For what it's worth.
I can't believe I had to try to recover from addiction to hear all the good advice there is out there on how to live in this world. You certainly don't have to have gotten high a single time to benefit from all the clever slogans and sayings that are to be found everywhere in AA and all the recovery programs. Here's a sampling:
"A trying time is no time to quit trying."
"Those who abandon their dreams will discourage yours"
"The only normal people are the one's you don't know very well."
"When you dance with a gorilla it is the gorilla who decides when to stop."
"You can live a perfectly normal life, as soon as you realize your life will never be perfectly normal"
"Where ever you go, there you are!"
"It's ok to look back just don't stare."
"Don't leave 5 minutes before the miracle happens!"
"Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are"
"If you want to change who you are, change what you do."
"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
"Isolation is the dark room I enter to develop my negatives."
"If the grass is greener on the other side it must be due to all the fertilizer they are putting on it."
"If you pray for patience you will be given many opportunities to practice it."
"Time takes time."
"Things aren't necessarily going wrong just because they're not going my way"
"Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure!"
"Everything can be replaced except you."
"Being humble isn't that we think less of ourselves, it's that we think of ourselves less."
"When you are standing on the edge of all that you have known and are about to step into the darkness, remember that one of two things can happen. Either there will be something solid for you to stand on or you will be taught to fly."
"I am not guilty; I am accountable."
"If you hang around the barber shop long enough you're gonna get a hair cut."
"Forgiveness is giving up hope for a better past!"
"I tried to contain myself but I escaped."
"Holding a resentment is like drinking a glass of poison and waiting for the other son of bitch to die."
"What you think of me is none of my business."
"People may not always believe what I say, but they will always believe what I do."
"Just because you're having a bad day doesn't mean you're having a bad life."
"Do not allow others to upset you; their only power comes from your reaction."
"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!"
"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."
"Don't count the days, make the days count."
"God, may everyone treat me tomorrow as I treated everyone today."
Here is a great little essay about Ronald Reagan by Newt Gingrich:
In 1980, the United States was losing the Cold War. Under President Jimmy Carter, the American economy had become a disaster -- featuring 13% inflation, 22% interest rates, gasoline lines and shortages, and the beginning of the worst recession since the Great Depression.
Our national security situation was verging on the catastrophic. The anti-military left had cut the Defense budget. The Soviet Union was subsidizing massive appeasement marches in Western Europe (secret documents released after the fall of East Germany confirm that Soviet front-groups were behind the demonstrations). Soviet forces were on the offense in Afghanistan, Angola, Mozambique, Grenada, Nicaragua and El Salvador.
The most public humiliation was the illegal seizure of the American Embassy in Iran in 1979. Iranian militants held American diplomats as hostages in total violation of international law for 444 days. In the face of this assault on America and American citizens, Carter's policy was one of weakness and appeasement. The result was a national sense of humiliation and impotence.
The only political leader who understood how big the change needed to be was Ronald Reagan.
Before Reagan took office, the national establishment favored a policy of "reasonableness" -- that is, they accepted the existence of the Soviet Union as a given and believed it had to be accommodated.
In contrast to the "realpolitik" of the national establishment, Ronald Reagan outlined a simple, clear alternative. When asked by a reporter of his vision of the Cold War, Reagan said simply, "We win, they lose."
On March 8, 1983, Reagan offered his most forceful moral claim for this new strategy of victory in the Cold War. In a speech calling the Soviet Union an "evil empire," he defined the illegitimacy of the Soviet dictatorship. It was a speech that Natan Sharansky, then a prisoner in the Soviet Gulag, said galvanized the hopes of the prisoners and raised their morale while demoralizing the Soviet guards and undermining the authority of the Soviet system.
Two weeks later, on March 23, President Reagan outlined in a second speech the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) that was designed to begin a science-and-technology race that the Soviets could not win.
America's elites were shocked by these two speeches. They ridiculed and attacked them. The State Department professionals and the foreign policy elites opposed Reagan. They were all horrified that an American President could be so bold and provocative.
They would be almost as unhappy four years later when President Reagan went to Berlin and demanded, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."
Less than nine years after Ronald Reagan's "Evil Empire" and "SDI" speeches, the Soviet Union disappeared.
The scale of this strategic victory and the role of President Reagan in defeating the Soviet Union are ignored by most of academic America and much of the news media.
The 25th anniversary of these two speeches is a good time to set the record straight.
They were wrong, and Reagan was right.
Today, many of the same people (and their students) who were wrong about the world in 1983 are still wrong about the world.
Some people today say Sen. John McCain is too old to be President. But what if, in 1979, Ronald and Nancy Reagan had decided they were too old to serve America? What if they had decided to stay at the ranch and enjoy life?
UMass has a new slogan. They put it up everywhere.
Today the temperature soared into the tropical forties. These young ladies were inspired to go coatless on University Drive.
Despite the warmth and rain, snow is still easily found, like on the apparently seldom used steps on this back entrance to the UMass chapel.
Some people complained that yesterday's video was too politically correct. I disagree but if so then let me make amends with the help of Massachusetts boy wonder Bo Burnhan.