Master your "Me Time"

The comment below came from one of my dedicated readers. His comforting words inspired me to write this article.

"Congratulations on your one year anniversary!!! In some respects, it seems as though it's been a very quick twelve months. In another respect, I can't believe it's been only a year. I can't always find the time to peruse your blog at the leisurely pace it deserves, but you should know it is always a pleasure whenever I actually find the time. You have entertained, enlightened and most importantly engaged us in your life and the larger world community. Thank you. I pray that you keep up the good work (even though I don't know how you find the time). Peace and blessings to you and yours".

There is not a month that goes by without hearing someone talk about wanting more time in a day. It’s usually a general statement without much explanation. I understand the feeling as life seems to fly by quickly especially as we get older. There will always be 24 hours in a day so we must use that time wisely.

When I probe the issue deeper, it seems the point people really want to convey is wishing they had more personal time in order to do the things they enjoy - or what I call “Me Time”. If you feel you have no time for yourself or choose not to take time, I have a simple two word solution for you:


It doesn’t have to be a lot of time, 15 minutes a day is a good start. What it does have to be is time for YOU and only YOU to do the thing(s) YOU like to do.

It could be as easy as enjoying the sun or nature for a few minutes every day, as bold as having lunch alone somewhere instead of the typical group lunch, as soothing as calling old friends one Sunday afternoon or as involved as finally starting to write that book you have talked about. The important thing is to do it and let NOTHING ……I repeat, NOTHING stand in your way.

Life can often feel like a sprint and we forget or are unwilling to feed our soul. Instead, the focus is on our growing “to do” list or other less important individuals or activities. When you do that, a tiny part of YOU dissolves day after day. Is that a positive way to live a life?

The complication of getting “Me Time” reaches a higher level when marriage and/or children come into the picture. It’s easier to do the things you like when you are single and have less responsibility although the key is to make sure that “Me Time” continues despite how busy or hectic life becomes. I actually enjoy more personal passions now compared to most years and my life is extremely busy with two young children! My wife, kids and job are my number 1, 2 and 3 priorities but doing the things I like is 4-10!

Here is what my “Me Time” involves:

1) Writing my weekly blog or working on my book – Writing is my most pleasurable activity; I enjoy it 2-6 hours every week. Sometimes that involves staying up late or working after midnight. NOTHING will keep me from putting pen to paper as it’s a deep passion and invaluable for my well being.

2) Decreasing Stress – Most people have a good amount of stress with some allowing it to completely take over. I’m no stranger to stress but refuse to let it rip me apart so I do things daily to relieve it. I pause for at least 15-30 minutes every day to do some sort of mind relaxing activity - it could be a walk, short nap, reading or simply relaxing on a bench in a peaceful state. Exercise is a great stress reducer as well. During this time, I don’t allow interruptions and my mind always benefits from it. How many of you do this? The benefits are immense so I encourage you to try it.

3) Keeping in touch with friends and family – I am fortunate to have a mother who is healthy and we talk weekly. In addition, I do my best to keep in touch with my friends (in America, Sweden and around the world) via email, letters or phone calls. These moments are very relaxing.

4) American Basketball Coach in Sweden (ABCSP) – I founded this youth program in 2005 and spend time planning and fundraising on a monthly basis. Young people are very important to me and our global world so I make the time. (

Do I experience all the “Me Time” things I desire? Of course not as my family and work life are where the majority of my energy goes. I would love to play golf 3 times a week, write 4 hours a day and have a daily nap but that may have to wait until retirement.

The aforementioned 4 elements make up 8-12 hours a week (sometimes more) of “Me Time” which is the minimum I need to have a fulfilling life. I am lucky to not need much sleep which is another element of life you might consider decreasing to give yourself more time!

In my opinion, there is no excuse to not get some form of “Me Time” in your life as YOU are the only thing holding you back. If something is passionate to you or important for you, you can find the time to do it. It may take baby steps in the beginning to kick start your engine along with the willingness to be consistent (crucial element).

In my experiences, people get held back from their passions due to a spouse, parent, job, TV, computer or a host of others things. A spouse should be encouraging their partner to get some “Me Time”! A job should not rule your life like it does for some of us. TV can be a relaxing tool although it is probably safe to say that most families watch too much of it.

