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We Are First and Foremost Emotional Beings

Starting the Day with this view and a softly slapping surf

No matter the emotion, this is what keeps me inside the markers of sanity.

Us humans have a problem that we often try to avoid acknowledging or deliberately try to forget that at the end of the day, before we are anything else, we are emotional beings. Our emotions control to an infinite degree what we do during the day, and how personally successful or unsuccessful we feel when the day is over.

Find that you get angry quickly? Or even depressed more often than normal? Maybe you’re mad at yourself. Maybe you’re being too hard on yourself and you need to lower your own expectations. That’s right, you might need to forgive yourself. What could become an emotional source of strength in time of difficulty often becomes a cave of depression and negativity, sometimes because of negative conditioning and/or lack of knowledge, but it often is simply a personal cop-out of embracing responsibility. Maybe you want too much out of yourself, and you are reaching too high.

It is easier to ignore spiritual help and motivation and simply become angry at a problematic situation, or even depression, depending on how you have trained yourself, or even as our parents and/or friends have trained us. Many would rather climb into their cave and cry instead of face a problem head on. Or someone may in their personal frustration simply get angry, and take it out on their kids or spouse or work.

When a difficulty or problem arises, although retreating to our emotional caves may work for the moment, they will most often create misunderstanding and/or confusion. But when you go into your cave, what you don’t realize is there is a great and powerful spiritual help waiting to offer its own strength and to help supply wisdom to the darkest corners of the cave. There is nothing wrong with being confused, misunderstood, or angry, but it is a great unforgivable ignorance to ignore divine help when it is waiting to serve you.

Ask for help, from another person or your spiritual guide. Even if you don’t talk to Him much, seek the Lord’s help. Tell Him you need some guidance. “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee.” Explain what you understand of your unfortunate circumstances and ask Him what you should do. Surrender, lay down your problems, stop trying to come up with answers, and see what Wisdom you get. Indeed, the wisdom may be just to rest, but it may be rest is what you need.

Have faith and confidence in the God who loves you more than you can love yourself. You will be amazed in how your confidence in that Love alone can be an answer to your greatest problems.

A Different Look at the Events of 9-11

A Different Look at the Events of 9-11You can image as the Editor of SearchAmelia.com I receive an abundance of forwarded mail. Regular readers know I like to publish an inspirational story or something light for their pleasure on Sundays. Well, when I verified through Snopes.com the following story was actually true, it simply brought tears to my eyes.

This is a different view of the events of 9-11. A story from a flight attendant who was diverted out of United States air space for the days immediately following that tragic day in our history.

The original author is listed as a Delta Flight Attendant:

On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, we were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic. All of a sudden the curtains parted and I was told to go to the cockpit, immediately, to see the captain. As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had that All Business look on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. It was from Delta’s main office in Atlanta and simply read, “All airways over the Continental United States are closed to commercial air traffic. Land ASAP at the nearest airport. Advise your destination.”

No one said a word about what this could mean. We knew it was a serious situation and we needed to find terra firma quickly. The captain determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us in Gander, New Foundland. He requested approval for a route change from the Canadian traffic controller and approval was granted immediately, no questions asked. We found out later, of course, why there was no hesitation in approving our request.

While the flight crew prepared the airplane for landing, another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area. A few minutes later word came in about the hijackings.

We decided to LIE to the passengers while we were still in the air. We told them the plane had a simple instrument problem and that we needed to land at the nearest airport in Gander, New Foundland to have it checked out.

We promised to give more information after landing in Gander. There was much grumbling among the passengers, but that’s nothing new! Forty minutes later, we landed in Gander. Local time at Gander was 12:30 PM, that’s 11:00 AM EST.

There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over the world that had taken this detour on their way to the U.S. After we parked on the ramp, the captain made the following announcement, “Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. The reality is that we are here for another reason.” Then he went on to explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the U.S. There were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. The captain informed passengers that Ground control in Gander told us to stay put.

The Canadian Government was in charge of our situation and no one was allowed to get off the aircraft. No one on the ground was allowed to come near any of the aircrafts. Only airport police would come around periodically, look us over and go on to the next airplane. In the next hour or so more planes landed and Gander ended up with 53 airplanes from all over the world, 27 of which were U.S. commercial jets.

Meanwhile, bits of news started to come in over the aircraft radio and for the first time we learned that airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in DC. People were trying to use their cell phones, but were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada . Some did get through, but were only able to get to the Canadian operator who would tell them that the lines to the U.S. were either blocked or jammed.

Sometime in the evening the news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted in a crash. By now the passengers were emotionally and physically exhausted, not to mention frightened, but everyone stayed amazingly calm. We had only to look out the window at the 52 other stranded aircraft to realize that we were not the only ones in this predicament.

We had been told earlier that they would be allowing people off the planes one plane at a time. At 6 PM, Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would be 11 am the next morning. Passengers were not happy, but they simply resigned themselves to this news without much noise and started to prepare themselves to spend the night on the airplane.

Gander had promised us medical attention, if needed, water, and lavatory servicing. And they were true to their word. Fortunately we had no medical situations to worry about. We did have a young lady who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took REALLY good care of her. The night passed without incident despite the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements.

About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th a convoy of school buses showed up. We got off the plane and were taken to the terminal where we went through Immigration and Customs and then had to register with the Red Cross.

After that we (the crew) were separated from the passengers and were taken in vans to a small hotel. We had no idea where our passengers were going. We learned from the Red Cross that the town of Gander has a population of 10,400 people and they had about 10,500 passengers to take care of from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander! We were told to just relax at the hotel and we would be contacted when the U.S. airports opened again, but not to expect that call for a while.

We found out the total scope of the terror back home only after getting to our hotel and turning on the TV, 24 hours after it all started.

Meanwhile, we had lots of time on our hands and found that the people of Gander were extremely friendly. They started calling us the plane people. We enjoyed their hospitality, explored the town of Gander and ended up having a pretty good time.

Two days later, we got that call and were taken back to the Gander airport. Back on the plane, we were reunited with the passengers and found out what they had been doing for the past two days. What we found out was incredible.

Gander and all the surrounding communities (within about a 75 Kilometer radius) had closed all high schools, meeting halls, lodges, and any other large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to mass lodging areas for all the stranded travelers. Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up.

ALL the high school students were required to volunteer their time to take care of the “guests.” Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 kilometers from Gander where they were put up in a high school. If any women wanted to be in a women-only facility, that was arranged. Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers were taken to private homes.

