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05/13/2010
IconSix days before Teanne Harris of Chicago was to walk down the aisle in a glorious white gown, her fiance called off the nuptials.When Harris and her mom went to the catering hall to cancel the reception, they were told that their deposit was nonrefundable.'Now, between being dumped at the altar and not getting her money back, I would expect a screaming meemee, locking herself in the bathroom, ripping up every picture of the two of them, screaming to all her friends, getting drunk, not showering - you know, the usual melodrama.Not Ms. Harris!' Leaving the catering hall, she noticed the Asbury Court Retirement Community across the street.' So, instead of letting her Halloween-themed wedding reception go to waste, she decided to move the party to the retirement home, where more than 300 residents attended the party.Harris had her bridal bouquet placed in the retirement home's chapel.'She also went on the Hawaii trip anyway...the trip that was meant to be her honeymoon.All I can say about this story is that she is a magnificent, spiritual human being, and the joker who left her did her a favor.' I'm sure she'll find a real man worthy of her mature and generous spirit. More >>

Tags: CharacterCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconTwo recent acts of bravery bring up a clear point:1.' A nine year old boy in a Southern town was in the passenger seat of his parents' car with three siblings all under the age of three in'the back.' His mother darted into a convenience store, and a huge man (who was lurking nearby) jumped into the driver's seat, i.e., it was a car-jacking in the works.' The nine year old had the courage and the presence of mind not to be "politically correct" which would have meant sitting quietly and obeying an adult.' Nope, not at all.' This kid grabbed the car keys and held them tight to his right side.' The would-be carjacker hit the boy's head against the passenger door in an attempt to get the keys, and failed as the boy was resolute.' As the boy said later, "I didn't want my family to be taken."' The car-jacker ran from the car, fell, and was apprehended by police who had been called from the convenience store.2.' A young female (of course I'm proud) civilian police officer stopped an Army officer from continuing his murders of Fort Hood soldiers by standing up to him and shooting him numerous times while being shot three times herself.' Unfortunately, except for military police (MPs) and civilian police, soldiers on a base do not carry weapons, and are, therefore, sitting ducks for the murderous rampage of "one of their own."' As it turns out, by all media reports, the history of this so-called American Army officer was clearly one of a terrorist.'There was a history of his radical Muslim ideology.' Reports against him had been made, but political correctness ruled the day.' Because he had worshipped at a mosque with a radical imam who allegedly had made contact with two of the 9/11 hijackers and had written on the Internet Muslim extremist comments (which, I understand, included a defense of suicide bombers), had tried to indoctrinate patients and his school mates even complained about the political leanings of his class assignments and so much more, was no reason, many authorities have said, to assume he was a home-grown terrorist.' That political correctness caused the death of 13 and serious injury to dozens.' Never mind the fear it has generated on bases around the country and the world where the bullet or bomb can come from the "inside."Instead of facing this threat (and please do remember the plots that were foiled against other military bases on American soil in the past several years), we are being told not to "jump to conclusions."' Well, without jumping to the correct conclusions in a timely manner, hanging on instead to political correctness (meaning that no one should criticize or profile), our military men and women and their families have a good reason to be afraid and angry.' They pay the price.That nine year old boy didn't sit complacently and be a "good boy."' He took charge to protect his own.' We should do the same for our military and their families.' Those who have expressed at any time any philosophy resembling radical Islamic hate should be marginalized, scrutinized, put under surveillance, and supervised.The first obligation of the American government is not "Cash for Clunkers."' It's for the safety of the populace.' The morale of our military took a large hit when they discovered that they were not safe from worldwide terrorists at their own desks.'Dump all that "PTSD by proxy" nonsense.' Look at the truth, without which we are neither free nor safe. More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCourageMilitaryPolitical CorrectnessPoliticsReligionSocial IssuesValues
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Tags: ChildrenHealthInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMarriageParentingSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconStudents in the American Fork High School Marching Band swept the awards not long ago in a competition at Brigham Young University.' What made this story interesting and somewhat controversial is this:' on the way back from another competition held in Idaho, the driver of the bus in which the students were riding fell asleep at the wheel.' All of the students survived.' The one fatality was the 33 year old instructor who grabbed for the steering wheel when she noticed the driver was out cold.The controversial part occurred because some people believe that it is unseemly for life to go on, for joy to be in people's hearts, or for friends and relatives to be happy and involved in their lives when someone dies.' Some people believe that it is disrespectful, cavalier and insensitive for others to carry on as though a tragedy didn't happen.' Generally, this belief comes out of a confusion of pain, emotions and guilt over survival.I think it's a good thing that these students competed, and they did so in remembrance of Heather Christensen, the teacher who saved their lives.' And that's the point:' she saved their lives so they could live, love, and play music.' I believe they showed her immense respect by playing in her honor, continuing with the competition for which she coached them.'' Her immortality comes from being remembered fondly by her students who used the skills they learned from her to create the music she loved so much.When someone we love dies, we don't honor them by denying ourselves the normal pleasures of life.' I find that to be an insult.' Life is precious, and when somebody is gone from life, that which they lost should be treated with the utmost reverence by squeezing every moment of dignity, creativity, joy, adventure, work, love, compassion and fun that is possible.' This is the way you honor the deceased:' you carry on and do something of value with your life.The students received a long, standing ovation as they marched off the field and embraced in tearful hugs.' What a fitting memorial to a brave, caring teacher. More >>

