Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day - A Personal Perspective

I joined the Air Force in 1971 -- graduated from high school in May, and entered basic training on September 13th. It would be a few years before Vietnam wound down.  They taught us how to run and climb, how to shoot, how wear gas masks. We knew that we were in the military and might have to fight, but the overwhelming feeling was that odds are we wouldn't -- especially in my career field -- so we could concentrate on getting our education, racking up some GI bill and having a life. But we drilled, we served, we prepared, we supported, all through my 20 years.  Less than a year before I retired, the first Gulf War broke out. Certain career fields were held up; retirements / leaves were cancelled. Depending on the career field, some people were even pulled back into service after discharge.  I retired on schedule.

Today when people join the military -- especially the Army and Marine Corps -- I don't believe there's that kind of delusion because these two services are first line of defense. If there's "stuff" going on... when they join,  they pretty much know they're going to see some combat time.  Such is the case with my oldest son, Kelvin.  He joined the Army in January of 2002 -- less than 4 months after 9/11. Since then he's done two tours in Iraq, and is now serving in Afghanistan. I said initially that he didn't know what he was getting himself into, but he's re-enlisted twice so far, and clearly there was no doubt what the score was when he re-enlisted each time, and he still made that choice.  I don't tell him often enough, but I have immense pride and respect for him. I love you, son, and I'm proud of you.

My baby boy, Michael, joined the Navy in May of 2004. For sure, he had a whole different mind set than Kelvin, Jr.  Michael went in the Navy to grow up... and he's done a lot of that. I'm pretty sure that war zones weren't on his mind at the time, especially since his initial assignment was two years on land in Italy. But he re-enlisted, too. And now he's assigned to one of the Navy's most advanced warships -- a guided missile destroyer. He was on the crew that took it from Bath, ME to commissioning and now officially operational and preparing for it's true mission. So in a couple of months, he'll probably be in one of those zones. It's been interesting watching him grow from the pig-headed teenager into the military man he is today. He complains a bit more than Kelvin Jr, but when it's time to get the job done... he's all Navy. I don't tell him often enough, but I have immense pride and respect for him. I love you, son, and I'm proud of you.

We all need to have tremendous pride and respect  for anyone who joins any branch of the military today. There's no draft, so everyone who goes in, goes in on purpose.  And everyone who stays in, stays in on purpose. There are many among us who would not take up the challenge and the risk of being a military member, but we all benefit from the dedication and sacrifice of the ones who do.

When you see a military person, say "thank you" like you mean it -- he or she is a VOLUNTEER.  They don't have to be there; they don't have to stay, but they do. They know what the score is, and they do it anyway. And regardless of what you think of the war, you should have pride, and respect and gratitude... for the military man and woman who was -- and is -- willing to voluntarily fight it.

When you make out your gratitude list tonight... be sure to include them on it.

Have an awesome day.

Kelvin P. Ringold, Sr, MSgt, USAF, Retired
Proud & Grateful Parent of TWO Military Men

Thursday, May 20, 2010

It's What's Inside!

Recently, I spent over 13 hours with Dr. Wayne Dyer -- not in person, but it may as well have been. Mother's Day weekend, I drove the 13+ hours round trip to visit my mom in Maryland, and stayed to celebrate my oldest sister's birthday on Monday, and my mom's 82nd birthday on Tuesday. On the drive I listened to Dr. Dyer's The Secrets to Manifesting Your Destiny CD set.

A lot of things caught my attention, but one of the 9 steps he spoke of was developing unconditional love, and after listening to him, I conclude that very few people on the planet are really acquainted with unconditional love -- on either the giving or receiving end. I consider myself to be a very loving person... but I discovered I've got some distance to travel.

He used the metaphor of a simple orange: "When you squeeze an orange, what happens?" You get orange juice.  If you squeeze it hard or soft or with various instruments or devices, does it change?" No; you still get orange juice.  "How about if it's hot or if it's cold when you squeeze it?" No difference... it's always orange juice. "Okay, but I squeeze if versus YOU squeezing it, what then?"  You still get orange juice, because that's what's inside.

So it is, he explained, with unconditional love. Unconditional love exists without condition, or return, and is independent of life's circumstances. If you're the orange and someone squeezes you in a negative way, what comes out of you? If someone we're dealing with is kind to us it's easy to love, but when they're not... does our orange juice turn sour?

When life squeezes us, what comes out? Hate, anger, distrust?  Doubt, fear, uncertainty? Whatever is inside of us at the core -- at least me -- is what comes out when we get squeezed and as nice as I (think I) am, some days I'm much better than others. If we need some role models, Dr. Dyer presented some powerful examples of people who -- when squeezed hardest -- their unconditional love came out: Jesus, Ghandi, Buddha, Mother Teresa... and more.

And insofar as our destiny is concerned... the point he was made was that these negative emotions and feelings -- this orange juice -- sets up a vibration that blocks the abundance and good fortune we seek in our lives, and as the law of attraction goes, we attract what we focus on and have the most energy / emotion for.

What is coming into your life right now? Whatever it is, is being brought to you by your thoughts and your emotions and by what's inside.  If you're happy with that, you're in good shape. If you're not... maybe some introspection is in order.

The quality of my orange juice isn't as consistent as I'd like it to be, so I'll be working on me even more. I'm a work in progress -- so, don't squeeze me too hard just yet.

Have an awesome day.


In this groundbreaking audio program there’s an amazing, ancient 20-minute technique that will enable you to create anything you want in life, whether it’s love, money, improved health, a better job, or anything else you want or need.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Develop an Appreciation

Develop an appreciation for all facets in your life -- even the stuff you now consider as crap / garbage / hassle. It is all there to teach you something.  To the extent you absorb the lessons, your life will be enhanced.  Accept your lessons with gratitude, and you will master your life.

Have an awesome day.