2017 Reflections

Alix Idrache graduates West Point. A hero and patriot, he’s the best of our military and country.

Each year I capture a few favorite quotes, lessons and stories from the last year. As a look-back, here were the highlights from 2016.

The 2017 collection is below. Please feel free to comment or email me at brett@nextgenvp.com with your thoughts.

^The photo above is my favorite photo of the year. Lieutenant Alix Idrache is from Haiti and graduates here from West Point, calling his burgeoning military career an ‘American Dream’. The overwhelming emotion on his face gets me every time.

“Keep your fears to yourself and share your courage with others.” — Anonymous

“Apply pressure” — from our minister, Jamie Haith. As in applying prayer through challenges, similar to a medic applying pressure to heal a wound.

“Play it cool” — timely advice from a mentor this year at a critical moment.

MercyMe played a song for the US president at the beginning of the National Prayer breakfast in DC. Before starting, the lead singer says, “if my high school buddies are watching, I made it!”

“A shoulder to cry on has to be a physical thing”

“I have lived my entire life with a sense of urgency, and the people who work with me in TV and radio share this ethic. We don’t go out to long lunches to discuss plans over fancy entrees and Merlot. We usually eat lunch at our desks.” — Sean Hannity

President Obama’s reading list includes presidential biographies, writings by Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi. Shakespeare helped him “think through human complications”. Read philosophy: Emerson and Nietzsche. “As a way to escape the day today.”

“He’ll be making small talk at his own funeral.”

The president of Costa Rica heard that Emma Stone wanted to visit Costa Rica so he created an invitation video by playing her a song on the piano from her movie, La La Land — lesson: Go the extra mile and be creative. It pays off.

The story of General Mattis taking his troops back into the fight during a battle in Iraq after hearing that a lieutenant was outmatched without the firepower of the General’s convoy. “Follow me and let’s get back in there.”

Happy new year to you and yours!