Over COFFEE,

JAYSPEAK

Go get a cup of coffee and join me for a conversation with my readers and my sponsors and a coffee while I share with you some thoughts about my new home in Paris. I know, I know, the world is a mess. I voted and got confirmation of receipt. Every young boy CANNOT grow and be President of the U.S. It takes more than just being male or female or opportunity. Meanwhile…… I want to crystallize my thoughts as to why I like this area for you – the 16th Arrondissement in Paris, near the Bois de Boulogne. It is called the Auteuil Area and has quite a history (for you History Buffs). I don’t like it for its history. I would have loved the 6th Arrondissement (where I lived for 7 months and moved). It was FULL of history. And my reasons are not based on…

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Over COFFEE,

Go get a cup of coffee and join me for a conversation with my readers and my sponsors and a coffee while I share with you some thoughts about my new home in Paris.  I know, I know, the world is a mess. I voted and got confirmation of receipt. Every young boy CANNOT grow and be President of the U.S. It takes more than just being male or female or opportunity. Meanwhile…… I want to crystallize my thoughts as to why I like this area for you – the 16th Arrondissement in Paris, near the Bois de Boulogne.  It is called the Auteuil Area and has quite a history (for you History Buffs).  I don’t like it for its history.  I would have loved the 6th Arrondissement (where I lived for 7 months and moved).  It was FULL of history.  And my reasons are not based on my physical problem. Sorta.  But, not a lot.  They are based as to who I am – a Southern girl whose mother lived in the same house most of her life.  I always had a “home” to go to — until now.  Now, I want one that “feels” like home. 

I really like this space a lot. I feel “at home” here.  Why?  Short answer is, “I don’t know, but I do.” But, let’s take a closer look.  I loved Los Angeles.  I loved living there.  48 years. I was young and old there and had a successful acting career in film and television and a successful career as an attorney.  I went to law school in the area.  My family still lives in that area.  I lived in several areas in LA, but my favorites were in Pacific Palisades and at 2399 Mandeville Canyon in Brentwood.

I always dreamed of “one day” living in France. Now, I am living in France. I lived in Nice, France, for 4 years, and now I am in Paris. I did not like living in Nice.  I did not like living in Paris in a small studio in the 6th Arrondissement.  I knew it was temporary, anyway.  I do not have a favorite area of Paris. 

By luck or by fluke, I came across an ad for an apartment in the 16th that sounded great. To me. I was surrounded by the city in the 6th, and people, and buildings, and history, and museums, and gorgeous gardens and shops and The Seine and restaurants and cafes.  And the VIRUS.  Lots of activity.  BUT, I missed the Sea. I needed more calm.  I needed more air.  Less activity.  Was I making a mistake?  What was going on?   

By luck or by fluke, I got this apartment (long story), and it had a lot of problems.  For me.  I have been here since August, and I feel “at home” here.  This is why (I think).

The people are residents.  French.  Nice French and rude, arrogant French.   A lot of people really don’t speak English.  Nor want to.  All ages.  Young, old, and in-between.  Most of the shops are small and owner occupied.  “Mom and Pop” stores.  I cannot find a lot of products here because it is like a small town in the city.  They don’t care that they don’t have what I want.  If I want something else, I can go get it. The big stores are up the street in the Passy area.  Or closer to the center of town.  Where all of tourists are at Museums and gorgeous structures and people who need to “shop”. I don’t go there because I don’t need big stores and shopping.  I usually adjust and “use what they carry”.  It’s easier.   And, With the virus, I avoid congested areas and open-air markets with a lot of people.  I like that people just “live here”.  If they want upscale and livelier, it is a taxi drive away, or metro, or bus ride.

There is an open-air market on Saturdays and Wednesdays down the street.  I don’t go. In the future, I may go after the virus.  I buy what I eat at a market that delivers and puts my groceries in my kitchen for me. And ALL of the restaurants have delicious food.  I may eat lunch out, but I most of the time eat what is here in the apartment. Nothing fancy, something healthy, usually. 