Remember that young pregnant lady? She was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care facility. There was a dentist on call and both male and female nurses remained with the crowd for the duration.

Phone calls and e-mails to the U.S. and around the world were available to everyone once a day. During the day, passengers were offered “Excursion” trips. Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbors. Some went for hikes in the local forests. Local bakeries stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests. Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the schools. People were driven to restaurants of their choice and offered wonderful meals. Everyone was given tokens for local laundry mats to wash their clothes, since luggage was still on the aircraft. In other words, every single need was met for those stranded travelers.

Passengers were crying while telling us these stories. Finally, when they were told that U.S. airports had reopened, they were delivered to the airport right on time and without a single passenger missing or late. The local Red Cross had all the information about the whereabouts of each and every passenger and knew which plane they needed to be on and when all the planes were leaving. They coordinated everything beautifully. It was absolutely incredible.

When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise. Everyone knew each other by name. They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time. Our flight back to Atlanta looked like a chartered party flight. The crew just stayed out of their way. It was mind-boggling. Passengers had totally bonded and were calling each other by their first names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.

And then a very unusual thing happened. One of our passengers approached me and asked if he could make an announcement over the PA system. We never, ever allow that. But this time was different. I said “of course” and handed him the mike. He picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days. He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers. He continued by saying that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of Lewisporte.

He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide college scholarships for the high school students of Lewisporte. He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers. When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, the total was for more than $14,000!

The gentleman, a MD from Virginia , promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well. As I write this account, the trust fund is at more than $1.5 million and has assisted 134 students in college education.

I just wanted to share this story because we need good stories right now. It gives me a little bit of hope to know that some people in a faraway place were kind to some strangers who literally dropped in on them. It reminds me how much good there is in the world.

In spite of all the rotten things we see going on in today’s world this story confirms that there are still a lot of good and Godly people in the world and when things get bad, they will come forward.

God Bless America …and the Canadians.

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How Do We Deal with Guilt?

Special Days and commemorations have a sneaky way of reminding our brain where we were and what we were doing in any specific year. Specific dates are even more profound. November 22, 1962 is forever etched in many people’s mind as the day the universe changed. So is September 11, 2001. Specific dates and Holidays act as a bridge to our past and sometimes they revive emotions we have be trying to mask, forget, hide or fade into something that never happened. Often however the memories stay with us and affect our current lives to the point that we wish we could go back and undo what was done, simply because living with the guilt is a burden of magnitude.

Every Labor Day, I remember a special counseling session I had in my office with a client named Tom (Not his real name) years ago. He had been coming to see me for about 9 months on a regular basis, but on this Labor Day he had to see me as soon as possible in my office. I reminded Tom that this was a Holiday and I had actually planned to attend a picnic, but there was tension in his voice, and he needed to see me “desperately”. Becoming a bit concerned, I agreed, and headed towards my office.

At first we talked about legitimate things (or so I thought) that seemed to bother him: the state of his marriage, trouble he was having with his kids, trouble he was having getting along with the administration of the school his children had been attending, and sometimes he had mentioned, problems with his anger. I thought each and all of these were legitimate things that bothered him, but a problem I had was noting his disenchantment at various times with his own problems, no matter what they were. Tom was not consistent. At some times one of these troubles had greatly bothered him, and at other points he just wanted to talk and “shoot the breeze” so to speak, not making any real counseling headway, at least in my mind, during that time. I attributed the changes to emotional temperament and whatever had affected him during the day.

Tom was a decent man, a good provider, and a good father to his kids. Anyone would enjoy sitting at the same table and having coffee with him as you would discuss the events of the day. You might even confide in him, seek a little advice, since he seems likable, and is a good, upstanding citizen. But suddenly I noticed a serious change in his voice inflection, and a light seemed to go on in my own head when he began to tell me a story about his past that I had never heard to this point.

It seems this story begins when Tom was 19 years old, and was dating Linda, a cute girl about to turn eighteen that same month, and they were together contemplating marriage. He was about to begin College and she was about to graduate from High School: It seemed like a perfect time to contemplate their future.

One day, on a bright sunny weekend in their noisy suburb, the couple was driving near a forest preserve, actually looking for a quiet place to be alone. It was about 11:30 AM. My own math calculations (which are often inaccurate) placed the story he was relating to me about thirty years ago. It seems this young girlfriend of his noticed a “Just married” sign on the car about two cars ahead. “Oh, hurry, let’s see if we can see the bride. Pull up closer.”

As Tom sped up the car, the two found that there were actually two cars, one with a young couple leading the married couple somewhere, linked together because they both had signs on the cars about the upcoming marriage. They surmised that the one car was leading the bride and groom to the church about to experience the blessed event. Tom continued to drive next to each car so his girlfriend, Linda, could gaze at both cars and visualize what might turn into their marriage day. Of course, Linda demonstrated romantic feelings and voiced them: “Oh, Tom, someday that could be us.”

When Tom felt they’d had enough highway romance, he started to pull ahead of the two cars and went back to looking for their private place in the forest. Linda continued to watch the cars as they passed ahead of both of them. Pulling into the right lane infront of both other vehicles, Tom suddenly saw a driveway to a forest road to the right. Not having expected the forest road, Tom made a quick and unexpected turn into the forest parking area, thinking more of the rendezvous he was about to have with Linda than the responsibility that comes with driving. He stepped on the brakes, making a sudden and totally unexpected turn, and just as he turned into the driveway, he heard a loud and harsh crash behind him, a sound he said he has never forgotten, and often hears it at the most unexpected times. At the time however, he continued to drive to under a tree in the beautiful and quiet park, wondering what the noise was.

As he parked, the two “wedding” cars limped into the same parking area, the car in front with a smashed trunk, and the bride’s car with a smashed front, barely moving on its own power, with smoke bellowing from under the hood. Fortunately no one seemed to be hurt. It dawned on Tom what had happened. He had pulled in front of both cars and than unexpectedly braked and made a quick turn that caused the two cars to smash into each other. Engulfed by the excitement of their wedding, both drivers were probably following each other too close and Tom’s sudden braking caused them to crash nto each other.

Both drivers stepped out of the car, still in shock. The women occupants of both cars remained in their respective destroyed cars, looking like zombies. At first Tom feared that maybe they had been hurt in the crash, but they slowly removed themselves from the broken vehicles and seemed to be physically all right, to which Tom breathed a great sigh of relief. Tom’s cohort remained silent.

