ADDING CLASSICS TO YOUR LIFE

By Steve Rogers, Editor

Music is an influence in our lives, and I greatly appreciate the diversity of styles and artists performing today.

While I recall when many people wanted to download huge quantities of music and movies for free, I was always content to buy one song or album at a time from iTunes. Now I have a sizable collection that ranges from Apocalyptica to The Beatles to Yo Yo Ma.

Up front, the music on my no-fly list currently includes 95 percent of rap music. Don’t take me there, but if the artist cannot sing a compelling note, you won’t impress me. Beyond that, rock, jazz, country, pop, audiobooks, acapella, rockabilly, new age, classical, Cuban, Latin, soul, dance, reggae, Christian/gospel, blues and much more appeal to me.

I realize also that what I consider a classic may be crap to you. So listen carefully and critically with your ears, not mine.

The artists and albums I suggest are red hot to me because I grew up devouring music as a youth, including:

  • Soaking in every LP my dad played like: “Downtown” by Petula Clark
  • Every song on the radio like “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Elton John and Kiki Dee
  • Every album my brother manage to play on dad’s stereo when no one was around like Wings Over America by Paul McCartney and Wings.

Hold your nose and open your ears. Image the best of these famed artists. And if you don’t know their best music, let me introduce them to you. For we all need inspiring music, original lyrics. Music is really about your heart, your hopes, your faith and your loves in this life.

  1. The ultimate cellist on Earth is Yo-Yo Ma. His work in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” mesmerized me some 16 years ago. No one plays with with such passion and precision. He plays classical music, but his creativity rises to the top on soundtracks. I was particularly pulled into his music when he teamed with famed composer Ennio Morricone to re-create the music from, among others, a spaghetti (Italian) western film featuring a young Clint Eastwood. Yes, I am referring to the 3+ hours of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, which features perhaps the best soundtrack ever by a western film.

    “JORGE HARADA…PLAYS LIKE ONLY ONE OTHER LEGEND HAS — AND THAT WAS STEVIE RAY VAUGHN.”

    Jorge-032013-05web (1)
    JORGE HARADA, 6-string Samurai

  2. My favorite guitarist today may not be on your list of standouts, but he is an old friend of many talents. He may not be the biggest man on stage among all-stars, but Jorge Harada of Ruby Dee and The Snakehandlers plays like only one other legend has — and that was Stevie Ray Vaughn. Jorge is a master guitarist and brings Stevie Ray back to the stage for me. He gives the reins to lead singer Ruby Dee on most nights because she commands the stage so well. But when Jorge steps up for a solo on their original compositions, each note strikes your heart and soul. Rockabilly is the band’s music genre, but this Austin-based band travels internationally because so many people love their music. Try their live album from Austin to get a feel for this band. The band is currently touring in Europe and killing it. Play one for me tonight, Jorge. The six-string Samurai can be visited at JorgeHarada.com, and the band’s website is RubyDeeMusic.com.
  3. On the country front, I’m still hooked on the young tenor Josh Turner. His hits range from “Long Black Train” to “Firecracker” to “Why Don’t We Just Dance.” And Josh’s voice reveals a deep tone that is nearly unmatched in the country music genre right now. This guy has a supremely bright future.
  4. For now, I will leave you with a young artist who was murdered after her concert on June 10, 2016. Christina Grimmie was only 22 when she passed, but her connections with Adam Levine, Selena Gomez and more than a million fans since her introduction to the music world in 2009 are eternal. She also starred in an endearing movie, The Matchbreaker. She finished third on The Voice in 2014, and that kicked off her tremendous growth. What allowed Christina to capture the hearts of millions was her thankful, sincere personality and her powerful, pure voice. While Christina released only a handful of albums and one movie, she and her family continue to change lives for the better with the Christina Grimmie Foundation. Donations and purchases can be made at ChristinaGrimmie.com.

More award-winning music later. Contact my friend Terry at UDPhotos@gmail.com when you are planning big events in your life. He has an amazing history as a photographer, and now he has new equipment too.

