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I’m a really proud Uncle. I have two great nephews who finished high school this year, one already graduated and another to graduate tomorrow. Hunter and Ethan this post is for you. As you know, I’m old. 🙂 I can remember when you Dad’s graduated from high school for goodness sake!  And yes, I can even recall graduating from high school myself. Well, I remember it a little. Hunter I so wish I could have seen you walk down the aisle and collect your diploma.  You’ve made your parents and your Uncle Paul very proud!  I can’t wait to see what you do next!  Ethan, I can’t make your graduation either but know in your heart that I’m very proud of you too!  I’m so looking forward to following your life’s journey! As I look back at my graduation day all the way back in 1983 I recall receiving a card from someone, I wish I remembered who, that I still  have in my possession.  It meant a lot to me so I figured I’d share it’s message with you.  It was a poem written by Rudyard Kipling called “If”.  Take the time to read it.

If by Rudyard Kipling

Hunter and Ethan Fedder…cousins…and Aunt Carolyn and My great nephews…we are very proud of you!  Congratulations!  Stand tall!  And have a great time with the next chapter of your lives!

Uncle Paul & Aunt Carolyn 🙂



I’m not going to say a word about politics.  I’m not going to say a word about new gun laws or regulation. Although looking back at what I just typed I did mention those words. But that’s just it, they’re only words. And words only have power if we let them.

I’ve written before about my Mom’s motto, “Sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never hurt you.” But she also used to say, “Actions speak louder than words.” Of course my smart aleck Dad would jokingly say, “Do as I say not as I do.” But there is truth in that saying as well.  Well I think there is.

You and I’ve both watched people who say one thing and do another. Although I’ve been that guy too! I wouldn’t say I knowingly was acting in a way contrary to what I preached but I know there have been times when my actions didn’t match what I was saying. Growing up in a fundamentalist Christian household that was always a big no-no. Mom would say things like, “You can’t very well act one way in church on Sunday then turn around and act another way the other six days of the week.” I tried to do that Mom, I really did.  Actually, I still do, which is the point of this seemingly pointless blog entry.

Today, a friend asked for advice on how to handle stress.  She was seeking a way to deal with a common problem so many people face. Years ago stress brought me to my knees. I would get so anxiety ridden I’d have dizzy spells, hyperventilate, get sick, lose weight, lose my appetite and generally lose the ability to function. I was prescribed different types of anti-anxiety medication but it didn’t seem to do any good. Then one night I was sitting watching PBS and there was a guy on there talking about me. Okay, he may not have been talking about me but his words were most definitely speaking to me. I went out the next day and purchased the book “The Power of Intention” by Dr. Wayne Dyer. I read it once, studied it the second time through and finally started applying some of it to my life. It was pretty amazing. I won’t go into detail about the contents but one lesson I do my best to apply each and every day is, “If we change our thoughts we change our lives.” It seemed simple enough but boy it’s a difficult task to achieve.

Perhaps it has to do with our amazing minds. We have the ability to recall so many emotions from our past. Unfortunately for many of us, we also recall many times in lives we would rather forget. I was however, challenged to think back to those unfortunate events, my subsequent reactions and my eventual response. And when I thought about them, I realized that many of the negative emotions I associated with those things didn’t solve anything.  My frustration, regret, anger, sadness, envy or worry only made those events and my memory of them more painful. So why think of them that way?

I decided to make it my lifelong goal to change the way I look at things, the change way I remember things and to change the way I respond to things. For nearly 12 years now I’ve adopted this new way of life, and even though I still drop the ball once in a while, I can honestly say my life is so much simpler. I’m not going to pretend that my initial responses to things aren’t sometimes negative because they do.  However, I’m now able to have those feelings and then turn my thoughts to something positive. I challenge you to the same.

