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Alex’s Blog: “We Took a Shellacking”

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The kind of winning that the Republicans did in the recent midterm elections is exactly the opposite of what this magazine is about. Their stated goal was to make a loser out of President Obama and his Democrat Party. They succeeded in accomplishing that. As President Obama stated after the election results were in, “We took a shellacking and I am responsible.”

Our Senators and Representatives are elected by the American public to serve our needs. Instead, The Republican “Party of No” served its own needs. In the last two years Congress passed more than 140 bills on President Obama’s agenda. All 140 were rejected by the Senate’s Party of No with the sole, stated purpose of putting the Republican Party in the position of winning this election. Whatever benefit those bills may have offered their constituents was irrelevant to their higher purpose of winning this midterm election. The Republicans definitely won. And the American public definitely lost. For example, 16 incumbent non-corporatist members of the Agricultural Committee lost their seats to corporatists. The agricultural/rural/Midwest vote played a major force in the Republican victory. How will non-corporate farmers feel when their farm subsidies are cut by the new Congress who has vowed to cut such spending? After all, the corporatons that paid for their campaigns don’t need the subsidies or the competition.

This magazine is about the other kind of winning. The personal victory that requires only that an individual push beyond their perceived limitations, that they seek improvement/betterment in their lives, that they are willing to overcome the obstacles in their path, as needed, to accomplish the personal victory that they seek. It does not require they do this at someone else’s expense. This kind of winning does not require losers. In this kind of winning, the victory is available to all who would try. When you do your best, you cannot lose. As Hall Of Fame Quarterback Dan Fouts says in his interview in this magazine, “The only failure is the failure to try.” Losing is just the overhead of winning.

I do not mean for this magazine to be about politics but I am very upset about the abuse of power I have seen in our elected officials in both parties. I want Winners Within Us™ to have greater value than that kind of greed. It is not about Republicans versus Democrats. It is about individuals reaching their full potential, about their being the best that they can be, about overcoming the incredible obstacles life places in all of our paths. However, by extension,  Winners Within Us™  is also about groups of people with common goals, working to improve the world for everyone. It is about their banding together against common obstacles that impede our best interests, as in the article herein titled. “Peace Sunday”, or the just published interview with Hall Of Fame Shortstop “Ozzie Smith”. For that reason, Winners Within Us™ will continue to deal with the legacy we leave for our children and with the problems in this world that we must overcome to protect that legacy.

I believe the people of our world are facing the biggest threat in our history and it has nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans. In future blogs I will discuss this further. We will talk about a world that can be improved by winning without requiring that someone has to lose. Stay tuned …

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71 Comments - (Leave a comment! »)

  • Patty - Missouri said:

    I was hesitant to read an article that has anything to do with politics as that subject can be so divisive, even amongst friends, but in this article I found a similar viewpoint to my own. Winning has nothing to do with making others feel like losers. I think that it’s one of the problems in politics today. Life should be about helping each other be the best we can be, even though we have different goals, dreams and desires as a human that thinks the world can be changed by one act of kindness.

  • Paul - Virginia said:

    You write, “I do not mean for this magazine to be about politics, but I am very upset about the abuse of power I have seen in our elected officials in both parties. I want Winners Within Us™ to have greater value than that kind of greed.” Because of that, you have created “Winners Within Us™ to profile groups of people with common goals, working to improve the world for everyone. It is about their banding together against common obstacles that impede our best interests….”
    Alex, these are things which I feel very strongly about. I do not want just write feel-good stories; I want to help people learn about “banding together in groups.” Although I am quite active in local politics during the elections, I am also keenly interested in how I can make a contribution outside the arena of politics and government to support the “common good.” One way to do that would be to familiarize readers with groups trying to do that and, by showing the successes of such groups, give those readers the optimism to seek out and participate in such efforts. As Ray Kroc made clear, only optimism can generate the perseverance necessary to have an impact.

  • Bill – Mississippi said:

    Very inspirational. As an experienced writer, editor and ghostwriter whose identity is along the lines of “peaceful zen lifehacker” — and whose personal mission is “Inspire, Transform, Create”, I am impressed.

  • Paul – Alabama said:

    I appreciate the positive approach to life your publication offers, and I believe that it is both timely and much needed medicine for a society that is experiencing a dearth of hope and inspiration.

  • KS – USA said:

    Your magazine is inspiring! The idea of highlighting changemakers is dear to my heart and I hope you can make a difference with it.

  • Virginia - DC & Indiana said:

    I’m sorry, Alex. I did not have to spend much time reading beyond your first few blogs to realize your magazine would not be a good match for me after all. I am Constitutional Conservative who believes in dismantling big government and happen to think that Barrack Hussein Obama has been the worst thing to happen to this country in my lifetime. I am actually scared for America, and for my grand-children’s future, unless we get back to the basics of what made this country great. I encourage you to go see Dinesh D’Souza’s “America, Imagine a World Without Her”.

