“You wear your honor like a suit of armor, Stark. You think it keeps you safe, but all it does is weigh you down and make it hard for you to move. Look at you now. You know why you summoned me here. You know what you want to ask me to do. You know it has to be done … but it’s not honorable, so the words stick in your throat.”
– Lord Petyr Baelish, Master of Coin, to Lord Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell, Warden of the North, Hand of the King, and Protector of the Realm, from Game of Thrones by George R R Martin.
Hope is a funny thing, to which any baseball fan (or sports fan in general) can attest. I have been a life long fan of the Atlanta Braves, and was lucky enough to be a teenager in the 1990’s when the Braves began a 14 year span where they won the National League Eastern Division title every year. We (because as a fan, yes I am part of the team) only won one World Series, and in the years we didn’t win the World Series we always hoped we would win the next year. You see, we knew we would be back in the Series next year. Every year.
But that wasn’t hope, not really. You see, hope is a matter of degree – it is one thing to hope to win the World Series, and quite another to hope your team will even make to the Series to begin with.
And it’s yet another level of hope that your team will make the playoffs, have a winning season, or even manage not to end in last place.
Hope is about degrees. What I hope for is not what you hope for. As I sit here watching one of the worst seasons the Braves have had during my lifetime, you most likely hope for something else. Perhaps you hope for tickets to a Broadway show. I hope that in a year or two we’ll be back on top. Such is our lot – to hope for happiness.
But hope is about degrees. As I type this, I’m sitting on my couch and watching as the Braves play a game against one of the best teams in the league; it’s Memorial Day.
Think about that for a moment: today is Memorial Day, and I am hoping my Braves can pull off a win against the Giants.
On Memorial Day.
Hope is about degrees, and while I sit here hoping that the Braves will win, I can’t help but be reminded that men and women have given their lives to protect our country. To protect other countries. To protect life. These men and women fought. And what did they hope for? I cannot say for certain, but I would guess that as the shells fell and as the bullets flew these men and women who fought, these men and women who died, most likely just hoped to see a loved one again. They hoped that their fellow soldiers survived long enough for a medic to arrive. They hoped not only to survive but to win a desperate fight.
They hoped their sacrifices would not be forgotten.
I hope the Braves win today, and that’s okay. It’s okay because those men and women fought to be sure I could be free. They fought so you could free.
They fought for people from other counties that spoke other languages.
They fought so we could hope and enjoy the little things.
So yes, I hope that the Braves win, and I remember that my ability to hope for such a minor thing as a baseball game victory is owed to the brave men and women who came before. Thank you for your sacrifices that I might live a live free of tyranny and oppression.
“It’s said that All Hallows’ Eve is one of the nights when the veil between the worlds is thin – and whether you believe in such things or not, those roaming spirits probably believe in you, or at least acknowledge your existence, considering that it used to be their own. Even the air feels different on Halloween, autumn-crisp and bright.”
“Halloween was confusing. All my life my parents said, ‘Never take candy from strangers.’ And then they dressed me up and said, ‘Go beg for it.’ I didn’t know what to do! I’d knock on people’s doors and go, ‘Trick or treat.’ ‘No thank you.'”
There are many religions around the world, including many that are little known, such as Baha’i. The Gardens in Haifa are some of the most beautiful in the world, and dedicated to the Baha’i faith. Open to the public, these gardens serve to remind us that peace and tranquility can be found in the outside world, and within ourselves.
I hope you enjoy these photos from my visit there in 2012.
To learn more about the Baha’i Gardens please click here.
Hey guys! I hope you all are enjoying my journal (I hate the word “blog”). As I’m just now getting started again, I would love to have your help! If you enjoy reading my musings, quotes, and general nonsense – tell people! If there are any stories or subjects you enjoy that I don’t post – tell me! Either way, join me in making this journal a bit more fun for everyone around!
Please leave a comment below to let me know if there are any subjects you enjoy reading about, or would like to hear my opinion on. You can also email me at email@example.com.
On October 1, 2014, the Washington, D.C. police department decided that Dennis Stucky, a black man walking through a neighborhood where mostly affluent white people live, might have been involved in a burglary which by accounts appear to have not had a police response yet. The reported phone call came from an alarm that sent an automated call to police. Even worse (f that is possible), the officers involved were themselves black.
In our country, we have made amazing strides toward equality for those who have been disenfranchised by the government and by society. We are still working to better ourselves, and the most recent example are the recent court rulings regarding same sex marriage. Even so, we must be ever vigilant in order to ensure we do not take steps backwards in our pursuits of equality.
Jody Westby, CEO of Global Cyber Risk, LLC, stepped forward on October 1st when she saw institutionalized racism at work in the Washington, D.C. police department, its response to a black man walking in her neighborhood.
Said Westby, “Just because he’s black, doesn’t mean he’s here to rob a house. He works for us he’s been in this neighborhood for 30 years.”
I acknowledge that the police should be allowed to ask questions about a crime that happened nearby (even though the crime occurred nearly a mile away); that said the manner of the questions and the style in which the questioning took place leave something to be desired. Westby’s housekeeper filmed the below video, in which you will notice the following:
The police demanded and required that Stucky get on the ground
The police demanded he explain where he came from and where he was going
Given that the police officers involved did not have a description of the suspect at all, the appropriate way to handle this, I think, should have been:
Ask him if he had a moment to speak
Ask him if he was aware of any suspicious activity in the neighborhood
Had they approached the situation in this way, they would have learned (without confrontation) what Westby had to explain to them: Stucky has worked in this neighborhood for 30 years, and his presence in the neighborhood was both expected and welcome by the community.
And finally: as there was no break-in that occurred, and the alarm went off erroneously causing an automated call to be placed to the police department, an important question is raised. Why were the police stopping someone walking at a normal pace nearly a mile away from an active alarm going off instead of rushing to the scene of the “crime”?
Please be sure to watch this video, and share this message with people you know. We must work to be ever vigilant and cognizant of this type of behavior, now and always.
For more information about this event, please visit the following links: