Being

February 22, 2009

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I have come to the frightening conclusion…
That I am the decisive element.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration,
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
In all situations, it is my response that decides
whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated,
and a person is humanized or de-humanized.
If we treat people as they are, we make them worse.
If we treat people as they ought to be,
we help them become
what they are capable of becoming.
J.W.Goethe

The Blessings of True Fables

November 29, 2008

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Outside the Palace of Fine Arts
the brassy bedouin gifted
this uneasy teen
her guitar.
And as
he slipped beneath
the sassy spell of
crazed voodoo spirits,
wicked fingers blazed
electric on its strings,
and wailed alongside the waif’s bluesy
this-is-the-last-song-I-will-ever-sing voice.
A mic in one hand and swigs of
Southern Comfort from her other,
she would dub him “Raoul”,
an unsung
discovery,
sober no longer
in the drunken
merriment
of the spring moment
that would never
leave him.

Weeks passed.
Time stopped again
as music channeled
from some
other distant life took hold,
and ephemeral summer
magic howled
its symphony,
then took sudden flight as a thief
in the stolen
night
never to return.

Sadly, Janis soon passed as well.

The young man grew older,
accomplished
many other things
in his life,
until the last sepia’d memory
of Raoul faded
to white.

One day a lost friend,
a godchild unseen
in decades,
passed as a ghost
through his thoughts.
As if by whim, he typed random numbers
into the address bar.
Her profile splashed
on the screen.
He was startled,
delighted.
It was magic!
She’d moved across a continent
and an ocean,
eight time zones away,
and yet here she was
before him.

Conversations followed.

And he smiled.

Raoul had never left.

Mystic Emotion

October 3, 2008

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“The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion. Herein lies the germ of all art and all true science. Anyone to whom this feeling is alien, who is no longer capable of wonderment and lives in a state of fear is a dead man. To know that what is impenetrable for us really exists and manifests itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, whose gross forms alone are intelligible to our poor faculties – this knowledge, this feeling … that is the core of the true religious sentiment. In this sense, and in this sense alone, I rank myself among profoundly religious men.”
-Albert Einstein

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Distilled from a lifetime of disseminating

non violence in a violent world,

this is the list that Mohandas Gandhi gave

his grandson, Arun, on their final day together

shortly before his assassination.

The Seven Blunders of the World

* Wealth without work
* Pleasure without conscience
* Knowledge without character
* Commerce without morality
* Science without humanity
* Worship without sacrifice
* Politics without principle

Arun Gandhi later added an eighth blunder,

“Rights without responsibilities”.

If one could prevent these acts of

passive violence, Gandhi believed,

perhaps greater acts of violence

could be averted…

Strangers in the Night

September 14, 2008

“To be is to do.”-Socrates
“To do is to be.”-Sartre
“Do be do be do.”-Sinatra
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Strangers In The Night – Frank Sinatra