Congress has a 14 percent approval rating. Nearly everyone agrees that Congress needs new leadership, yet Americans keep reelecting incumbents. Virginia’s 6th district has been dominated by the same political machine since 1993. In that time, our district had just two Congressmen. The second Congressman, Ben Cline, was Chief of Staff to the previous Congressman. Rep. Cline has never faced a primary challenger. He was installed as his boss’s successor in a convention and without the input of voters. Ironically, Rep. Cline talks about wanting to drain the swamp. Well, I’m here to help him do that. I’m Merritt Hale and I’m running to bring new leadership to our 6th district. I’d like to tell you why I’m running for office and how my views and values differ from those of Rep. Cline.
I was born and raised in Virginia. I graduated from the University of Virginia and then served as a Naval Officer. I now work as a systems engineer supporting the intelligence community. What inspired me to run for office was my father. He was a 20-year Navy veteran who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014. After seven incredibly difficult and frustrating years, my dad passed away last Christmas Eve. While this was obviously a very hard time for my family, what made it even worse was dealing with all of the bureaucratic inefficacy surrounding the health care system, including the VA. You shouldn’t need a Ph.D. in government bureaucracy and tax codes to be able to take care of a dying loved one. One’s political affiliation doesn’t change the fact that we will all need end-of-life care at some point and that the current system is broken.
While Congress created these agencies, it continues to abdicate its duty to fix them. Congress’s lack of action on healthcare, elder care, veteran’s issues, and the devastating impact this had on our family, was what first inspired me to run for office. I then looked into what Congress was doing to help people in our 6th district. We need infrastructure to support agriculture and industry, we need funding for high-speed internet, and we need funding to maintain and expand I-81. We’ve all driven on I-81 and know that two lanes simply aren’t getting the job done. Virginia’s 6th district needs new representation focused on representing the needs of its constituents, which is why I’m running for office. There are two main staples of leadership I will bring to the office which aren’t currently being employed: proactive leadership and servant leadership.
Whether dealing with foreign policy issues or issues at home such as ballooning inflation impacting everything from gasoline to grocery costs, we need leaders that will proactively address issues before they become problems. Ben Cline is a reactionary politician who addresses every issue by blaming Biden, Pelosi, or the Squad. He blamed Biden for the invasion of Ukraine but espoused essentially the same solution as Biden before the invasion! Taking American deterrence off the table by guaranteeing no American response resulted in disastrous results. Ronald Reagan had a superior approach to peace through strength. Cline-Biden had it wrong with strategic weakness. Rep. Cline never addressed our need to be energy independent. Russia has leveraged its oil reserves, causing our petroleum prices to soar and inflation has skyrocketed, leaving our citizens to try to navigate an increasingly rocky economy. I addressed all of these issues prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I’m tired of reactionary politicians who do nothing but blame others, yet provide absolutely no solutions or leadership.
Rep. Cline has also flipped-flopped on Ukraine more times than I can count. Most recently he voted to send $40 billion of taxpayer money to Ukraine for a war that could have been prevented in the first place. His vote is all the more confusing because Rep. Cline often votes against programs that could help Americans at home. For example, he voted against the PAWs act which would cost $10 million over four years and provide service dogs to wounded veterans. I’ve personally seen how veterans aren’t receiving the care they deserve for protecting our country. I have friends who have died in service to this country, and I have people close to me who suffer from PTSD. While I believe we should help Ukraine to succeed against Russia, there are far more effective ways to do so than a $40 billion giveaway when Americans are struggling with high gas prices, inflation, and a baby formula shortage.
In addition to proactive leadership, we also need servant leadership. This means we need leaders who are willing to stand up for what they believe in and be transparent with their constituents. Rep. Cline has held just three in-person town hall since 2020. To date, he has refused to debate me. How can he stand up to the politicians in Washington if he refuses to debate opponents or face his own constituents?
When I’m elected, I will hold regular town halls, I will sincerely listen to the voices of my constituents, and I will be transparent and consistent in my goals for moving forward. If you’re going to hide behind the establishment and refuse to debate your opponent or interact with your constituents, it is clear that you’re not working for the people you represent, you’re in it for yourself. That’s not the type of leader our sixth district needs.
My background as a Navy veteran, a systems engineer, and a Washington outsider will bring a unique perspective to Congress and our country’s overall health. I encourage all registered voters in the 6th district to please go vote on June 21, because that’s the only way to effect change and get new leaders in office. Otherwise, we will be back with the status quo and the 14 percent approval ratings of a do-nothing Congress.
