We spent the first part of our vacation (including July 4th) at Myrtle Beach.  It’s funny.  Up until our best friends bought a condo down there 10 years ago, and invited us to spend the holiday with them, we were never “beach people.”  Now, a decade later, we can’t imagine not spending this time together.

10 years at the beach

The beach tends to make me reflective and the picture atop this blog is my best friend Jeff and I contemplating life and solving the world’s issues while firmly planted in our old blue chairs in the surf.  This is a common annual sight, and here’s what I came up with this year:

1. THERE IS NOT MUCH THAT CAN’T BE TALKED OUT OVER A BEER-Seriously, I can only think of a couple of very serious, egregious actions that two people cannot solve over mature conversation while enjoying a brew. Which leads to this…

2. DISAGREEMENT IS NOT JUST OK, IT’S HEALTHY-Somewhere along the way, we’ve lost our ability and concept to have a difference of opinion. This makes no sense. We’re all different, so of course we’re going to have different thoughts on how to accomplish things. I always LOVE when someone disagrees with me because it allows me to open my mind to perhaps a better way. On that note…

3. YOU’RE NOT OFFENDED-Get over yourself and grow up. Just because someone’s thoughts, opinions, statements, etc. differ from yours is not OFFENSIVE. Feeling this way is a huge sign you’ve got some maturing left to do.

4. THERE IS NO “US vs THEM”-Myrtle Beach is truly a melting pot of society. Watching all mingle about and interract really drove something home for me. Politicians and 24 hour news outlets have specific agendas. And those agendas require conflict. As I looked around and talked with so many people over the holiday it was apparent to me that we’re all pretty much the same. We want our families to be safe and happy, we don’t mind hard work, and everyone wants to be nice to one another. The only “Us vs Them” in life is ALL OF US vs ALL OF THEM who wish to make you think we all hate one another.

5. NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAT FAMILY-And I’m not just talking about the ones that are God-given. The family you choose is just as-if not more-important. I can’t imagine sitting in the surf contemplating all of this without my friend Jeff there to keep me in check. We’re brothers in every way, but blood. I bet you have a friend in your life like that too. Cherish and be thankful for this.

6. DON’T GET BOGGED DOWN IN THE WORLD’S PROBLEMS, WE’VE GOT ENOUGH OF OUR OWN-I just don’t have time to worry about The Royal Family, of who is the latest British PM to resign, or avalanches in the mountains of Afghanistan. I’m trying to figure out how to afford gas in my truck

7. THIS COUNTRY’S STILL THE BEST THING GOING-We may have our problems. We may have our disagreements. We’re not perfect as a nation. All that being said, we’re still the envy of the world. You think there’d be an immigration problem if this was not the case? Embrace that. Love that. Nourish that national pride.

8. FREEDOM COSTS-There’s nothing like Memorial Day or a July 4th flyover on the beach to remind you of this and that the cost(s), unfortunately, must continue to be paid by the men and women of our armed forces-who by the way, are the finest and bravest that the world has ever seen

9. MUSIC IS THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE-It never fails to make me smile at how music is a great uniter of people. It’s almost tribal. There’s always those on the beach that have the music playing and you just see how it’s a magnet for people of all walks. Always when we’re down at the beach we go out for live music and that shared experience always gives me hope for humanity no matter how cynical I am at the time.

10. LIVE AND LET LIVE-Okay, so you don’t like the way someone wears a bikini when you think they should not. You don’t like someone’s hair or tattoos. You don’t like the beer they drink. You don’t think their spouse is not good enough for them. So what?! There is not one thing about that person that affects your life. Has it occurred to you that they may not be 100% on board with your life choices? As long as how they live their life does not conflict with how you live yours, what’s the problem? Oh and if that happens, see numbers one thru three on this list.