Archive for January, 2014

Open Letter To Amy Glass

Dear Amy,

I have read your blog post titled “I Look Down On Young Women With Husbands And Kids And I’m Not Sorry.” Your perspective is mildly interesting and somewhat angry in tone. However, your conclusions are inaccurate. I’m not sure what you’ve done with your life, but I’ve been both lawyer and mother and am, therefore, qualified to respond with authority to your assertions.

WorkFirst, allow me to give credit where credit is due. My experience is that you are correct. It is nearly impossible “to have the time, energy, freedom or mobility to be exceptional if you have a husband and kids”… at least not “exceptional” by your definition. You define exceptionalism as having scored a certain title, salary, or satisfied some personal wanderlust. True, there is little time for such accomplishments when you are caring for, nurturing, and providing ethical and moral guidance as a foundation for the life of a child as yet unable to do so for themselves. True, there is little time for such things when you are providing a nurturing home environment and emotional support for a partner who is out in the world each day working at providing financial security for you and your family.

When I practiced law, I was accomplished and successful at my practice but not so much at being a mother. When I gave up my practice, I became exceptional at being a mother. I can tell you with certainty and pride, that between the two alternatives, “mothering” is more demanding, difficult, exhausting, creative, challenging, joyful, and dare I say satisfying than being in the workplace in any capacity.

Don’t get me wrong. I loved the practice of law. I loved helping my clients as well as the respect and even, yes, the egoic praise that came my way. It was great to feel so accomplished and validated. But accomplished and validated are not the same as exceptional. Exceptional is what you become when you are challenged to override and set aside your own self-centeredness and do so because your child needs you to get beyond yourself, and your own needs, in order to understand theirs. Exceptional is what you become when that child grows into a worthwhile, contributing member of society exemplifying values and principles the seeds of which you planted in the hope they’d take root.

As a single woman I have traveled the world. As a single woman I have practiced law. As a married woman I have practiced law. As a married woman I have practiced law and raised a child. As a married, stay-at-home mother I have raised a child. You pose the question “Do people really think that a stay-at home-mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself? There’s no way those two things are the same.” I agree with you. The former is self-sacrificing and the latter self-serving.

But before you or anyone else jumps all over the word “self-sacrificing” let me assure you that to repair a world we have broken, only self-sacrifice and restraint in all areas of our lives will accomplish that end. The “me” generation took us down a barren and deserted road you are still traveling. My heartfelt wish for you is that you awaken to the exceptional power and, yes, self-satisfaction, in knowing you devoted the necessary time and energy to positively influence one individual life and did so willingly, at the expense of your own need to be “accomplished” and “recognized.”

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A Lone Survivor’s Highest Message

“Lone Survivor” opened in theaters this past weekend to become the second highest grossing movie ever in the month of January. It’s both a war film and a profoundly moving account of ethics, determination and sheer courage in the face of overwhelming circumstances. Yet, the most important message of the movie (and the book upon which the screenplay is based) occurs off screen.

OnenessI have seen Marcus Luttrell, the sole surviving Navy SEAL of “Operation Red Wings,” interviewed several times. In his recounting of the experience, he expresses himself this way:

“It went bad for us over there, but that was our job. That’s what we did. We didn’t complain about it. We never gave up. We never felt like we were losing…until we were actually dead.”

What first caught my attention about Mr. Luttrell’s response was his use of the words “we” and “our.” His choice of pronouns may not seem all that extraordinary…after all, these four men trained and performed as a unit. However, it’s the last half of the last sentence that riveted me.

“…until we were dead.”

Marcus Luttrell returns to us to do much more than write a book or make a movie. He returns to us to personify the living manifestation of the unifying principle of Oneness. Four men died on that mountain in Afghanistan, not three. You know that through Mr. Luttrell’s statement. His experience was that “we were dead.” However, four men crawled off that mountain as well and have survived to tell their story through Mr. Luttrell.

Yes, it is a story of war and its ravages as well as of courage, compassion and endurance in the face of overwhelming odds. But above all else, it is a story of our connectedness to one another.  What happens to one of us happens to all of us. Until we own that reality, we will continue to tear one another apart both in and out of war.

The solutions we seek to the world’s challenges are not political, they are of the heart.  True unity is no better expressed or understood than in the manner that Mr. Luttrell speaks of his/their experience, his/their bond and, most tellingly, his/their deaths. Four men went to Afghanistan and all four have returned to speak to us with one voice.

If Marcus Luttrell still questions why he made it back, my prayer is that he wonders no longer. Every morning that he awakens his three friends awaken as well. It is the highest form of resurrection and it is his purpose to exemplify this reality for the rest of us. I, for one, am eternally grateful to him for the integrity and commitment he brings to the calling. May the Nation, and the world, be awake enough to seize this profound moment to finally understand what divinity in action is all about.

There is only One of Us

Listen to Carole discuss Marcus Lutrell in an excerpt from her radio show “An Hour of Inspirational Gold” on BlogTalk Radio.
Note: click on the gray play button below



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Vermont Moves Beyond Obamacare

I am not in favor of anyone who is ill being unable to get medical care. I can’t imagine any rational, compassionate person who would be. But perfection is hard to come by, even in healthcare, and so for quite some time now we in the United States have been the beneficiaries of an imperfect healthcare system…albeit the best in the world.

So, in full disclosure, I was never in favor of Obamacare.  From Obamacare’s inception until today, I believe the free market to be the best arena in which good ideas can be born and maintained within a free society. Government runs very little, if anything, efficiently. The prospect of it successfully overseeing the creation and “enforcement” of healthcare for 317,000,000 citizens seemed almost laughable.

deceitHowever, I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t in favor of Obamacare to solve our healthcare shortcomings. Neither was President Obama.

As far back as 2003 during his days as a U.S. Senator, President Obama was an advocate of a “single-payer” system whereby the private insurance industry would be eliminated and replaced by the federal government. Single-payer is what is also referred to as nationalized or socialized medicine. The government that would run Obama’s single-payer system is the same government that cannot seem to efficiently run the U.S. Postal Service or effectively manage immigration.

Now, with the fiasco that has become known as Obamacare, President Obama may be on the road to getting his wish.  The progressive state of Vermont is attempting to implement single-payer healthcare to circumvent the seemingly endless challenges and foibles that are Obamacare.

It’s been a long, circuitous, and deceptive route getting to where we are but it may yet payoff for those who, like New Yorkers with the recent election of Bill de Blasio as Mayor, think that Socialism and Communism are inherently more efficient and just systems than the Constitutional Republic under which we in the United States have lived since our inception. This, of course, will come as a shock to the hundreds of millions of people slaughtered by tyrannical or fascistic leaders in countries that have tried both alternative systems.

Economic equality is not equal opportunity. Economic equality among a populace is sought, but never achieved, by way of redistribution of wealth…which always ends with a few having achieved their wealth, literally, upon the bodies of those who bought the fiction that a government can and will give you all things for nothing. There is, in such cases, always a price paid in blood.  On the other hand, equal opportunity is the right of every individual living in a free society to pursue their dreams unobstructed by specifically targeted governmental restraints .

Obamacare was the wrong solution. Vermont is on the wrong track.  Free market  health care, with purchase rights across state lines and accountability for insurers and providers alike, with provisions for preexisting conditions and those truly unable to secure health insurance is the answer.

But the slope from freedom to bondage is a slippery one. Vermont’s efforts are the latest indication that we are on the down slope.


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