Heroes are all around us

They just aren’t obvious.  They don’t look any different from everyone else.  And they come in all shapes and sizes.

My youngest daughter left today on a band trip to Disneyland.  I’m a little worried about her.  She’s been dealing with this bizarre nerve condition called Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome for the last 6 months, since she was in a car accident.  The accident wasn’t that severe in her mini-van but the whiplash she experienced triggered something in her shoulder and now the nerve is sending pain signals to the brain even when there isn’t any cause (beyond the signal which is the actual pain.)

So, I texted her some fatherly advice for when she’s away.  One of the things I said was that “there are heroes all around us.  They just aren’t obvious.”   They don’t look any different from anyone else.  My daughter Julia is a hero to me for the way she has endured the constant pain of CRPS and continued her normal life as much as possible, including captain of her school’s “Battle of the Books” team (it’s a reading geek thing) and playing oboe in band (hence the Disneyland trip.) And during it all, she’s not lost her patience with others like her sister or whined about how unfair her life is.

I wish there was some way we could give some recognition to the everyday heroes who are all around us. They deserve our admiration. Maybe if you and I looked a little deeper at others we encounter, we might discover more everyday heroes.

Thought for 3-13-15

“You play the game in front of you.” Hugh, explaining coming to terms with being responsible for his much younger half-brother and sister in Just Not Mine by Rosalind James.

Sports can be a very good metaphor for life and this quote is a great way to say that life doesn’t always go the way you expect.  So, even if you’ve got a great game plan and you’ve trained as much as possible and scouted your opponent, unexpected things may come up and you just have to accept them and keep on playing.

 

The significance of the pickle…

The First Presidency’s message for February was written by President Eyring about how conversion is much more than having a testimony.  To teach from this message, he referenced a General Conference talk Elder Bednar gave that used the “parable of the pickle” to teach that conversion is a  long process requiring full immersion in the gospel to be successful.

Much like you have to carefully clean and prepare a cucumber and then completely immerse it in the salt rind to pickle it, we have to be cleaned and prepared and then filly immersed in the gospel to attain successful conversion.  We can’t just go to church on Sundays and follow the commandments and expect to become Christ-like.  We must fully dive into the gospel and make it every part of our life.  That’s when conversion happens.

A sigh of relief all across the internet…

If I understand the reports correctly, the FCC voted on Thursday that broadband ISPs were common carriers that could be regulated using Title II.  The importance of this decision can’t be overstated.  The internet is what it is today because it has been left alone to grow independent from governmental or commercial regulation or interference.

If ISPs were allowed to use their captive markets to monetize delivery of content, it would have harmed not just the customers of the ISPs but the entire ecosystem of the internet.  The internet is probably the purest example we have ever had of a truly market driven economy anywhere and anywhen.  The success of any idea is determined directly by consumers.

While Thursday’s decision by the FCC is reassuring, the internet faces other threats which we have to continue to be vigilant for.  The growth and success of the recent Arab Spring movement is directly connected to the internet.  But other governments continue to try to manipulate the internet to further their own interests; most significantly, the governments of China, the US and North Korea have attacked internet users and continue to do so.  We need to rebuff the efforts of these governments and protect this valuable global resource.

Don’t over-think WordPress…

A day or two ago, I found a very inspirational clip on youtube that I wanted to include in a post.  Since I hadn’t done this before, I read about it in the WordPress Codex, which said that when you’re watching a youtube video, just copy and paste the url onto a separate line in the WordPress post editor window and WordPress will take the url and do whatever is needed to embed it in your post.  I thought that sounded just too easy to actually work.  Instead, I hunted around the youtube page looking for a link that would create the code to embed the video.  When that didn’t work, I tried enclosing it with an embed shortcode.  When that didn’t work either, I went back and tried exactly what the Codex said to do and it worked perfectly.  Just goes to show that reading (and following) the instructions gets you a lot further than just trying stuff on your own.

Using media with WordPress has been rather clumsy historically and it’s reassuring to see this weakness being addressed.

It’s also good to be reminded that the Codex is a useful resource when you need help with WordPress.  I’ve amassed a collection of bookmarks to topics within the Codex; I just need to remember to use those bookmarks to check the Codex first and trust that it will point me in the right direction.

How to win in life…

In a post-game interview high school football player Apollos Hester not only tells us why they won the game but how to win in life…

(Apollos Hester plays for the Patriots high school football team in Austin Texas, interviewed on WC News Austin, posted on youtube.com, listed as a top 10 viral hit of 2014 in People Magazine.)

This guy is the real deal.  Even if you start out slow, you just have to finish fast (& hard.) And do it with a smile on your face.  That’s how to be a winner in life.