Life Is All About Seventeen Inches

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

I found this somewhere, it’s a good read.

In Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA convention.While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

Who the heck is John Scolinos, I wondered. Well, in 1996 Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948.  No matter, I was just happy to be there.

He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.  Pointed side down.

Seriously, I wondered, who in the hell is this guy?

After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.

Then, finally …

“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck. Or maybe you think I escaped from Camarillo State Hospital,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility.

“No,” he continued, “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”

Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?” After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches,” more question than answer.

“That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?”

Another long pause.

“Seventeen inches?”came a guess from another reluctant coach.

“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”

“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.

“You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”

“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.

“Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”

“Seventeen inches!”

“RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?”

“Seventeen inches!”

“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls.

“And what do they do with a a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over these seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter.

“What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Bobby. You can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches, or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of throwing the ball over it.  If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.’”

Pause.

“Coaches …”

Pause.

” … what do we do when our best player shows up late to practice? What do we do if he violates curfew? What if he uses drugs? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate?

The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold.

Then he turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We widen the plate!”

Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag.

“This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful….to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?”

“And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate!”

I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curveballs and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable. From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools and churches and our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …”

With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside.

“… dark days ahead.”

Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach.

His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players — no matter how good they are — your own children, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.

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Who Are Our Spirit Guides

photo of the Egyptian Sphinx at sunset

A journey into the unknown. Open new avenues in your spiritual journey

Written by Gary Wonning

The Spirit Guides are extensions of souls in a sense, and they are always connected with The Source of All That Is. They are our helpers in the spirit world.

They come from all walks of life and many times are our departed friends and ancestors who have come to guide and assist us. Many times we have known each other through many incarnations and existences in the other world. It is always a matter of choice to become a guide: not all souls choose to be spirit guides.

There are many souls who continue their spiritual evolution without choosing this elevated purpose, and often times they choose to be a guide, then choose not to for a time. As with all things, because of free will, the choice is theirs.

The decision is often made depending on how it will fulfill their own spiritual evolution, and the ones they are assisting. 

The Guide’s consciousness is more elevated because they exist at the same level of consciousness even if they choose to take a physical form. Many times, they remain in spirit form and communicate telepathically, enabling them to fulfill many missions at one time.

photo of the tree of life

The Tree of Life

Even when they are in the physical form, they are still awake to the promptings of the soul, thus enabling them to assist in many ways. 

This enables them to access the Akashic  records to better understand the issues before us. 

The Guides and Masters, as well as all of the other evolved souls, can choose to reincarnate with only a part of their energy while the other part can remain in spirit, all the while existing at the same level of consciousness— the higher self level. They as well as those of us in physical form become omnipresent, meaning we can be in many dimensions simultaneously.

We are only aware  of the reality we are focusing on, and for most we only briefly “see” or “feel” other dimensions, times, and realties, leading us to inquire and learn more of our spiritual existence and our relationship to the Divine Creator. 

The Spirit Guides can choose to continue guiding other souls when part of their energy is reincarnated, if they decide to,  and they can even guide the incarnated part or parts of their own self.

It is a complex operation, many facets make up the whole and an unlimited set of possibilities. 

Many times to complicated for our humble human mind to understand. 

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

James Madison: Government and Religion

Written by Gary Wonning
James Madison made a journal entry, June 12, 1788: “There is not a shadow of right in the General Government to inter-meddle with religion. … The subject is, for the honor of America, perfectly free and unshackled. The government has no jurisdiction over it.”

This is one of the basic tenants of our government and thus our country.

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The founders believed one of our most important rights guaranteed by God, was the freedom to practice our religion as we see fit, without interference from government. 

They believed in freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. We have a God given right to practice our spiritual beliefs according to our conscience. 

No one should have to sacrifice their spiritual beliefs because someone doesn’t agree with them , and no one should have to give up their beliefs because they own or operate a business. 

