Archive | February 2013


I just got a gift from a telephone solicitor. No, it wasn’t a new gizmo, or $25 off something or having someone shampoo half of my carpet.

It is something much more valuable than that.

Here’s what happened… Read More…


World Peace is a huge concept.

Sometimes it’s hard to really believe that as flawed individuals we are equipped to create peace.

This seems particularly true on those days when we might be feeling some vulnerability or confusion about how to respond to those personal flaws or challenges. Read More…


After reading an article entitled HOPE ON THE BATTLEFIELD by Dave Grossman, I felt such a mishmash of feelings that I couldn’t speak for a while. I felt fear, hope, awe, confusion, anger, curiosity and an overwhelming concern. This article was originally published in Greater Good magazine which is published by the University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. This is a research center “devoted to the scientific understanding of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior.” Dave Grossman is a historian, psychologist and soldier.

Let me start with listing some of the things I learned from this short eight page article. Then, a few conclusions… Read More…


Our belief systems are the bedrock upon which all that we say and do rests. Our beliefs are the filters of our reality. They also create our version of reality. And, they often go unchallenged – even if they are incomplete or completely incorrect.

With great glee I have recently learned about, as they describe themselves, “a revolution in the scientific understanding of human nature.” Read More…

An example of empathy and compassion as a man expresses his love for his wife. Very powerful.

everyday gurus

“Truth is on the side of the oppresed.”–Malcom X

I am an oppressor. I did not choose this position; it was given to me at birth. Ignorant of my privilege, I have abused this undeserved power throughout my life. Not until one of the oppressed loved and forgave me was I able to see the massive power structure that I inherited with my Y chromosome.

On this Valentine’s Day while a billion people are dancing to end violence against women, I want to call out to all other male oppressors to lay down their weapons and commence dismantling this Patriarchy the empowers us. The dismantling will not be easy because the system is entrenched in everything we know.

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I wrote earlier about my participation in the 29 Day Giving Challenge. Today is my 29th day. I am left pondering the concept of GIVING. Why do we give? Who should or shouldn’t we give to? How much should we give? Who benefits from our giving? Who could possibly be harmed by our giving and why? I’m not going to attempt to answer all those questions here. But, I think it’s important to pose the questions.

I am totally comfortable with making a few conclusions now. A focused giving commitment is a growth opportunity for the giver. It potentially gives people the time and focus to struggle with these questions individually. I’ve done some of this work earlier. Here is my summary of the book HOW CAN I HELP where some of these questions are addressed.  But, today I am moved by the connection between giving in our day to day lives and PEACE. If we want peace for our planet, living day to day with empathy, compassion and generosity seems like a logical and important first step. It starts in our own nation, communities and circles of family and friends.

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It is so easy to be lured into the belief that someone else’s experience of family is better than your own.

As we try to make sense of the messiness of our own lives, it’s not uncommon to think that someone else knows something that we don’t know. Or, maybe they have something that we don’t have.

But did you ever noticed the shadow side of the white picket fence?

Does it remind you of anything?

Behind that fence can be the allusion that family and love is simple and clean.

It isn’t.

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I’m grateful to have an opportunity to be part of BLOGGERS FOR PEACE. We are many individuals who have committed to blogging about peace at least once a month.

Last month I wrote about the connection between peace and justice.  As the founder of a social justice non-profit, I worked as a community organizer for twelve years. I taught about social justice movements and the skills needed to be an organizer.

Still, while thinking of what I wanted to write about PEACE, I felt a bit overwhelmed by the topic and I admit I felt a little powerless for a moment. PEACE. I think of all the harm that has been done and is being done by people who choose non-peaceful approaches to solving problems. As I acknowledge that profound hurt and trauma, it is easy to see how that can knock the wind out of any of us. But then, I get a grip and I remember what I know.

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