The people are nice.  Not overly friendly. But, nice. I feel safe.  Some areas are livelier than others. I don’t need livelier.  I like nice and easy and Paris.   Just people. Living here. Some young, some old, some single, some families, small children, lots of dogs. Lots of canes. People helping people. Polite to me. Usually.

The restaurants in the neighborhood seem to know a lot of their clientele. It has a “neighborhood” feeling.  I am still becoming part of the neighborhood. Sorta. I have bought a real down jacket for the weather; a down comforter for the cold nights. Some Ugg boots for around the house.  And some great Tech guys in a small shop to fix my iPhone.  I am trying to get things I want and need slowly online and/or in a local shop, somewhere. The concierge here accepts packages for me if I order something.  I am still figuring all of that out.

I have three doctors and a new vet for Missy within walking distance.  And they are good doctors that I really like.  Everything is local for me.  I have been to a lot of expensive doctors in the 6,7, 14 and 15 that I DON’T like.  I don’t need to go anywhere.  At least – not yet.  I don’t want to risk public transportation and Uber is expensive from here.  That time will come.  After the virus. I see bus stops and metro stations and taxi stations. Not on my street but down the hill and on bigger streets.

I don’t know if it is lively at night.  I am not out at night.  With a 9:00 pm. Curfew, I doubt it. But I don’t know. It is lively during the day, with people exercising, walking dogs, chatting with neighbors and going to work with drivers.  G7 a lot.  I see a lot of businesspeople getting into G7 taxis. Lots of cafes for coffee and croissants. Good bakeries.  Fresh orange juice.  My biggest complaint is that the toilets are always down steep spirally stairs without good bannisters. I have to plan and time my stops and lunches. I have seen some restaurants where I want to try lunch at some point. 

Hey, it is probably not for everyone. It is not the high life of the 6th. Or the Marais. Or the 8th. But, I am very happy here. For more active people, there are Roland Garros, the Soccer Stadium, and lots of activity up the street at the Trocadero. And, museums up the hill and across the river, but I am happy I live in a lovely residential neighborhood. Quiet and safe. Virus-free. Especially after living seven months in the center of everything where I had bars on the windows and had lots of bolts on the door. I now have plants in my apartment and on my balcony. I have a full kitchen and my piano in the living room. And, a huge television. In all, I have 5 rooms (enough room for me and Missy). I can accommodate visitors with privacy (sorta). I know how to get to the woods and to more activities and to the heart of the city. I have friends for lunch out, but no room for a table here (the piano takes up the room). And a full kitchen for cooking. And, I have a Paris address. Here are some photos that are so-so.

These pictures are not great. But, who cares. None of you will be doing this anyway, and I feel good. Sorta. I miss my family. I miss comforts. There is a list of things I miss. Most of all, I miss my youth and driving my car. But, I am here and will stay here for now. As Blake would say, “keeping on keeping on.

Stay tuned, Jay

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BEGINNING ANEW………

Oops!  Only .7 mile, today. That is not far enough. Just so you know, The goal is “retrain the brain”, AND, I must work on my body at the same time.  The doctor said that I need physical therapy for my knees and brain therapy for my brain!!! So, 80’s, here I come. I must Exercise, ready or not!!  

So, this morning, I got up. Fed the cat. Had my breakfast.  Put on my Nike stretch pants, a workout shirt, a warm coat (it’s Paris and in the 40’s outside), an ugly warm hat and look ugly while walking out the door!   Well, looking good is not the goal.  And, my brain doesn’t care what I look like!!  And, the route was to be the road less traveled since the virus likes crowds.  The mindset is “do it anyway.”  One foot in front of the other, avec cane. 1 mile a walk is sufficient. Up the hill, across and back down another street.  MAYBE get a coffee and croissant, if the toilette is accessible.  Not a requirement.  1-mile workout. 

I took photos!  RED LETTER DAY!!!! Hey, it is a beginning. And, we need to focus on the brain and on the body.  One step in front of the other. DO IT, ANYWAY!!  

WALK OUT THE FRONT DOOR! YOU GOT THIS!!! anyway, it’s fun!

