Facebook and I have a tenuous relationship. I read incoming posts. I almost never put posts on online. I’m a consumer. Not a producer.
The reason? Because, to me, Facebook makes it too easy to generate misunderstanding by breaking two important rules of communication —
- Rule 1: Know your audience; and
- Rule 2: Encourage understanding by delivering the whole story in context
Let me clarify with a story:
Recently, I saw a post from someone I was Facebook “friends” with. This person is a public figure in the community and I respect his work — a lot.
This post told a story about a situation that he and his friend experienced. It was a lot like other typical Facebook posts. A photograph with the two Read the rest of this entry »
Three Stooges — Larry, Moe and “Curley” Joe (NY Times / UPI)
Bike ride on the way home from church on Sunday.
I put together a list of things that always appear in threes. (For no reason other than I could and because that’s what you’re supposed to do on a bike!)
- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
- Winken, Blinken and Nod
- Stop, Look and Listen
- Rock, Paper, Scissors
- Shadrach Meshach and Abednego
- Larry, Moe and Curley
- Earth, Wind and Fire
- Acey, Ducey, One Eyed Jack
- Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria
- Snap, Crackle and Pop
- Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail
- Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato
I assume that everyone who has ever attempted to put pen to paper (or in this case fingers to keyboard) has asked that question.
Why am I doing this and why is it so hard?
I write because the thoughts in my head (whatever they might be at the moment) are usually scrambled and confused.
In my head my thoughts exist in a multi-level building, some connected and others random and not particularly connected to any other thoughts. They reflect the way I think.
My thinking is noisy and confused.
Writing is a way to take these thoughts and force them into a linear organization. One thought comes first and others follow. My work of writing is transferring these thoughts from their disorganized, chaotic noisy world to a world of organization and quiet order.
Writing is a therapy. Just like a walk in the woods or sitting on beach watching the ocean calms the soul and body, so does writing. It defuses the chaos in my head and brings quiet.
Yes, it’s work. Order from chaos is not something that comes naturally or easily to me.
Yes, the journey to the first word is usually hard. But the pleasure, when I realize my mind is at peace again and things have been sorted out is amazing and well worth it.
I think I’ll keep this up. It’s good for the soul.
I’ll admit it… I am a news junkie. I’m not sure where my attraction to random facts and stories comes from but I suppose that part of it is that I just like to know what going on in other places besides the immediate area that I live in.
Technology and the Internet has gone a long way to feeding this addiction. I have, over the years collected a set of links to various blogs and publications that I read on a regular basis. This list is always being re-invented and re-ordered as my interests change and is always accessible to me on all my devices in a nice concise form using an application called Netvibes.
Part of the benefits of my digital wandering is that I sometimes run across fascinating concepts and ideas that can (or should) be adopted and applied to situations other than the situation where I first found them. Read the rest of this entry »
I remember some years ago, someone telling me not to try and “boil the ocean” and set yourself up to do an impossible task all at once.
And so it is with acts of justice.
It’s easy for us to think when we read of hungry people, displaced families, or a low-functioning legal system, that the best way for us to restore justice is by executing on a large, integrated plan involving lots of people and lots of money.
That’s why some see problems related to injustice and absolutely impossible to solve. They see the solution as impossible.
But, just like a journey that begins with a single step, so, often does justice.
If that’s the case, then an effective way to proceed is one small step followed by another — all moving toward the same goal. Want to combat the injustice of hunger? Start by providing a meal for someone in need. Want to combat the injustice of prostitution and sex slavery? Find a local shelter and volunteer one day a week.
It’s when all of the single small tasks are combined toward a larger goal that justice gets done and the world becomes a better place.
Every journey, they say, begins with a single step — or in this case some serious training about how to ride and how to build a community with a group of 13 other people.
I thought at first that this whole adventure was just a ride from Minneapolis to Chicago. I’m finding out really quickly that it is much, much more than that.
Sure, a part of these first days is some important training we will need one our ride but another, more important aspect of these first two days is building a community of people who are passionate about doing something, in some small way to restore this world back to the way that God intended it to be. It’s called justice. Read the rest of this entry »
Anyone who watched the Apollo launches will remember the phrase “T Minus”. It was used along with a number that indicated the number of minutes / seconds until the Saturn V Rocket along with the Apollo capsule perched on top started it’s long, slow climb to space.
Today, I’m at T Minus One. One day to go. If I am not prepared now…. well, I’ll never be prepared for next week’s adventure ride from Minneapolis to Chicago with 13 other people who I have not yet met.
A countdown is a sequence of backward counting to indicate the time remaining before an event is scheduled to occur. NASA commonly employs the term “T-minus” during the preparation for and anticipation of a rocket launch, and even “E-minus” for events that involve spacecraft that are already in space, where the “T” could stand for “Test” or “Time”, and the “E” stands for “Encounter”, as with a comet or some other space object.
Other events for which countdowns are commonly used include the detonation of an explosive, the start of a race, the start of the New Year, or any anxiously anticipated event. An early use of a countdown once signaled the start of a Cambridge University rowing race.
The first known association with rockets was in the 1929 German science fiction movie Die Frau im Mond (English: Woman in the Moon) written by Thea von Harbou and directed by Fritz Lang in an attempt to increase the drama of the launch sequence of the story’s lunar-bound rocket.(Wikipedia)
I only know most of the rest of the team I am spending the next Read the rest of this entry »
Long ago, in my senior year of High School, I took an elective class with the somewhat meaningful name of L.E.A.P. Taught by a somewhat radical (for the time) teacher, the acronym was a perfect fit not only for the teacher but also for the purpose of the class itself. LEAP stood for “Learning and Education through Active Participation”.
The whole purpose of the class was to move the classroom… well out of the classroom and into the city where we lived. One of the basic philosophies that the class centered around was that the structure of the city itself, built around the car and freeways, prevented you from really learning about the city, its places and the people who live there. A significant part of the class involved getting us off the California Read the rest of this entry »
There are very few absolutes in this world, so in the interest of sharing wisdom, here are a few things that I have learned while doing long distance training:
Badger State Trail
- Every hill has a top and eventually, every hill has a downhill. This is true even in the event that someone, someday climbs Mt. Everest on a road bike. (Believe me… it will happen!)
- Some days it’s going to rain, some days it’s going to be hot and some days it’s going to be cold. Remember, there is no such thing as bad weather …. only bad clothes. This holds true not just for cycling but also for hiking and for enduring the long (long) Midwest winters.
- While riding, the “music of the spheres” * always trumps the “music of my iPod”.
Read the rest of this entry »
Presented at the 2013 Gala to Celebrate Hope. A good idea of where your support dollars go.
A Collection of Articles about the Myanmar/Burma Conflict:
Myanmar Poor Go Without Care After Ban on Doctor Group – NY Times March 2014
Myanmar’s Rich Biodiversity Hangs in the Balance – Bloomberg Business Week – March 2014