Tag Archives: humor

Noah Galloway: What it Means to be Whole

Noah Galloway, a double-amputee Iraq War combat veteran, challenges himself running marathons, motivating others, and, now, dancing for Dancing with the Stars. His resiliency and determination are an inspiration for those who witness his character, his courage, and his compassion.

With humor and humility, Noah has won the hearts of many across the country. Noah’s story and his example model for each of us how to examine ourselves, change the image that we see in the mirror, and pursue our passions.

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(Following is a week-by-week revelation as Noah’s story of courage, compassion, and conviction unfolded.)

Week 1 – Cha-cha-cha

Week One introduced us to a gung ho warrior fighting for his country, who, in an instant, was sidelined by tragedy during his second tour, when he “lost his left arm above the elbow and left leg above the knee in an Improvised Explosive Device attack.”

During his introductory video package, Noah explained that for years he was in denial about his condition. As he put it,

“I had this mentality that this isn’t a big deal. I can make this happen. I can make it on my own. Everyone kept telling me I was going to go through some stages of depression whether I realized it or not. I was like, not me. I portrayed myself as this invincible person to everyone I knew.”

Noah kept his pain and suffering hidden, even form himself.

“I drank and I would just sit at home. Or I would go out drinking all the time. I was partying like nothing was wrong. But then there were those moments that I would just sit at home and drink, by myself. Stay up all night.”

But then Noah had an epiphany. He realized, “I still had two limbs. I could do something with that. I thought about my kids and how I wasn’t being a good father.”

Noah’s story of self-identity stretches us in grasping what it means to be human and to be whole. After his debut dance, a tearful Carrie Ann Inaba said, “It was profound and you’re broadening my scope of what dance looks like.”

Week 2 – Samba

In Week Two, Len Goodman told Noah, “You’re an ordinary guy but you do extraordinary things.”

To the surprise of Noah and the viewers, Noah was reunited with his girlfriend, Jamie Boyd, who is now an Army Reserve specialist. Noah had just completed his dance which he had dedicated to his girlfriend: “It was a huge surprise – probably the best surprise I’ve ever had.”

Week 3 – Argentine Tango

Week Three saw Noah reject a new prosthetic arm (learning to dance and learning to use the arm at the same time was too much), finding that he could perform beautifully without it.

Len Goodman told Noah, “You’re my hero.”

Week 4 – Contemporary

Week Four was transformational and inspirational. Noah revealed a turning point in his life and his contemporary dance brought his story to life.

In the opening video package, Noah revealed that his injuries had led to a deep depression which overwhelmed him:

“It really depressed me. I portrayed this image to everyone around me that I wasn’t affected by it. I buried it all. I got to where I would just sit home by myself and drink and try to cope with it by myself. It was the biggest mistake I ever made.”

But then Noah came to his senses:

“I really looked in the mirror and quit looking at what I was missing and paid more attention to what I still had left. I realized I had to make a change.”

“Once I accepted my injury, got back in the gym, started living a healthier life, everything picked up.”

“It’s like I had to be injured, I had to go through that dark time, to get to where I am today.”

Noah’s dance began with special effects showing a shirtless Noah with four limbs, then the reality was revealed in a mirror, a man seemingly less than whole. But then – the dance!

This poetic and magical dance of transformation began with his seeming limitations but concluded with the fulfillment of his aspirations. As Noah explained, “This dance represents the journey of acceptance from the man I was to the man I’ve become.”

An enraptured Bruno Tonioli: “You’re experiences are unimaginable, but your spirit soars unbroken. You really are the ultimate role model. You want a superhero – there it is.”

It was as if Noah had experienced a new birth.

Week 5 – Foxtrot

During Week Five, Sharna Burgess reminded Noah, “What is it that we said in the beginning? We’re not gonna focus on what we can’t do, but what we can!” Something we should all remember.

Week 6 – Rumba and Freestyle

Noah’s protective nature was self-evident in Week Six. The pre-dance video package upset Noah: “I hated that the package made [Sharna] look bad.”

As Noah explained on Fox News: “The argument was my fault, but that wasn’t portrayed in the package the way it was edited … and … I’m not used to that and [I’m] … not the type of person that someone I care about is going to look bad when it was my fault. … I’m protective of my friends. I’ve always been that way.”

Week 7 – Jazz and Cha-cha-cha

Len Goodman again praised Noah, “You may have half the limbs of most guys, but I tell you, you’re twice the man.”

Week 8 – Tango and Salsa

“The white valiant knight,” Bruno Tonioli erupted, “he takes on any challenge, goes for it and does his best.”

Speaking for the audience, Carrie Ann Inaba praised Noah, saying, “So, two girls, one arm – probably impossible for most people. But not for you, Mr. Noah – It’s Mr. I’m Possible.”

