Common Ground

Watching events unfold across this beautiful country, I struggled to find something that maybe everyone may have in common, or could agree that is good for all. Impossible task you say? A week ago I would have agreed with you, then it hit me.

Regardless of race, color, religion, socioeconomic status, political affiliation, there is something. It does not matter where you are from, what you do, what you did, or will do, there is something. Something so available, something so simple and infectious it cannot be stopped.

Music. A melody of a guitar, African drum, didgeridoo, Erhu, it does not matter. Music is in all of us. A raw form of expression, emotion, and piece of soul that is shared to the world. A universal language that needs no words, yet everyone can hear and even understand.

Adding the written word to music makes it even more powerful. Adding a political platform because of a successful music career is exploiting music as a whole. A person does not even need to understand the language to get even a small understanding of what a musician is trying to convey. Music at some point, has had nearly everyone stop and say, “This is my jam” or can simply associate with even the simplest song. A parent’s lullaby to a baby or a ripping hair metal power ballad, they go beyond just words, they grab you and hold on for just a short time.

The Blues told detailed stories of the deep south and was the foundation of so many other genres of music. Opera was derived from storytelling of Greek Mythology. Country Music started with fiddle players from the Southern Appalachian Mountains who told their stories in the common language of music.

Is this a cure, nope. Is a start, maybe. Is music an important part of every culture, I most definitely believe that. Humans tend to associate with music of theirs and other cultures, and that is a beautiful thing.

My point is this: We live in the greatest country in the world, and if you do not care for it, the world is a large place,  I encourage you to go explore it and find your utopia. And if you do, I guarantee music helped shape wherever it is you land.

I too associate with a demographic, but it is quite different that some of the craziness that we see on television and news outlets. You see, my demographic has is color blind. My demographic relies on the strength of different opinions. My demographic is a brother and sisterhood that stands together in the face of adversity. My demographic is that I am an American. As an American, music, specifically the National Anthem represents my brothers and sisters. More importantly our National Anthem is a reminder why we have the rights to protest peacefully, own a business, go to school, speak out. It also reminds of the cost of these opportunities and freedoms. Changing something that represents Americans is nothing more that encouraging division. We all have rights, and our rights are going to infringe on each other’s from time to time. It happens. I will not always agree with you, but that does not mean we cannot have a beer. That difference, that conversation, that is what makes America great. We must learn from our past, no human can change then, only now. If it takes something as beautiful as music to have people actually listen, count me in.

Thank you to the musicians I know for not only playing, but creating some of the best music out there. Alyssa Ruffin, Blind Joe, Josh Frank, Josh Kehr, TACOCAT, Black Light Nightmare, Corndog Kings. Take a listen to what these very different individuals have to say through their music, maybe we can all learn something.

Rock on!

DTH

 

Positive isn’t Always the News

I have noticed something lately, and it’s not a negative thing and definitely deserves attention. During these strange times, it’s obvious how negative stories can dominate headlines, because apparently that is the news. Yet right in front of all of us are real acts of kindness, heart, and compassion.

I am seeing true American ingenuity. For example, several of our fitness experts and gym owners like Dion SgroMariah Prussia, and April Imholte are providing online workouts for people to do in their homes. I am seeing parents teaching their children about cooking, conserving resources, and using technology to teach their children who are currently at home due to this situation. People like Rozalyn Howery taking her children on virtual tours of many places in the world through the internet and reading books.

Our small businesses, like restaurants are offering carryout services. These Americans are still there, still serving our communities.

Even social clubs are encouraging online groups to help maintain some socialization. It’s different, but allows some level of interaction and a breath of normal.

American resilience and ingenuity has always prevailed, and always will. We can take a lesson from those like Teresa Terry who understand the gravity of these times, but know how to find the best in not only the situation, but their fellow Americans, encouraging people to remember compassion.

People like Dave Jopp who encourage music and keep people entertained through radio.

People like Sandy Zok who offer their expertise to those who may need some type of social service.