Make today legendary, friends!

WIM HOF: GET FROZEN

Wim Hof is slowly becoming a household name because he defies science and medicine.

If you are not familiar with Wim, you are not alone. Two weeks ago, I had only a surface knowledge of this European wildcat known as a stuntman who can endure tremendous cold. He is a world record holder and best known as “The Iceman.”

Two weeks ago, I listened to Wim speak in Spain at a 3-day conference hosted by Mindvalley, which also included hypnotherapist Marisa Peer and author Vishen Lakhiani to speak. Each made a profound appearance before hundreds of international go-getters in attendance.

For more information on Wim’s life, check YouTube.com. His Ted.com talks and footage of Wim’s climb of Mount Everest in short and barefoot are available if you suspect such achievements are BS. Wim also has run races barefoot above the Artic Circle and come away with no known frostbite. 

Scientists have attached all kinds of equipment to him and determined by Wim does indeed control his body temperature by will. And studies now reveal that Wim’s techniques of breathing and exposure to cold environments — think cold showers, guys — will dramatically improve anyone’s ability to do the same.

Wim has proven that was thought uncontrollable by the conscious mind is now a new universe that Wim Hof controls and explains to the world. 

His secret weapon? Wim mentally adjust his body temperature up to counter the ice and freezing water. Effectively through breathing techiniques, cold showers and regular training in frigid environments, Wim has altered what science long believed cannot be controlled voluntarily — the autonomic nervous system. He regularly states he enjoys ice and needs exposure to it on a regular basis.

More soon…

LIVE WITH VISION; DO NOT DIE WITHOUT HAVING LIVED

By Terry Carter, Editor

“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present. The result being that he does not live in the present or the future. He lives as if he is never going to die — and then dies having never really lived.” 

— James J. Lachard, on what is most surprising about humanity

The summary above describes the average day, year and life of the average person who is working hard and getting ahead in the 21th century. Some work to make money. Some to fill time. And others don’t work at all. They seem to play for 8-12 hours each day, enjoying each challenge, each event, each interaction they have while pursuing their life’s work.


That person, if you study the details carefully, is not unusual, nor a rebel. He is hard working, perhaps so busy he does not make time for family dinners, teaching his children to play ball or drive the car. He may have stayed at the office late to make financial ends meet, to afford a family vacation or to consider retiring late in life. It’s easy to justify the actions because nearly all of us have ignored what is actually more essential — in hindsight — to pay attention to the task at hand.

The fictional character described in the first paragraph dies having missed the reason and the joy of why he lived. He was so driven by societal means goals to “work hard to get ahead” and “promotions come to those with seniority” that he worked beyond the patience of his friends and family, who wanted him to have fun. At the end of his life, he will be well remembered for his work, but the end goals of joy, love, amazement and surprise were planned out of this type of life. 

Nearly everyone grew up pursuing means goals, including “get a college degree,” “work for one company during your career” and “marry once for life.” Of the 350 high school graduates from my high school, I suspect perhaps 30-40 percent did not receive a college degree, 95 percent did not work for just one company in the past 30 years, and perhaps 70 percent have exceeded the once social norm of one spouse per lifetime.

In the 1980s, no one mentioned end goals, such as climbing the tallest mountains on each continent or being surrounded by love daily, as they are primarily emotion-based that will make us happy or satisfied. End goals are about “following your heart,” Vishen Lakhiani writes in his book The Code of the Extraordinary Mind. 

Means goals typically take us another step toward a place that our elders or society suggests will make us happy, But there are stipulations and complications. See how this sounds:  You should get a college degree…so you can get a good career… so you can retire. Then you will be happy. As many of us know, the college degree put us in debt and 4-8 years older. The career allowed us to pay off the debt and afford a family and some lifestyle. The retirement, however, is not as likely as we imagined as teenagers.


Stop during your work week and look at your career as you walk or hurry through the day and the deadlines. Do you feel energized to go to work today? Did you spring out of bed this morning because of how great today will be? If not, why not? For each day is only as special as we make it.

