Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!


In 2009 there is hope these hard times for so many will end, not only with a job and a decent wage for all who seek it, but with a sense of financial security free from the fear of loss.

The first decade of the 21st century is nearing its end and we are still searching for a global sanity. There are still 27 recognized conflicts or regional wars infecting the planet as we struggle with the belief that security is having more. There is still religious and political hatred obscuring our inner knowing that we are ONE.

There is always hope in the litany of Pandora troubles that are part of our daily struggle, but let us not forget that hope without action is arrogance. We each have to work at finding harmony in chaos.

It's there, we can feel it when we give from empathy and not reward. When we resolve not to be discouraged, not to speak in anger, not to blame, and not to judge without the truth of looking within first.

Maybe this is the year that unconditional love and appreciation will guide the hearts and wills of humankind.

Maybe!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Resolutions


Some thoughts today on the upcoming new year.

Beginnings always have an expectation.
What happens next, where do we go from here.

There is an old saying that says we attract to us what we fear the most. If that's true, then it is time to acknowledge that within each of us is an immense creative energy that can find a way out of the fear, the sadness, the despair, the negative conditions for which we often blame others.

Perhaps it is time we see ourselves as creators. Not only the creator of things, but also of attitudes and personal conditions.

We often constrict our creative self by placing limits. We often inadvertently deny those in need by believing security is having more. Sometimes we delude those we say we love by only loving ourselves through them and not honoring their choice and sacred self.

Perhaps it is time to listen to the life force of our hearts, for it lets us hear the trees, the oceans, the plants and animals and even strangers when they speak to us.

That life force is unconditional love, which translates to respect, courtesy and kindness.

It has never been tried on a mass scale.

It seems to me we have nothing to lose.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Bush Legacy


My continued philosophy in these posts is to offer an alternative thought, a non-attacking way of looking at an issue, an event, or even an experience. Today’s post is an opinion.

Yesterday on the Sunday news shows Mrs. Laura Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appeared on separate programs defending the President’s legacy from critics who say it is one of the worst in history. It seems they too have a different way of looking at an issue, an event and an experience.

Initially I thought Mr. Bush would be a good president. I voted for him the first time around even though I knew vice-president Al Gore personally and liked him and what he stood for. I was, however, disappointed enough in his lack of environmental actions and moral condemnations during his Vice-Presidency under Bill Clinton that I could not give him my vote.

But then came Florida and the “hanging chad” debacle and an election that was decided by the Supreme Court and not the popular vote.

I think the fact that Vice President and candidate Gore chose not to contest the election for the good of the country was one of the most patriotic acts in our history. Contesting it would have shredded the political fabric of this nation; his was the right decision. History is filled with that kind of grace; it is only that we forget most of it.

I think it is admirable that Mrs. Bush stands up for her husband. Truly, what else could she do or even would she do. Secretary Rice is still the Secretary of State, serving Mr. Bush and there was not much she could say given the circumstances of political and diplomatic protocol. I suspect once she is out of public office and writes her book there may be a hindsight acknowledgment of flawed presidential decisions.

Both women intimated that history would be the judge. Yes, history will make its adjudication, but we all live in the “now” and history is the future. Right now, the Bush legacy is not good.

We live in a country with fewer freedoms than we had eight years ago. We live in a country in a deep economic crisis. We live in a country that is no longer respected by most nations and peoples of the world. We live in a country that is spending our national treasure on two wars, one of which is suspect and the other very difficult to win because of terrain, terror and regional tensions. We live in a country where our national leadership uses fear to enact ill-advised laws and rules and even though we’ve spent trillions on security we are not really safe.

No one and no country is safe against the diabolical, the fanatic, and the delusional of the world that are willing to die for their delusions.

Mrs. Bush and Madam Secretary I respectfully disagree with your assessment of the Bush Presidency. Like you, I’m sure President Bush’s original intentions were based on a hopeful outcome. That’s as good a compliment I can give him at the moment. I am one American citizen who is glad he is leaving office and I’m fairly certain I won’t be around if and when history might offer enough evidence for me to change my mind.






Friday, December 26, 2008

Touch Hands


I’m trusting that those of you who celebrate the ritual and holiday traditions of Christmas had a joyous gathering and a sacred ceremony honoring the Christ Conscience that buds and abounds in each of us.

I did, but this year it came through the evidential kindness of courtesy and humor.

I was fortunate enough to be with family, both biological and extended and it was wonderful.

Here’s what I noticed this year. It does not mean it did not occur in other years, but only that I noticed it this time.

Actually courtesy and humor have always occurred in the biological group I call family, but somehow this year the resonating grace vibrated through my aging and experienced nerves and I became more aware of it.

Here’s what I noticed: Attentiveness to the other; I watched it from young to old and from old to young. Where the child says thank you without the prodding from parents and where the elder chooses to become the child for a moment of shared joy in a game, in a silly action or from learning from the child in how to do, or put together, or connect, or program a seemingly simple task. Simple for the child, but complicated for the non-electronic minds of the elder.

There were also the other gentle courtesies of, “may I get you something” or “here try this, I thought you might like it”, or the magnificent power of a touch, a hug, a smile or even the shared laughter of genuine appreciation.

The humor part is the genesis of the laughter and we had plenty of that at my Christmas gathering. At times it was raucous and belly lifting. It was also subtle and coupled with a smile, and polite and sincere. It was the laughter of knowing the end of a thought, the end of a joke, or the end of a story since it had been told several times before at various family gatherings always at the knowing expense of one family member or another and everybody laughs again.

I think the most important part of these family gatherings and in fact of all family gatherings, yours or mine, are the memories we each take from them.

In the children it builds traditions and perennial expectations. In the elder it strengthens and confirms family and tweaks memories of what once was and what might never be again.

Children think it never ends and the old know it does.