It was obvious to Tom that both couples were very decent, as they stood by their broken vehicles, one of the cars still heavily smoking. Reluctant and feeling a bit guilty, Tom got out of the car and said, “Is everyone all right?” A thin, tall young man wearing a nice dark suit said, “Yeah, we’re okay. Just a little shook up.”

“I don’t know what to say,”  Tom apologized. There was silence for a moment, and then the tall young man spoke again. “Well, you better wait here until the police arrives.”

Tom returned back to the driver’s seat of his untouched car, and sat for a minute in silence. Linda looked at him and said, “How is everything?” Tom remained silent. He looked at both broken cars and the two couples standing outside their cars, one in a beautiful bridal dress. They appeared emotionless, faceless, a bit zombie like, still trying to get over the shock of the accident. Without a word, Tom reached for the ignition, gunned the engine and rushed the car out of the forest and into heavy traffic, almost causing another accident. After he joined traffic he slowed down to the speed of the other cars, blending in with the speed of traffic. He saw the police car flashing its lights and sounding its sirens, going the other way, heading quickly to the forest driveway.

I broke the silence between us after I had heard the story: “So what happened after that?” He stayed silent for at least a long minute. “Nothing. Nothing ever happened. I never got a phone call, no mail, evidently no one had ever taken down my license plate, I saw nothing in the news: Nothing.” “Okay then why are we reliving this story now?” I asked. “I never forgot it.” Tom responded. “Sometimes the incident still haunts me. Linda left me shortly after that, nothing to do with the incident itself, she claimed. I was older than her in years, but she was already more mature than me, and knew more about life than I did. But when I least expect it, this memory comes out and haunts me like a jump-out from a horror picture. Suddenly I hear the crash, or I will be at my desk talking with a customer at work and I will find my mind trying to re-experience that incident. Or if I start to remember Linda, and until then, we had a pretty good relationship, I thought, suddenly I will remember that day and with guilt, relive that incident again. It happened to me this morning and that’s when I decided to call you.”

Guilt is not always an easy thing to deal with, and in this case obviously Tom’s problem. The weird thing about guilt is it is adjustable to the personality, and has a lot to do with the morals placed into the individual through his beliefs.Yet guilt plagues all of us, some more than others.

Some people steal without conscience; others cannot steal a pencil from the employer because of their moral aptitude.  Obviously Tom’s problem was that he had guilt he could not get rid of, and it would plague him whenever he didn’t expect it, haunting him and affecting his actions and attitude. Guilt affects our actions, no matter what we think. In Tom’s case, he would get angry as a defense and not know why, wondering in the back of his mind if this was a problem he would never be able to solve.

And in a way he was right: He has no idea who these people were, and would have no idea how to get a hold of them. He cannot apologize, bring them restitution, and does not want to bring his action to the authorities and make his “crime,” if there was one, known. So he carries his guilt, and what it does to him affects other activities, the way he thinks, how he handles his relationships, and creates tension on the job that actually has nothing to do with his present responsibilities. Of course, what his confession to me does for him, is help to understand some of his unrelated activities concerning his own tension and stress.

We all live with guilt, which causes its own levels of stress and tension, and like Tom, we often share this guilt with no one, keeping our secrets inside of us, no matter how it affects the rest of our life. And many people, even our spouses and our parents, have no idea what causes us to act the way we do, which is unconfessed pain because we have never repealed or made justification for these inner problems.

Something all of us need to remember, especially before we judge Tom for his actions, is that we have all done things of which we are not proud. But some to these experiences, though unnecessary and caused by us, are parts of our passages into learning. Some of life’s education is doing wrong and feeling bad enough about it to change our activities to the better. There have been times when only the consequence of a wrong action teaches us the depth of the wrong we have committed. And sometimes, as in Tom’s case, we make a mistake that we will not be able to make right, and we will have to learn from it. And, indeed, sometimes the act will taunt us the rest of our life. There are two things we can do to try to right the guilt of our action:


Although best known in Christianity, most religions will accept our misgivings. Those of us who adhere to the Christian Message can go to their knees and confess their sin(s) to our God through Christ. “If we confess our sins, Christ is faithful and true to forgive us our sin, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Skeptics will criticize that this Christian method of forgiveness is a simple way to get rid of our guilt. They are right. Our philosophy is that God loves us so much, that no matter what we have done, when we return to our Heavenly Father, He welcomes and takes care of us. We are all made that way. Any father who has lost his children for any period of time and then has his children return, will understand that he doesn’t care what his children have done wrong, but is thrilled to have them back in the family.

So, the first place that I would take care of guilt would be internally, asking God for forgiveness and feeling like you have handled the spiritual problem, recognizing what you have done wrong and apologizing.


As found in the Bible, getting right with God is not enough. You may take care of your eternal destination, but you still have to live on this earth. For this reason jail repentance is not enough to let a criminal out of jail. If you commit the crime, you may have to pay the time. Even if the offense is not law breaking, there are many activities that offend, hurt, and cause problems for other people. Just as we have an obligation to God, we also have an equal obligation to our fellow man, and it is possible to be forgiven by God and still have to answer to those people with whom we live on this earth. That’s why being right in your spirit does not always mean you are right with your fellow man, and although God may have forgiven you for stealing that ten dollars that was on your friend’s counter, there is still an obligation to return the money. This act has nothing to do with your salvation, but it certainly can help to build your character.

To deal with your own guilt, you need to approach those people you know you have offended and offer your apologies, and request what it would take to make things right. This is Tom’s problem: He can’t approach people he doesn’t know now, including who or where they are. He cannot apologize, or make things right, at least on this side of Heaven, and so he is stuck with some of his guilt. It is at this point that I saw some merit to the “Pay It Forward” movie. If you cannot find those that you have offended, you can take your obligation to help someone else who will benefit. It doesn’t erase the problem, but it does help.

I feel sorry for Tom having to carry that unresolved guilt, and I will continue to work with him, talking to him and being aware of this problem that he was finally willing to share with me. And Tom makes me aware of my own guilt, things I know I carry that I have done that I have never been able to resolve. We can be forgiven by God, but we cannot forget like He does, because we do not have the pure love for ourselves that He has. And as Tom leaves my office, I think about some of the things in my own life that cannot be resolved. I cannot fix them, some that have happened too long ago. But I can make this a good day, and in doing right to others during this day, I will make my life and this world a little better than it was before I arrived, or so I hope.