We need to dig and change our software and hardware to bring computers to the market. And we need to do the same with ourselves. Ask yourself a few questions to see if your means goals are in line with your end goals. If they are, then your path may have been perfect for you. I have had to re-adjust my path several times due to changes in the economy (new hardware), new information I have uncovered (new software) and unpredictable events. These questions are taken from Lakhiani’s book, regarding all areas of our lives including relationships, spiritual, healthy and intellectual growth, careers, family and communities:

  1. What experiences do you want to have in this lifetime? The in-depth question is: If time and money were of no object and I did not have to seek anyone’s approval, what kinds of experiences would my soul crave?
  2. How do you want to grow? The in-depth question here is: In order o have the experiences above, how do I have to grow? What sort of person do I need to become?
  3. How do you want to contribute? The follow-up question is: If I have the experiences above and have grown in these remarkable ways, how can I give back to the world?


Answer me this, and your frustration with day-to-day work will vanish because we will begin to unlock your vision. A person who works to accomplish their vision never works as we know work. He or she enjoys every moment, brings light to dark rooms, shares and helps everyone who wishes to grow. 

Perhaps you are happy with your work and your life. But studies reveal that 80 percent of us are dissatisfied and just putting in time deposit the check. And the check simply vanishes to the bills that are due. 

This, my friends, is not why we are here on Earth. We are here to do so much more than pay bills, complain in the break room and break rules when no one is looking. 

Are you ready to grow, change and stretch those wings to fly? Be one with the wave and grow forever. Walk the narrow bridge on the highest mountain, and let us discover the thrill of victory at the summit.

FITNESS OR FATNESS – THAT IS THE QUESTION

By Terry Carter, Editor

I have weighed more than 200 pounds for about 25 years now, topping out at a mountainous 262 pounds about 3 years ago. As a chronic, Type 1 diabetic with a recently disabled knee at the time, my recovery prognosis for the knee was debateable. 

After surgery and about six months of rehabilitation three days a week, the doctor said I was permanently disabled, would always walk with a limp and may never run again. At this weight and an average diabetic diet that included fast food, taking more insulin to compensate for my sugar cravings and sodas, I was nearing 50 years old and losing a life-long health battle that began when I was 11 years old.

Back then I played 5-6 sports – including baseball, golf, tennis, wrestling and football – and led most teams I played on due to good hand-eye coordination, strength, flexibility and some athletic ability. After a baseball all-star game in June 1976, my mom bought me four Cokes, and I guzzled each one while eating two hotdogs. Then I asked for a fifth Coke.

As a registered nurse, she recognized this much sugar was a bad sign for my health. Two days later, I suffered through a 5-hour, glucose tolerance test and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. 

Thirty days in the hospital was the rule back then. So this hyper, athletic 11 year old bounced up and down the hospital halls in a wheelchair. It was the nurse’s way of preventing my blood sugar from falling due to extra exercise. Thus began the complicated daily adjustments in insulin, diet, exercise and even shoes that changed my life for the better.

Better, you say? How so? Well, the doctor was matter-of-fact and told me early on that if I listened and did everything he suggested, I may live to be 60 years old. We didn’t discuss the alternative.


So for more than 35 years, I had analyzed blood sugars, adjusted insulin doses, eaten OK and stayed semi-active as our three children grew up. But dietary knowledge and fitness gurus improved the system while I was preoccupied as many of us are today. Calories didn’t matter as much as Carbs. And cardio and cross-training became the fitness trends.

When I fell and hurt my knee, the Meniscus tore. And I was forced to walk like Festus in the old TV series Gunsmoke, kind of dragging my right knee behind me because the knee would no longer bend to lift it off the ground. Some of that was caused by the knee injury; some of the limp came from the hard scar tissue after the surgery.

So after the rehab doctor tells me I will likely never run again and am permanently disabled, my inner athlete chose to challenge those findings immediately. First I signed up for several seasons of slow-pitch softball. The first season, no one let me run. The second season, I ran the bases slow but steady after spending almost six months jogging sprints and trying not to fall on my face..

