Posts Tagged ‘differences

22
Apr
13

Don’t Keep the Faith—Share It!

Charlie Jones reading his Bible in the Holy Land.

Charlie Jones reading his Bible in the Holy Land.

When you are passionate about your faith and passionate about respecting others’ beliefs, it’s amazing the kind of connectivity that transpires. When my father passed, I heard from many whose lives he touched, people from different political, religious, and ideological backgrounds. “Tremendous” was passionate that we each choose what we are going to live our lives for and go all out doing it.

He claimed it was one of the only three decisions that you ever needed to make in life. Decide whom you are going to live your life for, make it yours, and die by it. He respected those who lived life with a tremendous passion and chastised those who didn’t. As the late, great Margaret Thatcher said, “Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.” My father personally witnessed this in his sales career, in his home life, and in his church. He believed it with all his heart.

“Tremendous” Jones spoke to many thousands of groups throughout his lifetime. Some were of a religious or faith-based affiliation, but the majority was not. That never deterred him from veering off point or changing the message to share his faith. I used to wonder why he would take on such a sensitive topic when facing thousands of business people from all walks of life and beliefs until I finally understood. He was just living out loud. He was revealing his most authentic self and just being.

His faith is what drove every second of his life and to not share that would be dishonest with others. His life was a showcase of the grace of God, the forgiveness of Christ, the wisdom of books, and the help of others in a man’s life. And he just couldn’t keep it inside. To do so would be to let others think that his strength to live tremendously came from his own mental and physical strength, and nothing was further from the truth. He never told you what to believe; only that you must answer this question for yourself and live life like you mean it!

28
Jun
12

Are you freer than you were four years ago?

The Fourth of July. A time when we celebrate our independence as a nation. It is a time for us to celebrate our patriotism, our freedom from oppression, and our love of all things individual. Our freedom and our democracy with which we have been blessed are direct products of the sheer determination of our forefathers who worked to establish the United States of America as a free country.

Freedom of choice?

We have a choice to be wealthy or poor. We have the choice to live a healthy lifestyle or an unhealthy one. We have a choice to be agnostic or religious. We each have every opportunity to live our lives as we see fit. Equal opportunity does not guarantee equal outcome. Those who achieve more are vilified, unless they are in sports or the entertainment industry. If you have ever run a business and not had to fire someone, lay someone off, or get hauled to  court, I’m not sure you even showed up for work.

Are we even in the business of celebrating the individual? Seems anybody that is different than what we think, what we earn, and what we look like is the enemy. Differences have come to reflect “evil”. We are less united as a nation; partisan politics has made our common bond a distant memory.

I can remember the first time I saw the Borg on Star Trek: The Next Generation. It still scares the bejesus out of me, the thought of a huge hive where any bit of individualism has been assimilated into one collective consciousness. But as we give our individual freedoms to a collective bureaucracy, this is exactly what is happening to us.

Free to disagree?

I shied away from the debate club as a teen because I could never vehemently argue one side of an argument. I could always see the other person’s point of view. F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” If you listen to the news, or read the blogs, we have no first-rate minds. And they definitely don’t want you to have a first-rate mind either. You can tell by the tone and spin in their “investigative” journalism. That’s not news, that’s entertainment.

Have a different set of morals than me? I’ll coil up and bite you by spreading venomous lies and hissing vulgarities about you. I’ll make you and your family a parody on comedy sketches so everyone can laugh at how ignorant you are. And yet we are busy wringing our hands over the escalating problem of childhood bullying, refusing to acknowledge that they are direct reflections of the adults in, or out, of their lives.

I used to love the days when I could carry on a discussion with someone who had a completely different viewpoint than myself without it degenerating into snide tones, and unsubstantiated quips. Don’t agree with me? You must be phobic, an idiot, a pathetic loser, or just a jackass. Sounds real grown up, doesn’t it?

Do we have to tolerate fools gladly?

During my time in the military, I lived in many different countries. There are governments that do not respect individual freedoms, liberties, or the basic equalities that we take for granted in America. I, like every other service member, took an oath to defend these rights against all enemies, foreign and domestic. 

With the influx of foreign nationals into our country, we see that some of these intolerances have made their way onto our soil. Some groups demand that we respect their laws and religious ideals, but refuse to respect those of others. Their way is the only way so your freedom of choice is dictated by them.  Ayaan Hirsi Ali said, “Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice.” Tolerating others’ injustices to basic human rights isn’t respecting another nation’s sovereignty or religious beliefs, it’s just wrong.

This Fourth of July remember, while we are still free to do so, that we truly must live free or die; that if we’re all thinking alike, nobody is thinking; and that suffering fools gladly is madness.




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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