Archive | Personal Notes

Peace on Earth . . . . . . .

Posted on 26 December 2016 by Scott Cooper

Peace on EarthI watched three programs this weekend which I greatly appreciated, because I learned things I didn’t know which are worth appreciating. One was Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Michelle Obama.  One was the Fox News program Donald Trump: Objectified.  One was Breit Baier’s interview with Charles Krauthammer.  Each program highlighted these individuals for an hour.

Both Obama and Trump have raised accomplished children, who grew up with the tremendous pressure of living in the spotlight in a way 99.9 % of other individuals will never have to navigate. The poise and resilience their children demonstrate is indeed impressive and says a tremendous amount about their parents, which is positive.

Krauthammer is a man whose fierce determination as a very young man enabled him to complete Harvard Medical School while lying on his back in a hospital bed following a freak diving accident resulting in a broken neck.  A feat never accomplished by anyone before.  Krauthammer is a man who has worked for individuals at the highest level of political office on both sides of the ideological spectrum.

As a very young man Trump spent five years leading in many, many categories at the New York Military Academy, graduating in 1964 at the top of his class. Interesting.  Perhaps that is where he garnered so much respect for the military.

Obama has a legitimate concern of our food supply and its connection to healthcare, and attempted to speak out about it in a way not previously done.  Personally, I find it interesting her effort didn’t convey into the healthcare debate more than it did, and I hope it does in the future.

I could list more about these individuals; however, the main thing solidified for me this weekend is that our systems – media, political and educational systems specifically – foster environments where we don’t listen to others very well.  These systems spend more time demeaning and deconstructing people than trying to legitimately listen and understand them.

Also this weekend I thought quite a bit about Christmas 1986, 30 years ago.  That vacation at our family farm 30 years ago was spent reflecting on a year where I had eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner for close to 180 days with students from around the globe.  Literally all my meals at school were eaten at a table of 12 where I was the only American.  For example, the morning of the bombing of Libya on April 15, 1986, following the terrorist attack in Berlin, I was eating breakfast between my two Libyan schoolmates, both of whom had parents in Tripoli, who were unreachable.  I could invest over 500 words on that one breakfast alone! I elaborated on it in April. (linked).

The bottom line for me is we have some serious ideological worldview issues which are struggling for the dominance of our American culture. This struggle ultimately streams into education, media and politics; however we need citizens who can engage in the process thoughtfully, articulately and truthfully without degrading to name calling, which is so prevalent in today’s reality based culture.

As we think this week about “Peace on Earth,” I pray each of us, on both sides of the political aisle, will contemplate how we might get outside of our own echo-chambers and try to understand the human that is on the other side of our ideological divide.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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So Many Folks……….

Posted on 06 June 2015 by Scott Cooper

Perception Reality Crossroads

So many folks tell me their perception is my life is centered in politics. The reality is my heart is concerned with culture – and politics is simply downstream of where my heart is.

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The life of my family has gone through extreme transitions in the last three years.  I am not going to list them here – but suffice it to say that in 2012 we started a journey that was 180 degrees from the path we were on, and drastically different than anything we had planned on in the two decades leading up to our transition. As is the case with all of life, road blocks and speed bumps have been visited along the way. We are grateful for the hardships, challenges, opportunities and the triumphs!

One of the focuses I had when leading a civic organization in Fredericksburg, VA in 2011 and 2012, prior to moving to South Carolina, was to be strategic in that organizations communications.  It was critical to me that we stopped overwhelming our member’s e-mail boxes. So we diligently strived to have only one communication via e-mail per week.  We gave folks who found us via social media, or through the forwarding of e-mails an opportunity to subscribe to our communications.  More importantly – we gave people an opportunity to opt out, or stop receiving our communications without having to tell us.  What we found during that time period – is our overall readership drastically increased.  Our readership and influence increased when we began limiting our total communications.

I share those two things with you because since that time period, due to my life and professional experiences I have had the heart to write on a multitude of issues.  I believe the vast majority of these issues impact and interest you and your sphere of influence.  Honestly, the majority of the issues are about business, life and culture, not politics – but as I mentioned starting out – politics is downstream.  It isn’t downstream of only culture, but just everything in life.  Furthermore, due to our transition I have not been able to commit the time, or quite honestly with everything going on, have the discipline required to be consistent in writing.  Beginning June 1st of 2015 I am now committing a portion of each week toward this effort.

