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Jerry Gumbert Steve Safran's MediaReinvent

    June 3rd, 2020

    I can’t breathe.

    It is the new anthem for racism in America.

    I can’t breathe.

    Detroit, MI, 1967:  I can still remember my family driving down Woodward Avenue a few days after the riots.  I was nine years old. The city was still smoldering and reduced to torched buildings and choking smoke.  It was hard to breathe. The emptiness I felt is still with me today.

    America, 2020:  The more things change, the more they stay the same — some 53 years later.

    Like many African Americans before him, George Floyd was murdered by a policeman.  Perhaps several policemen?   We should all be outraged, not just African Americans, but every American.  Some police officers are murdering Americans.

    I know racism is complicated, I get it.  But, if we would all extend a warm and kind hand to others, regardless of our differences, and if we would all get down on our knees and pray with and for each other, all Americans and America would be stronger.

    Benjamin Franklin once said:  “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”

    Some police officers are murdering Americans.  Its time for all of us to do something about it.

    I can’t breathe.

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    January 28th, 2019

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  • GET UP! Move Forward.

    December 31st, 2018

    I’ve been knocked down a few times in my life.  My dad taught me to just keep getting up.  I did.
    2018 landed a near knockout punch that I never saw coming:  a perforated colon and septic.  I was face down on the mat when the doctor counted to nine before I got up.  A close call.  Too close.
    On this eve of 2019, know that this ‘ol bear is up, dancing in the ring and ready to take on the world again.
    Get ready.  Here I come.  Ding!

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  • VETERANS: Today is their day.

    November 11th, 2018

    Today is Veterans Day. It honors America’s current and former military men and women. To say that these people are special is just not enough. They are self-less, united and proudly provide all of us with the freedom and safety we take for granted. Every day.

    As a business traveler, I see them at the airport and on airplanes every week.

    I watch them say goodbye to their families. I watch young children grab on to their legs, crying, not wanting to ever let go. I watch tears pour down the face of their spouse who prays this won’t be the last time they see their other half, the love of their life and best friend. For they all know and live with the fear, emptiness and uncertainty of tomorrow.

    It is heart-breaking to watch and it always puts tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat because I can’t imagine the courage it must take to walk away from each other.

    Today is for them. All we have to do is support and pray for them. All of them.

    Perhaps one day we can idolize them as much as we lift up professional athletes and celebrities.

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    February 3rd, 2018

    I’ve always believed that continuous hard work and doing it the right way were drivers of success. Many people believe that luck has a lot to do with it, too. After all, luck is when preparation meets opportunity, right? Nope. Being at the right place at the right time and being prepared for an opportunity is not luck. It’s something earned. These two bullets shot during WW II collided before they reached an intended destination. Luck is the two people that they were aimed at didn’t end up dead.

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    November 4th, 2017

    I’ve always tried to teach my kids that “character” is what you do when no one is looking. Character is all about doing the “right thing” — no matter the circumstance or consequence. The decisions we make, or choose to not make, define who we are.

    Today, it is clear, crystal clear, that more high-profile Hollywood “A Listers” knew about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment and assault than those who did not. For decades. Think of that the next time you buy a ticket to a George Clooney, Matt Damon, (insert hundreds more names here), movie and choose to put them on a pedestal.

    We are all human and we all make mistakes. But, allowing the sexual assault of women to continue, again for decades, by someone you know and work with, is just unforgivable. Yes, its easier to be a tree-hugger than to stand up for the safety and well-being of our female colleagues. But, that’s exactly when character should prevail. Unfortunately, it’s still about fame, money and what’s “best for me.”

    These people are not “larger than life.” They are actually very small.

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  • Accountability? Well, not in the World Series!

    October 31st, 2017

    Yuli Gurriel hit a home run off of Yu Darvish last night. When he returned to the dugout, he held his index fingers to the outer corners of his eyes and pulled to narrow them, mimicking Darvish’s asian eyes. This from a 33-year old guy who make millions.

    This is everything that’s wrong with people. We disrespect others based on how they are different. In today’s world, if you don’t look like me, talk like me, dress like me, make what I make, etc., I will single you out, go out of my way to make you feel ashamed of your difference, then call myself a Christian.

    What ever happened to just being kind. What ever happened to embracing our uniqueness and celebrating life….together.

    Like so many, Gurriel acted like a racist on a world stage. I can’t image what he’s teaching his children.

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    October 17th, 2017

    It feels like we have lost much of the love, understanding and tolerance that we used to have.  We have become more and more judgmental of everyone and everything.

    It poisons the soul.  But, here we are.

    Ever heard of this? “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” It’s the Second Commandment – one of the two “Great Commandments.” Yet, it has never been less important to Americans. We live in a culture where enough is never enough while others have so little. We are so self-consumed that OUR opinion is the ONLY opinion and we argue, at the top of our lungs, and demean anyone who believes differently.

    • We love ourselves more than others. We use to put people less fortunate first, but now we close our eyes and ignore them.
    • We spend thousands of dollars to NOT look like ourselves.
    • We have to drive the most expensive cars, wear the latest high-priced fashions, and own the newest iPhone 10. And, we still yearn for more.
    • Our kids have to be the cutest, smartest, most talented and popular. Anything less is a disappointment. Not to them, but to their parents.

    Then, we judge others for not being exactly like us. Who’d wanna be?  Children learn morals and values from parents.

    • The more self-absorbed we are, the more “special” they will want to be.
    • The more unforgiving we are, the more bitter they will become.
    • The more things we need, the more they will have to have to ever be satisfied.

    Parents, we are the problem. We are teaching children to look inward and to place their value on possessions, status and appearance. Is that what we all really want them to become?  Seventy-six percent of Americans call themselves Christians. Well, maybe its time that we all start acting more like one.

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  • Currency of a Well-Lived Life

    September 19th, 2017

    Some unsolicited advice to the younger generations (it may sting a bit).

    If you think you are special, get over it.  You’re not.

    If you think you are more attractive or handsome, you had nothing to do with it. Thank your parents.

    Wanting and needing are very different. Be a giver not a wanter.

    The true currency of a well-lived life is not what you have, but what you don’t need.  It’s about loving relationships. It’s about lifting others up, not basking in the spotlight. It’s about having compassion for those who don’t have what you think you need.

    Step back.  Only then can you see how small we really are.

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  • Love Fiercely

    June 3rd, 2017

    I went to a funeral this morning. Wilburn Davis was 105.  That’s a lot of years.
    Still, no matter how long we live, it does end. So, love fiercely.  It’s the only thing we truly leave behind.
    Wilburn sure did.

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