There’s a poem by James Patrick Erdman I’d like to share with you as we celebrate the joys and happiness of this season.

The poem is called Touch Hands.

“Ah friends, dear friends, as years go by, and heads grow gray. How fast the guests do go.
Tough hands, touch hands with those that stay.

Strong hands to the weak, Old hands to young around the Christmas board, touch hands.
The false forget. The foe forgive. For every guest will go and every fire burn low and cabin, empty stands.

Forget! Forgive. For who may say that Christmas Day may ever come to host or guest again? Touch hands.”

Again Merry Christmas to all.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Twas The Night Before Christmas


By Clement Moore

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snow and Sleigh


With this day of new cold and still new snow on the ground. I want to share with you a poem I call "Sleigh Ride." It took place in Danbury, Connecticut many years ago.

A weathered barn in withered red,
stands clear with in memory,
and every time it starts to snow
old thoughts return to Danbury.

It was a barn like no other,
mystic, magic, somehow serene
With tack and harness set in place,
yet something else that can't be seen.

An inner warmth, an eminence,
an aura shine you cannot view,
perhaps the light of keeper's soul
the one who mends and tends unto.

This heart of his and equine heat
oft' stays the cold of winter's sting
and keeps the frost from off the bells
that trim the reins and give the ring.

In boarded stall, the horses sense
the quiet fall of downy flake.
They paw the straw and perk an ear
and gently give their heads a shake.

Across the way, past field white,
'top harvest chaff and stubble hay,
children question with excitement,
"Sir, are you hitching up the sleigh?"

The answers quick with pure delight,
"The team is set to trot the snow",
said the smiling friendly neighbor,
a child too, who wants to go.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Hanukkah


A few years ago on a peaceful street in a small Pennsylvania town the spirit of the holiday season was ripped from its bucolic revelry.

The homes on Water Lily Way in Newtown were few, only eighteen, but they were festooned with colorful decorations of lights and garland and blinking wishes of peace on earth.

One house was different. The Markovitz family was Jewish and placed a lighted menorah in the window. It was one of those years, like this year, when Christmas and Hanukkah come together on the calendar.

About three O’clock one morning, while the Markovitz family slept, someone smashed their front window and frame and the menorah was destroyed.

Neighbors who heard the commotion rushed to help. The police were called and the Markovitz’s memories of relatives lost at Auschwitz surfaced once again with the shock of how could this happen here.

The collective human morality of what is right always responds with positive individual action. One Neighbor rallied the other 18 families and besides helping the Markovitz family fix their window, they all contributed emotionally to fixing the Markovitz spirit damaged by hate, prejudice, cruelty and cowardice.

Less than 24 hours after the incident, the Markovitz family was coming home from dinner at a relative’s home. It was Dark. All the Christmas lights on the street were lit and blazing in a cacophony of color, but there in the window of every home along with the Christmas lights was an illuminated menorah.

Happy Hanukkah.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lockerbie


Good Sunday Morning to All,

Normally, I don’t post on the weekend, but today is sadly special.

On this day December 21st 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was blown out of the sky over Lockerbie, Scotland. 270 people were murdered by a terrorist bomb.

The plane originated in Frankfort, Germany and had one stop in London before heading out across the North Atlantic taking many home for the holidays.

In the twenty years since this tragedy most people have forgotten it for new tragedies, new pain, new terrors have replaced the Lockerbie incident.

I remember it vividly, not only because I reported on the crash during the nightly news for weeks, but because of one act of sympathy that will always stand out in my heart.

Shortly after the crash there was a large bouquet of red roses sent to Lockerbie officials. There was a note pinned to the flowers. It said, “To the little girl in the red dress who made my life so enjoyable from Frankfort to London. You didn’t deserve this”.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Time

Christmas Time
© 1995 Rolland G. Smith


Some poetic thoughts on Christmas.


Christmas time surprises as it jumps out from the cold
to warm the late December days with frankincense and gold
It heralds in with music, in the silent of the night,
and when it wakes the child within my memories are bright.

It’s wrapping hearts in holly green and Rudolph red with bow
and standing ‘neath a berried sprig of kissing mistletoe.
Dancing dreams of sugarplums and minted candy cane
bring visions of a Christmas tree and a circling tooting train.
.
I harken as the angles sing with distant family near
and I love to hear a child say the names of eight reindeer.
Patina thoughts of Christmas past and shinny ones of new
remind me of the Magi three and a child named Jesu.

There’s jingle bells and icicles and packages to tie
with ribbons tight and wrappings bright of sleighs up in the sky,
There’s hugs galore and candy more and kids with favorite toys
and shirts and socks and building blocks for little girls and boys.

There’s cards and calls and carols and candles fill the room
and tins of sugar cookies shine by red poinsettia bloom.
Christmas time indeed surprises in a special wondrous way
in winter and forever it’s my favorite holiday.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Spirit


Some thoughts on the Christmas Spirit.

One of my favorite trees is the redwood. Magnificent standing monuments to the efficacy of family, of community.

These trees are often a thousand years old and grow to 300 feet tall. Yet the root system of a single tree rarely extends below eight feet. Hardly enough strength to keep them from falling.

Community keeps them upright.

Their roots intertwine with other redwoods in a community called a grove. The roots of the grove interconnect to other groves and an exponential strength evolves as each tree helps the other stand erect against fire and storm.

Our human species is similar to the redwood. Extended families gather in people groves, and like the redwoods, intertwine life with life, hopes with hopes, wishes with wishes.

Shared experience, empathy, and service to others help create a community.

This time of year we call that community, the Christmas Spirit.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Arab Shoes


I was originally going to stay with posts of stories and myths about the Christmas season for the next several days, but the shoe throwing incident engenders these thoughts.

