FIT@50Week 94: Approaching the New Year Happily

FIT@50Week 94: Approaching the New Year Happily

FIT@50 / Week 80: Being Human

FIT@50 / week 80

Being Human:

I’m going to take a breather on this one. This week’s FIT@50 is probably best spent just being human. I’ve come to understand that it’s okay to just be human. That being FIT@50 means it’s alright to chill out every once and awhile, and allow life to be just so.

Of course, as I say this, it’s on the heels of another fast-paced week of networking and meetings for Liliana Hart and I. But just like the week before and the month before that and the year preceding that, we promised each other we’d slow it down.

Honestly, I don’t know that slowing down is an option.

It’s called being human.

If I could show you, right outside our suite window is an amazing sugar-sand beach with warm crystal waters. We’ve yet to stick a toe in either of them since we arrived on Monday.

Why? I’m really not sure why, but neither of us are complaining. We’ve been blessed to share this week catching up with friends and meeting new people who are as passionate about business as we are.

One of the best parts of this week has been how many people have taken the time to express their condolences for the loss of my dad. I mentioned that our circles on social media allow us to get to know so many people on a personal level. I’ve appreciated everyone who has made the very real effort to pay their respects.

It’s called being human.

Speaking of being human, I got caught up earlier with the reality that it had already been a week since my dad’s passing. I had that brief moment of chest compressing panic, but quickly tapped my heart with the tip of my middle finger to reassure myself it would be okay.

It’s a habit I picked up years ago while still in law enforcement. The bulletproof vest I wore on duty had a heavy plate covering the heart. It’s called a shock plate, or trauma plate. I’d tap that plate with my finger as a reassurance reminder that my heart was covered by a metal shell.

I didn’t realize it was something I still did. Although, having matured in my needs for reassurances, it’s not the steel plate that protects my heart from the trauma of grief. I have God’s reassurance that I’m protected, and blessed with a wonderful wife, family, and friends who care about what that heavy steel plate once protected.

It’s called being human.

Do Good,

Scott

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The Eulogy: 2015

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The Eulogy: 2015

Over the last few days I’ve witnessed so many who’ve cursed or eulogized the last year; yes 2015. Instead of rejoicing in the 365 days of life God allowed them, they dismiss the gifts of grace in hopes of happenstance instantly or magically changing their circumstances.

What makes a person believe that the tick of a second-hand tock is going to erase the hardships, the failures, the could-have-beens, the should-have-beens and the never-have-beens?

Good things happen, bad things happen, terribly horrible things happen and yes; wonderfully fantastic things happen. This is what we call “Life.”

Were there hard times in 2015? Sure. After 15 years I still miss my mother. After 8 years and counting, I still cheer-lead for my son with Down syndrome to live an amazingly fantastic life. Day after day I still watch my dad as the effects of diabetes and dementia take their collective toll.

This is called “Life” and it’s a gift; rejoice in it. Psalm 118:24 – This is the day that the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

While attending a funeral recently, an 89-year-old gentleman graced me with conversation. In sincerity and optimism he looked squarely at me and said, “Chief, life is too short. Enjoy it.”

What do you say to that?

I thought about the many who hurriedly stowed away 2015 in hopes of better times, the comment I could not respond to on life’s brevity, and my own take on the passing of one calendar year to the next.

I’m going to be honest with you; am I where I wanted to be on several levels at the end of 2015? No, not at all.

– I wanted to increase my walk with Christ

– I wanted to be a better father

– I wanted to be a better son and brother

– I wanted to be a better friend

– I wanted to be thinner and healthier

– I wanted to not be so guarded

– I wanted to cycle more, and eat ice cream less (debatable)

Am I bitter? Have I plastered Facebook with admonishments over a 2015 unlived, have I darkened others’ days with tales of “unfairs” over the last year? No. Not at all. It was a fantastic year. It was a 365 day blessing of mercy that God gifted me. It was yet another year in my life well lived.

This is not a criticism for pessimistic postings. It’s a reminder that if you think back over the course of the last year you will find;

1. The bad things that could have been avoided, possibly required more of our time and attention.
2. The horrible things that could not be avoided, we should be thankful that we’re still in this life to grieve, learn or recover.
3. The good things that happened probably resulted from our hard work and dedication.
4. The fantastic things that happened probably included someone else’s support along the way.

If you sat on your thumbs in 2015 waiting for what you thought owed and were disappointed, then sitting on your thumbs in 2016 will probably only result in much more soreness and even more criticisms come next New Year’s Eve.

Don’t be so quick to eulogize the passing year for its failures, as they represent the “you” who experienced it. Instead, embrace the positive and learn from the each opportunity.

Failure is not getting knocked down. It’s refusing to get back up.

See you at the end of yet another superhero’ish calendar year 2016.

Do Good,

Scott
Originally posted at scottsilverii.com – The Eulogy: 2013 / 2014

FIT@50 \ week 18

FIT@50 \ week 18
Broken: Don’t Do It

“They broke me.”
Those words were hard to hear.

“I know. It’s what they do,” was all I could say.
The somber, wooden expression in my friend’s face showed what two decades of service could do to even the most dedicated.

Some professions require a certain adherence to its culture, although not part of the official policy. Mavericks, self-starters and long-haired freaky people need not apply.

Unfortunately, the conflict between old school tradition and today’s demand for change has proactive employees caught in a clutch.

To lose the fire of passion that first drew you into your profession is the greatest loss of all. To suffer the darkening of vision for serving the greater good because a handful of naysayers fear change is a disservice to all, but mostly the fearful.