Let’s say you’re on Facebook and someone posts something that offends you. Your first instinct is to write something back like, “How dare you say something like that?”  Or perhaps, “I can’t believe you feel that way?”  What happens when you respond in that matter usually creates a long thread of back and forth negative comments that really go nowhere and only serves to get two or more parties really upset.  *Heavy sigh* Just today I read numerous Facebook posts that evoked a lot of negative thoughts in my head. Some part of me wanted to shout at them for saying such awful things, but I quickly realized it wouldn’t solve anything; not really. So, I read the post, felt some negative emotions, I hid the post from my timeline and moved on. I felt relieved knowing I didn’t allow myself to get pulled into that negative stream of consciousness. And that’s what it is. And it doesn’t only happen on social media. It happens every day in real life as well.

Which takes me back to words and my friend who is stressed out; heck even the word stressed out makes me stressed.  J Actually it no longer has that effect on me. I guess I just don’t look at it that way any longer, or more accurately I don’t think of it that way anymore.  I am in no way trying to belittle someone’s right to get worked up about something. We all do it from time to time. We are after all, human beings. By all means, feel those feelings we are so blessed to possess. But we just shouldn’t dwell on them. It’s damaging to our minds, our bodies and our souls. Plus, life is too damn short to spend “stressed out”. So instead, when we’re feeling stressed we can ask ourselves what exactly is it that is stressing us out in the first place? Is it something that is beyond our control? Is it a possible negative scenario our mind has created to keep us in that stressed out zone? I found over the past 12 years that in most cases all amount of stress in the world, all the worry, all the freaking out over something that I was certain was the end all of my existence was indeed…not. Getting worked up never solved anything it only made it worse.

So words…yes those sometimes hateful, thoughtless, useless, demeaning, argumentative words…yea they aren’t cool.  But people say them all the time don’t they? And those too only have power over our emotions if we let them. When I read those things or hear them come out of people’s lips I shake my head and think, “Now why would they say such a thing?” Then I think, “I hope they find they peace they need some day.” And you know what? I feel better!

When I started writing this I had every intention on concentrating on “actions speak louder than words”. Guess I just wrote some of these words so I better start putting them into action huh?


I Love You


Have you ever followed a thread on someone’s Facebook comment and thought of many things to say in reply? Have you had a reply, decided not to post it, and moved on feeling helpless? Since this political season has started that has happened to me too many times to mention. Since the tragedy in Orlando and the posts that have followed, it’s happened again.  Honestly, I can count at least 30 times I didn’t post a response to something.  Why?

Can anyone change a person’s mind? Can a meme, a blog entry, a video or a speech alter a human beings innermost beliefs? I’m not so sure. In my case, I wouldn’t post something on social media unless it was something I feel strongly about. You all know I’m a lover not a fighter and I strive to seek silver linings in every gray cloud. I’ve stopped myself several times from posting things I believe in because in many cases I feel it will fall on deaf ears. I would love my Facebook friends to digest what I say and, at the least, consider an alternate view from the one they currently hold. But for the most part I’m very well aware I’m preaching to the choir. However, in the light of everything I’ve read, listened to and watched the past few days I’m going to try one more time.

Perhaps if we strip all the heated arguments down to the barest emotions we can all find something to agree on. So I ask all of you, “Do you love?”  It can be a spouse, partner, friend or family member but can you say you love them? I think most of us can say yes we do, have and can love someone unconditionally. And for the most part, that feels pretty good. So I think it’s safe to conclude we all have the capacity to love. Now, the second question is, “Do you hate?” It can be a spouse, partner, friend or family member but can you say you hate them? I think most of us have a much more difficult time committing to truly “hating” someone. We may hate someone’s views or actions but really hating someone isn’t as easy. And if you do hate someone it usually doesn’t feel very good. From personal experience and many trips to a psychiatrist I learned just how detrimental hating someone can be to my overall health. Can we all agree that hating isn’t a good thing? If you answered no to that question then I suggest you not continue reading but if you answered yes than I invite you to continue on.