You know the childhood rhyme, “sticks and stones can break my bones, but names can never hurt me”.

I would offer a modern day alternative: “sticks and shoes can break the rules, but names can never hurt me”.

I think President George W. Bush missed a valuable opportunity in Baghdad when a disgruntled Iraqi television journalist threw his shoes at the President and yelled insults. Throwing shoes at another person is one of the more profound insults you can do to another in the Arab world.

Unless he is permanently mired into the world of privileged and presidential illusion, Mr. Bush has got to understand that he is not very popular in many parts of this world; especially the Arab world.

The shoe throwing incident would have been a perfect time for Mr. Bush to say, “I am not insulted by the shoe throwing, just as you would not be insulted if gestures considered an insult in the West were directed at you. It is not part of our culture. What it shows is our cultural differences, our societal misunderstandings and especially the need for each of us to be tolerant, considerate and loving as both the Koran and the Bible instruct.”

If I were the President I would have immediately and publicly forgiven the man to defuse the situation and offered a sit-down interview with him to discuss perceived differences and old pain and I would have said to the world there is no insult to the Office of the Presidency that history cannot counter with good works, generosity and a continued treasured sacrifice for the potential betterment of humankind.



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Wonderful Life


Christmas energy is a warm uplifting inner glow that affirms the value of good will and how sacred life is.

It's no wonder that this time of year, the Jimmy Stewart film It's a Wonderful Life, continues to capture our hearts with the simple truth that every life counts.

In the tale, Clarence, an angel trying to earn his wings, shows George Bailey that it is the living of life that is wonderful, not that every moment is pure and without pain or that every dream comes true. It is a poignant story of how we are all connected to the universal sufferings and celebrations of life.

The truth of life and the spirit of Christmas are one in the same. You feel it in the little things we give to each other: a smile, a hug, a handshake, a kind remark, and even in the gifts we give to strangers. These are tough times for a lot of newer people so remember the food bank, toys for tots, the Salvation Army and Gifts For Grown-ups.

The Christmas spirit and a wonderful life happen when we choose to give what we seek.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Customs


Some thoughts today and for the next several days on the customs and stories of Christmas.

In England, it is still common to hear someone say that the cock crows for Christmas. Legend has it that the roosters crowing would frighten away the bad spirits from the holy season.

Other superstitions are wonderful in their imagery. One is that bees can sing at Christmas and sheep walk in procession to commemorate the visit of the angel to the shepherds.

In Canada, there is the story of an Indian creeping through the woods on Christmas, watching to see the deer kneel and look up to the Great Spirit.

At one time in the German Alps it was believed that cattle had the gift of language on Christmas, but it was a sin to eavesdrop.

In Poland the story is told that on Christmas the heavens are opened and the scene of Jacob's ladder is re-enacted, but only the saints could see it.

In Scandinavian countries. Goodwill is the order of the season. Old quarrels are balanced by forgiveness and feuds are forgotten. In each household family members place their shoes in a row to symbolize that during the year the family will live together in peace and harmony.

Let us visualize all the shoes of the world in a row this year.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Neighborhoods


We have an ice storm going on at the moment. As I look outside in the twinkling bright of one streetlight, the trees and bushes, the brush and wires are coated with about an inch of ice. The prediction is for more over night.

I live in small rural community. My road is what you would call a “dead end”. I’ve always disliked that term and would prefer “no outlet”, but preferences and rules always have a conflict with rules winning out. Anyway, my “dead end” is a microcosm of age and cultures.

At the start of my road is a boarding house for transient folks who come and go as needed. Some of my neighbors with little kids don’t like it and I understand their concern, but community is just that: a community of people living in the same vicinity each trying to survive as best they can.

We are not a tribe where mutual trust is the rule. We are a collection of unrelated people who happen to be living in proximity at the same time for the same purpose. Life!

If you travel the world you would witness much more of this type of living than you do in the United States. In Malaysia I saw mansions side by side to shacks. It is what it is.

As you move up my road, the ten or so houses become more individualized, single family and distinct. There are one-story homes with a couple of bedrooms and more outside play space than you’d find exponentially inside. The maximum abode would be two stories and that would also include a utilized or finished basement and a small attic storage space.

What is delightfully more important is the age of the residents. The oldest family couple on the street are in their nineties and the youngest family unit is just out of their twenties with all generations in between including toddlers, teenagers and grade-school children.

What is seemingly unique to this neighborhood, based upon my experience of living in many other places is that, apart from the transient rooming house, we each know the other's name and we each look out for the other.

We have illness and infirmity close by. We have the young with babies and the elderly with problems. We have all spectrums of income and all political ideals. We rarely socialize, but we talk with each other and our commonalty is concern for the other. I’m not sure you can find that in a lot of places, but it flourishes here.

The icy mix continues outside and I am thankful for this place.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stepping Stone Sky


Claude Charlebois is a friend of mine. He is a renowned Canadian photographer and is working on a project called “Tonal Visions”. It is a blending of photography and poetry. The poetry is from the late Maestro and Mentor Dr. Kenneth George Mills of Toronto and the world.

Claude travels the globe creating unique photos of his own, but also captures the scenic wonder of nature when he sees it.

I could not resist the words that flowed from my heart when I saw the attached Charlebois photo, a consideration from his recent trip to the American southwest. I have entitled the sonnet “Stepping Stone Sky”.

Stepping Stone Sky
©2008 Rolland G. Smith

They float upon the blue of heaven’s floor
Above the desert dry and highway street;
These steps of mystic mist that gods adore
When walking top the clouds in soft bare feet.
Dissolve they do for spirits quickly pass
Attending to their realms and duties held.
Then Gaia in her nature smooths the path
And gathers mists together in a meld.
From this she makes another downy cloud
Where spirits rest before the morning bright.
For soon they rush to gather and unshroud
The human pleas from prayers before God’s light.
All this is from a photo of the sky.
And spirit’s grace commands I say, “Oh My”!

