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Let Freedom Ring And Make Merit Matter

You and I don’t want to live in a meritless based society



On Independence Day let us keep in mind that among the many factors that have made America great is one’s ability to rise to great heights based on merit: the effort, the brilliance, and the results that you generate. Of late however, an insidious trend has been looming. Allow me to illuminate via this story:

When I was ten years old, I got a trial with a Little League team, but I was cut by the coach just before the season started in favor of his 9-year-old son. The son wasn’t nearly as good at baseball as I was, but I understood the situation and accepted it without much fanfare. I figured at age 11, I’d have no problem making the Little League, and I’d be on some team for two years.

Much to my chagrin, at age 11, I wasn’t even considered for a team and went straight to what was called the farm team. This irked me. I had many friends in the Little League, and they wanted to know why I hadn’t been selected.

At age 12, the last year I could be in the Little League, I was selected by the Maple Hill Dairy team. This team had superstars who had won the crown the year before. They had lost a couple of players due to age but were still the best team on paper.

A Season of Distinction

During the 12-games, I made six hits in 14 official at-bats, plus two walks and two sacrifice flies, for 18 total plate appearances. My batting average was .429. I didn’t know that this average put me near the top of team batting for that season.

When did I learn of my feat? During the season-ending awards ceremony, our coach was handing out trophies at the League banquet. He gave the first eight trophies, one by one, to players on the team. Then he announced that the remaining six were the pillars of our championship season. I was among them.

I had no idea. Apparently, neither did the coach until he had compiled the season’s statistics. In announcing my name, he said he wished he had understood earlier how well I had been hitting: he would have played me more. His words were the highest praise I could have received following the season.

Singled Out for Merit

Today, if you attend a Little League awards banquet, the champions are given awards along with all others. Everybody receives an award for participation, much like what occurs in the larger society. Merit counts for little because the mentality today is that simply participating  earns you an award.

To hand out participation trophies is a sham, however, the same sham that’s taking place in many aspects of our culture. The Leftists among us are seeking to quash merit-based testing everywhere. Out with Scholastic Aptitude Tests, they’re racist. They’re sexist. They’re transphobic. Out with the Graduate Record Exam. Out with writing an essay to get into college. Out with letter grades. So it goes in too many aspects of society.

Alas, you and I don’t want to live in a meritless based society. I guarantee that given the information,  you’d prefer not to be operated on by a brain surgeon who went to a medical school where grades were not important.

Factors That Matter

Likewise, you wouldn’t want to fly in a plane with pilots who have not proven both in testing and in flight simulation that they are fully capable. And, you don’t want to drive over a bridge constructed by an engineer who went to a school where testing was deemed to be worthless or racist, or biased.

We’ve come too far in human civilization to resort to a time when anybody could pick up a scalpel and perform surgery or where anyone could construct a bridge because in the early days, perhaps, almost anyone had to.

Credentials matter. Academic performance matters. Competence matters. Demonstrating intellectual capabilities is among the vital signs that you’re being served by a professional.

Whom You Can Trust? 

What other possible criterion would you suggest in place of merit? Participation? Ethnicity? Time on the job? Having friends in high places?

With many activities in life, merit is not a factor, but these are usually personal and private, contained, local, and not forced upon the public. Suppose it comes to a life-threatening situation, public safety, public health, the orderly flow of vehicular traffic, the health and welfare of children, etc? In that case, I’ll take the high-performance testers every time.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®


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With Representatives Like Kelly Daughtry, We Can Take Back America

Daughtry is a soft-spoken woman who gets things done



When President Trump takes office next January 20th, he’s going to need a cadre of strong-willed Congressional representatives. It’s not enough to simply retake the White House, we need the foot soldiers with the unshakeable resolve to restore America.

In North Carolina’s 13th district, one candidate is firmly rooted in the values that made this country great, and will make it great again. Her name is Kelly Daughtry and, quite frankly, the nation needs many others like her.

Raised in rural North Carolina and the daughter of a U.S. veteran, farmer, lawyer, and entrepreneur, Daughtry has been a practicing lawyer for the past 25 years in Johnston County, where she makes her home. She’s been in the trenches and is not skittish about the slings and arrows that come with taking bold, conservative positions for what is right.

Clear Positions on Vital Issues

Daughtry is exceedingly clear on where she stands and on what will improve the lives of American citizens. She is a vigorous supporter of law enforcement and decries ‘de-fund the police’ movements wherever they arise. She understands that, by and large, the men and women in law enforcement are dedicated, hardworking individuals who, in many instances, put their lives on the line.