If we are all aware loving is good and hating is bad than why we do spend so many hours spewing hateful rhetoric in person and on social networks? I can guarantee hateful words are only revered by those who also hate and agree with what you are referring to. You are preaching to the choir. Similarly, loving words are dismissed by those who hate and lauded by those who, like you, love. So why do we spend so much time trying to change each other’s mind?

For me it is simply knowing that loving is a great way to live. I can remember the moment, like the turning on of a light bulb, when everything started making sense. It seems simple now but I realized that I can choose whether to love or hate, be happy or sad, trust or worry. I can choose whether I engage in a conversation or just listen. It is such a freeing way to live. The truth is, I read what some of my friends write regarding politics and most recently terrorism and despite the fact that it’s not how I feel I can, in some way, understand their views. They all have deeply entrenched beliefs on which to base all comments, solutions and actions. We all do. We can all spend hours debating one side or the other and there is enough empirical data to support almost every argument. The issue with these social networking debates is that for the most part the parties involved don’t want to hear the other side. They aren’t ready to hear anything that would make them question their life long, deeply held beliefs. And yes, I admit I do it too. So today I read many things that I don’t agree with but instead of dismissing them, I really made an effort to understand them objectively. I only required the following criteria: If what was said came from a negative, non-loving place I would move on. But if what was said came from a truly positive, loving, place than I paid attention. Here’s what I discovered.

I found myself agreeing with some of my Facebook friends I don’t normally agree with because their views come from an honest, loving intention. And their solutions don’t involve hateful, conspiratorial steps designed to divide rather than include. I also found myself disagreeing with some of my friends I normally agree with because their views were coming from a place of anger, fear and revenge. These solutions were divisive and were more designed to argue then solve.  Please understand, my entire reasoning was making a concerted effort to understand why all of us feel the way we do. I came to the conclusion that whenever things are said or suggested with negative emotions involved, solutions seldom follow.

I get emotional too.  And I’ve said and done many things I probably shouldn’t have. We’re human and it’s completely understandable. However, I can’t help but feel there is a real danger with arguing on social media. I say arguing instead of debating because one never involves a solution and the other may. I know if I spout my views about religious liberties, politics, hate crimes, terrorism, gun regulations and other hot topics, there will be those who jump in to tell me all the reasons my views are wrong.  I even know that some of those people will genuinely try to change my mind because they feel I’m lost in a sea of liberal thinking.  Others will triumphantly praise my comments with kudos and add negative comments about the other views.  But what’s the point? I honestly don’t know.

I performed in a serious of children’s plays years ago that were aimed at teaching children. The mantra that was emphasized in the shows (thanks Amanda) was Stop, Feel, Think & Act.  Let’s say a person insults us.  We should first Stop.  Before we say or do anything, just stop.  Then if we let what the person said sink in, let’s identify what we’re really feeling at that moment. At that point we can take what we’re feeling and decide if what we’re feeling is a direct result of what the person said, is it just something we feel all the time.  Finally, we can make a conscious choice whether to Act or not. After all the internal deliberation do we respond, or do we choose to take control of our own thoughts and emotions and walk away.  It seems simply right?  Oh but it isn’t.

I honestly do my best to apply that simple strategy to everything in my life.  I don’t always succeed but when I do I’m so much happier. What I find is, if I don’t immediately respond, I usually am able to deal with any negative comments much easier than if I allow myself to be offended, and therefore respond without thinking. That’s dangerous for all of us.

Here’s my truth. Everyone has an opinion.  Everyone has a reason they have those opinions.  Right or wrong we have to recognize every human being’s right to feel the way they do about things. But, when opinions stem from negative emotions of any kind, I recognize them, and let them go without giving them credence. In my soul I truly feel THAT is the issue facing not only Americans, but the human race. We’ve all lost the ability to just be. We’ve lost the ability to love others as we love ourselves. Please, please, please when a negative thought appears, replace it with a positive one.  When a negative word appears, replace it with a positive one or just don’t say anything at all. When a negative emotion appears, replace it with a positive one and smile, knowing you’re alive when so many more aren’t. When hate appears, replace it with love.