No one can take away your “Me Time” unless you allow them to. All it takes is the courage to act and do some or more of the things you like. Remember, spending a little time on YOU will often make one a better parent, husband, worker or friend. A happier and healthier YOU will shine if you are bold enough to put yourself first. To get more time may require some feelings to be hurt or “putting your foot down” and demanding the time. Do not be fearful if more “Me Time” is something you need. If you don’t act, it’s YOU who will continue to suffer the consequences.

My 2009 kick-off article on the benefits of life is worth reading. The comment at the beginning was a response to this important advice. The title is “Life is (and should be) all about the Benefits”. This can be a productive tool in showing one how to maximize the benefits in life which can provide more “Me Time” and make one a happier and more productive person. The link is below:


While it’s never too late to start one’s “Me Time”, does anyone want to wake up at age 65 and reflect on a life solely lived for others with little or no regard for one’s passions and desires?

Consider this scenario:

You have just retired and dedicated little or no energy towards your personal passions in life. What you are counting on is to be able to do the things you enjoy now that you have more time. You don’t quite know how to approach this new freedom primarily because you never took time for yourself in those prime years.

You go to sleep one evening barely a year after retirement feeling unfulfilled. The next day, you don’t wake up.

Master your “Me Time”.

Happy Gswede Sunday!

Gswede's sister-in-law getting some "Me Time" at the family summer home in Sweden.

An Uncommon Friendship in Sweden

Wherever you reside in the world, it’s probably not typical for total strangers to strike up a conversation and follow it up with a mutually beneficial friendship. In Sweden, it is uncommon for this to occur and it’s only happened to me once in 5 years. I am grateful for this one time.

The story begins in early 2006 with me running on the treadmill at my health club in Stockholm. Typically, people just go about their business at this club and rarely engage (or even look at) others unless they know them. I tend to look around no matter where I am as I enjoy meeting new people.

I glanced at a treadmill nearby and saw a man I had never seen before. While I don’t remember how we started our conversation, what was memorable was the ease of our first words and the ensuing talk. We talked about business mostly and exchanged contact information. The fact that he was so open to someone he never met before led me to believe that he was a different kind of Swede; one interested in networking together. We had a refreshing dialogue and I had no doubt that we would meet again. I had met a few interesting Swedish businessmen before although the follow-up I expected never happened which was disappointing.

It wasn’t long before we met again and attempted to work on some business deals as well as get to know each other better. Although he was in his 20’s, he had a maturity and sensibility of someone much older. His business knowledge was sound and I could tell he cared about others. Most importantly, he was interesting.

In late May of that year, a close friend from New York City (NYC) came to run the Stockholm Marathon with me. Since I couldn’t provide all the connections for my NYC friend to have a good social experience, I asked my new Stockholm friend if he could help me out. He took the New Yorker to great places, showed him Stockholm and introduced him to his friends including some lovely ladies. Most impressive and pleasing to me was that he was taken care of as if he was an old friend. I was surprised at this generosity although I could tell that our friendship was beginning to bloom.

Later in the summer, the New Yorker came back to Stockholm with my childhood friend who was also living in the “Big Apple”. Once again, my Stockholm friend displayed his friendship skills, embracing both and showing them a fabulous time! He even set up a traditional Swedish crayfish party with a diverse group of people which was a wonderful ending to their time in Sweden. After getting to know them, my Stockholm friend had a new world in front of him and it didn’t take long for him to make the trip to Manhattan. After what he did for my friends, it was great to see him benefit by experiencing the best city in the world!

Despite knowing him less than a year, I was learning from his insight and it’s rare to seeing young people being so perceptive. My friend pulled me aside one day and told me to “make sure I look people in the eye” when talking to them. His words were powerful and I never forgot them.

He had proven to be trustworthy which is why I opened up more of my network for him to begin to explore the east coast of America. I had a sense that he might want to live elsewhere at some point as his talents were better suited outside of Sweden. He has an entrepreneurial spirit and is a gifted networker - all qualities better suited in city where he could blossom quickly.

In the last few years, this friend of mine has met and enjoyed several of my close friends. One dear friend and mentor invited him to his home in Washington, DC for Thanksgiving which was memorable. In addition, he has taken care of numerous friends who have visited me over the years whether they needed a place to stay, an event to go to or a restaurant to enjoy. If he couldn’t do something I asked him for, it wasn’t for lack of trying.