UP THE STREET (goal is to work the legs going up)

TURN RIGHT AT JASMINE (Pretty building and man who thought I was taking his picture and the picture of his sign haha)

JUST SOME PRETTY DOORS AND ARCHITECTURE AND “BANGLADESH HOUSE” (whatever that is)

JASMINE METRO STATION on MOZART (and uphill to Passy area but I am now going down toward the Auteuil area. This is sorta in the middle of the 16eme arrondissement.)

A PAUSE AT ONE OF THE LOCAL FLOWER SHOPS (SB Fleurs) WITH PHOTOS

SHOULD I GET A PAIN RAISIN AND COFFEE? YES!

AND HOME! FUN EXPLORATION AND MY BRAIN IS HAPPY AND SO IS MY BODY!

I bought lunch at the Bakery and a plant for the apartment, so I had to go home. And only .7 of a mile. That is NOT far enough. So, next walk I must add something, as I explore in my workout. Stay tuned…..

I’m backkkkkkkk.

Best, Jay

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You can become a Paris sponsor for 10 euros, 20 euros, 50 euros, or 100 euros. Or dollars. You choose. I have put euros because that is the currency here in Paris But PayPal takes both euros and dollars..

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5 YEARS LATER…PARIS – OCTOBER 2020

At 40, Franz Kafka (1883-1924), who never married and had no children, walked through the park in Berlin when he met a girl who was crying because she had lost her favourite doll. She and Kafka searched for the doll unsuccessfully.
Kafka told her to meet him there the next day and they would come back to look for her.
The next day, when they had not yet found the doll, Kafka gave the girl a letter “written” by the doll saying “please don’t cry. I took a trip to see the world. I will write to you about my adventures.”
Thus began a story which continued until the end of Kafka’s life.
During their meetings, Kafka read the letters of the doll carefully written with adventures and conversations that the girl found adorable.
Finally, Kafka brought back the doll (he bought one) that had returned to Berlin.
“It doesn’t look like my doll at all,” said the girl.
Kafka handed her another letter in which the doll wrote: “my travels have changed me.” the little girl hugged the new doll and brought her happy home.
A year later Kafka died.
Many years later, the now-adult girl found a letter inside the doll. In the tiny letter signed by Kafka it was written:
“Everything you love will probably be lost, but in the end, love will return in another way.”
– Spiritual Awakenings

JAYSPEAK

This is my world and welcome to it! What is on my mind this weekend?

Lots. I have settled into my new home in Paris, 16e. I like it. It is not perfect (by a long shot) but the feeling is right. That is what is important. But, right now, I am staying in and staying put for the time-being. No choice. Good. I don’t have to choose. I tend to overdo, and I cannot trust myself to choose to do nothing. But, right now, I have no choice. The virus is outside, and I have gotten some bad health news. Sorta. Maybe it is good news. Sorta. It is The News that I have been expecting since I flew out of LA and into the greater world on October 1, 2015, with my husband Steve to “do something else”. Neither one of us would use the word “retire”. My…

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5 YEARS LATER…PARIS – OCTOBER 2020

This is my world and welcome to it! What is on my mind this weekend?

Lots. I have settled into my new home in Paris, 16e. I like it. It is not perfect (by a long shot) but the feeling is right. That is what is important. But, right now, I am staying in and staying put for the time-being. No choice. Good. I don’t have to choose. I tend to overdo, and I cannot trust myself to choose to do nothing. But, right now, I have no choice. The virus is outside, and I have gotten some bad health news. Sorta. Maybe it is good news. Sorta. It is The News that I have been expecting since I flew out of LA and into the greater world on October 1, 2015, with my husband Steve to “do something else”. Neither one of us would use the word “retire”. My doctor in LA told me that I was at risk with my trial schedule for a heart attack or stroke. Daddy had a stroke. I paid no attention. So, it was with reluctance that I flew out of a city I loved and a profession I loved – the law.