And the third season, I batted exclusively from the left side to get closer to first base, and I ran hard… for an old guy with one leg. On infield grounders, I forced myself all out to first base, and I beat a handful of throws. Playing infield was good training for the legs too because I simply didn’t give up.

Back to today: I walk about 30 miles a week and go running 3-4 times weekly. With my injury, I am forced to consciously take every step carefully and precisely to prevent stumbling on hilly terrain and stairs. I still fall, but I get back up and move on. As part of this rehab mission, I have always become a 3-day-a-week regular at my gym. It’s like CHEERS: They wave to me when I enter.

I have made good progress on the weights, treadmill and swimming once a week. I am not concerned about sweating hard and growling during my last 2-3 repetitions on a challenging weight. And I am now leg pressing as much as the machine can handle, and that leg press is the best rehab exercise for my knees, bar none.


As I mentioned earlier, I weighted 262 about 2.5-3 years ago after the surgery. Now I am 224 pounds, a 38-pound drop based on taking known weaknesses and focusing on them – intently! I never ran cross country or sprints. So my 5K runs for practice and in competition are new stimulus to my body. Your body and mine alike dislike the same excercises over and over. I mix long walks with pure sprints with quarter-mile jogs, but the running itself is my body’s best cardio workout.

It may be different for you. And 224 pounds is the lightest I have weighed in more than 20 years. I could not have imagined that after I reached 35 or 40 years old. It’s incredible to be moving down in weight while eating well and taking all-natural supplements from Plexus. The combination of eating healthier, exercising consistently and taking vitamins and the right supplements is a rare combination that gave me more energy, endurance, focus and better results.

I cannot tell you how happy I am with the strength, quickness, flexibility and overall health I am feeling right now. Also I take less than 50 percent of the insulin I injected three years ago. To all of you real runners out there, I’m not Clydesdale size yet, but my goal of 205-210 is within sight. Then I will bust that 35-minute barrier in a 5K race.

And if a 51-year-old man with a chronic disease and one knee can do that, I’m sure you can at least walk 15-30 minutes after you get home from work. How about it? Are you willing to join me?

FITNESS IN YOUR LIFETIME

By Terry Carter, Editor

I have always been an athlete, playing a handful of sports as a student. Today, I display a few war wounds, but not many are from sliding into third base, catching a pass or getting hit with a ball.

My right knee has had surgery and six months of rehab after a non-sports accident. The right leg is now about 1/2 inch shorter thanks to the surgery, but I’ve learned to walk and jog again. And in 2015, I completed two 5K runs within two weeks. It was dramatic progress over walking and dragging my bad leg behind me like Festus in the long-running TV series Gunsmoke.

My left hand also sustained a serious injury, but at least this one was somewhat related to sports. About 15 years ago, I was the National Football Editor for an ambitious prep website called VarsityOnline.com. While covering the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, I was on the sidelines taking photos with some pricey Nikon equipment and a monopod to keep my images steady. All went well until a cornerback plowed into me about 3-4 yards off the field. Naturally I took the brunt of the collision, and my monopod — shiny, new and straight when I arrived — wound up looking like the letter Z. Unfortunately a couple of fingers on my left hand did the same. They have never recovered despite surgery, about 30 stitches and more therapy.

Now in my 50s, I’ve learned several ingredients to getting in game shape from the athletes I covered over the years and from the authorities in healing and improving your health. 

My weight has dropped about 25 pounds and stayed off since my wife and I began walking to rehab my legs. That began about 26 months ago in February. By June, my competitive nature forced me to keep a wrap on that healing right knee and jog a little at a time. Later that fall, I began adding 50- or 100-yard “old man” sprints into the walking jogs to keep the workout challenging and fresh. I recall reading that the best body builders constantly changed their workouts to keep their muscles growing because standard routines minimize explosive growth.