In 2008, he sought my advice about moving abroad as Stockholm was frustrating him. He asked me what I thought about him changing countries which I appreciated. I told him that he should “do it” and totally embraced his plan. He could always come back to Sweden to have kids as many Swedes do after a few years abroad. He finalized his plans to leave shortly thereafter.

He has lived in an exciting European capital city for one year. He has travelled the world, learned more about himself and is building a solid career; something that would have been tougher for him to do had he stayed in Stockholm. I am proud of him for being so bold and passionate. He also has a wonderful girlfriend and that makes the hustle and challenges of life much smoother.

He’s certainly an atypical Swedish man as this type of story has happened to me several times in America especially in Manhattan. He and I have benefited each other better than some others I have known for much longer! Friendships should work in a similar manner, yet far too often we don’t help our friends as much as we can. Why not? It is essential to connect and like each other although that is not enough. Friends SHOULD help each other so that careers go faster and life improves quicker. Without my friends, I wouldn’t be close to where I am today in terms of knowledge, connections, living abroad, jobs………just to name a few. And I have always tried to return the favor. (I will be writing more on this subject later in the year)

This week, my friend turns 30 and is celebrating his big day in NYC. I wish I could be there but my “family man” duties call – and Manhattan is no place for a man with 2 kids under 3 years!

My birthday message to him:

I hope you are having a great time in my favorite city, NYC. Please give my best to all our mutual friends as well as to your girlfriend. Thank you for your friendship, loyalty and respect. I have only met a few Swedish men like you although I am optimistic that more of your kind resides here. It is been an enjoyable four years and I am looking forward to growing the friendship in the years to come.

You have been a big part of making my acclamation to Sweden a smooth one and your generosity with my visitors is appreciated more than you know. Keep up the hard work, be disciplined and go after the things you desire in life and let NOTHING hold you back. You have much to give to the world and with your talents, only you can limit yourself.

The bumps and bruises in life will always be there yet if you keep that positive attitude and stay focused, you will pass by those obstacles and reach your goals. I love the fact that your thirst for learning is so strong. Never lose that desire as improving as a person and knowledge in general is so important to the success of any life.

Remember the quote you reminded me of from one of my favorite books, Pat Riley’s “The Winner Within”:

Pat quotes M. Scott Peck’s book “The Road Less Travelled” that has the following three words as the opening…………….LIFE IS DIFFICULT.

Pat goes on to write:

“Once you realize that and accept that fact, you’re ready to live life successfully. You find a genuine kind of peace. You focus on controlling the things that you are able to control. Your rededicate your energies to basics. The most profound basic of all is simple hard work”. – Pat Riley

Grattis på födelsdagen min vän!

Happy Gswede Sunday!

One of Gswede's favorite photos. Two friends enjoying summertime ease in the south of Sweden.

Sweden: Equal Society?

Since my 5 years in Sweden article (link is below) appeared in April, numerous comments have been posted on my blog and I’ve received heartfelt emails. While the reactions have varied, I appreciate the sincerity from my readers. A main focus of my story was the lack of job opportunities for me and foreigners in general

5 Years in Sweden: No Place I’d Rather be…………BUT

Recently, a good friend sent me an email about an upcoming lecture on the college campus of UCLA in late May. It immediately caught my eye as I enjoy reading about any facet of history regarding Sweden. The talk on May 26 is called, “THE BLUE AND YELLOW GLASS HOUSE: STRUCTURAL DISCRIMINATION IN SWEDEN”

The lecturer is Paul Lapalainen and he is the Head of the Swedish Government Inquiry into Structural Discrimination & Senior Analyst, Swedish Equality Ombudsman. What he has to say will be very familiar to some and surprise more than a few people as Sweden prides itself on EQUALITY yet his words are alarming and disheartening; showing that Sweden has a long way to go in regards to equality for all of its citizens.

How many of you know the story of the indigenous Sámi and the nomadic Roma peoples in Sweden? My uncle and aunt (in town this week) now know after they visited a local museum and learned about the oppression of this group.

Below are a few paragraphs from the email. Further down you will find two PDF links where you can read more on Lapalainen’s research and insight. He has shed a light on a subject that we must have more dialogue on! I encourage you to take the time to read them.

