Category Archives: Good Works

Stand By Me

This video, a cover of Stand by Me by Ben E. King brings both tears to my eyes and a smile to my face.

Musicians, literally from all over the world came together to produce this memorable tune and videos.  The organization, Playing for Change, is a “group of artists and inspired people who have come together to connect the world through music.”

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Dr. Seuss

I was reminded of the joy of the words of Dr. Seuss the other morning, when my teen daughter came downstairs wearing a t-shirt with one of his quotes.  It’s been too many days now, I couldn’t tell you the quote without asking her to produce the shirt for me to read.

When my children were young, I read Doctor Seuss books to them all the time.  Over and over, as children love the repetition.  I’m certain I enjoyed the words and the experience of reading as much as my kids did, as the author was positive, witty, and inspiring.  Valuable words for both young and old.

Let me share some of his good words:

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

“And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed!”

“If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good”

“From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.” (one of my favorites)

If you have any thoughts
Or words you would share
Just add them to comments
Just add them right there

Yes We Can!

As I perused my ballot, two large pages, heavy in text on both sides, I felt the significance and history of the moment. Leaving the polling place on a golden fall morning, the honor and privilege to be able to vote was on my mind.

By 7:30 on a pleasant fall evening, the television was tuned to the election returns, with the expectation of a long evening laying ahead.  As I emailed my son in Pittsburgh, the computers and pollsters projected an Obama victory in his now home state of Pennsylvania.  Then Candidate Obama was one step closer.  A hour later, Ohio went the same way.

By 11pm, Senator McCain was calling President Elect Obama, and graciously speaking to his hard working supporters and a watching nation.  Finally, around midnight, Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States spoke to the world.

There were few dry eyes in that Grant Park crowd, these eyes are not dry even as I write this, while listening to portions of his speech on the morning news.

“Yes we can!”

Yes. We can move forward undivided. Yes, we can have hope for our future and the future of our children. We can elect a black man to the highest office in these United States.

“Yes we can!”

Invocation

In a similar post to this one, Paula Reed posted the video of the minister at her church, Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, CO, delivering an invocation at a Barack Obama campaign event in her town.

From that prayer:

All the great traditions – Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism – teach that we are all connected to each other. They teach us that we best demonstrate our religious faith by showing compassion for one another. If we are to be faithful, we are to help one another, we will work for justice, we will work for peace.
When God works through us, we will marginalize no one.
When we are truly faithful we will see that religion is what ties us together. Any faith that divides us, that creates enemies, that preaches hatred, is false.

I don’t wear religion on my sleeve and don’t desire to preach, but this makes sense to me. Religion and faith are a part of the thread that connect all people.

It is my hope and prayer that the future leader of this nation (and of all nations), will lead us in this direction.  Away from hatred and disconnection.

A Visit From Ike

On Sunday afternoon, Hurricane Ike paid the Cincinnati area a surprise visit on his way toward the northeast. Although decidedly not the Ike that devastated parts of Texas, this boy still had legs when he reached Ohio.  The region saw winds in excess of 75 miles per hour, meaning that Ike was still a Category 1 hurricane.  The winds were surprising strong and destructive, whipping trees and power lines for about three hours.

By 9pm Sunday evening, 1.2 million customers in the Cincinnati metro area were without power.  According to Duke Energy, that was 90% of their customers in this region.

Around 3pm, I watched the electric and phone lines behind my house suddenly bounce and swing rapidly.  Three houses up, a limb had fallen directly on the lines, pulling them to the ground, along with the electric service wires to my neighbors’ homes.  Needless to say, that did us in also.

The limb remains fallen on the lines at this hour, as the crews have been unable work on it just yet. My home, like many still in the Cincinnati area are without power.  Repair is not expected for several days yet.  All is not lost, however.  Our good fortune is that our neighbor on the south side has electricity.  With a heavy duty 100 foot extension cord, my family has a working fridge and a single light in the kitchen.  Thank you Amy and TR!!

It seems like a long time without power, but my praise goes out to the hard working men and women on line crews out there 16 hours a day, sleeping 8, and then doing it again.  There are hundreds of thousands of people waiting, and they’ll get here as best they can.  The task has to be daunting.

You can read more from The Cincinnati Enquirer.  (You’ll have to make up your age, gender, and zip though.)  Here’s a page from a local TV station, WCPO.

And now, I’m leaving my electrified office for the electric-free residence.

It’s A New World

Back in July 2008, about 100 of us singers in the community joined together to create the video below.  The song, It’s a New World, was written by two guys incarcerated in Warren Correctional Institute near Lebanon, Ohio.

The video, which is a little over 9 minutes in length, features a diverse group of Cincinnati singers; children and adults, from various ethnic backgrounds, lifestyles, and beliefs.  We came together to make beautiful music to help bring needed change in this country.  The video contains words from Barack Obama, but regardless of your political choices, enjoy the music.

Oh, by the way, you can find me in some of the footage from 2:10 to 3:12.  That’s me, wearing a black t-shirt with Voices of Freedom (my choir) singing away and clapping my hands.

It’s a new world!

Thank You. I Accept.

On Thursday, August 28, 2008, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois accepted the nomination of the Democratic Party to be their candidate for President of the United States.

On that momentous occasion of being the first black man in the history of America to run for the Presidency of the United States of America, Senator Obama gave the speech of his life.

Last night Barack Obama won my vote. His speech told me all that I needed to know about the man and what he stands for. His speech reached inside me like few others have, in that he spoke to what I believe in.

Our nation has needed this type of oratory for a long time. Inspiration! Belief in country (it’s no surprise that my friend, Paula Reed, who was fortunate enough to attend this speech, cried at the Pledge of Allegiance).

His speech was powerful. Strong.  Inspiring! And should strike a chord with any citizen who believes in this nation.