VA 6th District Candidate
Why Should You Care About Extrinsic Versus Intrinsic Motivation?
What motivates you to work hard? Is it the potential for more money? Or perhaps it’s the satisfaction that comes from accomplishing something amazing? These questions will help you to determine whether you should pursue a job that pays well or a side hustle that provides satisfaction.
When you think of motivation, what kind of things come to mind? Do you think of extrinsic or intrinsic motivation?
You may have heard the two terms before, but what exactly do they mean? We’ll discuss these concepts and their implications for your life, career, and business.
Are you looking to improve the performance of your employees? Do you want to see higher productivity? Or perhaps you’re looking to motivate your team to work harder?
This is a topic that gets brought up quite often, especially by the leaders who have been through the transformation process. And while the theory behind intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is pretty simple, there’s a ton of confusion around the difference between them.
And that leads to a lot of leaders wondering which type of motivation works best for them.
So let’s break it down and explain why you need to care about intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation.
What is Extrinsic Motivation?
Extrinsic motivation can be defined as behavior that is driven by external rewards. It is possible to have tangible or intangible rewards, such as money, grades, or fame.
Extrinsically motivated people will continue to perform a task, even if it is not itself rewarding. For example, they might work overtime or accept less pay than their colleagues.
Extrinsic motivation is when someone or something is motivated to behave a certain way due to the reward or consequence that comes from the behavior.
This type of motivation can be very effective. Think of the many examples of things you do in your own life that you do for external reasons.
What is Intrinsic Motivation?
Internal rewards include activities such as exercise because they give us pleasure or satisfaction.
In other words, the motivation to work on a goal arises from within because it is naturally satisfying to you.
A person’s intrinsic motivation is influenced by his or her personal beliefs and values.
When you pursue an activity for the pure enjoyment of it, you are doing so because you are intrinsically motivated.
No external reward is associated with the behaviors you’re attempting to change.
Which Is The Strongest Motivation?
When it comes to motivation, most people will look at it as an internal source of drive and desire instead of external sources. However, that’s not actually true, and it’s more of an idea than it is anything else.
Your motivation comes from the outside in, not the inside out. If you want to become a more successful individual, you’ll need to learn about the difference between the two.
It’s important to understand why it’s okay for you to have a high degree of motivation coming from the external world. If you’re looking to be a successful person, you’re going to have to put a lot of work into getting there.
You’ll need to be motivated in the face of a lot of obstacles and challenges. External motivation can be extremely powerful, and it’s going to help you get through those hurdles.
That doesn’t mean that you should only look to other people to be your motivator, though. Instead, you should try to create your own goals and aspirations and then find a way to motivate yourself to reach those goals.
Instead of only looking at external motivators, you should also have internal ones. If you want to be a successful person, you should think about what you will do with your life and how you will make it happen.
In addition, you should also come up with a long-term plan of how you will make it happen. Then, once you’ve developed those, you can start setting up external motivators that are going to help you reach your goals.
The best thing you can do is make not only sure you have both but also make sure that your motivation comes from the right place. Instead of looking to other people as your motivators, you should focus on yourself and your internal desires to make it happen.
Think of what you want to accomplish in the future and what you want to do to get there. Don’t let other people dictate how you can be successful. But instead, decide for yourself how you’re going to do it.
Motivating someone is to make them want to do something and then reward them once they do it.
This isn’t a new concept, but it’s still true today. We hear a lot of people talking about extrinsic motivation, which is often defined as extrinsic rewards or rewards in exchange for doing something.
One of the biggest problems with this is that it’s very easy to abuse it. You can do things with people just to get something in return, like getting free stuff, paying them, or simply asking them to do things for you.
These are all examples of things people will do just to get something back, which is a big turnoff for people. If someone is only motivated by these types of rewards, they’ll eventually stop listening to you and just do whatever they think you want them to do.
It’s great to keep in mind that motivation comes from within. You don’t need to have some form of external reward to keep people interested and motivated.
How To Maintain Motivation?
Many people struggle with motivation, especially at the beginning of the week. Maybe it’s just a new work schedule, or you’re just struggling with a bad mood, but staying motivated during the work day can be a bit challenging.
You might think that motivation is something that’s not something you can control, but that’s just not true. While it might be hard to find it, you have a little control over how much motivation you want to give your efforts.
In most cases, it’s important to make sure that you’re not putting too much on yourself. This means you must pick a goal and stick to it.
