Tag Archives: President Obama

Reflections: Moving Forward…

“Tonight … the task of perfecting our union moves forward… we are one American family, and we will rise and fall as one nation.” President Obama

Reflections: Moving Forward… President Obama giving his acceptance speech. (msnbc)

Reflections: Moving Forward… President Obama & Family AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Obama’s Complete Victory Speech: Obama Wins the 2012 Election

Moving Forward by Rainer Maria Rilke
The deep parts of my life pour onward,
as if the river shores were opening out.
It seems that things are more like me now,
That I can see farther into paintings.
I feel closer to what language can’t reach.
With my senses, as with birds, I climb
into the windy heaven, out of the oak,
in the ponds broken off from the sky
my falling sinks, as if standing on fishes.
via famouspoemsandpoets.org

After many months of campaigns, debates, political ads, vitriol and anticipation, the American people voted. President Obama got re-elected as the 44th President of the United States of America and, regardless of which side we voted for, it is time to move forward as a united country. Congratulations to our president and kudos to all who made the effort to get out there and vote. I am proud of everyone who helped move the process forward; a decisive vote for hope and change. My prayer is that we set aside our differences and petty hatreds and work together to get this great nation back on the road to economic recovery.

“It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression.” President Obama

Reflections: Moving Forward… President/Mrs. Obama with Vice President/Dr. Biden AP Photo/Chris Carlson

Reflections: Moving Forward… Governor/Mrs. Romney & Rep/Mrs. Ryan and family. AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Look To This Day by Kalidasa
Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time.

For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn! via allpoetry.com

As the President gave his inspired acceptance speech last night, I couldn’t help but reflect on the long road that led him down the path to the presidency; particularly to his second term in office. I reflected on the debates with Gov Romney and the results. I went looking for poems that spoke to me on the magnitude of this election outcome and that represented the positive effort that we can make to pull Americans together in celebration and healing. I know that some folk are still caught up in the maya of negativity but, with time, I hope they’ll come around. Indeed, we will move forward because we reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war, divisiveness and depression. More below!

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$1,000,000: What Would You Do For It?

“Property may be destroyed and money may lose its purchasing power; but character, health, knowledge and good judgment will always be in demand under all conditions.” Roger Babson

Money Mandala: Tibetan yinyang via Despina

A Proposition
At different points in our lives, we get asked the question; what would you do WITH a million dollars? What would you do if you won this that and the other lottery? The natural response is to rattle off a litany of good deeds and fine things we will give and get. Easy, right? Hey, who doesn’t like a walk down fantasy lane as that’s the easy part. But what will we really do if the question is changed slightly and the dare is real?

Once in a while, we might get asked another version of the question: What will you do FOR a million dollars? Right away, our druthers go up and we start thinking of the moral implications…. What will I really do for that amount? What could I be prompted or pushed to do for a million bucks? … on and on until we realize we have not answered the question. Why not? What part of our psyche is not willing to engage with this question? Why is it easy to fantasize than to commit? Is it for fear of realizing we are no longer dreaming? Is it for fear of letting go of our dream?

“The highest use of capital is not to make more money, but to make money do more for the betterment of life.” Henry Ford

Mama's Losin' It

The Prompt I chose for MamaKat’s Writers Workshop is:
1.) ….and then I realized it was all a dream.

The Dare for Money: Juan Rodrigues

The Incident
A couple of days ago, I was drifting in and out of sleep when I heard a news report about a young man named Juan Rodriguez, who on a $1,000,000 dare from billionaire Alki David, owner of Battle.Cam, stripped naked, scrawled Battle.cam and Mr. David’s name on his chest, and pranced around trying to get President Obama’s attention.

Thankfully, the sad part was that he didn’t achieve his aim as the president never noticed. He was duly arrested, carted off and booked for lewd behavior. Meanwhile, Mr. David agreed to give Juan a consolation price but at what cost to Juan? He’ll be in court on November 5th on indecent exposure charges and, when all is said and done, he might pay out more for his foolishness than he expected.

Are you willing to do same for a million bucks? I don’t know about you but I’m not buying.

“What material success does is provide you with the ability to concentrate on other things that really matter. And that is being able to make a difference, not only in your own life, but in other people’s lives.”Oprah Winfrey

Money Rich in Minerals: Toad River Valley by Michael Christopher Brown NatGeo

I drifted off to sleep and sure enough there was that scene playing out in my dream world, only this time I’m in it; NOT nude but dressed and having a debate with Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. David about price tags.

Disclaimer: This blogger has never met Mr. David or Mr. Rodriguez. She was not drinking, smoking, or medicated on anything when this dream occurred. It was merely a dream sequence and no offers or dares have been extended nor will she be soliciting for any.

