Holiday spirit found

Joy can be found in the most uncomplicated times. While driving home last night after a day where wintery white snows blanketed the Salt Lake Valley. I came upon an incident where a brave soul was battling the elements to help a stranded driver stuck in the snow.

As I approached, I could see the helper had strategically placed their car so that traffic in both directions could see the potential harm. The driver was petite, not fully understanding how to navigate snow-covered streets. The male helper appeared to be in control, offering advice and pushing as the car moved.

Then it hit me; as the helper turned, I saw it was my son who quickly brought to my attention that the car was his and he had stopped to rescue a soul in need. Before you ask, I couldn’t stop safely but looked in my rearview mirror to see Jake had successfully got this person on their way.

As I summoned Siri to call, my heart filled with pride, knowing perhaps our parenting had paid off! Learning our legacy through our children may perpetuate goodness in our world.

Not all will stop, I haven’t always been good at it, we often think they will be okay, someone else will stop, or I don’t have enough time. Yet, when we think about a mother, wife, or daughter who may need help, we turn toward helping every time.

You see, our children develop through maternal sensitivity, social, emotional, and cognitive attributes that place in the heart goodness that enables service-mindedness. In comparison, the paternal bond stimulates openness to the outside world.

As joy rushed through my soul, I thought this manly man had acted on instincts he would pass on as he now shares with his wife the development of our grandchildren. I see Sara holding close and Jake saying, let them go. Mom, be careful, Dad, you can do it. This encouragement allows for risk-taking from a place of safety. It is how we help and succeed in life.

Thank you, Jake! For making my holiday spirit fit the celebration we honor. For One greater than us all has given an example to follow. Merry Christmas, friends. And happy holidays to those who are celebrating other meaningful events.

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Secret Santa pays off!

It may be the time of year or merely the fortune of turning around your perspective!

Not long ago, a miserable soul was found complaining again; however, what was new was that he didn’t play a part in the poor me saga.

Many in the office where he worked and the places he frequented grew tired of hearing how bad things were and that the end of the world was near. Not only were his words negative, but the aura that seemed to follow him like a dark cloud on a sunny day.

It wasn’t uncommon for you to see people outwardly avoid contact, which only seemed to add to his disdain for life. I’m this, he’s that, and the sky is falling. If you want to learn about anything disturbing, you only need to find five minutes to spare in listening to endless stories of woe.

On a day where first snows fell, causing traffic delays, one might expect an unusual audience surrounding this contrary soul as did on this cold morning. But it seemed more than that; people were engaged, seeming to have a meaningful conversation.

As one walked near, you could sense something was different, so many stayed to listen. Poor me moved to please help as he mindfully expressed the need for a nephew in pain. You see, the story wasn’t about how bad the world is, but what may be done for a family in need.

His nephew was burdened by aging parents, who adopted their son late in life. The father had a stroke as the mother, his sister, dealt with a terminal illness. The son was barely hanging on as he did all in his power to support his parents, who had been so good to him over his life. Money was tight, helping hands limited, and a shortage of time to do all that was needed.

All that was asked was for those who could to offer prayers of support that somehow, someway, this struggling family would find peace.

What happened next changed a life, which in turn changed a community. These listening ears gathered privately and decided they would act as secret Santas performing miracles to provide for the family.

Food and money were donated, professional services were offered under a secret code of wanting nothing more than to spread goodwill.

That’s when the miracle happened. As gifts came flowing in daily, the unhappy soul began to realize the world wasn’t how he saw it. Fact is, it was astonishing how his sister’s family became uplifted in a time of suffering. Prayer was answered, but by who?

Not long after the holiday, she passed. But it was with joy in her heart that she was able to witness a transformation she had only hoped for in her brother.

She felt he would never realize true happiness. The kind of happiness that comes to those who give of themselves. He didn’t give because he felt he never received. She would tell him that he walked a path of self-fulfilling prophecy. But he couldn’t see it past his misguided philosophies.

Because coworkers acted in protected silence, he couldn’t figure out who was doing the work. If he went to the store, he thought it could be them, to the post office them as well. At work, not out of the question as each group was asked to help. Then he began thinking it could be anyone on the street or in the community. As his curiosity grew, so did his willingness to express gratitude.

What once was a dark world of self-centered people grinding through life, taking where they could. Was now, people shining brilliantly with hope and respect wanting nothing more than to provide for others where possible. They were people who thought of others first, offering a helping hand even when it was difficult. As they gave, his heart began to turn. He now wanted to give with what seemed to be an endless supply of love.