I would like your permission to once a week share links to my writings and thoughts with you via e-mail – which will always link back to my personal website.  If you would like to receive this weekly summary – please sign up in the upper right hand corner of this page.

What will the topics cover, you may ask?

Through my career I have been engaged in the following industries: Travel, Big Box Retailing, Banking, Technology, Agriculture, Non-Profit Work and Political Campaigns.  My life experiences have taken me all around our great country, Europe, Israel and the former U.S.S.R.  I have lived in communities, and with housemates, which were extremely diverse and communities which were not. I have friends and mentors which are at very high levels of the worldly “success” spectrum as well as friends and mentors who are not, but although they don’t outwardly exude worldly “success,” they truly are the salt of the earth.

I mention all of that simply because most of the issues we face today are what I call “non-respecter of person” issues.  In other words, they impact everyone – and despite our leadership wanting to put us into boxes based on race, gender, socio-economic status, nationality or faith – we are all part of the same human race.

So, the topics will be varied and on things that impact us all.

I am going to close with something I shared on my Facebook Wall last night:

“I honestly think the years ahead of us are going to be the most challenging, but also the most exhilarating. God placed each of us here for this time, and this place.

Yes – there will be many of us who will see the proper course, who will come up severely lacking in will and resolve. But I believe there are vastly more individuals His Spirit is preparing in ways we cannot comprehend – and in the end, good will be achieved.

Lots of negative things being reported out there.  Chaos and negativity sells – for some reason.  But there are good things happening too.  Bridges being built – people seeking to understand vs. simply being understood – folks getting outside of their boxes and comfort zones – and legitimate love and charity taking place.”

I can’t wait for the future!

#BringItOn #LetsRoll

Again – if you would like to subscribe to my weekly summaries, please do so in the upper right hand corner of this page.

Blessings,

Scott Cooper

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Christmas Isn’t Over Yet

Posted on 29 December 2014 by Scott Cooper

Family Picture

It is our prayer that you had a blessed time with family and friends this Christmas season.  The above picture shows that we are all still kickin’ – and the bottom picture shows that our family continues to expand!  Yes – we are taking orders for #SaladBarBeef – which will be ready for market in 2017!

Even though we finished putting away all the Christmas decorations last night, the culmination of our Christmas celebration will really be on April 5th – Easter Sunday, when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ! 

Even at birth, Jesus knew he was born with a purpose – to live, to die and to be resurrected – with the sole purpose of saving a lost world, which was dying in its sin.  We are looking forward to the culmination of this Christmas celebration in April – when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ – for if there was no resurrection, the celebration of Jesus’s birth would have little meaning!

In our last two New Year’s Day greetings (2012 and 2013), I shared a blog written by Doug Phillips.  It is titled “Three of the Most Important Things You Can Do This Time of Year.”  As I mentioned in last year’s note and posting – I was concerned that Doug’s blog might be taken down – and indeed it was – so I am thankful I gave him credit and posted it here.

Most of us will have a long weekend this weekend.  I know it is unusual for a Christmas Message / New Year’s Message ask something of you – but this one does!

If you have not done it in the past, I would encourage you to read through Doug’s blog (linked) – and take some time doing the things he suggests.  (Just recognize you need to change the year!)  We have some exciting times in our future – beginning in 2015 – and I believe his encouragement will help each of us move victoriously into our future!

May God bless you and your family as you prepare to enter 2015!

Scott and Suzy Cooper

The Littles

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Hope for 2014 – Blessings to you and yours!

Posted on 30 December 2013 by Scott Cooper

Best Christmas Family Photo 

Written by:  Scott Cooper

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To follow is the New Years Greeting we sent to family and friends!

It truly is hard to believe that in 2 days we begin a new year.  Suzy, Robert, David and I sincerely hope you and yours had a great year.  For our family, 2013 was a year of many changes, and challenges!  With our kids both being young adults now: Robert being a real estate professional and David entering into vocational school, a move to a new state (South Carolina), starting a new business (a farm) and seeking new employment and ways to serve, it really has been a transition year!  We are entering 2014 looking forward to all that God has in store for our family, not only for the coming year – but further into the future as well!

Our New Year’s message last year shared a comment from a friend that expressed pessimism about the future.  This year, I hope to share some optimism, and why I am hopeful about the direction of our country, not because of our leaders, but because of average Americans engaging in the civic arena! 