  • Daniel - Los Angeles said:

    Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your weblog.
    You have some really great articles and I feel I would be a good asset.

  • Alex the Editor said:

    Ceil,

    Your comment beginning, “If I were King…” says it all. You are part of the problem in our country.

  • Ceil F said:

    I read your blog and I disagree with just about every thought you expressed. You seem to be suggesting that the only way to get anything accomplished in Congress is for all members to acquiesce to the President and/or the Democrats. If I were King, I would command Republicans (especially Tea Party members) and the Democrats to understand that little gets accomplished in government without compromise, i.e., the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. I would also command both parties to keep things easy to understand and implement. A number of simple programs to reduce the deficit and/or reduce federal spending have been proposed in both houses of Congress, and none have been seriously considered.

    By the way, I do not agree with your philosophy, and I don’t want anything more to do with your magazine.

  • Mark – Arkansas said:

    Your magazine purpose and content is very impressive. As mentioned in one of your articles, we all need encouragement to push ahead in times of uncertainty. I do feel that you alienate half of your potential audience by being so political in your above “Shellacking” blog post. I don’t believe you can make blanket statements that all Republican’s are bad, just the same as it cannot be said that all Democrats are bad. If your target audience is only Democrats, then your comments are appropriate. If your target audience is anyone that wants to improve their life, many people reading that post will leave your site and never return. Because of your rather harsh and emotional content in this article. I think you should concentrate on people issues and not attempt to editorialize. These are two completely separate issues. When you try to mix the two, an intelligent reader can see that an agenda is being pursued and you are risking running off a segment of potential customers.

  • Sheridan – Hawaii said:

    Enjoyed reading your blog, and my friend I am ON BOARD with your politics! Forgive me for being so opinionated but an editor’s blog is best served up on a regular basis, even if it is quarterly. Predictability is good. Focus of the magazine is of course uplifting…you give folks reason to focus on the good. You don’t avoid “the bad,” and you acknowledge that it is good to grieve our losses, yet you shine the brightest light on celebrating overcoming odds. Thanks for doing that.

  • Constance – Louisiana said:

    Alex, I have read this blog and understand what your site here is about. I agree with your take on individuals over coming personal limitations and how it should be recognized.

  • Lori – Ohio said:

    Your opinion regarding the current state of our political situation cannot be disagreed with. If we all take a moment to question the old time worn beliefs that we have been taught to accept, we would stand a much better chance of correcting the direction of our country and of our world.
    As one person after another starts to challenge the illusions that we all take for granted, opinions regarding the depth of the bad behavior that we will tolerate will have to begin to fade away. Our political system has been allowed to deteriorate until it bears little resemblance to what our forefathers had in mind at the time of it’s inception. It has become a popularity contest driven by greed and materialism. The media feeds the frenzy by likening our democratic process to a football game or a horse race and then encourages people to take sides and root for a specific party instead of for the person who would best represent our interest.
    As our politicians continue to side step the true questions that face us in this uncertain time by mudslinging and changing the subject instead of answering questions and working to improve the situation we find ourselves in, nothing in our country will be free to change. It is within our power to change the current course of events, but only if more people stand up and make it clear that we will not accept the status quo anymore.
    At this point in our history the mainstream media is being ran by people who have a vested interest in what they can get the American people to believe. People pick a side and then stand up for their “team,” regardless of the content each person brings to the table. It is refreshing to read an uncensored viewpoint that has not been influenced by the well oiled money machine that has the most to win by keeping the American public stuck in the illusion of what it means to be a democratic nation.

  • Trisha -- Lousiana said:

    Our World is going to Hell in a Hand basket on so many fronts. Our Politicians are a major reason. It doesn’t seem that our votes count any longer and it is up to Americans to change it, as you say, one person and community at a time. My Mother always taught me that if you don’t vote, then you have no right to voice an opinion. Taking this to heart, I have always been an active voter, but now it seems that our votes don’t count any longer. No matter which political party you are affiliated with it doesn’t seem to matter what the Americans want but instead, what the lobbyist want or swaying the next election for their personal benefit. It is up to us to get our voices heard and the Winners Within Us Magazine seems to be reaching people with articles that are getting people talking and hopefully, changing for the better. If you do or don’t agree with an article is irrelevant to me, as well, but rather that you are getting people talking and voicing their opinion for others to open their minds to other options. Hopefully, that it will make a difference and change for the better.

    This isn’t, by far, the only thing that drives me to do something about our world today. Like I said, I am a mother of two and see LOTS of things that need changing for us and our children. I am constantly opposing things in their lives…school lunches, the hours spent in school, homework, ect.
    that they are now required to do in order to “keep up”. Louisiana is full of Winners and people making a difference on all topics and their stories are changing our community/world for the better.

