An entry on probability and/or ineveitability or Just another day in the life of…

A penny landed on the ground just outside the door of my car this morning.

That penny was face-up.

Interestingly enough, people look at a six-foot tall bald guy squatting to take a picture of a penny on the ground slightly askance. Especially when said penny lies mere inches from a car belonging to a person seeking to re-enter the vehicle belonging to them. I stood bashfully, and scurried away to purchase my Mountain Dew and pop-tart without further incident. (No commentary here on the quality choices I make for my morning caloric intake – those will come later.)

As I made my morning commute though, I thought of my day, and I prayed that I might be a channel of the healing grace afforded so abundantly to myself. I prayed for a day in which I would embody the principles I so long to transmit. I prayed that I might be an example to the people I serve, and that they in turn might do likewise with others. I prayed that my mind would be clear and that I would say the words that touch someone’s heart. Words that provide the spark that turns into the fire that lights a person’s soul ablaze, and creates the kind of energy and momentum that moves the mountains of our mis-perception and leads us home. Continue reading “An entry on probability and/or ineveitability or Just another day in the life of…”

Grapes, two oranges, and a small ration of wine

A small bunch of grapes, two oranges, and a small ration of wine walked into a bar and… No, I’m not really going to go there but… yeah, that was dumb.

Anyway, those slim rations were all Antoine de Saint-Exupéry had when he found himself marooned in the Sahara Desert after a plane crash. The crash occurred as he was attempting to pilot a plane from Paris to Saigon in 1935. He and his navigator were attempting to make the trip faster than anyone before had ever made it. He didn’t do it. He never completed that flight and never went on to make another attempt. As a matter of fact, he disappeared during World War 2 and the mystery of his death remains to this day.

What a way to go.

I was wondering the other day how a boy should go about transforming public opinion, the lives of ex-cons and addicts, build a successful business that will pay for it all, finish his MBA, raise a couple of kids that don’t suck, and still find time to be a somewhat normal human being. And hey, if there’s still time after that, that boy might want to even take a picture or two with his camera and blog about all the madness. Oh, and then there’s that whole sleep thing.

Continue reading “Grapes, two oranges, and a small ration of wine”

Letter writing is back!

I was a participant in a great visit with a fellow socialpreneuer last night. We shared a meal and got to talk at length about our respective projects. As I left the meeting, I thought about what I said. As most of us know… wait, I’ll leave the other two of you out of this. As I frequently realize, the “meeting after the meeting” is typically where most of the magic happens. It just so happens that no one else was present for this meeting after the meeting so I was forced to write, and capture the flood of ideas that came through the old fashioned way.

Without any further adieu… I present, a letter…

Hi,

So, as I was driving home last night contemplating the gorgeous breeze, I thought about our chat and a few items came to mind.

First, thanks so much for your time. I really appreciate your tenacity and passion for your vision, it is refreshing. Do you know how many people I meet in a day’s time that have no vision at all; no idea what they want and how they are going to get it? I have made it my life’s work to help them find it, but sometimes it is nice to meet with someone who is already there.

Second, I realized what a boob I must’ve sounded like seeing as my entire plan was ripped apart by my new board and I have had to essentially start over with the planning process building from the ashes. I am excited about this process though and look forward to seeing where it leads. The vision of service remains, and it only gets clearer with each new iteration.

Which leads me to the third reason for writing which, incidentally, may have several sub-points… buckle up this may be a bumpy ride.

Continue reading “Letter writing is back!”

let’s be unreasonable for a minute

What does it mean to be the keynote speaker? I delivered my first keynote address last night at a banquet honoring all of the volunteers and partners of the District 17 Probation and Parole office in St. Charles, MO. In the room were many people from throughout the community. The mood was light and the food was tasty but there was a discernible thump in my own chest. My heart was racing. “What am I doing here?” I thought. “Do these people have any idea who I am?” Obviously not, or I wouldn’t be there. Or perhaps they can see something i can’t yet see in myself.

