Archive for May, 2007

Iraq: Setting Benchmarks for the U.S. First

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007


As American politicians and commentators search desperately for ideas to end the war in Iraq, the word “benchmarks” has become a household word. For the most part, the talk has been about setting benchmark dates for the Iraqi government to meet American demands for independence and stability.


Am I alone in seeing the irony of the U.S. unilaterally dismantling a country’s government, blowing up most of the infrastructure, inciting the insurgency of radical terrorists, failing to establish a secure environment, supporting a corrupt reconstruction paradigm and then righteously complaining that said nation get itself together or else?!


What about benchmarks for ourselves? How can we set parameters for other countries, especially those we have attacked, when we aren’t able to accomplish our own goals. (more…)

Mother’s Day: Encouraging Women’s Voices

Monday, May 14th, 2007

After celebrating a great Mother’s Day this weekend, I find myself thinking about mothers and their role in the Greater Good.


It is worth noting that I am still a card-carrying feminist who remembers the days of no birth control, no credit cards, no corner office. For that reason, I notice when news commentators, though often women, rarely interview women about politics or foreign policy. I notice that boards of regents at graduation ceremonies and boards of directors of public companies are still mostly men. I notice how testosterone-induced terminology and ideas still dominate international interactions.


Surely, I am not alone in that. Surely, around the world, other women realize that the same wisdom that raised our sons and daughters to be amazing, thoughtful people is wisdom that can raise the world to a new standard. (more…)

The Stories of Our Rites of Passage

Thursday, May 10th, 2007


This May my family is celebrating two graduations: my son from college and my daughter from medical school. Even my youngest son is within sight of the finish line and will graduate next year. Of course, we still remember the special moments of high school graduations. What an amazing time!


In the face of these rites of passage, I am reminded of the many stories that have marked our lives. (more…)

In the Line of Fire: California and the Middle East

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007


This morning I was watching the news of the latest wildfires in California. After violent storms left hundred homeless in Kansas this week, it is wrenching to see families fleeing neighborhoods, landmarks and beautiful countryside that are, in fact, in the line of fire.

Thinking of that phrase, in the line of fire, reminded me of its usual connotation: being caught in the midst of battle. Battle, war, being another tragedy that sends good people scurrying from their homes in fear.

What a metaphor for us! (more…)

Hope as Public Health Policy

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007


With all that the tragedy we see in the world, hope seems to be in short supply these days, yet it is essential if we are to believe we can change the world. 

Where do you find hope?

Who is a source of hopefulness for you?

How can we instill hope in others?

I believe words used well can do a lot to keep hope alive: stories, poems, essays, conversations, sacred texts. Each week or so, I will be producing InSpiritry Podcasts for the Greater Good. I hope you will find hope there.

For now, believing in the power of poetry to inspire, here is a  poem I wrote years ago that has become a mainstay of my inspirational presentations and performances.

Just imagine what this kind of health policy could do for the world! (more…)