A specialist yesterday told me that I had a small stroke in October 2018 after my failed first knee replacement surgery! He called it a “vascular accident”. I remember the rehabilitation nurses’ concern for my blood pressure at the time. I assured them that my numbers run high and that I was fine. Not fine. Vertigo and dizziness since then. Was that because of a “vascular accident” in the left ear to the brain? (That is the French way of telling me in English that I had had a stroke. And, that I would not die, but I have to do therapy to retrain my brain. And, my ignoring it was going to make it get worse. ) On September 25th, something got worse. I felt it happen. So, Willy Loman (Biff and Happy), “attention must be paid”! But, frankly, doctors looked at my MRI in July, 2020 and said they could not see anything wrong. I looked it up on YouTube videos and everyone says something different. No one knows. But EVERYONE is taking a guess. I can pick and choose.

Well. I am finally where I have wanted to be for a lot of my life – Paris – (especially in my heart and head), and I must take it easy. How does one take it easy? Time to learn. I am sorry to unload this on you at this time when the world is having a meltdown, but hey! Why not??? Besides, I am in PARIS! The perfect place for meltdowns! (just kidding.) So on this World Mental Health Day , I say it is ok not to be okay. So, as I said, “This is my World and Welcome to it!” So, while the rest of the world is having meltdowns, I will deal with my small corner of this vast universe. I don’t like “stroke”. I don’t like “die”. so, I shall do the kini and see what happens.

So, this weekend, Missy and I are taking it easy. Her expensive balcony is fixed, and she is not paying any attention to it. And, I am practicing working basics with my brain, like my handwriting, swallowing, and other easy stuff. Haha. So that is on my mind this morning. I will be into doctors for a while. Ouch ($$$) and relearning how to do things. I will make this work for a while longer – as long as I think I can and still be safe. And I am having fun! Sorta. Hey! I could be miserable. Remember, it is all a choice. ….beats pictures of food. Roses would work! Or donations to help with doctor bills. Sometimes I add that link. I did today because, yesterday, I saw a specialist. Frankly, I don’t know how to stay safe. Do you? “It is the ‘luck of the draw'”!

BEST, JAY

Preview(opens in a new tab)

Doctors and other basics – Missy

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THE WEEK THAT WUZ……

THE WEEK THAT WUZ….

Wow!  What a week!  Need I say more?  Well, in addition to the news, I had personal events that were keeping me happy and sad simultaneously.  In no particular order, my sister’s husband Jack Prince had a birthday on September 30. He was 92.  (My oldest sister Pat Prince died in 2014 with ovarian cancer).  Their daughter (my niece) Deb Prince Kroll’s husband of almost 43 years died on the same day.  And my daughter-in-law Joy Tracey Bertolli MacIntosh had her birthday on October 1, 2020.  The family came together (rare event) to a celebratory dinner. So even though I am not there with any of them, I am in my heart. 

I celebrate with Jack and wish I could give him a big hug.  He is struggling with heath issues and memory loss.  He was and is very close with his family and our entire family. 

I am so sad about the death of Bob.  He has been sick for a long time.  But that does not make the loss less.  I wish I were there with the family to mourn.  So I have mourned alone for my sister, Jack, and Bob and Debby and Katie. 

And this has been a rainy week.   I also have had other challenges. 

Jack, Pat, Deb
Bob and members of the family
Joy Tracey with the family

Joy Tracey

Good news and things that I am thankful for.

I really like this apartment. The heat was turned on the building. I learned how to have my groceries delivered from Monoprix Supermarket. Christopher (my friend who speaks French) helped me get an appointment at the Prefecture for my French papers – no easy task. I found a good vet who is helping Missy. I got a nice letter from my grandson Tyler. Plus other things.

So, that is it for now.  I had a few memes I like that I am adding as a tag.  I am blessed to have my readers.  I now have 9501 Visitors and 41,000 views on Jayspeak.  I promise to do better as time goes by.  Or not. Maybe I will just stay the same.  But I will be back with good pictures as I make more physical adjustments.  Hey!  I am here and it took me a long time to get here.  All my life, this was my dream. Now, I must heal.  I did a job on myself.  Bottom line – HANG IN THERE.  DREAMS DO COME TRUE. 

