#BeingAFan #sports #SportsFans #CrossingALine #MakingALiving
A Modelo beer TV ad implies that being a (sports) fan is a full-time job.

There is much sacrifice and effort, but when you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life, the ad implies.

The ad also begs the question: if you are a full-time fan, how are you making a living?

There is certainly nothing wrong with being a sports or any other kind of fan. There’s nothing wrong with being a dedicated fan. After all, the word “fan” is short for fanatic.

But excessive fandom can cross a line. The love you have for your team, or whatever pursuit, can easily convert to hatred for opposing teams, or their fans.

Such hatred can manifest itself in ugly ways. So, you want to be a dedicated fan without hating fans of something of which you are not a fan.

Regarding the other question, is your fandom keeping you from pursuing other worthwhile things like, say, a job?

Many employers would love to have your enthusiasm. If you can convert your enthusiasm for sports, or something else, to a job, would you like to?

Certainly, that’s a loaded question. Many see a job as a means to an end. Others see a job as giving them purpose in life. Still others just love what they do and, as a bonus, get paid for it.

As a fan, one does not get paid. One gets his or her satisfaction in other ways.

As a fan of your job, or your employer, getting paid makes your satisfaction so much sweeter.

If you can’t be a fan of your job, try to find ways to make work more pleasant. Find pleasure in your relationship with coworkers. Find worthiness in the tasks you perform. Find joy in the customers you may serve. Just as it takes work to be a fan, it may take work to find rewards in how you make a living.

Yes, there are tasks that have to be done at any job that can siphon pleasure out of your work. Fans have to endure some losses, yet they don’t stop being fans.

So, think about not only how you use your time, but how you use your enthusiasm. Is what you are enthusiastic about all worth it?

Also, you can be enthusiastic about multiple things. Make sure you are enthusiastic about as many things that benefit you, and others, as possible.

Root for your team, or whatever pursuit gives you pleasure. But, apply some of your valuable time and enthusiasm to helping others, and taking care of yourself.

Don’t hate others because the love what you don’t. Such hatred can be toxic to your persona.

Remember, enthusiasm applied properly can change the world. Enthusiasm begets effort. Effort also begets enthusiasm.

Being a fan is a hobby. Being enthusiastic can bring you untold success.



#Thanksgiving #WarInGaza #Israel #Palestine #grievances #forgiveness
The war in Gaza is a flare-up of old grievances.
The country now called Israel was once called Palestine. Jews from around the world needed a safe place to escape persecution.
So, in 1948, after World War II ended, after enduring the Holocaust, Jews set up their “Promised Land” that the Bible described. That turned out to be what was then Palestine.
From then on, both Palestinians and Israelis recognize what is now Israel as their land.
Such a decades long dispute can create hard-liners on both sides – even terrorists.
This latest war started from a terrorist attack on Israelis October 7, 2023, by the Arab group known as Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip. Many Israelis were killed, and many Israelis and other foreign nationals have been taken hostage.
Understandably, Israelis want to eliminate the threat of Hamas for good. To do so, they have killed many innocent Palestinians living in Gaza. They have also rendered much of Gaza unlivable by cutting essentials, thereby displacing millions of people.
It has also given rise to demonstrations throughout the world. Some demonstrators are pro-Israeli, others pro-Palestinian. Some have included people with long simmering bigotries, who may or may not even care about the war.
So, the lessons for this Thanksgiving may be to live and let live. Elvis Presley once sang that he wanted a little less conversation and a little more action. This year, we should all hope for a lot more conversation, and a lot less fighting.
Perhaps we should also wish for a lot less bigotry — or, better yet, none at all – and a lot more friendship and forgiveness.
Some things are hard to forgive, and impossible to forget. However, almost everyone agrees that physical fighting accomplishes very little. It may make one feel better for a moment, but it rarely leads to permanent peace.
It’s impossible to put oneself in another’s shoes, even for a moment. Instead, we should find ways to peacefully coexist in a world that, despite our disputes and grievances, keeps everyone safe, healthy and prosperous.
Too much to ask, you say? Perhaps. But, we as individuals, can do our part to lessen tension with our associates, friends or family, with whom we have an issue.
If we can curb revengeful instincts, that would be a start.
So, this year, give thanks for all that is good in your life. Wish the best for all who are undergoing challenges. Don’t inflame. Instead, be the flame that shows the way to peace.
Old grievances die hard. May they, instead, be tamped down. That may be the first and best way to find peace.


