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Many of us over the North side of Fifty can recall a beautiful song from the early 1970′s sung by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, entitled “Tears of A Clown.” The song described the challenges that one man faced when seeking to show a joyful persona in the wake of his breakup with his girlfriend. One stanza in the song states, “there’s some sad things known to man, but ain’t too much sadder than the tears of a clown, when there’s no one around.”

The recent death of Actor/Comedian/Humanitarian Robin Williams, at his own hands…has elevated the conversation that no one ever wants to discuss: MENTAL HEALTH DISEASE. It is likely an issue, like cancer, HIV and Alzheimer’s Disease…that has affected each and every family in some capacity. Yet, we all are so surprised and stunned when that person whom we thought had it all together; the life of the party, had the nice car, great family and house…and now they are found to have taken their own life. What sadness and emptiness must they have felt…and we missed.

My family is not unique. We have faced the demon of self-destruction for more than 3 generations. It is still something than we are uncomfortable talking about, yet, we know that it is like the elephant in the room. We all see it…but no one cares to address. My maternal grandfather committed suicide, and it left an indelible scar upon my Mother for the remainder of her life. I have battled depression for much of my adult life…and am grateful to have family and friends who have kept me grounded, and provided unconditional love and support, when my life felt like it was unraveling.

I ask that we all take a moment, and think of someone, family friend or acquaintance, whom has lost the sparkle in their eye. Who has stopped coming around, and returning the phone calls. May we slow down long enough to really listen when we ask, “how are you doing?” It might be a life-saving moment for them. Be present…and loving. Listen with your HEART.

Here’s a fine article that I wanted to share with you, and then challenge you to make the call today. The life you save may be closer than you might imagine.

Peace.

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The word Cancer does not have to evoke fear anymore…not when there are millions of survivors and volunteers who are witness to the POWER of LOVE. The Relay for Life events are expressions of Love and community coming together. Here is the event at American Canyon, California Middle School

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A Legal Love Letter for your Loved ones

A Legal Love Letter for your Loved ones

Now that many of us are inching closer to the Golden Years of our lives, it is interesting to see many Baby Boomers now are considering long-term relationships that may not include marriage. Having someone to share each day with, and the chronic challenges of bodies that need more time to heal, mixed families that are truly multi-ethnic and multi-generational, we have so much more at stake to gain…and sometimes, if not planned properly, to lose.

Here is an interesting article that shares some tips on ways to minimize the legal challenges you might face should you not have a legal contract in place.

http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/money/2014/07/08/unwed-couples-face-fretful-money-issues/12384385/

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Are you ready to escape? I have something to share with you…

www.legalshield.com/go/marklampkin

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As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I am mindful, even in the midst of the rebuilding of my business and personal foundation…that I am so blessed. Over the past two weeks we have seen devastation from a typhoon in the Philippines and a tornado in my home state of Illinois. How often do we rail against an inconvenience; waiting in a line too long, not finding a parking space close enough to our store, you get the picture…when in contrast to what our fellow Earth inhabitants are facing, we are so BLESSED.

I have had a song in my head for a few days…written and performed by Sly and the Family Stone, Thankful and Thoughtful.

Hearing and reading the lyrics, from over 40 years ago, show the timeless nature of the need to be ever thankful for the challenges and triumphs in our lifetime. Take a few minutes and listen…and consider what you are thankful for this time of year.

http://youtu.be/K66cK03W1m0

Peace.

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At The Flick of a Switch…

Let there be light.

How many light bulbs does it take to get someone to see?

That is a spin on the popular jokes about changing light bulbs, and the fact that something so simple can be made to be a difficult task.

As I am becoming, I hope, better able to see the truth about the life I am living, I am becoming increasingly aware of my fellow men and women who are also seeking enlightenment. Many of us are so blessed to have reached a stage in our lives that allows for real introspection and personal growth.

Our country is in the midst of major changes, begun many years ago with civil rights laws ensuring equal access to the fundamental rights assured to all Americans. Having a President who is non-White has been a challenge for too many Americans accustomed to the “old way” of living.

And thus my question…how must we change in order to see that a new way to approach our lives is good and necessary?