I appreciate your indulgence, as I share a couple of the positive trends which I think are motivating as we move into 2014.  With the exception of the first, which is a personal request for you to consider doing, they are things in the civic arena which I am investing time in – but I share them primarily because they point to the reasons I have hope – via first-hand experience!

  • Third – average citizens, not career politicians, are entering into the arena – to challenge career politicians who have “led” our country to its current state.  Most who receive this were inspired in 2013 by Ted Cruz and Rand Paul (Freshman Senators) who are leading – not because of seniority (the way Washington works), but because they are leaders.  They have inspired others to put their businesses aside and invest their time, talent and treasure in an effort to help steer our nations ship away from the iceberg we are rapidly approaching. 

One such individual is Richard Cash, who is challenging Lindsey Graham in the South Carolina Republican Primary.  I personally have decided to invest 2014 with Richard’s Campaign as its State Field Director.  First let me tell you why Lindsey Graham must be replaced:

Senator Graham was the only Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote for Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Senator Graham is not pursuing The Rule of Law when it comes to Immigration Reform.  For this he is affectionately known as Senator Grahamnesty.

These two reasons alone are enough to return Senator Graham to South Carolina.

Richard Cash and his wife Marcia are parents to 8 children.  Richard has developed and runs two businesses, both for over a decade.  Prior to being an entrepreneur, he worked in Corporate America and prior to that served in the Pro-Life Movement for 7 years.  I would encourage you to learn more about him at www.RichardCashForSenate.com

I have chosen to invest my time in 2014 with Richard for four reasons. 

First, I have gotten to know Richard and his family.  I know he feels called to be in the arena, and I am confident he has the moral fiber required to stand against the pressures that will come his way in Washington – including the pressures that will come from his own party. 

Secondly, I believe Richard is the one who can defeat Lindsey Graham in a runoff – and that is critical.  There are currently four candidates challenging Senator Graham in the primary, which is a good thing, because South Carolina is a run off state.  If the conservative movement collectively focuses on why Senator Graham is NOT a conservative, we will hold him to less than 50 % of the vote, he WILL be defeated in a runoff.

Third, all good legislation currently goes to the Senate to die, and fourth, International Law typically gets passed in the Senate.  We must get more true conservatives in the U.S. Senate to stop these trends.

If you want to see conservatism brought back to Washington – Please consider helping Richard by donating to his campaign! Not only does Lindsey Graham have $ 7 Million in the bank, there is no doubt the establishment machine and the likes of Karl Rove will be doing everything they can to prevent a true conservative replace Lindsey Graham.

  • Fourth – The Convention of The States Project – This effort at the state level has tremendous momentum, and I believe is likely the last chance we have of reigning in the Federal Government. If you have not already reviewed their website – I strongly encourage you to do so, download the handbook, find out who your district or state leader is, and get involved!  Combined with the momentum Mark Levin has provided with his book “The Liberty Amendments,”  I believe there is real hope in this effort.  Again, the hope isn’t in our current leadership in Washington – it is in We the People – who are getting engaged in the civic arena!

Each of these items give me hope.  I would encourage you to share this information with your friends, who just may need a little hope!  Positive things are taking place in the hinterlands of our country.  I firmly believe we have a long way to go before we see their impacts being felt in Washington – but ultimately we will!

In closing – YES – this was a New Year’s greeting that went beyond just “the personal” and discussed national issues and some of the solutions that are underway.  There may be some who would prefer that it just remained personal and left the other stuff out. 

Well – for me, what is taking place in our country is personal.  I can’t list all the ways that I have personally witnessed the devastating impact of over regulation and the elimination of liberty in our country.  I have witnessed it in the industries I have worked.  I have witnessed it with countless individuals and I have witnessed it in my own life.  This is not the country our grandparents grew up in.  Heck – it isn’t the country I grew up in.  It is personal. 

Generally Christmas letters and notes this time of year are filled with notes about our families and kids – let us be honest – it is our time to brag a bit, while we catch up with old friends!  That is fitting – and good.  But honestly – it is for our kids that I share some of the positive things that are happening in the civic arena.  We are stewards of this country…..and I trust that most of you, like me – want to bequeath to them the liberty and freedom we were blessed with. 

In closing, I ask you to pray for our country.  More than anything, we need a spiritual awakening.  After praying, if you want to get engaged, but don’t quite know how – please feel free to reach out to me, and I’d be happy to point you toward some excellent organizations that are doing honorable work.

May God bless you and your family in the coming year!

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