Similarly, Daughtry supports the U.S. military and our veterans. She knows that nations around the world with rogue leadership wish to do us great harm, and that we must maintain a strong military at all times. Not coincidentally, a strong military is the best prescription for peace.

On the border issue, Daughtry recognizes that the Biden Administration is firmly committed to swamping our country with illegal aliens. Why? Because the U.S. Census count doesn’t focus on U.S. citizenship, only the number of residents per county and state.

Hence, Democrats can gain a 20-seat advantage in the U.S. House of Representatives by continuing to flood our nation. This ploy is precisely why Biden and company have brought lawsuits against border states seeking to protect themselves.

The drugs, the crime — the murders — and the bursting budgets of towns and states trying to cope with the onslaught of illegals should never have happened in the first place. Daughtry knows what needs to be done, and done immediately.

Reversing Biden’s Reckless Agenda

Daughtry will go to work on restoring our nation, dismantling Joe Biden’s reckless agenda for America. She understands that Biden’s policies towards China in particular, and the bribes he has taken, have been nothing less than devastating for hard-working Americans and for our national security.

Most notably, she is firmly opposed to the Chinese Communist Party and their representatives who are seeking to buy farmland throughout North Carolina as well as every other place in the United States.

Biden’s out-of-control spending has particularly hurt North Carolinians. Farmers have taken the brunt of the punishment. The unending inflation that we’ve faced for 38 months also has dealt a crushing blow to North Carolina small business owners and families in general. One of Daughtry’s first agenda items will be to help steer our country back towards fiscal sanity, which in turn will have a direct impact on the cost of groceries and gasoline.

Americans First

Like President Trump, Daughtry understands the importance of putting Americans first and of safeguarding or voting procedures, elections, and indeed what it means to be an American citizen. Of note, she has no misconceptions about the differences between men and women and will work to stop the malarkey that the Left imposes on us every day, with their “56” types of genders.

Daughtry is a soft-spoken woman and in her quiet way, gets things done. If Donald Trump had an army of Kelly Daughtrys, the country would be on firm footing in relatively short order. She knows what hard-working Americans want and need, and is exactly the type of politician that North Carolina must send to Washington D.C.

It is not an exaggeration to say that in Wake, Harnett, Johnson, and Wayne counties in North Carolina, as well as the entire state and entire country, the 2024 election will be the most important in our lifetimes. This has been said about other elections at other times, but considering the damage that the Democrats have wrought on America, the time is now to reclaim our great nation and, with the likes of Kelly Daughtry, we can.

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Provocative Questions to Get You Moving

What would make you pause and think about what’s really important?



Suppose I asked you four questions to make you pause, think about what’s really important, perhaps take some action steps, and get you moving in a positive direction. What might I ask?

Here are four such questions:

* What would you do if you truly only had six months to live?

* What would you read if you could only pick six books for the rest of your life?

* If you could return to any age what would it be?

* If you could live anywhere other than here, where would it be?


By way of example, here is each question with my own answers to help stimulate your thinking:

What would I do if I truly only had six months to live? I would visit everyone who ever mattered to me one more time; visit all my childhood haunts; visit three or four tourist destinations in the world that I’ve wanted to see; eat like an incredible pig; parcel out my assets carefully and accordingly, safeguard my daughter’s financial future and well-being to the best of my abilities; and donate many items to charity.

If I could only read six books for the rest of my life, they would probably be The Timetables of History, Childhood’s End, The Call of the Wild, The One Hundred, From Dawn to Decadence, and The Culture of Celebrity. Runners-up would be The Demon-Haunted World, Crime and Punishment, Moby Dick, MacBeth, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, and The World of Our Fathers

If I could be any age what would I be: 38, because at that age I had the optimal mix of capabilities and faculties, unbounded potential, and unbridled enthusiasm. My career as an author was beginning to bloom and amazingly I hadn’t yet been on my first of 45 cruises.

If I could live anywhere other than here, where would it be and why aren’t I there? The places I could settle include Asheville, NC; Austin, TX; Monterrey, CA; Sausalito, CA; Tucson, AZ; Las Vegas, NV; Vancouver, British Columbia; London, England; Paris, France; Vevey, Switzerland; Montreux, Switzerland; Bruges, Belgium; Helsinki, Finland; Gothenburg, Sweden; Stockholm, Sweden, and any place where it is spring, birds are chirping, and large lakes invite you to swim.

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