I am writing this on May 2, 2020.  It is the day following a very large protest in Sacramento at the state capitol.  I live in Roseville, California which can be twenty minutes north-east of Sacramento.  I was taken aback by the pictures of the protest to “RE-OPEN CALIFORNIA.”  I was glad not to see teargas / water cannons / law enforcement swinging their clubs.  The pictures were still shocking in the sense of the physical presence of the law enforcement as well as all the protesters!  Who would have thought in a state as DEEP BLUE as California, so many protesters would be there protesting the continued policy of SHELTER IN PLACE?  I did not see that coming.  We are super-majority democratic state.  The democratic party has a strong-hold on the state.  

However, I would not be surprised if part of the DEEP BLUE were protesting as well.  See … losing jobs / losing a business is “party-blind.”  The decisions the governor is making impact all of us!  In fact, I am concerned about the decision making process at the federal level and the state level.  I don’t understand why the decisions about shelter in place are not being made at the city or even county level!  Then, if the city or county level are having a difficult time enforcing their TEMPORARY laws (reminder – these are temporary laws), then go to the state government for help!  I have a different understanding of the way government works. 

The theme of today is:  BE RESPECTFUL

Briefly – because it helps better understand where my train of thought is coming from.  I am 54 years old.  Caucasian. Heterosexual.  Married to same woman since March 30, 1991.  We have two children (24 / 26).  We have a daughter-in-law and a grandson (17 months).  Christian.  High school music teacher since July 3, 1989.  I believe in THE POWER OF CHOICE. LOVE THE “SOVEREIGNTY OF THE INDIVIDUAL.”

I have asthma, high blood pressure, and now … high cholesterol.  Oh, and I am some 100 pounds overweight.  So, I am a “target” for COVID-19. 

Okay… so, my goal is to write to people interested about BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND.  I did write about BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND:  BE KIND.  I am doing this so if I was to get COVID-19 and pass away, I have a “legacy of thoughts” to leave for people who care about me / love me / unconditionally love me. 

Thus far, what I have learned about this SHELTER IN PLACE is there is passion from folks:  those who believe it should last damn near forever and those who are hell bent for it to end ASAP to get back to work.  Lots of passion on both sides.  To the point, where people have lost their “respect – filter.” 

I am doing all I can to be who I want others to be.  My “simple” philosophy of life is:  Out of respect for me FIRST and people closest to me, I accept responsibility for all my choices, actions, responses and to do that will take incredible discipline.  My Christian faith will be my guide / my center. 

So, let’s focus on the first part of my “simple” philosophy of life:  RESPECT.

What is respect?  We need a definition. a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.  And as verb:  admire (someone or something) deeply, as a result of their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

Why do I call people names?  Well, because I call myself names. 

See how that works? 

Why am I mean to people?  Well, because I am mean to me.

What we want from others, we want from ourselves. 

On FACEBOOK, I am reading more and more hateful and mean comments towards people who see the world differently than the person who made the original post.  Why?  Because, that person disagreeing lacks a respect for himself / herself.  If that person who is disagreeing really respected who he / she was, he she would NOT be so hateful and mean. 

It does interest me how people so easily can dismiss their behavior.  Remove themselves from their behavior.  Play the victim if you will.  “If that person didn’t think differently than me, I wouldn’t have said those things.”  STRANGE. Right? 

If you truly admire yourself because you have amazing abilities, heart-centered qualities and people around you have achieved greatness through your leadership, then how do you display that admiration by being so flippin’ mean?  I don’t get it.  I don’t think I want to get … like I don’t want to get COVID-19.

The next time you feel like you are going to call a person a name / challenge their intellect / attempt to show your superiority, how about looking through the lens of – am I showing admiration in who I am, by making me look smarter than you? 

Am I truly showing admiration in me by “winning” the argument?  Does winning the argument mean so much to me that I will disrespect you?  That I will lose you as a friend? 

How can I show admiration in you?  By recognizing and respecting, you see the world differently than  me.

Our world right now is CHAOS.  Humans do poorly in CHAOS.  Well, principle-centered humans do poorly in CHAOS.  Power-hungry people are enjoying the CHAOS because they can impose their will / beliefs to bring ORDER.  Order as they see it.  

You don’t have to be part of that CHAOS.  I don’t have to be part of that CHAOS!  It’s all about THE POWER OF CHOICE.  I want to promote order through respect / responsibility / discipline and yes… faith (for you it may be integrity – love that as well). 

If you were to suddenly die, how are people going to remember your LEVEL OF RESPECT?  What a rich question?  Again, how are people going to remember your LEVEL OF RESPECT?  Better question, at your funeral or let’s not be so morbid … at you retirement party, what do you want people  to say about your LEVEL OF RESPECT? 

So, those are two very different questions.  Sound the same, but different.  One question is about other’s  perception of you.  The other question is what did you do to get them to have that perception of you. 

Please  … join me.  BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND. 

On May 1, 2020, a minor league baseball player, Miguel Marte, passed away from COMPLICATIONS due to COVID-19.  Thirty-year-old professional athlete.  Hmmmmm… some 24 years younger than me and hell-of-a-lot healthier than me.  Gee… I guess I should heed my words seriously.  You know… I could go anytime despite wearing a mask / washing my hands fourteen times a day / eating good food / and … and … and …

Again, please join me… BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND.  Be respectful.  Show people how much you admire yourself by being respectful of them.  I know this is hard.  I am a high school music teacher.  I have had plenty of students and parents hurt me / disrespect me and my response?  Because I LOVE ME / I ADMIRE ME and GOD COMMANDS ME, my response to HURTING PEOPLE needs to be full of respect.

STAY HEALTHY FIRST while helping others stay healthy.  And remember, we don’t know “when,” but we do know we control what we do.