Me: Why bother daring people to do stupid stuff for money when you can give it to an institution in your name say, for cancer research?

David: I give to charity already; this is interactive advertising for my website.

Juan: On second thoughts, I should have negotiated a Plan B fee… incremental on what I get for each step.

Me: Are you remorseful that you might have ruined Juan’s job options?

David: He’s an adult; I’m not liable for his decision to go for the money.

Juan: I was motivated by my need to help my family, not necessarily the money. At least I got a consolation price out of it.

Me: Mr. David, are you willing to stop this stunt and pay an expert to write smarter ads for you in the future? Juan, what’s next?

David: Hmmm. It brought tons of traffic to the site and the interactive approach is a viable trend.

Juan: I pushed through some fears and might go for something without nudity next.

David: How about you? What are you willing to do for your demographic for a million bucks?

Me: My demographic? I’ll need a bigger pay out than that…. Do What? Are you serious? What?

I woke up hearing myself shouting what? What? What? Don’t ask… I’ll never say. I don’t remember. What I do know is that it was all a dream…

Advice: Be careful what you aim for. Our motivations must be positive and clear or only God knows what will happen. What outrageous thing are you willing to do for $1,000,000? Is there no price tag worth discussing? Do tell.

Photo of Tibetan yin yang Money Mandala via Despina
Photo of Juan Rodriguez via MSN.com.au
Photo of Toad River Valley via National Geographic

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

Reflections on Memorial Day: Of War and Peace…

In Remembrance: Men, Women and Children of War…

“Peace to each manly soul that sleepeth; Rest to each faithful eye that weepeth.” ~ Thomas Moore
“When we say “War is over if you want it,” we mean that if everyone demanded peace instead of another TV set, we’d have peace.” ~ John Lennon

Memorial Day: Reflections on War and Peace

War: Weapon of Destruction ~ Nuclear Tests in French Polynesia

War & Lyrics ~ By Bob Marley

10 Commandments of Mother Earth By Ernest Callenbach via Humanity Healing.org***
III. Thou shall not hold thyself above other living things nor drive them to extinction.
V. Thou shall educate thy offspring for multitudes of people are a blessing unto the earth when we live in harmony.
VI. Thou shall not kill, nor waste Earth’s riches upon weapons of war.

War and Peace walk in tandem; like two birds forced to feed off the table of good and evil wrought by man. When one sleeps, the other rises and the struggle to find world peace and balance continues.

Memorial Day is celebrated annually on the last Monday of May and dedicated to the memory of fallen American men and women who died in all wars and armed conflicts. Initially created to honor northern soldiers who died in the Civil War, it became a way to remember those who died in World War I, II and then all wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday in the USA.

On Saturday, President Obama honored Memorial Day by speaking about Americans who died in service to this nation. In his speech, he honored “not just those who’ve worn this country’s uniform, but the men and women who’ve died in its service; who’ve laid down their lives in defense of their fellow citizens.” It was touching yet many families would like to see their loved ones home; our soldiers must come home.

Every year, we pause in remembrance of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice – to give their lives so others might live. Each casualty of war or MIA leaves behind loved ones, family members, and memories of what could have been… Oh war, such dreadful deeds you cast across the ocean of life; such dreadful deeds.

“Peace is more important than all justice; and peace was not made for the sake of justice, but justice for the sake of peace.” -Martin Luther
“The purpose of all war is ultimately peace.” -Saint Augustine

Biafra War: Child with Kwashiokor via Don McCullin - Biafra (1969)

Nigeria-Biafra Civil War: War is never Civil...

Courtesy TerritorioScuola

Ikenga ~ Songs at Sunset***

As a survivor of the terrible 3 year Biafran war, I loathe war. While we will be remiss if we did not honor the courageous acts of our loved ones who fought and lost at war, we must not dismiss but also honor the spirits of those innocent bystanders; mothers, children, sons and lovers, whose lives were sacrificed in the ensuing violence. Each life lost becomes a testament to the list of unresolved issues that led each nation to war.

The aftermath of war includes depression, a renewed sense of loss, disorientation, dislocation, permanent debilitating wounds, nightmares, and for many, indelible scars that lie under the surface of the skin waiting to break through like a pus-filled sore on a hot summer day. War is never pretty; even for all the glorified versions we get from Hollywood directors. War is ugly and maims the living as much as it does the dead.

I want this Memorial Day to be one of deep reflection for all of us; whether we buy into the notion/theory that war is not the answer or that a warring nation is a safe nation. Whichever school you subscribe to is irrelevant to me. It will not erase my childhood memories; the sound of whistling bombs flying by aimed at their target. It will not bring back the dead; the smell of burning flesh; massive destruction everywhere.