In the USA, our wicked racist past is well-documented although we have made tremendous progress in race relations in the last 50 years. We still have a significant distance to travel although there is hope for even more harmony and less discrimination in the next half century particularly with the leadership of our new President, Barack Obama; a man who has energized and brought people together in ways many never thought possible.

Will Sweden (and numerous other European countries) be bold enough to acknowledge and act on the problem of racism/discrimination so that 30 years from now we will find a more unified Sweden? If not, it’s frightening to think of what may happen if the “status quo” continues to rear its ugly head.

As a perpetual optimist, I am confident that things can and will improve as closing the gap on EQUALITY will only create a better, stronger and more competitive Sweden.

Don’t we all want that?

Happy Gswede Sunday!

When it comes to civil rights, Lappalainen argues, Sweden has not come much further than the US of the 1960s. Equal rights are assumed to exist, discrimination is denied, and racism is narrowly defined so that it only applies to ideological extremists. Swedish authorities further perceive ethnic minorities in Sweden, including immigrants, as people to be helped, educated, trained, controlled and disciplined. The failure of many Swedes to recognize the role that institutional racism plays in Swedish society today is often based on an underlying belief that Sweden is different from other countries, particularly when it comes to human rights. While Swedish laws and policies have moved in the right direction, these perceptions limit their implementation.

However, just as in other countries, racism and discrimination are a part of Sweden’s history and culture. The oppression of the indigenous Sámi and the nomadic Roma peoples, as well as Sweden's establishment of the world’s first race biology institute in the 1920s, are clear indications of this. Denial of such problems has resulted in the failure to ban ethnic discrimination in working life, as well as other parts of society. Until recently, Sweden, like much of Europe, had ineffective symbolic laws at best, and at worst, authorities asserted that such laws were not necessary since equal treatment was mandated by their constitution.

Lappalainen, who has dual US and Swedish citizenship, headed a Swedish government inquiry into structural discrimination in Sweden in 2005 and currently serves as a senior analyst for the Swedish Equality Ombudsman. Born the son of Finnish immigrants to Canada, Lappalainen received his bachelor's degree in political science from UCLA in 1975 and went on to earn law degrees from Loyola University and the University of Stockholm. In this public lecture at UCLA, Lappalainen argues that Sweden's self-perceptions hide and deflect the focus from those with the power to discriminate and those who benefit from discrimination. The government inquiry that he headed concluded that institutional racism can be found in the labour market, housing, politics, the legal system, education, the media, and the welfare system. These conclusions contributed to the redrafting of Sweden's anti-discrimination law, which took effect January 1 of this year. Lappalainen will describe the power structures that exist in current-day Sweden and the concrete steps that have been taken, and remain to be taken, to ensure the civil rights of all people in Sweden regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, age, and gender identity.


Paul Lappalainen - LinkedIn


[PDF] Institutional racism in Sweden and Europe

Sweden: In 2040, will the blue and yellow flag represent Improved Equality?

Mom's Day - One Less Gift to Impact a "Mother in Need"

Mother’s Day is important to acknowledge as being a good mother is one of the most important and challenging of any life experience. To do it well requires an abundance of strong and loving qualities. I have witnessed some extraordinary mothers in my lifetime and they have inspired me before and after I had children. Whether the day is celebrated in Sweden (May 31), America (today May 10) or other parts of the world, it’s essential to honor one’s mother (living or past) in a meaningful way.

I read an article recently about three charities and the work they do for mothers around the globe and was inspired although the facts below from the story are alarming. (You can read the full article by clicking on the link)

For many mothers around the world, love isn't enough to provide their children with simple necessities.

More than 10 million mothers and children die every year during pregnancy, childbirth and infancy, which is more than the combined number of deaths from tuberculosis, HIV, and malaria -- according to Infante Sano, a non-profit organization that partners with local hospitals and rural clinics to provide medical training, essential equipment and resources to improve the quality of care women and children receive in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Infante Sano is one of several groups focusing on trying to turn this around. Family Care International works with government and non-government agencies to improve maternal health care and sex and reproductive education to women in Central America and Africa. The Touch Foundation focuses on Sub-Saharan African countries like Tanzania that witness some 950 maternal deaths per 100,000 births (compared to 11 per 100,000 in the United States). And there's always UNICEF.


This Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to impact “mothers in need” through these three organizations or one you are aware of that works tirelessly to help those mothers who need help the most. With the world economic crises looming large, charitable organizations will undoubtedly lose some financial support. We have to make sure that those that do crucial and essential work can maintain the resources to continue.

Maybe this Mother’s Day we can adopt the slogan “Less Gifts, More Giving”. I don’t want to do away with flowers, candy or dinner as these and other loving gestures of appreciation are always welcome.

What I would like to see is a replacement of one gift to mom and using that money to support a charity of your choice; one that impacts mothers and/or the family. You could even donate the funds in your mother’s name! In addition, this could be a good way to get your children involved by teaching them about the importance of giving.

As the article mentions, UNICEF is a good giving choice and I can vouch for them as I have seen the invaluable work they do; work I experienced during a two month UNICEF fundraising project in Belgrade, Serbia which focused on decreasing the “bullying in schools”.

Happy Mother's Day to my dear mother, my loving wife and mothers around our global community!

One less gift could change a mother’s life.

Happy Gswede Sunday!

A mom-to-be in June 2008.

The "American Brand" is Back!

At the end of a recent meeting with a Swedish Marketing Professor, he excitingly blurted out, “The American Brand is Back!” Although I had heard similar wording after an unknown Barack Obama appeared on the scene, his statement really stuck with me as our prior conversation was about branding and since he was the expert, it was nice to hear.

Indeed, our brand is back and what is quite amazing is that it seemed to happen overnight! The 8 years before Obama were disheartening for a variety of reasons, not the least of which includes playing a major role in the economic crisis in America and around the world. What some Americans may not know is how badly tarnished the "American Brand" was in Sweden and abroad during the Bush years. It was hurtful to hear and usually aimed at the top man in the White House. The message was consistent whether I was in Europe, Egypt or Africa. The focus was usually on his cowboy attitude or his lack of interest for matters outside of America, or his intellect. And it didn’t have to be that way.

Former President Bush had the empathy of the world in the palm of his hands after 9/11. Even though that day was horrific, he had the opportunity to bring the world together as a unified front in going after the terrorists. Instead, he chose the “my way or the highway” attitude along with his infamous remark, “You're either with us or against us in the fight against terror". ( In addition, he started a war with a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. To add fuel to the fire, I can’t remember a time when he practiced his campaign slogan, “compassionate conservatism” when dealing with the global community.

He had to know that much of the world disapproved of his rhetoric along with the Iraq war. At the very least, he could have used his powerful pulpit and compassionate words to gently explain his stance and listen to the world community before making any rash decisions. If he cared about the "American Brand", he would have acted differently. He only seemed to care about his agenda and our brand suffered immensely for it.

How refreshing it is to have President Barack Obama in the White House. He has turned our brand from a negative to a high positive and has only served slighty more than 100 days. Some believe the brand changed the night Obama was elected! By most accounts, his first three months have been viewed favorably. He has been serious, ambitious, smart, open-minded, dogged, tough, calm, compassionate and curious. He has also pushed through significant parts of his agenda in a short period of time and was not afraid to explain his actions to the public via town meetings or press conferences. Despite the tough economic times, he has made America and the world FEEL GOOD and that is priceless.

Like President Clinton, I have never heard anyone wonder about the intellectual or creative curiosity of President Obama. With President Bush, that was typically one of the main criticisms whether it was fair or not. One thing people overlook is that Bush made himself President for 8 years and one can’t be dumb to accomplish that. A world leader should be a cut above the norm so I am happy that our current President will never be questioned in terms of intellect.

Now that our brand is sparkling again, we need to nurture and protect it and that cannot be done with business as usual. If our new President is to succeed, Americans from Seattle to Mississippi to Maine and abroad must follow his lead and begin to change patterns so that we can become a strong America once again.

Below are 7 areas where America needs to improve:

1) "Stop Being Stupid" – Bob Herbert from the NY Times wrote a wonderful editorial with that title about Americans and the role we played in helping the USA economy bloom into a disaster. A quote from and a link to the article is below. Most of us only have ourselves to blame for the position we are in as irresponsible choices dwarfed responsible choices particularly over the last decade. We must THINK intently before we act on any important decision in our lives. One question I always ask myself before any significant decision is “What is the Benefit”? If there is none, I don’t do it. You can view my article on BENEFITS in the January 2009 articles section to your right.