  • Jesse – Idaho said:

    I have to admit that I initially had some concerns about your publication. The use of the word “winners” in your title, I feared, might imply that there are also “losers.” Your November 2010 post “We Took a Shellacking,” mitigated these fears. Since my involvement with social justice organizations in college, I have fiercely advocated the belief that when we create opportunities for all people to have a voice and participate in improving our communities, we all win.

  • Kathy J – Connecticut said:

    I read your blog and your text message/poem about Obama and Osama. I loved it! Obviously, I’m also a democrat, but putting my political views aside, I thought that was a very creative way to blog and a great use of text messages! I’ve felt that some of my personal text messages and conversations with friends could be turned into something more!

  • Matoosa Ferrera -- Florida said:

    It was very dissappointing to have read several (inspiring) articlesnly to learn that Alex Scandalios is a political hack for President Brack Obama and the Democratic Party. Most Americans dissapprove and disagree with the president’s handling of the economy and most of what he has done and attempted but failed to do during his term. By going political and demeaning the Republican Party for not passing and or supporting Barack Obama’s policies, Scandalios has revealed his own weakness in character, not those of the Republican Party. On the other hand, had Republicans approved Obama’s policies despite not beleiiving in them, I would be the first to condemn them for that kind of political hypocrisy.
    The Democrats had a virtual veto-proof majority for two years under Mr. Obama and were not even capaple of passing a 2011 national budget because they lacked courage under Oabama’s leadership. They played politics instead of showing political leadership.
    I still think Scandalious is a good writer, but he is a political hack and his rant cost him the respect of many who thought him more balanced.
    President Obama and the Democrats are not leading – that’s has become clear to most Americans. We get that!

  • Brad said:

    I read a good bit of your magazine, and it didn’t take me long at all to “get it”, because I actually “got it” when I was still young. I marched with my parents for a SANE nuclear policy in the late ’50s; I marched with Dr. King and 200,000 others on a hot, muggy August day in 1963 in Washington, D.C. and sat spellbound with my feet in the reflecting pool and tears in my eyes as he delivered his “I have a dream” speech. I got it when 100,000 of us protested the War in Viet Nam in Manhattan in the late ’60s. I got it when five schoolbus loads of us from North Carolina went into Fort Bragg to protest the U.S. support of the contras in El Salvador in 1982. I got it when several thousand of us protested the imminent start of the Iraq war, on
    Main Street here in Sarasota early in 2003.

    So when I read your blog that you wrote just after the national elections in November, 2010, I immediately understood exactly what you meant when you compared the kind of small-minded, selfish, mean-spirited political winning at all cost that the Boehner and the Republicans today are unfortunately all about, versus the kind of global, generous, fair-minded no-loser winning that people like you, Michio Kaku, Jesse Jackson Sr. and Graham Nash talk about.

    I find it very difficult to criticize any of the material that I read, as I agreed with it whole-heartedly! I have had about 50 years to independently come to the same general conclusions, starting with what I learned from my Dad, who went to Oberlin College, where I was born, soon after World War II. I had a couple of classmates in grade school say, “Your Dad is a Communist!” I replied, “No he isn’t!”, then went home and asked my Dad, “What’s a Communist?” In some ways, I don’t think things have changed all that much, sadly, since the 1950s. Having a Dad who read The Nation and I.F. Stone’s Weekly somehow made me different and untrustworthy to some in rural Western Massachusetts in 1956. The irony is that today that same area is a hotbed of Progressivism and the home of Rachel Maddow!

    I could go on and on, and I will if you like, but Winners Within Us is right up my alley,

  • Ty -- Florida said:

    I looked over your site and honestly I’ve never seen anything like it; just stories of people doing great things. I like it, and would like to be part of it. I’m an off-from-school journalism student who’s getting caught in the web of negativity surrounding politics and I’d like to break loose from it. Not seeing a “Political” category on the site was very welcoming. Though I did manage to find it somewhere.
    I read your blog article, “We Took a Shellacking”, and I was pleased by the message you give: that your magazine isn’t about people getting the one-up on each other. Initially, when I read the article, I thought we’d have different point of views, but I really like what you’re saying. One thing I would have added is that this isn’t something just the Republicans are perpetrating; the Democrats have let us all down as well. Many people, myself among them, fell in love with Obama and the “hope” and “change” he promised us, along with his Super-Majority in Congress. Today it seems he’s abandoned his followers for the people who will pay his re-election fund. So many in 2008 were hopeless and fearful of a new Bush-Age and Obama promised us we’d be moving forward, no “politics as usual in Washington”. Like so many others before him, it seems he lied, and that to me, definitely is not winning, or worthy of a Nobel Prize.
    I’m a firm believer that as Humans we need to treat one another with respect and love, and show compassion to everyone. While I am not religious in the traditional sense, I still affirm strongly that this country needs to regain its moral compass. With my first look, I honestly considered your site to be full of sappy fluff pieces I might see on my local nightly news, like a man who can play guitar with his feet. After a few minutes I realized there are the kind of stories we need. Our population is feeling downcast, disillusioned and hopeless. In this moment of our Nation’s history many of us need to hear about their peers overcoming the odds and achieving happiness. I would sincerely wish to help spread some positive stories to people who need to read them. And for personal reasons, I’d rather interview and write about happy people than continue to wade through the muck of money and egos that I anticipated would be my focus. Thanks!

