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(Nicholasville, KY)

No, this is not the tree of life. but it was a good sunset.

As the sun sets on another day I talked to one of my good friends and considered the paths we make and how we build our tree of life. In "A Christmas Carol" Marley tells Scrooge that we forge the chains of our selfishness as we go through life. According to Dickens mankind should be our business and the common welfare of all our goal. In my opinion doing good builds our tree of life.  Now, I am not one to say "bring in the communism and lets share it all", but there are some things we can do each day to make our lives better and better the lives of others (In my opinion):

  • Say hello to everyone you can, and mean it (Anything less is a waste of time, and "hello, how are you" is about like saying "I know you are there but I don't care and was not listening anyway" Ask and listen, and if you do not have time, move on.)
  • Treat people in the service industries better than anyone (Buy a policeman a lunch, when you sit down and eat, treat your waiter or waitress like a person, smile, and speak their name)
  • Help the elderly (After I got my physical today I stopped and helped an elderly lady out of her car, to get her cane, and offered her my umbrella, yes I may be over the top, but you should do the same every opportunity you have)
  • Be there for children (No I do not mean do everything they want, that is silly, instead help them learn and grow as you learn and grow. Sometimes you will have to steer and tack, but that is how life is, the rules change, help them understand such)
  • Smile inside (If you are smiling inside, the world will know it. I have been guilty sometimes lately of not being myself, that will change not because the pain goes away, or the situation changes, but because I can rise above. You should too)
  • Give to others as you can. (There are some people I would give my life for, and some I would not, but I will give as needed. Make sure you do right for yourself though, giving money to that person on the side of the road may not be the right gift. I was stopped by a man who said he was hungry once. I walked into a sub shop, got him a sub, and took it out to him, he threw it on the ground and said he wanted money, watch for those people you should help, and those that are just out for themselves. Another time I took a pizza to a homeless woman in Philadelphia, she cried and hugged me, these are the people who need you.)

This list is not all inclusive, (lol) it is just a start. We should all add to it each and every day. Got a story or a thought to add, send it to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will try to add t sometime.

My point to today, we build a tree based on our lives, we branch out to so many people and in the end, we are at the root of it all. If we have strong roots we can weather any storm. If we prune or trim our tree, it can be either good or bad. Believe in yourself (It all starts at the core), believe in the ones you love (You see them as your world), believe in the ones who love you (They see you as their world and believe in you), and be happy. 

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The sun sets on another day and while it set I went to see a new movie. (And of course the clouds made the sunset a little off today).

Minor spoiler if you are going to see “Spectre”.

You know, many people walk into a movie and see just the surface. Some walk in and see a few stories, but there are usually several going on at the same time. In the movie “Spectre” we once again have James Bond returning to save us all from ourselves. He is saving us from our dependence on technology this time, or at least saving us from being watched every moment by bad guys and thugs. Sounds easy and fun, but as I watched I saw a more intense story was about fear, life, selfishness, and unselfishness.

Fear is one of the most impressive motivators in our world. More people do things out of fear than any other emotion in my opinion. I wish it were different, but many of the decisions we make are motivated by fear, from wearing a seatbelt, to how we deal with our decisions. (Years ago I had a fear of heights, with that fear I decided I would be done with it, and went to the top story of a hotel and hung over the balcony until that silliness was gone.) We fear the unknown and as often fear ourselves. In the movie, Bond’s fear is minimal, as he is driven by two very powerful emotions, loyalty and love. (Bond, love? Say it is not so, but it is!) I will tie this together in a moment.

Of all the Bond movies this one speaks to life more than most. Daniel Craig did a great job of acting, even though he did not seem to have as much fun as in previous movies (Bad script or sad actor I am not sure). In this movie he finds a father whose only concern is for his daughter. (Those of you without daughters, well, you just won’t get it as much) The father lived only for the daughter, and the daughter did not love him as she should.  At the same time we learn that all of Bond’s pain in his life was from a pseudo sibling, and as such we learn how he sees the world as he does. Loyal to no end and always looking for the love he has never been able to hold.

