No, the Big M does not refer to me. I am not so vain. The ‘M ‘ is for Manifestation.

While having breakfast, earlier this year, with Pastor Steven Shearod of Cathedral International of Kennesaw, he shared with me that 2021 is the year of manifestation. It gave me pause, gave me reason to place a seed of interest in my mind garden and pay close attention.

With 2021 now pass the halfway mark, I can already attest to the veracity of Pastor’s message.

The first confirmation came to fruition through pseudo friends. Individuals, who I thought were just that; friends. I began to identify several examples of so-called friends who no longer reached out. Did I do or say something during our last encounter or conversation? A deeper memory dive confirmed, in most instances, I had made the last outreach, almost without exception. I was unaware of any cases of COVID being conveyed through the phone or Internet connection. Then my light bulb came on. I was no longer with Cobb County Government. I was no longer the Special Assistant to the Chairman. After all, the Chairman was no longer in office, by the choice of a majority of voters. Hey, that is the way it should be, in the world of public service. Suddenly, I had the feeling, I am sure; a police detective must feel when he has connected the dots to solve a case or a conundrum.

Now, I know why my cell phone remains so silent these days. Like the Maytag repairman, or the night watchman at the Nixon for President campaign button factory, it can be lonely at times, all right. What a manifestation? I’d say so.As I continue to reflect upon the relevance of manifestation, especially when I relate it to people I know, a category comes to mind. Unfortunately, and too often and sometimes, too late, we are left with no other choice but to formulate a category of people,called ‘users’. We are witnessing, before our very eyes, manifestation of users that subscribe to one major network, WIFM

(What’s in it for me).

It is apparent to me that the practice of the ‘Golden Rule’ may be in danger of extinction. How else can one explain some actions in our society today? Thank goodness we do still experience random acts of kindness that serve to renew our hope for the future and ignite more love for one another.

More manifestations all right, how about a few elected officials you either voted for or got elected to office in 2021? Given the boatload of challenges at the local, state or national level, we may begin to get the feeling that there was slim Pickens’s to choose from to start with. Sure, there are those that want you to believe that they do not need a learning curve. My rejoinder is one should never stop learning.

However, the tuition for those learning classes should not be paid for by the voter, but by the individual. Being an Eagle Scout, I have always appreciated the importance of the scout motto, ‘Be Prepared’. I am beginning to conclude that some elected officials have it or get it; some just don’t and, in most cases, never will. Yes, that has been quite a manifestation for me.

Interestingly, my solace has come from my reflection on the words of advice from former US Congressman and Prosecutor, Trey Gowdy (R-SC). Congressman Gowdy talked about how he would prepare his closing statements on cases, often times, even before he prepared his opening statements. Moreover, the item that really caught my attention was his point regarding a eulogy. If it really matters to you what is said about after death, use your time now to either continue living your life and interaction with others so as to exemplify what will be said and remembered about you. In essence, let no one write your epitaph; write your own. Who better? Live it now!

And finally the importance of truth resounds ever so loudly and manifests itself at every turn.

It was the late Sir Winston Churchill, who reminded us that, “truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” It is of no surprise to me that the motto of the oldest university in the country, Harvard, is “VE RI TAS” We all know that words matter, but truth matters more.

Let me not close without saying ‘Thank you’ to those of you that took the time to send your feedback to the Editor. It has been both pro and con, which is so healthy. Nevertheless, it is all good grist for the mill and our minds. Feedback is a gift.

Until next time…

Michael Murphy is a former special assistant to the Cobb Chairman. He’s lived in Cobb County for over 20 years.

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