Thursday, August 8, 2013


"A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others throw at him."
I ran across this quote quite by accident and realized I undoubtedly agree.  I could build quite a large building with the bricks that have been thrown at me.  I wanted to sit down and write all the bad things, the sad things, the unwelcome things that have been thrust at me, as I have tried my entire life to do good.  But I realized something I was told by a most trusted friend. He offered these words to me. "But haven't you done some amazing and incredibly good and important things in your life? Aren't you a good person? Don't you have an amazing heart? Haven't you built the foundation of your life upon bricks of strength, love, honesty, compassion, passion, success, talent and credibility?"

Looking at it that way I suppose the moral is that all of the bricks that have been thrown at me have allowed me to evolve and become the kind of person I am. The past week I have made a decision.  The decision is to do only those things that bring me joy.  Those things that make a difference in a way that I feel proud that I was a part of. I am posting a note on my life, that I shall no longer be a target and all drama must be left at the door. What I do want and require is happiness, joy, smiles, laughter, and a hunger for a life that has been missing for far too long.
To this end I spent Monday till today bringing national and some international awareness to a young man who witnessed his best friend in war, his battle buddy, shoot himself in the head to escape the hell of war.  This young man, needless to say, returned to the country he fought for with PTSD.  He crumbled, as any of us would have under the circumstances. 
He has obtained a trained service dog and finally felt confident enough to escape the isolation of his home to attend the church he has been attending since 2009.  His wife has left him and he is now alone with his service dog to struggle, to dig out, to try to forget what he witnessed and endured.  He went to church to be supported, to be loved, to pray, to try to dig himself out of the hell of survive. But instead he was kicked out of the church by the deacon and the parishioners  because of his service dog.  It is a long convoluted story that doesn't need to be repeated in this forum.  But he too had bricks thrown at him in a very different, very painful way.  He is a soft spoken young man who loves his God.  Who loves his dog. And longs to love life once again.  A young man who fought for this country and her freedom.  I am afraid I find something terribly, terribly wrong with this scenario. 
I thought a long time about the battle within this warrior, and then I thought of the young man who committed suicide in front of him.  He obviously was in such tremendous pain that he did not think of what repercussions this action would have on his best friend.  Does this make him a coward ~ no.  Does this make him a hero ~ no.  Does this make him any less a man ~ no.  What this does is make him human.
Twenty two warriors kill themselves everyday from the hell of post traumatic stress and a hell they cannot escape!  Twenty two.  I know all the statistics.  I know how they get dropped.  I know they are in a loop with no end. I have looked in hundreds of faces and can see it instantly.  I know we don't do enough as a nation for them when they return.  Everyone I know knows this.  But what exactly do those of us do that truly care. 
For me I did the only thing I knew to do. One thing that my television background taught me. I called the major news networks. They have all grabbed at the story.  Perhaps some awareness will be brought to what exactly a service dog does for a warrior returning to a country he defended and is now failing him, when he needs help the most.  He isn't the only one...there are tens of thousands just like him and more, many more, to come.  His dog helps him, I helped him, his dog trainer helped him.  But what about the others that find the war just begins when they return home?  What about them then?
"Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind.  Do you think you were put here for something less?" ~ Chief Arvol Looking Horse
We all have a choice as to what to do with the bricks that are thrown at us. As for this young warrior, he has chosen to go to another church ~ one that is welcoming him with open arms and hearts.  Perhaps the bricks thrown at him and his dog stood for something far greater than he can ever know.  Perhaps those bricks will be a firm foundation for future warriors to come, that can and will be welcomed into God's house with open and loving arms. Why should it be any other way? As for the church that 'kicked' him to the curb~ well they have to answer to the same God.
It bears repeating that dog spelled backwards is God.  So the moral of this story is whether you go out there and make a difference in one life or a hundred lives, just go out there and do what you've got to do and give what you've got to give. There are those who will still throw bricks, but use them to help you build your firm foundation and believe me changing the way you view this makes all the difference.  You can almost find yourself thanking them for their assistance.  For without adversity where would we find the good stuff?

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