Monthly Archives: January, 2016

A True Love for Life

A great Jonathon Brooks blog!


I’m in love with life! Anyone who knows me knows this. Joy is my traveling companion. I always have this sweet-natured friend along for the ride. Life is meant to be enjoyed and not miserably endured!

Recently I was thinking about two things people love and need. One of them is the happiness of a life well lived. The other is money.

A complicated biblical idea is that the love of money is the root of all evil. The idea isn’t that money in itself is evil. I mean, honestly, we all need it to pay the bills, fix the cars, buy food, enjoy entertainment out and just to get through life overall.

But here’s the question: Does having boat loads of money make a person happy?

I don’t believe it does. It can get a person all sorts of entertainments and pleasures. Perhaps it can even attain pseudo friends…

View original post 221 more words

The Lessons of Diversity

For the past three years I have been a member of the Board of Directors for our local State Universities Annuitants Association.  One of the ways that we earn money for scholarships that we provide is by volunteering at the University Bookstore located in Southern Illinois University’s Student Center during the first week of the spring and fall semester.

Although our Campus is extremely beautiful, as readers of my blogs will note by the numerous photos that I have posted through the years, the beauty of the diversity of our students is unparalleled.

As a colleague and I greeted the new and returning students entering the Bookstore I was reminded of my beginnings at SIU thirty-eight years ago.

Although I was born in Chicago, Illinois my family moved back to Southern Illinois when I was five years old.  My education and social experience throughout Grade School and High School was with people who came from similar experiences as my own.  Also they were monochromatic schools.

On my first day of employment at SIU my foreman, an older African American gentleman  who smoked the most aromatic cigars came to my building and introduced himself to me.  I discovered that he had been instrumental in my being hired at the University at the request of a mutual friend of ours.  This man became my mentor and remarked on one occasion that, “I was his son…I just would not call him Daddy!”

Shortly after I began my career I became a crew supervisor and on my crew were several international students.  Students from Africa, Malaysia, Turkey, Japan, China, and Iran were among the crews members.  As we talked…the richness of their experiences and the complexities of their cultures was an education that I could not get enough of.

I soon realized how wonderfully diverse and complex the family of humanity is!  I was humbled that I had been asked to be the supervisor of such intelligent and cultured people.

As I greeted the smiling students this past Thursday I reflected on what a privilege that I had been afforded to be a participating member in a community of nations so close to my home.

When we fail to understand…or forget the family we all belong to I wonder if perhaps we have lost the entire purpose for our existence.

One of my student crew from Cameroon…now so long ago

…asked me if I knew why so many international students wanted to work with me?  I told him that I did not…and he remarked that I had no prejudice and that everyone felt at ease and comfortable with me.  I have spent my time since trying to be worthy of a compliment that I knew then and am sure now…that I was not worthy of



Let it Spin

A great blog from my son Jonathon!


I now have a music corner in the basement of my home. This corner used to be a reading corner. But all has changed in this small area of my life! Oh, trust me, I haven’t given up my love of reading. I still make time for a good book daily. However, the table which used to hold up my books now holds up a new record player I received as a Christmas present.

And what a record player it is! It’s a Crosley Rochester five in one musical entertainment extravaganza! Tapes, CD’s, vinyl, radio and MP3 accessibility are all contained within this one glorious music maker.

Although over thirty years of not previously owning a record player means there’s the sad fact that I am lacking in many records owned. I now have four records. Tomorrow I get my fifth one. Here are the stories so far on my…

View original post 243 more words

3-Days, 3-Quotes (Day-2)

Again, my sincere thanks to Mary Ann Blinkhorn for nominating me for the 3-Day, 3-Quote Challenge.

The link to Mary Ann’s blog is:

The rules for the challenge are:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post one fresh quotation for three consecutive days.
  3. On each of the three days, nominate three folk who have not yet taken part to continue the challenge.

Todays Nominees are:

These are bloggers that are well worth reading!


Todays Quotation submitted by me:

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”


A Parallel Universe

I have often heard  people state that if they had been in Nazi Germany that they would not have stood by as six million Jews were forced from their homes and livelihoods and taken to concentration camps…and then to the gas chambers.  These same people go on to say that they would not have stood idly by as their neighbors who were yesterday respected members of the community, their friends and colleagues…suddenly were ridiculed and made to wear a yellow Star of David…to identify them as somehow no longer part of the accepted society…and thus spat upon and shunned.

When General Eisenhower forced the German populace of Hitler’s time to go to the concentration camps…and observe the unparalleled suffering, starvation…genocide that had been perpetrated upon this ethnic, religious, political outcast group…they averted their eyes…and said that they had no idea.

A young woman stood silently at the campaign rally of the leading Republican Candidate and his disciples, as they had been instructed by their leader, ridiculed her and screamed at her, and under their leader’s shouted commands…removed her forcibly from the meeting hall.

Surely basic logic does not lead us to believe that because a person is of a statue of liberty construction ancient religion that they are evil or that they want to do their fellow humans bodily harm?  If that is the case then shall we extrapolate this hypothesis to christians who have harmed others in the name of their religious…or political agenda?  If we read just a cursory study of history…we note numerous “Holy Wars” including the Inquisition.

If it is acceptable, in the Parallel Universe of the New United States, to now block entire religions from entry to our country that was sought out for the express purpose of freedom of religion?  Then, shall it be acceptable in the future for certain entire denominations or segments of the christian faith, when a fraction of their group perpetrates evil in the name of that faith, to be screamed at and removed for standing silently in protest…when we want the world to emulate our “freedom of speech?”

What if we wake up tomorrow…and our leader who has promised us economic revival and absolute security from the undesirables… suddenly adds us to the list?  It cannot happen again…we have learned our lesson…it is happening now!

3 Days, 3 Quotes

Mary Ann Blinkhorn has graciously invited me to participate in the 3-Days, 3-

Quotes Challenge.  The link to Mary Ann’s blog is:

Mary Ann’s blog is extremely interesting and I highly recommend it!

The rules for the 3-Days, 3-Quotes Challenge are:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post one fresh quotation for three consecutive days.
  3. On each of the three days, nominate three folk who have not yet taken part to continue the challenge.

Todays Nominees are:

These are wonderful bloggers who write fascinating blogs!


Todays Quotation submitted by me:

“We are all in the same boat in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.”

-G.K. Chesterton