Good morning All...and thank you Claude.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blagojevich


I know he’s innocent until proven guilty. I will say it again, I know he’s innocent until proven guilty, that is our system of laws, but now I have to say that with today's surveillance sophistication I suspect Governor Blagojevich of Illinois is in a deep heap of federal trouble.

He is accused of preparing to sell the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Obama.

I often wonder what changes in the minds of elected officials after they are placed in office with the promise to protect and administer the rights of the electorate. What makes them think they can circumvent the law, take bribes, sell their office to the highest bidder and think they will never be found out, caught, prosecuted and disgraced? It has happened time and time again in many states, in many towns and in many organizations. Most get caught; yet it continues. Amazing.

It probably has something to do with arrogance. The dictionary defines arrogance as an offensive display of superiority or self-importance. The human ego usurps reason and installs itself in the self-righteousness of action to convince the rational mind that power is absolute and for use anyway one sees fit.

It is no wonder that British historian Lord Acton said, “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. He apparently knew the dangers that authority faces when power’s temptation attracts man to greed.

Nothing excuses an elected official from crimes inimical to his or her office. Whether it’s a mayor, a governor or a president, there is an integrity the voter has the right to expect for the confidence of a vote.

I’m not sure if integrity, honesty, fairness and right action can be taught. We have tried to do so in our educational systems with emphasis on ethics, but ethics are only sets of unenforceable values by which we individually choose to live. They can be changed and are at any given moment of choice.

What we need from the lowest office to the highest are statesmen, not politicians.

We need grace, not greed and service above self from people in public office.

We need to eliminate perks and patronage for they are the seeds of temptation.

We need officials and administrators who embrace the public good, not public funds or special interest funds for their own advancement.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Manifesting Thoughts


I sit here in my home office on a cold December night and I think about the significance of this moment in thought as well as the monumental responsibility for it if in fact “energy follows thought” as some disciplines espouse.

Energy follows thought means ultimately all thought is creative or creating and continues once the thinker abandons it. If intention is the yeast then that energy component has the potential to manifest into a creation on the canvas of time.

This kind of thinking gets a little convoluted in its possible consequences, but you get the principle of the idea. OK it’s a little weird too.

The idea is that once you think about something, what if that thought bounds around the universe bumping into and attracting like thought patterns that end up in a mish-mash junk yard of collective possibilities? Hopefully the thought trash heap is somewhere at the edge of the universe and away from any disorder the original thought could have created. It may be out of the way, but it’s still there. Darn…some think this could happen.

I have no idea whether it could or could not happen, but I don’t want to take any chances with any errant or ill-conceived thoughts hanging out with other like-minded energy guys down at the corner of space, so what do I do?

I have been told of two antidotes. One is all you have to do is say “cancel” and the thought energy dissipates and two you can offer a prayer thought, the non-denominational variety, that basically says, “I release into the light any negativity created by my thought and ask that it be transformed into a useful energy for the good of the whole.”

These are just a few of the mystical mental wanderings that come on cold night when a mesmerizing fire frees thoughts from the “what if” file in the back of my mind.

I’ll try to be more practical tomorrow. I’m off now to dream of Leprechauns and UFO’s.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pearl Harbor Addendum


Some thoughts today on yesterday’s 67th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

There was a time, over dinner many years ago, that an older friend of mine, a retired naval officer, a graduate of Annapolis and now a successful businessman wanted to talk to one of my sons about attending Annapolis. My friend apparently had both political and military connections and my son had grades sufficient for an application and appointment.

My friend was a good man, a survivor of Pearl Harbor, but he had a powerful hatred for the Japanese. He hated them so much that he took every opportunity in business, in public, and in private to say so. He was a big time successful contractor who built office and factory buildings, but he used no products from Japan.

During our dinner conversation I told him, I hoped he would understand, but he could not talk to my son, unless he could let go of his long-standing hatred of the Japanese. I didn’t want a seventeen year old influenced by such a long festering hate.

When you hate you create a bond as powerful as love and it won’t release you from your pain until you consciously let it go. The great teachings of the world suggest that hatred will eventually destroy the hater.

My friend apparently thought about our discussion for several weeks. One day he called to tell me he was going to visit Pearl Harbor…on his way to Japan.

He asked, when he got back could talk to my son. I said “yes”.

As an afterword, my son was not interested in a naval career and went on to be successful in another venue and my friend was able to release a constricting hatred that held him in a cocoon of anger for decades.

As it is with so many acquaintances with which we are blessed in life, I have lost track of my friend and hope that if he is still alive, he passed yesterday’s anniversary of the attack with a peace that only forgiveness can engender.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Birthday


Yesterday was my granddaughter’s birthday and tomorrow is mine. One of us is eight and the other sixty-seven. No hints.

I did get to thinking about the difference in life perception from an eight year old to me. There are a lot of experiential years in between that provide a knowing look on the condition of human kind and there is a lot of youthful wonderment in eight years of existence that I have forgotten and should probably embrace for a gestalt understanding of life and times.

When I was eight television was just coming into the home. My TV-programs were on only three channels. CBS, NBC and Dumont. ABC had not yet been formed into the third national network.

At first, I watched TV at a neighbor’s home since we didn’t get one until later. We kids (I can’t even remember my young friends names) watched Howdy Doody, Gabby Hayes, Captain Video and Tom Corbett Space Cadet. They were generally fifteen-minute programs starting around five in the evening.

After we got a television a year or so later, I remember my Mother coming home from teaching elementary school and while preparing dinner Kate Smith could be heard in the living room singing her theme song, “When the moon comes over the mountain”.

