Disengaging Our Nation

Disengaging Our Nation

Years ago, we used to look up to heroes. Kids would say, “When I grow up, I want to be like that!” Heroes were positive role models that had qualities that our society valued. Somewhere along the line, a tectonic shift had a tremendous impact on our nation. We’ve turned and faced the other way and the consequences have been devastating.

Tossing aside our passion to become like our heroes, we now focus on victims. As our televisions become filled with shows like “Hoarders” and “Honey Boo Boo,” we point and mumble, “At least I’m not that bad.” Comfortably, we settle into our couches of content.

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Two Questions Change Everything

Two Questions Change Everything

Ordinary folks like you and me can make a tremendous difference in the world. Sometimes we kick back and say, "What could I do?" I'm not just talking about big, international disasters. I'm talking about how you live your life, how you approach your work, how you relate to those around you.

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Typhoon Yolanda: Lessons Learned From the Mayor

Typhoon Yolanda: Lessons Learned From the Mayor

Today was a strange day. I started feeling a bit sick yesterday. I spent most of the night wishing I had a sit-down toilet. I’m a big fan of Pepto Bismol. It really isn’t fun to sleep under a mosquito net when you have to keep getting up. The worst thing is when you think you're ready to go back to bed, you climb back under the net, get the net repositioned and stretch back out for a good night sleep and then, nope, I have to crawl out from under the net and tiptoe across the room so I don’t wake the rest of the team as I go back to the bathroom which is now leaking from a panel in the ceiling despite the fact that it isn’t raining outside. I’m not sure that I really want to know why. I’m not sure if the floor above us has filled up like a swimming pool or if there is a broken pipe or what. I just don't want the panel to come swinging open and have 50 gallons of murky water come down on my head! Focusing on the job at hand, I hurried up and went back to bed only to repeat the exercise four or five times last night.

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Typhoon Yolanda: Unstoppable

Typhoon Yolanda: Unstoppable

Today is Thanksgiving! It really doesn’t feel like it. Usually, at home I’m up early and starting my day long relationship with a couple of turkeys. Today, most likely, we are going to have MREs (Military Meals Ready to Eat) and maybe some special freeze-dried desserts from REI. In a storage, simplistic way, I was looking forward to it. And… I was thankful. After all, it is Thanksgiving. There are so many things that I take for granted: Toilets that you can sit on and that you don’t have to flush with a bucket, water the comes out of the faucet that you can drink, Internet access, a bed, a shower with hot or cold water (that you can drink if you want to), sleeping without a mosquito net to get tangled in, and more. Yep, I’m thankful alright. Number one, I have a roof. Number two, it doesn’t leak.

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Typhoon Yolanda: Emotions

Typhoon Yolanda: Emotions

Today was a day filled with emotion. We loaded the mini-truck with supplies for both teams and then we all piled into the other truck which is covered and has two barely padded benches that face each other. The first part of the trip was fairly easy. We drove to the municipality of Pastrana. We then met the Municipal Health Officer and he dispatched his nurse Vilma, RN. Their ambulance went in front of us and blared announcements that we were having clinic. We had police on motorcycles with assault rifles escorting us in front and behind. The streets rapidly deteriorated to mud roads marked by huge puddles (perhaps small lakes?). We splashed our way along at about 10-20 MPH. As we went, people were waving and, at times, cheering. I guess it was our own mini-parade. I've never had that kind of welcome on my way to work in the USA.

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