I should count my blessings. Are you counting yours?

Today is Saturday. I was so privileged to see my column on the same page as the article on Dr. Belliotti. He’s a personal friend. I love the way his mind works. I have always thought that Jesus was the most radical person the world has ever known. The word “radical” has negative connotations, but actually it means change. Now let’s look at the changes Jesus made. He went from an “eye for an eye” and “a tooth for a tooth” to total forgiveness! Now that’s what I call change and it’s all change on the positive side. If only the world would live by his policies! His changed thoughts bring peace and joy. But some of us hang on to the negatives in life, which only brings wrath, anger and pain. Stupid!

It just so happened that my thoughts on forgiveness went hand-in-hand with Ray’s thoughts on Jesus. If you ever say to yourself “I’ll never forgive her or him,” re-examine your thoughts and try changing your mind and feel the new peace you have. Quit punishing yourself!

Now I want to talk about something I hate, and I hate war! I can’t see anything positive about wars. There are other ways to settle differences of opinion. The cost of wars is prohibitive. Lives are lost, people become mentally scarred and physically disabled, lands are destroyed.

I found an article in the “Mother Jones” publication called “Left Behind in Afghanistan.” It starts with this paragraph: “When the bulk of U.S. and foreign personnel clear out of Afghanistan at the end of 2014, they will leave behind lots of coalition-funded projects the Afghan government cannot possibly maintain.” And then they listed some:

Altogether 19 hospitals were built. Two of them were built by the U.S. for nearly $20 million. It is possible that the Afghan government will not be able to run them. What a waste!

The Pentagon has invested $770 million for nearly 50 planes to patrol the opium poppy and hashish fields. The people there do not have enough qualified pilots to keep this up and they don’t have the $100 million they need for yearly overhead. Notice the “yearly!”

From the year 2002 to 2007, the U.S. spent $1.7 billion on roads and bridges. They are already falling apart because of poor maintenance.

And then there are the schools. More Afghan children are being educated than ever before. But when the Allies leave in 2014 and the support money is gone, how will the schools survive? They won’t, and after the kids know the difference, do you think they are going to be satisfied to return to the old standards? It’s not fair.

When we went into Vietnam after the French were there for eight years and they gave up I thought “Who do we think we are?” Well, the results show we were highly overrated.

And then we look at how Vice President Cheney (I put him first because I believe he was behind the whole thing) influenced President Bush. And we’re still there and it’s costing us a fortune daily! And here we are in the U.S.A. trying to cut down on food stamps, welfare, etc. We’re punishing the poor while the rich get richer! Why don’t we use some of that money to follow up on how money is being spent? Look at all the roads and bridges we could be fixing or building.

I often wonder if there is any follow-up on what happens to the immigrants who come into our country. I talked to a woman and her husband to find out if they kept records on how many they had working, how much they paid out and did they send in Social Security money?

The answers were “No!” Where is everybody? Who is minding the store? Don’t tell me we can’t afford it! We can’t afford not to! Where are our values? I am going to tell you where mine are.

Yesterday I had a nice talk with a young man who works for the Prize Co. He asked me if I won a million dollars, what would I do with it?

I’d invest it – not in stocks and bonds, but in people. What do I need? I’ve traveled a lot, so I’m satisfied to stay home. I don’t need clothes, because I’ve got nobody to go out with. I’d invest in people. There are people who have good values and need a helping hand to succeed. This would help others. I’d give to my church and their school. I have a granddaughter who works hard and has no money for extras. I’d give her a break. They have no car, but I don’t hear them complaining. I could pay off my son’s mortgage to help out. I love to give money to people who need a start. I’d have to keep my ears open and spend wisely.

Really, what do we need? We’ve become such greedy people, and there’s no way to satisfy greed. Give it up.

It made me realize.

Have a great life!