My first year (six months) in Review


Happiness (Photo credit: baejaar)

As we wrap up 2012, it’s time to take stock of what this blog has accomplished, if anything.  I have to say that I’m a little disappointed.   Most of the disappointment stems from my inability to keep my average of one post a day.  Standing at 92 posts for 180 some days is about half of what I would have liked to put up.  The reasons for these are a few.

First of all, when I decided on a name for the blog, I picked something political.  This was fine when I felt sure that I had something unique to add to the political discussion.  But I have come to understand that, if I were really to tell what I know to be the truth about the political arena, I would either disappear mysteriously, be found in a river, or suddenly be up to my ears in made-up legal trouble.  None of these things would serve to advance the real purpose for which I find myself on the earth, which is to share the Good News of Jesus.  So, I have lost quite a bit of my desire to be a political pundit.

The second thing I discovered was how hard it is to be really unique, and to keep my focus on doing positive and uplifting blogs, vs. just pointing out bad stuff.  Over the last year, I have probably read about 15,000 pages of history, economics, medical and scientific texts.  And, as has been truthfully said, the more one learns, the more one realizes just how much one doesn’t really know.

Just when I think I really have a handle on how the world works, I open up another book that completely changes my understanding.   On the grand scale, I know quite well that everything is a battle between good and evil.  And I understand completely that there is a huge roadblock being put in the way of justice.  It’s just that, from month to month, my perception changes as to just how this insidious evil is being played out and by whom.  And it’s not that I got all the players wrong.  It’s just that I failed to see how they were all connected.  I see that fairly clearly now.  But, I still have no clue what to do to make other people understand or how to go about being an effective voice of resistance.  So, I have not said much, lately.

In the meantime, I have come once again to believe that the only answer to our problems is to know the Truth, who is also the Way and the Life, whom we call the Word.  He is also Love, as he is the source of all love and the only one who ever walked this earth who truly loved everyone.  I want to speak more about this one.

I want to speak more about languages.  I want to unlock the veil of culture that fills us with fear of people who are different from us.  Differences are only perceived.  We are really all the same, underneath.  But fear creates tension, mistrust, and hatred.  And, as the apostle John tells us, only perfect love drives out fear.  Those who would use people as a means to wealth and power know only too well that fear makes people seek security, and this fear can be exploited.   That is why we listen to politicians, doctors, drug companies, and all manner of shamans who tell us they have the ability to remove our fears.  In reality, they only create the fears to exploit us.  In reality, as Roosevelt said, we have nothing to fear but fear itself.  (If only Roosevelt hadn’t been a fear monger himself, we would be a much better America.)  Maybe it’s time for all of us to wake up and not waste another minute on feeding the fear machine.  This time, it is true that, if you ignore it, it will go away.

This is why I find it’s very hard to be a pundit.  Most political pundits understand that fear creates ratings.  It doesn’t matter whether we should fear wack-job liberals or right-wing extremists.  As long as there is a boogie man, there is a market for anti-boogie man rhetoric.

I don’t think that we should ignore what learned people have to say on political and social subjects.  It is good to be aware of the conflicts.  But, I, for one, would like to reassure people that there can be a peaceful and happy life, even in the midst of the political craziness.  After all, the sunshine, the rain, the wind, the snow, the mountains and lakes, the flora and fauna, the unfathomable variety of nature– these things do not depend on whether one is Republican of Democrat or Socialist or whatever.  These are all free gifts for all of us to enjoy every day.

I think we all should take a few deep breaths, turn off the TV, sit quietly and count our blessings.  If you can’t count any blessings, then you really have a problem.  But it’s not the problem of not having blessings.  It’s just that you are blind to them.  And, if you can truly find nothing in your life to crow about, then you have yourself to blame.

I am hoping to soon open our new foundation, dedicated to helping people who took a wrong turn get back on track to a good life again.  It occurred to me that there is no one in my immediate life to whom I can pass down my legacy.  I’ve never had a wife and have no children.  All my friends have grand children, and I have none.  This is a little tongue-in-cheek, but I could really help myself and help others.  All I have to do is adopt a few unwed mothers.  Immediately, I would have children and grand children.  Will I do this?  Probably not.  But, it is just one example of how a person could look at the cards he has been dealt and find a way to make a full house out of a seemingly crummy hand.

A lot of people in this world need help.  And you can help them.  Even if you need help, you can still help others.  By helping others, you will almost always help yourself.  We were created to serve others.  When we do what we are meant to do, we stop being dysfunctional.  If you say you can’t possibly help others, I say you are a wimp and a cry baby.  My sister, who has ALS and can’t even talk, takes her Text-to-speech box with her and volunteers for her church’s care program.  She can’t even eat or drink without a feeding tube, but she still puts in the great effort to drive her car to places and help others.  Most people would have to step up a ways to function as well as my sister.

1600 views in six months.  It’s not what I hoped.  I have watched others go to tens of thousands and even millions of hits in the same time.  They are not better than I.  But they have found something that scares people into which they have tapped.  So, their numbers exploded quite rapidly.  I don’t want to scare people.  I want to help people be more secure and happier.  On the other hand, only the truth sets one free.  So I have to tell the truth.  The truth is often scary, because it exposes the lies inside of us.  But, the lies must be exposed.  It is a painful process, but, in the end, once the truth replaces the lies, it leads to greater peace and happiness.  Because, knowing the truth does set us free from being able to be duped by the lies and the liars that tell them.

I’m wishing a healthy and happy new year to everyone.  I’m hoping that I can be of some service in making that wish come true in your lives.



Filed under Open Mind

6 responses to “My first year (six months) in Review

  1. Paul, I haven’t been reading your blog, but I just might start. I like what you are saying, especially about not being a political pundit. But the desire to speak truth is strong in you, and I appreciate the struggle you voice about how to do it. Speak the truth, speak it as positively you can. Continue to work for change in small ways. I am intrigued by your “new foundation”. Helping people get back on the right track is the Gospel message of Jesus. May your new year be filled with opportunities to make a difference.

  2. Kara Schmeichel

    Nicely said Paul! Good recap of your year and the year we should strive to have in 2013. God’s blessings on your efforts!

    • Thanks Kara. Talked to your brother for awhile over Christmas. I pray that you and your family are well. Today, the temp dips for the first time under zero. Let the winter weather begin! Less than three months till spring, and the days are getting longer. Woohoo!

  3. Fantastic thoughts. I really, really enjoyed this post. Keep this in mind and you won’t get sucked in to the political apathy (or the fear-mongering you mention).

    I respect you a lot after reading this. Remember that you are making a mark on the lives of all of us who read your posts.

    • Sorry to all that I have been silent recently. It’s not that I haven’t had many ideas to post. It’s just that I’ve been living in survival mode recently and also trying to adjust to new health supplements and rebuilding my old, tired body before the building season hits. The foundation is set to rock and roll in May, but I need all the time I can get to get into shape. Hitting the weights, now, besides the cardio program. Also back to intense study of Chinese, and have working on rollout of new language blog series. Plus, it’s cold and have had to deal with froze pipes and, just last night, dead furnace (fixed, thank God). One suddenly realizes that he needs a lot of help. Just watched The Expendables 2 and really identified with it. Tough to get old. Thank you for your encouraging remarks. I will try to live up to your expectations in the future.

  4. You’re doing great. I’m praying that you find the strength to make it through all of those frustrations. I’ll enjoy keeping up with all of your posts!

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