Dance Center returned to Dancing With the Stars and provided its humorous take on the remaining contestants. A graphic highlighted Noah’s strengths and weaknesses in a comic but accurate way, encapsulating, “More of a man than you are.”

Noah

Week 9 – Viennese Waltz and Paso Doble

Let’s begin Week Nine with the highlight of the night. Following Noah’s first dance of the night, Jamie Boyd told Noah, “You’re just a beautiful dancer and you just have a beautiful heart and you put it out there every single week.” Then, making DWTS history, Noah stunned his girlfriend and the audience by getting down on one knee and proposing to Jamie, who immediately accepted.

This was certainly Noah’s night. Julianne Hough echoed Carrie Ann’s thoughts from the first week, saying, “Noah has completely redefined dance. Not just for me, but, I think, for everyone.”

In the pre-dance video package, Noah confessed, “To wake up one day and to have two of my limbs gone – it broke me. There were several times I thought I would much rather have died than to wake up like this.”

But now, Noah boldly faces every challenge presented to him. As Bruno Tonioli observed, “Every dance that is done is a victory against the challenges that he has been given.”

Even James T. Kirk, er, William Shatner said, “Noah teaches us to take what life has offered and not only to deal with it but to make it a plus.”

Week 10 – Argentine Tango, Freestyle

As Noah said in his video package during the finals, “I have fought too hard to give up.” Recognizing the true champion within Noah, Carrie Ann Inaba exclaimed, “I know that there’s this incredible survivor’s spirit inside of you, that champion in there.”

Regarding Noah’s freestyle dance, Julianne Hough observed, “For me, the choreography, the intricacy, the connection between you and Sharna [and] the other dancers, I’ve never seen something so whole.”

Wholeness and completeness are themes returned to again and again during this DWTS season.

Bruno Tonioli similarly was stunned by the depth and essence of Noah’s freestyle: “It had an incredible poetic quality, so truthful, so meaningful.”

Anyone who questioned Noah’s wholeness or his manhood prior to DWTS has surely been awakened ti reality, for, in reality, as human beings we are all too often prone to falling for outward illusions while missing the inner reality.

Some might think that due to what he lacks, Noah might be less than human. But, instead of less, he is more. Digging down deep and – whether or not he knows it – by the grace of God, Noah has achieved what few could imagine. And Noah has done so with integrity.

Lest we forget, integrity means “the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished.”

In keeping with her views from the first week, Carrie Ann Inaba waxed eloquent: “There is nothing to fix about you. You have shown us over and over again what art is. Dance is a part of art and it’s meant to inspire us and transform us and make us contemplate things bigger than ourselves – and that is what you do every time.”

Lessons From a Life Lived Courageously

This column is being posted prior to the results of the finals. Regardless of the outcome of this particular competition, Noah Galloway is a winner in life. He has proven himself a champion – to himself and to the world. Noah has nothing else to prove.

Noah’s story is one of not just survival but victory. He proves that, given a chance – or taking a chance – the human spirit can rise above seemingly impossible challenges and not only survive, but thrive.

Among the manifold lessons we can take from Noah’s story and his experiences on DWTS are these:

Don’t be defined by others. Don’t let other people place limitations on who you are or what you can accomplish.

Adapt. Life happens. Whatever happens, we can adapt to our changing circumstances in order to survive and thrive.

Aim high. Don’t settle for less or limit yourself. Rather, challenge yourself. You just might surprise yourself.

Have a support system. Noah acknowledged the reason for his success: “that’s because of all the support that so many people who have never met me have shown.”

Have a sense of purpose. Noah changed his life for his children. He had someone to be better for – his family and, now, his fiancé.

Noah is now a “personal trainer and motivational speaker” whose motto – “No Excuses” – graces the name of a charitable foundation.

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Obama Reacts to Ebola (humor alert)

President Obama is known for his memorable language, quips, epigrams, and not-so-clever sayings.

A clever posting on the Daily Caller paraphrases many of Obama’s most memorable lines, adjusting them for this Ebola crisis. From the Daily Caller:

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President Ebola’s reaction to the disease (with context):

“Ebola is a phony disease.” (Obama on scandals)

“The war on the disease is named Operation Inherent Infection.” (Obama’s Pentagon on the war on ISIS)

“If you like your Ebola you can keep your Ebola. Period.” (Obama on Obamacare)

“You didn’t catch that!” (Obama on success)

“The disease acted stupidly.” (Obama on the arrest of a friend for trespassing)

“We are laser-focused on Ebola.” (Obama on job creation)

“If I had a disease it would look like Ebola.” (Obama on Trayvon)

“If they bring a knife to a fight, you bring a gun; if they bring a gun, you bring Ebola!” (Obama on political debate)

“Tell Ebola I’ll have more flexibility after the November elections.” (Obama telling Putin to temporarily stop making demands)

“There isn’t a smidgeon of a chance of getting Ebola.” (Obama on IRS intimidation and coverup; Obama’s claims that Ebola will never reach the US.).

