MONDAY MORNING REFLECTIONS – ANDY ROONEY, JOE PA, IRAQ AND ADVENT

Andy Rooney died earlier this month. It had not even been a month since he announced retirement.  Sixty Minutes presented a delightful tribute to Andy, his life and his passion to write.  I, for one, delighted at Andy’s brief appearance each week–wrapping up what had often been a heavy show with a little whit and whimsy that refreshed the soul. Andy prepared his segment from 1978-2011, his final presentation was his 1,097th.   Memorable quotes galore. Here are a few I connected with:

“People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe.”

“The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there’s a 90% probability you’ll get it wrong.”

“Vegetarian – that’s an old Indian word meaning lousy hunter. ”

“Nothing in fine print is ever good news.”

“Death is a distant rumor to the young.I didn’t get old on purpose, it just happened. If you’re lucky, it could happen to you.”

“Happiness depends more on how life strikes you than on what happens.”

As a wordsmith, I would never presume to be in Andy Rooney’s league; but I will miss him. Whether it was an eloquent ode to dust or a pithy analysis of the Democrats and Republicans, Andy never failed to stimulate my mind and occasionally open it a little bit more.  And unlike the talk-show pundits, he never took himself too seriously and treated his listeners like they were intelligent beings.The United Negro College Fund used to have a slogan, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”  Andy wasted nary a cell.

Joe Pa’s saga continues.  Now we read that he directed the university’s academic enforcement officer to let the athletic department police the football team.  That’s just the kind of “football is bigger than the university” thinking that cost Jim Tressell his job at The Ohio State University.  When we allow college athletes to see themselves as a privileged class we plant seeds in their psyche that will be a hindrance to the leaders many of them will have the opportunity to become (unless, of course, they become Senators and Congressmen).

The pullout from Iraq is slowly underway. Our nation in general and our military families in particular have made tremendous sacrifice so that Iraq would be free and to plant seeds of democracy. Unfortunately, I think this cartoon reflects the attitude of the current Iraqi leadership.

On a personal note: A brother of one of my best friends after several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan ready to resume normal life.  He discovered about a month ago that he has a brain tumor and underwent surgery to remove a part of it.  Keep Marvin in your prayers.

Yesterday marked the beginning of Advent, the season in the Christian year that we begin preparing our hearts for the message of Christmas. During this month I am posting items on my devotional blog called THRIVING IN CHRIST.  The first post is “The Day Peace was Declared” and you can click HERE to access it.

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