As he gave, he received, opening the doors of opportunity. What once felt like the parting Red Sea became open arms wanting to hang around him. Nothing changed; he changed. They were always good; he didn’t see it. To not offend the possible secret Santa, all became the Santa in his eyes. As they did, he became the Santa in their eyes.

What he learned is a secret to some. We see what we look for. If you want to see the good in people, look for it, it is there in shining colors. And when you see the good in others, your goodness shines bright, creating an aura so distinct it attracts. The world becomes a glorious display of unique color-seeking good.

Don’t wait for a secret Santa to change who you are; become one. Who knows you may receive more than you could ever dream possible.

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May we unite rather than divide

Our world has fallen victim to a lexicon for political views. Snowflake is thrown around such that it is now defined as an overly sensitive person, incapable of dealing with any opinions that differ from their own. More egregious uses are meant to hurt feelings by suggesting that a flake has no spine and needs to be kept in the dark cold to survive. If light shines upon them, they melt, turn to water, and drift away.

While I can’t find a new meaning defined in a dictionary, deplorable holds similar hope in demeaning those who believe in a Supreme Being, are patriotic to America, and don’t want the long arm of government to control their lives. Hillary added to laughter racists, sexist, homophobic, etc. She felt this basket of people she called out were women and men who supported her opponent.

Social media starts with a tweet or a post stating a writer’s position. Our culture reacts by who they think the writer is, a snowflake or a deplorable, then weighs in with support or denial. When there is disagreement, the debate will always bring hostility to the subject’s original intent or those with differing views. They can’t have an opinion; they are on the other team! The comments will get away from the content or topic, focusing on the controversy, adding facts where the words can dig further into the heart of someone they destain.

Because of this demoralizing, hide behind the keyboard world of communicating, many withhold participating, not wanting to get into the conflict. My opinion is that the cancel culture has created an environment where many well-minded people are less inclined to engage. Richard Nixon coined the term the silent majority before social media ever existed. They hold an essential position in our culture and aren’t engaging, from what I can see.

Culture has been much further downstream from politics before social media, as was religion and many other aspects of our daily lives. Today’s environment of twenty-four hours of entertainment masquerading as news adds to the fury. It has pulled the political world into our culture. We don’t see the healthy discussion that grew our country into the greatest nation on earth anymore. It is us against them, a civil war. There is no admiration for someone thoughtful enough to debate with an open mind.

There is only one way to curb the tide. It is with unity. Unity starts with humility, love, and respect. If we see one another as snowflakes or a basket of deplorables engaging in a political war, no dialog will find common ground. We infect our group(s) into falling deeper and deeper into extremes when we shun a differing view or only listen to those we sense are from similarly minded people.

I self describe myself as part of the silent majority. That group doesn’t have large populations of either political party. We are a group that values diversity, knowing by history what sharing ideas have given us. It comes from conversations I have outside the world of authors or trolls posting away into the world of social media. Our world is filled with love and compassion held by an assortment of people. We are united.

When we converse in person, it is easy to see a different view is based on the topic at hand. Not something to be held personally. When we get into social media, most take a unique perspective as personal and shut down. They take offense to either double down or feel devalued. It is unhealthy—counter to our daily personal conversations, against what will continue to move us forward as a nation.

As we do in person, we need to realize that most online communication shows a view perhaps unseen by a homogeneous group. I have taken to social media with ideas I haven’t read on social media. I intend not to sit idle, showing we can have our views and not become victims. It hasn’t always gone well. I will take responsibility for stirring the pot occasionally, so a differing opinion is cast into the dialog. I love when my friends debate points. Together we become better. I have gone wrong by not respecting a position where fingers are pointed rather than discussion held. I am sorry for those times if I have offended someone.

If I write going forward, my views come from being an unapologetic Christian, believing in families, knowing self-reliance builds independence, and that all are safe in my space. Safe meaning I listen, holding no judgment so that I can learn.

If you have read this far, know of my love and admiration. Not only for who you are, but how you will add to my life.

Jaren

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I’m so tired, my tired is tired too

I’m tired of being tired! I am done with the madness. I’ve said the silent majority sits back until there is a breaking point where we revolt. We’ve passed that point. I can’t sit back anymore. The social media platform has become a place where a vocal minority shouts from the darkness. They hide behind the distress they created. A place where good people of all faiths, colors, and sexual preferences fear speaking out against the foolishness of a few.

