Spirituality

Essays found in this category pertain to spirituality, facing reality, our addictions, faith and fears, problem solving and risk taking.

David and Goliath

David and Goliath

Introduction Last week, I wrote to Hon. David M. Walker (the former United States Comptroller General ((1998-2008)) seeking an update from him on the state of the union and his intended plans.  In our previous phone call and email exchanges over the past year, Dave expressed an interest to leave Connecticut for “somewhere warm”, if the president and Congress couldn’t come together to pass new legislation, by 2015, that rewrote the rules on how just three social programs operate (Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security), which makes up nearly 50% of our current federal budget.  (They’re not even talking about it.)  This percentage will only grow larger as more and more Baby-boomers leave the workforce for retirement and begin drawing their monthly...

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The Camp by Tommy Burnett (2013)

The Camp by Tommy Burnett (2013)

Note: The following is the second of two stories written by my late father. December 3, 2013 Introduction to “The Camp” “The Camp” was first written in the spring of 1995 while my father was working as a project manager for a Louisiana-based construction company on a construction project in Warner Robins, Georgia. His firm was a subcontractor in the construction of a new Frito-Lay® plant. During his downtime while at the job site and possibly in his apartment he penned the following story. I have always described it to others as being about the rise and fall of our beloved fishing and duck hunting camp and the fall of my father’s life. I first laid eyes on this early draft on a weekend visit that April. At the time, I was a college student who was only weeks away...

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July 24 by Tommy Burnett (2013)

July 24 by Tommy Burnett (2013)

November 2, 2013 Introduction to “July 24” October marked the sixty-eight birthday of my late father, Tommy. He died fifteen years ago at the age of 53, in November 1998, from chronic alcoholism. Only months before dying “unexpectedly” this Vietnam Veteran would reveal in writing, for the first time, to my family including his eighty-three-year-old mother and his older brother, an unbelievable secret from his exposure to war, in 1968. His confession came as a complete shock and devastated, both, my mother and me. Having long viewed his life as a puzzle to be solved, I never had enough pieces to figure out this complex Jigsaw. This thirty-year-old secret was a bombshell, to say the least. It would serve as a giant and central piece in his adult life, which all...

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President Obama: A loser coach managing a losing team.

President Obama: A loser coach managing a losing team.

Note: The following is an email exchange with Jan McNamara, an executive with PBS, in response to my complaint over Mark Shields’ recent comments made on inside Washington about the president.  Some minor edits have been made. October 31, 2013 President Obama: A loser coach managing a losing team. By Ted Burnett To: Jan McNamara, Sr. Director and Sr. Strategist, Corporate Communications, PBS [Public Broadcasting Service] Cc: Senator Jeff Sessions (AL-R) Senator Richard Shelby (AL-R) Senator Mitch McConnell (KY-R) Senator Rand Paul (KY-R) Senator Angus King (ME-R) Senator Mike Johanns (NE-R) Senator Mary Landrieu (LA-D) Senator Chuck Grassley (IA-R) Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D) Senator Mark Rubio (FL-R) Representative Nancy Pelosi (CA-D) Representative...

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Maturation

Maturation

Introduction Since writing to you in early July, I’ve had several more opportunities presented to me.  In my last essay, “Are the current U.S. fiscal and monetary policies a ticket into the grave?”, I mentioned Mark Skousen, PhD and his annual conference at Las Vegas known as “FreedomFest”.  Mark reported back to me that they had 2,500 attendees for the three-day event and that it was very successful.  John Stossel of Fox Business News hosted a panel discussion on this year’s theme, “Are We Rome?” (Clink on link).  Mark was so happy with my introduction of him and FreedomFest in this previous essay that he’s asked me to come to next year’s FreedomFest, July 9-12, 2014 to speak.  This year’s theme will be “Is Big Brother Here? (See trailer.)” What’s part of your...

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Linkedin: Choice and Its Vicissitudes: A Lesson in How Science Works by Barry Schwartz — my response

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130824120435-91343717-choice-and-it-s-vississitudes-a-lesson-in-how-science-works?trk=tod-home-art-list-small_1August 25, 2012 Humanity is all screwed up and this piece doesn’t help to explain it. Most Americans live an unhappy, unconscious and soulless life. Our culture and its many institutions, as well as, through marketing and advertising have trained us to look outwardly, make endless purchases to solve an inside problem – to solve an empty, a lonely and a loveless life. We lack “a feeling” of wholeness in our gut. Men and women make all sorts of daily purchases in an attempt to cure their loneliness, their dislike for themselves. Spending money is an activity that we can control when much of our...

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Ted Burnett’s introductory video as an American philosopher and writer.

This is my first video shot overlooking Mobile Bay (Daphne, Alabama), in May 2013. For more information on me, you can visit my website at www.tedburnett.com Over eighty commentaries can be read on my blog at www.toxicnationus.com Copyright © 2013 by Ted Burnett.  All Rights...

