Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Psych. 101

Psychology 101: if you tell someone something enough, they may believe it.

If your child does well on an exam, you wouldn’t say, “Wow—I’m really surprised, because I thought you were kinda dumb.”

No, you praise his hard work and efforts and congratulate his success.

Positive reinforcement is known to do wonders for anyone, not just school kids. When a team plays hard, and a coach cheers them for being great, the players try even more to do their best and win. When we hear about how great an organization is that we’re involved in, we feel proud to be a part of it. That includes being a citizen in the greatest nation on earth.

Here are a few quotes some of our great leaders have said about America:

"Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood -- the virtues that made America." -- Teddy Roosevelt

"There is nothing wrong with America that faith, love of freedom, intelligence, and energy of her citizens cannot cure." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

"America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand." -- Harry S. Truman

"We must always remember that America is a great nation today not because of what government did for people but because of what people did for themselves and for one another." --Richard M. Nixon--

"Patriotism is easy to understand in America. It means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country." -- Calvin Coolidge

"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis." - --Abraham Lincoln

So, what happens when our president speaks about Americans in a negative light? How do we respond when the person who should be standing up for us the most, who should be our greatest champion and hero speaks less than positively about us? President Obama has referred to his fellow Americans as being “behind,” being “soft,” even “lazy.” He says we’ve “lost our ambition and imagination.”

When he talks that way he seems to be forgetting who he is, that he is an American too. If America is lazy, so is he. If America is behind or soft, so is he. If America is losing its creativity and imagination, so is he. We are all America. And I think I see a different America than President Obama, even right here in my own home. I see hard work, creativity, and imagination every day from my husband all the way down to my kindergartener.

I still see the American spirit that is stronger than sentiment, more powerful than pessimism, that is undying, unyielding, and unwavering.

Mitt Romney said, “The American people are the greatest people in the world. What makes America the greatest nation in the world is the heart of the American people: hardworking, innovative, risk-taking, God- loving, family-oriented American people.”

He also said, “The principles that made this nation a great and powerful leader of the world, have not lost their meaning. They never will. We know we can bring this country back.”

Maybe it does take some people a few semesters of psychology, and maybe it does take some people a couple of parenting classes and self-help books to learn how to lead and inspire others. It’s about believing in them, encouraging them, and reminding them of who they really are.

As John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

That’s the kind of leader America needs. That’s the kind of leader we can find in Mitt Romney.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Field of Presidential Dreams

The great thing about running for President in this country is that you don't have to be super smart, experienced, presidential looking, wise, and have really great hair (but, in Mitt's case, all these things help). Almost anyone can run.

Take some of the other candidates, for instance:

That guy in your uncle's high school class voted "most likely to become a REAL boy"

Herman Cain...oh, wait, no, that's just his campaign guy

R...R...Rick...oh, what's his name? I forgot. Oopsy Daisy

Our Muppet friend, Beaker


Mad Eye Moody

Oh, yeah, it was Perry...that other guy was Perry.

The great thing about voting in this country is that we actually get to choose who we want to win.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Greatest Nation in the World

With November here, I have thought quite a bit about our recent Veteran’s Day and our upcoming Thanksgiving. I have contemplated the blessing of living in this great nation and the cost of both gaining and maintaining freedom.

In Mitt’s book No Apology he mentions hearing Shimon Peres, Israel’s former prime minister, respond to someone’s question of what he thought about the conflict in Iraq. Peres said:

“First, I must put something in context. America is unique in the history of the world. In the history of the world, whenever there has been war, the nation that is victorious has taken land from the nation that has been defeated—land has always been the basis of wealth on our planet. Only one nation in history, and this during the last century, was willing to lay down hundreds of thousands of lives and take no land in its victory—no land from Germany, no land from Japan. America. America is unique in the history of the world for its willingness to sacrifice so many lives of its precious sons and daughters for liberty, not solely for itself but also for its friends.”

As a nation we have enjoyed many years of freedom and peace in our land and have been involved in helping others pursue the same blessings for themselves. We do not seek power or property, but peace and prosperity throughout the world.

We have so many brave and valiant citizens serving in our armed forces who understand the value of freedom, not only in our own nation, but for people everywhere. What a tremendous debt of gratitude we owe our military for their sacrifices. Their noble efforts bless lives beyond those of just our country, they influence people throughout all the world.

For their grander vision, for their bravery, for their unselfish service, our military deserves a “thank you” greater even than the sacrifices already made.

Now we must maintain the freedom for which so many have so nobly fought, and we must remain ever vigilant and strong in a world where our peace no longer can be taken for granted.

To do so requires a leader with both a love for this great nation, and an understanding of not only why America must remain the greatest country in the world, but also how.

Our nation did not become great through people bound by birth or blood, but by men and women, regardless of background, empowered by the ideals of courage, greatness, and freedom.

With a leader who emulates this vision, our nation will rise to the challenges we face at this moment. In this time of darkness and doubt, America will stand brighter as a beacon of light and hope to the rest of the world, willing to pay the price for greatness, understanding the blessing of freedom.