Tags: AttitudeCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCourageEducationfamilyHealthMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeRelativesSchoolValues
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05/13/2010
IconThis is from Michelle: Dear Dr. Laura: A few weeks ago, you had a caller who was contemplating divorce, because her husband wasn't being nice and, in turn, she wasn't being nice to her young son.' During the call, the little boy started crying and to calm him, she picked him up and he immediately stopped.' You told her of the power of a mother's arms, and you told her that if she would just treat her husband the same way, he would melt just as her son did.' I thought about it, but forgot to do anything, and then I listened to the program again this week.' It was like you were personally talking to me. I have been married for 16 years to a wonderful man who has been the sole financial provider for all that time so I can be an at-home mom to our teenage son and daughter.' While I always thank him for making this possible, unfortunately, my attitude has been 'well, while you were at work all day, I had to deal with very important things like toddler meltdowns to teenager meltdowns.'' But your words changed all that. Last night, my husband arrived home after a business trip to find out we have some unexpected, high medical bills for our son (he has special needs so, while this has happened before, now is a particularly hard financial time).' Instead of me attacking my husband and telling him I had to consent to all the tests which resulted in the bill, I took your advice.' I held him in my arms and said:' 'This must be so hard for you, when you work so hard and you plan all the finances for our family, to have something so big come up when you don't expect it.' I really appreciate you supporting this family, and I feel our kids are so blessed to have you as their dad.' Dr. Laura, he melted, just as you said he would.' We went on to have a lovely night, planning how we would pay for this bill and then talking about other things.' If I had not taken your advice, we both would have been angry and sulking and it would have lasted for days.' You reminded me that even though my sweet husband is a big, strong provider, he still needs compassion and comfort.' How blessed am I that I could provide that for him. Your words have changed my life and my marriage, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.' Keep helping people do the right thing. More >>