Later I incorporated swimming 1-2 times each week. OK, I am not much of a swimmer. But I race walk in chest-deep water and am breathing hard by the time I finish 15-20 laps. At the same time, I challenge myself by pushing off the wall and swimming as far as possible on one breath to improve my lung capacity.

Why would an old, scarred guy in his 50s do this? Same as you, I hope. I am not ready to be stuck in a rocking chair yet. Most people my aged still some get-up-and-go. I decided when I fell on some stairs 4 years ago not to let that end my active days. So I’ve chased improvement ever since, and I am typically beat when I go home from work, which is physically taxing. 

Just because we are not 25 and handsome or beautiful does not mean we cannot stay focused on being our best — and keeping our best years ahead of us by working out mentally, physically and spiritually.

The result of my somewhat rigorous workouts has truly surprised me. I am now stronger in the leg press than when I was 35 years old. I can run faster and farther than anytime in my life. However running was never my forté, I might add. Still I have shown that beginning to use a weight room and a county park running trail and a pool can change you physically regardless of your age. I am 51 now and happily accept the compliments from those who guess I’m about 40.

I credit my loving wife for making it much easier to remain dedicated because she is often at the gym and walking beside me. Teamwork makes it much easier to let the fitness dream work. She is also keeping us healthier by altering her cooking routines and mixing in low-carb meals. Vitamins, more water, more daily steps and 100-percent juices are also keys to keeping me energized.

To those of you who are thinking you are past your prime, wake up and go for a walk. If permanently disabled, scarred diabetic who used to walk like Festus can do this much, you — my friend — can do much better. Now go outside and enjoy this fabulous spring weather.

Or take a long walk off a short pier. At least you will get your steps in and a short swim also.

LOVE IS WHAT MAKES LIFE WORTH LIVING

1 Corinthians 13:4-7: 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 

By Terry Carter, Editor

To me, love is the eternal feeling we get when another person accepts us in totality for who we are — and who we can be. And no, your loved one doesn’t want to marry the status quo individual, who is still playing beer pong at age 60 as they did in college.

It may have worked at age 21, but you are wiser now. Right?

The challenge is the agape love so popular in church does not translate smoothly into the real world — without Major League discipline. I have heard many parents and spouses using the “I will love you if… ” phrase in an attempt to manipulate their loved one. Conditional love is  a cruel weapon centered around withholding love if the person making demands does not get his/her way. And it typically falls from the lips of someone who was hurt themselves or was threatened in a similar way as a youth.

Don’t be that person who says, “I don’t love you” for any reason. It’s an immature and selfish thought prompted by anger. While many people inspire rage, it’s better to let God work on them. Follow a better path, and you can be loved even when you make mistakes as we all do. And, no, I am not condoning cheating idiots who don’t deserve a second chance. Let common sense rule for the cheaters who don’t realize a good relationship when they have it.

Most of you have seen a parent chastising their “loved one” about some bad decision and concluding with a rant like this: I cannot believe you did that. If you love me, you better do what I want — or else! If you don’t, you will be sleeping in the backyard forever — you ungrateful, fat cow!

It’s the battle of the selfish children at that point. The biblical verse above defines a more mature, selfless view of love. And I and very thankful I only dive into this cesspool on very rare occasions when my blood sugar is below 60. For non-diabetics, I pray you never have to resort to such conditional threats.

If your lover truly loved you — and you knew it in your heart, mind and soul — unconditional love would be your only inspiration when speaking. It’s a shame we all thought  we were in love at age 12-16 when our brains had not yet conceived what makes love work. Fact is, most teenage guys think they are in love when any girl walks by. And teenage girls are not far behind. But that is not love. It’s a bit less long term.

Just proves that one sign of puberty does not a man nor a woman make. The maturity required to thrive as an adult male or female takes another 8-25 years to decipher. Many of us still have our child-like side intact — just in case a ball game or a temper tantrum breaks out.

On to signs of true love then. Is love truly patient and kind? Yes. Does love really meet all of the descriptions listed above? Yes. 