  • Lindsay -- Hawaii said:

    I just finished looking over your site and I must say I was pleasantly surprised at the content. I am a community-minded individual who has taken it upon herself to be a voice of the little people (myself included). I am, quite frankly, extremely disatified with the direction the American society and political scene has taken. I believe that the laws and practices of this country have become so glaringly stacked against the average Joe it is disheartening. Unfortunately, this doom and gloom scenario is constantly being forced down our throats and it is sometimes hard to see the good things that still exist in this world. I, for one, would like to help raise awareness that something can be done to stop these people. I feel that your publication is very unique due to the fact that is focuses on positive aspects of our world.

  • Scott S. said:

    “. I enjoyed it because it shows the parallels between the goal of Winners Within Us™ and the midterm elections last year very succinctly. I was very disappointed by the outcome of the elections as well as concerned for the future of our country. As a young person, I was brought up in a conservative house hold; I thought their type of politicking, and the Fox News style of reporting, was all there was. I have since matured and realized what we need as a country, and what I want as a tax paying citizen. I have stopped mindlessly agreeing with decisions based on partisan lines, and have started researching and understanding the issues. This article reminds me that winning should not be based on trepidation or harming the opponent, but on hard work towards a moral goal. With this blog, you have given people fabulous insight into the goals of your periodical as well as clear, direct analysis of a current event. It keeps safe distance from being a politically charged opinion article by not condemning one party or another. Both partys are at fault while America slips away from a super power status, and the finger pointing is only making things worse.

  • Megan G -- California said:

    I do not affiliate with any particular political party. However, despite how much I seem to be constantly repelled by politics and the self-interest seeking politicians, I am somehow drawn to read a ton of political articles and even return to Washington, DC, to get reminder dose for just how much I disagree with the way our political system functions and displays itself. This is probably due to the fact that my sister does political fundraising in DC.

    I’ve been exposed to politics on the Hill since I was in high school. At age 16, the summer before my senior year in high school, my sister invited me to live with her in DC and work as an unpaid intern for one of Southern California’s conservative Republican members. I thought it would look great for my college applications, so I flew across the country and worked 40+ hour workweeks at age 16 for the US Congress. I did it again the next summer, when I was 17, for the same Congressman the summer before I started college at UC San Diego. As much as I enjoyed bonding with my sister who is 16 years my senior, I decided that politics really wasn’t my thing.

    Yet four years later, after graduating from college and returning from a stint of working in Europe, my sister pushed me again to return to our nation’s hub and intern for a different Congressional member while I looked for jobs in freelance writing and event management.

    What I saw was appaulling and disgusting: people who claim to work for the people’s interests and service the greater good, each serving nothing but self-interest. I wrote an article about my most recent experience in DC, the corruption in the governmental system and the frustration of being led by people who aren’t interested in leading others in interest of the greater good.

    I was very happy to read in your article that you stated both parties to be at fault. This is one concept (simple as true non-partisanship) that is hardly ever emphasized. I don’t care if someone is Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative. The issue is how he or she conducts himself, treats others, and what sort of outlook is held. Just walking through the halls of the Congressional office buildings, it is clear fact that misled interests and poor judgment are guilty factors for both parties.

  • brent -- Oregon said:

    I have looked at the magazine and here are some of my thoughts. First, I do like what you are intending with the articles. Wanting to identify win-win situations, where people put the good of all in front of their own needs is great. Where they improve the world, even if they don’t recognize it. In the article “We took a shellacking” it is spelled out clearly, but at the cost of damning the republicans. I think the same message could have been delivered without demonizing a group of people. This type of politics happens with both parties. The most recent example is the democrats leaving the state to avoid a vote in the mid-west. Just seemed counter to what the intent of the article seemed to be.

  • Trent T said:

    First, I do not completely disagree with your stance on this issue, however I do have a different opinion than yours.
    I agree that each person can and should aspire to be the very best that they can possibly be, and I try to live up to that aspiration every day. I agree that greed and the back-biting is a hindrance of the people,however our(as Americans)success is not reliant solely on the government, adversely our very lively-hood is threatened each day through over taxation and government intervention. I do also believe that the mid-term elections were a referendum on Obama’s policies,with the healthcare law being foremost. I can think of many good things that would come from free healthcare,in a perfect world,however as we all know this is far from a perfect world. More taxes is the underlying problem,since the astronomical cost of this bill would inevitably be paid for by hardworking tax payers,not congress,not Mr. Obama,not the senate,but you and I.
    If the Republicans and democrats could find a happy medium, who’s to say that it would be a good thing for the people, just take a look at social security. It was intended to be funded through mandatory wage deductions and the rest subsidized by the federal government,however that very government has mis-managed it so badly that it is now in crisis, how then, in good conscience can I support these same people to handle my children’s health care?

