Category Archives: Getting to Know John

Marriage: Mutual Admiration, Respect, and Romantic Love

I believe that there are three very important elements which must be present in order for a marriage to work: mutual admiration, respect and romantic love.  Shared values can support mutual admiration and respect.   I also believe married couples ought to be best friends.  In addition to their romantic, physical love for each other, they should also genuinely like each other.

I’ve spoken with many long-time married couples—some married fifty-plus years—who are still happy with their union.  A lot of them say, “You have to work at it.”  So, perhaps, relationships can progress even when mutual admiration, respect and romantic love do not occur at the same time, if both partners are committed and very willing to work at it, in order to firmly develop all of these elements.

The road to a joyful, fruitful, meaningful, purposeful, enduring and everlasting loving marriage is not without bumps along the way.  Both partners should keep fit in mind, body and their “little piece of God” in order to maintain their mutual respect, admiration and romantic love.  That often requires self-discipline and delayed gratification.

The wisdom-associated values about which I have often written can deepen each individual’s character and help a marriage to flourish.  However, the negative values of selfishness, hate, revenge, greed and envy can negatively impact a person’s relationships.  Therefore, working on eliminating these from your life will benefit yourself and your loved ones, particularly your spouse (or future spouse).

An Ambitious Calling

Both President Reagan and Gandhi were ambitious, and I am, too.  I seek to be a pathfinder toward heaven on earth.  It may involve political endeavors within the Republican Party and/or a path more like Gandhi.

The world is full of ambitious people of all degrees.  All seek freedom and liberty.  Read “The Case for Democracy.”  Life is not a straight line, up or down or sideways.  It is full of twists and turns, and all sorts of challenges and obstacles.

The goal is The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  This is simply said – yet difficult to apply throughout and consistently.  Nonetheless, it is critical to reach toward Heaven on Earth.

Almighty God loves each of us and all of us with an enduring, steadfast love.  This enormous presence is within us, too – in our mind, body and “little piece of God.”

We each have an important role to play in this inevitable and loving march toward Heaven on Earth.  I wish and hope to be a pathfinder for others.  Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote quite eloquently what I have in mind, “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

I hope and pray that I will leave a trail that many can see and have the freedom and wisdom to decide for themselves whether to follow my trail.  The essence of life is to seek truth and wisdom within oneself and others – to be kind to oneself and others.

God marches with us, in us, and for us.  Recognizing God in our values is good, but more importantly, God should be present in our behavior. God cares deeply about each of us and all of us, as well as how we treat ourselves and everyone else.  My God is not judgmental.  My God has led us from very brutal, barbaric times to our 21stcentury.  Of course, there is still much to do.

I believe sometimes the hard way is the best way.  What do I mean by that?  Suffering can and oftentimes leads to wisdom and a more balanced, purposeful life.

As I wrote before, we each have an important role – to be kind to ourselves and others.  This involves things that are difficult, self-discipline and delayed gratification.  Kindness is not only a momentary phenomenon, but one of short-term, mid-term and long-term tenacity.

Perfection is not an attribute of us humans – certainly including me.  But I do try and so must you.  The wisdom-associated values of Copthorne MacDonald are essential on our quest toward Heaven on Earth – empathy, truth, honesty, justice, cooperation, peace, compassion, universal well-being, creativity and general knowledge.  This is a march, not a dance or an easy reach.  At the same time – continually, moment to moment – we must reject Copthorne MacDonald’s negative values – selfishness, hate, revenge, envy and greed.

I go back to the song, “What the World Needs Now is Love – Sweet Love.”  Perhaps it’s a song that is dated, but to me it’s timeless – ready for prime time now and in the future.

 

Overcoming Internalized Stigma

I have for some time written and spoken about my “internalized stigma.”  That concept could also be applied to race and religion, for all sorts of people, from the caste system in India to poor people globally.

It’s a matter of low self-esteem due to society’s view of you, or more pertinently, your own view of yourself through that eternal prism.  This also pertains to gender, appearance, and so many human qualities.

What is the solution to these external factors which are then internalized?  Some of these difficult stigmas can be overcome if one by one, million by million, billion by billion, we come to realize through faith that each of us and all of us have a “little piece of God” since the dawn of humankind.

Since 1963 I have lived with and eventually overcome the internalized stigma of bipolar disorder, and whatever other mental difficulties I received through my environment.  My experience was that building genuine self-esteem with humility and without arrogance was no easy task with mental illness.  I suspect this would be the same for others, whether they are overcoming stigmas associated with gender, race, religion and other human conditions.

We humans tend to label people far too quickly.  The reality of it is that we are much more alike than we are different.  I believe one essential key to overcome humankind’s toughest problems is to reach out globally to invoke a faith that each of us and all of us have a “little piece of God.”  Thus, we must be kind to ourselves and all others, including those that don’t fit our perceptions of “our kind of people.”  After all, we are all God’s children and we should not judge others with bias and prejudice, especially from appearances alone.

Government and charities can help in terms of health and education.  But only business can solve the world’s poverty, especially for the 2.7 billion people who are living on $2 or less per day.  Gandhi stated that “violence begets violence.”  I fully agree.  The reverse is true, too, as I have written:  “Kindness begets kindness.”

