Easter Fools!

Historically, Easter Sunday and April Fools’ Day has happened, on the same day, a number of times.

Perpetual

It’s a bit challenging to establish the origin of April Fools’ Day. Some think the holiday was first mentioned by Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (1392). In 1508, French poet Eloy d’Amerval referred to a poisson d’avril (April fool, literally “Fish of April”), a possible reference to the holiday? There are too many possibilities to lists. We can agree it began somewhere and continues around the world in various forms. (Wikipedia)

Easter Sunday is much easier to nail down. It’s universally believed to be the resurrection of Jesus on the third day after His crucifixion. To some, this is the cornerstone of their faith. Other people find the notion disgusting and dismiss the very idea as a day for fools. Whatever position you hold, Easter began and continues around the world in various forms.

Egg On The Face

Pranks are coming! It’s just too irresistible…too invitational not to pull some shenanigans on the unsuspecting.  In modern times, people have gone to great lengths to create elaborate April Fools’ Day hoaxes. Newspapers, radio and TV stations and Web sites have participated in the April 1 tradition of reporting outrageous fictional claims that have fooled their audiences. Maybe, “Fake News” is simply an omission to say, April Fools.

The faith-based have their own challenges. The Easter story carries the dynamic of  God, defying natural law and clearly defines the Creator as supreme over the created. According to Jesus, all power in heaven and earth is His. And, He gives this power to His followers. Any Halleluja around impotence offers the skeptic all the fuel they need to scoff.

Funtimes

A few years ago I decided to prank my wife’s aunt. She is a rock…a matriarch in the family. This was at the time when the paternity of Anna Nicole’s baby was dominating the news cycle. When she answered the phone I said, aunt Freda, I’ve done something I need to confess to the family so, I decided to tell you first.

She said, OMG, what have you done? Just a minute, she replied. I’m on the other line and I will tell them I will call them back. I knew I had her. She was so concerned and willing to hear my confession. She clicked away and then came back on the line. Ok, she lamented, what have you done?

I said, aunt Freda, I’m the father of Anna Nicole’s baby. After a moment of silence, we both started laughing so hard neither of us could speak. I had to hand the phone to my wife who was standing next to me not knowing what I was up to. Even though she was laughing too she managed to say to her aunt, he’s a nut!

I’m a writer. I’m always aware of the need to show… not tell. As a person of faith, I’m also aware of the need to show…not tell. For years my life experiences didn’t match my beliefs. I fundamentally misunderstood the correlation between my mess and my message. I kept wisdom at bay by complicating the simplicity of truth.

Somewhat slowly, understanding emerged. My desire to experience good things, to benefit other people, to witness the power of virtue in action was frustrated by my theology, doctrines, and dogmas of judgment and condemnation. I was undeniably opposing my self. When I learned to accept what I needed most I also understood what others need most from me…

I’ve been able to convince myself…love never fails! It’s the antidote to the self-righteous and the haters. We can be very divided on how we define love but, when we meet it face to face it does its job. Love is the only way I know to not be an Easter Fool!

What do you think?

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The Power of Sufficiency!

Compassion

I came running from the backyard when I heard the magical tune of the ice cream truck. I darted into the house to ask grandma for the money to buy an ice cream. I panicked when she said she didn’t have the nickel it cost. I paused, standing in place as my hopes melted.

ice cream truck

Image courtesy of flickr.com

I was five or six years old on that warm summer day. I slowly walked outside as the truck drove past my house. We lived on a dead end street so I knew it had to come back past me. I stood at the edge where our sidewalk met the pavement. Pitiful as I could be, tears streaming down my face. The young man driving the truck evidently couldn’t take my distraught demeanor so he stopped and gave me an ice cream for free.

The next day I was playing away when I heard that same sound. I jumped off the tire swing leaped up on the porch and yanked on the screen door slamming it into the wall as it swung open. I ran into the house to find grandma. I didn’t have a good handle on economics. I didn’t understand that our finances hadn’t changed since yesterday. I gasped as the air completely departed my lungs.

Wait! I cried my way into an ice cream yesterday. Maybe I can do it again. I put on my sad sack formal wear and assumed my post. I watched in anticipation as the truck turned around at the end of our road. Here he comes…I got my beg on. He acted like he didn’t see me. I think he even stepped on the gas as he went by. I’ve never forgotten the feelings I experienced on both of those days.

We were poor and I hated everything it represented. I have so many memories of being left out because we couldn’t afford this or that. I think in my own naive way I vowed to overcome monetary depravity. I didn’t want to ever feel those feelings again.