(Watch FOCUS ON JACKSONVILLE on COMCAST TV Channel 99 on Wednesdays at 5:30 pm hosted by Dr. Keith Johnson. See Dr. Johnson’s Videos at “YouTube/Keith Johnson” anytime.)

Seven Quick Adjustments to Make Your Life More Exciting

At 548 pounds, recently married, 28-year-old Jarvez from Portland, Oregon wants to get his "sexy back.

No lie or exaggeration…Everyone can change their lives to a smaller or bigger degree. It is often said that if you cannot change a reality, you can at least change the way you react to it. You have the power to change your life and make it exciting and different as needed, if you just have the guts. And this doesn’t mean that you have to move to a new city, across the country or overseas to change your identity, or even spend a lot of money on yourself (Although I must admit that spending a little money on yourself always makes life a little more exciting). But the surest and most secure way to make life an exciting adventure is to change your attitude, and you can do this while you’re sitting in that chair reading this article. If you allow yourself the time and change in attitude, you may be a different person by the time you have completed this article, and it’s just that easy, if you dare. In the end it is all up to you. If you don’t believe it, then watch for example Extreme Weight Loss with Chris Powell one week and be amazed at the changes one can accomplish with a changed attitude.

You already have trained yourself in the main changes, some of them costing small fortunes: Breasts, lips, tummy tucks; But what about the changes from the inside that can be far more subtle, more permanent, and even cheaper? What about simply a change in attitude? Let me make seven suggestions you can adopt in the next ten minutes that will give you all the charisma you need to make this a most successful day, and even, perhaps, a new life:


In this day and age it is a mistake not to be brainy. And you know the wisest way to be brainy? Keep your mouth shut! Better for a man to seem silent and wise, than to open his mouth and prove he is a fool. Learn to listen. Be quiet. Let someone else have the floor. Even if you are asked to comment and put your two cents in, hesitate. Tell them you would rather hear what other people have to say. After all, you already know what you think, and you would be anxious to digest other opinions. Ladies, do you realize how sexy and seductive it is to listen to a man? Let me rephrase that: Do you know how sexy and seductive it is to seem like you are listening to a man? And men, you ought to listen to some of the same advice. And you know why you don’t know that? Because you’ve been so busy talking and telling people what a great guy you are that you have no idea what someone else thinks. Shut up and listen. Gain an informed opinion, and then talk if you must, but chances are when you see how wise you seem to those who have watched you shut up, you’ll have so much attention, you won’t have time to talk.


I don’t care how insecure you feel: Act confident! This is another reason not to talk, because confidence accompanies silence, and vice-versa. At least look like you are listening when you are in a meeting; Be careful when a girl asks you a question, appear confident, and you will watch their opinion of you change before your eyes.

Don’t you want to be the kind of person who can get the job he/she wants, get the man/woman you want, and do the things you want? You know how you do that? By doing it without hesitation. Sure, there are all kinds of people reading this article who are saying, “I’ll never be like that.” And you know what? They’re right: You never will be, unless you change your attitude. Why don’t you take it upon yourself to say, “I will.” Do you want to be that person nobody else wants to become because they are too insecure? What differences are there between you and that person who can’t? Only your attitude that you can and they can’t! Have some handicap? We all do. What’s the difference? Some of us work to make our handicap work for us; Others of us say, “That handicap will keep me from being successful the rest of my life.” I hope you’re the first and not the second.


They say that flattery gets you everywhere. I believe it. If I like to hear it, I like to make other people feel good too when I talk to them, and it’s the same effort I use when I yell or criticize them. It pays off for both of us if I am more positive than negative. If I can make somebody feel good by feeding their ego, especially if it makes them a better person because of it, I will continue to compliment. And somewhere someone will take the hint and do the same to me. And don’t make it the same old comment all the time. Compliment people with something that they have honestly done that you honestly admire. It’ll pay off for both of you. Don’t know anything this person has done that you can compliment them on? Then find something and do it!


Let people know where you will be and be there when they need you, whether it’s a paper clip to put some papers together or a phone message they may need or just an ear to listen. Things you say you’ll do should be done. You never know when someone will fall for your proficiency and admire you for it.


Wherever you are, have a good time. Although most people seem serious and sour, everybody wants to laugh, but it takes a leader to make other people laugh. Be a leader in the silliness department. Make a silly joke, and if its not a good one, apologize, and then laugh and make another one. Keep the laugh alert alive even when there is no call for unexpected joy, and soon people will come to you to lighten their own fears and doubts. Many people seem somber and down all day; Others make their life happy and just do it. Not only do people admire a “crazy” outgoing person, but they can accept making mistakes in the person who laughs at his own mistakes. Be comfortable with yourself as a proficient professional and as a crazy klutz.


Stop living by all the tantamount rules. Give yourself a chance to be silly, to be serious, to listen and then negotiate. Help people understand that everything that happens in life is not just life and death, but there are “in-between” areas that make life exciting. It helps people understand that you have made the same mistakes they have (and you have, you know, whether or not you admit it), and you can accept their misgivings, hoping at the same time that they can accept yours.

Step around the rules once in a while. Be late, or early (your choice) to a play; Laugh loudly in a restaurant; If you are a woman ask the guy out for a date instead of waiting for him to ask you. Be a bit contrarian from time to time.


If you’re too sexy, slow down. But the greater chance is you aren’t sexy enough, and you need to speed it up. Steal a kiss now and then. Dance even if you don’t know how! Hold your head high, your neck long, your chest our and your smile big! Own the world around you, and things will fall at your feet.

Can anyone do these things and change their life? Well, no, not everyone, I guess. But you certainly can.

Teach Your Children to Prepare for Failure

Accepting failure as a human condition paves the road to success

Preparing for failure as a human condition paves the road to success

Today we’re welcoming Dr. Keith Johnson to our team of regular writers, authors and contributors. Dr. Johnson has an impressive record of dealing with the human social and psychological condition and has made it his life’s objective to educate, guide and assist people from a deep Christian belief.

Today’s contribution deals with accepting failure as an inherent human condition, that if properly prepared for gives strength, rather than anxiety.

As anyone with more than a couple of years of serious living under their belts can vouch for, staying adept in this turbulent and often boisterous world is as difficult as trying to figure out a politician’s best behavior during election time.