If you try to achieve too much, you won’t be able to focus on any one thing, but that’s not necessarily bad. In fact, you should be able to take a few steps back whenever you feel the need to.
That’s how you get yourself motivated again, and you’ll be more focused on your task in the long run. You’ll also be able to accomplish more than you ever would have been able to if you were pushing yourself to the limit on every single project.
Another great way to keep yourself motivated is to make sure that you’re accomplishing something. There’s no point in just sitting around and doing nothing. It can get boring, and it can also be very draining on your energy.
Instead, you need to find a goal you can accomplish and stick to it. That way, you’re not only getting the reward of accomplishing your goal but also staying interested and engaged in your own work.
It can also be helpful to set some milestones along the way. This can keep you focused and help you figure out what to work on. As you get closer to your goal, you can adjust accordingly to ensure that you’re on track and moving forward.
Remember that sometimes you might have to take a step back to take a couple of steps forward. It’s a simple matter of setting up your plans and goals correctly. You might even consider looking into a vision board, a great way to keep yourself motivated as you work on your goals.
Why Poor Self-discipline Can Destroy You
When you are self-disciplined, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. When you are undisciplined, you can’t even get started.
Self-discipline is one of those things that we all have, but few of us practice.
Have you ever thought about how much your life would change if you were more disciplined?
How would you feel if you lost weight, got healthier, or made more money if you just set goals and made a plan?
If you are lacking in self-discipline, you’re missing out on a lot. We all need discipline. It’s required for our daily lives.
Self-discipline is what allows people to get things done. Whether you’re a professional athlete or a college student, you need the self-discipline to succeed in life.
But there’s a flip side to self-discipline. You can either use it to achieve your goals or let it get in the way.
There’s nothing worse than being a slave to your own bad habits. Most people fail in life because they don’t discipline themselves enough to do what they need to do to succeed.
Bad habits can ruin your life, and there’s no way around them. Even if you want to change, it’s not easy. You must be very strong-willed to overcome these habits and start a new life.
Keep reading, and we’ll talk about how to beat your bad habits so that you can create the life you deserve.
In the world of psychology and personal development, we see a lot of people struggling with self-control and self-discipline.
They might not be able to control themselves enough to stay on track with the things they need to accomplish in life, so they wind up in situations where they feel like they’ve been defeated.
Self-discipline is difficult for many people to grasp, and most of us have been trained to believe that discipline and self-control are mutually exclusive.
This is one reason why so many people struggle with being able to control themselves and manage their own lives. They might give up on self-discipline and self-control, which they believe they’ll never have to deal with, and they wind up with situations where they’re incapable of controlling themselves, which they then get frustrated over and angry at.
It’s important to understand that self-discipline is an ability that all people have. It’s just that they’re not doing anything with it, or they’re not using it properly.
What’s important is that you’re able to use your self-discipline and self-control to help you live your life. You can’t just sit back and expect that someone else will take care of everything for you, and you can’t always rely on luck to pull through for you.
If you do, then you’re in trouble, and you’ll never be able to grow to your full potential. You need to have some sort of plan in place and be able to stick to it and follow it through. You also need to be able to handle any challenges that arise along the way.
Bad Habits Can Ruin Your Life
Some people have a tendency to make the same mistakes over and over again. These people might not even realize that they’re doing it.
In fact, they don’t even realize that they’re doing it, until it’s too late. The bad habits these people have become addicted to are ones that they’ve done for years and are now part of their subconscious, and they aren’t aware that they’re doing it.
They’re doing it unconsciously, and they might be able to identify why they do it, but they just don’t want to change. If you’re one of these people, you’ll have to devise a plan to beat the habit.
If you’re a smoker, you might have been smoking for years. You might be able to give reasons for why you do it, but if you were to try quitting, you’d realize just how difficult it is. It might be easier to just quit cold turkey.
It might be difficult to quit something like smoking, but it’s not impossible. You just need to put in the effort and willpower, and you’ll eventually be able to break the habit.
It’s possible to stop doing the habit altogether, but you need to be dedicated to stopping it completely. Don’t just go through the motions of trying to quit. If you don’t stop, then you’ll find yourself back at the same old point, and you’ll be repeating yourself and setting yourself up for failure.
You don’t want to do that. Your whole purpose in life should be to quit and never go back to being a habitual smoker. You shouldn’t set yourself up for failure because you’re hard-headed.
You’ve seen people who are addicted to drugs, but they’ll tell you that it’s a choice they make. They’re able to quit, but it’s a struggle because they can’t seem to break the habit.