My granddaughter’s TV choices are over six hundred channels. I imagine her birthday thoughts are just as profound as mine. Her gifts were a few electronic games and books and goodies from classmates, parents, cousins and grandparents. Her year will linger long in merriment for she has only lived one-eighth of her life.

Tomorrow I will get a few birthday wishes and calls, a couple of cards and a gift and a hug from my wife, but the day will pass quickly as they all do in one’s sixty-seventh year.

I’ll try to talk to my granddaughter about serious things a little more this year. Where do puppies get all their energy? When you imagine things where does it come from and can you stop thinking if you wanted too? How come candy tastes better than green beans?

Anthropologist Margaret Mead once wrote that it’s good for the young and old to be together. The child then is able to acknowledge the elder in herself and the elder is able to acknowledge the child in himself and a new agreement is formed between generations. I like that.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Heroes and Stars


With Plaxico Burress of the New York Giants football team in the news my thoughts are on the greatness and failings of our heroes and stars.

We revere the greatness that comes from our sports stars or any celebrity we deem to hold high. We admire their talent, their accomplishment, their beauty or their potential. We appreciate their team or individual success. It inspires the individual in us to be better by practicing more, getting better grades, respecting our bodies, or extending a kindness to someone. When our heroes and stars have public failings it forces us to privately acknowledge our own.

When heroes fall and falter, the tendency is to focus only on the disappointment and not on the whole person. Mickey Mantle’s addiction to alcohol, for instance, while bad, both for him and as an example to young athletes, did not minimize his 536 career home runs.

OJ Simpson seems to be a case all by himself, but he is still included in the category of sports stars gone bad or celebrities who make bad choices. Michael Vick is another, as are Jayson Williams and Mike Tyson. And let’s not forget the conviction of Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska or the choices of President Richard Nixon.

Burress’s choice to carry a gun into a New York City nightclub and then shoot himself with it, however accidentally, still makes him subject to the consequences of carrying a loaded gun in New York City. If convicted that's three and a half years in jail. He basically has thrown away a 35 million dollar career.

Heroes and celebrities come in both genders and attain all degrees of fame and status. Parents, teachers, clergy, and politicians can be heroes and some will inevitably disappoint the admirer or the fan.

Human frailty is universal. Greatness comes when we learn from it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Silence


I want to share with you some places that may not be of your choice or current experience. They are based solely on my interests and abilities and availability. To me they are profound.

These are places of extreme quiet, where silence and nothing are one and you cannot tell them apart. Places where only nature speaks and her sound is deafening when no other audible intrusion is near.

One place is on a silent river. Where portions neither ripple nor descend through noisy cataracts, but carry liquid volumes in the stillness of deep flows and where it is far enough away from man’s concoctions that the only thing you think you hear are your own thoughts, but they aren’t.

If you’ve never been to such a place and find yourself in it, there will come wonderment, a revelation, a spiritual attunement, a surprise appreciation of the empathetic knowledge that only stillness engenders in a singular moment of time.

The first time I found such silence was on the Green River in Utah as I rafted in a quiet eddy pool and found myself in involuntary prayer with nature whose sacristy I entered and then sustained by the choice of benevolent thought.

The second time was at night alone at the edge of a lake in the Allagash wilderness of Maine. The stars have a noticeable brilliance when civilization is far away. They also have a sound that man rarely hears for we occupy a space of things and doing in the Cosmos of life.

The third I experience numerous times for I live nearby. It is on the Wallkill River in New York. When my Kayak drifts on the silent surface I embrace the Oneness and silence of All That Is.

I know that science has learned much from the music of the spheres in the vast cacophony of the heavens. I know that religions promote silence to reach the unreachable. I know that the frigid stillness of winter creates a cocoon where sound will not enter because of density.

What I didn’t know until I experienced it was the joy that silence gives the listener and that robust laughter needs no sound and God needs no dogma. The thoughts you think are yours, but aren’t, are God’s. He talks to all of us in stillness.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mother Kills Children


Sometimes a story grabs your attention and pulls you into a sadness and anger that you cannot shake or dismiss.

The death of three children in Colorado Springs, Colorado is one of them.

Maybe you’ve heard the story by now. A 40-year old Mother was found guilty of first-degree murder killing her three children by burning down her home for the insurance money.

The children were eleven, five and three.

Deborah Nicholls will be sentenced tomorrow and faces life in prison without parole.

The law will decide her fate, but what of the children?

I want to believe that there is a place of cuddling comfort and dancing peaceful wonder. A place where toys and crayons never break, and scratches, cuts and bumps do not exist.

A place where teddy bears talk in happy colors, and puppies always wait to play. A place where candy is for breakfast and presents fill the room. Where no one knows what fear is and no shadows hide in halls.

I want to believe that in this special place, every mother who ever lived and loved her children, is waiting with open arms to hug, to love and comfort these children forever.

I want to believe it, for when I do, anger and judgment fade and sadness takes its’ rightful place and I can cry without the hope of vengeance.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Who Am I


Every once in awhile we should ask ourselves, Why am I me?

I often ask myself this question and with every asking there comes a different answer based upon my experience and growth at that moment of asking.

Why am I me? An answer for me is to participate in this time and space, in this place with infinite choices and live in the moment with the nearly six billion souls who have come to experience life together and generally be an example of creative change, courage and noble character.

In each generation, perhaps in each lifetime, special souls are born to help us find, accomplish, complete, and create new paths to the Source that give understandable meaning, knowledge and elegant grace to life.

Sometimes those souls will manifest in science and philosophy – Einstein and Epictetus; sometimes in literature – Dostoevsky and Miller; sometimes in leadership – Churchill and Lincoln; sometimes in music –Beethoven and Berlin; or art and architecture – Michelangelo and Wright and sometimes in belief systems: Moses, Christ, Buddha, Confucius, Mohammad, Krishna, Gandhi, and thousands of others like them who taught by example that the way to The Source was through positive deeds of choice and unconditional love.