BEST, JAY

BEING PART OF THE SOLUTION…

Early in the week, I decided to write about being part of the solution as I am so into all the problems that I see surrounding me everywhere.  But I regret to say that I don’t know how yet.  Well, sort of.  But, first, I want to take a look at what I see as problems in my little corner of the universe.  Hey, just go with it.  At least these won’t be YOUR problems.  And I am not going into the political arena, even though I am heartsick about a LOT of political matters that are NOT going my way.  And, I am speaking out, and today I VOTED!

But this week has been rough. Workers who were supposed to finish my balcony with the cat netting stayed most of the day on Friday – 3 guys who kept questioning what each other was doing.  Plus, the netting ruins my view of the sky.  But I choose Missy over sky, so black cat netting it is. And they had to “finish up” on Monday.  ALL DAY!!! And two windows. 3 guys working by the hour.  Ouch.

And, I got bad news from Debby about her Bob (going into Hospice), Becky (broke her ankle in 4 places); Blair (running injury, requiring surgery); Jack (needs a caregiver); Leonard (still finding out); and fires and my kids (unknown).  And more.  And, something happened to me on Wednesday that made me get worse.  And, the virus is spreading.  And, my vertigo is worse.  Getting to see a doctor takes FOREVER.  I am walking too much.  And it turned very cold and rainy without heat in the building yet. 

SO, how can I be part of the solution?

I changed the cat litter when I was sore from walking. Haha.  I asked the neighbor to take my garbage to the elevator.  She offered to take it downstairs. A French friend (Elizabeth) took me in her car to lunch at a gorgeous private Sports Club,

https://www.lagardereparisracing.com/

I don’t know yet.  Give me some time to think about it.  

Last night I saw a program about new challenges facing today’s teachers. I have two daughter-in-law’s who are teachers.  He said you don’t ask what he/she wants to be when he/she grows up. You ask what problem she/he wants to solve (anything at all); then how does she/he think the problem could be solved; then what does she/he have to learn to solve it. Then DO IT.

Stay tuned……

PARIS – “HUNKERING DOWN !

What a glorious September morning in Paris! I am sitting here in my new apartment in the 16th Arrondissement of Paris, aware that I feel good and am hunkering down. I just had a small breakfast and coffee on the balcony and remembered that I need to start a blog for this weekend. Actually, that is not true because I have given it a lot of thought. After the news of RBG’s death pierced my very being, I did not know what I wanted to write. “May her memory be for blessing. May her memory be for revolution. May we become a credit to her name.”

And, I have thought about why I feel so good in the midst of all of this turmoil and despair.  This is what comes to mind.

  1. I moved to Paris as an experiment, hoping that it would JOLT me out of the doom and gloom depression that I was carrying around in my head. IT WORKED!!! Life has been nothing but a lot of problem -solving moments since I made that decision. Needless to say, it has not been easy. Granted, I have seen a lot of beautiful things since I have been here and eaten a lot of delicious food. I have met a lot interesting people and made a few good friends. But I have experienced most of it at the same time I – for some unknown reason- was going through a lot of physical pain when I have wanted to travel metros and ride buses and see and do and go. AND I have been in the middle of a pandemic. I don’t know how much was real and how much was imagined. I was renting a Studio in the middle of one of the most desirable sections of Paris and was in fear for my life during all of LOCKDOWN. Not really, BUT it jolted me out of imagined doom and gloom and converted it to literal doom and gloom with a killer virus outside my door. Also, I was jolted out of imagined pain to literal physical pain because of the terrible mattress on the Studio’s sofa bed. Haha. It changed my inability to speak a language sorta well to a real inability to communicate when I most needed to. Haha!!! And, it motivated me to try to find a more comfortable apartment FAST, because I wanted to sleep in a bed in a room without bars on the windows for safety. So, I did not have time to walk around with imagined doom and gloom! I was in the midst of REAL doom and gloom! And with the mess that was going on the USA, it got worse just when I thought it couldn’t get worse. And, it is still getting worse!!! My beloved practice of law with civil rights for the little guy has turned inside-out for my colleagues in their pursuit for justice in employment litigation and civil rights. And it is redefining itself and they are redefining their practices and their litigation as they go after bullies of one kind or another.
  • I feel good because I see and hear the youth of tomorrow’s voices. Yes, there are rotten apples in the barrel, BUT there are a LOT of young people who see clearly and have the vision to take the world of tomorrow in other directions. I trust that there are solutions that I cannot even imagine. I have made the decision to trust that they know what they are doing. I trust in the youth of tomorrow. I see my four grandchildren (who don’t know me because of my having kept a distance for some reason that I don’t understand – that is a post for another time) and see their decisions and posts on social media. I applaud their choices of healthy food. I applaud their love for nature, and more.