    I am actually not a largely political person, but wanted to give you a valid and honest response,I tend to lean much more towards positive experiences and people, but this is actually how I feel, albeit a shortened version.

  • Stacy said:

    I am very interested in this magazine and here’s why: “The kind of winning that the Republicans did in the recent midterm elections is exactly the opposite of what this magazine is about.”

  • John K said:

    Normally most optimistic outlets are of a relatively conservative political bent, and as a dyed-in-the-wool progressive I was worried. However, the marquee on your magazine header at the time referenced your article, Alex’s Blog: We Took a Shellacking which I then clicked upon.

    I feel my desire to make the world a better place by working together with others is the core of my liberalism, that cooperation, tolerance, and mutual support should be the way we all improve ourselves and the world around us. Seeing a writer that shares my values was uplifting, not in the mere pleasant narcissism one feels upon having a writer validate their opinions, but in the deeper sense that you are heading an enterprise I feel is working for good. One of my most painful frailties is I often feel guilty working in the private sector: so many large corporations are motivated solely by profit, and have become sociopathic to the point of treating customers as prey rather than partners. When I read your column’s call for ” winning does not require losers”, and all the replies of people who had been touched by it, I knew after reading you take a stand I unsurprisingly want to get behind you, and provide you with support in executing a crucial mission of hope. So much of the cruelty in the world comes from the fearful assumption that if we don’t strike first, the other person will get the drop on us.

  • aliciadine said:

    I really enjoyed this blog “We Took A Shellacking” very much. For too long, America has been a country torn apart by our own ideologies, which we go to all costs to prove to be true. America is seen as the melting pot, making sure that every man, woman and child are created equal. Yet, we have overexposed ourselves, turning democracy into hypocrisy. I long for the day when America will truly be able to say that we are equal and in one accord with one another. I long for the day when Democrats and Republicans, can look beyond their own personal agendas to stop fighting long enough to truly listen to the american people, working together to make a difference for all people.

    This magazine, although I have honestly not known about it before now, represents so much about what America should be about.
    It represents and tells the stories, of amazing people, who call themselves americans. They are bold, tried and true to what they believe, sometimes even to the point of death. It is important to make known these true heroes, who have seen problems with the world and dared to work to change them. These people should be applauded and not ridiculed, for realizing that change comes one person at a time, and that one person can make a difference. These people are what true inspiration is about.

  • Alex Scandalios (author) said:

    You need to be better informed. The title of the blog was a quote from President Obama that was in the headlines of major newspapers around the country and was featured on all the major TV news and talk shows. Your opinion is fine and you raise good points but you need to get out more.

  • Anon said:

    I read your article/blog titled, “We took a shellacking”. My first reaction is, who’s, ‘we’. Are you speaking for the American people or your magazine? Secondly, at the end of your article, I re-read this sentence, ‘I believe the people of our world are facing the biggest threat in our history and it has nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans.’ Yet, in your first paragraph, you go into detail about the Republicans, almost putting the blame on them. So if it’s not about Democrats or Republicans, why even mention it?

    That being said, it’s my understanding, after reading, that the article/blogs intent was to band or unite the American people by showing that the problems happening in our country need to be solved together, not argued over because of what, ‘side’ we are on. That may be why you gave the Republican example in the first paragraph, but you need to show both sides. I thought the writing was good and real. It read like this has been on your mind and you had to get it out. I found a lot of repetition with words and some comma issues or at least I think so. I saw an overuse of, ‘that’. And shouldn’t there be comma’s before the word, but?

  • cheyanna said:

    You’re completely right in “we took a shellacking” that we all lose when people -politicians mainly- refuse to do what’s good for us all. They spend so much time pointing fingers and attempting to show what went wrong that they fail to see the bigger problem. I’m from Iowa, dead center of the midwest, and we suffer big time for what our senators refuse to take a stand for. In elementary school we learn that it doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong, but that we all work together. I think the United States senate needs a lesson from their old elementary teachers on sharing and compromising. We can’t all have it our way, this isn’t McDonald’s, but we can work together to achieve our common goals instead of trying to win in ways that achieve very little.
    Your program is inspirational and relieving to a world that only hears about negatives and fighting. Frankly I’m tired of it and Winners Within Us is such a relief!

