Friday, June 29, 2018

Why Do We Only "Rest in Peace (R.I.P.)?"

LinkedIn post by Terrell Fure' - Sony Music Songwriter/Artist

The other day I was perusing my social media sites as I do on a daily basis and came across the question in the photo displayed to your left in a LinkedIn post by Sony Music Songwriter/Artist Terrell Fure'. The question leaped off of the screen at me because I've asked this same question for years and was glad to see that I do not think about this by myself. 

Seriously, think about what the question is asking. It's amazing how our final wish for the deceased is for him/her to rest in peace. In many instances, the deceased did anything but live in peace and yet we are wishing for him/her to rest in peace. Now, I'm not wishing anything bad on anyone who is deceased or alive for that matter, but the post does beg the right question. What is it that is stopping us from living in peace?

I write this in the wake of yet another deadly shooting; this time it was five killed and others wounded in a shooting at a Maryland newspaper, The Capital Gazette. As of this writing, there have been 154 mass shootings in the US so far in 2018.  So why is it that we can't seem to live in peace? Is it that hard to love our neighbors as ourselves or could that be the problem, too many of us don't love ourselves. We hate ourselves so much that it does not phase us to spew that same hatred onto others who have absolutely nothing to do with us. Most of the victims who are killed in these mass attacks have never met the shooter or attacker. The victims are in most cases innocent bystanders who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

For many, it seems that they are just not happy unless chaos is going on(our President notwithstanding). They are not happy unless we are living in discord. I don't get it. Ironically, I'll bet all of those who sow disharmony at one point in their lives have wished for a loved one to "Rest in Peace."

There is a verse in the Bible that says "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.Maybe that's it! Maybe there are a significant number of people who don't want to be called "children of God."  There has to be a reason for us not being able to live in peace. Our families, communities, states, and countries would work so much better if we all indeed found a way to live in peace. Why wait until we are in our final resting places to have peace?

Maybe some of you readers out there can help me and Mr. Fure' out. If you think you have the answer, please leave a comment in the comment section of this blog. I also invite you to hear me live each Saturday from 6-9 a.m. ET as I web stream around the world on and locally in northern NJ on FM radio WP88.7 FM. I also invite you to follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical01 and @readingcircle01.  Let's all make every effort we can to live in peace!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Holidays Provide Wonderful Opportunities for Reflection, Reverance and Rememberance

I write this post a day after Father's Day, a day set aside to celebrate fathers and fatherhood.  provides an excellent historical synopsis of how this particular holiday began and I urge you to visit the hyperlink reference above to learn more. You'll learn information such as the fact that there are more than 70 million fathers in the United States (Bet ya didn't know that). 

The prompting of this post stemmed from my Father's Day 2018 experiences which began at a Father's Day breakfast at my church. The day proceeded with my daughter sitting with me during our church service, my visiting my own father's gravesite, being taken to dinner by my wife and ending with my daughter taking me out and treating me to an ice cream dessert. Father's Day 2018 ranked right up there on the top of the list as one of my best celebrated Father's Days in several years.

As I stood beside my father's gravesite, I found it hard to believe that 33 years have gone by since his sudden passing one week prior to his 49th birthday in 1985. Fond reflections of my childhood days with my father ran through my mind as if I were watching scenes from a movie. As I brushed some dried blades of grass off of his headstone, I could hear his voice, his laugh and even see some of his facial expressions. As I stood there, I reflected on my own experiences of being a father and it dawned on me why we pause to celebrate and commemorate on days such as Father's Day. 

As we annually interrupt our daily or weekly routines to acknowledge people or events, it can be easy for us to reduce the moments to just another "Hallmark Card" day that we take for granted instead of really taking the time to do what the breather from the norm was designed for. It behooves us to reflect, revere, remember, celebrate, commemorate, acknowledge, recommit, refocus, and respect whatever or whoever the various days honor. Depending on where one is or what is going on in life, these days can bring up a wide range of emotions and they can vary like a roller coaster from year to year. I mentioned above how Father's Day 2018 was one of my best in recent years because, for some years, Father's Day was not good for me based on what was going on in life at that moment. Another example might be someone who lost his/her father to death between Father's Days and is celebrating Father's Day for the first time without his/her father. Examples such as these can be applied to any of our holidays. 

Lastly, if at all possible, do whatever you can to take in the spirit of each holiday to the fullest because we really don't know when we are celebrating our last one of whichever one it is. Many loved ones pass away from one annual holiday to the next. We don't know when it will be our last Mother's Day, Father's Day, 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, New Year's Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, etc. etc. or the last one our loved ones will be with us. Take these wonderful opportunities to enjoy your family and friends and take some time during each holiday to reflect, revere and remember. 

Hear me live each Saturday from 6-9 a.m. ET as I host The Reading Circle with Marc Medley radio show on streamed around the world) and on FM radio 88.7 FM in northern NJ. I invite you to follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical01 and @readingcircle01.