July 11, 2021
Good morning friends! I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the (nearly) middle of July! I went to bed late last Sunday night (July 4th), wondering what people were celebrating. Were they acknowledging the Independence of our great nation, or do they even know or care about the sacrifice so many Americans have made over the last 245 years. My observations, during both my law enforcement career and life experience, has revealed some interesting assessments about humanity. The virus lockdown of 2020 created additional complications in a variety of ways. I doubt many of these issues were expected or even thought about prior to the restrictions and mandates confining everyone to their homes. Humans are interesting creatures, often motivated by their own ego or desires; including greed, wealth or power. Attempting to decipher or explain their actions is still something the experts are trying to determine. My thought process on the subject kicked into high gear as I lay in bed listening to the noises in the darkness. I have no doubt there are some individuals that would benefit from a good history lesson. A dose of respect, humility and kindness wouldn’t hurt many of these same people. I keep hoping humans will come to their senses. I believe it’s possible to manifest my dreams into reality and change the world. It’s a great place to start, as long as you believe.
I spent the 4th of July weekend with my sister and brother in law. I’ve been using their home as my base of operations since I sold my home in SoCal. It’s always nice to enjoy holiday events with family, no matter what the celebration. Their dog is about 12 years old and they’ve had him nearly all his life. He was found roaming on a college campus. Their son brought him home when no one claimed him. He’s been part of the family ever since. It was easy to recognize from the start he was fearful and hesitant, especially with loud noises. He’s a lover and lap dog, in a big dogs body. Each time I visit, he’s always anxious to join me on my mat for morning yoga and stretching. If he isn’t in savasana or down dog, he’s doing his best to give me kisses or just stay as close as possible during my postures. It’s a collaboration and celebration of mindfulness for us both.
The morning of the 4th began like most days. Yoga, stretch and a work out for me. My sister began food prep for the day. My brother in law did some work outside. Their daughter had dropped off her cat days prior. She was headed out of town for the weekend. Their son and his girlfriend dropped off their dog Sunday morning; on their way to a wedding. We enjoyed the trio mixture of pets during the relaxing day. As daylight began to turn to twilight, it became readily evident it would a difficult evening for the animals. Sunset brought an array of explosions. Their home sits on a hillside in a residential area. Sounds from near and far seem to carry with the winds. They have been coping with issues of frightened animals for years. It never gets any easier. I suppose for them, and millions of other pet owners, you know it’s coming and prepare accordingly.
As darkness grew deeper, the sounds and explosions grew more intense. My career in law enforcement afforded me the ability to distinguish between the sound of firecrackers and gun shots. Needles to say, it was easy to recognize the gun fire that evening. The plentiful mix of firearms, blended with the many other noises that night. As the intensity increased, the dogs and cat cowered, while seeking safe haven inside the house. Their anxiety and fear was real and felt by all of us. My sister and brother in law were well prepared to deal with the situation. The pets were moved to their bedroom, where comfy beds, hemp treats and stress relieving music played. My sister has a special vest for their dog to wear during such occurrences. It was a long and loud night. The noises finally began to subside after 1am, although sounds were heard until 4am.
Here are my thoughts about what occurred in my state (California) and across the nation during the 4th of July weekend. Summer weather is in full swing. The water shortage in our state is reaching critical stages. The brush covered hillsides across our state are tinder dry. They could explode into flames with the smallest spark. Fireworks are illegal in many cities and counties throughout the state. Firing guns to “celebrate” anything is illegal. There have been mass media campaigns to deter both of these illegal activities. I doubt much of that had an effect on the lawless behavior this holiday weekend. Fireworks and fires were reported across the state. News stories of weekend violence were worse than I imagined. Media sources reported approximately 400 shootings, with about 150 killed across the United States. Many incidents occurred in Chicago, while major cities across the country (like Los Angeles and New York), experienced violent and deadly behavior. What is wrong with people in this nation? I don’t blame the violence on the pandemic, the lockdown or “rogue gun dealers.” The burden for this madness rests directly and solely on the unfit and misguided leadership of our nation. These one sided individuals have fueled and condoned this behavior over the last 18 months. I watched the President of the United States address the nation from the White House on Sunday. He stressed how he wants us to work “together” and knows we can. That’s wonderful, but what is his plan to unite Americans, instead of pushing them apart? Where is his support for law enforcement, police and first responders; instead of demoralizing, defunding and casting aspersions upon their actions and credibility? His actions and lack of concern (including other leaders like him), are solving nothing, while driving a division of fear and hate across America.
Political double talk, pointing fingers of blame at others and no plan of action to stop the violence, only leads our nation further down this sad path. Crimes go unpunished or unprosecuted. Criminals are released without bail or early from prison, only to become repeat offenders. Attacks on law enforcement officers, criminal activity and lawless behavior continues to increase daily. Where are our leaders? Why aren’t they making efforts to curtail the violence and craziness in our streets? Is America slowly being manipulated, divided and split apart by violence created by some of our own leaders? I hope we aren’t becoming like the pets we kept safe Sunday. We cower in fear from the threat of violence. Many are fearful of speaking our truth, so we won’t offend others. The liberal push to be “politically correct” in all we say and do is nuts. I am a firm believer in freedom, equality and fair treatment for all people. I’ve defended and lived by those words and our Constitution throughout my life and career. Freedom is the corner stone on what our nation is built upon. Being free doesn’t mean you can break the law or do whatever suits your needs. We are a free country, but that doesn’t mean everything is handed to you while you sit idly and complain. Living the American dream means working hard and putting in the effort, to turn your dreams into reality. Positive change occurs when you make the change to be a better human. Politicians using tax payer money to further their own agenda or power doesn’t help America. Actions of unscrupulous and arrogant leaders further divide and separate our population. They are driven by greed, corruption and control; to manipulate us for their personal gain and power.
This is the time to be concerned about freedom. We don’t want to lose it. Be respectful, have integrity and do the right thing. Be the positive change you want to see in our nation and the world. Be a great American first; and change the world. I don’t understand the arrogance of some individuals. Are these people so unhappy with themselves or life, that their displays have to be loud and obnoxious for the world to see. Maybe this behavior make them feel strong. All actions really do is to move them further away from society. It doesn’t heal them; or fill their void for love or happiness. It’s sad for everyone. I was happy to share our Independence Holiday with my family. I wish I could have done more to help with their pets. It’s sad knowing people, especially veterans; as well as pets and animals, suffer stress and anxiety from loud noises. These afflictions, created by a variety of reasons, are real and debilitating. Unfortunately, there are individuals in our world who don’t care about the welfare of others. Please don’t be that person. I’m responsible for myself. I do my best to be a good person and a good American. It’s time we all step up to assist each other and be better people. Challenge yourself to be the best possible version of you. You can achieve anything you desire, if you believe in yourself. It only works if you put in the effort and work every day to make your dreams reality. Show gratitude, humility and kindness to your fellow humans. Begin each day with a happy heart. Having compassion and tenderness doesn’t mean you’re weak. These are strengths; while positive affirmations reflect your passion and love for others, as well as yourself. Be the change! Follow your dreams. They know the way.
Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more! The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation. Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!
Thanks for your love and support! Embrace Life! Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!