I am not here to judge but to heal… I want to remember the innocent children caught in the cross fires, permanently seared by bomber fuel and left for dead in collapsed buildings. I want to remember the mothers bereft of their husbands, fathers, sons, left to watch their children slowly starve to death as birds of prey linger nearby waiting to devour their remains.

I want to remember the innocence of young men and women who left for war whole and returned ravaged by the horror they saw; the horror they experienced and the horror inflicted on the enemy. I want to remember families left behind, holding pictures of loved ones, nursing broken hearts; the living dead. I want to remember every painful, poignant detail so I will never forget that the spoils of war are hollow; for the victor and the vanquished have both lost their heads.

“Our cheer goes back to them, the valiant dead! Laurels and roses on their graves to-day,
Lilies and laurels over them we lay, And violets o’er each unforgotten head.” ~ Richard Hovey

When Hunger Strikes: Remnants of factional wars via Mike Wells

The Upheavals of War = Afghan Refugee via Steve McCurry

Aftermath of War: Potential loss of Manpower...

In the midst of war, there are always pockets of hope. This hope keeps survivors fighting to stay alive. Hope comes in many forms; through God’s miraculous moments, the kindness of people and opportunities to heal. Hope comes in the form of Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, TAPS, which was created in 1994 by Bonnie Carroll after the tragic death of her husband, Brig. Gen Tom Carroll, in a plane crash.

TAPS offers a variety of resources to the loved ones/family of military staff. They provide comprehensive care including services and programs such as peer based emotional support, case work assistance, crisis intervention, and grief and trauma resources. To date,they have helped over 25,000 people and give help, hope and healing to families who have lost a loved one/family member. Their toll-free hot line is: 1-800-509-TAPS (8277).

For those battling depression, post traumatic stress disorders and/or feeling suicidal, both Hopeline and AFSP,American Foundation for Suicide Prevention provide great resources and immediate help to veterans and their families. HopeLine was started in 1998 by Reese Butler after the death of his wife, Kristin, by suicide. His goal has remained “to offer HOPE and the option to LIVE to those in the deepest emotional pain.”

AFSP, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, has been involved in several suicide prevention initiatives and provides groundbreaking research, educational campaigns, innovative demonstration projects and important policy work. It advocates for policies and legislation at all levels of government to bring awareness and change to the subject of suicide prevention.

AFSP works in tandem with The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) which provides prevention support, training, and resources to help organizations and individuals develop their own suicide prevention programs. The goal is to develop and evaluate centers and programs to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP).

“Soldier, rest! Thy warfare o’er, Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking,
Dream of battled fields no more. Days of danger, nights of waking.” -Sir Walter Scott
“The purpose of all war is ultimately peace.” -Saint Augustine

Celebrate Peace...

Give Peace a Chance: Holding peace by Nancy Howe

Soul Service via Humanity Healing.org***

A terrific group offering hope is Humanity Healing International, a non-profit which creates projects for change, healing and the pursuit of peace by encouraging active participation to grow local communities and restore personal dignity to people globally.

Another ray of light and hope is Neil Pasricha’s positive blog1000 Awesome Things which he started in June 2008 and continued to share with others even as his world was crumbling; his wife left him and his best friend committed suicide. Neil stayed committed to his blog goals and continues to find one awesome thing to write about each day. He has won two best blog awards and his new book “The Book of Awesome” just hit the newsstands.

In times of war and despair
, reflect on things that matter in life and find time to celebrate. Let’s remember awesome things that have happened in our lives and share them with others around the world, find positive ways to resolve conflicts, and remember that war is not the answer to securing peace on our planet.

For more on this subject, I have posted a follow-up on my Blogger blog site and included music from one of my all time favorites — Bob Marley and his music video “War.” I wish you peace, joy and abundant blessing on this Memorial Day and May the Shadow of War never cross your doorstep.

Are you a war survivor or do you have a loved one in the services? What are you views on this subject? Do share how you cope in their absence. What memories do you cherish? As always, your feedback is appreciated.

Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Burial in Arlington National Cemetery by J.D. Leipold ~ via Wikipedia
Nuclear War-co2 Test ~ via TreeHugger
Biafra War: Child with Kwashiokor ~ via Don McCullin – Biafra (1969)
When Hunger Strikes: Remnants of factional wars ~ via Mike Wells
Afghan Refugee ~ via Steve McCurry
Holding peace ~ via Nancy Howe
Other Photographs ~ via Google Images

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank