Thoughts + Articles

Beacon of Hope

If someone was trying to kill you and your family in your country, where would you take them? You would take them to America, your beacon of hope!

Geri Stevens had a passion for jury duty. She was the head of jury selections in the judiciary department for the city of San Diego. Every Monday she would address a new group of potential jurors, reminding them of the special place they had in our justice system and would review their responsibilities.

The majority of people who receive a jury summons immediately begin to think of what they can do to get out of it.

Have you ever sat in a room with other potential jurors?

It is not a happy place to be!

Geri finally convinced John Maxwell to attend one of her jury orientation sessions, and he was beyond surprised by the experience.

Maxwell recalls Geri standing before her unreceptive audience with an air of excitement and said,

“This will be one of the most wonderful weeks of your lives.”

That got everybody’s attention.

She proceeded to express her passion “about the greatness of America and the right of each citizen to have a fair trial. She explained to the jurors how their decisions would make a difference and that they were examples of why America is a nation coveted and admired by others. At the close of her 45-minute inspiring talk, the potential jurors gave her a standing ovation!”

Geri Stevens’ passion for America transferred to the prospective jurors. They were transformed from an uninterested group of citizens, serving their civic duty to an inspired group of Californians who looked “forward to being selected to serve on a jury.”

My family emigrated to America and became American citizens. They embraced a dream of hope for a better life and opportunities for their families.

My mother’s parents Mary Chernick Leader and Earl D. Leader’s parents were from Russia and Hungary. My Grandmother Mary Chernick’s parents escaped to America from Lithuania, Russia with her two older brothers Michael and Harry. They traveled by ship to escape the violent massacres in Russia of Jewish families condoned by Czar Alexander 111.

(Related: “From Humble Beginnings”)

My Grandfather, Earl D. Leader, his original name Emil Ungerleider, talked about how his father, Mendel Ungerleider’s parents, 13 siblings, spouses, cousins and other family members died in Hitler’s concentration camps while he, his sister, their spouses, children, and their parents were in America safe and sound.

Emma Lazarus was an American poet who wrote her poem “The New Colossus, in 1883 “to raise money” for the construction of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. In 1903 her poem was engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the pedestal’s inner wall on the Statue of Liberty.

“Give me your tired, your poor,

your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The framers of our Constitution were wise enough to realize that our unalienable rights did not come from government or man; they came from God. They were also wise enough to create the Constitution and Bill of Rights to be exclusionary (explaining what Government cannot do, rather than all the things it could do).

The very freedoms that most of us take for granted like the pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom to petition the government to right wrongs are what make this country great. It is also why this great nation of ours is a magnet for people from all over the world who answer the battle-cry of their souls to be free by seeking citizenship.

Where my family is from (Russia and Hungary), there were no rights, no choices, no opportunities, no free speech, no right to a fair trial. You did what the government officials told them to do. There was no freedom of expression.   There was no choice in anything. When you argued to try and protect yourself, they would throw you in prison and kill you.

President Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. … It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

Let your voices be heard as American citizens. Share your stories of the greatness of America just like Gerri Stevens and my grandparents did and elect political candidates who will protect and defend our constitutional and unalienable rights so the next generations can continue to enjoy the American way of life!


Madeline Frank, Ph.D. is an Best Selling Author, speaker, business owner, teacher, conductor, and concert artist. She helps businesses and organizations “Tune Up their Business”. Her observations show you the blue prints necessary to improve and keep your business successful. Her latest book “Leadership On A Shoestring Budget” is available everywhere books are sold. If you need a speaker contact Madeline at:







This entry was posted on Sunday, March 18th, 2018 at 3:10 pm and is filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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