Wednesday, November 25, 2015

However our eyes may be dazzeled...

And  however our eyes may be dazzled, or our ears deceived by sound; 
however prejudice may warp our wills, or interest darken our understanding, 
the simple voice of nature and of reason will say, it is right.

Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

Friday, November 20, 2015

Time and Mortality

"Today, my friends, we each have one day less, every one of us.  
And joy is the only thing that slows the clock."
John D. McDonald, The Scarlet Ruse, a Travis McGee novel.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Under Pressure

Wow! Urgently relevant. Incredible performances. Thanks to my neice, Emily Marlor for posting this on Facebook!

Under Pressure


“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:
the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude..."

― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

In any situation we still choose our next action even though it may only be a thought. Even though a threat may lead to our death it does not absolutely determine our next choice or the consequences of that choice. When we experience fear the larger danger is to choose powerlessness. Closely focusing on a bully is a mistake. Listening too closely to fearful people as they make impulsive choices is a mistake.  Owning my choice and my possible outcomes gives me at least a bit of autonomy.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Too Many Older People?

  • Older People are becoming a larger and larger percentage of the world population. 
  • Some say older people are becoming an overwhelming burden upon the youth of the world. 
  • Of course if I qualify as Old I still qualify as a Person.
  • As days and weeks and months and years and decades go by each person has more and more knowledge and perspective. 
  •  If I, as an older and older person use my increasing knowledge and perspective to do better and better self-care... I will more than carry my own weight in the world.
Chuck Britt

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Making Life Easier

- When I make the difficult choice not to look up to others it is much easier to choose not to look down.
- When I make the difficult choice not to blame I spend less time forgiving.
- When I stop focusing on a bully I make it unnecessary to hate the bully.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Insight after a phone call from Connie:

The first Bully of every day... is the negative voice within me.

When my intention is to dis-enthrall myself from my impulses I can choose to notice, interrupt and replace my negative self talk.  I can then choose to frame my day with functional, positive truth.


When I refer to 'God'.

As a 21st century social scientist, when I refer to God I am attempting to be respectful to the unknown and to the mysteries of creation.  I am being aware that I am one witness among billions of perspectives who each find unique meaning in any number of Gods.  I am aware that I am not the designer.  When I create a brilliant theory or witness an event and believe I understand… I can choose to remember that I am one witness among billions of witnesses.  I can choose be proud or I can choose to be serine, probably not both at once.  I can choose to seek meaning.  I can talk about what I believe I am witnessing.  I can seek feedback and I may or may not choose to expand my awareness.

I am not declaring my personal religion.

My personal religion can be understood by you… only as I choose to share with you my daily project of sorting out my leaving the home of my childhood, leaving the home of my parents, leaving the home of my nation, leaving the home of my culture and leaving the home my planet to find my personal orientation and relationship with where we all live and with each of your perspectives as we step along our mutual journey. 

I can think of many labels I might use.  I don’t think that would help you know me better.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Without the alloy of hypocrisy.

“As a nation, we began by declaring that 'all men are created equal.' We now practically read it 'all men are created equal, except negroes.' When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read 'all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.' When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty – to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”

Abraham Lincoln 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Mr. Rogers quote

"If we grow up fearing mistakes, we may become afraid to try new things. Making mistakes is a natural part of being human and a natural part of the way to learn. It's an important lesson, at any time of life, but certainly the earlier the better. We all make mistakes as we grow, and not only is there nothing wrong with that, there's everything right about it."

Thursday, September 3, 2015

To The Contrary

                         Could the young but realize how soon they will become mere walking
                         bundles of habits, they would give more heed to their conduct while in
                         the plastic state.     

                         If parents and grandparents could but realize the power of their 
                         self-care as a developing model for their intensely observant 
                         children and grandchildren, they would give more heed to noticing,  
                         interrupting, and replacing their own negative self-talk and their 
                         impulsive and dysfunctional repetitive behavior.   

