How Can I Help?

What’s on your mind? I’d like to help…

I hope this message finds you all well and thriving. So here we are during what must be the worst kind of crisis our country and perhaps our entire world has ever faced. The Covid-19 virus has hit our bodies and it has affected our spirits as well, or has it? Whether or not your body has contracted the virus, your spirit and mental attitude is, as with September 11 or any other unexpected change, under your control. You and only you can decide how the Corona Virus and what is going on around you will influence your outlook and actions. As with the time after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, I have one overriding concept to share. “DON’T WORRY ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN’T CONTROL. ONLY FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN AFFECT AND THE REST WILL TAKE CARE OF ITSELF.”

People will come up with all sorts of excuses and reasons for worry while not focusing enough on what they really can influence. People will decide, for example, to trust, or not trust, our state, local and federal governments’ decisions on how to handle this crisis and certainly many will not trust our elected officials or at least they will stress over what our government representatives are saying. I submit that all that stress and fear will only paralyze them and not permit them to think and take clear actions on their own behalf.

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“Now Therefore Be It Resolved…”

S.M.A.R.T Goal Setting

Every year as I attend the National and various state conventions of the National Federation of the Blind I hear these words within each resolution that the organization considers. Around this time of year, I, like you, hear various discussions about those dreaded New Years resolutions. Dreaded because, as so many remind us, most resolutions will be made on one day with all the fervor and passion we have within us and, as soon as the new year begins, we shall fail to carry out a single one.

Why is that. Many pundits will tell us their own views on this question. Lots of them, many motivation experts, psychologists and others will even have correct answers as to why we do not follow through on our commitments. So yes, here I am with my observations which I hope will help and enlighten you a bit. I am sure much of what I will say may be familiar, but hopefully I will present my thoughts in a way that may stick with some of you more than what you have heard before. Besides, I have some challenges for you which I will present later.

I think the answer begins with a real incentive or lack of it. So, you make a resolution, but why should you carry it out? Where is the substantive motivation that would drive you to follow through? Most people have lofty goals like those I heard on New Years eve when Karen and I went to dinner at our local country club. We go there every year because we can walk to the club from our house and thus we don’t have to drive. After dinner a DJ set up ready to help us dance the night away, but first he went around the room and asked each person to tell their resolutions. I heard the usual things like “I am going to have a better life”, “I am going to lose weight”, “I’m going to make more friends” and my favorite “I am going to make 2020 better than 2019”. No way any of these resolutions will last. Do you know why?

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Count Your Blessings

Count Your Blessings – Michael Hingson and Roselle

I am a collector of classic radio shows from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.  If you are not familiar with the genre, it’s the entertainment that was in wide use before the invention of television.  Old-time radio is especially fun because it forces you to use your imagination unlike television which usually spells out everything.  I also enjoy old movies, especially at Christmas time.

Last week I listened to a radio dramatization of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” inspiring me to seek out the movie version.  In one scene, Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney cannot sleep and find themselves alone together in the middle of the night talking about their reasons why they aren’t sleeping. Bing tells Rosemary that his way to fall asleep is to count his blessings instead of sheep, and then as happens in these movies he sings a song to her entitled “Count your Blessings.”

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Libraries and Blind People: Looking Toward the Future

As a blind person growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, I did not have real access to libraries. Instead I, like most blind persons, received borrowed books through a program known as the Talking Book program funded by the Library of Congress. Under this program professional actors and readers were hired to record books which were then transcribed onto records. If I wanted a book I could call my local talking book library, 65 miles away, and, if the book happened to be recorded, it would be sent to me. Also, often, library staff would send me what they thought I should get, especially if my requested manuscript was not available. Usually books I wanted were not recorded. Only a few hundred and then a few thousand books were transcribed nationally. Sometimes books were even made available in Braille, the only true reading and writing language available to blind persons. Continue reading

Michael Hingson, NY Times Best Selling Author To Speak At NewPort EMS Conference

Press Release: 

NEWPORT, OR – As many of us watched the horror of the 9-11 terrorist attacks from the comfort of our living rooms, Michael Hingson actually lived it, and will relive the story “Turning the Tables on Terrorism” at the Newport EMS Conference on April 8th and 9th, 2017.

Hingson was working as a mid Atlantic region sales manager at Quantum on the 78th floor when he heard a loud noise that shook the building he was in, which was Tower One. At the time, no one knew exactly what was happening. They just knew they had to get out of the building.  Continue reading

It’s Not Just About Being Gay!

In the name of “religious freedom” the Indiana state legislature passed and the Governor signed into law a bill that state politicians claim is designed to uphold freedom of religion in the state of Indiana. Over the past week the opposition to the law has been fierce. Mainly opponents have stressed that the law could very well deny gay and lesbian people the same freedoms and rights as non-gays and non-lesbians. The law states that services and opportunities in the state of Indiana can be denied to persons based on the service provider’s religious beliefs. The presumption is based on past track records in other states where gay persons have been denied some of the same services offered to others. Continue reading