It’s much harder to break a habit than it is to form one. While it’s true that habits can be formed, it’s almost impossible to break them. People do things over and over again because they’ve been doing them for years, and it’s ingrained in their subconscious.
When you’re able to break the habit, you’ll feel like a new person. It might take you a few days, weeks, or months to get to that point, but it’s worth it. You’ll be able to do a lot more with your life once you finally get past that point.
You Need Self-Discipline To Succeed In Life
If you were asked to think back to your childhood, you might remember a few things that you used to do and enjoy. Maybe you were a picky eater, or you had a short attention span. These habits might not be anything that would ever really stand out in your adult mind as being too problematic.
But they could be, and when it comes to breaking free of bad habits, it’s something that can easily happen. The only way to break these habits is to be aware of them, and to realize that you need to be disciplined enough to rid yourself of them.
Self-discipline is an incredibly important part of your life, and it is what will allow you to make changes that you might not be able to otherwise. There are a lot of things that you can’t control in your life, but you can control yourself and your choices.
In other words, you can’t control the world around you, but you can control how you react to things that happen to you and how you respond to people and situations.
If you have any type of addiction or a bad habit, then you can’t just “get over it” and magically forget about it. Your self-discipline has to be strong enough to let you put your bad habits to rest, and to let you change your lifestyle in order to do so.
If you don’t believe in yourself, then you won’t do it. It’s as simple as that. You need to have faith in yourself, and you need to see yourself as worthy of doing things that you normally wouldn’t have the desire to do.
You can’t just want to do something and have it magically come to fruition, because it never will. You need to make it happen. If you want to do it, you’ll need to be the one to actually do it.
Dr. Damian Fedoryka will be remembered and treasured with deep gratitude
On Wednesday, around 3:00 pm, there may be a traffic jam downtown because an hour earlier at St John the Baptist Church will have been the final farewell to a remarkable man, Dr. Damian Fedoryka. His extraordinary life was a connection here in Front Royal to a piece of history we don’t usually think about.
Damian Fedoryka was born in the Carpathian Mountains of Western Ukraine on November 2, 1940. By the time he was four, his father was in Auschwitz concentration camp. His mother could tell that the Russian occupation was inevitable, so she fled with Damian, his sister Marta, and baby brother Leo. His brother Leo “Levko” died in their walk to freedom from dysentery and was buried in a field by a farmer’s house. The trauma burned the memory into Damian’s mind, and years later, he returned to the same spot with some of his own children to finally complete the grieving process. When the war ended, the family was reunited in a Displaced Persons camp outside of Regensburg, Germany.
In 1948 they arrived in the United States, where Damian cleaned the poop out of their first home: a re-purposed chicken coop in someone’s back yard. The Catholic education system was still strong in those days, so the children were able to attend Catholic schools. They were in Mahwah, New Jersey, by the time Damian got a scholarship to Regis High School in New York City, and for four years, he rode the train an hour each way to attend. After high school, he got another scholarship to the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. There, he and other poor students lived with an old Ukrainian priest whose kindness he remembered his whole life.
After college, like the good American he was, Damian joined the Army and became a second lieutenant. The night before he was going to accept a permanent commission and deploy to Vietnam, he went to a dance at a Ukrainian community in New York City and met Irene Kondra, so he decided to stay in New York and pursue a Master’s Degree in Philosophy at Fordham University, and then a Ph.D. in Salzburg, Germany. He and Irene were married in 1966 and went on to have ten children. She died in 2010.
He taught at the University of Rhode Island and the University of Dallas, and in 1985_ he became President of Christendom College here in Front Royal. It was under his leadership that Christendom retired its earlier debt, built two new residence halls, and received its first full accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. These significant accomplishments created the foundation that allowed Christendom to launch its subsequent growth.
But Damian Fedoryka was called to do more. When Communism fell in Ukraine, he returned to his native land to help open the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv in 1992 – the first Catholic university to open on the territory of the former Soviet Union and the first university ever opened by an Eastern Catholic Church. He also taught philosophy at Franciscan University of Steubenville (Gaming Campus in Austria) and at Ave Maria College in Michigan. Soon after the passing of his beloved wife, he moved back to Front Royal, where several of his children had settled. He was the oldest member of Saints Joachim and Anna Ukrainian Catholic Parish on Linden Street in Front Royal.