I want to be, and it is my calling to be, a pathfinder toward Heaven on Earth, whether that involves being a public servant or serving like Gandhi did.  That will be up to others to assess.  I thank God for the opportunity to serve in whatever I am lead.

Thoughts on Love

Love is what we all seek, and deep down, want to give.  That is the wonderful glow emitting from committed couples.  I can’t say how many really long-term marital partners I have seen who told me, “You have to work at it.”  I think that’s a very true statement.  The emotion of love is quite exciting.  But that alone is not enough.  Mutual respect and admiration, along with other important “matches,” such us values, are critical to a long-term, enduring, inspiring, joyful marriage.

A Blessed Thankgiving

I have been reading a captivating book, “The Business Solution to Poverty,” by Paul Polak and Mal Warwick.  It’s about helping the 2.7 billion people on our planet who exist with less than $2.00 per day (included in that number are about one billion people who exist on less than $1.00 per day).

Here in the United States we must all give thanks in so many ways as we have so much compared to those described in the book.

I read the story of one poor family in a village in India.  They worked very hard and saved as best they could, with the dream of buying a water buffalo to help till their small rice field.  Over time, they were able to realize that dream.  Even better, they became able to let their children stay in school as long as they liked–even through college.  But most children in that region only attend through the fifth grade.

We must give thanks to God for our abundance, not just our material means, but our freedom and so much more.  One reason freedom is on my mind is that this past weekend, I hosted the president of the Cuban Council of Churches, an organization that represents about a million members.  After the weekend with me in New Orleans, he was to head to San Francisco.  He asked me if he would be able to visit Silicon Valley.  I quickly said, “Yes, it’s a free country.”  I could tell by his deep reaction how much that surprised and moved him.  Freedom is just not present everywhere.

I’ve been to Cuba on seven separate mission trips.  There the income of people is as desperate as what is described in the book I’m reading.  I’ll never forget the time I was asked to bring nails–that’s right, nails–in my suitcase because they couldn’t even buy such basic items.

I also took this fine Cuban minister to Walgreen’s for him to get a medication for a colleague.  He was amazed at the vast selection of items just a few blocks from my home.

Yes, give thanks America, for our means, for our freedom and the realization that free enterprise was essential for our nation to reach this stage of affluence.  Central planning did not work in the twentieth century, nor is it working now in Cuba and North Korea now.  This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for my country, flaws and all.

Gratitude

I wrote this blog just after I got home from Sunday school about a month ago.  The teacher ended saying, “We ought to focus on God.”  I disagree.  Almighty God and God within all of us is just incomprehensible to all of us.  But we can try, try, try to seek God’s calling(s) for us moment by moment, day by day, lifetime by lifetime.  It’s what we say and do that counts.

Saying and doing the right things can be developed by cultivating a strong set of values.  The loving religions of the world encourage very similar values.  And, while we can’t really understand Almighty God and our “little piece of God,” we can be thankful to God for all that has been given us.  Following God’s calling is part of how we can show our gratitude.

A Message of Hope and Optimism

The key to a heaven on earth lies with us and God – and I believe both humankind and certainly God are up to that enormous journey through the Innovation Age to the Spiritual Age – Heaven on Earth.

With humankind, it is incumbent on all to teach, practice and live by the wisdom-associated values while ridding ourselves of those negative values.  Why do I think it can be done – my belief in God and humankind’s ability to improve and innovate in our own selves, one by one, million by million, billion by billion.

Honesty and kindness toward ourselves and others are important ingredients to this wonderful journey.  Such qualities don’t happen overnight, especially when one considers the whole planet.

But technologically we now have the capability to spread this ray of hope in a way not possible previously.

We each have an important role to play in this heavenly trek.

Heaven on Earth is and will be a loving destination, full of goodwill, cooperation, creativity – so many magnificent manifestations of God’s love.

It’s too easy to be cynical and pessimistic.  But I sincerely believe that the Innovation Age – far from the caves – allows us to progress in an amazing fashion.  We just need to have the will and God’s enduring, steadfast love.  My faith tells me – deeply – that both of those essential components will be there – in abundance.

Optimism, not blind optimism, but the sort that guided President Reagan to such stupendous feats as economic  revival lasting for 25 years and a BIG victory in the Cold War which brought democracy to so many millions.

Motivation!

Motivation!

Motivation!

 

The View from Above

I was recently looking at a beautiful sight from my plane—puffy white clouds down below extending all the way to the horizon—an inspiring gift from God.  Above the horizon the sky is clear and blue.  From here it is breathtaking and striking, and yet from below it must be overcast and gray.  Perhaps that’s the way life is as we look around below the clouds and see the dull and bad aspects of life, whereas from above God observes the goodness of it all.  Somehow we must venture out from below the clouds and recognize the awesome reality above them.   

UPCOMING APPEARANCE

Hello Friends and Followers,

 

I am going to give a presentation and sign copies of “How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth” at the Katrina Artistically Revisited event this Wednesday evening, August 28th at Canal Place in New Orleans. The event is free and open to the public and includes various speakers, movie shorts, artwork and other artistic presentations commemorating the eighth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  This evening should prove to be moving and interesting and I urge you to attend if possible.  Please be sure to introduce yourself to me.

 

Sincerely,

John E. Wade II