People like Josh Kehr, who continues to play excellent music and offers help to those who may need deliveries or anything else.

These are just a small sample of the positive things happening during this time.

In the end, this virus, like any other virus or crisis, does not discriminate against your skin color, past, present, ethnicity, political affiliation, or sexual orientation. In the end, we will prevail as we always have. In the end, we are all still human. Be kind and compassionate to those most vulnerable in our society.

Reach out should you need help, it is out there. Support your local small businesses, neighbors, and friends. Thank you for being a great American.

Let’s Make an Immediate and Direct Impact

As you all may know, writing, music, and the arts have been proven to be absolute excellent therapy in the treatment regarding the symptoms of PTSD.
 
There are currently several organizations such as, Song Writing with Soldiers, that pair musicians with veterans. The veterans often times tell their stories or share songs they have written. The artists collaborates with the veteran and together, they create a song based on that story. These organizations are invaluable.
 
In an attempt to get one of these excellent organizations to come locally, I have discovered that this process is so popular and effective that the organizations are booked out nearly two years.
 
The group I work with at the VA is committed to educating the public regarding PTSD for not only veterans, but all first responders. I don’t like to re-invent the wheel, but now have a goal.
 
What better way to educate the public than to include them in the process. There is so much talent locally and nationally that I believe starting an organization that accomplishes this goal does two things. First, it provides the same opportunity as the larger organization. Second, it directly involves our local and national talent, educating the public via participation.
 
I bear first hand witness to the therapeutic benefits of the arts regarding managing the symptoms of PTSD. I am happy, able, and willing to set up the organization and begin collaboration as soon as possible. The goal is to have a song or two by November 2020 that would be performed live at an event sponsored by the Fargo, ND VA at a local venue.
 
If you are a musician, song writer, or have a absolute desire to make a direct impact, regardless of where you live, please message me. There really are no rules. A great deal of this can be done over email, however I feel it is imperative that the artist meet the veteran at some point. I promise you the end result will make a positive difference in a veteran, first responder, and your life.
 
Thank you all for being the kind of Americans worth fighting for!
 
Dan

Listen to My Radio Interview

Hi Everyone!

In case you missed it, feel free to click the link below to listen to my radio interview on the Heroes of the Heartland Radio program from this morning!  Thank you all so much for the continued support for this project! I used to say it meant the world to me, and it does, but now I am starting to see that there is a bigger picture.  Thank you for all the phone calls, texts, and emails. Keep them coming!

Heroes of the Heartland: Dan Hudson | INFORUM

Buy PTS ME Here and Help Connect Veterans with Service Animals

 

PTS ME Paper Back

Hi every one. If you would like to contact me directly for a copy of PTS ME, feel free to hit me up. For $13.97 plus applicable MN tax, (15.00 Total) I will ship your copy media mail domestically, and donate a dollar for every purchase to one of the several service animal for Veteran’s organizations. Depending on my personal inventory, please allow one to two weeks for processing and delivery. Please make sure you throw a current address at me! Thank you all so much!

$15.00

Using Yours

Like a loving mother that would starve to feed her young,  life too will feed you if you are willing to eat.  On the other hand, should you find yourself not hungry, give your plate to another, for then you become life.
DTH 2019
Using Yours.
I was recently in Charleston, SC and found it was every bit beautiful as I had been told.  Like most cities, there are several faces of the city, even if you travel just a short distance.  I find this same comparison in people.  Some may look good on the outside, but more often than not, they too have another face.    
Arguably, I am a humble guy. I prefer to encourage people and congratulate their successes.  Don’t get that confused with credit.  I am a firm believer in giving credit where credit is due.  A Champion of the soon to be successful underdog. 
In reality, There are those that ask for your “help”, and once provided, give little to no credit to those whom really do the work.  Often times this occurs in the Supervisor/Supervised relationship.  The unfortunate result is a moral destroying situation for the supervised. 
The above scenario used to really drive me crazy.  Pages and volumes of my research, making those in higher positions look good. Furthermore, the posturing that ensues is almost comical with no ex post facto benefit for those who actually have done the work.   Unfortunately, this seems to be a common scenario regardless of where you have employment. 
Most people do not need to be paraded around cubicle city upon their co-workers shoulders, yet some do.  My point is, the simple act of giving credit where credit is due by a supervisor is sign of strength, not weakness. 
When, not if, this happens to you, remember some advice the smartest guy I know told me. “We always win in the end.”
This ever happen to any of you?  I can measure this in days and weeks for the most part. The thing is, learn from this as someday you will be the person who passes the plate, or throws it in the garbage.  I encourage you to pass the plate and give everyone the best opportunity to succeed.  Leaders eat last, my friends.
Thanks for taking a look!
Dan

