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Together

Don't complain too fast. Don't blame the owners of a problem. The very people we complain to surely know about the problem already. They might not even be responsible for it, and there's a good chance that the only reason they haven't solved the problem is from lack of help.

That's the tricky part. People in the middle of solving sticky problems are usually defensive for good reason. Don't expect a welcoming ceremony. You'll likely need some diplomacy to give help to the very people who want it most. But, it's worth it. After all, we're all in this together.

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Your Own Steam

Nothing lasting comes from borrowed steam. Just how no one should steal someone's thunder, no one should loan steam. It's a hard pill to swallow, even harder to prescribe.

You need problems. You need to be abandoned to fend for yourself. You need to grow stronger from the struggle. You need the credit, kudos, and valor that come with winning your own victory. You need to owe nothing to anyone after your own hard-fought revolution. You know how hard that is to hear.

You need to tell that hard message to others. Anything else cripples people into dependence on you.

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Whoever God Is

God is the God of what? Every moment, ask yourself how God's character answers the questions in front of you. Who God is has more relevance to your situation, even now, than anything else anywhere.

Today, your life may know Him as the God Who Heals or the God Who Protects. You may be getting to know Him as the God Who Rescues or the God Who Raises Up and Tears Down or the God Who Gives and Takes or Who Teaches or Who Encourages.

Whatever becomes of your life, everyday, look to the different aspects of Who God is.

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Facing Fear

In times of bullying and conflict, people tend to go crazy. The most avid defenders of rights and liberties melt in the face of fear. "We must join our oppressor," they say, then add, "He's too big to stop and we don't want to lose anything more, but don't call him an oppressor."

This is the evangel of cowards. They don't want to lose their comfortable lives. They fear what they might lose without seeing that they will lose it anyway. And, they never consider that siding with the invading oppressor is treason. They fear what matters least of all.

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Sailing Diplomacy

Freedom of navigation exercises are ingenious. Where there are contested waters, but recognized internationally as international, a country may sail its warships through just to keep the habit of sailing in free waters whenever, wherever we want.

Exercising a right is one way of retaining it. If someone opposes, exercise the right more loudly and more often. Habit and familiarity enforce laws and rights without having to say why. Where there's conflict brewing, sometimes the best way to preserve the path to peace is to keep the path beaten down by walking down it as often as we possibly can.

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Don’t Help

One of the worst things we can do is help people who don't want it. The Good Samaritan must help the injured victim on the road, of course without question! But, helping any old chap who only needs help because he refused every chance to help himself doesn't make anyone a Good Samaritan.

Unneeded help has the effect of making people dependent. Before you help someone, first ask yourself if your help will result in more independence or in more dependence on you. If the result will mean someone can't live without you, it's better to leave bad enough alone.

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Don’t Fear the Blows

When Frankie did it his way, he took the blows for it. Expect the same. Valiant men and women get beat up because valiance stands for what it believes. Those who cower get crushed eventually anyway, but overcoming fear of the present with greater fear of the alternate future is another discussion.

If you believe a thing, you'll get assailed for it. Don't whine and complain when you do, otherwise people will doubt your faith, history will ignore you, and whatever you stood for won't matter anymore. We all get beat up; it might as well be for standing up.

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Dive In Ready

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXRO0mfdETI

We can't wait forever. We shouldn't wait forever. Preparation has an end. And, that end is the beginning. It comes when it chooses to, whether we are ready or not. It waits for us; we don't wait for it. The beginning chooses its time, lending us opportunity to be as ready as we want. Once it's here, we no longer can be because the beginning starts whether we want it to or not. We don't have a choice.

Watch out. Look out. Read the signs and times. Heed the warnings and read the waves. Prepare yourself to dive in ready.

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Division Paves

Separation and polarity may be the only path forward. That's not the most preferable way, but it's all that's left when people can't reconcile their differences. God hates divorce, which doesn't mean He disallows it, but that He hates whatever cause makes it necessary.

As our differences mature, don't think the battles are lost; they're only growing up, you along with the other. Your focus must be on choosing the right side, which always includes choosing the path of learning from the word rather than the rod and long-term, sustainable victory. Gauge your path carefully; every loser thinks he's right.

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Altitude of a Bus Missed

Sometimes we miss the bus. Care and charm prevent many a diplomacy upset. But, no falling-out falls out without a buildup of grievances. Once those grievances pile up, it's hard to make up for what we've lost. The bus leaves and we wake up too late to catch it.

A missed bus isn't the end of the world. Life carries on and so must we, having learned valuable lessons. We have to bear the fallout of our piled-up negligence and keep from becoming too toxic to pay bills. Then we learn the biggest lesson in the pile: Attitude is altitude.

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Judging Honestly

Keeping a secret could mean that you can't vindicate yourself. There might be a very good reason why you do what you do, but to tell that reason might hurt someone else. So, doing the right thing might require the appearance of doing the wrong thing.

The lesson to learn from this isn't about self-sacrifice; it's about not being quick to judge. Taking the hit for others is about understanding oneself. Not judging others for taking a hit is about understanding others. So, to be willing to take the hit for others first requires not judging others—and that's harder.

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Dream for Thyself

We can't win with everyone. And, maybe we shouldn't try anyway.

People make their own choices, just how you make yours. Everyone has a dream of changing the world and convincing stupid people to stop being stupid. Almost no one has a dream of changing themselves and convincing themselves to stop being stupid. You could be part of the solution, just be a little more selfish with your dreams for change and make those dreams a lot more about yourself.

People have to fail sometimes, other times they need our help. We'll know what to do if we change first.

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Missiles Fly

Missiles travel. You shoot them in one place and they land in another. For the simple-minded, this can be a difficult concept to grasp. It takes an attention span, the mental framework called "object permanence", and dare I say a conscience. Those who succumb to the seduction of things being out of mind if they are out of sight won't grasp the concept of missiles because they can't believe in the existence of what they can't see right in front of them.

The application is broad—safety, danger, diplomacy, mutual assured destruction, distance, aim. Just be aware that missiles fly.

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Step Calm and Stand On

Calm, steady continuation helps keep our focus on the future. They say, "If you're going through Hell, keep going!" The next steady step will steadily move you on toward steadfast stability. It doesn't feels like it in the moment, but it will.

The attacks and flack and wind can only move things that aren't solid. They test and bend things. But, wind passes by definition. It comes and it will go. As for the attacks, the best revenge is to not quit.

Every attack depends on its own victory. If it fails, then its unreturned expense becomes a self-inflicted fine.

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