Forward thinking: Growing as a leader

I was born and raised in Eastern New Mexico and West Texas. Farming and ranching were the predominate industries in the area. I learned early on what every farmer knows . . . The growth of a crop only happens when the right ingredients are present. To harvest plentiful fields, the farmer has to begin…

Forward thinking: Signs of the times

Is our nation at risk? As a student of history, I find myself asking that question with greater frequency than I like to admit. However, from ancient Rome to the superpowers of the 20th century, all of the greatest nations in history have something in common. They have shared various symptoms that inevitably led to…

Forward thinking: On Constitution Day, reflections on our remarkable government

United States Declaration of Independence “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”   The 100-day debate known as the Constitutional Convention was one of the most important occurrences…

Forward thinking: The thrill of victory…the agony of defeat

The primary elections for 2019 are history. . . For some candidates, their hopes were dashed. Dreams turned into nightmares all too soon. For others, at least two in each race, they were given continued hope through the general election on Nov. 6. As one who has gone through numerous campaigns over my political career, I…

Forward thinking: July 4th — a time to reflect on our freedoms

With rare exception, whereever you go, you will find celebrations with cookouts, fireworks and family reunions — one of my favorite days of the year even when it rains. Independence Day should also be a time of reflection — a day to think about the founding of our nation, about the Declaration of Independence, the…

Forward thinking: Making and maintaining friends

I recently turned 76… It was not a birthday that I necessarily relished. To be perfectly honest, the word that pops into my mind is “endured.” I don’t view myself as being old. I confess, however, that this particular birthday has had an impact on me like no other. It has proven to be a major…

Forward thinking: Thank you, Mama Myrt

Her name was Myrta Glendora Trout. . . To me she was known affectionately as Mama Myrt. She was my grandmother on my mother’s side of the family. She was far from perfect – a strong-willed lady as I recall; however, I loved her dearly and she loved me. As a child, I would go…

Forward thinking: Why Memorial Day matters in 2019

At this time of year, Americans kick off their summers, holiday weekend, vacations and barbecues. However, it is good to pause and remember our countrymen who have answered the call to serve, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.   On May 29, 2004, the United States dedicated the National World War II Memorial in…

Forward thinking: Reflecting on beginnings…

Wednesday, Jan. 27, 1943 . . . It was a cold winter day. The wind was blowing, snow was falling. Streets and sidewalks were covered with sheets of ice. It was a day not fit for man nor beast — much less a time for a pregnant lady to give birth to a new born….

Forward thinking: Lynnwood moving forward

I remember the date well . . . It was Jan.26, 2009. After multiple weeks of work session discussions and no less than two public hearings at business meetings, the time had come for a formal council vote. And vote we did. The City Council formally adopted a Community Vision. In brief, the Vision states that…

Forward thinking: Is failure good for you?

Her name is J.K. Rowling . . . She is the author of the wildly successful Harry Potter series. What you may not know is that she was a divorced, single mom and all but homeless before she discovered writing fiction was her passion. At one point Ms. Rowling is quoted as saying that failing…

Forward thinking: Christmas 2018 — the countdown has begun

Christmas 2018 is just a matter of days away. Seasonal carols have been filling the air waves since the day after Thanksgiving. But all is not well in our beloved America.  There is a great scarcity of peace on earth and mercy mild. A question looms over our nation that begs to be answered. It is…

Forward thinking: On being a patriot

It was July 4, 1776 . . . Representatives of the Second Continental Congress assembled at the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia.  They had gathered to sign one of the most important and ambitious documents in human history — the Declaration of Independence. The final line of the Declaration of Independence is a magnificent statement…

Forward thinking: Why speakers flop

I remember her well . . . Her name was Mrs. Burke. She was my first speech teacher when I was a freshman in high school. Our first day in class, she made a point of stressing if we ever hoped to be successful as a public speakers, there were several cardinal rules that we…

Forward thinking: George Washington’s Farewell Address deserves rereading

The date was Sept. 19 . . . the year was 1796. Our nation’s newspapers carried the publication of President George Washington’s Farewell Address. It announced Washington’s intention to retire from public life after his second term. For many decades, the Farewell Address was required reading in grade schools across America and was commonly invoked…

Forward thinking: Monkey see, monkey do, and how to lead by example

As we go through life, many things are beyond our control. You can’t control our nation’s economy, the stock market or the weather. If you are a business proprietor, you can’t control your competitor’s marketing tactics. Even more maddening, you can’t control the decisions prospective clients make about your company. On a personal level —…

Forward thinking: Reflecting on politics this Constitution Day

Constitution Day is observed each year on Sept. 17. It commemorates the signing of the Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787. In short, this day marks the 231st anniversary of that commemorative signing. It is dedicated to all U.S. citizens. It is this writer’s opinion that our Founding Fathers gave us a Constitution that is sufficiently…

Forward thinking: History in the making at SCOTUS

It all starts Sept. 4, 2018… I’m referring to the confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. It all begins with opening statements by committee members Tuesday. The questioning of Kavanaugh will actually start Wednesday, Sept. 5. The hearings are expected to last three or four days. President Trump nominated Kavanaugh on July…

Forward thinking: Connecting with others

I confess — I’m a people person. I truly enjoy being with people. Talking with people… engaging in activities with people. Furthermore, at this stage of my life, I seriously doubt if I will be making any significant changes. Somewhere in my DNA is a “people person” gene. I came into the world with it…

Forward thinking: Clearing out clutter

Her name shall remain anonymous — may it suffice to say that she is elderly. In a few short months, she will celebrate her 92nd birthday. That is the good news. The not so good news: family and friends recently had to move her into an assisted living facility, which proved to be a challenging…

Forward thinking: Making the tough call

I never played the game myself. However, I have a grown son and two grandsons who love it and play it on a regular, ongoing basis. I’m referring to the game of soccer. The truth be known, soccer is a relatively new sport in the United States compared to the rest of the world. However,…

Forward thinking: The True Patriots

It may come as a surprise, but a lot of important events took place in our nation’s history on July 4. A few of you may recall. However, my guess is most of us do not know or will not remember the majority of them. That is to be expected. Allow me to share some…

Forward thinking: On encouragement and being an encourager

Encouragement: the act of giving hope, approval or support to someone. It was a bright Sunday afternoon. The banner hung over the wall on the forty yard line in Texas Stadium – home of the Dallas Cowboys football team. The words were painted in bright red on a king size bed sheet for all America…

Forward thinking: Your most valuable asset

At some point, you may have heard me talk about having three stint heart implants… the year was 2006 and I was 63 years old. At that point in time, I was travelling a lot in my consulting business. In other words, I was eating most of my meals in hotels, restaurants and mini-markets. Needless…

Forward thinking: Uncommon courtesy

A common courtesy is a polite remark or respectful act that we do for everyone, regardless of whether we know them or not. Another Mother’s Day is history… The day has not held much appeal to me personally for several years. My mom made her transition over a decade ago, a victim of the dreaded…