“The Letter”

The Letter

Today I met you for the very first time,

Many questions need answers,

Seeing you are the victim of your own crime.

 

We are about the same age, your home similar to mine,

Pictures and favorite things,

 you are not a hard person to define.

 

On the table is camera with an impressive lens,

A camera similar to mine,

Who knows, maybe we could have been friends.

 

 The puzzle piece of your life summed up in a letter left on the floor,

Together our time will be short,

 Absorbing your written thoughts, as I slowly close the door.

 

I am not here to judge you and can only assume,

Your thoughts consumed your soul,

your world, now this dark room.

 

Your life on paper, like a script from a show,

Every pain, hardship and sorrow,

Left to be found by me, someone you didn’t even know.

 

To this earth, this life, you are no longer bound,

Placing a small part of your burden on me,

This scene of sadness, in a letter left to be found.

 

You answer the question why and the how has been done,

The haunting torment ends,

for those who cared, it has only just begun.

 

Understand when I read this, there is no way for me to feel what you did,

A spirit gone and wasted ,

For me like before, these images hidden, secured with a tight lid.

 

I was summoned here today certainly not by my choice,

Putting your story in a stranger’s hands,

Trusting that I will now be your voice.

 

I don’t know your whole life or why you chose this day,

but who cared for you are now my concern,

And I will not let them see you this way.

 

If you can hear me, know I think you made a mistake,

Your tragedy now mine too,  

The details with be softened, simply for your family’s sake.

 

What is going to happen now isn’t what you think,

The pictures and your story will be re-written,

Like others before and after, the effect will not grow, but shrink.

 

It is better me do this rather than someone who you knew,

A permanent solution to a temporary problem,

Their hearts broken, my next call waits with something new.

 

You may think I don’t care, but you committed your own crime,

There have been many before you,

Understand that this certainly is not my first time.

 

Quietly I speak hoping my words you can hear,

Many have traveled the same path,

Some who do my job, their memories met with my tear.

 

Make no mistake, with me this day will remain,

But your face and story will be placed with the others,

another link in an unfortunate chain.

 

In one quick action this life came to a tragic stop,

You took your own life today,

This life, this story, now retold by this stranger, this cop.

©


Suicide and suicide prevention have such profound effects on those around each tragedy.  I have unfortunately had to deal with an unusual number of suicides as a police officer.  As my career progressed, these suicides really hit home when my co-workers, my friends, decided that this was also their escape.  The true answers and circumstances rarely, if ever, are brought to light. 

I recently red an article regarding police officers that have considered either harming themselves or taking their own lives.  This is a tough world.  This article is eye opening.  No longer should we be turning a blind eye to the epidemic of first responders and soldiers regarding the trauma that they face throughout their career. Bravado and toughness come with acceptance and help.  Please get help.  Please speak with your family and friends.  

Also take a look at the article link below.  Thank you for reading this difficult poem.

https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/I-Team-Nearly-1-in-5-Cops-Has-Considered-Suicide-Amid-Stigma-Around-Mental-Health-Issues-500928011.html?fbclid=IwAR1vugiFPxNXFJn406RAnBfgOjubZ5QktrmFhYvTK7f_UJY6vf66O9OJSeY

Pray for Our Country

Pray for Our Country

Pray for our beautiful country,

It is what we all have together,

One nation united under God.

