Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Silver Lining

by Fred Marshall
Oct 9, 2008

There's One in Every Cloud

As parents, teachers, professionals, advisors, mentors, role models, or laymen, most of us take great pride in being right when we advise others. Being wrong can be embarrassing.

Over the past few days I have devoted about three hours daily to sorting out and organizing articles I have written since 2004 so I can eventually archive the pieces on a website. I've reviewed a bunch of them already this week and am frankly quite surprised at how many things have come to pass pretty much as I described in advance.

No one knows better than I how much I hope and pray I am wrong, that things will work out much better than available evidence suggests they will. I pray that every day. My country, its future and the future of my family are far more important than my pride or reputation. I sincerely hope things will work out far better than I have projected.

Most of what I see and discuss is available to anyone willing to look. I spend very little time reading the opinions of others, and instead focus attention to looking at events, evidence and indicators. When I see an auto parked in a driveway with its hood just inside the open garage door, I can be reasonably confident that the next time it moves it will be backing up. Then when I subsequently see a vandal place a pile of broken glass and nails under the right rear tire, it's a good bet the driver will not notice. Therefore, predicting a flat tire within the next 24 hours is not a feat of's a matter of finding and interpreting the evidence.

I realize that most readers don't have the time I have to research and examine things. For too long now, such people have unfortunately relied upon the mainstream media to do the scouring and digging and reporting the important news to them. The media have realized this awesome power to influence people and mold opinions, and have methodically betrayed listeners and viewers by using their ability to indoctrinate, propagandize, and gradually brainwash their audiences. I, and countless other truth-seekers, try to be just one offset that sheds light into the darkness of misinformation and disinformation that bombards the general population every day.

My successes may be few, but I take pride in a few stories that find their way back to me over time. I'd like to tell you about just one of them.

A few days ago three ladies were out campaigning for a candidate who is running to fill the seat of a retiring elected official. They knocked on my older son's door and were invited in. One of the ladies is a professional and the other two are stay-at-home-moms. When she realized my son's name is the same as mine (I'm Jr. and he's III), she told him that his father (me) had written her a letter about ten years ago that changed her life and had increased her income considerably. She said she has re-read the letter about every six months ever since then. When he told me her name and profession, I remembered, though I have not seen her since writing the letter.

Some ten years ago I had occasion to discuss some business with her. We had been total strangers before that day. She was in a threesome business partnership with two men and, before I departed her place of business, our conversation had gone beyond what I was there for and I'd learned in some detail a few of the frustrating difficulties she encountered in her uncommon partnership arrangement. So when I returned home, I wrote a letter to her proposing a strategy, and outlining some specific steps and actions I believed would improve her relationships with her partners, and suggested ways to increase her business and profit.

So now I'm quite curious. Though I don't recall the contents of my letter, I plan to call her tomorrow and ask for a copy of it. I'm now eager to know what I told her ten years ago and, more specifically, I want to know whether or not the advice I gave her then was the same I would offer today under the same or similar circumstances. I'm betting it is.

Life has many rewards whose values cannot be expressed in dollars and cents or even by any tangible measurement. A high school classmate said, as he emceed our class reunion in 1995, "If a man has a woman he loves, and who loves him, and work he enjoys, then he need ask for no more in life." I never managed any long-term success on the loving woman aspect, but I have always loved the work I have chosen throughout my life. At least I am half-lucky, huh? I wish all of you get to experience just half the happiness I have enjoyed in my lifetime; if you do, you will be lucky indeed.

Fred Marshall

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