I got this email this morning from my friend and fellow Marine, Shayne.

Good Morning Friends and Family.

I hope that the day is great for all of you. I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving and MERRY CHRISTMAS.

I just wanted to say hi and bring up an issue that is bothering me. I hope that most of you dont take this the wrong way. I dont often have this problem but when I do it really bothers me.

I love getting the beautiful and poignant emails about God and Jesus. I dont like the veiled threat at the end of them about not loving God or Jesus if I dont forward the message. Sometimes they make my day. Sometimes they make me think. Sometimes they make me sad. I really do appreciate them. I just wont forward them. I really encourage everyone to check out http://www.values.com . For those of you in the oil patch, the man that funds The Foundation for a Better Life is an oil man. Although he is a christian man he wanted to reach people without slamming them with religion. I think they did a great job. It has changed my life in many ways, especially my relationship with my wife and kids.

Now for the rough part. What I dont like is right after getting that great email that makes me feel better, is then getting race jokes from the same people. Most of you that know me well, know where I lie politically. For those of you that dont I am a pretty staunch Realistic Libertarian. I dont like most Democrats or Republicans and I sure dont like our current President. It does not mean I wish to see or hear jokes about his or anyone elses race. I just dont find it funny anymore. As a matter of fact it just makes us all look bad.

Most of us, probably all of us, maybe not all, have friends or family of different races. I will not say that I am a person who has made it a big point in my life to find friends of other races. I will say that through my life I have made many friends of many races, creeds, religions, orientations and colors. I would like to be able to honor that friendship instead of dishonoring it. I really hope that you all understand that.

Thanks you for the uplifting emails. Those that know me know that I appreciate those words of wisdom. (I will seldom forward them and if I do its because I love the message.) Thank you for staying in touch. I know none of us want to write so we send these types of e-mails to let each other know we are in each others thoughts. I promise I will always try to send ones that are uplifting and funny.

Have a great day and MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Shayne

We disagree on some things, agree on others. But it is things like this that make me respect him.

The email wasn’t a message to me, but I will take a lesson from it, too. Thank you, Shayne, for reminding me that demonstrating character and integrity convey far more than bumper stickers and t-shirt slogans.

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