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I don’t know about you but, I do the same thing at the end of every year!  Unfortunately, this includes waxing a little sad.  You see, it’s that time again.  It’s time for me to review the outgoing year, with as much honesty as I can muster!!  From the negative to the positive, I try to take an objective look in my mirror and assess what I have accomplished, who I have hurt, what I could have done better, etc!!

Yes, I said “try” because all you can do is try.  Mind you, I don’t beat up on myself or anything like that.  But, if I am minimally honest, I normally need to issue at least two to three apologies!

With any luck, the recipients will be unreachable!  LOL!

In the event that they are reachable, I contact them and just get it over with as quickly as possible.

Admittedly, apologies don’t come easy for me.  I guess if we are even remotely honest, not many people like to apologize.  We’d rather be the recipient of an apology.  However, I have found out it can be very medicinal, humbling and cleansing to your soul.

I try to tread lightly since I never know how the recipient of my apology is going to respond. Sometimes, the recipient didn’t even anticipate an apology from me at all.  Sometimes, I have to remind the individual of what happened and why I am apologizing—which somewhat diminishes either my remaining guilt or the impact of the groveling.  Other times, they are extremely grateful because I took the lead.  Occasionally, my apology is not accepted.

Sometimes, the individual I contact owes me an apology too.  Sometimes—if I’m very lucky—they reciprocate.  Sometimes—more often than not—they don’t.   Sometimes a friendship is saved.  Sometimes, a relationship is lost.  Whatever the outcome, I try to remember that I am only responsible for my half of any relationship.

So, I do it.  I apologize.  I do this not because I am a martyr, but because I just gotta be happy with myself.  I guess my reasons for apologizing are somewhat selfish.  You see, I gotta be able to respect who I am.  I gotta be able to close out yet another year without dragging the old year into the new one.  I gotta be able to close out the year without further ado and without regrets.

At the end of the day, I wanna be able to look in that mirror—gotta be able to look into that mirror—so, at the very least, I can review the coming year with less and less to apologize for.  Maybe next year, I’ll be calling just to say Hello!

Can anybody hear me?

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At what point does embellishment become plain ole, bold-faced lying? I mean, everybody lies about something or other and everybody embellishes a story at one time or another during the course of their lives but, at what point do we draw the line? When we do stop calling something a “little white lie” and just call it a lie?

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last month or so, you know that during one of his many news stories over the past twelve years or so, Brian Williams placed himself in harm’s way while reporting on violence abroad. Truth be told, he darn near placed himself on the battlefield!! Okay, that was clearly an embellishment (that word again), but there is a definite point to be made. If Mr. Williams had simply told his exaggerated story to his closest friends during one of their guess-whose-story-tops-your-story sessions then, no big deal. I mean, he would be the undisputed champion of his inner circle, but that’s about it. No harm, no foul.

However, to get on National Television and tell his story as part of an actual news report as well as to go on late night television programs and repeat the story becomes so much more than simply stretching the truth of a story between friends/frenemies! Going on National Television and telling his story as if a news-worthy fact is, plainly stated, a complete lie. Brian Williams was not embellishing a story to impress his inner circle. He was lying to the American public.

This is unacceptable on so many levels that I cannot even cover them all. As such, this action cannot be tolerated…no matter how likeable the perpetrator is!!

This becomes even more insane when you consider what happened with Dan Rather, who left CBS after some 43 years following his questioning the record of then President George W. Bush’s Vietnam-era service in the National Guard. It should be noted that Mr. Rather’s news story was, by all accounts, accurate. The question then must be asked: should Brian Williams’ lie be handled less stringently than Rather’s truth? Should telling a lie on National Television for the sake of personal pride be held to a lesser standard than reporting news in an accurate fashion?

Telling the truth vs Setting the record straight? Which is more important? Should Brian Williams receive a six month penance while Dan Rather’s contract was not renewed?

I think not!

And what of the others in the media who routinely lie to the American public, feeding them hatred and vitriol in the guise of ‘fair and balanced’ coverage? Should they not be removed as well? Or has lying become the new truth?

Can anybody hear me?

Politics.  D.C. Politics.  Straight from the headlines, yet another D.C. Council person is under attack!  Read all about it!  Kwame Brown, the Chairperson, is in hot water!!  Though we all know that the original dragnet was supposed to waylay Barry, other council persons such as Harry Thomas, Jr., and most notably, Kwame Brown are merely Barry henchmen needing to be removed to make way for the new regime — a less Barry-influenced Council…and Mayorship for that matter.  Stay tuned!

Just a short while ago, you might remember Harry Thomas, Jr. was embroiled in controversy over spending funds intended for at-risk youth.  No matter how painful, even the most ill-advised amongst us, could see the fate of Harry Thomas, Jr.  However, Kwame Brown is another situation altogether.  Kwame Brown, former Chairperson for the District of Columbia Council, was forced to resign after being caught  . . . . after committing  . . . .   Just what was the crime?

Oh, now I remember!  Mr. Brown overstated his income in order to acquire a larger loan than what he would have been able to qualify for ordinarily.  So, let’s get this straight, Mr. Brown received a larger “loan” from a bank and not a grant from the government.  He did not “understate” his wealth so that he could receive free money, grants or public assistance.  Mr. Brown received a loan that has to be paid back!!  They called this bank fraud — a felony.

The reality is that the vast majority of us can’t cast even the smallest stone at Kwame Brown.  That’s because for all our Christianity and high morals, these things occur every day.  It is akin to lying on your résumé and then learning the skill set—the one you said you already had—after getting the job.  This is akin to lying on income taxes and claiming more dependents then you are entitled to.  You know, let’s throw out just one more.  This is akin to taking office supplies from your place of business for use at home.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I am not saying that these are correct behaviors or that they are even remotely the right thing to do.  However, I am saying that they are everyday behaviors committed by ordinary citizens on a regular basis in this country and probably abroad.   The fact is…people embellish.  People lie.  People are, at the core, dishonest.  Even so-called honest people can be dishonest if an opportunity presents itself.  Dishonest in private.  Honest in public.  So, who’s the judge?  Who’s the jury?

And, what of the investigations of Councilmembers Graham and Evans?  What was the outcome?  Does anyone even remember?  Did anyone even care?  Can anybody hear me?