73 Years Later, Still Can’t Forget

Today is the 73rd anniversary of D-Day.

I think often of this date. Why? Because the world I have come to know could be very different had D-Day not been successful. Of course success doesn’t mean it was easy. Thousands of lives lost in a single day. Some never even reached the beaches of occupied France.

People think of World War 2 in different lights. It mostly depends on which area of the world you find yourself in. But there is no denying one thing. Hitler was a dictator. A dictator with an enormous following. A dictator with enormous resources at his disposal. A dictator with allies.

All it takes is a simple Google search to realize the immense amount of land that came under Nazi control. Just take a look at continental Europe. Now imagine it being nearly all under Nazi control.

I cannot say this enough. Hitler would have never been content with controlling continental Europe. Japan was expanding in the east and the next logical target for Germany would have been further west. After the UK, which somehow managed to remain free of occupation during the war, an invasion of the US would have been inevitable. AN INVASION OF THE US. It’s a statement you can’t help but gasp at.

But guess what? The generations before us didn’t have to endure that reality. Due in large part to the efforts of the men and women who participated in the events of D-Day.

We tend to forget things rather quickly in the era of social media. But we can’t. Not this. Not ever. We’re fast approaching the time in which we’ll have no more active participants from World War 2. Every man and woman from the war deserves our deepest gratitude for standing up for so much more than a flag or a government. They stood up for freedom. They stood up for those who had been betrayed by their own countrymen. And they stood up for what is right in a world full of evil.

Today, like all days, we should remember the immense sacrifices of those who came before us. D-Day stands out among the days we tend to forget, but I refuse to.

To Meet or Not To Meet

Michael Connelly is coming to Houston next month in support of his new book. I haven’t had the chance to meet him before. I’m thinking I might want to. But of course my schedule has to allow me to.

Meeting authors is always interesting. You gain insight and persepective you can’t obtain any other way. Social media is nice, but it just isn’t quite the same as having them right in front of you speaking about their experience and writing.

I’m thinking I’ll likely meet him. I mean, he created Harry Bosch. 

We’re all Capable of This

Jeff Lew is eliminating school lunch debt in the Seattle area one online fundraiser at a time. He called his son’s school and asked what the amount of school lunch debt was. It was less than $100. He quickly started an online fundraiser to cover the debt. When the initial goal was met he expanded to include all Seattle public schools. He’s expanding each time he reaches one goal to tackle another. At some point he may just completely wipe out all school lunch debt in the Seattle area.

There’s no reason we can’t all do something like this. He’s tackling school lunch debt. But there is no shortage of issues that need attention and resources. We have this idea that we’re not able to make any real change as one person in a sea of many. If Jeff Lew had the same mindset, then thousands of dollars of school lunch debt in Seattle would still be owed.

You know what you’re passionate about. Why not turn that passion into something positive?

Take That Chance You’ve Been Thinking of

I’m not one to give unsolicited advice to people. Not co workers. Not friends. Not family. I mostly keep to myself. I’m not a fan of people trying to force their beliefs on to others. No matter how well intentioned they may be. So this isn’t advice. I’m not telling you this will change your life or alter the way you do certain things. I’m sharing with you a mindset I’ve adopted.

I don’t think it’s particularly astonishing to say we’ve all been asked about the things we regret. And we all have things that come to mind that we don’t share, for various reasons. My new mindset aims to eliminate those things from my life.

I’ll never want to ask myself “What if…?” again. I’m serious. I’d rather face rejection or fail at something or experience defeat than simply avoid taking a chance. Because when we avoid risk or chance, then what are we really doing? We’re sticking to routine, what we know best. And guess what? That’s easy. That’s how we can have a good job and close friends and family and STILL be miserable. Because we’re too busy not taking any chances. I refuse.

If I have a question at work I should know the answer to but don’t, I’m asking for help. If I have the opportunity to travel, I’m taking it. If a girl appears in my life and I want to know if she wants what I want, I’m asking. If a job opportunity opens up at my company or elsewhere and I feel I’d be a great candidate, I’m applying.

These are just a few examples. I plan on carrying this into every aspect of my life. Why? Because taking a chance or risking failure is much less damaging than never doing so.

We’ll be faced with tough decisions. But they don’t always have to be agonizing.

Books I Recommended to Someone who Asked for a sad Read

The actual request was for a book that may make them cry.

Lone Survivor

Night

To Kill a Mockingbird

The Martian

All of the books have completely different storylines. Two are based in fact. Two are not. The common thing from all of them is that I believe there are lessons to be learned from each. Just like there’s a lesson to be learned from nearly every book ever published. The messaging may be off and the writing poor, but find a book in which you take nothing away from it and I’ll gladly hand you hundreds in which you’ll find something hidden beneath the printed words.

What was the last book that made you cry?

This is Unfair

In previous years McDonald’s has had campaigns to give away books in their Happy Meals. I think the campaigns usually last about a month. This year hadn’t been any different. Except that the books are only being distributed in Canada. The most American of companies is picking Canada over the US. Justin Trudeau over Donald Trump. The cold over the not as cold. Ugh.

Fix this, McDonalds! Now.

PS: I’m pretty sure the US campaign will be later this year.