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December 11, 2017
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Great expectations

“For many of us, Veterans’ Day is really Survivors’ Day,” keynote speaker U.S. Navy Master Chief Joe Collura said while surrounded by war vets representing all of the armed forces in Kauneonga Lake, NY last Friday.
TRR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox

November 16, 2016

Having expectations is natural, I suppose, but sometimes lead to heartache. As with most things, there are “two sides to every coin,” and while expectations are a good thing when setting goals, it’s “attachment” to the plan that is often my downfall. It’s taken many years for me to grasp this concept, and I’m still learning. During my on-again/off-again study of Buddhist principle (www.kadampanewyork.org), the subject has come up on more than one occasion, but putting it into practice is where the challenge arises. “That’s why it’s called ‘practice,’” my teachers would say, and so I continue to strive.

“Practice what you preach,” the dog reminded me as we headed out the door last Friday to attend a Veterans’ Day Memorial service in Kauneonga Lake. Although the sun was shining brightly, there was a chill in the air, and while I expected a good turnout for the service, I also had plans to go fishing later that same morning, since the day coincided with an official “free fishing day”—one of several that were set aside by Gov. Andrew Cuomo back in 2014 (www.governor.ny.gov).

The memorial service was well attended (as expected) and thoughtfully presented with some lovely words, prayers and sentiments expressed. “This day is so important,” Town of Bethel Supervisor Daniel Sturm said as the service began, “because it’s the one day of the year that honors everyone who has served.” U.S. Navy Master Chief Joe Collura spoke eloquently and his keynote speech was both humorous and deeply touching. “For many of us, Veterans Day is really ‘survivors’ Day,” he shared, acknowledging the men and women who stood with him as the American flag waved in the breeze above their heads. As the service drew to a close, I noticed that the dog was shivering and my plans to go fishing wavered. “It’s not supposed to be punishing,” I mentioned to my pals. “I’m unhappy,” I continued, “because I had attachment to the plan.” Oopsie.