The magnet held the words “Don’t borrow trouble” and was secured to my mom’s fridge for years. It was something we could laugh about; “as if we don’t have enough trouble” we would remind each other. Borrowed trouble is “might be” and “around the corner” – it’s best left there unless it knocks on your door.

In order to not borrow trouble, it might prove helpful to knock it down when it raises its head, rather than continuing down the road, in reality show mode, with scripted messages that have the purpose of creating trouble where trouble doesn’t yet exist. It preys on our fears, it grows as a strategy when used to diffuse and throw people off.

Trump’s discrediting our CIA nad FBI in one tweet and praising them soon after in a speech is a recent example. The two messages were meant for separate audiences and do not serve truth, or our country.

Watching how the North Korea talks are playing out is interesting; it feels scripted and confusing, with diplomacy taking a back seat. We have gone from calling their leader “Rocket Man” to praising him for leadership, thanking him for releasing prisoners, to a current détente where everything is up in the air.

One time, in a business negotiation, I kept changing my mind, and even though we were making progress to create a “win-win,” the gentleman negotiating with me started to get frustrated; saying to me, “It feels like I am trying to nail into jello.” This feels similar; “jello diplomacy” in action; dysfunction to the nth degree.


Three people you remember: trouble is a searchlight in the darkness that shows you a person’s heart. "You never forget three people: the person who helped you in trouble, the person who left you in trouble, the person who put you in trouble” – Randy Phillips.

The above is deep and speaks to character and moral compass.

My business started in 1985 and it is interesting to look back and realize that help came from expected sources, and also from some unexpected ones. Sometimes people who could have stepped up chose to stay in the background. Often, though, unexpected people stepped up and helped; without being asked — they saw need and stepped in.

A decade later, our family went through cancer; some that you would expect to be there weren’t, while others in the community, some we barely knew, were. It remains a life lesson that when you see trouble, be the person who is remembered for helping. Try not to create trouble for others, or leave those in trouble to face it alone.


Last week in the Belfast Republican Journal, Tom Seymour wrote a piece blasting his fellow Republicans for “bipartisan politics”. Here is the link:

Seymour’s premise was that any Republican wanting to work with Democrats was a traitor and was not fulfilling his/her mandate; compromise meant “compromised candidate” to Tom.

He blasted Republican Sen. Susan Collins for her willingness to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to create the best health care, the best gun control legislation, improve our health care system, the best (you name it), calling bipartisanship a “curse.”

Where was Tom over the last eight years; was he really thinking those in power had the right to jam home whatever they pleased because they were voted in? Our leaders are voted in to represent all the people, not just the ones who voted for them.

If the parties had worked together during the Obama years, the Trump years might have been used to improve bipartisan laws that govern our country, instead of marching orders that have nothing to do with improving anything; Trump is on a “seek and destroy” initiative, canceling anything with an Obama stamp on it, regardless of value.

The analogy to sports was off-the-mark; sportsmanship and winning with honor should be what we want, something for our children to look up to.

We are best served when politicians serve all of us, working together; thank you, Susan Collins and Angus King, for crossing the aisle in an effort to make America a better place to live, a better place to work, while keeping us safe and economically strong and stable.

One plus one equals three only when we have bipartisanship, no matter who controls the House, Senate and presidency.

Seymour writes; “We’re fed up. I predict that in the not-too-distant future, Republicans will begin acting like Republicans. We must and will seize the moment, and when that happens, world watch out.”

Fighting words, not the “win-win” bipartisanship we deserve.

“I like to say that arms are not for killing. They are for hugging.”

— Betty Williams, peace activist, Nobel laureate (b. 1943)