I saw this video, and posted it on my Facebook page, about two weeks ago, on January 27th. It is extremely moving and I wanted to share it with everyone, given that the conflict in Egypt was intensifying. Now that Mubarak has stepped down and the Egyptian people are celebrating in Tahrir square, I wanted to share it on this blog to show just how far their fight for freedom and democracy has gone in a matter of weeks.
Now, I normally would not listen to anything having to do with the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), though I was quite happy that Sarah Palin did not attend, probably because she was not going to be paid to share her oh-so-intelligent thoughts. But I digress. The purpose of this post is to share Herman Cain’s speech
with you. Not only is he a great speaker, but he is straightforward and honest. Of course, I don’t agree with everything he says, but he is very inspiring.
Take a listen and see if you learn anything. You may not agree with everything, or even anything, but you cannot deny that he is an incredible speaker.
I came across this article on CNN.com, which was written by Bob Greene, a CNN contributor. I thought it was very cute, with a great lesson to be learned. I have copied it below, since I think that everyone could learn a little something from it:
4-star general, 5-star grace
Editor’s note: CNN Contributor Bob Greene is a best-selling author whose books include “Late Edition: A Love Story” and “And You Know You Should Be Glad: A True Story of Lifelong Friendship.”
(CNN) — Graciousness can pay priceless dividends.
And it doesn’t cost a thing.
You may have heard the story about what happened between White House adviser Valerie Jarrett and Four-star Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli at a recent Washington dinner.
As reported by the website Daily Caller, Jarrett, a longtime Chicago friend of President Obama, was seated at the dinner when a general — later identified as Chiarelli, the No. 2-ranking general in the U.S. Army hierarchy, who was also a guest at the gathering — walked behind her. Chiarelli was in full dress uniform.
Jarrett, apparently only seeing Chiarelli’s striped uniform pants, thought that he was a waiter. She asked him to get her a glass of wine.
She was said to be mortified as soon as she realized her mistake, and who wouldn’t be? But the instructive part of this tale is what Chiarelli did next.
Rather than take offense, or try to make Jarrett feel small for her blunder, the general, in good humor, went and poured her a glass of wine. It was evident that he wanted to defuse the awkward moment, and to let Jarrett know that she should not feel embarrassed.
As Chiarelli wrote in an e-mail to CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr:
“It was an honest mistake that ANYONE could have made. She was sitting, I was standing and walking behind her and all she saw were the two stripes on my pants which were almost identical to the waiters’ pants — REALLY. She apologized and will come to the house for dinner if a date can be worked out in March.”
Now, even if you’ve never met Chiarelli or followed him in the news, you have to be impressed with him after hearing that story. With his lofty rank in the military, he could have given Jarrett the deep freeze, reproached her and corrected her. But he poured her the wine — “It was only good fun,” he wrote to Starr — and invited her to a meal at his home. He came out of the incident as a decent and magnanimous person.
It’s easy to do, if you care about other people’s feelings. Sportswriters who covered the National Basketball Association in the late 1980s and 1990s like to tell a story about Karl Malone, the great forward for the Utah Jazz. It seems that one day in the baggage-claim area of the Salt Lake City airport, a woman was trying to lift her bags from the carousel and, seeing Malone, who was there to pick up his brother from an arriving flight, mistook him for a skycap.
She asked him to carry her bags to her car.
Malone was a wealthy and world-famous athlete at the time. He could so easily have hurt the woman’s feelings, rebuked her. But what did he do?
According to longtime Salt Lake Tribune sports reporter Steve Luhm, who covered the incident at the time and who confirmed it to me last week, Malone carried the woman’s bags all the way to her car. Only when she reached for her purse to give him a tip did he in a friendly manner introduce himself and decline the offer.
One of the most indelible stories about a person going out of his way to avoid humiliating another person was told in Gay Talese’s 1966 Esquire article “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold,” widely considered to be perhaps the finest magazine profile ever written.
In the article, Talese described a party at the home of Sinatra’s former wife, at which Sinatra, who maintained cordial relations with her, was acting as host. A young woman at the party, according to Talese, “while leaning against a table, accidentally with her elbow knocked over one of a pair of alabaster birds to the floor, smashing it to pieces.”
Talese wrote that Sinatra’s daughter Nancy, also a guest at the party, started to say: “Oh, that was one of my mother’s favorite…”
“[B]ut before she could complete the sentence, Sinatra glared at her, cutting her off, and while 40 other guests in the room all stared in silence, Sinatra walked over, quickly with his finger flicked the other alabaster bird off the table, smashing it to pieces, and then put an arm gently around [the young woman] and said, in a way that put her completely at ease, ‘That’s OK, kid.’ “
It can work the other way, too, and can be remembered just as long. I was once working on a profile of a famous singer, also for Esquire, and one evening we rode in his limousine to a concert hall. As he walked backstage he was stopped by a young, nervous and inexperienced usher with a clipboard who had been assigned to make certain everyone in the area was authorized.