So, I am going to allow myself to feel good in spite of all that is bad (which I will not list.) Maybe I am grasping at straws here, but it is September! I love September and October and November and December!!!!! I am in an apartment with my art on the walls. AND, I am alive!! And the holidays are coming !

My cat is better. My pain is bearable. I have a new doctor I like. I will have my ballot to vote on Thursday (California). I visited with some GHS classmates on Zoom that I enjoyed. I am working on solutions to snags. I found a tailor for my Armani suits (too expensive, too long, different body shape and sizes). The French Open begins tomorrow down the street. Life is good AT THE MOMENT. By the time you read this, it may all have changed. (sigh).

SO, I have taken some pictures of things – food, flowers, views, art that I think you may enjoy. I plan to do more photo’s in the future.

Jayspeak in Paris is redefining itself.  Don’t go away.  The Kaleidoscope is turning…….

Best, Jay

Help Jayspeak.

I hope I don't offend you by asking for help. But help is what I need these days. I wish I were independently wealthy, but I am on my own with expenses - as I guess we all are - with Social Security and small SAG pension. So, I am posting this on Jayspeak to defray costs of getting doctors and workers for the apartment and getting help when I need it. Sorry.

$50.00

MATTERING…….

JAYSPEAK

What is going on in my mind?

I believe that Joe Biden is not perfect. It doesn’t matter.

I believe that Nancy Pelosi is not perfect. It doesn’t matter.

I believe that Donald Trump is bad for the world – not just USA, not just Democracy, not just for the economy, not just for the workers, not just for the office of the President of the United States. It matters.

We are not perfect. They are not perfect. It is not perfect.It doesn’t matter.

I believe that a lot of my friends and relatives have values I don’t like. It matters.

We will never return to the way we were. It doesn’t matter.

What matters?

What matters to YOU?

Decide.

Then go for it.

There may not be a lot of time “to think about it.”

(There is no “right” answer.)

OK, I may not be on the right track…

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“ONCE UPON A TIME…”

I have been trying to understand my family’s history. I have made a lot of new friends on different sites because of close relatives who have come to my attention because of shared DNA. I am shocked at how little I know. Either I wasn’t told or I did not pay attention before this. I was sent a copy of a book about my family that is fascinating. It is titled “Westmoreland Ancestry”, and is a book written by Lucia Foster. She begins the book with a quote from an article written by Mr. Alton S. Newell that he wrote for The Wall Street Journal on July 3, 1980. This is a segment from Newell’s article – “Once Upon a Time”- that is important for us to think about Now:

“Once upon a time, far away and long ago, in the old country, a group of people became dissatisfied with their government’s unnecessary interference into their personal and private lives. They felt so strongly about this they decided to leave their native land and seek a new country. This entailed a far greater decision that we realize today. We think of crossing the Atlantic in a few hours with a comfortable reception awaiting us on the other side. They knew they would face months of hardships, sacrifice and unknown dangers on their voyage and after they reached their destination. They weighed all the potential problems against their desire and determination and the answer was go. I am glad we had people back then with faith in God, faith in themselves, and their fellow man. We should be pleased to speculate that we may just have some of their blood in our veins.

They came to these shores and expended blood, sweat, and tears and under divine guidance set up a system of government with the concept of the value, the rights, the freedom and the responsibility of the individual. Men and women working under this concept led us into our free enterprise system that has served this nation so well.