©


Whether you believe or not, what does it hurt? Our country, our name is supposed to unite all.  Do we always get along? No.  Do we always agree? No.  Will we ever get along and agree?  No.  What we can do is disagree, respectfully, and still be one nation.  It makes us stronger and better every day. 

If you pray, pray for this country as a whole.  If you don’t pray, see the previous sentence.  If you choose not to, understand your choice is accepted because of the very country of which you live. 

The freedom to respectfully express oneself and opinions is something of which we have, and continue to, pay a dear price.  Be responsible with these freedoms.  Be respectful to your fellow countrymen and countrywomen. 

Thank you to my beautiful wife for taking a picture of these less than perfect hands.

“Jedidiah”

Jedidiah

Jedidiah, Solomon the King, known for his song,

Wisdom and wealth excelled by God,

Before him are his people of which he judges right and wrong.

 

Kindness of word often met with evil response,

Glaring injustice before you,

Righteousness is the armor in this confusing nuance.

 

What else can I do, what does it exactly take?

Move forward true to the word,

Powerful truth etched in minds like stone tablets, conclusions they will not make.

 

This corrupt game is cancer, lingering like a ship off the shore,

What was once now is destroyed,

I choose to feed it no more.

 

The world spins one direction bringing light each day,

For others it spins out of control,

And in darkness is where they stay.

 

I choose to travel the high road, wash my hands of the past,

Learning from each new commitment,

Forging my iron with those that last.

 

Gray lines to some are in the middle, I see them closer to black,

I stay on the white line,

Once crossed over, there is no turning back.

 

It takes many coats to cover dark writing on a wall,

But dark writing appears easily,

In the end, was it worth it all?

 

I say no, to graffiti a pure and subtle place,

Is to slip from the gray line,

And be filled with shame and disgrace.

 

Will they admit it, to no one but themselves?

Ego, and hate ruling their lives,

Each pain stored on their mind’s shelves.

 

I have no answer why injustice sometimes prevails,

Impatience of heart be calmed,

The story hardly over, not knowing what it entails.

 

Questioning why and predicting the plot,

Our own ignorance abounds,

Patience provides peace, and answers to questions sought.

 

Value is in a family that becomes much closer,

The reward is the song like Solomon’s,

Rich with peace and love, and God is the composer.

 

Do you split the baby or give it whole to the liar?

The corruption starves with no food,

You have won your family,  traveling the road that is higher.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I See No Color”

I See No Color

I see no color, in a sister or a brother,

But I am red, bravery and valour,  the color of blood that was shed.

 

I see no color, in a father or a mother,

But I am white, pure yet innocent, as we stand colorless for what is right.

 

I see no color, in a soldier or any other,

But I am blue, vigilant seeking justice, high in the air watching over you.

 

When I pass by, stand, you live free only because heroes had to die,

I see no color, you do, in life and one another.

 

My color you see, together, were made by sacrifices taken to be free,

Stand for me because I am you, your flag, red, white, and blue.

 

What does it take?  To me, the hypocrisy of freedom is when people do not realize that the same reason they have the “right” to do this and that derives from the price that was paid.  Sure you have rights, but do you have respect for where those rights actually came from?  There is a time, place, and way to exercise those rights. We can get the most out of everything our freedom has to offer if we are responsible.  

Freedom, hell no it isn’t free, it is an investment that cost, and continues to cost.  Understand what the cost of that freedom was and still is, and you will understand that to exercise the return from that investment came at a dear price. 

I love this country.  I don’t always agree with decisions that are made, and like this post, I am able to make it known.  Agree or disagree, that is your freedom.  We can still have a beer at the end of the day. 

Thank you Veterans for your service!

Thanks for taking a look. 

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