Life’s Playlist….. All By Myself performed by Celine Dion

Life’s Playlist…… Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland

There has never been a time in my life when the Wizard of Oz wasn’t there.  It is the first movie I ever remember seeing.

As a child, and still today, I identified with the Scarecrow, without a brain, the scarecrow was confused and lost.  Once he got wisdom in his life he blossomed.

The story of the Wizard of Oz is timeless and knowing that we had what we need in our lives all along, it is inside us, is one of the great lessons that we can live as children or adults.

As much as I love the movie and the message, those damn flying monkeys still scare the bejesus out of me!

One of the greatest movies of all time, starring one of the greatest entertainers of all time, The Wizard of Oz premiered at the Lowe’s Capitol Theater in NYC on this date in 1939 with Judy Garland in the lead role of Dorothy.

In a world where sadness and strife often gets more notice than the good in the world, it’s nice to know there will always be a place over the rainbow.

 

Life’s Playlist…. Vogue by Madonna

It’s Madonna’s birthday.

I had just entered college when Madonna hit the charts and she changed music and pop-culture on every level.

When she burst onto the scene, she did it with a brash, take no prisoners charge that captured the hearts and minds of a generation.

After hitting the charts with a number of songs, she then moved into movies and continued to shape world culture through fashion, music, acceptance and pushing the boundaries of what society expects.

While she has grown older, she continues to push the envelope of what it means to be a woman “of a certain age.”

In my opinion she sometimes pushes the envelope too far and it wouldn’t hurt her to move into a more subdued existence, but many people still love what she does and she now attracts audiences that would be the children and even grand-children of the fans who were originally drawn to her.

My favorite Madonna song is “Vogue,” I remember MANY nights of the dance-floor with friends striking a pose to the beat.

Happy Birthday Madonna, may you continue to influence and challenge.

 

 

Life’s Playlist…. Put a Little Love in Your Heart performed by Annie Lennox and Al Green

The Last Best Hope of Earth……

Men and women throughout our history have told us that the United States is the greatest nation on Earth.  No country has, or will ever, stand for the freedoms and liberties that we as Americans take for granted every day.

We have also been told through history, that as great as our country is, the only way we will ever be defeated is from within, if we the American people take those freedoms and liberties for granted and tear apart our nation from the inside out.

Have we reached a point where our own internal prejudices have torn our nation apart?

For many years our prejudices have simmered just beneath the surface, prejudices from ALL sides of the political spectrum have now come to a boiling point and my fear is that we will not turn down the heat in time to save the greatest nation ever known to man.

Yesterday we saw the latest black eye on our nation played out on national television when white supremacist marched on a city to spread their hate.

The latest example of hate speech is part of a long line of recent events that should make us all evaluate our own beliefs and our feelings towards those who join us in the melting-pot that makes up the dream of America.

A long line of cities across our country have been affected by these moments of hate, Ferguson, South Central LA, Selma, Littleton and numerous others who dot the landscape of our map.  At what point do we as American’s realize that we don’t have to agree with everything our neighbor supports, but if we let our differences tear us apart we are no better than the terrorists who destroy our cities?

The blame for our present state lands squarely on all sides of the political spectrum.

When we describe ourselves as hyphenated Americans instead of Americans a bias is put forth that doesn’t move us forward but continues to separate us.

When we tear down the history of segments of our residents we then marginalize their history as “less than” instead of a time that we learned we could be better.

This morning, as I watched the talking heads on Meet the Press, one of the panelists tried to bring forward the point that there is blame on all sides of the conflicts. Unfortunately he was shouted down by his fellow panelists who only wanted it to be known that their beliefs were harmed and wouldn’t acknowledge their own sins against our nation.

This is the problem, we no longer talk, we shout.

We are at a point in our nation’s history where we can’t see the grey in a situation, it is either my way or no way and we would rather tear down the other side than discuss and learn from one another in a way that could enhance the lives of all Americans and not just those who hold our same beliefs.

When American citizens gather in the nation’s capital to boycott a newly elected President on his first day in office, you are the problem.

When a city burns because a segment of the population disagrees with a jury verdict, you are the problem.

When people attending a rally to remember their cultural past show up in military armament, carrying weapons and brass-knuckles, you are the problem.

When entertainers spew hate speech and write lyrics tearing down others, you are the problem.

When your newscast focuses on the hate filled rhetoric of a few, and make them the lead story, you are the problem.

And when you don’t speak out in opposition to all of the above EQUALLY, you are the problem!

Unfortunately, the “you” in all of this has become “we,”…. WE are the problem.

We are all the problem.  We have allowed those on the fringe of important issues in our society to overtake the conversation, we are the problem.

America was founded on the ideals that ALL are created equal, that ALL are entitled to  life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  But we were also founded with a RESPONSIBILITY to be part of the process, work hard and contribute.

Will it take our nation hitting rock bottom before we raise up these ideals and actually work towards the more perfect union?

I worry that in today’s society with the climate of hate that is so prevalent we could not come together when we need to and support the ideals of America.

Unfortunately in our pursuit of being proven right, we no longer honor the rights of others to share their beliefs as well.

America is in a time in our history that will either destroy us or raise us up and whichever way we go is up to us.

We can either choose the path of Al Sharpton, David Duke, Rush Limbaugh, Rachel Maddow, Kanye West and Rosie O’Donnell or we can be better.  We as a people can begin the conversation, we can honor the good in our neighbors and we can begin to live together as one America and turn our backs on the hyphenations that separate us.

It’s time that the melting pot of America unites and welcomes all; black, white, straight, gay, Christian, non-Christian, southern, northern and everyone in between.

It is time that America honor the ideals that we were founded on, before it is too late.

I believe in the American people and I know that the trouble-makers who terrorize us are few, but if we allow them to continue to garner the spotlight and inhabit our thought process, we will fail, we will fail to uphold the cornerstones that America was founded on.

                                  “My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again                                          be seen as the last best hope of earth.”

Abraham Lincoln