The usher asked the famous singer if he was the comedian who would open the show.
The singer did not speak to the young usher or make eye contact with him, but instead walked immediately over to a person in the management of the auditorium and demanded that the usher be dismissed.
The singer, in trying to make the young man who had made a mistake feel small, had only managed to make himself seem tiny. What Gen. Chiarelli did, though — like Karl Malone, like Frank Sinatra — was to demonstrate, instinctively and in an instant, what it means to be a big person.
The rest of us may never reach the exalted status of those three men. But kindness knows no social stratum. Every day, we’re given the choice. Consideration? It’s free of charge. It can echo forever.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Bob Greene.
I just wanted to share my thoughts on the 2012 Presidential election. Though we do not know who is running just yet, there are some names out there (most of which I cringe at, but that’s another post for another day). One of the names that isn’t as familiar, but in my opinion would make an amazing candidate, is Herman Cain. He has launched a Presidential Exploratory Committee, which is very exciting news. My long car rides to and from my Make-A-Wish Foundation internship in college meant that I religiously listened to his radio shows, and he has definitely gained a supporter. I really encourage you to take a look at his website, as I think that he is a very interesting and qualified candidate, as well as an overall extraordinary and intelligent American citizen, which is more than I can say for others…
As a side note, I just wanted to share some statistics and poll numbers with you.
According to a recent poll of Republicans, 68% wanted a Presidential candidate who could win against Obama, while only 29% wanted a candidate that agreed with them on issues.
Additionally, there was a recent poll taken, which shows who conservatives support for the Presidential bid. The top three are:
Huckabee at 21%
Romney at 19%
Palin at 18%
I’ll keep you posted on any developments, but until then, I encourage you to do some research on other candidates!
So the other day I came across this video, which was an interview on “The View” with a young boy who had been brutally bullied at school. It was so touching that I have to share it.
Everyone has the right to believe what they’d like. To practice whatever religion they’d like. Like Christianity, right? Except, what if some “Christians” think that their job is to picket funerals & offend the loved ones of the deceased? What if these “Christians” hold signs up at funerals that say “God Hates Fags” or “You’re Going to Hell” or “Pray For More Dead Soldiers”? I am all for freedom of religion and freedom of speech and all the freedoms that make this country what it is, but Westboro Baptist Church, the “church” that pickets funerals, is a disgrace.
As a bit of background: Westboro Baptist Church originated in Topeka, Kansas and really does not have any connections with the Baptist denomination. They are basically a hate group that insists that any death in America is a result of God punishing our country for us tolerating homosexual behavior. They also view Obama as the “Antichrist” and believe that people of every other religion, from Catholicism to Islam, are going to hell. Apparently Heaven only holds about 100 seats, so I guess the members of Westboro are the only ones that are going to make it…
But really. To begin with, what type of person has this much pent-up anger and hate in them? What type of individual must you be to crash funerals and celebrate murders? And what type of parent are you if you send your children out with these disgusting signs?
I brought these despicable humans up because apparently they are planning to picket the funerals of the two Tampa teenagers that were just murdered by their mother. In this tragedy, Julie K. Schenecker, 50, shot her 13-year-old son Beau in the head on their way to his soccer practice. She then drove home with his body in the car, entered her home, and shot her 16-year-old daughter Calyx in the back of the head and the face. She had been studying at her computer.
Police discovered the mother in the house wearing a bloody robe. When they took her into custody, she claimed that she murdered her kids because they were “mouthy” and talked back to her. Additionally, she had planned this massacre ahead of time in detail.
As if that weren’t tragic enough, the father was an Army Colonel who was stationed abroad. He will be returning to the United States to find his two kids dead and his wife probably charged with double homicide. But then this disgusting excuse for a church is going to be at the funeral as well? Absolutely appalling.
Every time I hear about their plans to picket, I am just as angry as the last time. They have shown up at high-profile funerals, like Michael Jackson’s. They have shown up at the funerals of soldiers killed in the line of duty. They have shown up at funerals for gay victims who were murdered because of their sexuality.
Weeks ago, when I heard that these protesters were going to picket the funeral of the 9-year-old Christina Green, who was killed in the Tucson shooting, I was livid. Fortunately, Arizona legislators made it a priority to pass an emergency bill that banned protests within 300 feet of a funeral service. And I was absolutely amazed by the amount of people who showed up to Tucson just to surround the protesters, trying to shield the family and friends from having to see their pathetic display. I even listened to an interview where a man was going to bring his whole motorcycle brigade with him to Tucson, hundred of miles away, just to thwart Westboro Church’s plans.
We need to make this law applicable in every state. I say, make the distance even longer. Many states – such as Indiana and Michigan – have similar laws. And there is a federal law banning protests at 60 minutes before and after a military funeral. But we need to step it up and encourage all states to adopt similar legislation. We need to make sure no protests occur, military funeral or not. This husband in Tampa, who has just lost his whole family, does not deserve this obscene treatment by the Westboro church members.