Honorable Veteran’s Day – 2013

Veteran's Day 2013It’s Monday … another day that my eyes have opened and my positive energy flowed. Maybe I just had a good night’s sleep! Yet, I have found that appreciating moments in life is a type of energy, a fuel, if you will. Some days I feel it more than other days. But if I start to get restless midweek or so, I realize that I hadn’t set my mind to attaining a personal peace and happiness. So I stop the rush of the world and say a simple “thank you”.

The interesting thing for me is that the “peace and happiness” comes from being positive in my interactions with people, be it at Publix Supermarket or Fort Lauderdale Beach. People don’t always “get it” but I am not going to change my outlook on life to fit their needs to be negative and critical, especially of my positive outlook. Simple. But I have found that being positive is sometimes contagious, when you strike up a conversation with someone that you don’t know, maybe at the supermarket or post office. It’s cool to see people communicating, including myself, impromptuly … is that a word?! … and keeping those communications positive and cordial. I enjoy those moments a lot. It restores my faith, if only for that moment, that humans can actually treat each other with kindness and respect.

It is Veteran’s Day 2013, and though I never served, I have good friends who did, including John Young, James Bailey and Brian Reed who also grew up in the Winbrook Projects in White Plains. One person I always think of on this day is my great friend and prep school coach, Maurice Blake! I will always appreciate how his near militaristic style to coaching brought us many seasons of fun in athletics from football to basketball, track and field to baseball at St. Paul’s School. Coach Blake had served in the U S Navy during World War II and continued his “giving”, not only to this country but the youth who found athletics to be just the proper outlet for positive self expression. We all know that many issues also caused tensions in the Armed Forces from gay and lesbian presence to purported abuses of power within the ranks and sometimes in treatment of “prisoners” and foes. Yet, we are able to wake up this morning within the shores of the USA without bombs bursting in air and no snipers on rooftops of buildings in our neighborhoods, as tough as some of them might be.

So, hat’s off to “All Who Served” in the Armed Forces of the United States of America! Honorable Veteran’s Day!

Namaste,

John I. Cook, Director

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