I wonder if it’s time for Americans to have a time out?  When children are overactive or they have too much energy that causes a conflict with parents we often say to them ”alright! Time to have a time out.”  When is it time for grown ups to take a time out?  How did we get so cynical and negative about almost anything?  What has caused us to be so unkind towards one another?  Why are we so afraid of people who do not look like us?  Why are we so frightened by the Ebola virus?  Have you thought about it? Over 5000 people in West Africa have died of the virus and many more are infected yet our numbers in the U.S. are less than ten and only one person has died yet, we blame President Obama and the CDC for bringing this deadly virus to the United States.  How dumb is that?
A doctor who has volunteered to treat Ebola patients in West Africa is vilified and taunted by Americans for being “irresponsible”.  Here is one of many who have put themselves in harms way to save t  he lives of innocent people and we are acting like ungrateful children for his services.  I have no doubt this virus is potentially dangerous and the loss of just one life to the virus is too many.  However, we need to take a “time out” and allow the doctors, nurses and other professionals handle this matter.  Those wanting to shut off Africa from the rest of the world are only fanning the flame of hysteria.  What are we so afraid of people?  What is making us turn on each other with vicious and hurtful comments?  I cannot wait until the elections are over so I will not have to listen to the political candidates tearing each other apart with negative campaign ads.  No wonder we have such little respect for each other when all we hear are negative comments about everyone and everything.
I am more terrified by the kids shooting to death their classmates than I am of Ebola.  I am more afraid of ignorant politicians who will say or do almost anything just to get elected to office.  I am more afraid of politicians who place blame on viruses like Ebola yet, they quickly cut funds for research.  I am more afraid of the people who treat returning veterans from military duty like they are second class citizens.  My next door neighbor works at a hospital in Bethesda where he sees the maimed, the broken, and those without limbs having to fight the flawed system that is supposed to care for them.  Perhaps it is time for all of to take a step back and regain our sense of respect for each other.
I would recommend that we do some real soul searching during our time outs.  Think about these words if you will? “I prefer to live by choice, not by chance.” I choose self-esteem, not self pity. I prefer to make changes, not excuses.  I choose to listen to my inner voice, not the random opinions of others. ask yourself: how can I change the narrative of my life?  dreams have no expiration date. cancel your subscription with people who always angry or upset about something. Take time to pray, to meditate, to be silent, to be motivated, to be kind, to be thoughtful, to care more for other people.
My spiritual partner Marsha reminds me over and over again how she refuses to be around people who are negative all of the time.  She goes on to remind me of the importance of finding sacred places to be authentic-to be heard and to learn how to laugh more and to be grateful for blessings seen and unseen.  Marsha also speaks about her need to “take time out” to re-group and regain her balance.  I would suggest that you find a spiritual partner as I have.  It should be the kind of person that really listens to you and you listen back.  Find that person from whom you derive strength and confidence and joy.  In your time out remember that you are not alone.  Remember the words of the spiritual song “I’m so glad trouble don’t last always.”  Take time to listen to music that speaks to something deep inside of you causing you to rejoice.  Listen to the laughter of children when they are playing together-it will make you ever so grateful and joyful.  Most importantly, remember these words: life is short, live it. love is rare, grab it, anger is bad, dump it, fear is awful, face it. Memory is sweet, cherish it.” And  so it is!  Dr. Paul




  1. Dr. Paul, thank you for these encouraging words and thoughts. I like you get appalled at the vitriol of our elected officials and those that wanted to be elected. Life is affirming each day we are allowed to breath and think and more importantly rejoice. I take each morning and reflect on the day before and pray about helping others today. Not for the love of money but for the love of people. I am very fortunate and I will say blessed that God has given me a mission and within that mission comes a passion to assist, help, advise and listen to those that seek my help. I am blessed with experiences that give a me chance to learn more and in response to this learning, I can transpose those lessons to others. Sometimes it’s through chit chat, which may lead to a higher level of understanding, those are my most grateful moments. Please keep sending out your words of hope and wisdom. We are all grateful for you taking the time and making the effort to share.

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