I don’t care! Cancel me. Call me an old, male, heterosexual bigot. Make fun of my red hair, my freckles, or my light complexion. Say I am overweight, out of touch, or uncaring. Tease me about having faith in a Creator, about loving my family, and about having enjoyed some success. I can take it. I have seen what good people doing remarkable things are being called. The hate is so far from reality it is shocking. Bring it on. I am comfortable with who I am and what those who know me can see in my character.

As the silent majority, we read posts, comments, and criticisms knowing there are no facts to bear the hatred. The gaps in their logic become more profound as we witness their ignorance of premises known to the minds of truth seekers. Not only are names thrown out, but accusations on beliefs and philosophies. Their words of animosity are as childish as the bullies who haunt playgrounds and hallways.

Why has the systemic anything risen to a point where all are guilty regardless of personal history or character? Who will survive the idiocy of critique from the tiny fractions of those who self elect to be judge and jury?

The misanthrope’s fill the media with diatribes using historical figures as their evidence. Unaware of the conditions these early pioneers faced. They dig into the past, not caring about the circumstance as snippets of information are used solely to pile on more division. There is no concern for innocent lives ruined. They hear what they want to hear. Facts don’t matter; people don’t matter; sadly, our country doesn’t matter either.

Our great country has progressed on a world stage correcting ills and building self-reliance. We have pulled people out of poverty while creating a level playing field. We aren’t done, we may never be, but we are moving collectively in the right direction. Our freedom shifts differences to strengths as we work together. It bears the burden of lending a hand and caring for all.

Those who are active in creating division are told we won’t fight back. Guess what. I will! I love our country, am proud of our history, and know that we will make our home an even better place to live by working together.

Jaren

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Podcast

‎Utah Real Estate Podcast: Jaren Davis | Salt Lake Parade of Homes on Apple Podcasts

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Two generations and over sixty years separated us, yet I could sense my great grandmother cared for me in my young heart. In her presence, I felt safe, meaningful, and as if she could see into my soul. While I lived 8,000 miles away at her passing, her spirit reached out and brought me comfort in my time of need.

Closer in age, yet separated by vast life experiences, my grandmother’s were my first familiarity with angels living here on earth. Every memory I carry is one of gratitude for their kindness and generosity. Whether dealing with a terminal illness or the ailments age brought to loved ones, they both maintained never-ending love, concerned more for others than themselves.

My first physical touch was that of my mother. While I can’t remember the time, experience now shows it was an introduction to love. As youth, we don’t realize the value of our mother’s adoration. I have never felt anything but respect from my mother. There have been times I didn’t like myself, yet in those dark moments, it is a mother’s care that brings us back into the light. As an adult, I now realize that it was on the back of constant prayer and support of a loving mother that I got a leg up on life.

Being a parent changed my life. There is nothing more daunting than feeling the responsibility for a new life. In that time, it was my wife’s natural ability as a mother where I learned firsthand the connection of her body and soul to her children. Nothing, and I genuinely mean nothing, can stop her from caring for her children. Other things are important and have meaning, but our children have first dubs at her heart when they need her attention.

Grandchildren seem to be the greatest gift from God. Part of that experience is witnessing how my daughters hold a heavenly gaze as they nurture their children. No training, no schooling, no experience, but pure love connects a mother to her children. These young girls and boys are in good hands, surrounded by the nurturing spirit of their mother. I can see the life cycle continue as this gift is handed down, allowing for the growth and development of the next generations.

Lastly, and likely the most important. When you reach an age where you can now look into the eyes of grandchildren, it doesn’t take but a few memorable moments to see how the traits I’ve mentioned above come from the soul. My granddaughters from the very beginning carry the characteristics I’ve participated in my entire life. It brings satisfaction to belief in a Being larger than us, who cares enough to embolden spirits with the protection, love, and guidance of a mother’s care while here on earth.

So it is on this Mother’s Day, I honor women across the globe with gratitude and bewilderment at their ability to care for and develop their children. And more specifically, I thank those women in my life, from my Great Grandma to my sweet Grand Daughters, for being who they are, knowing what they have and will accomplish.

Jaren

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So what! Now what?

I’m impressed with how quickly a vaccine has been created during our current pandemic. No one can effectively argue that the time we live in provides niceties past generations only dreamt about. It is commonly believed that technology has changed us for the better. Not only is science allowing for advancements in health, but networks connect us with ideas, introduce us to people we may not have met otherwise, and open access to nearly anything we want to experience.

Just today, a friend I met on an Uber ride messaged me asking if a quote her friend used on FaceBook from Jamestown, New York was mine? Oddly, it was to the surprise of both of us. Think with me for a minute about how genuinely unique this is. Two people who have never met are brought together through a friend from Austin, Texas, in a country with over three hundred million people!