If we look at history we find greatness and charismatic leadership in all fields of creative endeavor. We can go to any country in ancient or modern times and find individual greatness that influenced nationalistic culture and global history and we can find individual dictatorial greed and cruelty. In some spiritual disciplines they call the latter, "misdirected good."

The Balinese of Indonesia have a perfect saying: “Bhuta ia, dewa ia”, Man is a demon, man is a god. Both true.”

Sometimes it’s difficult to understand “Why am I me” if we don’t consider our innate connection to everyone else, who they are and what they need. It is a difficult thing to do with the billions of people on earth, but if you fit the entire population of the world into a village consisting of only 100 people, maintaining the proportions of all the people living on Earth, six people would possess 59% of the wealth and they would all come from the USA.

80 would live in poverty
70 would be illiterate
50 would suffer from hunger and malnutrition
1 would be dying
1 would be being born
1 would own a computer and one would have a university degree.

If you’ve never experienced the plague of war, the degradation of prison, the pain of torture, were never close to death from hunger, then you are better off than 500 million people.
If you can worship without the fear that someone will assault or kill you, then you are more fortunate than 3 billion people.

If you have plenty of food, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are wealthier than 75% of the other 99 people.

If you currently have money in the bank, in your wallet and a few coins in your pocket, you are one of 8 of the privileged few amongst the 100 people in your condensed world.

“Why am I me?” begs different questions. "Why am I so fortunate and what do I need to learn from the experience?" It makes you think doesn’t it?

Friday, November 28, 2008

India Terror


Some thoughts on the terrorists action in India.

Again weapons and terror have led to death and destruction. Again through the power of vengeful choice terrorists have attacked the innocent and have chosen violence to aggrandize their fears and feed their hatreds.

India accuses Pakistan as an aiding participant. Old wounds and sealed hates are opened. Nuclear fears worry global leaders. Each side asks their supporters around the globe to share in the accusatory finger pointing.

Again there are more dead; the count continues. Indian nationals, Americans, British, Israelis, children, fathers and mothers, all victims of hate and sometimes participants in it. How many truly believe that if we could ask the dead, was the hatred or conflict worth it, we would hear a positive affirmation.

The instigators, wherever and whoever they may be, wish to drag all who will listen into their cocoon of fear, into their illusion of righteousness and all too often into the grave.

Where are the shouters of "enough?" Where are the sensible? Where are they on both sides?



Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Day


Turkey is a traditional dinner today for many Americans. It is a carry over from the pilgrims and their original feast of Thanksgiving when the native bird was plentiful in the wild.

So why do we call it Turkey? There is a reason and as happens so many times, the all-American bird got its name somewhat by mistake.

The tale begins with the British Empire which had stretched itself into Africa during the sixteen hundreds. Along with diamonds the British exported a wild eatable bird back to England, but in order to get the shipment to the British Isles the cargo was routed through Turkey and supposedly that's how the big bird got its name.

When the sharp eyed settlers spotted a similar winged bird strutting through the American colonies, they called it...Turkey.

Scientists who study these sort of things tell us the bird that lives in Africa, that was imported to Europe by way of Turkey, is not the same bird that is native to America.

Actually we probably ought to call our bird " Meleagris". that's what the turkey is known as in scientific jargon, and that comes from the Greek. In fact, one of the earliest mentions of the Meleagris comes from Aristotle. Just think, if the bird had first been exported from his country we could be sitting down to a Greece dinner with all the trimmings.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving


Some thoughts on the history of Thanksgiving.

The earliest record of any observance of Thanksgiving within the territory that now comprises the United States, was held by the Popham colony settled in Sagadahoe, Maine. That was in 1607.

They did not celebrate the whole day like we do now, then it was just an observance that took a few hours.

The real origin of Thanksgiving as a whole day set aside for prayer and rejoicing is attributed to Governor Bradford, The first governor of the Massachusetts Colony. In gratitude for a plentiful harvest in 1621, he proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving, to be observed on December 13th.

History tells that Governor Bradford also sent out four hunters in search of game and it is here, in 1621, that the turkey makes an early appearance in celebrating the day. The hunters were reportedly more than successful, they bagged so many wild turkey's it was enough to feed the little colony for a week.

Through the years a thanks-giving was celebrated if there was sufficient reason. Some years there were two celebrations, and other years there was none.

The Continental Congress recommended eight days of Thanksgiving, divided and celebrated in various months, but they were only recommendations, for state governments were far more powerful then and the idea never caught on.

General George Washington issued a couple of proclamations for a Thanksgiving during the revolutionary war, but it was not until 1789, as President, did he issue a proclamation appointing November 26th, as Thanksgiving day, eventually it was celebrated on the last Thursday of November.

Washington's proclamation, incidentally, was the first ever issued by a President of the United States.




Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Story


Once upon a time in a land far away there was a gathering of like-minded souls who once listened with praise and affirmation to the truths of a great teacher.

But, as with all masters, mystics and mentors, the teacher passes when the body dies and the chelas are left to interpret collected words and wishes on their own. The interpretation is sometimes brilliant and sometimes disastrous, but lovingly allowed under the law of free will.

In the mind-fraction of “free-will” the denominator is principle and the numerator is consequence. All choices are acceptable, however unintended consequences can result despite the fact that no judgment is possible when unconditional love is on the other side of the equation.

Reinterpretation of truth is never advisable, but always attempted by the cast in life’s play and when successful, dogmas are born and the original truths obscured in didactic and reformed beliefs.

The moral of this story, if there is one, is when the responsibility for sustaining specific teachings passes to a collective crowd for dissemination an amalgamation results and truths are lost.

