My name is Curt Samuels. I live in Sumter, South Carolina.  I love America. I like this country for it's ideals. However, without some sort of national self-realization, ideals have a tendency to be ridiculed, beaten and killed, along with many of those blessed souls who espouse them.

I fancy myself as somewhat of a philosopher. A vocation that does not require a degree. In truth, the more education one gets, the less likely they are to be successful at it. All one really needs is a still mind, and a good heart.

Q. Philosophers in this day and age, make absolutely no money. How can one be a successful philosopher?

A. A Pure philosopher, such as myself, doesn't measure success by the "bottom line". Most of us, or at least all the philosophers that I know, have jobs, just like anyone else. They struggle through life, they pay mortgages, they raise kids, the same as we all do. In fact, being a successful philosopher, requires the benefit of the experiences life has to offer.

Life is one fifty to ninety year course of study. We come each day, the teacher greets us and gives us our assignments. We do our projects, read the text, take the many tests that our teacher gives us, in hopes that we will get a good grade at the end of the course. Some of us get caught up in the projects, some in the text, leaving the teacher to ramble on at the front of the class. Pure Philosophers, learn to take time out to listen to the teacher

Q. Listen to the teacher? Do you mean God?

A. The term "God" is what I refer to as an "omnivariant". It can mean so many things, depending on to whom you are speaking at the time. Because of this, I prefer not to use the term. Do I believe in God? Yes, I do. My interpretation of who, or what God is, may differ from yours, however. This ever-present difference between one person and another, has sparked many a lively debate, and more than a few horrific wars.

The "teacher" I refer to lies within us all. It is the spirit voice that interprets the events that happen all around us. Many of us are simply too busy to hear this voice, but it is there, patiently trying to reach you. To help you understand the things that frustrate you. This frustration with life, and the things that happen to us, manifests itself in anger, anxiety, depression, and a myriad of other negative emotions.

I am not a psychiatrist, neither am I a trained counselor of any kind, let me get that out on the table right now. I am not here as some sort of guru to help you handle your emotional problems through some sort of self-help program. I am not selling CD's, books, tapes or anything of that nature.

I am simply a man who has learned to listen.

I have made my share of mistakes, and, hopefully, have learned the lessons that they taught me. I am a widower now, after 27 years of marriage to a wonderful woman. My third wife. (I had to learn what was important before I found the right one for me.)

Please don't misunderstand, my two previous wives were wonderful women also. I don't believe I have ever been married to a loser. I have two great kids from my first wife, and have never regretted our time together. My second marriage was somewhat short-lived, but in the abbreviated time that we spent together, I learned volumes. It's kind of a comical point, and I won't go into detail, for the sake of privacy, but the truth is, I divorced my second wife, for the same reasons that my first wife divorced me.

 Live and learn.

There is an old adage, saying that the third time is charmed. My third wife, Jean, was truly the soul-mate that I had searched so long for. In our twenty seven years together, we were greatly blessed with six beautiful children. We had been through a great deal together, including these past two years as she struggled with the cancer, to which she finally succumbed. She will be missed by myself, her children, and a great many other who knew the sweet spirit that she was. I can only hope to have done so well in the classroom of life, when I too, get my final grade from the teacher.