October 21

don’t stop believin’

for the past two weeks, the sky has been falling. we’ve been up in arms about the economy, the election, our jobs. meanwhile, CEOs of companies like AIG are throwing our hard-earned money down the drain. every day we hear about some new scandal, or disaster, or murder. the news is full of depressing and evil stories.

but today I had an experience down a different path. I was standing in line to pay for gas (which is $2.37 here now.. WOW! I truly never thought it would be this cheap again… enjoy it while it lasts!) and the woman in front of me said something to the cashier about cigarettes. it sounded like she was implying that she had paid for two packs yesterday, but only received one. the cashier seemed to think the same thing, and was reluctantly going to give her a “free” pack today, when she corrected him. she did not want another pack for free – she had only been charged for one of the two packs she had gotten yesterday – she wanted to pay for the cashier’s mistake!

I was surprised to see such honesty. I remarked out loud “wow – that’s a pretty impressive display of honesty”. her reply: “well, you’ll never really get anywhere being dishonest”. and isn’t that the truth?

I thought about it for a while today. I hope I would be that honest if I were put in the same situation. I know there have been times where I’ve been given too much change, and gave the extra back right then & there. but to come back the next day and return what was rightfully the store’s, that is some true integrity.

my mom and I talk about this all the time – how there are still good people out there, but those good stories usually get covered up because it’s “more interesting” to report all the bad things. my point is this – there are still good people out there. people who will help you up when you’re down, or help you out when you need a hand. God is good. and next time you’re feeling down, remember this corny one-liner…

life’s a Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’.

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October 8

Mother Russia!! (real insights)

so, tonight I celebrated a friend’s birthday. when I got home, I met my neighbors – two beautiful young ladies, Anna and Valerie. as I was walking towards my apartment, I heard a distinct accent – I was quite sure it was Russian. when I got closer to the girls, I asked them if they were speaking Russian. in fact, they were speaking Ukrainian, which is very similar to Russian.

they grew up in the port city of Sevastopol, Ukraine. they told me how they have to take a ferry to get to the downtown. how cars cost twice as much there as they do in America, because the credit system is so flawed. how people go to college, not to get a great job, but to get a job. how you have to know someone to be someone. how the cops will let you off with a friendly wave, if you give them a few dollars – if you have a few dollars to give. how rude the average citizen is, and how they are totally unapologetic. how racism thrives, and Blacks (as few of them as there are) are persecuted (killed) for the color of their skin, when I thought racism abounded here in the USA. how hard it is to get to America, and how, should they ever decided to return home, they will be permanently banned from returning here to America.

as I listened for over an hour to the various stories, I started to think about how great a country this truly is. how, whether our next President is Obama or McCain, we’re going to be alright. I’ll still have a roof over my head and food to eat.

I hope I’ve made two new friends who have some cool stuff to teach me.

God Bless America.

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