Tags: AbortionDatingFamilyFamily/Relationships - FamilyMarriagePersonal ResponsibilityRelativesSocial IssuesValues
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Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenHalloweenHolidaysParentingPoliticsSocial IssuesValues
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Tags: CharityHumorInternet-MediaInternet/MediaiPhoneMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesPolitical CorrectnessSexSexualitySocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconThe Hartford Courant recently published an essay by Justin Verrier on a Connecticut female teenage swimmer. "After swimming laps at a recent practice in the Glastonbury High School pool, Rachel Grusse told her coach, Suzi Hoyt, her shoulder felt sore.' Hoyt responded as she always does to such concerns by her swimmers, instructing Grusse to put on flippers and 'kick for a little while' to rest her arms.' 'I just looked up at her and told her, Um...I don't think I can do that, Grusse said, smiling." Remember the word smiling .' When Grusse was 16 months old, it was discovered that she was born without a spleen, and she contracted a form of bacterial pneumonia that cut off the blood flow to her extremities, which resulted in the cutting off of her legs at the base of her knees, as well as the last joint of her fingers.Now, many teenage girls with just a few pimples would hide in their bedrooms, but not Rachel.' With the help of prosthetic legs, she has participated in all types of sports, including soccer and, most recently, wheelchair basketball, but swimming is her passion.' Since she has to rely on her upper body for swimming, she does a lot of upper body strengthening, like...walking on her hands!Her comment? "I've just heard some people say that I'm an example to other kids.' But to me, I don't feel like I'm any different. I'm just doing what I can, and doing the best that I can. " She swims against "normal" swimmers and rarely wins, but she loves the sport anyway.She swims against others who are disabled and often places, but not always, and she loves the sport anyway.'Since she has no memory of having had legs, for her, it is kind of "normal" - the real amazing quality of hers is her attitude to just do what she can and do the best that she can .Disabled or not, that is the winning attitude in life that ultimately brings you happiness.' She does what she loves and does the best she can at it.' Period.' There is a lesson in that for everyone. More >>

Tags: CharacterCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCourageFamily/Relationships - TeensMental HealthSuicideTeensValues
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05/13/2010
Icon"Stupid is as stupid does." Those are sage words from the fictional Forrest Gump.And stupid does some interesting things in America.' Here are two great recent examples of stupidity:Before I tell you the first story, I want to preface it with a memory from my middle school years.' We Long Island neighborhood children took the bus to school.' I walked two blocks to the bus stop.' In the winter, it was freezing, but fortunately, one of the kids I went to school with lived in that corner house right where the bus picked us up.' The mom would leave the garage door open (the cars were already gone) so we could all huddle out of the wind and chill until the bus came.' It was very kind of her.Now, to today's story:' A mom in Michigan allows the kids from three families to hang out before school at her house for about 1 hour before the school bus comes.' She's not getting paid, although I sure hope she's getting appreciation from the families who have to go to work before they can get their kids off to school.'Believe it or not, she receives a letter from the Michigan Department of Human Services warning her that if she continues, she'd be violating a law aimed at the operation of unlicensed day-care centers.' She's not getting paid!!' And she's doing the neighbors a favor!!This law says no one may care for unrelated children in their home for more than four weeks each calendar year unless they are licensed day-care providers.' The Department of Human Services warned her without even finding out the facts.' This is stupid.' Never mind that these kids, if left by themselves for an hour without adult supervision could be food for predators.' It seems also that this stupid stretch would preclude regular baby-sitting when parents go out to dinner and the movies.There is good news here, though.' After the news media got hold of this story (and embarrassed the heck out of the state of Michigan), Governor Jennifer Granholm instructed the agency's director to work with the state legislature to change the law.'Since when is simply being a good neighbor a criminal activity?' Some neighbor (and we've all had this kind of neighbor) made a complaint, and started this non-common sense ball rolling.The second stupid story is from Saratoga Springs.' Adam Marino, a 12 year old in seventh grade, and his mother are defying Saratoga Springs school policy by biking to Maple Avenue Middle School.' The school has a rule that kids can't walk or ride a bike to school.' Adam's mom and other parents want their kids to be less sedentary and to get exercise by walking or riding to school as a fitness activity.'After Adam's mom thought she had an understanding with the school board on this issue, she rode a bike with her kid to school, only to be met by a state trooper and school administrators.' You'd think she had been beating her kid or helping him play hooky.' Sheesh!In reaction to this, other parents joined them in riding and walking their kids to school.' Once again, this got the attention of the news media, and the Board of Education is going to vote to amend this policy this week.These arbitrary rules are just stupid, and frankly, ignoring the bigger picture of neighborhood safety and exercise for children.' Fortunately, however, thanks to the media spotlight, it's all going to change. More >>

Tags: Common SenseEat Less-Move MoreEducationExerciseFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingSchoolValues
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Tags: Personal ResponsibilitySAHM stay at home momValues
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