Build a legacy that will last longer than this fleeting moment in time. In doing so, you will prove that you can follow the example of our heroic veterans and that just because something is difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You have the freedom to at least try.


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Looking Within

Long ago, I thought growing up meant having to forsake my childhood. The prospect seemed depressing and I found myself longing to grasp the philosophy of Peter Pan. The progression of age often carries the oppressing weight of responsibility. It is a shackle that binds many adults to the rigid pavement of maturity. It rarely permits one to fly with their imagination, but even when it does, there are restrictions. Over the years certain events forced me to regress inward. During this time I figured: An adult is a child with years of experience. Looking deeper, I discovered something. Much to my amazement, I discovered that the child was still there, nestled within the hardened chamber of my heart. I had constructed a safe haven for her, a place where she could be sheltered from the harsh weather of the world. Yet in my pursuit to protect something dear, I’ve unintentionally imprisoned it. What good does it bring to keep something so precious locked away indefinitely? It takes courage to release my protective control. I pause with apprehension as I take the chain into my hands and undo the lock. Like a firebird my wild creativity soars, no longer bound by hesitation, doubt or fear of rejection.

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Not all people care for fiction. Some feel it’s a waste of their time since it’s usually based on the surreal or events that haven’t actually happened. However, that doesn’t make this form of writing frivolous or any less significant. Fiction often defies the restrictive boundaries of the world as we know it and often provides us with an excuse to dream, hope and wonder. When preoccupied with the hectic happenings of reality it’s easy to forget that some of the most innovative ideas were birthed from works of fiction. It allows us to stretch our imaginations far beyond the established rules of practicality. Some view fiction as a lie, but in some cases, I view it as a truth that has yet to come to pass. In some cases, it is a daring glimpse into future possibilities. This can be a frightening prospect to behold, but it can be just as rewarding if we only dare to look.

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