WHERE TO FIND A PERFECT WORLD

What is your definition of a perfect world? Mine is one of coexistence. One in which there may be problems, but they are approached with a sense of innovation and true desire to solve them. A world in which everyone can share their story and we can learn from those different from us.

I do suppose this is why I like the Wisconsin State Fair so much. At its core, it is a celebration of agriculture. It is held in an urban location. This brings different breeds of swine in front of people who may have only viewed a pig named Porky in a cartoon.

There are also the blends of music. Musical acts that this year range from The Temptations to Alice Cooper on the main stage. There are also more than 23 side stages that feature rock, pop, country, soul and even a band dressed entirely like mummies.

Of course any State Fair would be incomplete without food. From deep fried green beans at Krautland to salad on a stick you can find it here. Sweet to savory it is only a stand away.

Developments in agriculture, forestry and many sciences are featured here. Just yesterday I was able to view a slide showing neurons in the brain and how they are affected by environmental factors. I learned what the farming industry was doing to combat the effects of a changing climate.

Even the shopping is diverse. I have seen stands featuring products from Africa, the middle East and even different parts of our own country. These stands are usually manned by people who represent those cultures. Here to me is the beauty of it all. Differences in race or culture are often put aside for the sake of commerce. It little matters what the person across from you is wearing out believes so long as they are giving you the best deal.

If we can all coexist and put our differences aside for 11 days in August, why can we not do it for the remaining 354 days? Can we not use the example of the Wisconsin State Fair as an example of the good we are capable of?

If I happen to see you in this version of the beauty of humanity and you mention this blog, I just might share a beer or cream puff with you.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE LEAST ABOUT YOURSELF?

Normally I don’t advocate focusing on things you do not enjoy especially about yourself.  Lately though I have been learning through a lot of great people strength in looking at things from a totally opposite perspective.  This is one fine example. Like the title asks, what do you like least about yourself?  Why would we want to think about that you may ask.  Well, it was pointed out to me, that things we may like least about ourselves is something others may give the world for.  Think of the person that just seems to be unable to lose those last few pounds, with someone who’s life is compromised because they can’t store any body fat.  The example the person who shared this idea with me used was freckles.  She grew up disliking the fact that she had them.  Through the years listening to people tell her how much they love them, she has grown to as well. (side note, they do look amazing on her).  So as I often do, when a great bit of knowledge or a deep thought is presented to me I tend to share it with those around me.  Much like I am doing with you here.  There is a young man who comes in to the post office I work at.  He is a veteran of Iraq in his late twenties.  He mails small boxes from a veteran group he started after he returned.  I was sharing this story with him and he seemed quite riveted, which I must confess is unusual for people listening to a story I am telling.  Suddenly when I got to the heart of the story, about how the thing you love least about yourself somebody else would love to have, he started to tear up and get quite emotional.  I apologized and asked if I had said something to offend him.  The next course of events took me a bit by surprise and made me emotional as well.  He asked if I could come around the counter.  Well, considering the story I had told him was the reason he was so upset I thought it was the least I could do.  When I did come around he took me by surprise by instantly giving me a huge hug and crying on my shoulder.  He apologized as he composed himself and lifted up his pants leg to reveal a fake leg.  “Ever since I have returned from Iraq after having my leg blown off I have cursed the fact I only have one good leg.” he went on to explain while he was in the hospital both over there and back here he saw men younger than him who had lost both legs, an arm and a leg and other conditions.  “Those kids would kill to just have lost half a leg, but do you know what beats that?” he asked in a mix of laughter and tears. I kind of nodded as I was left speechless at the moment. “Do you know what I send in these boxes?” he asked.  “T-shirts to families that have lost someone over there.  The men that died would have given anything to trade places with me.  To be able to hug and talk to their families.  Here I was just being selfish, I should be grateful for all I have” he said. For hours after that man left all I could ponder was how wonderful we have it.  How each of us has so much more that we should be thankful for then we know and all we do is worry about what we like least.  I’m still not sure who got more out of that conversation, and quite honestly I do not care.  So tonight remember the things we like least about ourselves someone would love to have.  So be grateful, hug your family while you can and while you are at it, thank the brave men and women who keep us safe.  Thank you