“It’s not a contagion. It’s a workplace virus.” (Obama’s Homeland Security on Islamic terrorism)

Workplace-Virus

“Ebola patients should just sit in the back of the bus and not do much talking.” (Obama telling his critics to shut up)

“NASA’s primary mission is to reach out to the Ebola world” (Obama telling NASA to scrap space programs and to reach out to the Islamic world instead)

“We are Hazmat-suit ready!” (Obama on job creation)

“Ebola is the reaction to a disgusting YouTube video” (Obama on Benghazi)

“Look, when we spread Ebola we all win” (Obama on wealth redistribution)

“I will stand with Ebola should the medical winds shift in an ugly direction.” (Obama on Islam)

“Ebola is good for the economy, just look at Wall Street.” (Obama on the economy)

“My daughter asks every day: ‘Dad, have you found the cure for Ebola yet?’” (Obama on the oil leak)

“Mitt, the 80’s called, they want their hazardous infections policies back.” (Obama mocking Romney’s warning on Russia)

“Thanks to my administration the world has never been this healthy.” (Obama’s on wealth in the US)

“We’ve substantially improved the tranquility of, you know, the medical community.” (Obama’s spokesman on Obama’s foreign policies)

“We have Ebola on the run.” (Obama’s opinion of Al Qaeda two days before Benghazi)

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“What difference does it make?” (Obama’s Sec of State Hillary Clinton on Benghazi)

“Ebola is a pre-existing condition now covered by my Affordable Care Act.” (Obamacare on coverage of Obamacare)

“Ebola is just the JV team of all diseases.” (Obama’s reference to ISIS)

“This is not an Ebola summit, guys. This is three folks getting infected at the end of the day.” (Obama on his beer summit)

“The death of Thomas Eric Duncan is just a bump in the road.” (Obama’s reference to the murder of a US ambassador in Benghazi)

“Ebola has spread because Republicans keep blocking funds for it.” (Obama’s reference to his own federal shutdown)

“Ebola and I are the ones we’ve been waiting for!” (Obama on his own candidacy)

“Ebola was an action taken by a rogue nurse in Dallas.” (Obama on IRS intimidation)

“We have been very clear to Ebola, but also to other diseases, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of dead people.” (Obama’s red line in Syria)

“Americans with Ebola are better off now than four years ago. People just don’t feel it.” (Obama on his economic policies)

“I have postponed the Ebola Act until after the election.” (Obama on the Obamacare employer mandate)

“I will use my pen and phone to implement the Americans with Ebola Act to keep the American dream alive.” (Obama on his planned illegal amnesty)

“The hard drives at the CDC have crashed. They were infected with the Ebola virus.” (Obama’s IRS on Lois Lerner’s emails)

“I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to be infected with Ebola.” (Obama on his own candidacy)

“I said on the very first day that Ebola is contagious on public transportation. Candy get the transcript!” (Obama’s claim that he called the terrorist attack in Benghazi a terrorist attack).

“I’m really good at killing people.” (Obama’s unauthorized wars in Egypt, Lybia and Syria)

“I don’t know what the term for Ebola is in Liberian.” (Obama on Austria’s language)

“You can’t catch Ebola, Ebola catches you!” (Obama’s CDC chief on Ebola)

“We have to get Ebola to find out what’s in it.” (Obama’s friend Nancy Pelosi)

“Ebola has visited 57 states.” (Obama on his state visits)

“It’s not surprising then. They get bitter, they cling to Ebola.” (Obama on guns and religion)

“Many Americans with Ebola don’t know how good they have it.” (Obama on his presidency)

“I Barack Hussein Obama do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend Ebola in the United States.” (Obama’s oath)

“The previous administration failed to eliminate Ebola and we now must fix their mess.” (Obama blaming Bush for everything)

“Make no mistake, my Ebola policy is on the ballot this fall.” (Obama on the 2014 election)

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Vote Republican!

Cartoons from the following locations:

1: http://imgick.cleveland.com/home/cleve-media/width620/img/darcy/photo/16092329-mmmain.jpg.

2: https://brotherwatchblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/40c00-workplace-virus.jpg.

3: http://www.cartoonaday.com/images/cartoons/2014/08/Ebola-virus-cartoon-598×400.jpg.

4: http://libertyallianc.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/PC-Rider-590-LI.jpg.