Exposure to the emotional experiences of life’s grinding mills will teach anyone honest with him/herself that the chances of failing most often outweigh the confidence of success. Learning how to prepare yourself for failure is one of the greatest secrets to succeeding.

Facts first… in spite of well wishers and confidence gurus: You are going to fail. If you think any differently, you are terribly mistaken. And what’s even worse, you are probably not teaching your kids either that they are going to fail. You are not trying to prepare your children for the mistakes they are going to make. And that in itself is a terrible mistake.

 It is essential that all people learn their own inconsistencies, and stop fighting themselves thinking they can just drop into success without going through the preparation of failure.

All of us are failures. For us Christians it first happened when Adam ate the apple in the Garden, and that process of failure through choice has continued in every human being; and normally, I think that would include you.

We are prone to our own problems, we make mistakes, we fail often. But that isn’t what we teach our children: Indeed, we teach them that they need to be successes, that they should be rich, that they should have a prosperous family, and their worth is determined by their social and occupational status. None of this is true.

Do you know a perfect human being, one who has never made a mistake? Of course not. And I would be very uncomfortable with one who claimed, other than accompanied by the wink of an eye, he had never made a mistake. At the least I would feel we had nothing in common. It often is not hard to note our own mistake, but it is often difficult to point out the failure in others. Indeed, it is not our job to point out someone else’s failure. We should be so busy trying to keep ourselves on track that we have no time to worry about someone else and what they are doing.

 One of our greatest failures is that we become comfortable in our mistakes. We become so used to living with our problems and the poor habits that we have developed that we often rationalize our actions to believe that they are all right no matter how wrong they may be or whom they hurt.

A student knows that coming late to school is wrong the first time. But if that student finds out after a while that he can get away with it, coming in late becomes comfortable, and soon in his mind being late is not wrong at all. Even a Hit Man will have trouble on his first contract assignment, unless he was previously sanctioned to kill in the military. But after a while he can adjust his conscience to kill time and time again and it doesn’t bother him any longer. There are police records of some stating they very much came to like it.

A similar emotion happens in a relationship, when a woman gets used to being physically abused and cannot have a relationship with anyone who treats her kind, but returns to the abuser because that is where she has become comfortable. By the same comfort, a man becomes an alcoholic or a drug addict. We live with these failures, and by example we often encourage these failures in our children through example. 

To understand that we are going to fail often, no matter what we do, is a step towards successful maturity. Every parent knows after a few years that no matter how much he loves his child, he will often fail in being a good parent.

The point is if that parent were trained better in how to deal with such failure, and could turn that failure into some kind of success, the entire episode would be better handled.

To fail without preparation is preparing to fail.

John Maxwell is an expert in pointing out the two primary forms of failure: (1) Failing Backwards is the most common failure among us; (2) Failing Forwards is learning from your failures and then moving on to find your success because of your failures. In fact, he suggests there is really only one failure in the human condition, and that is to quit because of failure.

When we make a mistake, we have two choices: To fail backwards is to blame others for what has happened, to refuse to admit we have done something wrong, or to never be aware of what we have done because of moral ignorance and refusal to believe we have a responsibility to our fellow man. To fail forwards is to accept the blame, accept the responsibility, make no apologies for what has happened, and insist that we learn from our mistakes and try not to let it happen again.

 Business is known for its failure. But how many businesses, if they just hung on for a little while, could have broken through to success?  How many times do you hear the regret, if I’d just hung in there a little longer…

We can learn how to develop a successful business simply by following certain rules of noting our obligation to other people. A successful business must utilize our talents to meet a common need, and to meet that need better than anyone else. Seldom will this menu for business success be followed until we have failed many times, and learned from our mistakes.

So it should be with our life lessons. We need to meet other people’s needs in such a way that our mistakes have served not only our maturity, but helped us to learn how to meet the needs of others, and certainly share our experiences so that someone else can learn from our mistakes. “He who does not pay attention to history is forced to repeat it.” One thing we should learn from history that will help our future is that we need to teach our children how to properly fail. They have been so entrenched with the business of success and the great stories of glamor that they hear everyday that they don’t realize these stories come with a great price of mistakes.

It took over a thousand times of trying before Edison finally found a filament formula to make the lightbulb work. Walt Disney had to claim bankruptcy much more than once before he was finally able to build Disneyland.

 Nothing worth attaining comes easy, and if it does, we are most likely to take it for granted. If our children know that they are bound to fail because it is part of the human condition, and that failure is not the problem, but what we do with the failure which will ultimately determine our final fall or success, they will be better prepared to handle their future and ours.

The only real failure that exists belongs to the person who makes a mistake and then quits.

 We are not the mistake; We make mistakes, and we also make successes. If we persevere, our mistakes will be the training tools to bring us to the height of our success. And your child needs to know that failure is a necessary part of the process of life, and like it or not, he or she will be a participating factor of our joint failure. For the sake of our success, thank God he will!

Baby Elephant Steals the Show

Moving video about relying on each other

While working on a major overhaul/update for the Travel Agency’s blog site The-Travel-Agents.com, as the ladies move their office to Las Vegas and the Virtuoso Travel Mart for the week, I received a video from a friend in Holland he had just shot while on Safari in the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve north of Durban in South Africa.

The whole episode you see is so liberating and encouraging that it absolutely made my day and I needed to share it with you. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did, as especially the end shows a moving scene of being there for each other when things get tough.

P5 Productions Helps Fernandina Beach Rock the 4th

P5 Productions Helps Fernandina Beach Rock the 4thAmelia Island, FL – P5 Productions is challenging other Fernandina Beach businesses to donate $250 or more to light up the sky this Fourth of July.

To encourage donations by businesses and individuals, P5 is donating a 150 custom-designed “Rock the 4th 2012” T-shirts.

Proceeds of sales of this limited edition, commemorative T-shirt will go directly to fund the annual Independence Day fireworks display in Fernandina Beach.

The Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee Chamber and the Historic Fernandina Business Association are leading efforts by local businesses to raise needed funds for the fireworks.

“We hope this special T-shirt offer will help stimulate and create some enthusiasm and civic pride while helping to accomplish the goal of raising $13,800 so we can have fireworks on July 4th,” said Loren Lum, co-owner of P5 Productions, an apparel and product imprinting company based in Fernandina Beach.

Minimum donation to receive a “Rock the 4th 2012” T-shirt (while supplies last) is $25.00. Donations must be received by Friday, June 22.

