Archive for the ‘Politics of Possibility’ Category

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…)

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…)

2010 – Happy New Year

Friday, January 1st, 2010

2010 – Happy New Year! 

Well, here we are. Ten years into the New Millenium. Post 9/11. Post Economic meltdown. Post Bush-Cheney. Several degrees into Global Warming. Several setbacks into Global Cooperation. The backside of the Great Recession. The end of a decade of decadence. Folks, straighten your chair backs, fasten your seatbelts and prepare for landing; somehow or another, we made it!

So – as we come to the end of this bumpy ride—what’s next for us?

I have no crystal ball to foretell the future, but my hunch is that, like so many generations of God’s people on planet Earth, we are about discover the consequences of having to collectively learn things the hard way!

Here are just a few of the tough lessons in store for us: (more…)

The Best Way

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

He was a Mahatma (Great Soul) and India’s Bapu (Father of the Nation).

October 2 is the birthday of Mohandras Gandhi, political leader, spiritual advisor, social activist and wise elder. Educated and of means, but having experienced the sting of racism while in South Africa, the domination of India by Britain and the brutal violence between Hindus and Muslims, Gandhi turned his life to what he called non-cooperation – just saying “no” to injustice. A student of Jesus’s teaching as well as other world religions, he practiced kindness and forgiveness in a sacred endeavor towards the Greater Good. Because of his leadership, people around the world were inspired. In tribute to Gandhi, the date of his birth was designated several years ago as the annual International Day of Non-violence. (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…)

The Art of Peace

Friday, September 18th, 2009

“Better than a thousand hollow words

is one word that brings peace.”

Buddha

Monday marks the 2009 United Nations International Day of Peace. Observed each year on September 21st, the International Day of Peace is a global call for ceasefire and non-violence. In many places, it will the first time in months that a pause in fighting will allow humanitarian aid to get to people without food or medical care. In other safer locations, people committed to non-violence will gather to celebrate and learn about peacemaking. This year’s theme is WMD: We Must Disarm, a reminder that the letters “WMD” can be transformed from their poisonous connotation to a message of hope!

Here in Texas on Sunday, September 20, the eve of the International Day of Peace, I will be participating in a brand new event called the Art of Peace Festival. (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…)

Question for the Day: May 27, 2009

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

“President Obama has announced that Sonia Sotomayor

is his nominee for the Supreme Court.” 

Yesterday, after several weeks of consideration, President Obama introduced us to the woman he is nominating as the next Supreme Court Justice. (more…)