Archive for the ‘Events & News’ Category

Poet with a Press Pass – AirAsia Flight QZ8501

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

What are the odds?

We ask each other,

watching another plane

disappear from radar

into a veil of clouds,

broken into bits,

flown beneath the waves.

The sky is falling.

In a made for TV mystery,

three giant jetliners full

of families, couples, children

have vanished into thin air.

Imagining the final moments,

we grimace and remember

flying is always an act

of faith in science: to believe

the invisible vectors

of lift and flow and velocity

can fight the insistent force

of Earth’s jealous hold.

Sobered, we stop and say

our prayers, promise to be better,

hope to God and goodness

we are survivors.

Anne McCrady

Poet with a Press Pass is written by Anne McCrady and produced by InSpiritry in response to world news, current events and social justice topics.

More about Anne and InSpiritry is available at InSpiritry.com

2014 Aspen Ideas Fest – Spotlight: Health

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

“There isn’t anyone you couldn’t love, once you heard their story.”

“Great programs don’t change the world; great people do.”

“Girls are not property. They aren’t pure. They are real, and they are our future.”

“Be present and receive the gift of amazing stories.”

“Once you see what great design can do, you can’t unsee it. It becomes a part of what is possible.”

“People – whatever their circumstances – just want to live.”

“Ten years from now, we will have a powerful story to tell!”

These are just some of the inspiring comments I heard last week, when I had the joy and privilege of attending the 2014 Aspen Ideas Fest – Spotlight: Health at the Aspen Institute campus in beautiful Aspen, Colorado. What an amazing experience!

Each day was a feast of surprising, provocative conversations with world-changing people, all of it aimed at transforming global public health. From young architects building culturally relevant hospitals to robotic engineers creating exoskeletons, from international scientists to local activists, from courageous African men and women working to expand family planning to American politicians working to expand access to healthy food, from musicians who awaken dementia patients to physicians who are alert to new therapies and from young students to retired professors, everyone involved was united in a shared vision of making health, not just healthcare, a reality for all people.

I was reminded over and over that when creative change-makers come together to share ideas and listen to one another, miracles can happen. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of the inspiring stories I heard and some of the astounding people I met during my week in Aspen. For now, know that the world is full of heroes — and we are called to be heroes too!

Find more of Anne’s McCrady’s Ideas for InSpired Living at InSpiritry.com!

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World Peace Day 2010

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Let Peace begin with me – let this be the moment now!

A line from the song, Let There Be Peace on Earth

Tomorrow is World Peace Day!

Also known as the United Nations International Day of Peace, September 21 is celebrated around the world as a time dedicated to global peace with prayer services, concerts, candlelight vigils, festivals, community events and conferences. (more…)

Fast, Pray, Love

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

This weekend I went to see the new movie based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s New York Times best-selling memoir, Eat, Pray, Love. It follows a young woman’s classic New Age search for personal fulfillment, as she leaves her angst-ridden marriage, takes-then-leaves a lover and travels alone to Italy, India and Bali. Along the way, she re-examines her ideas about the pleasure of food, the way to enlightenment and the difficulties of relationships.  

While enjoying the story, I left the movie theater struck the character’s self absorption and by our general American sense of dissatisfaction, including about religion. (more…)

Olympic Gold

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

 

 

The thrill of last minute victories.

Excruciating spills on the ice and downhill.

Poetry in motion – on skis, skates, snowboards.

The 2010 Winter Olympic Games have given spectators plenty of drama and delight, as we have watched the world’s athletes compete for gold, silver, bronze and sometimes just the priviledge of being a competitor on the world stage. While the distance of television can’t match the excitement of actually being in the crowd, those of us who have tuned in each evening have shared some amazing moments. (more…)

Wisdom – In Politics of All Places

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

“Two monologues do not make a dialogue.”

Jeff Daly 

 

There were two notable events in American politics this week. As with most things, if we are mindful, there is wisdom to be gained in each. The first news item was President Obama’s much anticipated State of the Union Address. In it, the President affirmed America’s strengths and issued a call to our best intentions.  With calm resolve, he reminded us of how progressive economic policies have avoided the second Great Depression imminent just a year and a half ago; he also encouraged us to have the courage and conviction to continue our progress. Most commentators agree: it was a good speech with a timely and encouraging message. Those of us who deeply believe Barak Obama is uniquely-suited to lead America forward were re-inspired; for their part, the President’s detractors also seem to feel positively about his intentions, if still somewhat skeptical about his ideas.

The second newsworthy political event of the week, though much less publicized and prognosticated, was just as significant. It was the invitation of the President to –and his appearance at — a meeting of the Republican caucus. While fewer Americans watched this drama unfold, those who did witnessed a powerful example of peace in action. With humor and candor, the President framed the current political crisis as a bitter squabble between old friends.  He disdained name-calling, suggested dialogue and promised an open ear. Republicans responded by speaking their concerns and asking tough questions. Even from the distance of a television screen, the lessening of tensions was discernable. People began to remember we all want things to be better. (more…)

Empathy 101

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

“If there is any great secret to success in life,

 it is the ability to put yourself in the other person’s place

and see things from his point of view as well as your own.” Henry Ford 

As I worked on a poetry presentation this week, I realized that the the ideas I am presenting are not limited to writing — they are, in fact, InSpiritry ideas worth sharing! The workshop I have been developing is a lesson for poets about persona poems. For the uninitiated, the persona of a poem is the person speaking to the reader. In some persona poems the writer assumes an identity other than their own.  That persona can be another person, an animal, a place, even something inanimate. In a persona poem, an alternate point of view means using an intentionally different way of speaking, to become that other voice. Enough about literary technique, though; back to my original reason for this post.   

What drew me to widen my considerations about writing persona poems was my assertion that “persona poems compel us to consider how it feels to be someone else.” (more…)

Free Speech: America’s Second Best Idea

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

See full size image “Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Action

are meaningless without Freedom to Think.”

Bergen Evans

 

What a pleasure it has been to enjoy Ken Burns’ The National Parks: America’s Best Idea on PBS (if you haven’t tuned in, it’s inspiring!) As I have been watching the nightly episodes, it occurred to me to consider America’s second best idea. I didn’t have to think long; the blogosphere offered a couple of controversies that confirmed my choice. If the Parks are America’s best idea (although I might suggest it could have been our consitutional democracy), then the second best idea is our First Amendment, and in particular freedom of speech. (more…)

If You Can’t Say Something Nice…

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

You Lie!    

Representative Joe Wilson to President Obama

I have been thinking a lot the past few days about free speech. I have also been reeling from our abuse of it.

In 2007, long before the current controversies over the economy recovery and healthcare reform, a friend of mine, Donna Bowling, co-authored an insightful book called, Reclaiming Civility in the Public Square – 101 Rules that Work. While I have often recommended it to those I know in leadership, I must admit that in the past two weeks I have been tempted to send it out en masse. (more…)

Question for the Day 6-24-09: Healthcare

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

 

We all profit if our healthcare system is transformed…

and that profit will not be just financial! 

This week in Washington, the hot topic is healthcare. Those with an eye on the cost and scope of expanding healthcare are calling for reform. Those with a heart for medical care as a humanitarian mission are calling for healthcare to be transformed. Most of us, confused and concerned with how to provide healthcare for our own family and others, are somewhere in between. (more…)