Archive for the ‘U.S.’ Category

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…)

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…)

A Political Event and A Spiritual Awakening

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

I do solemnly swear

that I will faithfully execute the office

of President of the United States of America…

It happened! It really happened! Barak Obama has been sworn in as the first African American President of the United States!

The moment we have long awaited finally arrived today at noon, and what a moment it was! After a beautiful Washington DC dawn welcomed thousands of flag-waving Americans gathered on the mall and while cheering parade watchers waited with their faces full of smiles and tears, it happened. As we all watched, a young man’s leadership moved us into a new era– not only beyond racial divisions, but also beyond global aggression, beyond financial thievery, beyond partisan politics and beyond business as usual. As Barak Obama took the oath of office, promising to uphold this country, we also took an oath to bravely follow him into our future.

Like the orator he is, he spoke words we have needed to hear. As a word lover and progressive, I delighted in the power of his speech. But, even with all he said, it was not his words, but our words that struck me most. (more…)

What Just Happened?

Sunday, November 9th, 2008


“The long lines at voting places, the outpouring of emotion when the results came in… reminded me of the first time votes in new democracies I have covered around the world. “

CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour

“This is a new generation of young voters coming of age with their support of Barak Obama. They may for years be influenced by this election. I call them the “O” Generation.”

Commentator and Political Advisor David Gergen

“Mom, it’s 10:01, and America has elected a Black man as President!”

election night voicemail on my cell phone

“My tears were tears of vindication, but the tears of my daughter and grandchildren were tears of hope.”

African American House Majority Whip James Clyburne

New democracy? New Generation? Emotional young people? Racial Justice?

What just happened?! (more…)

An Open Letter to Conservatives

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

Conservative America,

I know many people are stunned by the loss of presidential candidate John McCain, and his running mate Sarah Palin, and the victory of President-elect Barak Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden. Many 0f you may think we “liberals” are dangerous. You may even feel your country is in deep trouble.  In angry and fearful voices, some are already saying,  They will never take away our guns…our rights…our freedom…our wealth!

If you are one of those worried about what this election means for America, here’s food for thought on some important issues: (more…)


Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Let today embrace the past with remembrance

and the future with longings.

Kahlil Gibran 

As the west wind of our first real cold front swept the last bits of summer aside yesterday (and I changed from shorts-and-Tshirt to blue jeans-and-a sweater!), I was reminded of the blessing of the seasons. Each one is a new beginning, and not just for Nature. As the trees throw off their stiffened leaves and settle in for some well-deserved rest, we too can begin a new season. Fall, especially, offers a time of reconsideration–a chance to leave behind old sadnesses, errors, grudges and regrets. We can rethink our priorities and recommit to our best selves. We can rediscover gratitude and optimism. We can change! (more…)

Facing the Music – Learning to Dance

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

For two decades, Americans have romanced the idea of money.

First, it was the dot-com boom with twenty-somethings turning into millionaires overnight. Then came the housing bubble with charming neighborhood homes being torn down to build McMansions. Later, morning talk programs were eclipsed by financial news shows with live stock market feeds. Late night television followed with Mad Money’s Kramer becoming a national celebrity.  Year by year, credit cards replaced savings accounts as individual safety nets. Leverage became the new business plan. More and more college students were graduating with enormous school loans. America piously preached democracy and capitalism to other countries, then proved the limits of that system with our own avarice. Washington was no different. To repay campaign donations, politicians owed lobbyists their livelihoods. Even the U.S. government became mired in debt, and, internationally, we earned the label of the biggest debtor nation.

Is it any wonder that the stock market and the American economy are crashing down around us?

But, despite the gloom and doom from Wall Street, despite our own personal crises, despite the political rhetoric, all is not lost.  (more…)