Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lose It All - So You Can Have It All

My words today are about my personal life as well as politics and my vision as to how to revive our country.

There are many facets to a diamond, many angles and ways in which light reflects through it to produce a single diamond. Today I am looking at just one of those facets of my life. It is not the entire diamond, but just one of the parts of who I am.

It is my belief that when a person (myself included) gets caught up in the perfect house, the nice car, the great neighborhood, busy working extra hours to pay for it all, finding you need to send your wife off to work to help pay for it all.. you begin to get consumed by it all.

You may still go to church, still seem to have all your beliefs in place. But are you? Have you compromised going to your daughter’s swimming event so you can get some overtime? Did you drop another $1000 on a credit card so you can have all the fancy new technology for your kid for Christmas? Are you working 40 hours of the week just to pay your payments and overtime is the only time you have any breathing room to pay off debt or most likely… to burn on entertainment to make the stress go away?

Well, I am here to tell you that the stress and pain of living that life can go away. But you have to go through a furnace first and burn away all that poison that is stealing the joy of life from you.

We never had to claim Bankruptcy because I was able to get a job working in Baghdad as a contractor and that was great money. A year and a half of bashing away at debt kept us from that fate. But it was close and there was a great deal of pain involved in digging out of that hole. It forced a re-prioritizing of our lives.

Compound the issue of being away from my family for 1 ½ years in order to help dig my family out of that hole, I was also mentored in an amazing program to teach me financial responsibility and life training in character and integrity.

I don’t know what your bottom is, but I hit mine and it’s what was needed for the scales and illusions of the ‘perfect life’ to fall from my eyes and let me see me and the world around me clearly for the first time.

My master was debt and feeling I had to keep pushing that perfect life further and further with 0% down, 24 months same as cash.

What is your master? Having the perfect life? Alcohol? Fishing? Softball? Something else?

I am not claiming that every illusion, every problem, every hang-up in my life has been purged from me. But to this point there is nothing I am knowingly holding on to as my own.

When you recover, and realize that even if you lose everything again, you know that you can survive and it will make your stronger and those around you will become more dear and important to you. The fear no longer controls you, manipulates you, and leverages you into being the person you don’t want to be.

That concludes the part about my personal life.

As it applies to politics I believe we as a country must also hit a Bankruptcy (obviously that will financially happen now), but not financially… ethically.

We as a people have filed our government in an ethical bankruptcy case. We have discovered no character and no integrity in our government. We have discovered corruption from Village, Town, City, County, State and Federal levels.

We are at our Countries bottom and we have a choice as a people. Will we endure the pain of the fire? Will we become uncomfortable and take action to dig out of this problem? We have a mountain of ethical debt that seems overwhelming in our ability as a country to climb out of.

The other choice?  Do nothing and watch the world around you crumble into ruin.  Me; I choose to become part of the sollution, and not a part of the problem.

My solution is to start with ourselves. Purge every action and thought in your life that calls into question your character and integrity. Do you take shortcuts at work to save money at the expense of quality or the customer? Do you deceive your wife by dropping by the pub on your way home for a drink with the guys and a good flirt with the waitress? Do you choose the softball game in the evenings over time with your kids at home? Do you choose that booze in the bottle and make it the thing you put most important in your life?

To save yourself, you must lose yourself.

Stop having your life be about yourself; my perfect life, my bottle, my softball, my feeling good. Stop having your life be about yourself; turn your attention on others. Turn your attention on serving your wife, your children, and the people in your community.

How about wash those dishes without being asked? Fold that load of laundry you know are in the drier instead of going to that softball game? Ask your son to go play catch in the yard before he asks you. Mow your neighbor’s lawn while they are out grocery shopping and slip away without letting them know it was you.

If you can tackle this in your family life and with your neighbors.. then run for the board of your town or city. Continue in the same fashion. Serve. Put people before yourself. Help people learn to stand on their own and make an earning to provide for their families. Cut taxes so people can pay their bills and expand their businesses and hire more people. Cut programs that government has no business being a part of. Trim back your local government like you have learned to do with your family. If you don’t have the money in the budget; then you don’t do it. You put money into savings, you plan for a rainy day and you get completely out of debt. Your town will flourish and so will you because you have put others ahead of yourself.

If you can tackle the local posts, become involved with State positions. This still doesn’t get complicated. Run the State like you run your family. Put others before yourself, keep within your budget, don’t waste other people’s money. And uphold the laws and ethics.

If you can tackle the State posts, become involved in Federal positions. This still doesn’t get complicated. Run the Federal like you run your family.

I think you can see the pattern here.

Yes, we must point out corruption and tyranical leadership where we see it.  But that will not fix the problem.  We must replace those people with people that are not self-seeking power whores.

If you do not see anyone you feel you can support in an election, maybe that means that you need to run for the position.

Here in Arizona the Senate race looks like I'm going to have two choices. Senator John McCain, or J.D. Hayworth.  Again, another election where I have to decide on bad, and worse.

I think it's time to take my own advice.  Got my family in order?  Got my community in order?  Perhaps it will take us a long time to make a dramatic improvement across the country, but if everyone is doing this I believe the compound effect of our lives will create a tidal wave of ethical recovery in the country.

Join me, fall on our knees and get our personal lives in order.  Then stand up with confidence and humility to help those around us.  Let us lead by example and reclaim this dying country.

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