Somehow, over the past few decades, that has become the American way: to pay for things — from wars to Wall Street bonuses to flat-screen TVs to video games — with money that wasn’t there.

2) Food and Exercise – It is frightening how fat our nation has become and especially our children. We must embrace the phrase “Everything in Moderation”, particularly when it comes to eating. As parents, we must do a better job in monitoring what our children eat. In addition, we need to get up off the couch or from behind the computer screen and move our bodies a couple of times a week. Even if it's only 30 minutes of walking three times a week, it is important to be consistent in your exercise.

3) Travel – Can more of us please travel outside of America? I know some educated and financially sound individuals who have never been outside of the United States. In addition, less than 25% of Americans have a passport which is a shame. We should care more about our brothers and sisters around the world and the best way to show that we care is by visiting other cultures. It is an invaluable experience to spend a week breathing the air of a city unlike any you have seen before. You will be touched in ways you cannot imagine if you just have the courage to spend some time abroad.

4) Living Abroad
– Before I moved to Sweden, a friend who had lived abroad told me and others sitting at the table that everyone should spend at least one year living in another country. He had just come back from his time in Europe and you could see the joy in his face and feel the satisfaction in his words when he described his experience. I will never forget that moment. For any young person, be bold and take the big step to live in a foreign country. It will change your life!

5) Education
- Without a solid upbringing and quality education, it can be difficult to find success in life. In this regard, black Americans are near the bottom of the pole despite the fact that there are prominent black CEO’s and a black president. My hope is that since Barack Obama has reached the top, it will inspire black youth as well as youth of all colors to do better and achieve more. The disturbing facts from black conservative Shelby Steele's editorial will put things into perspective: (click on link for full story)

The black illegitimacy rate remains at 70%. Blacks did worse on the SAT in 2000 than in 1990. Fifty-five percent of all federal prisoners are black, though we are only 13% of the population. The academic achievement gap between blacks and whites persists even for the black middle class.


6) Sports
– The culture of sports in America is a passionate and thrilling experience. Having seen success in sports change the lives of so many (including yours truly) in a positive way, it saddens me to see those who could have made it but didn’t. I grew up with or have known numerous young men and woman who had the sports talent to achieve a collegiate scholarship yet failed to do so. Instead, they didn’t focus on school or had babies at a young age or became involved with the wrong crowd or didn’t work hard enough on their chosen sport. Many never got out of their home town with some now only existing in life. A few of these individuals were MUCH more talented than I was and would have bloomed in college if the focus and desire was in their heart.

I was fortunate because I had a mentor along with quality parents. Many kids don’t although there usually is one person around a talented youth who does want them to succeed and stay away from life’s temptations. If you are one of those youth, grab onto that person or find a positive mentor in your life to help you succeed. No one can do it alone.

7) Giving – In my view, no life is considered successful unless there is an element of quality giving involved. It doesn’t matter how one gives (i.e. money, time, coaching, mentorship, volunteering); what is important is to be consistent and passionate in your giving endeavors.

One of the greatest Americans said this about giving:

Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.

--Martin Luther King

I have faith that we can improve in the aforementioned areas because Americans have a wonderful spirit and it beamed brightly when we elected a president who we desperately needed in these dire times. We are blessed to have him as our leader. I don’t think it's a coincidence that President Obama embodies the positive side of the elements above which has a lot to do with his universal appeal.

We need to embrace our uniqueness as individuals, begin to improve as people and in our community so that we will not only be viewed as well-rounded American citizens but also global citizens of the world. In addition, it is imperative to always keep the "American Brand" top of mind whether it be a conversation, an action or travelling in other countries. It's important to be liked and respected around the globe and if one has a caring and compassionate soul, likability will shimmer and the brand will continue to glow.

It is essential that we NEVER allow our country to be run by any leader who doesn’t enhance or respect the "American Brand". There is no benefit in having a President who weakens the brand and doesn’t show the slightest interest in how America is viewed around the world.

I have been and always will be proud to be an American. If we can show through our actions that we want to improve our heath, our children, our travel, our education, our giving, our knowledge of other cultures and our decision making, I will be beaming with even more pride.

The "American Brand" is back! Let’s pledge to work hard and smart to keep it that way.

Happy Gswede Sunday!

Let's keep the "American Brand" flying high!