Far too many of the people I know, and now meet, are unable to retire and thus live, on the residual/retirement plan that they invested in for more than 30 years. What is there to do now? How can one be expected to start a new career? Develop a new way to earn a living.

I have chosen to market a home-based business that allows families and businesses the opportunity to access legal advice, on any matter, for a small monthly fee. It has also allowed me to prepare my Will, Living Will and Healthcare directive, as part of my membership. In my discussions with friends and others, it is shocking to discover how few of them have any type of estate plan in place.

As one who has personally seen the confusion and chaos that ensues when someone dies without an estate plan, I am asking you to love your family enough to get yours completed and discuss it with them.

Thus, my goal is to get the word out about two crucial needs in our country:
1. Affordable access to getting an estate plan prepared
2. Earning a passive, residual income, with minimal expense, working from home

Now, do me a favor and bring me that ladder…I have to change that bulb.

Peace.

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As I write this commentary, our once proud nation is under siege. Once again a small group of radical extremists have hijacked our nation. The history books we read in high school extolled the virtues of a band of patriots who boarded British ships and dumped tea into the Boston harbor in protest of the taxation without representation program instituted by England.

Today’s extremists, having the brass balls to coin their group as the Tea Party, now have effectively shut down the United States government…all because they do not agree with a law; the Affordable Care Act. As of Tuesday, October 1, more than 800,000 federal employees were furloughed/laid off from their jobs. So the economy, still recovering from the disaster wrought by a former president, vice-president and fed chairman , is now taking on water in her bow.

My question to you is what will you do next November? The mid-term elections have been a good indicator, over the past 20 years, of America using the ballot box to either make changes to a failing system or to rubber stamp the one already in place. How many red state families are going to continue to believe that anyone in Washington, whether Democrat or Republican, has their best interests in mind? How many families now being allowed access to affordable health care, myself included, will vote their satisfaction for a program that will be a landmark for generations to come? Or will people sit at home and be enthralled by Scandal, the NFL or Dancing With the Stars?

My fellow Americans, this is truly a tipping point in our country. So much has shifted since Mr. Obama was elected, and then re-elected to the Presidency. One day our grandchildren will marvel at the accomplishments fought for and won on behalf of the people…thank you President Obama.

So, I ask you, to take a few minutes and contact your elected officials, local and national, and let them know how you feel about our nation being dumped on by a few terrorists…

Peace.

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It’s Never Too Early to Talk…

During my time as a Community Educator with a Bay Area Hospice provider, I often had the opportunity to listen to people from all walks of life describe the confusion and chaos which ensued after a loved one has passed…especially when no estate planning had been executed. The survivors not only had to deal with tangible assets to be disbursed, but also the larger challenges concerning the lack of direction that comes from an estate plan; a Last Will and Testament, Living Will, Trust and Health Care Directive.

If you think that these documents are only applicable to the elderly, ill or mentally challenged, guess again. Far too often, and evermore a tragedy, is the event that suddenly befalls a person in good health under the age of 40 years. Whether from an accident or sudden illness, this event leaves the family survivors grappling with a multitude of emotions. In the midst of this grieving, someone must now determine the status of the deceased assets.

When there is a former spouse, children from a previous relationship or marriage, siblings, and numerous others who may have a stake in the estate of the deceased, not having a plan of dissolution could be a recipe for family dissension. Thus, taking time now, even at the tender age of 40, is a wise decision that will provide peace of mind for everyone involved.

Take a look at this article for some sound advice: http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2013/09/19/estate-planning-tips-for-people-under-40

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As more of our children have returned to school, it is important that we review the areas where we have been required to provide personal information. Whether a social security number, financial institution, drivers license, etc., the days of innocence is behind us. A regular review of these sensitive areas is no longer a luxury..it is a requirement.

My role as an Independent Associate with LegalShield allows me the privilege to offer an unparalleled Legal plan and Identity Theft service. For under $1 Dollar a day your family, including never-married children under age 21 living at home, under 23 enrolled in college, or 18 and under for whom you are a guardian, can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from a 41 year old company that is dedicated to the highest standards of service.

Cyber-criminals are working 24/7 to access your information. With our programs…you have a 24/7 shield of protection for your family.

For additional information, visit my website: www.marklampkin.legalshieldassociate.com

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