Archive for the ‘Problem Solving’ Category

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!

You can also connect with InSpiritry through Facebook and Twitter!

 

 

Negative Thoughts

Friday, March 4th, 2011

“This is where I get most of my negative thinking done.”

New Yorker cartoon of a woman showing buyers her home office

Economically and environmentally, for Americans the past three years have been difficult, at best. Even those whose jobs were secure and finances healthy have felt the impact: government cuts to essential programs, neighbors who had to sell their homes, friends who were unemployed, new carcinogens and ever worsening global warming. Worst of all, the nightly news reminds us how bad things are. All that in addition to our personal  challenges.

In times like these, optimism is hard to summon. The cartoon I quoted above is not far from the truth — we often get so trapped in worrying that we can’t do Good Work! (more…)

InSpiritry Question for the Day: Who Do You Call?

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

 

 Two heads are better than one.

You buy new software and are trying to install it, and the screen says there is a problem with your computer.

It’s time to finally get your insurance and finances in order…again.

A family member is having trouble coping and needs assistance.

Situations like these are part of everyday life for most of us. We know the problem, but the answer is much more complicated. In fact, we’re not even sure where to start!

The good news is that we don’t have to come up with a solution all by ourselves. (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…)

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…)

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…)

Social Networking – Modern Day Moai

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

       “Value your relationships.”  Barbara Bush

Lately, I have been thinking about relationships and the strength they bring to our lives.

With that on my mind, this week I read an insightful article  about “the power of many” in an investment newsletter. As evidence of how personal relationships empower us in the midst of these unsettled economic times, the article noted an interesting custom I read about several years ago in Dan Buettner’s eye-opening book, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest .

The custom comes from the island of Okinawa, where for years people have formed social cooperatives called moai. Essentially, moai are informal groups formed by people who want to count on and cooperate with each other. (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 6-2-09: Everything Changes

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

“Everything changes. Nothing remains without change.” Buddha

Our jobs. The economy. The weather. The planet. Our relationships. Our families. Our faces. Everything does change! (more…)

InSpiritry Question for the Day – May 29, 2009: Looking Fear in the Face

Friday, May 29th, 2009

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this…I can take the next thing that comes along.” 

Eleanor Roosevelt

While none of us wish for fear–and many of us avoid it at all cost–it is true that we grow from experiences that make us feel afraid. (more…)