Yet earlier, I was listening to a podcast where the guest suggested people from earlier times, if given a chance, wouldn’t trade places with us today. The thought was that while we can navigate the globe, eat fresh food delivered from another land, and order gifts to be delivered in the comfort of our homes. Our lives today are strung between the tension of ever more technology and a personal necessity of less.

When we take the time to settle down from the onslaught of media or the pressures of living in an unusual time, we find comfort in simplicity. Our needs are basic; we can exist and make high-value decisions without the need for anything but the creativity of an uncluttered mind and the thoughtfulness of an unburdened heart.

If you are like me, finding peace is sometimes tricky with all that occupy our lives today. I had an epiphany while listening to my university team’s quarterback in an interview after our game on Saturday. He was asked how our team bounced back after disheartening losses. His answer was this. “So what? Now what?”

When I heard these words, my heart immediately calmed as I thought about the roadblocks that exist when we allow our past to occupy our current. We can’t move forward with all our facilities if we are looking back at what-ifs. We certainly learn from our past but don’t need to remain stuck in the blocks of wondering how things may have been.

The technology of witnessing an interview from across the country has positively impacted my life. I find great peace in a mindset of so what on thinking about the past while looking forward to my now what for the future! I hope that technology can now pass this experience on to you so that you too can enjoy the same gift.

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Heart of peace

A Christmas stocking was sitting at a bar; he leaned over to a piñata, saying, “There is nothing worse than being stuffed with candy and hung on a mantle.”  Put yourself in the piñatas state of mind as he thinks, “Really?!”

As we surf through social media and other socialization methods, we find ourselves masked in self-delusion, believing our perspective is all that matters. These computer environments then attract like-minded people who support us, drawing more into our camp. Add a factor of removing differing views through unfriending, or avoidance and the trench deepens. We find ourselves basking in an imaginary world of bliss where we are views are justified, and others see things as we do.

Yet, we all know politically, that is only half the story. Add the vast differences beyond politics to realize why our social engagement is stressed to the point of causing tension between people who typically find themselves in agreement.

What do we do? I think it is simple. We need to see ourselves as either having a heart of war or one of peace. If you see others with a differing view as inferior or an object, you have a heart of war. Empathy is suppressed, and conflict perpetuates. When we are able to see others as a human with similar trials and joys, goals, and aspirations; we enjoy a heart of peace. We allow for compassion, which reflects on us. It promotes a spirit of understanding. In this environment, we are able to discuss, learn, and grow together. Not one of us is always right, has all that is needed to understand, or is incapable of redirection.

Some of us may need to change the state of our hearts and how we view others. We need to see others as people, like us, with feelings and emotions. Others can have a different and equally valid viewpoint. If we listen to their perspective, we understand their needs. I hope it shocks you, as it does me when I actively listen with indifference at what I can learn.

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The anonymous gift

It is heartwarming to receive a gift, whether expected or not. In our minds, we sense that the giver has taken the time to seek out something we might enjoy. Yet, there is a better feeling, one that touches the depths of our soul; the act of giving.

Think with me about the joy you feel when you see someone you have acknowledged through kindness by giving of yourself! These feelings are long-lasting and deeply satisfying. In our hearts, we find a joy that has at its core the ability to shift our orientation. The positivity lifts our spirits allowing for an even greater opportunity to give.

We have been through a lot this year. Covid-19 has made the last eleven months feel like the longest year we have lived, and we have a month left! December is a month typically filled with celebrations that emphasize joy.

In this unusual year, the best we can give would be the gift of joy. We can do this on a large scale. If each one of us took it upon ourselves to provide an anonymous gift, it would spread like wildfire through our communities.

Here’s how it works. If I give you a gift, you know I have given and express gratitude toward me. Yet, if you are to receive an anonymous gift—you have no idea who gave it—so your appreciation extends to everyone who could have possibly given. Your heart turns toward others in a way that brings joy to all as they are seen as someone who perhaps could have given. Your light fills the world with joy.

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My letter to the President

President Trump,

It isn’t lost on me that you enjoyed a prosperous life surrounded by a supportive family. I also recognize that many in your position fade into retirement, relishing in their God-given achievements. For these reasons, I want to thank you personally for choosing the selfless path of public service. Perhaps more important is what your uncanny strength in sticking to principle has given our country, particularly in the face of those with opposing views who relentlessly sought to destroy you.

Thank you, we and future generations will realize the protections granted by your judicial appointments to District, Federal Appellate, and the Supreme Court. These women and men will interpret our Constitution as divinely written rather than set unique patterns for what modern liberals want the law to say. These experienced professionals will maintain our religious freedom and ensure our liberties.