What I was doing there was delivering the keynote address. Being the geek that I am, I had to discover what this word actually means. Websters defines it as:

an address designed to present the issues of primary interest to an assembly (as a political convention) and often to arouse unity and enthusiasm Continue reading “let’s be unreasonable for a minute”

wild wild life

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Yes, it is a wild wild life. Sitting in front of the computer on a gorgeous afternoon whittling away at reports due Monday. The good news is that there is a respite ahead. The young folk will be visiting soon. I should make hast toward the completion of my tasks in order to greet their arrival with some wild wild fun for the weekend.

doped up: the careless misapplication of psychotropic medications in today’s youth

The Deputy Juvenile Officer, the representative of the court, diligently scribbled notes into the boy’s file while the child’s case manager, the person in charge of navigating the murky waters of the state’s foster-care system droned on about attention seeking misbehaviors and individualized education plans (IEPs). The drab décor of the courthouse room reflected the manner in which the nine people present to decide the future of this child conducted themselves. The overwhelming sense of routine and the overall lack of enthusiasm for the decisions being made were appalling. One voice spoke up. One voice dared ask a question of the team. One person was willing to wonder why it is that this child is being treated with nine different psychotropic medications to treat symptoms ranging from mild depression to severe anxiety. Why is this 7 year-old boy taking so many different medications to treat issues he didn’t have at the last foster-care home he was in? Does this boy have actual issues or is the foster-care system just too busy to deal with the real needs that a child in severe distress might have?

While there are certain situations where psychotropic drugs are necessary for the treatment of severe psychological disorders, many cases of misdiagnosis and improper application of the drugs exist. This misappropriation of these powerful drugs can lead to severe psychological damage to children. It is the responsibility of those in authority, parents or otherwise, to cut through the hype and pretense offered by the media, the marketing departments of the major manufacturers, and overzealous physicians pandering to the whims of distressed families and get to the core of the psychological issues at hand for the health and long-term well-being of our children. Continue reading “doped up: the careless misapplication of psychotropic medications in today’s youth”

imagine

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This video was prepared for a presentation to a board of directors pitching an idea for a social enterprise. Essentially, the idea is to employ ex-offenders for a year in an effort to give them the opportunity to re-socialize into a community that may not want them back. This year gives a crucial opportunity for these people to settle into a daily routine, make a few bucks and gain some practical experience along the way.

The video turned out great, the presentation went well it just seems that the world wasn’t quite ready for this version of the project.

We will keep marching forward though. Someday, this will all be a reality and the world may just be a better place for it.

Morality Hath No Place In Faith

Since the dawn of humanity, man has sought to somehow account for those things which he cannot otherwise account for. Early civilizations created myths to help them to understand the nature of their surroundings, and to provide solace in the rather harsh reality people of the time found themselves in. As time wore on, the simple stories of the gods and their exploits began to evolve and eventually wore thin in the face of the new evidence the brightest mathematical minds of the day brought forth. With the birth of Christ came a new chapter to the faith and morality game. All of a sudden, the world had a person who claimed to be God. This set in motion a train of circumstance which would influence the next 2000 years of history, not always lovingly or peacefully despite the claims of most Christian leadership. The question of morality’s place in faith and religion has influenced scholars, thinkers, and religious leaders for centuries. Slowly, the world is learning that the ultimate form of faith is not a morality based religious or dogmatic experience; it is a belief that the world just works, a simple reliance on the fact that the world just is. While a good beginning, no morality or set of philosophical convictions can prepare a person for this type of faith, it must come from experience. Continue reading “Morality Hath No Place In Faith”

On Google and Our Inability to Form Original Thoughts

Google the words “perception quotes”. Now, invest twenty minutes reading the diverse information the search engine brings back. The breadth of those having something to say about the limits to human perception is vast. For thousands of years the majority of the human race has operated their lives in a vacuum, oblivious to the experience that lies just outside the bounds of their senses. For just as long, philosophers and thinkers, poets and clergy have inspired humanity to seek; to seek beyond that which can be experienced materially, and look to that which must be experienced in other ways. The problem with all of this inspiration is that the process for reviewing it has a major flaw; that major flaw is the human mind. Unfortunately, the human mind is not constructed for processing information in a vacuum. It relies on its composite experience to take new information, and decide what it means. Turning off the system human beings have evolved for deciphering, and breaking the material world into manageable pieces  is difficult; most people are incapable, and even more haven’t the desire to turn it off. Continue reading “On Google and Our Inability to Form Original Thoughts”