Thought for the Day: “My Dreams”

Take a moment to contrast the lives of two human beings, both living in New York City on Sunday, Christmas day, 2011:

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg, one of the 20 wealthiest people who has ever lived, is serving his third term. This was made possible because he spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying to erase the long established two term limit. His 2001 and 2005 campaigns each broke the record for spending for any elected office in the history of the state. While his net worth of 30 billion dollars allows him to consume any beverage he desires, he was the primary supporter of dictating a limit on the size of a soft drink people could drink in the city. He would set the limit for everyone. This was one of his dreams. Today he announced that being President of America is another one of his dreams, and he is willing to spend a billion dollars to buy the job.

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Donna Fountain, a 38 year old single mother from Brooklyn, one of the millions of working people in New York who struggle to stay above poverty, was walking to her job as a health care assistant at 7:30 Christmas morning. Her plan was to be home that afternoon and share it with her eight year old son Elijah.  She never got there, instead she was mortally wounded by a hit and run driver, and died at the hospital without ever seeing her son again. The car was found, but no one was ever charged.

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Looking for her identity, police found a simple hand written note in her purse, titled “My Dreams.” It spoke of working on getting a better job, buying a home, things she would like to do for others, falling in love, and ended with her fervent wish that her son Elijah graduate from college.  Friends later reveal that Donna carried this note everywhere she went, and, in spite of her very humble circumstances, was determined to see her dreams become reality.

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Above is a photo of Donna Fountain’s note. I find it very moving that most of what she worked for were things for other people.  She did not dream of wealth or power, nor using these things to control the lives and dreams of others.

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Your Aviation Connection: I highly encourage builders to actually write down their aviation dream. A dream written down is already being formed into a plan; a plan with a time line is a goal, and the building blocks are the defined achievements which are milestones along the path. The dream can be inspirational, but it really starts with a plan on a piece of paper in your pocket.

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I am often accused of being opinionated, mostly by people who have never spent a day with me.  In polite response, I point out there are nearly 1,000 stories on our two websites, and yet I challenge anyone to say what political party I belong to, what faith I hold, or where I stand on any social issue. I have never endorsed any cause, forwarded any story by any organization, nor approved of anyone’s claim of being exclusively right. I may sound opinionated, but in reality I never share much on typical topics, because I don’t see my perspective as being valid for anyone but me.

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All of the thought for the day stories include my wish that they be “thought provoking, not thought providing.” The first pages of my manual specify that I “reserve the right to get smarter”, and I not only promote that, I exercise it.

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The only belief that I will always openly champion, the belief that is at the central core of the story above, is my unshakeable faith in the goodness of common, decent people.  I have no interest in the people the media tells us to worship, the rich, the powerful, the famous, the celebrity.

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Instead, I choose to reserve my admiration for those people in our everyday world who quietly lead decent lives. If I have criticized anyone’s favorite celebrity, I apologize, I was focused on people like:

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The old man who lived next to us:

What the 4th of July means to me.

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A homeless man with two dogs:

A thought on Easter….

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A School bus driver who sacraficed his life:

Charles Poland Jr., An American of whom you could be proud.

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A very spiritual woman:

In defense of plain speaking……

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A man who abandoned popularity for personal ethics:

Risk Management, Experience vs Judgement.

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A simple friend:

Thinking of Mike Holey, an Aviator and a friend.

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-ww.