                         When Elders do better self-care, kids do better self-care.  

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Busy Day

A little scenario describing the daily human struggle with awareness, 
the lack thereof and how the small solutions are found.

Monday, July 6, 2015

What is the most important human task?

What is the most important human task?

I can choose to develop, improve and persist in the daily task of my own self-care hygiene.

Everyone who cares about me is focused on my self-care. I am a model for self-care for all younger family members.

My self-care becomes my most lasting legacy to my family.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Shakespeare quoted from 'Twelth Night'

At last the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.

Twelfth Night #385

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sen. Paul Thurmond (R)

This appears to be actual change. My hat is off. 

  • Something happened between father and son for this to be possible. 
  • Something happened between the killer in the church and his father that carried tragedy forward.
  I am a walking faith-reason ping pong match. But I know that the risky and terrifying leap into the unknown of change takes love and an "idea" I call faith that tells me the leap is somehow within my capacity even though I do not have reason to believe it. The killer in the church did not take a leap. He didn't do anything but do an impulse passed directly down the generations. Young Mr. Thurmond however appears to be putting both sets of his toes out in the air based on the "idea" that he will land on new solid ground.  He acted on the "idea" that it is in his capacity... without sufficient reason to believe it to be so. My hat is off to him.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Masters and Slaves

In Ken Burns', "Civil War" Barbara J. Fields says:
What we need to remember most of all is that the Civil War is not over until we, today, have done our part in fighting it, as well as understanding what happened when the Civil War generation fought it. The Civil War is still going on, it’s still to be fought, and, regrettably, it can still be lost.
As a little boy I was intensely curious about the Civil War and about nearby Gettysburg PA. I didn't know I was being socialized as a lower class white racist. I didn't know any black kids. I rarely saw black people even in the city of Columbus, just south of where we lived. We had visited the battlefield at Gettysburg. I had a rather detailed and graphic booklet from the museum there. I still have that booklet. Fence rows of gray suited and blue suited corpses lying together. I became curious about war. When I saw those photographs of the dead soldiers I realized I was being trained to be a dead soldier. I then became curious about slavery. One of my first feelings upon seeing photographs of blacks in slavery was that I felt like a slave owner. Again I realized I was being trained. I am still aware of the deepest darkest parts of me... all linked up with my deepest rage and shame. Shame and rage. At 67 I suppose it is time to accept that those deep dark rages and shames are there because I was taught to accept that I was never going to be very high on the hierarchical power pole and that was a deep shameful thing for a boy that would someday be a Presbyterian man. (Someone who was supposed to believe in predestination and who was reminded often that he would not be among the "Chosen".) I was being trained to want to be a slave owner and I was being trained to believe that I would always FALL SHORT of earning that "lofty goal".

I remembering hearing or reading the Gettysburg Address around the same time.  A part of me felt that redemption might be a real thing.  

Later as I watched the Civil Rights Movement unfold before my eyes on television I realized that enslavement and slave mastering did in fact continue, not just as a guilty thing within me but in much bigger ways outside of Lewis Center, Ohio out in the larger world of fire hoses, lunch counters, lynchings, Jim Crow, bus strikes and Freedom Marches.  It was a big thing for everyone.  Being quite immature I thought that perhaps some great healing was happening in the country and there would be an end to all the misery out there and in me. 

I have learned to re-frame my  hopelessness and my rosy eyed hopes of redemption in the world of Race in my own country in my lifetime. I have learned that I must re-build the re-frame every day... or the old shamefulness and rage rules my day. An awful legacy.

My son says that he feels he didn't get all of what I got... from me. I hope not. I certainly agree that the war goes on. It continues inside of me each day.  This struggle must happen every day.  It can be lost within me every day.  So, redemption is available to me but I can choose to build it daily or it won't be there.  I can choose to make it part of my daily mental health and spiritual hygiene, or not.  My daily, "measure of devotion".