Every day, people serve their neighbors and our nation in many different ways, from helping a child learn and easing the loneliness of those without a family to defending our freedom overseas. It is in this spirit of dedication to others and to our country that I believe service should be broadly and deeply encouraged. John McCain
Forty years ago, when I spent my nine weeks of training in Navy bootcamp, we were subjected to a process that converted young undisciplined civilians into a military unit. It was not without some individuals who resisted authority, discipline, and the team-building, but were not unsalvageable. Bootcamp had a “special” company, the purpose of which was to “help” adjust attitudes and the focus of Recruits who had such difficulties, by a regimen of additional exercise, training, and group motivation separate from their more readily-molded peers. For those who became humble to the goals of the Recruit Training process, “Pos-Mo“, Positive Motivation, was a tool that did not negatively impact their future Navy employment. Many became effective Sailors.
If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude. Colin Powell
The United States of America is, if you listen to its critics, pundits, and shrill voices in social media, coming apart at the seams. But the cloud of negative thinking that thunders out of car radios, social media, and pervades like-minded associations of people, is not universal. Rather, it is a shadow in an otherwise sunny landscape. But something negative we are exposed to daily takes a conscious life-change in perspective, a fresh, positive, mental discipline, and as I have learned, a devotion to something greater than the physical world.
This morning, Saturday, a group of friends, members of my church fellowship participated in an class that over the next several weeks will examine the Book of Acts. Our teacher is a well-known educator and theologian, whose work in apologetics has helped a wide audience. In a series of lessons we will refresh our appreciation of how faith in the resurrected Jesus, helped a small group of uneducated Aramaic-speaking Israelites, enabled by the Spirit of God, change the course of the world two thousand years ago. Modeled on the teachings of Jesus, this continues today. This positive reinforcement bears great dividends to those of us who are working to live out the teachings of Jesus, and for those who are desperately seeking relief from the constant negativity in society.
There are plenty of difficult obstacles in your path. Don’t allow yourself to become one of them. Ralph Marston