Who is Dan?
Okay. That is not me in the left photo. That's Buster, my guilty looking Basset. I was born and raised in Tyndall, SD. I currently live in Sioux Falls, SD and am a pharmacist by profession, but due to health problems, I am no longer working. I am currently auditing German at Augustana College inSioux Falls. I have many interests, but often little time to do them. They include my 2 dogs--Buster the Basset, and Biggles the youngest Basset. I also enjoy photography, my Macintosh computer, music, pipe organs, theology, philosophy, the German language, gardening, scuba diving, calligraphy, electronic gadgets and "toys." Now, if I only didn't have to work to survive, I would have plenty to do.
I've started three additional websites in addition to this one for you to check out. One is Strength Media. In the last 6 years I've become involved in doing video and photography of the strength sports, such as powerlifting, bodybuilding, armwrestling, etc. and that site is devoted to that particular hobby. I also have a website at Church of the Holy Apostles, which is my home parish. At that site, I will be posting photos and info regarding faith, worship, and music. Our church has sponsored a project to build a girls school. That website is South Sudan Education. I wish I had more time to spend on all these hobbies, but one thing for sure, I am usually not bored. Keep checking back as I add to my sites. And feel free to send a message back to me at email@example.com.
A few years ago, I took several courses at Mt. Marty College in Yankton. I have always been interested in theology and things pertaining to faith. The courses I took included philosophy, mythology, Old Testament, New Testament, symbolism, and a course on drug/alcohol abuse and recovery. I come from a very conservative background, and there was a time for me when everything fit into a perfect box. I had all the correct answers to everything--the correct political party, the brand of car to drive, the correct religion, the correct doctrine and faith, an so on. But living life on life's terms has brought me through many trials and crises in my life. How could someone brought up with all the "correct" answers to life have all of the problems, challenges and struggles I was having? So I began to question whether I had the correct answers. I started asking myself tough questions. There was a time in my life when asking such questions would have been considered wrong. To questions my faith and the many things I had been taught; to question everything in that "perfect square box" would have been anathema.
Philosophy is called the "love of wisdom." When I took the course in philosophy, I learned about the three absolutes taught by Plato: truth, goodness, and beauty. These three things should not be thought of as separate ideas, but rather a unity. Where there is truth, one also finds goodness and beauty. Where one sees beauty, truth and goodness are also there. Philosophy teaches us to ask the tough questions. For me this venture in asking the tough questions about life, faith, where I came from, and where I'm going, has been a wonderful adventure. As I get older, it often seems the more questions I ask, the fewer concrete answers I have. But I am no longer bound by that "perfect square box." This gives me a great sense of freedom and honesty. There is nothing wrong with questioning. I have learned over time to get rid of the many "masks" I used to wear. I have become more honest about who I am. Secrets can be deadly, and getting rid of those secrets and letting people know who I really am has become very freeing for me. It’s been a long struggle, and at times, life has been very challenging. But through it all, I know in the end, things do turn out, as long as we depend on others and ask God to do those things for us that we cannot do for ourselves. Having all the answers means that, in some sense, I am God. Admitting I don’t have all the answers means I’m learning humility. It means I’m teachable. It means I’m learning to depend on something outside of myself----God and friends.
Speaking of friends, God has placed many “Angels” in my life to guide and direct me at the right time. If it were not for these people, I would not be where I am today. Learning to depend on and trust others has been one of the most important things I have learned in recent years. By nature, I tend to withdraw and isolate when life becomes difficult, and isolation can be deadly. Learning to reach out beyond myself for help from others has been very important. It is true that “No man is an Island,” and that we all need one another to get through life. Just as others have helped me, it is now my duty to help others.
I have learned to become very open minded about things. Whether I agree with another’s viewpoint or not, I try to respect the other person. I have tried to become very accepting and respectful of all people---Black, White, Native American, Gay, Straight, Poor, Rich, etc. When I am angry, I have learned to “sit” on my e-mails for a day or so, and then I usually delete them! I have learned to be more patient. I am a believer in justice and fairness. There is so much injustice in the world. I am reminded of the quote, “Evil thrives when good people do nothing.” If I see an injustice done to me or others, I try to do my best to correct that injustice if possible. Sometimes it is not possible and I have to learn to accept the reality of the situation. I also believe in giving people a chance to learn from mistakes. I am a good example of this, as it has often taken many failures to finally learn. I also believe in forgiveness. I must forgive others in order to be forgiven. I am always reminded of what Jesus said about forgiveness: when the question arises as to how many times we are to forgive, the symbolic answer that he gives is 7 times 70. In other words, we are to forgive without limit. God not only gives us one chance, or two, or three. His grace has no limits.
I believe that my purpose and goal in life is not to have the best job, make the most money and attain material gain. My goal is to be at peace with myself and others; to attain a sense of serenity. I believe that my purpose in life is very simply to help others and be available to those in need. This was the example of Jesus. I have gone through trials and challenges so that I can be of help to others who are going through similar experiences. I also admit that I often do not practice what I preach as well as I should.
Above all, I have learned to depend upon the grace of God in all things. Regardless of my failures or successes in life, ultimately, if it were not for my faith in a loving and forgiving Creator, life would be meaningless to me. I have made many mistakes in life, but as long as I admit them and learn from them, I always experience God’s grace in the end. In fact, we cannot experience this grace WITHOUT going through trials and tribulations. This has led to a life filled with gratitude. I am sometimes thankful to the point of tears and often feel I don’t deserve what I have been given. So there you go. A short explanation of my philosophy on life....where I was, and where I am now. I hope I never stop asking the questions, nor that I stop seeking the truth, goodness and beauty in life. Although I might never find all the answers to my questions, the journey has been awesome.
PO Box 87917
Sioux Falls, SD 57109
My 17-year old Beagle had to be put to sleep in December 2007. Barney..."Requiescant in Pace."
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