  • Evan said:

    Alex,
    I read your latest blog entry, “We Took a Shellacking…” and have to admit I’m a bit skeptical. There’s something about the St. Paul idea of everyone running the race to win the crown–competition against yourself for yourself. But life is also about competition with others. Just the way it is. In every game there are winners and losers. Same in politics. Repubs think they can do it better than the Dems, why wouldn’t they stonewall everything they think is going to thwart their objective? I gather this is only one aspect of your ezine, and that what you try to focus on are personal stories of people who have overcome odds. I can appreciate this. But it doesn’t resonate with me. I’m more of an old-school classical kind of guy: what Solon said, echoed by Solzhenitsyn and countless others, resonates with me: “Call no man happy till he’s dead.” What’s it mean? Have you lived a good life–have you been a good person–have you won the eternal crown…? This is what inspires me about a story.

  • James said:

    Corporate America, or any big money, often disappoints me. “Mom + pop” businesses often win my heart. I do acknowledge, however, that some large companies do give back to the locals. Children are also great, children of all ages. Skateboarding is not a crime.

  • Yvonne said:

    This powerful article shows you’re not afraid to state your opinion. Regardless if you’re a democrat, I love the invitation you bring to the readers and writers: “It’s about individuals reaching their full potential”. Your magazine is so uplifting.

  • gwen said:

    Hi Alex – I have read four of your profiles (Annabel Sclippa, Lori Booth, James Reddan and Daniel Matthews). Not surprisingly, I found them both moving and inspirational. They embody characteristics that we see far too little of in the mainstream media — a positive outcome, moments of low that are now okay to acknowledge because, yes, they did indeed propel them forward and then, finally, success in the face of adversity though many of us would define their individual successes quite differently.

    I’m thankful my parents instilled in me early the belief that we can all achieve almost anything we set our minds to, (with, yes, a lot of time, dedication, work, energy, effort, and unwavering persistance and perseverance) a belief that I now try to instill in my own teenage daughter. Winners Within Us offers powerful examples that embody that spirit in everyday lives and in everyday stories. They’re ordinary people just like us, but also extraordinary because they refused to give in, give up or give out.

    At first glance, we might not see much of the positive. They’re sometimes seated in wheelchairs, or claim lives laced with pain, depression and near suicide but today they are heroes nonetheless both because of those very things and because they persevered and made a deliberate choice, sometimes against all odds. As a journalist and PR professional, I’ve been fortunate to see, meet and talk to many “success stories.” I love what they all have in common but also how individual they all still are.

  • Sam H said:

    I read through several articles and blogs that you wrote. I first must say that I love the format the you use to share your opinions and really show that you dont need to be a movie star in our society to truly be a hero. I read the article ” We took a shellacking” and absolutely agreed with it. Having grown up in a mostly republican family I have seen things only one way. In the past few years I have began to believe that it no longer is about what political party you belong to but rather what people have to contribute to society. I was listening to the radio a few weeks ago and the host mentioned that stating that we are of one political party or another is similar to someone asking what is your favorite football team, and the only answer that you can come up with is “Football!”.

    In the years I have been working I have mainly been in retail. In this environment I have had the opportunity to meet new people daily. About ten years ago I was working with a gentleman that was down on his luck temporarily. While I was visiting with him I found that he was one of the individuals whose family had helped to create several research groups to find family members that had been missing. His story he told me I wouldnt have believe due to the fact I had never seen his face, heard his name, and even heard of the group his family belongs to.

    Another instance is when I was in high school their was a young man that was in an accident. He missed school for months, but when he came back he was in a wheelchair and paralyzed from the waist down. Before his accident he was in JROTC and an excellent student. When he came back he continued with his schooling, and with the JROTC.

    The story of “We took a schellacking” and “Living in the moment” prove that in todays society that their are good people out their that want to improve our community, that sometimes our government makes mistakes, but their are those individuals that want to do better, that want to improve our world, and that in some cases their sacrifices and lessons that they have learned in their lives can be an inspiration and a guide that many of us in the world can use. All we have to do is simply be willing to try. If we can pull away from the mainstream of society and see the people for the good and quit seeing only negative in out world that maybe we can see the light at the end.

  • Kenny said:

    I really enjoyed what I saw here. It seems like your someone who has committed to follow your passion no matter what the cost. I think that too often those who try to uphold a positive view of life and others are ridiculed or labeled as naive. This point was especially apparent to me in your blog post “We took a Shellacking”. Too often the world of partisan politics blinds people to the fact that we have divided our country and have started to define ourselves through a paradigm of conflict. I believe that this is more destruction to our society than almost any other force. Magazines like “Winners Within Us” strive to draw our attention away from our difference and help us realize that we are all part of the same human family. It is a project that is not only worthwhile, but something I would love to be a part of. Thanks again for your time and consideration.