As Bond was looking for love, our selfish character sought only vengeance. Vengeance is a tricky thing. It feeds upon itself unless the user is righteous. In this movie, the user was not and sought only to destroy Bonds possibility at happiness. Some gruesome ideas that would make the creators of “Saw” cringe follow, however the endgame of our villain is simple, take over the world (Duh, it is Bond) and make James Bond suffer more than any man.

Many of us think we are unselfish. (Even me sometimes) Here is where the movie hits home. The problem is sometimes people do not see the forest through the trees. A father gives his money his whole life to his children. A family works at a soup kitchen for Thanksgiving. A mother gives up happiness to quell a child.  All these can be unselfish, but can also be driven by fear, or misunderstanding of the best path, or worse, selfish needs that are not immediately evident. Instead consider A father gives his money his whole life to his children and in the process feels unselfish, but did not give them the love they needed. A family works at a soup kitchen for Thanksgiving, so they can be recognized but do not see the pain of those they serve beyond that day. A mother gives up happiness to quell a child, but does not see the long term damage it does to herself and the child. In our movie, it is my opinion Bond became the unselfish person he needs to be by seeing that love should always be the driving force in our lives. At one point in the movie he realizes there can be no passion greater than what he feels with the woman he is with, and at that point she feels the same. There is no more pure honesty in their actions than their utter passion for each other. (Remember, in my opinion, life without passion is not a good thing at all) When the villain tries to take this away, there is no way it can be done (Medically or otherwise) and finally when Bond is faced with a choice, he chooses his love and passion over all else and comes to terms with the fact (yes fact) that true love between 2 people finds a way. 

So, sappy love story? No, or maybe only to me. Lovey dovey story that pushes you to the edge, nope. Good movie. Absolutely, but we know most people will walk into this movie and see the top level, action, excitement, fun toys and of course an Aston Martin DB10. When you consider the movie, and as you consider the beauty of the sunset, take a moment and consider just how great life is when filled with passion, love, and the myriad of colorful days it brings us. Every day there are better reasons to love if we open our eyes and see them, no matter what.

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As the sun sets on this long ago day I consider the bridges we build and destroy in life.

Sometimes we need to listen and build a bridge to ourselves to see truth. I have a close friend, Gary, that has been walking with me for the last several days "virtually" as I take pictures of the sunsets. He has acted as a sounding board and let me see a few things I needed to see. There may be a plan for us all, but it has to include love and passion each day. Gary is blessed to have a wonderful wife who completes him in every way. Each day she wakes and writes him a note, sets up things for his day and is there for him no matter what. He too, is there for her and he tries to inspire and excite his life every day. The words "No Matter What" echo in my mind as we speak, as he is hers forever, with no doubt, and she his. There is no greater truth I know than the truth of love, and the bridge true love builds that both feel unconditionally, cannot be destroyed. Pray for this type of love each day, and as you watch the sun set, know there is at least 1 couple out there that have it, live it and know it.

Smile and be happy, life is worth living each day.

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A wonderful friend sent me today's topic and after looking into the source, it is from John Lennon. This got me to reading a lot of what John Lennon had to say, and it was pretty enlightening. I am kinda surprises I had never gone into all his thoughts before, but now it is an exciting new perspective.

The sun set on another day today, and it was an almost amazing sunset again, with cloud cover on the horizon that stole the best view at the instant it would have been just perfect. The quote I was sent fits right in with today's sunset:

"There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life"

There are so many versions of this simple truth it boggles the mind. If we live in fear, we cannot live a fulfilled life. Fear of the unknown comes to the top of the list. If we live and honor love, we can change the world int a better place. So today, as the sun sets, consider your fears, you fear of change, of making a mistake, of disappointing someone, or the myriad of other fears that float around, and instead grab your passion, hold on, and change the world.