The unisex shirts are 100% cotton, pre-shrunk in deep royal blue and will come in sizes Youth Small, Medium and Large, and Adult Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large and 2X. The shirts feature the words “We the People” in the exact style of the U.S. Constitution followed by “of Fernandina Beach” and “Rock the 4th 2012.” There also will be an image of the U.S. flag rippling in a heart-shape.

Shirts will be available for pick-up by June 20, but Chamber President Regina Duncan is urging locals to be sure to purchase the shirts now since the deadline to raise funds for the fireworks is June 22, 2012.

“We need to have the funds in hand by June 22 to ensure we will be able to continue the Fernandina tradition of celebrating our nation’s birthday with fireworks over the Amelia River,” Duncan said.

To purchase a “Rock the 4th” T-shirt via credit card, go to www.companycasuals.com/hfbafireworks. Shirts paid for online will be available for pick-up only at Southern Touch, 301 Centre St. in Fernandina Beach, Florida.

To purchase a “Rock the 4th” T-shirt by cash or check, go to either the Southern Touch, 301 Centre Street, or the AIFBY Chamber, 961687 Gateway Blvd. Suite 101G in the Gateway Center. Checks should be made payable to AIFBY Chamber; HFBA Fireworks must be noted on the memo line.

Shirts paid for by cash or check will be available for pick-up only at the Chamber.

For more information, visit www.companycasuals.com/hfbafireworks.

Mission Statement

The Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based association of Nassau County businesses, professional leaders and individuals working together to provide leadership which will aggressively promote and defend responsible economic growth, employment opportunities, government and excellence in education and quality of life.

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SearchAmelia is Four Years Old

There are still empty seats at the table

Just about exactly four years ago today, we launched SearchAmelia and during that time we wrote and published close to 8,000 articles, stories, essays and weather forecasts. In statistics that breaks down to an average of almost 6 uploads a day, each and every day of those 4 years.

Looking back at this enormous task I got somehow reminded me of a story I once read about Dwight D. Eisenhower who early into his presidency was asked for the name of his favorite author. “Harry Sinclair Drago,” said Eisenhower.
The reporters looked puzzled. They obviously hadn’t heard of Drago and there were no iPhones then to quickly look up the man’s credentials, even though he’d written several classics of western fiction, including Suzanna: A Romance of Early California and Whispering Sage.

So in line with what reporters do when caught in a moment of ignorance, they asked Eisenhower for his second favorite. “Bliss Lomax,” replied Eisenhower, which generated more bewilderment among the media pundits. But if nothing else, this proved that Eisenhower was consistent, because Bliss Lomax was a pen name used by Harry Sinclair Drago.

Drago used at least eight additional pen names. He needed all those names because he wrote a lot and on various topics. Over the course of his career, he wrote short stories, screenplays, articles, and more than a hundred novels. More than three full-length novels a year for 30 years.

When Syracuse University announced that it would be the custodian of Drago’s papers, some 15 linear feet long, the thing that seemed to fascinate reporters the most was the amount he wrote. So one of them asked him: “How did you write over a hundred books?”
Four pages a day,” replied Drago.

Obviously we write a lot too here at SearchAmelia and yes we use a variety of pen names as well. Over the four years of our existence we have offered a line up of several hundred advertisers, artists, professionals, politicians, bankers, musicians, community leaders and contrarians to submit stories for publication, but with little lasting success. Essentially because most people consider it a chore to write down their thoughts, beliefs, opinions or fruits of their professional accomplishments. On a weekly basis we receive requests via the website for article submissions, yet we find it amazing how few people can actually organize themselves to submit something of value and quality on a somewhat regular basis.

Distractions are always around us, ready to take our focus hostage.
On October 3, 2009 I wrote an essay titled The Ballad of the Clock and the Compass about this, in which I tried to explain that it is OK to respect the clock on the short term, as long as as the ultimate direction of where you’re going is guided by the compass of your life.
Be at all times mindful that the clock creates the powerful seduction to Multi Task, often leading to digressions that take you far away from moving steady in the direction you have set on your personal compass.
Many people believe there is a fancy, complex answer for being productive and multi tasking is the way. However, it’s simply “just doing it” and staying focused that really gets things done. Yet Multi-tasking seems so much more fun in today’s society, even though nobody ever gets done with their workload or even enjoys old fashioned satisfaction in accomplishing dreams.

Rhythmic  steady beats multi-tasking every time.

We’ve attracted a nice following over the years, whether it was because of Judie’s daily weather forecast, our “Award Winning” Event Calendars or essays about life, finances, internet marketing, politics or accomplishments. And the reason we keep on writing every day is, because it gives satisfaction. The first time someone leaves a comment or sends an email to react to one of your stories is magical. When someone praises you, you feel good because your brain produces a chemical called dopamine. When you praise yourself by checking off a completed action step, you get the same physiological result. As you achieve one small win after another, you find it easier and easier to take the action steps that generate the wins. Keeping score is a wonderful way of moving things along on your life’s compass.

At the end of every day, Ben Franklin would ask himself: “What good have I done this day?” You can ask the question: “What have I done today to move my life and career forward?”

Remember that success is almost always a process. Most people don’t achieve big things in one quick move, they get there one bite at a time. Quite similar to the little riddle: How do you eat an Elephant? Answer: One bite at a time.
Anyone has stories in them; work stories, travel stories, dining out stories, school stories, sports accomplishments, announcements, requests, entertainment and just life,  and we at SearchAmelia would love to hear them. Stories about how your life went off the compass track or how you got back on.
If you have a story, we have the audience.

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Yulee Elementary Reaches for the Stars

Starlab Planetarium at Yulee Elementary

Starlab Planetarium at Yulee Elementary

On Tuesday morning, May 29, 2012, Yulee Elementary School went to the stars! Science First , a Yulee manufacturer of the world’s first portable planetarium, demonstrated the mystery of the heavens to the winners of the school’s science fair. Thirty students from grades 3 through 5 went on a brief tour of the cosmos. They learned how to use constellations to navigate, how eclipses work, and how to recognize the features of Mars and Jupiter. They even learned a little about the complex orbital dynamics that keep Saturn’s rings stable. They left the earth and came back all in one convenient, half-hour lesson.