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An interview with Jennifer Meadows and Josh Bernstein on the Grit and Grace Radio Show.

Listen to internet radio with Grit and Grace on BlogTalkRadio Click on the above “arrow” to play my first radio interview as a writer.   The interview starts at the 35:00 mark in the show (45 minutes long).  This internet audience has around 800 listeners. (Starts at the 35:00 mark.) The interview was recorded on July 9,...

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What does it take to make democracy work as it should?

What does it take to make democracy work as it should?

Introduction If you haven’t already figured this out by now, know that “life” is simply a series of problems from birth to death, from our beginning to our end.  Even our own birth was fraught with peril as our death could be, if it’s not sudden, quick and painless.  This may be seen as a pessimistic view on life, but it can also be the starting point for taking full responsibility for our lives, for our problems (both, new and old) and any opportunities that come our way while making the remaining years of life – our best!  Knowing how to solve problems, as opposed to avoiding and denying them, and to recognize and act on opportunities in the quickest, cheapest and easiest manner is what separates the truly successful in life (those finding some inner peace,...

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My response to — Linkedin: Would you rather be honest and lose or dishonest and win?

Linkedin: I’d Rather Be Honest and Lose Than Be Dishonest and Win (Note: A few minor edits have been made.) January 31, 2013 My response – Linkedin: Would you rather be honest and lose or dishonest and win? By Ted Burnett I’ve been in the truth-telling business for the past 23 years. The first truth that I ever told was when I admitted to myself and to others that I had a drinking problem and that I needed help. At 18, I attended my first AA meeting and went continuously for the next 22 years. More personal truths were soon revealed (including coming to terms with a learning disability) and slowly over the past two decades while facing life’s many problems and crisis. All of this has led to my emotional and spiritual development while building...

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Are we trying to cure the infection or the fever?

Note: The following essay was debuted on The Huffington Post, on September 14, 2012.  Click on the link to check it out: Are we trying to cure the infection or the fever?  Arianna Huffington, president and editor in chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, has been in this audience since 2010.  During a recent email exchange, she invited me to add my voice to her site.  This is the first attempt to get one of my essays posted or published by online or print media beyond a LTE. Enjoy!Ted September 9, 2012 Are we trying to cure the infection or the fever? By Ted Burnett During the week of the Democratic National Convention, which was held in Charlotte, NC, I saw a story running on The Huffington Post announcing the DNC Jobs Panel discussion...

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What inspires leaders? True north

Note: The following short essay was originally posted in a Linkedin discussion: What inspires leaders?  I was asked the following question.  Some minor edits have been to this version. Enjoy! Ted August 6, 2012 True north by Ted Burnett Hi Ted, So, what is your true North? The short answer, but a radioactive one is “God”. I’m speaking in the spiritual sense, not in the religious. Everyone has their own concept of God, our Creator, a Higher Power… or worse one has been given a concept of God in religious terms. The founding document of the United States isn’t the Constitution, but instead it’s the Declaration of Independence.I think most politicians, pundits and even scholars have forgotten that this document gave us our...

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Courage to Change

Introduction (The following is one of my signature works. The essay begins on page 13.) “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.” – Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) A 19th-century German philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist. This quote could be applied to many different scenarios given the times, the United States’ heavy-handed response to 9/11 comes to mind, but that’s not exactly where I am going with it. However, I will try to adhere to these wise words while making some follow-up comments to my previous essay (or letter). If you read “To: the Bazelon’s Executive Director and its Board of Trustees” I expressed my experience and expertise on the subjects of active alcoholism, addiction and...

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Dear Senator Nelson (The day our democracy died.)

Introduction “…We’re crazy to the point, I’ve come to believe, that if everybody agrees on something, you can be sure it’s wrong! Every new idea, every great idea, when it first began was in a minority of one…” – Fr. Anthony de Mello, S.J. By the time you receive this commentary, the crisis that’s facing our elected officials, in Washington, and that’s gripping the nation may have been averted. If not, I’ve fled the country with my few precious bars of gold! Regardless, know that the real crisis is far from over. In fact, it’s only getting worse. Our government is unraveling right before our eyes under its own dead weight and not at the hands of our enemies – al-Qaeda and the Taliban – or our frenemies – China or anyone else we can think of to...

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How would you reinvent Capitalism? (Corporate consciousness)

Note: Last week, I received the following email from The Nation magazine seeking my input on their upcoming special issue on “Reimagining Capitalism.” I am unfamiliar with this publication and I’m sure how I got on their mailing list. Their email reads, “The Nation asked sixteen activists and economic thinkers, “If you had the ability to reinvent American capitalism, where would you start? What would you change to make it less destructive and domineering, more focused on what people really need for fulfilling lives?” Their responses provide a provocative sampler of smart ideas—concrete proposals for reforming the dysfunctional economic system in fundamental ways. These brief essays should stimulate imaginations and maybe start some healthy arguments. At the...

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