The Soldier

“It is the Soldier, not the minister

Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter

Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet

Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer

Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer

Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician

Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,

Who serves beneath the flag,

And whose coffin is draped by the flag,

Who allows the protester to burn the flag.”
~ Charles M. Province

Let’s Never Forget…

One of the most important things to teach our kids is what happened in WWII, most importantly in regards to the Holocaust. The horror this part of our history has put on so many families can most likely never benn understood entirely by someone not involved. Neither can the fact that people are actually capable of actions as horrific as the ones back then. 

How can you possibly explain while you, yourself have no explanation. I guess by telling your kids about it and letting them know that you can’t explain the why and how… most important lesson: Let’s never forget about it and make sure history won’t repeat itself…

Blast From The Past – When Horses Stop A City

It’s that day of the year again. The day an entire city stands still (more or less) because of a horse race. Although I love horses it’s still an interesting concept for me that a horse race creates a public holiday.

I love watching them canter. The beauty of the movement, the strength, the speed, the thought about how it feels to feel a horse move under you. But I also know what this day means for so many of the athletes involved. And it’s shocking.
A Melbourne University study found that post-race 50% of the horses have blood in their windpipe. 90% have blood deeper in their lungs. In the last 12 months 137 horses were pronounced dead on Australian racetracks and many thousands more have been killed for not running fast enough… so while the official picture of this huge event is a beautiful and fun one, the reality is far from it…

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About Sorry

We teach our kids to say sorry. We also teach them that they have to mean it. Saying sorry just so it’s said doesn’t change anything. You have to mean it. “Sorry” is one of the word that gets used easily, I find. Sometimes without any heart in it. It’s the polite way of interaction.

Where am I going with this? Frankly, I’m not sure. I just saw this post of a Facebook buddy of mine. A post in which she writes about how she constantly says sorry for everything. And that it’s time to stop doing this. 

It made me think about where it comes from because I have a tendency to do that too. Like the other day when I was waiting and waiting and my friend was so late. And then, when she arrived I had to leave. Although she was an hour late I apologized for having to leave after only seeing her for 30min rather than over an hour. 

Or when I apologize for finding something funny or for being tired. So many moments I say sorry for something I should not apologize for. I wonder why…

Is it the upbringing? Do we raise our kids the way they eventually feel they need to apologize for being successful, healthy, nice, smart, you name it? Just because it’s polite? Do we raise them to apologize for being pushed in a queu, rather then expecting the other person to say sorry. 

Sometimes telling the kids that they don’t need to apologize goes a long way. And I believe teaching them to apologize when they do something wrong and only say it if they really think what they’ve done was wrong might be the right thing. You have to mean it if you say it…

Life and Traveling

“Those who live life see much. Those who travel see more.” -Unknown

Billboards have many messages for us. Often messages trying to sell us something. They’re big and colorful and often not easy to ignore. I often do thought.

But when you sit in the back of the car feeling like a lumpy vegetable because of an early, hectic morning followed by a long flight, you just gaze outside and probably just take in billboard message after billboard message. I don’t even remember what image was on the board. Most likely it was a plane or maybe a picture of some exotic destination. But the message struck a chord with me immediately. 

“Those who live life see more.” How often do we spend a day just doing what we’re doing, not paying attention to what else is going on all around us. We do our thing, our way and it’s like we are fixated only on what’s going on in that box we look through, limiting the prefiferal vision. It would be so easy to push the box off of our face. But we simply don’t we’re stuck. 

So many ended up there. With the box slowly closing over years. And no it’s what they feel normal with. But the “view” is so limited. When you play “the movie of your life” in your head it keeps repeating the same scenes. A little effort and you would be able to see and experience so much more. Just by breaking those vision barriers down. Allow yourself to do things “you’d like to do one day”. Do the things you so want to do today you constantly push out another day. You still live your life your way but you take in so much more… and you add colorful spots to what you see in your mind when thinking about the life your living.

“Those who travel see more.” True in the most simple way of understanding the sentence. If you travel you see more. Just simply by going places and experiencing them. By experiencing other people and their way of living life and going on with their days. By spending time on airports, train stations, bus terminals or on road trips. The rush the excitement, the buzz. The scents, the flavors, all of it… But it’s not just that.

I personally find that when you travel, you start living your life differently. You adjust, you push yourself a little further, you try new things. And it all sticks to you. That box I mentioned before gets wider or disappears totally. The colorful sport are bigger, cover longer stretches. You “see” more. It makes you a different person. You grow with the experience. And you fall back on all the memories you’ve made when on the road. 

Live your life and see much! And if you can: Take that trip and see more.

Me Too

There were a lot of “Me Too” posts going around on Facebook recently and the ones of you who know what it’s all about might agree with me how surprising it was to see the many, many me too’s. For the few of you who might have missed it and have no clue what it is about: It’s about basically putting your hand up if you have ever been sexually assaulted in any way. I had a “me too” to put up as well. I admit my assault is most likely one to simply brush off and yet it crossed a line big time. It was “only” verbally but I still feel sick when thinking about it. I can only imagine how it must feel when you are “properly” assaulted.

In the entire series of “me too” posts I’ve seen one stood out for me. It was the post of one of my newly found friends who shared her thoughts about the responsibility we have as mothers to make sure our sons will not turn into the reason why a woman would say “me too”. She wrote about the responsibility we have to make sure our boys understand where the line is and also that it’s their responsibility as well to protect girls and stand up for them if necessary.

So the responsibility is in our hands. Not only to teach our daughters to stand up for and how to protect themselves but also to teach our sons to be respectful and protective of the girls in their lives. It’s about needing and wanting to the the right thing. Always. So I’d like to express some thoughts I have put out there a couple of months ago about what keeps me on my toes as a parent. But also about all the things influencing our kids and constantly leaving marks. Marks that often need to be addressed but also as often might not even been discovered for way too long.

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