“I was greatly impressed with the knowledge of some of the students,” says Nathaniel Bell, Marketing Director at Science First. “Some of them knew more about the sky than many adults I’ve met. One was able to bring astronomy and history together – he gave a brief talk about how important Ursa Minor was to the Underground Railroad. It’s a correlation I would be happy to hear from an adult; out of a fourth grader, it was a marvel.”

The demonstration was coordinated by Joy Huber, third grade teacher and future Chair of the Science Committee at Yulee Elementary School. Ms. Huber intends to invite Starlab (www.starlab.com) back to the school after the summer break. She would like to make the experience available to a wider range of students, because, as she informed Helmut Albrecht, Sales Manager for Science First, she heard “a lot of wows” from the students who had participated.

The Starlab portable planetarium is manufactured at the company’s facility in the Nassau Tradeplex in Yulee FL and sells to schools, school districts and science museums all over the world. The immersive experience was conducted by Nathaniel Bell and Helmut Albrecht, the company’s marketing team.

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Lady Antebellum Plays Henryville, Indiana’s Prom

Lady Antebellum Plays Henryville, Indiana's PromLady Antebellum and thousands of generous fans joined together at Louisville, KY’s KFC Yum! Center to raise more than $285,000 for tornado ravaged, Henryville, IN. All proceeds from the event will be distributed through the New Hope/Indiana Bankers Association for the Disaster Relief Fund.

The country trio hosted a private prom for Henryville High School’s Juniors and Seniors with an acoustic performance, which was followed by an arena concert open to the public.

“This event started as an idea we had in the studio last year to crash someone’s prom we had no idea at the time it would fill such a need. We are amazed by the support we’ve gotten from our fans, sponsors and the press. This is one of the proudest moments in our career!” Said Singer Hillary Scott.

Lady A and ABC’s JuJu Chang visited Henryville High School where they toured the devastated school that is currently under construction and planning to reopen this fall. The community’s inspiring story and highlights from the day will air on Good Morning America, World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, Nightline, ABC Radio and on ABC affiliates across the country. Additional national and local media supporters will air special content from the event throughout the week.

In March, Lady Antebellum began a contest offering fans a chance to Own The Night with a private concert at their prom. The trio unanimously chose the community of Henryville, IN for their story, resilience and unity following devastating tornadoes. Lipton also came on board to help with the event in the spirit of their Drink Positive and Live Positive message, a campaign that Lady A already supports.

Fans who weren’t able to attend the concert, but would still like to contribute towards the cause can make a donation HERE.

Hillary, Charles and Dave want to thank all those who lent their support, donations, time and energy in making this event such a spectacular night for the community of Henryville!

Like them on Facebook and be sure to thank them for their support Rebuilding Henryville.

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Some of the funniest people in the world today live in Belgium

Taking your guitar to the restroom

Taking your guitar to the restroom

Ever since I posted the the funniest Shrimp Festival Photo Contest yesterday, my inbox has been flooded with pictures – some 70 so far and granted some of them are funnnnyyyy. And while I often find the drama created by my fellow humans to be tiresome and aggravating (as they probably do my own antics), there are few things I love more about humankind than its creativity and humor. It just makes my days better.

Lately I have been getting the impression that some of the funniest people in the world today live in Belgium and the 5 videos I am linking to here are shining examples of creativity at its finest. It starts with the placement of a stand with a red button on it in a quiet town plaza in Belgium, with a sign hanging overhead that says “Push to Add Drama”… what happens next is a creative riot.

And then there are 4 videos from de Lijn, a Tour Bus Company in Belgium that promote the idea that it is smarter to travel in groups. Absolutely hilarious stuff.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.





A Human Quality That Is Truly Valuable

The ability to create

The ability to create and execute

The other night I caught a glimpse of one of my wife’s favorite shows, “Survivor”. She actually once auditioned for it. After rearing and raising 6 children I thought she would be uniquely qualified, but apparently not according to the show’s masterminds. Yet I watched one of the contestants, I think her name is Kim, in a crying spell confessing her fear to be seen as a weak player or a follower by the other tribesmen and women.

This got me thinking about real life where arguably 90% of the people are followers and 10% are leaders or pioneers of some sort. Now I’m not implying that followers are weak, because they are NOT. They are operators. And trying to find the why for this automatic assessment, I kind of clearly found what really makes the difference between non-productive attention grabbing and pure value contribution. This girl on Survivor used tears to grab attention and illicit compassion.

In that same context I read the story a couple of weeks ago about a British 4 year old being admitted to MENSA and how that grabbed the headlines. What was even more interesting in my opinion was learning that there is already a 2 year old in this “exclusive” club. A two year old? what would be the purpose of admitting a 2 year old to MENSA, except maybe a boatload of expectations the little tike can never live up to or collect on while it actually might send him to an early grave. Usually parents with an overactive exhibition drive are the root behind the insanity.

It’s a good thing to be smart or intelligent, but there is another more unique human quality that goes far beyond mere perception or test models for IQ evaluation. Think about it: what is that single quality that makes someone precious and yes often, indispensable? Beyond intelligence, loyalty, kindness, respect, discipline, pride, passion and compassion, it’s…

..the ability to create.

Sounds so simple. But truth is, the vast majority of people spend their lives learning how to follow and execute other peoples’ game plans. Fitting their skills, abilities and mindsets into the predefined responsibilities and tasks required by a predefined job. And, that’s fine and needed. We need people like that in the world. Actually we need a lot of people like that, who’s only real creation will be a solid family life and procreation of the human race. It’s often referred to as Salt of the Earth. If that’s you and you work with pride and add value and that makes you happy, rock on.

But, know and more so, accept too that you regardless of how “hard” you work, you will very likely never be toward the top of the “gotta keep ’em” food chain. Not because you’re bad at what you do, not because you don’t add value. Not because those around you don’t like or even love you. But because there will always be a sea of people lined up to take your job and who can do what you do in a similar enough way to make your boss, partner, colleague or collaborator happy.

And for every creator, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of operators.

Which is why, when you’re a creator, everything changes. Rather than being the one people ask to carry out a plan, people look to you to create a plan. To solve a problem, to innovate a new idea, product, service or campaign, to see opportunities where everyone else sees barriers, to blaze a new trail rather than follow a well grooved one.

And here is the thing, it’s, most often not about radical departures from the norm or earth-shattering breakthroughs.