Do men and women meet those strict rules when they fall in love? Seldom. But it can be done if you follow My 6 Simple Rules of True Love:

  1. Remember,  you are always on a first date with your loved one — even if you have been together for 80 years. Show the courtesy, respect, interest in and admiration for that special person you did when you had to dress to impress and be on your best behavior. We know that won’t last all week, but it’s a good impression that counts first. After that, good taste can lead you elsewhere.
  2. Love is a verb. Show love in all of your actions. Don’t start a food fight, leave garbage on the floor and ignore the dirty dishes. Lighten their load by helping, easing their mind, and doing more than your share. Going the second mile was not a recommendation just for Jesus. It works miracles in marriages too.
  3. Be more powerful than you realize.  I remember hearing a tale of a woman whose  husband left her for another woman years before. The dedicated wife mourned in a unique way: She set out a plate, the best silver wear and glasses she had for 2 people each night — and ate dinner alone for more than 1,000 nights. She set out clean, pressed clothes for her long-gone husband, but he did not pick them up. Then one day, he arrived home about dinner time. He saw a shining plate, silver wear and a goblet, and a well-cooked meal, waiting for him next to his spouse. Pleasantly surprised, he entered the home, sat down and began to eat. He stayed because he was anticipated at home and welcomed when he arrived back. He never left again. With a vision of what you want to happen in your life, not even a deserting spouse can stop you from achieving your goal. Athletes visualize great plays, great shots. This woman visualized a happy husband eating dinner with her every night. It can be done.
  4. Dream big dreams. Make your days together special and memorable. I don’t mean just the first year either. Try dance classes together. Try skydiving. Try golf, tennis, snorkeling, different clothes, food, haircuts. Variety — even with the same person — strengthens relationships. And no one can say they are bored. 
  5. God gave us hope, faith and love to get us through the hard times. So hope for the best in your date, your relationship, your spouse. Have faith that God will grant you a life of adventure, character-building exercises and fun together. And love each other because every mountaintop and every valley is better when you arrive with someone you love. Enjoy each moment knowing that love is the absolute greatest gift you will know in this life. And thank God for that.
  6. Remember, most of all, your love will only be eternal if you make it so. Make it happen each moment and each day. And in 50 years, both of you will want to do it all over again. If you do it right, I promise you will want more time together. But it is a 2-way street, and both parties must be willing to go the second mile for each other. Fear, stubbornness and hatred cloud the purity of love. Clear a path and run toward each other — do not hide in your own inadequacies.

DO SOMETHING GREAT ON OCT. 4

  By Terry Carter, Editor

Do you have plans for today, Oct. 4? Cancel them. Tickets to the game or show? Give them away. What happens Today in Washington D.C. has probably already affected your family or a close friend — and it could save millions of lives in the future.

Join me in supporting a worldwide event on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, on the National Mall in Washington D.C. to support comprehensive diagnosis, medical care, treatment and resources for addiction. It’s called United to Face Addiction — a topic that affects 1-in-3 families in America, but is often ignored because of apparent embarrassment or social pressure.

The free rally will include musical performances by the likes of Steven Tyler, Joe Walsh and John Rzeznik of The Goo Goo Dolls and expected notable speakers like TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz and many others.

In honor of my daughter and the roughly 85 million people in America are affected by a chronic addiction — and as many as 90 percent of those with signs of addiction are not treated — I offer my own version of Martin Luther King’s landmark 1963 I Have a Dream speech. It is tweaked to the current topic of addiction and recovery as addiction to alcohol and other drugs is now America’s “most urgent health crisis.”

Blessed are those who live in America for opportunity is great here. May that soon be the truth for those who are so often ignored and refused proper care today because of addiction.

______________________________________________________________speech

I am so happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for improved care, treatment  occurs today for those drowning in America’s “most urgent health  crisis.”

We live in the 21st century, an educated, enlightened and medically advanced age when virtually all major illnesses have cures or longer life expectancies considered impossible even a century ago. With these advances and a proven treatment system for drug addiction and recovery, now is the time to embrace the fact that a person in recovery is not a failed human. They  fell into addiction by genetic disposition and enviroment.