A Backward Glance

I ventured out into the world unprepared to succeed. My father and three stepfathers did little to move my ball down the court. Leaving home at fifteen to escape the violence and hatred did little to increase my stature. Even though I left prematurely I didn’t get out before some significant damage was done.

I looked back only to remind myself to keep going. I wished things were different but, it didn’t take long to learn that wishful thinking wasn’t the mother of invention. I appreciated the free ice cream I got that day but I wanted to be able to pay for ice cream whenever I got the urge.

Steady As She Goes

When I got married and had a couple of kids my financial forecast was bleak at best. I wanted a family…the family I never had. I also wanted to give my kids a better life…a better childhood than I’d had. I didn’t have a very good plan or strategy to make a better life but, what I did have was the intention to do so.

perfect storm comons.wikimedia.org

Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

Shame is a terrible weight to carry and I was loaded with it. Before I knew what my issues were I added on layers of responsibilities. Life is full of good intentions that never get followed through on. I had the makings of a perfect storm.

I tried one thing after another. Seeking. Searching. Trying to make it all happen. Oftentimes my only fuel was the necessity of those depending on me. I simply had to keep going. There was so much I immediately improved. And, there were fierce repetitions from adolescence at work that I didn’t even know were there.

The refusal to give up eventually brought about opportunities. The kind of monumental moments that change your trajectory. Things began to work out that wasn’t connected to any well-planned scheme. They happened solely because I kept looking, pushing, believing I could make life worth living.

Never Give Up

Back in the 90’s I built a  multi-million dollar insurance agency. The residual income should have lasted me for the rest of my life. For a while, it looked like I had set us up for good. Through some mergers and shifty corporate shenanigans, it evaporated overnight. Gone with a thirty-day notice.

I don’t like to be violated, who does? I don’t know how to warm up to rejection. What I do know is that disappointment is never unemployed. It’s almost like some people feel it’s required of them to do you wrong and do so blaming you for their unacceptable behavior. I’ve had the bitter experience of disappointing myself more deeply than anyone else has. It’s one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received.

Callenge yourself Air Mobility Command

Image courtesy of Air Mobility Command

When you peer past the obvious there remains a subtle truth: If you made it once you can make it again! If you’ve yet to experience that one big break the only reason…the only reason you’re thinking about it is that it’s within you…within your reach.

In a world filled with corruption, polarization, and the hollowness of the world wide web we have a standing invitation to make things better for ourselves and those we come in contact with. The age of entitlement is half right. We are each entitled to our dreams and to what we can achieve. But, if we define success by what is given to us we can never be free. We cannot know what we are capable of and we will never know who we are.

I learned something about compassion the day that young man stopped and gave me an ice cream. I learned something even more important the very next day when he didn’t stop… when he didn’t even look my way, I learned the power of sufficiency!

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CHECKING YOUR WORLD-VIEW!

Much of the mainstream news has sunk into activism. Their agenda is undisputed; they want to get us to believe what they are saying. It doesn’t matter if it’s true. The only fact that we can rely on, from the media monopoly, is their determination to get us to buy into what they’re selling. One really shouldn’t underestimate their commitment to propagate controlled deception.

Unfortunately, many people have allowed themselves to become desensitized to the reality of synchronized oppression. What is the truth? How do you find it? And, what should you do when you discover it?  Things don’t magically appear out of thin air. Make no mistakes about it, when fruit shows up it has a root.

Power politics have existed since Cain and Abel. If there are two people in the same proximity rest assured, one of them wants to boss the other one around. Or at least, wants what the other one has. Lord Acton has it right, “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” We are surrounded by a free-for-all where the fringe and elites alike are vying for as much power as they can possibly acquire. The power they seek, specifically, is over the commoner, average Joe, and every day you and me.

Sometimes we wake up by tragedy and sometimes we wake up with passion. Whatever it takes, be thankful to be awake. The time for resting on our laurels and burying our head in the sand has come and gone. The fox has hit the hen-house like a thief in the night. The feathers of our freedoms are quietly falling to the ground to be trampled on. We’ve been gently acclimated to the presence of violence in our most sacred spaces.

Even if you don’t agree with every point presented we owe a debt of gratitude to anyone who spends hours and hours in research, looking behind the walls of corruption and then sharing the information even at the risk of personal loss or harm. If the very idea of conspiracy theories and secret agendas have you quickly dismissing them without so much as considering their possibility, it might be expedient for you to check your world-view. Some people are devoted to investigating, uncovering, and sharing everything they find so that people can weigh the facts and decide for themselves what is true and what is not. I’ve come to know Luca Majno as a journalist who will make you think, and think again.