  • Zach said:

    I like what I read. Change the world? As long as it’s for the better. Sure I could point out differences of opinion, but the message is pure. So how can we bring it to more people? Give me details. But first imagine: Imagine that one person could have an impact on their world by one single act of kindness, or forgiveness. By taking the time to help a stranger, or care for the sick, or even by picking up a guitar and singing a song. All around me I see the big media giving us reasons to fight each other, while ignoring the very things that bind us together.Love, hope for a better futchure, a need for peace, a need to make a living. These times will surely test the faith of many. Let’s reach out to the hopeless, and reaffirm the values of the prudent. Let’s tell people, that it will be alright, as long as we help each other. Zach.

  • kip said:

    The magazine Winners Within Us, should not be about politics. However in the recent article titled “We Took a Shellacking,” it definitely was. The writer states that “Senators and Representatives are elected by the American public to serve our needs.” This statement is absolutely correct. The outcome of this past election however is an overwhelming indictment of the discontent that the public has for most of our elected officials, Democrat and Republican alike. People in this country have had it with “out-of-control spending” and bailouts of the “too-big-to-fail” corporations. The theft of the American public through the inappropriate use of our taxes began with the origin of the Fed in 1913 under Woodrow Wilson. It was recently perpetuated in earnest by Bush, followed by reckless abandon under Obama. The Senators and Representatives failed to listen to the voices of their constituents and for that they paid a price.

    The deceit and greed prevalent throughout Washington D.C. can and must be stopped. The only way to do this is through the untiring resolve of each and every American. “We the People” are responsible for our individual and collective destiny. We must not sit back and let the few “elite” in power dictate how we live our lives. It is our responsibility beginning with each individual to take the necessary steps to better ourselves and the situation within which we live. No matter how many obstacles lie before us, we can and must persist. Unfortunately, I agree that the future we face is unprecedented with difficult times at our door. We will make it through this tribulation if we work together. The world we pass to our children can be a beautiful place if our hearts and minds are devoid of greed, deceit and hate.

    The magazine, Winners Within Us should be a beacon, illustrating the human spirit and ability of individuals to persevere in the face of what may seem at times to be insurmountable odds.

  • Jennifer said:

    With the financial crisis, poverty, abuse, neglect and other social ills communities face today I embrace your mission to share positive, enlightened and inspired stories of neighbors, leaders and quiet heroes.

  • Mary S said:

    Mr. Scandalios, I have searched through your site, reading a number of stories written by your writing team as well as readers’ own contributions and I feel all the better for it. I like both the concept and format of the site that is just the right blend of medical information in laymen’s terms and inspiration. Congratulations. Mary in Athens, Greece.

  • Dean said:

    I read the above blog arguing for a non-partisan approach to improving the Commonwealth. Great! I’m all in favor of working together–across the aisles…one authentic effort at a time. Dean

  • Johanna V said:

    Aloha, I am actually responding to the blog post about Bank of America. I was interested in this because it diverged from much of the other content in that it does not celebrate a motivational story. I am fascinated by the games that the large banks play and suspect that they are successful in duping many Americans who just don’t have the time or energy to fight charges that they were misled into accruing. I am very familiar with this particular game (hiding the transfer fee). I have successfully used the strategy that you employed several times in the last decade to save hundreds of dollars. There is a lot of fine print. With regard to the writing, I found the blog post a very easy and engaging read right up to the point where you discuss the revolving charges interest. Although I understood the situation and the source of your righteous indignation, the explanation might have been better illustrated with a visual showing the revolving charges and fees in a couple of columns. Nevertheless, anyone who reads is certainly put on notice about the “hidden” 3% fee and the overall impression that Bank of America intends to mislead its customers. Too often in America today, winning is not about integrity, it is about finishing first, or accumulating the most wealth, or being the most popular. If your publication continues to not just feature inspirational role models, but also give readers practical information about which companies are acting with integrity, and which are not, you have the potential to actually effect consumer change.,,,and that excites me! Mahalo nui loa, Johanna, Kauai, Hawaii

  • GG said:

    Alex,

    It was indeed a pleasure to read the new issue of Winners Within Us. While I enjoyed all the articles, I particular like the refreshing stories written on the Winners Against the Odds. The dedication and endurance of this group warms the heart.
    And your latest blog is profound; the concept of people with common goals working together to overcome obstacles is an awesome strategy that can work.

    I am all for change.

    GG

  • Tristan said:

    I’ve visited the sight and am very pleased to see what kind of company you are. Finally, I have found a small beam of light in the community. I take it apon myself to regularly find enlightening stories online to share on my facebook wall trying to do the world something positive for a change. If there is something that needs to be done I would love to be a voice for your company, it would really make me feel proud.

  • Paige said:

    I am genuinely interested in your on-line magazine, the mission of which I value and appreciate.

  • Christine said:

    Love the content; the world needs more of this.

  • JD said:

    It’s nice to see that your publication focuses more on positive things in a world where sadness prevails in the press and news. I think we all need a daily dose of joy, and “Winners Within Us” could easily be my fix. Please, keep up the work you’re doing- it’s absolutely splendid!