Let’s face it would you want to give your business or money to someone and support them, if for whatever reason they didn’t like you or support what you believe in. 

I wouldn’t, there are plenty of other businesses I could do business with that would be more than willing to take my money and support my beliefs. 

If you, or the business owner has an issue with the beliefs of the other, take your business elsewhere. 

It only makes sense to me.

Let’s just live and let live, why create conflict when there doesn’t need to be any. 

Common sense in a confused world.

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

 

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

 

Do We Create Our Life?

Written by Gary Wonning

Do we create our life?

That is a question that has been pondered by mystics for centuries. 

We all have free will, it is a fact of nature and is not up for debate.  Free Will isn’t something that can only be applied to certain circumstances and not to others, if we chose the alternative, by choosing that, we would be exercising free will. 

If we are free to choose whether to have a hot fudge sundae or a milk shake,  then we are free to determine all things that come about in our lives.  Free Will is static and unchanging, it isn’t something that is subject to our whims, it is a law of nature, one of the laws of Nature and Nature’s God. 

If we would choose to believe we don’t have free will in all things, we are still practicing free will in order to chose that option. We simply can’t remove ourselves from the reality of free will.

Thoughts create actions and actions create results. If you think back, everything you are experiencing in reality today is the result of actions and thoughts you had sometime in the past. 

photo of the Egyptian Sphinx at sunset

A journey into the unknown. Open new avenues in your spiritual journey

We like to blame others for our misery, but that is not the case, everything happens for a reason, and those reasons are spawned in our own mind, our own subconscious, our subconscious that is linked to the super conscious, or Christ Consciousness that unites us all.

That consciousness that draws the souls and circumstances to us that results in us being able to accomplish whatever mission we chose to participate in during our time on planet earth. 

Thus we do create our own life with our thoughts and actions, and beliefs. Every experience we have accumulated before entering the physical existence, all those previous lives, enable us to bring new power and strength into our reality: more energy to this life to enable us to make a difference in not only our life, but the lives of all those whom we come into contact with. 

Without us realizing it, our subconscious mind creates the life we are going to experience, well before our physical birth.  It is our super conscious mind that knows our proper course of action, our Christ Consciousness,  this is our connection to the God Force that runs the universe, we all all part of it and through it, our choices and whether we follow the promptings of the soul that determine the direction of our lives and the outcome regardless of the challenges presented us.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

 

Sedona: The Red Planet Diner

photo of Bell Rock in Sedona ARizona

The portals of Sedona

Written by Gary Wonning

Red Planet Diner, now called the Et Encounter Diner and formerly called Phil and Eddies is a must see. Located on Highway 89A in West Sedona, the diner is decorated with a UFO theme.

The walls are curiously decorated with space aliens and other paraphernalia from other dimensions; it is a delight to observe while enjoying a delicious burger and listening to locals tell their tales of alien encounters.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

 

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Battle of Brooklyn Heights and Miracle Escape of Washington’s Troops

photo of shriner walking up masonic stairs

The Masonic Influence on World History

Just one of many instances when the hand of providence, as George Washington referred to it, intervened and the American Army prevailed in what were times of certain defeat. 

The British forces had left Boston and headed to New York.
As a result, General George Washington moved his troops to New York, to fortify Brooklyn Heights.
Enthusiasm was running high and General Washington’s ranks swelled to nearly 20,000.
The British were preparing to attack New York, Before long, hundreds of British ships filled New York’s harbor, carrying 32,000 troops.

It was the largest invasion force in history to that date. The thousands of wooden masts of the British ships were described as looking like a forest.

On AUGUST 27, 1776, the Battle of Brooklyn Heights (Long Island) began.

It was the first major battle after America had officially declared its independence, and it was the largest battle of the entire war.

Soon, Washington expected an attack from the sea, similar to what the British did at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Instead, 10,000 British troops landed a distance from New York and a British loyalist led them through Jamaica Pass, marching all night long to make a surprise attack on the Continental Army from behind.