I take very little for granted. I routinely investigate information so that I can decide for myself. And, I always encourage others to do the same. I recently interviewed Luca, a fellow co-host on TLB TV. You can watch the whole interview by clicking this link:  http://bit.ly/2hF9dRq

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Email: rickonlife@gmail.com

MATTERS OF FACT!

Love, as a necessary construct is missing. When I observe society and consider our present state of affairs I find that many of our social ills are the direct result of a lack of love. Our politics and policies would look very different if we insisted on compassion and empathy as the framework for governance.

Liberals and conservatives occupy the landscape like they are the only choices we have available. These two predominant points of view, in their present makeup, fail to accurately present the growing concerns of the vast majority of our population. As awareness, of the deep departure from the principles of our founding, matures, more and more people are wanting to return to our roots.

As diversity is touted as the pinnacle of enlightenment we discover that “political correctness” has only camouflaged the corruption of special interests. Back-room deals, constitutional ignorance, and an out of control elite class has run our country off course. There’s a rising mandate to recover from years of dysfunction and abuse of power.

We’re living in an echo chamber where we have been trading deficits with imaginary progress. We have sliced and diced our way into divisions and clicks that can only be described as mass detachment from reality. We have erected totems that represent attitudes of self-centeredness and selfish thinking that epitomizes the worst of humanity. For all of our accumulated knowledge, we lack the basic restraints needed for recognizing the unalienable rights of every living person.

It’s time to … 

I’m not inviting or encouraging nullifying any genuine progress that is universally beneficial, without violation, and non-threatening. I am advocating for authentic and transparent leadership, accountability to our oaths, and a willingness to respect our principles as we heal ourselves from the wounds of manipulation. I’m promoting personal responsibility as the means to charter chaotic waters. I’m saying we have not yet found our best selves.

The acknowledgment that what we’re doing isn’t working as a society is the beginning of our rebirth. What lies ahead is alterable. Personalities that provide lip service and false promises are losing their grip on our people. More and more rhetoric is being dissected and schemes to strip us of our power is being uncovered. A return to love affords us the opportunities we need to correct our path.

I’m excited and filled with hope for the future before us. I believe in our ability to regain our destiny. As we face our challenges we do so with the determination that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is still a possibility for all of us. We have a lot of work to do but, the work has already begun. Let us not grow weary in the worthy endeavor of triumphing over times of prevailing corruption.

http://www.TLBTV.com

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THE MISSING INGREDIENT!

Extremism has taken over our world. The absence of love has allowed for chaos and corruption to rule in nearly every segment of society. We often treat each other with a disregard for the inherent value we all share. Life is sacred and must be respected and valued for the virtue awarded to each of us by just being here, alive on the planet.

Competition has become the distracter to the greater challenge of learning to love. We have lost our ability to dialogue and substituted monologue in its place. Our differences are not things to fear. Rather, it affords us an opportunity to discuss the many challenges we face and explain why we think what we think. We aren’t likely to agree on every issue. But, we should relish the chance to offer the reasons for things we hold in high regard.

Extremism acts as a religion whereby we use politics to gain an advantage over others. Our Republic was carefully crafted to ensure the protection of our individual rights. The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence states; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

The erosion of these rights has evolved with a fierce and violent infringement. While many have sought to redefine love as only being applicable to a select group of our choosing, we have accepted the stupor of living insensibly. If any has lost recognition as being inherently valuable we have all lost. I contend that love, for ourselves and one another, is the way for each of us to move forward! Love pixabay

Love is the mark we can’t afford to miss. It is the only blueprint that makes inclusion possible, and the only means of avoiding discrimination. Our challenges are unique opportunities to bring the best out of ourselves. When we refuse to see one another as problems and see the sacredness we each possess we take significant steps to make the world a better place.

Love is the missing ingredient!

Twitter: @RickAmitin

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TV Show: http://www.TLBTV.com

Leftovers!

leftovers

Image by Muffet on flickr

Coming out of the holiday season, adjusting my belt to accommodate comfort, I admit to overindulging. I’m not going to complain I’m just going to get going on the physical health aspect of what I want to be in the new year.

I know some people who frankly believe eating leftovers is the worst thing you can do. They turn their noses up at the idea and look at you as if you’re completely without polish or sophistication. I have worked this until I’m not the least bit bothered. Turkey and ham sandwiches the next couple of days is right up my alley.