The angels on high are sad for once again in the collective history of spiritual exploration a chalice of attainment is cast aside.

The End.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Power of Thought




A colleague asked me the other day, “How can an individual respond when a leader calls for help?”

Helping to solve a global or national or even a group problem by individual action seems so insurmountable at times that we often shrug our shoulders with a resignation of helplessness.

There is a way through the constant abyss of need.

Within the human spirit there is an intrinsic, yet often-obscured desire to be of service. Service can be defined as “instantaneous response to need”. We see it all the time in selfless acts of courage when heroic action is spontaneous in saving a life or some other act of bravery. Philosopher Joseph Campbell calls it “a moment when you and the other are one” and nothing could change it even to the point of death.

Somewhere deep within our soul being we acknowledge that we are individuals existing in the illusion of time and within an earthly density of a created and collective oneness. We are individual drops in the amniotic ocean of being. We are the individuation of the indivisible. We subconsciously, spiritually, know that life experience is not singular, but collective and somewhere in our awareness we know that if even one of us minutely achieves, all of us do.

Response to need is a simple process, but difficult to sustain on a daily basis when we have to contend with the duties of living, myopic worry and the ego’s constant harassment for self-aggrandizement. There are ways around the ego’s chicanery, but not many of us choose to be a mystic and master the art of meditation and its precipitate subjugation of the ego self.

So, how to be practical in the request to help?

One way is to believe that “thought” has a power or energy. Good thoughts have positive power and bad thoughts have negative influences. These thoughts, these pieces of energy, can be sent by the mind, in the envelope of good will, to any recipient and it will have an impact. Religions would call it prayer, but holistic physician Dr. Larry Dossey, in his book “Healing Words” calls it a general sense of well being for another and has proven the power of positive thought with scientific experiments.

Our sending energy does not have to be specific, but should have the imprimatur of well-being. Since we are part and parcel of the creating Source, we can leave the specifics of the solving to the omniscience of unconditional love, but the power we create and send through graceful thoughts becomes a free will energy to manifest as solutions, compromises and accomplishments.

Another way to answer the call to help is to do so within our sphere of influence for that too will affect the whole. To the observant not a single day passes without numerous opportunities to serve. There’s the story of the little five-year boy who wanted to help an elderly neighbor whose wife just died. Upon returning home his Mother asked what did he do to help. The child replied, "I sat on his lap and helped him cry".

Service is as simple as that. Poet William Wordsworth wrote, “…Even the daisy by the shadow it casts, protects the lingering due drop from the sun.

Opportunities abound in each moment for us to be of service. Seeing them is important. Feeling them is even better for empathy is often a greater motivator than intellect. Perform each act of service with the unconditionality of the Source, and the exponential component of service will then manifest for the greater good of all.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dallas 1963


The tributes will be many this weekend, but as usual the Kennedy family will not publicly participate. They understand the need and desire of many to honor the fallen president, but they prefer the memory of JFK be focused on the day of his birth, May 29th, rather than the day of death.

It may take a long time, for there are so many of us alive today who remember that day 45 years ago tomorrow.

I was home in my apartment in Syracuse, New York getting ready to go to work at a local television station. I heard the news from my Uncle who was working in a downstairs residence. It was a shock and I immediately turned on the television. Walter Cronkite was on CBS. Huntley - Brinkley on NBC and on ABC it is was Murphy Martin. Television coverage of live events at that time was primitive, but surprisingly successful.

When the generation is gone to whom the torch was passed by Kennedy during his inauguration speech, then the memory of JFK may move from his death to his birth.

We honor Lincoln on his birthday and not the day he died, April 15th.

Very few remember that assassinated President James Garfield died on September 19th.

William McKinley's assassination date is now generally forgotten. He died on a September 14th.

It takes time to bury pain and change an ache to honor. It takes time to have a tragic memory stand without sorrow. The Kennedy family has learned, through many tears, that once you acknowledge the death, you must let it go and remember the life.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nuremberg Trials


On this day Nov. 20, 1945, 24 Nazi leaders went on trial before an international war crimes tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany.

Some thoughts on remembering Nuremberg.

Sixty three years ago the victorious powers of World War Two created the Nuremberg trials in order to bring Nazi war criminals to justice. It was the first time that an aggressive power had to face trial and judgment for their crimes against humanity.

Three years ago the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law held a conference to recall and reaffirm the lessons - the legacy – of Nuremberg. Current and former jurists, judges, prosecutors, and law professors from all over the world spoke eloquently on the state and struggle for human rights today.

I was privileged to participate in a documentary on the Nuremberg Trials produced by the Cardozo School of Law. You can see some of the filmed stand-ups by going to my website at the right side of this blog and then clicking on the "on-air" link.

The impact of Nazi Germany and the adjudication of Nuremberg has been forgotten by some, but with each new genocide, each new extermination by tyrants in power it is remembered. The stench of ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and in Darfur, Sudan and now in the Congo bring new tribunals, but the same old lesson. Crimes against humanity result from silence and indifference.

Do we really need to learn it over and over again?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Uncle Jack

I read that Google was going to archive 10-millions Life Magazine photos from the 1860’s to the present. I clicked on the link and found an astounding number of photos already in a categorized collection.

I sifted through some from the Civil War and into the 1880’s, but then the 1910 category caught my attention and I remembered that my Uncle Jack fought in World War One with a Canadian infantry regiment.

I don’t know much about him accept he was a stepbrother of my Father. He was ten years older and certainly a great influence on my Father. I never met Jack; I just heard stories about him.

The picture above was taken in April 1917 and is a photo of Canadian troops climbing out of their trenches and “going over the top” during World War One.

Notice the artillery shells bursting in air over the trench. The soldiers are carrying British Lee-Enfield rifles, which were issued to virtually all British Commonwealth soldiers on the Western Front. The Lee-Enfield, with its ten-cartridge magazine, was well suited to rapid fire; a soldier could expect to fire twelve shots a minute.

