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Showing posts from December, 2009

I HATE New Year's Resolutions

Yeah, I said it. And I'll say it again...I hate New Years resolutions!!!

Most of all, I hate what they've become in our culture...a way to mostly look at the superficial qualities of our lives and think that somehow we'll be happier if we change them. Oh, and there are usually tons of products we can buy that will "help" us achieve them, so its now time to pony up.

But there is something even more insidious about how we approach resolutions. For some people (not all), this becomes a time to unleash all of the "shoulds" that have been rolling around in our heads. Most often, these are the shoulds that others in our lives or culture have laid on us as baggage. To resolve to meet those shoulds is usually not only doomed to fail, but negates our own true desires for ourselves.

I'll admit that I come to this issue with a bit of baggage from my past. I haven't hesitated to disclose that for the first 20+ years of my life I was steeped in right wing chr…

The narrative of disappearance

Years ago I was introduced to a poet by the name of David Whyte. Since then, I have only half-jokingly referred to him as my "spiritual guru."

About once or twice a year, I get a newsletter from Whyte and it always includes an essay from him reflecting deeply about how he sees the world at the moment. Last week the newsletter arrived and I think in it, Whyte speaks to our current situation in a way that goes much deeper than our politics, and yet recognizes the political challenges we're facing.

I would encourage you, if you're interested in this kind of thing, to go read the whole thing at the link in the above paragraph. But here's a portion of it that I think gets to the essence of what he has to say.

Human beings stand at the center of these sometimes swift, sometimes slow, always moving patterns of presence and absence, but rarely intuit their own essence might be revealed and magnified by what is veiled and hidden, or by what has been taken away. Yet this form…

Both Eyes

I have an interesting, but not uncommon stigmatism...one eye is near-sighted and one far-sighted. The interesting part of it is that they mostly cancel each other out and give me close to good vision. Since high school, I've been a very poor student of biology - so don't count on me for much insight into the workings of the human eye. But it seems to me like they were built this way - to provide the tension that brings results.

And that reminds me of a little song that I was taught years ago by a trainer in diversity.

Its in every one of us
to be wise.
Find your heart
open up both your eyes.
We call all know everything
without ever knowing why.
Its it every one of us
to be wise.

Another great wisdom of the ages is reported to have been penned by one of our great philosophers of the 20th Century, Reinhold Niebuhr.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

I've recently been reading up …

The Obamas and Children

Sometimes you shape the narrative by simply living your life. As Gandhi said..."Be the change you want to see in the world." It is in that spirit that I have watched the Obamas over the last couple of years and how they interact with and involve children in their lives.

Its become cliche for politicians to talk about valuing children as our future. But I seldom see them given the priority these words imply. That is why the photos I'm about to share speak to me so much more loudly than words. They indicate a lived-out value of children. And they inspire me.

First of all, a few of my favorites from the campaign.









Since moving into the White House, the Obamas have hosted many events for children.

Like the one in February when middle school children were invited to a presentation about Black History Month.



And to plant an organic garden at the White House.



And a Healthy Kids Fair.



And Bring Your Kids to Work Day at the White House.



Of course, there was Halloween.





And who can forget t…

Why I support President Obama

I am one of those people that find myself very torn over President Obama's decision about the escalation in Afghanistan. I know there are a few of us out there. But my concerns go to the strategy's efficacy and, unlike some others here, don't lead me to question his motives, values, intelligence, or capitulation. So that makes me wonder why I don't when others do.

Lately I've been thinking alot about trust and how it does or does not apply to politicians. I think healthy skepticism of elected officials is important to maintain. But just as I would never blindly trust, I can't go to the opposite extreme and assume they are always corrupt and/or lying. Perhaps that has to do with the fact that, in my professional life, I work with several elected officials that I not only trust - but who have become mentors. On a local level, I've gotten to know a few - which is easier to do than with national figures. And while there are some that are certainly corrupt (and a…