What I’m talking about is the ability to create solutions on a daily basis. To understand we’re at point A and we need to get to point B, then tap your creative/problem-solving juices to conjure the best possible way to get there. As someone who’s steering the ship, that ability is immensely more valuable to me than someone who needs to be told every step from A to B (provided I also have skilled Operators in the pipeline). Because it frees up my own creative juices to focus on other projects, while trusting in another’s ability to figure out how to get done what needs to get done.

But like every gunslinger will find an opponent who’s even better and more accurate, the creator’s value bows down to one person who’s even more valuable than the pure creator/problem-solver.

And, that’s the Creator-Operator–the individual who can not only create anew, solve problems and map out innovative pathways, but also possesses the ability to execute, to bring those plans to life. People who can do both are extraordinarily rare finds, because creation and implementation are very different processes and almost always inhabit different brains and bodies, too. Most peoples’ minds just don’t function well on both levels. Which is why those folks tend to rise quickly up the ranks and often become entrepreneurs of great importance.

A Performance of Handel’s Messiah

A Performance of Handel's Messiah

Click to enlarge photo

Mouth of Amelia invites you to A Performance of Handel’s Messiah, presented by the Community Chorus and instrumentalists at Amelia Baptist Church.

WHEN: Good Friday, April 6th, 2012 at 7:00 PM.

WHERE: Amelia Baptist Church, 961167 Buccaneer Trail, at the intersection of Buccaneer Trail, A1A, and South Fletcher Avenue (at the roundabout).

WHAT: The community is invited to a presentation of the Holy Week portion of Handel’s oratorio Messiah. Messiah was written by George Frideric Handel to be performed in three parts, and although the Lenten portion is not presented as often as the Christmas portion, it contains individual choruses and solos that are often sung as anthems during the Lenten season. These include “Behold the Lamb of God”, “All We Like Sheep”, “Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates”, and the highly recognized “Hallelujah!” chorus.

WHO: A 74-voice community chorus comprising singers from many different local churches will be accompanied by a string quartet of Jacksonville Symphony members led by Carol Whitman and Gail McCamy on piano. The music director is Pam Helton, Minister of Music at Amelia Baptist Church.

COST: There is no charge for this presentation at Amelia Baptist Church. Childcare for ages newborn through four years is available at no cost with reservations.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please call 904-261-9527 or visit www.ameliabaptist.org/announcements.htm.

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The Philosophy of Ambiguity and the English Language

The beauty of misunderstanding

In a two mother tongue household many hilarious misunderstandings flare up on occasion as a result of the English language being buried in idiosyncrasies. When I was much younger I often blamed the language for the misunderstandings that turned into serious arguments but nowadays I have come to love the philosophy of ambiguity and the fact that the English language was formed on the go. Especially comedian Steven Wright became my favorite language magician. So when my dear friend Ric emailed the following Philosophy of Ambiguity this morning, I felt an instant need to share. Enjoy.



































Lady Antebellum’s Own the Night Contest

Lady Antebellum's Own the Night ContestThe Grammy award-winning trio Lady Antebellum is holding an Own the Night contest. The band will perform a 45 minute concert at the junior, senior or reunion prom of the winning entrant.

Entrants are asked to, “…submit a video explaining why you and your hometown want Lady A. to be a part of your prom event.”

Lady Antebellum had posted ten of the submitted videos on their website and they are amazing and deeply emotional to watch!

Henryville High School has gone from a small Indiana town that no one has ever heard of, to the little town America wants to help rebuild after the devasting tornados on March 2, 2012.

It is no suprise Henryville High School has submitted an entry. It is not a big suprise that there are two Henryville submissions listed on the contest website. However, what is suprising is the submissions from other high schools who want Henryville to “Own the Night”.

Teenagers across the country have taken the time to submit an entry, not for Lady A. to perform at their school, but for Lady A. to perform for the prom of Henryville High School.

There are literally pages and pages of comments for Lady Antebellum to select Henryville High School on the contest page of their website. Even their Facebook page has tons of comments supporting Henryville.

My daughter and grandson were living in Henryville, Indiana when the little town was all but destroyed by tornadoes. As of this posting the kids still have not returned to school and this could be a wonderful memory for a little town that has lost so much.

Take a look at this video submitted by D.C. Everest High School from Schofield, Wisconsin. They show the playful events of a typical high school student, yet throughout their submission they show a variety of students showing support for Henryville. For Henryville, nothing is “normal” or “typical” right now! AND it is not just D.C. Everest High School either, other schools are submitting entries to the contest, too, asking Lady Antebellum if their’s is chosen, to please give the “Own the Night” prom concert to the kids at Henryville.

Teens are often “me” oriented and it is wonderful to see them reaching out to help their peers, lending them a hand to step up from the rubble and build an amazing memory for what has become an unforgettable March for the entire community.

But wait, there’s more… these “can do” teenagers are taking it a step further. The students from D.C. Everest have also set a goal to raise $50,000 by selling “Happy Thoughts for Henryville” for only $5.00 each.

I found the following on their website:

HAPPY THOUGHTS FOR HENRYVILLE… Everest continues to give!

PAY IT FORWARD: You can be a part of PAYING IT FORWARD. D.C. Everest Students are launching a “HAPPY THOUGHTS FOR HENRYVILLE” campaign this week. “Happy thoughts for Henryville” are $5.00 each. With 10,000 happy thoughts at $5.00 a piece we can reach our goal of $50,000.

Purchase your happy thought by going to this website.

For local donations, the Junior class has set up an account at Intercity State Bank.

Donations can be sent to:
Intercity State Bank
Attn: D.C. Everest Henryville, Indiana Relief Fund
P.O. Box 560
Schofield, WI 54476

Check out the WAOW story on DCE’s “Paying it Forward” efforts.

After waiting all day for the announcement, here is the official word from Lady Antebellum’s website:

March 20, 2012Three weeks ago, Lady Antebellum began a contest offering fans a chance to Own The Prom Night with a private concert at their prom this spring. After carefully reviewing each submission, the trio unanimously chose the community of Henryville, IN for their story, resilience and unity following devastating tornadoes earlier this month. Not only was their own submission moving, but schools across the country spontaneously submitted videos campaigning on behalf of Henryville High School in support of Henryville receiving the special concert, including the winning submission from Silver Creek High School.

Here is the winning video:

I feel it is worth mentioning that the contest winner, Silver Creek High School in Sellersburg, Indiana, is the same school that hosted the Tornado Relief Benefit Concert featuring 40 bands on 4 stages just nine days after the devastating storm. The Louisville Crashers headlined the concert that raised over $60,000.00.

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