When some lost soul is spewing hate the only response is, I love you.



I’m so sorry. My heart goes out to everyone who lost a sister, brother, son, daughter, cousin, aunt, uncle, friend in the senseless Orlando massacre. I send positive healing energy to all of those who were injured as well. I sit here today unable to enjoy my day trying to make some sort of sense of this horrible act of pure hatred. What could possibly make someone to commit such a heinous act of cowardice?

I can’t even fathom some of the rhetoric my own Facebook friends are spreading. 103 people were shot at 2am this morning. 50 of those people were violently murdered. The worst mass murder in modern American history just occurred. Should we really be debating whether this was radical Islamic terrorism or a hate crime?  What the hell is the difference? 50 innocent people were shot down in cold blood and 53 three others are permanently scarred. Isn’t that the point?

This, my blog, where I do my best to spread positive messages in a negative world is now a place where I feel the need to express my frustration, hurt and immense sorrow. Unfortunately I’m not at all surprised another mass shooting happened. Isn’t that awful? In my heart I knew it would happen again someday. What does that even say about me?  What does that say about our society, the world and our desensitization toward violent crimes? If we know it’s going to happen why don’t we do everything we can do to stop it from happening?

I know, I know here comes tree hugger Paul with his “love everyone” message. Well so what, deal with it. Or stop reading if you’d like. But here is the honest truth.  Just because someone is different than us doesn’t make them any less a human being created by God. Whether they believe differently, live differently, eat differently, love differently or even worship differently doesn’t make them a threat to you or me. We must stop fearing all that isn’t the way we are. Fear is a cancer that eats away at our moral fiber and causes us to act in ways that aren’t natural. Fear, when fueled, turns to hate and hate can and does turn to violence.

So yes, LOVE is the ONLY answer! The hate indoctrination that exists in the world must be confronted with love, understanding, acceptance and empathy. To my LGBT friends and family, I’m so sorry this has happened to your community. My wish is to perhaps model our world using the late Muhammed Ali’s life pursuit.  That perhaps some day there won’t be Gay, Straight, Transgender, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Atheist or Agnostic.  There will only be beautiful, different HUMAN BEINGS who were ALL created in our Creators image.

I love you all.


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Many fortunate souls have the ability to recall very intimate details about loved ones who’ve passed on. These blessed individuals effortlessly navigate the map in their mind revisiting the many stops their life’s journey has taken them. You know them. They are the family members who often ask questions like, “Don’t you remember that time you got stung by bees and you jumped in to the creek?” I usually respond by saying, “No I don’t remember that but is sounds painful!” My oldest sister has one of those minds. She remembers so many details whereas I remember very few.

Today would have been my Dad’s 83rd birthday. Clarence Eugene Glodfelter, born June 9th, 1933 has been gone for just over 13 yrs now. That’s him in the photo above, just right of center sporting the sunglasses. And that’s me in front of him looking out over I do believe is the Big Rideau Lake in Ontario, Canada. No, I don’t remember that day but I do remember traveling to Smith Falls, Ontario to visit the Hershey Chocolate Factory. I think this is the same day we went there. My Dad loved going to Canada. As long as I can remember we spent at least one week each year vacationing there. I loved it too. As I sit here reflecting on memories of my Dad I think what I love most of all about those family vacations is what it meant to him. His excitement for this yearly excursion was contagious. He became like a child when he talked of getting in the boat, cruising to our favorite fishing spots and reeling in the biggest lunkers any of us had ever seen. When all was said and done, it didn’t really matter if we caught that many fish. It was what it meant to all of us just to be there together.

Dad’s childlike manner when we were on vacation didn’t always make Mom  happy, but we kids loved it! Thanks Dad for teaching me it’s okay to act like a kid sometimes. Happy Birthday Pop.