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I think that inspiration comes from many places. Whether it is religious, economic, musical, or any other place that one can think of. Currently I am in college attempting to make it through these insanely long 4 years. Being half-way through is exciting as well as terrifying. Do I really have to go through 2 more years of being low on cash, unable to support my family the way I grew accustomed when I was working 45 hours a week? It is incredibly difficult to stay inspired in the middle of this long road where there does not seem to be an end anywhere in the future. Yet, at times it seems so ridiculous not to be inspired all the time.

I just finished watching the Foo Fighters documentary “Sonic Highways.” It is essentially Dave Grohl and the rest of the Foo Fighters traveling to America’s largest cities (8 in total) and telling the story of the development of the music scene that happened in that area, and using that inspiration to record their newest album. First and foremost, the historical aspect of the documentary is terrific. From Dolly Parton and Buddy Guy to Bad Brains and Public Enemy, they seemed able to capture the culture of each city and how it related to music. But while all of that was extremely important and fun to learn about, there seemed to be an over-arching theme that happened organically over the 8 episodes.

For me, that theme was rather simple. If you love doing something… do it. Stop making excuses about how hard everything is around you. Stop talking about the barriers in your way. Stop agonizing about every little decision in life and break down life into its simplest form for yourself. What is the one thing that you think about wanting to do every day? Do it, and do it with vigor. Chase after it with every waking second that you possibly can. Do you work a lot? So what? All kinds of people work a lot. Did you just have kids? That’s great, take care of them, and then get back to accomplishing your goals.

Being in college I have all sorts of goals. I want to graduate. I want a high GPA. I want scholarships. I want a great career when I’m done. I also have a wife and I want so many things for her individually and for our marriage. A house, dog, kids, stability, a career for her that she loves, opportunities to positively affect our loved ones. I have also started this website and a YouTube channel. I absolutely love doing videos and want to continue to do it for as long as I can.

Most of the time these goals and challenges seem daunting…overwhelming. That is until I start to see the inspiration all around me. Mostly it is the fact that I know that if I put enough energy and passion into what I am doing, I know that I can accomplish everything I want, and more. Hearing Dave Grohl say that he would come home from school and play guitar until dinner, and then start again after dinner… he wanted to be great at music, so he was. He just did it. My wife received an e-mail one semester from a professor and at the end of the e-mail it just said, “Do you want that A? Go get it.” So I pass that on to anybody who reads this.

Do you want that new job? That wife or husband? Do you want to get into a great college? Do you want to be awesome at writing? Acting? Law? Engineering? Do you want to be a better person? More humble? More confident? Do you want to spend more time with your kids? Loved ones? Friends?

If you woke up this morning depressed about bills, money, life in general… Ask yourself one question. What do I want to be great at?

Go get it.

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The Amtrak Train Tragedy

In Philadelphia there was a tragedy that occurred on an Amtrak train crash that resulted in at least 7 people getting killed and over 200 people being injured.

While this is a tragedy in and of itself, one the bigger issues is the United States infrastructure and how bad it has become over the years.

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www.merge-left.com

Is America the greatest country?

A very difficult question to answer: However, we can start by examining a couple of areas of importance for countries. The first of which would be freedom of speech, and specifically, freedom of press. The United States ranked 46th in this category last year.

Another area where the U.S. struggles is education, especially in math, science, and reading where we rank 31st, 24th, and 21st respectively. America also has an issue with income inequality, where according to the Gini index, the U.S. is the 4th worst country in terms of income inequality.

Then there is Mother’s Day. Yesterday was Mother’s Day and was celebrated nationally be all kinds of mothers and their children. While it is nice to give our mothers flowers, cards, and chocolate, for some reason in the United States we still do not give mothers who just had a child and guaranteed paid time off. Whereas, dozens of other countries give their mothers anywhere from 14 to 26 weeks or more of paid time off…including Russia. This is a travesty and the U.S. should work to address this issue immediately.

This isn’t about shaming the United States, or making us feel bad about who we are. We need to recognize these issues and attempt to fix them. The cool thing about the United States is that we have all of these cultures from all over the world that help to make us whole. While countries like Germany, France, or South American countries lead in some area’s, we have the ability to see why it is happening, and do something to fix it. We can take all the best healthcare systems in the world and see why they are better than ours. The same goes for education, income inequality, and even Freedom of Speech.

We can look at all the countries in the rest of the world that pass legislation to help their mothers, who according to every facebook post, or any social media post, are the most important people in our lives, and see how to best help our mothers with things like paid time off for new mothers. This is the United States… it exists because many cultures, races, and all kinds of different people come together to produce the greatest results. We just need to recognize our shortcomings, and then choose to fix them.

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The Confederate Flag is a very controversial issue that has been plaguing the United States for a number of years. Southerners say that it simply represents how proud they are of where they come from. While most other people think that the flag represents a reprehensible time in America’s past that should be left alone and not celebrated.
This subject came up again this week when some teens from Colorado posted a picture online of them taking a prom picture with guns and the confederate flag. Then in North Carolina a couple of girl teens posed for a picture, both holding their own confederate flag, thus causing a debate at school.

It’s difficult to understand where defenders of the confederate flag are coming from. The flag represents the South during a time where they were fighting for the right to keep African-Americans as property. Yes, there were federal vs. state rights also occurring, but you cannot simply sweep under the rug the fact that these southern states were advocating for slavery and the economic benefits that came from it.

Parents, please stop telling your kids that the flag just represents the South, and to be proud of it. You do not need a flag that has represented a terrible time in the United States to be proud of your state or region.

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Between Louie Gohmert, Greg Abbott, Alex Jones, and other right-wing fringe writers, they have cooked up another conspiracy theory. Not unlike others, this one is based around President Obama apparently taking control of Texas via the U.S. military. Naturally this is not the case, it is simply a military exercise, but that certainly will not stop republican extremists from declaring whatever crazy idea pops into their heads.

Also, Ted Cruz believes there is a jihad going on right here in the United States!

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