All who met him knew him as a kind and patient man and a sage to countless people right up to the end. He leaves behind a close-knit family spread across the country: ten children and their spouses, thirty-five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and thousands of former students. His sons Alexander and Danylo are the founders of the Celtic/folk/rock band Scythian, which organizes the Appaloosa Festival to be held at Skyline Ranch Resort on Labor Day weekend.
Until we meet again, my friend
Recently, I attended a celebration of life for my departed friend Dr. David Carter Blanton.
When Pastor Roberson opened the floor up for comment, I found myself speechless as my emotions, remembering our life growing up, overcame me.
David and I were what I might define as Rust Belt friends (friendships that survive all lapses in time). As young boys, we became friends on Doc Sherman’s field located on Sherwood Avenue on our sandlot baseball and football field, emulating our favorite pro sports teams.
On that day, he became my quarterback and helped me establish a strong moral and ethical path in life. He demonstrated strong leadership skills by keeping a bunch of unruly kids in line by enforcing etiquette.
As a young man, I remember David being interested in topics such as futuristic vehicle designs, space travel, and medical science. As an adult, he continued his thirst for knowledge about new research and technology improvements.
A brilliant person with a sense of humor who was grounded and could fit into any social setting. Many of us remember his Dentistry practice, but his real contribution was his unselfish personal contributions to community charities.
David loved his family, community, and his country. In his final days, we never got to say goodbye, but I guess that was how it was supposed to end. He was my Quarterback, and I was blessed to be part of his life. Until we meet again, my friend.
Front Royal, Virginia
3 Questions to Ask Yourself Every Day
We’ve all heard the saying “if you don’t ask, you don’t get.” But what if we took that to another level and made the question into a daily habit? What if we asked ourselves three questions every day to improve our lives?
We’ve all been there before. Whether it was the day of our first job interview or a huge promotion, we’ve all had those moments where we felt nervous or anxious.
While some people thrive in these situations, others find themselves totally paralyzed. We’ve all had those days where we felt like giving up and just decided to quit. But here’s the good news: we don’t have to be like that.
In our fast-paced world, there is a constant barrage of information, advice, and tips from all kinds of sources.
This is especially true when it comes to self-improvement. We’re bombarded with so much information about personal development, that it can become hard to decide which bits of information are really worth putting into practice.
Luckily, we’ve put together a list of three questions you can ask yourself to help you choose what to focus on and what not to worry about.
Question #1: “Am I doing what I love?”
When you’re starting out in life, it can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine of getting through the day. It seems like a lot of people are happy just going through the motions of life, but that can’t be the case.
It’s important to remember that life isn’t just about doing something you enjoy, but also being passionate about it. After all, no one ever becomes successful in life without putting in a lot of work, but that doesn’t mean you have to put in an equally large amount of work.
The key is to find what you really enjoy doing, and then take it to the next level. If you’re not sure what that means, try to look at your current job, and think about where you can make it better or even completely change the game altogether.
This will allow you to become successful in the long run, and you’ll find that you’re not only doing something you enjoy, but also something you’re passionate about. Don’t do anything just because you think you have to, because that will only make you miserable and unsatisfied.
Once you find something you love, you’ll realize that you’re on the right track to achieving your goals. The key is to keep yourself on track with the things you enjoy doing, and you can make it a reality.
Question #2: “What’s the worst that could happen?”
Many people tend to live in fear of failing or making a mistake. They think that if they fail, it will define them for life.
In reality, failure isn’t anything terrible. It’s simply an opportunity to learn. If you want to succeed in anything, the most important thing to keep in mind is that whatever you do will either be a success or a failure.
You’re only as good as your last attempt, and that means that you’re only as bad as your last attempt. If you fail at your last attempt, then you can still be successful overall.
Think of your success or failure as a game. If you play the game with integrity, you’re able to move forward and try again. You’re able to improve and become a better player in your particular game.
If you lose the game, it’s okay. It’s actually a good thing because you’re able to learn from your mistakes and figure out what you did wrong. It’s a chance to improve, and if you lose, you’re able to come back and get better.
It’s only when you don’t learn from your mistakes that you find yourself repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
Sometimes, when we’re working towards something, we get caught up in the excitement of it all and fail to take any precautions.
We’re always afraid of the worst that could happen, and in order to help ourselves get over that fear, we need to remind ourselves of what’s most likely to happen.
It’s easy to get too far ahead of ourselves and think we’ve already accomplished our goal. We get excited about the idea, and then just assume that everything will go as planned.
