• activism,  charlottesville,  justice,  peace,  personal responsibility,  social justice

    Make a Choice

    I have been working on this piece off and on since the events in Charlottesville August 11 and 12. It is longish at 1342 words. It is not a political statement. It is my moral position on possibly the single most destructive evil in the United States: racism. When I lived in Birmingham, Alabama, I met a couple who had recently returned to the states after living abroad for several years. They had a young son about 8 years old who had been born while they were overseas. That fall, well into football season, he came home from school and asked his parents if they were for Alabama or Auburn. His…

  • beauty,  civil disobedience,  joy,  love,  nonviolence,  peace,  politics,  social justice

    In times like these

    The importance of maintaining physical, mental, and spiritual health Many people I know or am connected with on social media are unhappy, uncertain, and downright angry about the new Republican administration and the decisions being made. Cries of anguish go up over every tweet, every executive order, and each cabinet nominee. I hear some other cries, too: people commenting that their sleep patterns, eating habits, and overall health have been disrupted. They have found themselves in a downward spiral of not just anger, but hatred and contempt. There is a place for criticism, intentionally provocative posts, and biting political satire. Expressing discontent and holding government officials accountable is an important part of…

  • hope,  joy,  peace

    Speak Life

    . . . not death I saw a video about a mother who punished her child for laughing at another child who was bald due to cancer treatments. The punishment was that the child had her head forcibly shaved. I wondered if that punishment taught the child empathy or compassion. I wondered if the child learned positive, constructive ways to deal with the curiosity mixed with anxiety and fear that often accompanies encounters with others who are different from us. On that day, was life spoken over that child, or was death? Our actions speak as loudly as our words. As I consider the latest mass murder in the U.S.,…

  • bohemian,  livelihood,  peace,  simple living,  updates

    Never too late. Never too old.

    I have spent the last week decompressing. Friday, May 1, I ventured off in a new direction in my life and my career. Instead of focusing on the ## and the $$ on someone else’s bottom line, I will be focusing on my own dreams and passions. It was time for a change, and I made the change. There is never a perfect time to make a change, but there is always space for change in all of our lives. I think we often let fear prevent us from making change. That fear might stem from money worries or concern about what others may think about the change we want…

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  • morality,  Oklahoma,  peace

    Live by the sword, die by the sword…

    or gun, or knife, or bomb, or drone, or lethal injection. Take your pick. I have been reading articles about the inmate execution here in Oklahoma that went terribly wrong. Most of the articles I have read have been factual about the events leading up to, during, and after the execution. The commenters are less dispassionate (see the examples here on this Chronicle of Higher Ed article). Their comments are unnerving and enlightening. Basically, the vast majority of the commenters say that the convicted killer got what he deserved. His suffering did not bother them since he had caused so much suffering for his victim. And you wonder why young…

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  • christianity,  peace,  social responsibility

    The Seeds of Hate

    I opened my newspaper this morning and immediately saw the headline that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. A picture below the headline showed United States citizens rejoicing in the streets in Washington, D.C. The news and the jubilant reaction gave me pause. I read coverage in several different papers and was thankful that most provided a brief history of Bin Laden‘s life, including his participation in the Afghan fight against the Soviet Union in the 1980s. U.S. hatred and fear of the Soviets played a major role in the decision to arm what were then termed “freedom fighters.” Bin Laden was our ally in hatred of a common enemy.…

  • 9/11,  peace,  simple living,  social justice

    Who are you?

    This question of where were you on 9/11 keeps popping up today. I was at work. I watched the terrible events unfold on a big screen TV in the conference room. I knew my life would never be the same. We had already been through the Murrah Building bombing here in Oklahoma City in 1995. That was enough large-scale, man-made tragedy for me to witness in this lifetime. 9/11 eclipsed that horror on a massive scale. It was a crystallizing event that changed the way I looked at life. The last eight years have been a journey from corporate employee to real estate agent to artist/gardener/educator. It’s been a journey…