HAPPINESS TO SHARE

By Terry Carter, Editor

As parents, tradition says we will adore our kids when they are very young, teach them when they are willing and withstand the rebellious years until they move on (not .org).

My wife and I are nearing our 29th wedding anniversary, and our offspring are fully sprung. That is, they all have their own lives and homes outside ours — and they are 21+ years old. None have children yet. So Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are just opportunities to give the parentals a hug one more time from their 20-something mindset, I imagine.

Just wait until you children arrive, my children. Then those holidays will mean more to you. With luck kindness and generosity will be key traits you teach your young ones. If so, the rewards are well received on all holidays. 

But tonight I mention traditional values like love. As my son celebrated his epic birthday this weekend, I already see a great man who is capable of achieving any goal — as all of our children are. Of course all parents think their kids are the greatest thing on Earth, and I signed up for that class three decades ago.

Children are what makes life most enjoyable. As they grow, they are curious about everything. They are happier than anyone, and they are so honest. Then comes the heredity: Children are adorable, funny and unique from their siblings. It is truly a gift from God to have three healthy, brilliant and beautiful/handsome and well-adjusted children in the world today. 

We are so thankful for their leadership, their compassion, their peace and their chosen paths in life. I doubt I could have selected any of their current journeys at birth, but I am consistently impressed by what they done and their ambitions for the future. One has lived in Hawaii for years after buying a 1-way ticket. One helps save lives each day and has participated in a national rally in Washington D.C. And another found her true love, married and has been to Paris for her honeymoon.

I write for a living. But these three tales of three outstanding young adults keep me filled with hopes and dreams every time I think of them. Grown children rarely are told that they are wonderful and a gift from God — but they certainly are.

I know I speak for all parents — even those who mumble or whisper their “I love you” when I say this to my children: You are loved, and love lasts forever. Greatness lies within you, and you are already on your path to a great mountain. Always aim high, dream big. 

Then pack for an exciting journey, for success is not reaching a picturesque destination. No, success is taking a worthwhile journey requiring personal growth, hard work, endurance, peace and faith. You will reach 100 destinations on the journey. Enjoy each step, each stopover and each barrier. Greatness is not handed to anyone. It arrives after the hard work, after the pain. You are great, and your greatness arrives from journeys and challenges. Face them and solve them. It’s part of the growing-up, being-independent thing we all deal with.

Happy birthday, Bobby. I’m so proud of you doing things your way.

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.

2012 Bucket List for Politics

Didn’t see The Bucket List — only the previews on YouTube. But, like you, the idea sank in that daring lists are worth making and often doing.

This 2012 time frame may prove to be inaccurate, but here is my 2012 Bucket List for the political world. This fantasy role-playing world of supposed politics consists of evil villans disguised as heroes/heroines and actions that maim even the best of us. Each party coerces the other with a strong-arm tactic or four — whatever it takes — and then attempts to smile and make the legislation sound like it was a joint effort. Black mail or outright bribe seems more appropriate.

On with the 2012 Bucket List:

  1. Elect a U.S. President with integrity, bravery, wisdom, delayed gratification and old-school values. If he has a Bible tucked under his arm, all the better. And, with this Congress, he better know how to tell people “No” every hour of the day. I’m not stuck on party, but I know what has worked in this country for 235 years because I study history and I learn from the best. Give me a strong, honest man or woman who will not wilt under pressure — not a politician who’s weak and ignores business, security, God, American Exceptionalism, the Constitution and Bill of Rights. You guessed it — I am not a fan of Barak H. Obama and his government-run methods.
    I do not know the political affiliation of most of these past presidents, but they led America in a way that shows wisdom and America’s Godly Heritage (Thank you, author David Barton). My brief list of Great American Presidents includes: G. Washington, A. Jackson, A. Lincoln, T. Roosevelt and R. Reagan. Political party does not matter. Their actions mattered in leading America to greatness and keeping the USA there.
  2. Kick every bum out of Congress who keeps voting on wasteful spending at this time of unheard-of national debt. Believe it or not, politicians don’t belong in Washington D.C. They should be digging ditches so they begin to understand what hard work — which most of us invest 8-16 hours a day on just to eat — is. I’ve met Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Their political wrangling and arm-twisting, threats make them useless to American citizens. Go home, Harry. Nevada doesn’t need you ever again, but maybe you can join Nancy in the zoo. Nancy, your persuasion techniques are not worthy of discussion among humans. However I’m certain the arctic exhibit at a major zoo will give you new friends to make — mainly polar bears and wolves like yourselves.
  3. Tell the media — online, print, television, etc. — you are banning their political maneuvering (outright propaganda/lobbying actually) until after the November election. They are full of editorial manure and spewing a diseased agenda on each of us daily. I see through the media stories, attacks and mis-direction. Personal insight and time in newsrooms, television studios tells me at least 45 percent of the nation votes for the man their newspaper or TV newscast tells them to vote for. Can you say mind-boggling? How naive are we to let others tell us how to think and for whom to vote? Grow your brain through use and stop soaking up horrible, depressing news — it will change the person you are. Plug the brain back in and think for yourself. But here’s the real trick: Vote unselfishly for what helps your country thrive the most and not what helps you personally. There is a habit George Washington would be proud of.
    I dare you to ignore the media’s propaganda and not vote like your friend or your dad. Study the candidates, listen to their answers critically (remember how good “Hope and Change” sounded four years ago), ask questions. Be proactive in making your choice. But don’t make a choice because the candidate is your dad or he looks like you. Follow Martin Luther King’s lead: Judge a man not on the color of his skin, but on the content of his character. A very few media sources can help you dig out facts that are hidden and tell-tale facts. Ignore the fluff and find several, serious news sources to who are truly objective. In other words, they don’t tell just good news about 1-2 candidates and rip all others to shreds.
  4. Give me ear plugs until all the campaign ads have been burned in a fire or archived far from me. At least that wish is realistic. I always carry ear plugs and truly hate attack ads. Candidates, if you want my vote and many more, tell us what you believe. Don’t attack the other candidate. It does not work for me.
  5. Get this election over with ASAP.  I’m ready to vote today, and, trust me, I’m HOPING to make a CHANGE when I vote. Help yourself by learning the difference between a capitalist economy and a socialist economy. God help us if voters don’t know the difference as the election draws nearer. Best of luck to all of us when this election finally arrives. From my view, this election is the most important in my lifetime.