OPINION…

OK, I tried to resist, for so long…until a song in my playlist popped and played right to my heart and soul this morning…So bear with me, friends…but here it comes…

Just as a disclaimer, the next few paragraphs and words have nothing to do about the horse business. Although, that world could use a little “good will,” too. So, if that is all you are interested in, you can simply bypass this passage.

And, the words written here are not meant, in any way, to be a passionate plea from any kind of pulpit.  I was exposed to plenty of those as a child, and I know that conviction has to start in one’s heart; not from a lecture.

All I know, I think, is what the world needs now is “Love, Sweet Love,” no matter who sings it, or where they sing it. Or if they sing it at all.  They just did to “do it.” (Editors Note: That wasn’t the song on my playlist, although it should be.)

I know there is love in this old world…enough to go around for all of us and lift us higher than ever before…I know, because I felt it when the Doctor walked in and told me that I had a 10% chance to live back in December. I know, because your love helped save, sustain, lift me.

I know because I feel it when I sit at dinner with David & Lori Osborne, two of my most favorite people on earth. They are fun, caring, generous, heart-warming. They are the epitome of the word “friends.” They just happen to be Republicans.

I know because I feel it when I call my old friend, Speaker Greg Stumbo, and tell him that I’m having a tough day. And, he just talks. About anything. Until I feel better. He just happens to be a Democrat.

I know because I saw it when our state’s newest Speaker, Jeff Hoover, waved to me and allowed a resolution honoring my late father to be heard on the Floor of the Kentucky House of Representatives. An act of kindness and love I will never forget. He is Republican.

I know because I hear it when Rep. Jeff Greer leaves me a message on my phone, just checking on me. He is a Democrat.

I know because I am friends — for life — with Republicans Diane St. Onge, Sal Santoro, Gary Moore, and so many others. I know because I am friends — forever — with Democrats Greg Fischer, Rocky Adkins, Susan Westrom, Denise Harper Angel-Dreisbach, and so many others.

They are all people not defined so much by a word, as much as their own character. They are some of the finest people in this world. And, I am so lucky to call each and every one of them — and so many more — friends.

For the last 30 years, I spent much of my time in politics. I’ve seen a lot of good things happen, but I have also seen the world become so full of anger and hate. I know we can’t solve all the problems in a day; or even have a pronounced impact on the world, for that matter, maybe, even, in a lifetime. But I know that it is time to let love have a chance, and let our LEADERS lead by the EXAMPLE of who they truly are — deep down in their core.

Maybe, it is time that we put all the harsh words aside and work together. Really. Seriously.

Maybe, it is time to say something nice about each other. Again. Really. Seriously. 

Maybe, it is time to stand up against hatred — in all shapes, sizes, and fashion — including in our own elections.

We can be positive. It is not a sign of weakness.  It is a sign of statesmanship. It is not an opening for criticism. It is a chance for applause — from all sides. It does not open a door for your opponent. It opens a door for cooperation.

I have faith, because I know the power of love first hand. And, I know these people — right down to their hearts — and they are all capable of leading us back home. Because they do what they do for one reason, really.  They love their friends; they love their constituents; they love their district, state and country; and they love to serve and make a difference in improving people’s lives. Why else would they do it?

They love.

I may be too old to make a difference any more, but if there is anything I can do to HELP, I am willing. After all, we all have so much to lose if we don’t.

We stand to lose our sanity; our pride; our dignity; our compassion; our world.

My best friend in this world — outside my lovely wife, my two precious children and my family — is a man named Bill Sears.  He is a farmer in West Kentucky.  He works every day.  He pays his taxes. And, he goes to church on Sunday and then walks to his mom’s and dad’s house to have an old-fashioned Sunday lunch.  He hunts deer — to put on his family’s plate. He fishes all year, and he truly turns the fishes into many loaves.  He’s fed me more times than I can count. He cuts wood for his stove, which heats his home. Until just a month or so ago, he still had a flip phone and didn’t know how to text message. On most days, there is dirt under his finger nails and blisters on his working hands. He chews tobacco; drinks Natty Light; and cuts his nails with a switch-blade knife. If there is a man’s man left in this world, it would be Bill Sears.

His politics and mine don’t always jive. His hair will never reach his shoulders, like mine does. There never has been two people that come from as different backgrounds; have different talents (if I have any at all). And, I’m sure when we first met, he said to himself, “I will never like that guy.”

But I am proud to say, today, that Bill Sears is my brother.  I can’t do one thing that he can do, but I admire him; trust him; and love him more than he will ever, ever know.

It is a friendship I can’t imagine living without. And, truthfully, it is a friendship that I never saw coming, or you would expect ever to happen. It just happened.

And, it is with that same hope that I pray will happen in our world today.

For those of you interested enough to still be reading, the song that played on my stereo speakers this morn was a song titled, “I Believe.”  It was written and recorded by Jimmy Fortune, who is better known as the high-pitched tenor who sang with the Statler Brothers.

If you are so inclined, go to ITunes and listen to it. It is a Christian song, but I think it applies to us all; any religion; any gospel; any belief.

For me, it is a reminder that we all need to “Believe.” And, I do.  I believe in God, in every way that He/She is presented to us. I believe in disciples — like the ones named above — and every one who chooses to help others.  And, I believe that together we can make a difference.

I Believe.

Amen.