Eye on the Prize

_MG_8639It isn’t hard to get distracted in life, is it? We start out with plans and dreams and then one thing or another happens and we find ourselves varying from the path or direction we’d planned to take. That isn’t necessarily bad because such changes can be for the better, but they can also be for the worse. So, it is important to know what we are trading for if we are going to trade away a dream.

We’ve all done it. Some dreams are more painful to have lost than others, aren’t they? I have some dreams that I let go by the wayside in the interest of short-term things that I wish I’d not let get lost in the shuffle of my daily life. All-in-all, though, I am very happy with my life and feel it has been a good journey so far.

Maybe you let something take your dreams from you. You may not be in a position now to go back to that same dream, but it is never too late to have dreams and chart a course to see the dream come true.

This is another picture of my second youngest grand-daughter just after walking back to her position after getting her yellow belt in karate. See how she touches the golden belt for which she worked so hard, as if the belt is a living, breathing reward. Look at that face.  What you are seeing is the look of joy and satisfaction of someone who kept her eye on the prize and saw a goal fulfilled. The joy made the journey worth it! At the next practice she will wear the golden belt with pride because it is a testimony to her perseverance!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1983,Klaus Barbie, the Nazi Gestapo chief of Lyons, France, during the German occupation, was arrested in Bolivia for his crimes against humanity four decades earlier.

As chief of Nazi Germany’s secret police in France, Barbie sent thousands to their deaths in concentration camps, while torturing, abusing, or executing many others. After the Allied liberation of France, he fled to Germany, where he joined other ex-Nazi officials in forming an underground anti-communist organization. In 1947, the U.S. Counter-Intelligence Corps (CIC) broke up the organization and arrested its senior members, although Barbie remained at large until the CIC offered him money and protection in exchange for his cooperation in countering Soviet espionage efforts. Barbie worked as a U.S. agent in Germany for two years and in 1949 was smuggled to Bolivia, where he assumed the name of “Klaus Altmann” and continued his work as a U.S. agent.

In addition to his work for the Americans, he performed services for Bolivia’s military regimes, especially that of Hugo “El Petiso” Banzer, who became one of the country’s most oppressive leaders. Barbie provided a similar expertise for Banzer as he had for the Nazis, torturing and interrogating political opponents and dispatching many of them to internment camps, where many were executed or died from mistreatment. It was at this time that Nazi hunters discovered Barbie’s whereabouts, but Banzer refused to extradite him to France. In the early ’80s, a liberal regime came to power in Bolivia and agreed to extradite Barbie in exchange for French aid. In January 1983, Barbie was arrested, and he arrived in France on February 7.

Legal wrangling delayed his trial for four years. Finally, on May 11, 1987, the “Butcher of Lyons” went on trial for 177 crimes against humanity. In a twist unimaginable four decades earlier, Barbie was defended by three minority lawyers–an Asian, an African, and an Arab–who made the dramatic case that the French and the Jews were as guilty of crimes against humanity as Barbie or any other Nazi. Barbie’s lawyers were more interested in putting France and Israel on trial than in actually proving their client’s innocence, and on July 4, 1987, he was found guilty. For his crimes, Klaus Barbie was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison, France’s highest punishment. He died in prison of cancer on September 25, 1991, at the age of 77.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  Dinosaurs probably lived to be between 75 to 300 years of age. Scientists figured this out from looking at the structure of their bones.

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