When a man knows that his future depends on his own desires, his ambition, and his own energy he will work hard to provide a better life for himself and his loved ones. Our free enterprise system has brought to this country the highest standard of living known to man. Not only have we provided ourselves a high standard of living, but we have helped many other nations of the world better their lot also. We have provided the technology and inspiration for much of the progress made in the world. We spent billions of dollars going to the moon and probing outer space and then shared this technology with the rest of the world, even with those people who seem to want to do us in. We have sent peacemakers to most all the troubled spots of the world. Several times when these peace missions failed, American blood was spilled in our effort to keep free men free. We can be rightfully proud of the part we have played in making life easier for many people of the world.

Now I wish I could stop there and say all is well with America, but You know I can’t. In recent years we seem to have stirred up a hornet’s nest of problems for ourselves. We are beset on every hand with turbulence and frustrations as groups and individuals assert their rights without any thought about their responsibilities. If we were to try to define our problems with one word, that word would have to be responsibility .

Our forefathers gave us a good prescription when they based the structure of our society on the value, the rights, the freedom and responsibility of the individual. We all know what our rights are, but we seem to have forgotten our responsibility.

When Johnnie doesn’t learn how to read it’s not his fault, it’s the fault of the teacher. If he gets into trouble it’s because of the failure of the school. If he gets on drugs, it’s the fault of the community. In trouble with the police, it’s police brutality. When anyone gets into trouble today the shrinks all get together to try and find out what went wrong in the society where he was raised. They look everywhere except in the individual himself. If we don’t put responsibility back into the fabric of our nation we are in trouble!

Every right and every freedom comes with responsibility attached. We don’t have a right to a clean environment without the responsibility to help provide it. We don’t have a right to food, clothing and shelter without the responsibility to work hard and make every effort to obtain them. We don’t have the right to enter the promised land without the responsibility of going through the wilderness. We don’t have the right to live in a free country without the responsibility to defend it.

This irresponsible generation, all those of us living today, have some things mixed up. We spend millions of dollars shielding our highways from the junk yards and hang our pornography at eye level for our children in the newsstands. We worry about air and water pollution and then shovel filth into our living room through our television sets. We turn loose the criminals and lock up the juries.  Married people are living apart and singles are living together. We want to ban saccharin and legalize marijuana. We have basically banned prayer from our schools and allow obscenities. Our students have so many rights the teachers are becoming disgusted and afraid and are leaving their classrooms for safer jobs. Lack of responsibility and undisciplined living are sapping the vitality of America.

Now, I don’t want to convey the idea that I think America is doomed. I still think it is the best country in the world. There is still a lot more right about it than there is wrong. I just don’t want us to drift into careless mediocrity. I don’t want to criticize my country without trying to offer a solution to problems brought up. What then shall we do? Shall we look to Washington?

Do you realize that we have had at least 5 different presidents and hundred of other leaders in Washington since our decline started 15 or 20 years ago! That decline has not deviated, but has been consistent during this time. I believe the trouble lies at the so-called grass roots. That’s at your feet and mine. A few years ago, a congressman was run out of Washington by his colleagues when it was discovered that a young lady on his Payroll had very few duties, but to provide fringe benefits for him. He went back home to a standing ovation from the people who had sent him to Washington. Several other congressmen have been re-elected after discovery of irregularities in their conduct. I believe we will receive, and only deserve, the kind of government we insist on.

We complain of inflation, but we keep on buying. We complain of high gasoline prices, but keep on driving. We complain of government hand-outs, but jump into the first line where we can get ours. We complain of wasteful government projects, but dance with glee, when our representative wins one for our community.

We complain of filth on television and by our viewing habits make the most popular programs those that appeal to our basic animal instincts. We regret the decline in America’s spiritual life as we sit in front of the television set on Sunday morning nursing a hangover from the night before.

We, the people, can have the kind of country we want. America needs to be born again. It will not come about from Washington, but must begin in you and me. It’s getting late. Happy meditation this 4th of July.”

BEST, Jay

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