When my daughter was first diagnosed with drug addiction in 2011, we were told by a physician that medical studies revealed that 15 percent of the general public has an addictive disposition in their genetics, their unique DNA code. That means more than 1-in-10 people, if exposed to alcohol or any addictive substance, could be addicted in a short time. From that day on, their decisions must be deliberate and focused on sobriety. The 12-step system created for acoholics in th 1930s during the heart of the depression was a monumental victory in saving lives.

More recent additions of alternative peer groups, counseling, youth programs and even sober schools have raised the lives of those in recovery to a point where they can and do reach a totall productive life. There are hundreds of organizations that are interdependent in the life of a person with such a chronic medical condition. 

With so much achieved and so many millions of cases of addiction undiagnosed, it is physically impossible to suggest a community or a school district personnel to suggest that addiction does not exist on their turf and therefore needs no attention. Addiction is everywhere from Congress and the richest neighborhoods to the janitorial department in your office building and the slums — as are those who have recovered from this illness and are today famous musicians, politicians, judges, teachers and much, much more. You cannot isolate yourself from this disease. Instead face it and work with the hundreds of organizations in Washington D.C. today hoping for a better future.

The time has come to embrace this medical field, not ignore it or push it aside like an unwanted child. Those in recovery are more mature and wise than you suspect. I  am consistently amazed with the wisdom of my many friends who have been influenced by the world of recovery. 

There is no place for shame regarding addiction in your world or mine. To avert your eyes and say this worldwide issues does not affect you is like saying massive pollution will never affect your food, air or water. Wake up, friends. You are blinded by fear and shame hoping addiction avoids you, but your neighbor may still be attending recovery meetings.

Drugs such as alcohol and its companion, addiction, have been soul mates since the first liquor was swallowed long before America’s democracy was founded. For thousands of years, drunkards have been a waste product in each socity. Today a huge number of homeless and jailed persons are suffering from addiction and have no treatment options. They are part of the estimated 90 percent of drug addicts who are untreated. But we can fix this in the future.

  
I have a dream that one day men, women and their children will live in a world where everyone is created equal — and can have a chance to succeed regardless of challenges. A world where everyone is cared for, loved and given the medications they need.

I have a dream of a day when addicts are given value and care, where they are not judged by their failures — but by their victories over a relentess, chronic disease. I have a dream that we are all judged by the content of their character. I have a dream that recovery organizations across the nation awaken U.S. officials to the fact the “war on drugs” has failed, but recovery is the better way to win. I have a dream that the perception of  ignoring addiction in society will stop forever while so many of us are living strong and achieving great things in recovery.

I have a dream that the rich and the poor, the white, the black, the hispanic, the asian and others can receive proper treatment for their addiction by asking for it — and that imprisonment or dark alleys are no longer the path for an alcoholic. I have a dream that addiction and addictive tendency become standard terms since medical research reveals that at least 45 million people in America are battling this chronic illness.

I have a dream that your family and mine can emerge from the shadows currently shoving those in recovery to accept menial jobs when they have more wisdom, talents and energy to give. I have a dream of total victory against this medical disease, but unity is our greatest strength today. And with this circle of friends, we will emerge victorious in finding addicts earlier and curing addiction through proven methods. 

I have a dream that diabetes — a chronic disease my daughter and I share — and addiction will one day be  on the same level of treatment for all. Diabetes is currently nearing a cure once and for all. New inventions, medicines and millions of dollars of research are invested annually to solve this riddle forever. If diabetes can be tamed in my lifetime and the life expectancy doubled in the past century, then surely the larger family of those dealing daily with addiction, its complications and a proven recovery system deserve a cure as well.

With your contribution to this cause, which is receiving coverage on The Huffington Post website today, one day soon we shall proclaim: Thank God almighty for another miracle on this Earth — addiction can be cured and even prevented in the future.