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Sticks and Stones

We all know the nursery rhyme, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” But we’ve all been hurt by things that are said to us. The little bruises and scars teach us lessons and help shape our perspective. But some bruises run very deep, and remain sensitive decades later. And sometimes your bruise reminds me of my own. Continue reading “Sticks and Stones” »

The Stories Behind Sound Bite Nation

text messageWe’ve become a sound bite society. News, entertainment, sports, and politics, all delivered in thirty and sixty-second bursts. No wonder tweets and text messages have taken over the world.  We’re learning on the fly and drawing conclusions in milliseconds. Unfortunately.  When you subtract the smiles, the tone of voice, and the twinkle in someone’s eye, you risk missing the heart of the message. And you may miss an amazing story. Continue reading “The Stories Behind Sound Bite Nation” »

Pretty Stinking Cool

little voiceSome of you may recommend the therapist’s couch after I share this, but sometimes I hear a little voice. Let me start by saying I believe that life – daily life – should be driven by faith, effort, and optimism. I also WANT to believe that people are fundamentally good and that they are worthy of trust. But if you lie to me? You’re done. I’m working on forgiveness, I really am. But in the meantime, the BS meter is active. And when the BS meter goes off, the little voice can be heard. Continue reading “Pretty Stinking Cool” »

Where On Earth Do I Begin?

Most role models don’t seek to play the part. Just ask Charles Barkley. But when you’re recognized for your gifts, sometimes it just goes with the territory. There are legions of savvy investors who study Warren Buffet and try to copy his investing strategies. They pore over his annual Berkshire Hathaway newsletter to see what he’s investing in today and thinking about tomorrow.  When it comes to advances in the internet, people follow Chris Anderson, and read his publication, Wired, cover to cover. For others, it’s Oprah Winfrey.  Or maybe Tim Tebow. Continue reading “Where On Earth Do I Begin?” »

Enjoy the Ride

Enjoy the RideI’m convinced that the creative process for fiction writers is a messy mixture of imagination, insecurity, and wee bit of insanity. Combine ingredients, shake well, then get the synapses to start firing, and wait for sheer genius to flow from every pore in your body. Continue reading “Enjoy the Ride” »

He Needed a Nudge

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” – Margaret Mead

He Needed a NudgeFor all the valuable lessons I learned from my father, one of the more impactful ones came to me second-hand. I think of it often as I start my day, and it makes me ask myself two questions: Whose life or circumstance can I improve today? Among my circle of family and friends, who will end their day knowing that I really care about them? Continue reading “He Needed a Nudge” »

The Courage to Connect

“There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community.”

- Scott Peck, Author of The Road Less Travelled

I’ve learned a great deal about building community from two people I know primarily through social media: a retired nurse from upstate New York and a marketing manager at a mortgage company in San Diego. Both have recently embarked on writing careers, and they blog regularly about their writing journeys.  They both demonstrate a quality that is fundamental to creating powerful relationships with others: they connect – not superficially, but in a grab-your-heart and-squeeze kind of way. Continue reading “The Courage to Connect” »

Lessons on Passion and Pedro Pan

Lessons on Passion and Pedro PanEarly in my working career I received an amazing life lesson from a little man from Cuba. He was at least forty years my senior, wore a clip-on tie, and half the time I couldn’t understand a word he said. But he displayed passion like I’d never seen before. The last time I saw him was on Election Day in November 1986. I’ll never forget him. Continue reading “Lessons on Passion and Pedro Pan” »

The Samaritan and the Saint

Martin Luther King, Jr.The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was:  “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?”  But… the good Samaritan reversed the question:  “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”  ~Martin Luther King, Jr. (delivered on April 3, 1968, the night before he was assassinated)

 

What causes a person to dig deep and devote their life to someone they hardly know? When a child is abandoned by a family and neglected by society, what moves another person to say, “I’ll take the responsibility?” Maybe it’s faith. Maybe it’s a heightened social maturity. Or maybe there’s a sense that both people will be blessed in a powerful way. In the case of Becky and Jimmy, I think it’s all three. Continue reading “The Samaritan and the Saint” »

Giving His All

History is sometimes a matter a perspective. When you witness an event with your eyes, it may be a fleeting memory. When you feel it in your bones, it can stay with you for years. When it hammers on your heart, you remember it for a lifetime.

William & Mary Basketball

Photo by College of William and Mary on Flickr

The greatest sporting experience I’ve ever had started with only a glimmer of hope. When the game ended I thought it was the most exciting basketball game I’d ever seen. But it was only on reflection years later that I began to truly appreciate the enormity of what I’d witnessed on December 7, 1977. Continue reading “Giving His All” »