  • Carla said:

    I am currently a stay at home mother seeking fulfilling part-time employment that allows me to be available for my children as needed. I am pleased with the premise of your publication, as I have always tried to look for the positive in life. It is becoming more difficult of late, and I thank you for reminding me to see the good.

  • Phyllis said:

    Kudos to you on an interesting and uplifting magazine. I checked out the site and was impressed with the content and with your above stated mission.

  • marsha said:

    I have read website and I too believe in change and Think that through our words and actions we can give people the desire to achieve more.

  • L said:

    Hi Alex,

    I am glad that you too have gathered the courage and overcome the tragedy in your life, and hope you are feeling better as well, as nothing heals better than time.

    Thanks for sending over the new issue, which indeed has come out very well. I did go through some articles and they surely had an effect on me too.

  • Summer said:

    I just finished exploring the website and all I can say is wow! Beautiful stories with such strong, dedicated people.

  • Christine H said:

    Love what you’re saying. Exactly what the world needs to hear.

  • Mary Van said:

    After spending time reviewing yourweb sight and your mission, I would be greatly honored to assist in any way I can. As you may know, Michigan is a state that has been hit extremely hard by the recession. People here could benefit from how your magaizne is an opportunity for change and growth. I would love to tell you more about myself and how I am trying to make a difference in my community. Keep up the mission as it is the best. Mary

  • Tristan said:

    I visited the sight and am very pleased to see what kind of company you are. Finally, I have found a small beam of light in the community. I take it apon myself to regularly find enlightening stories online to share on my facebook wall trying to do the world something positive for a change. If there is something that needs to be done I would love to be a voice for your company, it would really make me feel proud.

  • Jim D said:

    I have just finished reading your e-zine and this blog concerning winners and losers as well as your blog about actor Patrick Swayze’s battle with pancreatic cancer. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised.

  • Colin said:

    I visited your website and I like what I see about displaying the good side of news, while trying to make some sort of positive changes happen in our community. I’m president of a student organization focused on building Eastern’s musical community, then using this community to help raise money for the homeless population in our city. I also do a lot of work with an organization called Community Records (CRL3C) who also is trying to build a community throughout South East Michigan through music. To achieve this they have been holding after school song writing session at Title 1 schools, and they also hold many of their own events.

  • Dennis J said:

    On a hot, overcast day in Birmingham, AL, the coolest break was to log onto your website [it was my first visit] and spend nearly an hour reading the inspiring, uplifting and yes, well-written articles and blogs. Excellent!

  • Trevor said:

    Just read your new blog, I thought it was awesome, also I like how it had links to other articles. It’s a good starting point for viewing the rest of the site.

  • Geoff said:

    I came across your site and I actually very much liked what I saw as you seem to have clear progressive leanings. I am pretty much a lifelong progressive activist. I was extremely active on campus at Rutgers in the 80′s before working around Central America full time for most of the 90′s. In 1997 I moved to El Salvador where I worked with community based organizations and labor unions there. Thanks for what you’re doing.

  • Grace Graham said:

    I’ve viewed the new issue of the magazine,it looks great.

  • Nicole said:

    I really like this magazine. It has a more hopeful outlook than alot of the media printed today.

  • Heather said:

    The ezine is very interesting. Your positive message about how things must change is awesome.

  • Dianne said:

    I like what I see on the website and can celebrate the intent that I see here–which is to acknowledge the sacredness in all of us by highlighting the sparkly qualities in some of us. I live in a small rural, farming community, after living in big city Atlanta for over 20 years, and I believe every person I meet is a winner.

  • SG said:

    I have read your blog and have taken a look at Winners Within Us. It’s so inspiring! The site especially resonates with me!

    At the same time, I hope Obama understands he asked for the “shellacking” by letting the Republicans thwart him. He needs to take charge and make things happen and he didn’t.

  • Scott M said:

    I am all about making a positive difference in our world, and I think that it is great that there is a magazine that focuses on that.

  • Paul Huffman said:

    I appreciate the positive approach to life your publication offers, and I believe that it is both timely and much needed medicine for a society that is experiencing a dearth of hope and inspiration.

  • KB said:

    Awesome ezine! Writing about people who make a difference is important and valuable. I hope you can make a difference with it.

  • Katie said:

    Thank God for your magazine, especially given the corruption you are are writing about…

    Your magazine is inspiring! The idea of highlighting changemakers is dear to my heart and we need it more than ever.

  • Matt said:

    I enjoyed your blog post entitled “We Took a Shellacking” very much. I love the way you describe your philosophy as “the kind of winning that does not require losers.” This to me is a powerful and profound statement. It takes the focus off of the (typically male) drive to compete and beat out others in order to strive for excellence and puts more of a focus on individualism. Love it.

  • Laura said:

    I am in Missouri. I looked through your website and I love the work that you are doing. Thank you so much for the work that you’ve done inspiring others.

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