Life’s Playlist…. Nadia’s Theme by Henry Mancini

On this date in 1976, Nadia Comaneci became the first person in Olympic history to score a perfect 10 in competition.

Scoreboards during the Games weren’t prepared for such a feat, when her score popped up as 1.00, the audience was outraged, until they were told the decimal point was static and couldn’t be moved.

For the entire competition, each of Nadia’s perfect scores was reflected as a 1.00, instead of 10.0.

That summer the world embraced Nadia, a product of the Romanian sports development system.

At just 14 years old, Nadia became a household name and scored a total of seven perfect scores in the Montreal Olympics.

After the Games of 76, she competed in the 80 Moscow Games and capped her career with nine Olympic medals.

In 1989, Nadia defected from Romania and ended up in the United States where she married American gymnast Bart Conner.

Now an American citizen and gymnastics coach, Nadia Comaneci is 55 years old.

 

Life’s Playlist….. Soar by Christina Aguilera

Yesterday I watched the movie “Hidden Figures.”

The movie is the true story of three women who helped elevate the United States space program during the 1960’s when the US and Soviet Union were in a race to send a man to the moon.

Overcoming the obstacles of racism and sexism in the workforce, these women proved their place through hard work and ability.

The spirit of the movie soared as the US space program overcame obstacles to get our astronauts into space.

While we are all familiar with the heroes who went into space, this story gives us a look at the heroes on the ground who put them there.

Nominated for a number of Academy Awards this past year, I would rank this film with any of the other great “space” theme classics.  I loved it!

Hidden Figures is a testament of what greatness can be accomplished when the talents of everyone is encouraged.  When the person most qualified is given an opportunity to excel regardless of sex, orientation or color.

Check it out, Hidden Figures is a great movie!

Life’s Playlist….. The Star Spangled Banner performed by Whitney Houston

Independence Requires Responsibility

This weekend we celebrate our nation’s independence.

The 4th of July is a red, white and blue celebration of national pride that we partake in every year.

In 1776, when our forefathers set out to form a more perfect union, the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence outlined the blueprint for our nation…..

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

As we gather on beaches, lakes, mountaintops and the communities of our land celebrating our Independence, I believe in these words more today than ever; 241 years later, the ideals of our founding fathers still stand.

As a people we are given more freedoms than any other nation on the planet.  The melting-pot that makes America great still stands strong today and while we have not succeeded in every way, I contend that the American experiment is the greatest of all time.

With our independence also come great responsibility, this is where I think we as a people have fallen short.

We live in contentious times, but that contentiousness will not destroy us, if we as Americans will just honor those unalienable rights that we were given.

Our independence requires participation.  If we do not participate in the process how do we make our nation better?

When we lend a hand to those in our community, support the needs of our citizens and become involved in the process that makes our country great, often times we find a kinship with others that may not be seen from the surface.

I have often found that once I get to know someone, our differences quickly disappear and our similarities rise to the surface.  I think it is time that we started celebrating our unique commonality as a nation and stop focusing solely on our different visions.

And it’s time that we stopped concentrating on “beating the other side” and worked for the common good, one that includes compromise from all sides and not just a win at all cost mentality.

However, with this independence that we all partake in, a responsibility is required.

For too long, some in our nation have lived on the backs of others, for true independence to thrive, everyone must do their part.

I don’t think anyone would argue that those hurting in our nation deserve our support, but when able-bodied Americans sit back and live off the hard work of others, the promise of that document signed in 1776 is tarnished.

It’s time that we as Americans, ALL Americans took responsibility and moved us towards that more perfect union.

Hard work is the backbone of our country, that includes arriving on time, staying late and working to the best of our abilities.

Most of us have had jobs that we didn’t love, jobs we felt were beneath us, but with hard work and dedication we can move up and forward finding a place where we best fit into the fabric of America.

Until ALL Americans take their place at the table and help move us forward we will falter.

America is and will always be the greatest nation on earth, some in our nation have forgotten that.  For those people it is time that you step up, bring your voice to the table and your hands to the workforce… participate, for our nation to thrive, we require everyone.

As we gather this weekend, and again on Tuesday to celebrate our nation and our Independence, I hope we will all remember the responsibility we each hold in carrying forward the ideals of America.

It is more than just fireworks and picnics, it is a 365 day a year responsibility to honor our greatness.

Happy Independence Day America!

 

My America…..

THIS is the America I live in, not Twitter wars or tearing others down, but honoring service and dedication to family.

Well done Budweiser, well done!