Sunday, May 04, 2008

On Being Present

Blogging has dropped off the radar as work and family responsibilities and concerns have taken up more mental energy and bandwidth.

I'm working hard to be a container for whatever my favorite artist and the kids need right now. Most of the time it is simply a matter of fully Being There.

Since I'm busy being there, it's hard to be here with any quality. I think of you all often, and I apologize that I have not been present for you. I know you understand.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Jill Bolte Taylor's Stroke of Insight

TED Talks are one of my favorite media habits. This one is surprising and very moving, and I thought my friends would get a kick out of it, too. It takes a little less than 20 minutes to view.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Not This Time."

In this speech, Mr. Obama reveals a amazing grasp of the American racial divide. He is a sophisticated thinker, and in my mind he cuts to the chase about the reality and the politics of this election in this excerpt:

"For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle - as we did in the OJ trial - or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina - or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright's sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she's playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

We can do that.

But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we'll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, "Not this time." This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can't learn; that those kids who don't look like us are somebody else's problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy. Not this time.

This time we want to talk about how the lines in the Emergency Room are filled with whites and blacks and Hispanics who do not have health care; who don't have the power on their own to overcome the special interests in Washington, but who can take them on if we do it together.

This time we want to talk about the shuttered mills that once provided a decent life for men and women of every race, and the homes for sale that once belonged to Americans from every religion, every region, every walk of life. This time we want to talk about the fact that the real problem is not that someone who doesn't look like you might take your job; it's that the corporation you work for will ship it overseas for nothing more than a profit.

This time we want to talk about the men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag. We want to talk about how to bring them home from a war that never should've been authorized and never should've been waged, and we want to talk about how we'll show our patriotism by caring for them, and their families, and giving them the benefits they have earned."

Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy Pi Day!

Things to be thankful for:
  • Pi Day - 3.14
  • Sleeping children
  • Hot, strong coffee
  • Home appliances in good working order
  • Herman Miller Aeron chair
  • The internets
  • A knowledgeable, compassionate doctor
  • Lunch with a good friend


Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Positive Psychology Association

I know many of my colleagues, former MPOD classmates, and friends will be interested in this newly forming organization for positive psychology.

David Cooperrider, Martin Seligman, Kim Cameron, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi are among the many familiar names on the Board of Directors of the new International Positive Psychology Association.

There are several levels of membership to suit psychology professionals and even interested members of the public.

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Frozen Grand Central


Saturday, March 08, 2008

Spring Forward

Eastern Standard Time

Poetry speaks to all people, it is said,
but here I would like to address
only those in my own time zone,
this proper slice of longitude
that runs from pole to snowy pole
down the globe through Montreal to Bogota.

Oh, fellow inhabitants of this singular band,
sitting up in your many beds this morning—
the sun falling through the windows
and casting a shadow on the sundial—
consider those in other zones who cannot hear these words.

They are not slipping into a bathrobe as we are,
or following the smell of coffee in a timely fashion.

Rather, they are at work already,
leaning on copy machines,
hammering nails into a house-frame.

They are not swallowing a vitamin like us;
rather they are smoking a cigarette under a half moon,
even jumping around on a dance floor,
or just now sliding under the covers,
pulling down the little chains on their bed lamps.

But we are not like these others,
for at this very moment on the face of the earth,
we are standing under a hot shower,

or we are eating our breakfast,
considered by people of all zones
to be the most important meal of the day.

Later, when the time is right,
we might sit down with the boss,
wash the car, or linger at a candle-lit table,
but now is the hour for pouring the juice
and flipping the eggs with one eye on the toaster.

So let us slice a banana and uncap the jam,
lift our brimming spoons of milk,
and leave it to the others to lower a flag
or spin absurdly in a barber's chair—
those antipodal oddballs, always early or late.

Let us praise Sir Stanford Fleming
the Canadian genius who first scored
with these lines the length of the spinning earth.

Let us move together through the rest of this day
passing in unison from light to shadow,
coasting over the crest of noon
into the valley of the evening
and then, holding hands, slip into the deeper valley of night.

- Billy Collins