However, this doesn’t always happen that way. What’s worse is if we assume the worst-case scenario, and end up failing miserably because of that assumption.
Instead, what you need to do is make sure that you’ve already thought through the worst-case scenario so that you don’t fall victim to it. In order to do that, you should try to look at things in detail, so you can plan for them.
If you’re trying to make a new goal, you can start with a simple goal of what you want to achieve. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have a goal in mind.
Next, you’ll want to ask yourself what the worst-case scenario might be. Think about what’s most likely to happen, and then try to figure out how to deal with it.
For example, if you’re trying to get a new job, you might think that it’s going to be really difficult, but what you need to do is try to find out whether or not it is. You might discover that the job market is pretty slow right now, or that you need to do more in order to stand out and get noticed.
If you know that you need to do more, then you can start working on that instead. Instead of thinking that you’ll never be able to get the job, you can just focus on the fact that it’s still possible, and then start to work towards that goal.
This will help you stay focused on what you need to do, and you’ll be able to avoid getting discouraged by the fact that it might not be as easy as you’d hoped. By taking the time to prepare for the worst, you’ll be better prepared for the outcome of your goal.
Question #3: “What good have I done today?”
Many people don’t ever think about the importance of their accomplishments, and that’s a big mistake. Your life is only as good as the actions you take every day, and you can be proud of how you conduct yourself in every situation.
When you look back on the course of your life, you’ll realize that no matter what you’ve accomplished, it pales in comparison to what you’ve done to change other people’s lives.
You’ve gone out of your way to make a difference in other people’s lives, and that’s an amazing accomplishment. It’s something that most people can’t even fathom, and that’s why it’s so important to be conscious of your accomplishments and to celebrate them whenever you can.
You don’t have to be a doctor or a professor or anything to make a difference in the world, and that’s something that you should embrace and embrace wholeheartedly.
It’s one of the best things you can do to raise your own self-esteem and bring out your inner happiness. You’re here to make a difference in the world, and you’re only as good as the impact you’re making on others.
Grow A Little Every Day
Life is made up of lots of little moments. They pass by quickly but we should be conscious of every single one of them. Our lives are not perfect and neither are our days. We make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes turn into disasters.
Every day, I try to focus on a few small things that I can do to make my life a little bit better, a little bit brighter.
Even though I may fail a lot, I’m still going to continue doing what I can to grow my life.
Just like every little leaf that grows, I am trying to be more aware of the little things I can do every day to help make my life a little better, a little brighter.
Let’s learn from our past and try to improve our future.
There are two types of people in this world – those who grow and those who don’t. It is your choice which one you want to be.
A person who never changes will never go anywhere. They’ll spend their whole lives where they are today. They won’t progress or change.
The one who grows little by little every day will grow stronger every day. They’ll become wiser and better with every passing day.
So, who wants to be a person who doesn’t grow? There’s nothing more boring and uninteresting than someone who’s not growing and changing.
Who wants to be stagnant? No one!
But if you want to be stagnant, then you’ll be the same person you were yesterday. You’ll never move forward in life.
It’s up to you – do you want to be stagnant or do you want to grow?
Touched by another’s kindness
We live in an age where world news is increasingly negative. In our nation’s largest cities, neighbors openly prey upon one another in the name of ideology over humanity. Yet against that dismal backdrop, I was reminded yesterday how lucky I am to live in the Shenandoah Valley. That reminder was given to me by a beautiful little girl.
I was driving down the 340, nearing my home in Bentonville when, to the best of my knowledge, the engine in my truck blew up. With a big shuddering “thunk” smoke filled the cabin and the vehicle controls locked up. I was able to yank left, cross the oncoming lane and aim for an empty parking lot, stomping the brakes. The truck shuddered to a smoking rest in front of a small ice cream shop.
People were seated only yards away; until my dramatic arrival they had been enjoying ice cream on a quiet afternoon. Among them was a lovely mom and her small daughter. I noticed that the girl was tugging her mom’s hand, pulling her towards me. They were talking to each other; mom looked at me, then nodded to the child. They walked up.
Mom explained that the little girl’s response to seeing me skid to a stop was neither fear nor alarm, but to bow her head and pray that I was safe inside. When I emerged from the smoke intact, the girl then asked her mom if they could come over and let me know she would keep praying for me in my time of trouble.
I was taught as a boy that angels watch over us; that they walk among us. Today my angel stood just a couple feet tall, with a shy smile and a kindness that put everything else into perspective. I was touched beyond words and hope by some chance this gives me the opportunity to say thank you.