“Stay faithful,” were the words that came to mind. Don’t grant others the power over your life’s passions. Just don’t break.

Do good,
Scott

FIT@50 \ week 9

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FIT@50 \ week 9

Signs and wonders:

As I’ve matured, leaning on faith has become something on which I focus. Wishing I could say it came easy wouldn’t be the truth. I think it’s a by-product of occupational conditioning. Cops assume everything someone says is naturally not the truth until proven otherwise.

Skepticism requires a difficult deprogramming process, but is necessary for learning to trust others. The bible talks about reliance upon signs and wonders versus leaning on faith.

As I’ve learned in my FIT@50, some signs are good, even amazing. I had my post thought out earlier this week until I received a sign (actually it was an e-mail.) It changed everything. The simple words have given me joy all day.

I replied to the sender and said her e-mail was possibly one of the all-time favorite messages I’ve ever received. Why? Because it was a simple, selfless message sent out of sincere gratitude over a minimal gesture.

Sometimes signs are good.

Do good,

Scott

Don’t Doubt – DO

Meet August Landmesser : The man behind the crossed arms

august-landmesser-no-salute

Source: Blogspot

Last week I posted about this iconic photograph, meet the man and his tragic love story in the face of incredible odds.

Meet August Landmesser : The man behind the crossed arms

The photo above has floated around the internet for a few years now, popular for one of its subjects’ subtle yet profound acts of nonconformity. There is no telling how many men in that crowd were acting out of fear, fully aware that failing to salute the Führer was akin to signing his own death certificate. Knowing that it was, in fact, Hitler standing before the crowd makes the disobedience all the more admirable, but what may seem like an act of justified transgression was at its core a gesture of love. August Landmesser, the man with his arms crossed, was married to a Jewish woman.

august-landmesser-uniform

Source: I Giorni E Le Notti

The story of August Landmesser’s anti-gesture begins, ironically enough, with the Nazi Party. In 1930, Germany’s economy was in shambles, and the unstable nature of the Reichstag eventually led to its demise and ultimately the rise of the opportunistic leadership of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Believing that having the right connections would help land him a job in the pulseless economy, Landmesser became a card-carrying Nazi. Little did he know that his heart would soon ruin any progress that his superficial political affiliation might have made.

august-landmesser-portrait

In 1934, Landmesser met Irma Eckler, a Jewish woman, and the two fell deeply in love. Their engagement a year later got him expelled from the party, and their marriage application was denied under the newly enacted Nuremberg Laws. 

august-landmesser-irma-eckler

They had a baby girl, Ingrid, in October of the same year, and two years later in 1937, the family made a failed attempt to flee to Denmark, where they were apprehended at the border. August was arrested and charged for “dishonoring the race,” and briefly imprisoned.

august-landmesser-ingrid-portrait

In court, the two claimed to be unaware of Eckler’s Jewish status, as she had been baptized in a Protestant church after her mother remarried. In May 1938, August was acquitted for lack of evidence, but with a severe warning that punishment would follow if Landmesser dared repeat the offense. Officials made “good” on their word, as only a month later August would be arrested again and sentenced to hard labor for thirty months in a concentration camp. He would never see his beloved wife again.

august-landmesser-irma-kids

Meanwhile, a law was quietly passed that required the arrest of Jewish wives in the case of a man “dishonoring the race,” and Irma was snatched up by the Gestapo and sent to various prisons and concentration camps, where she would eventually give birth to Irene, Landmesser and Eckler’s second child.

Both children were initially sent to an orphanage, though Ingrid, spared a worse fate for her status as “half cast,” was sent to live with her Aryan grandparents. Irene, however, would eventually be plucked from the orphanage and sent to the camps, were a family acquaintance not to have grabbed her and whisked her away to Austria for safekeeping. Upon Irene’s return to Germany, she would be hidden again–this time in a hospital ward where her Jewish identification card would be “lost,” allowing her to live under the noses of her oppressors until their defeat.

august-landmesser-irene-foster

Their mother’s tale is much more tragic. As her daughters were being bounced from orphanages to foster homes to hiding places, Irma ultimately met her maker in 1942 in the gas chambers at Bernburg.

August would be released in 1941 and began work as a foreman. Two years later, as the German army became increasingly mired by its desperate circumstances, Landmesser would be drafted into a penal infantry along with thousands of other men. He would go missing in Croatia where it is presumed he died, six months before Germany would officially surrender.

august-landmesser-whole-family

The now-famous photograph was probably taken on June 13th 1936, when Landmesser was working at the Blohm + Voss shipyard and still had a family to return to at the day’s end. During the unveiling of the new Horst Vessel, workers were stunned to see the Führer himself in front of the ship. Landmesser likely found himself incapable of saluting the very man who publicly dehumanized his wife and daughter, and scores of others just like them, only to go home and embrace them several hours later. Landmesser might have been casually aware of propaganda photographers in the shipyard, but in that moment, his only thought was of his family.

August and Irma were officially declared dead in 1949. In 1951, the Senate of Hamburg recognized the marriage of August Landmesser and Irma Eckler. Their daughters split their parent’s names, Ingrid taking their father’s and Irene keeping their mother’s.

 

August Landmesser, The Man Behind The Crossed Arms

Read more at http://all-that-is-interesting.com/august-landmesser/2/#tdldyaFLjDGQ5GTk.99

Read more at http://all-that-is-interesting.com/august-landmesser#54TvD1dQlRiAXkVC.99