As a result, an estimated 3,000 Americans were killed or wounded compared to only 392 British casualties.

As General Washington watched 400 soldiers of the First Maryland Regiment charge six times directly into the British lines, allowing the rest of the Continental Army to find cover, he exclaimed:

“Good God, what brave fellows I have lost this day.”

British General Howe trapped the 8,000 American troops on Brooklyn Heights with their backs against the sea.

That night, Washington made the desperate decision to evacuate his entire army by ferrying it across the East River to Manhattan Island.

The sea was boisterous where the British ships were, but providentially calm in the East River allowing Washington’s boats to transport troops, horses and cannons.

The next morning, as the sun began to rise, half of the America troops were still in danger, but a “miraculously” thick fog lingered blocking the evacuation from being seen by the British.

Major Ben Tallmadge, Washington’s Chief of Intelligence, wrote:

“As the dawn of the next day approached, those of us who remained in the trenches became very anxious for our own safety, and when the dawn appeared there were several regiments still on duty.

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At this time a very dense fog began to rise off the river, and it seemed to settle in a peculiar manner over both encampments.

I recollect this peculiar providential occurrence perfectly well, and so very dense was the atmosphere that I could scarcely discern a man at six yards distance…

We tarried until the sun had risen, but the fog remained as dense as ever.”

General Washington was on the last boat that left Brooklyn Heights.

Had the Americans not been able to evacuate, the war would have ended there.

As it happened, the British never again had such an opportunity to capture the entire American army at one time.

Washington wrote later that year, August 20, 1778:

“The Hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this-the course of the war-that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith.”

If we want to make our nation great.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

 

America Doesn’t Have A Mental Health Problem

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Written by Gary Wonning

In light of the recent school shootings and the continuous effort by the hard left to abolish our right to defend ourselves, the new mantra is that America has a Mental health problem and that issue is at the heart of our country’s ills. 

I won’t disagree with that statement, there are many individuals who do have mental health issues brought on by a variety of reasons. and there needs to be facilities and professional care available to help these individuals. 

But there is a larger problem. Mamy of our young have not been taught to cope with the problems that inadvertently come into our lives. Life is what life is, and into every life some rain must fall. We cannot avoid this, regardless of how we prepare. 

In many cases society, and parents no longer provide the needed training for our young. Kids are often sheltered from these adversities by well meaning adults and never given the opportunity to grow from those experiences. 

At the  first sign of  rowdy behavior, or a young child showing a lack of focus, they are given a drug to calm them down. They are just young children, that is what young children do, they don’t focus, let them be a kid, there is nothing wrong with them. 

To be successful in life, and deal with the hardships that come our way, kids need to be taught how to lose, that art has been taken away, these days everyone gets a participation trophy, making everyone a winner. 

There are no participation trophies in real life. How can kids learn to lose if they are taught to be winners regardless of how they perform? How are they ever gong to learn to improve themselves, if they don’t ever have to? 

Political correctness has destroyed what was once the core of our American value system. Self reliance, hard work, personal responsibility, and teaching our children how to deal with adversity have disappeared from the play book of child raising. 

Some parents and families still teach their children the age worn values that made our country great, but they are becoming few and far between.

Because of this,  America now has a moral health problem, our values, as a country have sunk so far below what they were when our great country was founded, its not even the same country anymore. 

Many of the reasons for our kids inabilities to cope are created by the societal changes in our culture and have nothing to do with the individual. Children are no longer raised with the same values instilled in the kids of an earlier era. Many of the values of a time gone by are forgotten and are deemed no longer applicable in today’s modern world. 

Only when our moral health issue is resolved, only then will our mental health issues disappear, and many of the multitude of issues facing us as a country will also fade away and become insignificant once again. 

Only when we once again return to the teachings of our ancestors will our country return to greatness.

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome