“With the Power of Love, Anything is Possible!”


Happy Hump Day … I say today … pushing back tears for the injured and murdered in Las Vegas …

My first question is … How can so many “nutcases” … er uh … people with extreme mental challenges … have the opportunity to take the lives of so many innocent persons in America?!  When I look at the “big picture”, it seems like the USA is paying for something that it “did” in the past … Use your imagination and knowledge of history and you may arrive at the same conclusion.  Perhaps, not …

I grew up with musicians like Jimi Hendrix, yes, and I was a “hippy” (still am in many ways!) and I protested the war in Vietnam.  I got my education via scholarship at Princeton University at the same time.  Can you hear me say “thank you” to my Creator?!?  I say it everyday, multiple times each day … it helps keep me humble.  Some folks need to learn that ’cause they think that “they” are actually “gods” themselves … and can do and say whatever they want under the guise of “freedom of speech” … even if it hurts someone else.  Most of the time, I try to be a simple person … not ignorant … I said simple.  In other words, I endeavor NOT to complicate the simplest things in my life nowadays … like “truth”, “peace” and “love”.  I have had dear friends who had promised not to deceive me again, whom I trusted and whom I “was there” for as an ear and shoulder when times were challenging for them.  I had to learn that even “those” people … will not live up to their promises … Peace be still.  Thanks to My Creator, I had learned to balance myself within myself and not depend on what someone “said” to me during the moments that we were having a “heart to heart” conversation.  Some people will say, “Well, that’s life!” or “That’s only human!”  I say, that’s bull crap!!  There are some folks who are mentally unstable and NEED to be told the truth!  They can “flip” at anytime …  Be glad that YOU weren’t in “Vegas” when that hideous shooting took place …  Most of the time, people who have these acute problems and symptoms are known to have them by friends … so called friends … even professionals like doctors and psychiatrists/psychologists … husbands or wives, parents or siblings … even children!  Yet, “they” try to hide the truth … until something bizarre takes place!

In two weeks, I will be returning to the USA …  there are international laws that prohibit even Americans from “landing” in another country and just “staying there” as long as they want.  My trip began as a birthday treat/mental and physical health “retreat” and turned into a “lesson of life”!  You’ve heard the expression: “It’s great to go to certain places on vacation, but to live there is another thing.”  It’s true … because most tourists want to flaunt the fact that they are “tourists”, spend their money, request things of others because they have money, and then leave those same places without having appreciated the fabric of some of those societies and cultures that they have visited, especially the people.  In my journey, I didn’t just “touch down”, spend a day or two acting rich, then went on to my next destination for a couple of days with the attitude that “Hey, I am a tourist … I can act like this!”  Some tourists are indeed unreasonable.  I personally, like to hang out with “the people” of a country or city … take metros and trains, buses and walk while on vacation and retirement … even with two arthritic hips!  Shucks, when I was in Paris, I walked from my hostel to the Arc de Triomph and The Eiffel Tower, past Moulin Rouge and a couple of other cool places until I couldn’t walk anymore!!!  I sat down at a cafe, had a croissant and a fruit juice, rested my legs … and got on my path again.  On those same trains and at those tourist attractions, I had young ladies  as well as well as folks near my age offer to “carry my suitcase” up a flight of steps of the metro or pick up a coin that I had dropped while buying something from a vending machine.  Like I said, I try to keep it simple and not put on “airs” … unless forced to!

I can hear “Jimi Hendrix” now with Buddy Miles jammin’ the tune “The Power of Love” … Yes, I was a hippy … and still am in many ways.  I am fortunate that I have some friends who come through in moments of challenges in my life.  I love these friends, and they love me!  While in Europe, I met so many nice people who gave me directions to where I was going, some accompanied me, assisted me with my luggage and was even glad to see me on multiple occasions at the front desk of a hostel or residence where I was staying!  Yesterday, on my way back from Valencia to Barcelona on the bus, I met a young lady who turned out to be a doctor in Valencia who was on her way to Glasgow for vacation.  She actually invited me to sit next to her and explain a bit about “The Affordable Care Act”, known to many as Obamacare and clinched her teeth when I described how it works and whom it covers.  She was in shock that the current president wants to get rid of it and is doing everything he can to curtail its existence … as well as the existence of the people who may rely on it!  I was fortunate enough to meet people in the countries I traveled to, mostly young people, who admired the fact that I am a retired teacher from America traveling through as much of Europe as I can, getting to know the culture and the folkways and mores of the people whose country I am visiting!  They appreciated my openness, my honesty … and my love!  I also appreciated theirs.  For those of you who know me, and who know what it means, this is why I say “Namaste”!


John I. Cook, Director

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