#Medicare #MedicareAdvantagePlans #MedicarePartC #HealthCareNetworks
The ads are relentless this time of year, trying to get those on Medicare to sign up for Advantage plans, the so-called Medicare Part C.
These plans can indeed, in many cases, offer more benefits and lower costs.
But, if you want absolute – or as close to absolute as possible – freedom of choice in where you get your care, stick with the Medicare Part A, B and D plans.
These Part C plans, in most cases, are tied to a network of practitioners. In other words, you have to go to someone in that network to get your care covered by your insurance. In many cases, practitioners outside the network will not take you as a patient.
As a patient, you may develop a rare or complicated disease, even if you are relatively healthy today. Sometimes, going to see a specialist that is far from where you live would give you the best chance at recovery or survival. Chances are, that specialist won’t be in the network with which your Part C plan is affiliated. That may preclude you from the best care you can get.
Also, some of the Part C plans also require referral from a gatekeeper, usually a primary care doctor in the network, to see a specialist within the network.
Then, with Part C, there is the risk that large medical providers within the network will have battles with the insurer over reimbursements. When the practitioners hold the insurer hostage, or vice versa, the patients suffer and may lose their health care providers – temporarily or permanently.
These Part C plans are the more profitable products for the health insurers. Those who sell them earn much higher commissions. And, as we all see, they spend a fortune in advertising that might be better spent on patient care. Reports indicate that these plans actually cost the government more than regular Medicare.
All this isn’t to say that everyone should stay away from a Part C. plan. If you are someone who doesn’t often go far from home, and the practitioners you like are in the network, it could work for you. Be advised, however, that in many of these plans, the practitioners can come and go at will, while patients are locked in for the year.
If you do shop your Medicare plans, it might be best to find someone who sells multiple plans and could give you more choices. However, if want the flexibility that Part C plans do not give you, don’t let someone talk you into settling for a Part C plan. As of today, Parts A, B and D are still an option.
Medicare has been a marvelous way for retirees to get health insurance, usually with no questions asked. If you opt for a Part C plan, and it doesn’t work for you after a time, going back to Medicare parts A, B and D may be difficult, more expensive and may not cover pre-existing conditions.
Some of the ads for Medicare Part C often are created to make older people look stubborn, angry and, well, uniformed. Not everyone is like that. Or, others have celebrities doing everything they can to get you to call a certain number to examine plans.
But, it boils down to a simple decision: do you want flexibility in deciding where to get your care? If it doesn’t matter to you, then shop around for the best price, most convenient practitioners or whatever you are looking for.
If you get sick or injured on vacation, the practitioners you need where you are may not be in your network. Make sure you know what will happen to you, financially, if that occurs.
The hard sell for these Part C plans not only turns people off, it should be unnecessary.


#teachers #PoliceOfficers #ArmedTeachers #ImprovingEducation #AttractingTeachers
Teachers have gotten a bad rap for many years.
Today, however, the problem is getting out of hand.
Now, they want teachers, in some jurisdictions, to carry guns.
Georgia is attempting to get a handle on how to make teaching at the K-12 level attractive again.
Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, took on this problem in her November 22, 2022, column.
Downey cites a working paper from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, which documents the state of the K-12 teaching profession over the past half-century. It analyzes 50 years of teaching, looking at prestige, interest among students, preparation for entry and job satisfaction, according to Downey.
The conclusion is damning: the state of teaching is at its lowest level in 50 years, Downey writes.
To top that off, as Downey writes in her column published November 7, 2023, Georgia wants to arm teachers to curb gun violence. They want to take advantage of the relatively low teacher pay by giving teachers who volunteer a $10,000 stipend for firearms training, and the willingness to carry them in schools, Downey writes. Would you want your kid’s teacher to be armed? Downey doesn’t think it’s a great idea.
Let’s look at the history of teaching as a profession. In decades past, most teachers were women. Since it didn’t pay very much, it was tough for a teacher to make a good living on teaching alone. Although it didn’t pay much, there were good benefits: summers and lots of other time off, good insurance, a decent pension for those who stayed long enough and, in many places, good union protection. That meant job security for as long as a teacher wanted, in most cases.
In those days, parents left teachers alone. Sure, they’d visit during PTA meetings, occasionally volunteer in the schools etc. But, for the most part, teachers had free rein to teach and discipline children as they saw fit. As a kid, if you were bad in school, you often got punished again at home. Parents didn’t question the teachers in those instances.
Then, as widespread economic hardship hit families over the years, people in other usually better paying professions who were losing jobs became jealous of teachers’ job security and union protection.
Gradually, politicians of certain persuasions started blasting teachers unions, and still are.
Today, that resentment is manifesting itself in extreme parental and political interference in schools. Remember, teachers, in general, don’t get paid much. Despite their good job security, there’s only so much many will put up with for the compensation they get. Most teachers like, even love, what they do, providing they have enough latitude to teach as they see fit. When that latitude is gone, teachers will go, too. And they are. Having armed teachers in school may hasten this exodus.
This outside interference is NOT improving education. Kids are not learning what they should learn, particularly in history and science, because of this interference. Arming teachers likely won’t make schools safer. It may even do the opposite.
Other professions, besides teaching – law enforcement , for example – are also relatively low in pay and high in responsibility. They, too, often face far too much outside interference in their work. No one wants, say, a police officer going rogue in the streets. But there’s a vast difference between good oversight and training, and bad interference.
Educators, as Downey points out, are studying the problem of making teaching attractive again. Many studies are shelved and never implemented. Suffice it to say that if we can’t put good teachers, preferably unarmed, in every classroom, the children – and the world – suffer.
If you have a child in school, get involved, but don’t interfere. Most teachers know what they are doing. They are well supervised, and usually have good curricula on which to base their efforts.
Previous generations of children, in most cases, had no difficulty reconciling what they learned in school with what they learned at home or at church, even when some of that knowledge appeared contradictory. It would be hard to believe that today’s children would be incapable of doing the same.
In short, support your teachers, your police officers etc. Hold them accountable when necessary. Be involved in your children’s school(s) and your community. But don’t stand in the way of good and proper education or policing.