Merry what?

About three-and-a-half years ago, I turned my back on religion and chose to live my life as someone that does not believe in a god or some higher power. I did so because of two reasons: first, I did not like the false justification of one’s religion over another’s to assert one’s agenda. Second, I realized that I was not taking full accountability for my own actions, even though they were entirely my own.

So over three years later, I still stick by my decision. However, I also understand that other people have their beliefs, and I respect them for that. But when someone wishes me a “Merry Christmas,” I don’t get upset. Heck, I even say it once in a while.

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Happy Thanksgiving – 2006

This Thanksgiving is a special one for my family. Earlier this year, my sister’s father-in-law was diagnosed with a terminal illness. He is recovering now, and I am thankful that he can spend the day with us. Second, I am thankful that my beautiful girlfriend could spend the day with my family, and that I can spend the day with hers tomorrow. Finally, my dad’s cousin’s son and his family just moved to Wisconsin from Texas recently, and they are spending the day with us. So I am thankful that they could share this special day with us. Thanksgiving for me is about counting the blessings in my life and realizing how fortunate I am to have so many loving people in it. I hope others also realize how fortunate they are to have someone that loves them, not only in their families and friends on Thanksgiving Day, but all year round. So to everyone out there, Happy Thanksgiving!

Snowy St. Patrick’s Day

I may not be Irish, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate what it means to be Irish. Of course, this is Wisconsin, so it wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without some special weather. The following is from the WKOW-TV (ABC affiliate in Madison) weather Web site (and it is copyrighted; I just want to make sure that they know I recognize the source):

It’s Thursday, March 17, 2005

Wisconsin is usually hit with one nice snow storm in March, which is what we’re seeing now! A band of snow will continue to drift northward across southern Wisconsin through the evening, with generally three to five inches expected through Friday morning. (heaviest north of Dane County.) So if you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this evening, be aware that you will likely encounter slick spots out on the roadways.

**A SNOW ADVISORY is in effect for Iowa and Dane Counties from 6 p.m. tonight until 6 a.m. Friday and for Columbia, Sauk, Marquette and Green Lake Counties from midnight until noon Friday for 4 to 5 inches of snow. Juneau and Adams Counties are under a WINTER STORM WARNING from 3 a.m. Friday until 6 a.m. Saturday for total snow accumulations of 8 to 12 inches.**

That’s right, we’re getting snow here in Wisconsin. Technically, it’s still winter for four days. So more snow is likely, such as on Saturday when a snow-rain mix is predicted with a high temperature of 39 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today we commemorate the life and work of one of the greatest civil rights leaders in American history. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the voice for all black American citizens to receive the same equal treatment as white Americans. He fought through his words and his nonviolent actions, which he adopted from Indian civil rights leader Mahatma Gandhi. His legacy lives on, and his fight continues. Today people of all races have made many great strides forward towards equal and civil rights. Yet I am constantly reminded of the bigotry that still exists in our country today because many people are so closed-minded that they act like barbarians. If we as American citizens truly believe in strong moral values, then we should look upon the words and work of Dr. King and remember that he didn’t fight for just black Americans, but for all Americans. Today’s blog is dedicated to the men and women who continue to struggle for the ideals that Dr. King fought to achieve. Let’s not remember today as just a day of remembrance, but as the first day that we will work to improve the civil liberties for all of those around us.

The King Center – The Meaning of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

Happy Holidays

The holidays are an interesting time of year. I consider it a time of thanking those that we care about and trying to show how much we appreciate their kindness and support. We spend time reflecting on the past year’s accomplishments and consider ways to improve ourselves in the upcoming year. And we try to spread the message of goodwill and sharing to everyone that we meet (well, in an ideal world).

I also want to send season’s greetings to our troops serving overseas. The other day, a deadly blast took out over 20 American troops while they were sitting down to lunch. My deepest condolences go out to all of the American soldiers and their families, and I hope that our veterans are never forgotten or turned away from society. May all of you find some peace this holiday season.

Even if you don’t celebrate some holiday this time of year or do not believe in the notion of Christmas or whatever else there is (Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc.), I still wish you warm wishes and a great New Year. People are entitled to what they believe in, and I applaud all of you for thinking freely. Believing in yourself and in the real world around us shows greater strength and integrity than moving with the crowd in blind faith.

So I just want to say happy holidays to everyone, and have a great 2005. I don’t know the majority of people that visit my site, and I probably never will. But that won’t stop me from offering warm wishes to you. I’m happy that I can be a part of a large community in a continuously emerging medium, and I look forward to continuing my work on the site. Today’s blog is dedicated to those that strive for peace and compassion in the world.