As we go into the new year many of us will be dealing with leftovers. Not only the ones in all the pretty little Tupperware containers, but personal and/or professional business that didn’t get completed.

If you shot for the stars and hit the moon you’re probably celebrating like a Boss. But, if you left goals and commitments unaccomplished you might be suffering a hangover that doesn’t require any alcohol to inflict its head pounded displeasure. What a difference a day makes is nothing compared to the changing landscape of a year in review.

Whether it is original to John Lennon or not I picked up a favorite quote from him; “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.” Before we launch in to pick up where we left off we might want to inventory why this is leftover and does it still fit with what I completed and discovered in the last twelve months.

11584236166_26bfcb03be_z

Image via comedy_nose on flickr

After the third day I have kind of had my fill of the leftover ham and turkey. I have to get rid of the bounty of sugar goodies that linger on the shelves and in my secret hiding places. It’s time to end the reprieve and get back to business. Christmas is my favorite season but I’ve learned to greet it warmly and definitively get over it all quickly.

My plans for this year are lofty. challenging, and will take more than I am to fulfill. I’m making my choices on purpose. Being more deliberate than I have ever been. I have no thoughts of failing. While I am not oblivious, to the many obstacles and threats facing my best intentions, I know personal resolve is the only way things get done.

think big ryan altamera on flickr

by Ryan Altermera on flickr

I’m stating my objectives clearly, sharing my dreams openly, and I vow to hold myself accountable. I give my inner-circle permission to call me out for any and all excuse making. I’m not the only one counting on me. Others are hoping for my success and will benefit from my achievements. I don’t want to let any of us down.

I’m interested in you, your dreams, and knowing you are reaching your best life. Please let share where you see yourself one year from now.

 

An Amazing Two Years!

What I thought would be two months turned into two years. As I approach the final days until my book is released I have a number of thoughts and emotions swirling in and around me. I am very thankful. And, apprehensive. A book that lays out many details of your life can be disconcerting and yet authenticity is required to be of value.

The early reviews have been more positive than I ever dreamed. Strong and encouraging with a consensus of timeliness and accuracy. I’m more than thankful.

Some Early Reviews

“Rick’s amazing book is a heartfelt love letter from God to the world. Whether you have a relationship with your biological father or not, Rick’s true story of his journey from abandonment to his understanding that God is our Father and that love is a decision will touch you and impact all of your relationships. Rick’s book should be required reading for all fathers.”

Kevin Knebl, CMEC – Int’l Speaker/Author/Trainer/ Executive Coach and the Co-Author of “The Social Media Sales Revolution: The New Rules for Finding Customers, Building Relationships, and Closing More Sales Through Online Networking” (McGraw-Hill)

This isn’t just a novel it’s a journey. Rick takes you with him through the muck and mire while showing glimpses of the deepest imaginable love. It isn’t just a book for the “fatherless,” but a book for anyone struggling to find their own worth or hold on to it. It’s easy to get lost in our busy and socially overwhelming world, but Rick’s book is like a map to guide you. The love he feels for his grandson is one we all strive to reach. The love he feels from his God is one people have missed, lost or constantly seek and you learn, from Rick’s experience that it wasn’t an easy path of awareness or acceptance. Read this. You’ll find yourself.

Jennifer Duggins founder of Bohemian Gypsy Girl, LLC, and author of Facing Giants and other works.

Rick’s story will start any reader down a path of healing, especially those who are fatherless, by helping them expose the lies in the mind and allowing them to see the truth. We have a fatherless world and so much pain stems from that problem. My prayer is that this book will add momentum to the movement rallying to help solve this problem. This book is well written and captured my attention right from the start. Well done, Rick! Thank you for your openness and transparency to help others find what you have found, even in the pain.

Ford Taylor Founder FSH Group/Transformational Leadership, Co-Author “The Hike” The Missing Link to Transformational leadership

As someone who in not an avid reader, I could not put this book down. I found myself laughing and crying and wanting to hug and salute Rick for the courage it took to live a painful story and now share it. This book is a powerfully vivid and reflective journey inviting the senses and emotions of the reader. It encapsulates suffering in its rawest form giving insight into an intense personal and painful reality of hurt, misunderstanding, hope, and healing.

Dr. Sandy Ingle, PhD    Clinical Psychologist and Counselor

COMING SOON!

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I’m on a mission to help people find Identity, Affirmation, and Clarity in a world that so carelessly strips it all away.