Thank you, we and future generations will maintain our freedom from radical extremism whose mission is to destroy our country. Your support and enhancement of our military gave those who sacrifice(d) for our country the satisfaction of knowing we honor them. These women and men now enjoy updated equipment, better pay, and the care they deserve. Your efforts have defeated ISIS, persuaded European nations to pay more to NATO, strengthened allies, limited nuclear bomb proliferation, and reformed Veteran affairs.

Thank you, we and future generations will appreciate peace as you walked away from endless wars. You stood with Israel and negotiated peace in the Middle East. History will prove your actions to be herculean in that no other leader held the fortitude to stand alone as you did, knowing with confidence peace could be secured.

Thank you, we and future generations will live in greater prosperity, security, and happiness because you implemented best practices from the business community. Your efforts lowered tax burdens,  removed excessive regulations, and negotiated new trade agreements. Politicians haven’t been able to understand what is natural to you. These economic changes affect ordinary people’s everyday lives, not just the wealthy. We are better today than before you took office in 2016. We saw firsthand your determination brought jobs back to America and lowered unemployment to historical levels, including African-American and Hispanic workers.

Thank you, we and future generations will live knowing your time turned the corner to protect unborn babies. You were the first President to attend the pro-life March for Life in Washington DC personally. Not only will lives be saved, but healthcare workers can decline participation in procedures based on conscience or religious conviction.

Thank you, we and future generations will realize an education best suited for personal needs. You helped by placing leaders in positions that gave support for expanding programs to develop options for parents looking for alternatives to traditional public schools.

Thank you, we and future generations will see that we can find humane solutions to undocumented workers when our country borders are protected. The first step no other leader could accomplish. As a country, we can more effectively protect those who are escaping genuine threats and admit people who will most likely contribute positively to our society. These principles were lost for nefarious purposes and will once again help build a great nation.

Thank you, we and future generations will no longer be subject to reliance on foreign countries for energy. It isn’t only about the pump price; while that is nice, it means our dependence won’t threaten our national security. Pipelines were approved, and mining was granted following strict environmental protections. You wisely removed us from accords written by feel good radical environmentalists that would have increased cost with no statistical benefit to the environment. These measures saved jobs and significantly impacted the poor as they pay more as a percentage of income for fueling needs.

Thank you, we and future generations will enjoy property rights that allow farmers to grow their crops, ranchers to raise their livestock, and landowners to develop their land by abandoning the “waterways of the US.” The federal government had seized control of water on private land. These women and men have proven to preserve the land and maintain healthy waterways. It is the only way they could continue their operations as they have done for generations. They default naturally to protection. You were aware of this and implemented rules easily followed without the costs of hiring professionals to understand regulations and monitoring.

Thank you, we and future generations will lower the costs of construction projects. On average, it took four and a half years and as much as six years to navigate environmental impact studies. These studies could be used to outlast development rather than make it environmentally sound. Your guidelines will save costs by streamlining the process. These actions will be a huge help in building America, which will include failing infrastructures.

Thank you, we and future generations will laugh with you that you were criticized for colluding with Russia or China. You stood up to them stealing intellectual properties, participating in espionage, and violating international copyright laws. You increased our Naval presence in the South China Sea and asked European nations to increase their defense against potential Russian invasion. Not the actions of someone beholden to or favorite of a foreign government.

Thank you, we and future generations will study how you could respond to a world crisis in protecting us against a novel virus. It was believed that nearly 2,500,000 lives would be lost in our country alone. To date, only a fraction have been lost because you restricted travel, mobilized our military to construct hospitals, persuaded industry to build ventilators, fast-tracked trials for a vaccine, and quickly passed relief packages. You shattered an FDA approval record with #OperationWrapSpeed! The previous record from research to approval was four years; we will have a vaccine within a year with your help. Unfortunately, the Democrats wanted to make the coronavirus a political issue. Those of us who don’t hate you understand what miracles you performed for the world’s individuals and families.

I could go on. Let me finish by saying I am not alone in these feelings. While I don’t see myself as deplorable, redneck, ugly folk, or a chump, nor do I see the Doctors, Attorneys, Engineers, Nurses, Miners, Farmers, Military, and everyday citizens who think as I do. We love you. Words that aren’t typically uttered to a politician. Yet, they are deserved because you sacrificed much for us. Know in your heart that we are grateful you choose to serve and stand by you as you continue to fight for our country.

May God continued to bless you.

Jaren

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