It is possible my Uncle Jack is in this picture. I don’t know, but I can imagine he had similar experiences. Jack survived the war, but like too many of our returning combat veterans from the Gulf and Afghanistan Wars, he could not survive coming home. He committed suicide sometime after the war ended.

War does things to those who are asked to fight it. Perhaps it’s because it is an unnatural condition in which to live. Some make it through OK and go on to lead productive lives. Others like my Uncle Jack could not let go of the pain, the fog, and the psychological wounds of battle with images of dead buddies and slain bodies and no bandages to heal for the future.

I am going back to look at the picture again and wonder about the Uncle I never met, and I'll also wonder why we haven’t learned very much in nearly a hundred years.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Joachimsthalern


Some thoughts on the Joachimsthalern.

Yep! The Joachimsthalern.

If things had been a little different we might be saying bet your bottom joachimsthalern or shopping at the Joachimsthalern Store. Believe it or not we get the English word "dollar" from Joachimsthalern.

Back in the 16th century a little valley in Czechoslovakia called Joachimsthal established a mint and made silver and gold coins. They were widely distributed and eventually the Joachimsthal truncated to the “Thaler.”

Over time other European countries patterned their currency units after the "Thaler" and the name evolved to "Taler" and eventually "Daler" in the Nordic cultures.

When we declared our independence from Great Britain, Thomas Jefferson was against tying American currency to the British pound so he wrote that our currency should be patterned after European currency, not the British Pound and the unit would be called the dollar.

Now you know.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The War Prayer


Once again I had the pleasure to watch actor Hal Holbrook’s portrayal of American humorist and raconteur Mark Twain. It was in a large theatre in a small city. All 15-hundred seats were filled.

At one point Holbrook goes into Twain’s “The War Prayer”. Twain wrote it around 1905. It was rejected by his publisher and then found after his death among his unpublished manuscripts.

Twain apparently wrote it as an opposition to the Philippines War of 1899-1902.

The whole story is too long for this post, but its essence is not. The story is a messenger from “The Throne”, shows up in a small church that had been praying for victory and safety for their young who are going off to war. The messenger says God wants them to know the unmentioned results, the unspoken part of the prayer, that must follow victory in war.

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(*After a pause.*) The messenger says, "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits!"

Twain ends the story with this line. “It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.

Friday, November 14, 2008

California Fires

Dear Friends,
There is fire’s devastation again in California. I have friends in the area and though their homes were sparred, others were not.



A house for some and home for others
Families, friends, sisters and brothers.
Gone! Vanquished in the force of flame.
Nothing left! No photo! No frame!

We cannot know not being there
The loss, the ache, for hearts to bear
And minds to seek a place called home
Where hopes can rest and memories roam.



We’re oft surprised by nature’s rath
That brings the wind and chewing path
Of flames and shakes and hurricanes
Into our solace causing pains.





The valiant fought with hose and pail
Extinguishing? To no avail.
The pros came in from near and far,
But could not hold the fire’s char.



A table and some chairs in flame.
What is the cause and who’s to blame?
Did laughter, love, once languish there
Upon the deck, without a care?



What do we say to stranger’s pain?
“I’m sorry”, said as prayer, seems lame,
But there is healing in the thought
When we, but view, what nature wrought.


Photo's by Dan Steinberg AP, Mark Terrill AP, and Andrew Gombert EPA.

Discovery


Astronomers reported yesterday that they have the first snapshot of planets in another solar system.

Somewhere in the constellation of Pegasus there is a large star. It doesn’t have a name. It has a number, HR 8799. It’s really far away. 128 light years away and one light year is about 6 trillion miles. Orbiting HR 8799 are three planets each larger than Jupiter.

The picture at the upper left of this post is what the scientists who discovered the system call the snapshot.

The Christian Science Monitor put it this way:

“In the hunt for solar systems beyond our own, astronomers have crossed an important threshold – capturing from the ground, as well as from space, the first direct images of planets around bright, sun-like stars.”

I am not an organized religious person or a dogma proponent. I do acknowledge and embrace the efficacy of things spiritual and write about what that could mean often, but the only truth that came to mind when I saw this photograph was the phrase, “In my Father’s house are many mansions.”

It’s something to think about anyway.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Infomatique


Some thoughts on computer language.

Sometimes it is hard to make ourselves understood in our own language, let alone in another and when the technology of one language coins new words for specific things it can be very confusing.

Back when computers were beginning to be used on a wide scale. America was the leader in computers and computer software. The French, who have long been sensitive in keeping the purity of their language, tried to figure out a literal translation for the computer term "Data Processing". What the French came up with was "informatique".

"Tique" is now added to a number of French computer terms. Telecomunications are "telematique". Automated office equipment is "bureautique" and nearly any new computer linked process the french call " novotique".

The French mentality invents words rather than products. Americans invent products, but prefer to talk in initials.

FYI, CU tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Change and Choice


Some thoughts on Change. It seems to be a constant in our lives. Mostly it is so subtle it passes nearly unnoticed.

Sometimes, however, it's monumental and notable.

The political structure of America following the election last week changed. So did the expected political fortunes of Senator McCain and Governor Palin. That is event change. Big change, easily perceived. You hear about it, you read about it and you participate in it.

There is another side of change. The personal side. The daily side. The process side of consistent change. An elevator breaks down and you have to walk up. You lose your job. Someone dies, babies are born. You move house and home. These are process changes and they happen every day and its effect is mostly personal.

In both kinds of change, however, there is a similar component.

Choice!

In the context that change is inevitable and continuous, and our experience shows us that it is, we can only choose how we react to it. We can be victims of change or participants in it, but it’s always there.

 
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