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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A Wrinkle In (Our) Time

We shall not cease from exploration, 
and the end of all our exploring 
will be to arrive where we started 
and know the place for the first time.  ~ T. S. Eliot

Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man, That he didn't, didn't already have... ~ Dewey Bunnell (America)

All time travel whether real or imagined is about discovering where you already are.  Our church book group just finished reading and discussing the classic tale of time travel, A Wrinkle In Time.
Even though the book was written more for adolescent readers its themes are universal:  overcoming fear and darkness with love and light, succumbing to and resisting the temptation of comfortable conformity, and discovering one's true identity and self-worth.

Because the story is universal, it is also relevant today as individuals, nations, and humanity struggle with who we are and how we are to live. Dark forces have come into prominence through "populist" movements obsessed with security and conformity. Leaders motivated by greed for wealth and power and led by amoral values exploit the insecurity and fear of the masses through propagandized media that also amass wealth and power.

Predictably enough, just as the resistance of Meg in A Wrinkle in Time overcomes the darkness (IT),  the youth of our country and the world are taking to the streets against the darkness of our day! Unfortunately, many of my generation have forgotten the passion, hope, truth, justice, and love that took us into the streets of our youth. Too many, like Charles Wallace, have been hypnotized by the IT of our time.

Perhaps the call of today's youth to the "adults" of the world is again a "wrinkle in time" to what really matters in this life - love!

The wolf shall live with the lamb,
   the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
   and a little child shall lead them.      ~ Isaiah 11:6

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


" Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one"
~ Jesus

"Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean." ~ Don Miguel Ruiz

The word and concept of "integrity" comes from the latin word "integer" which means "intact." Integrity is the same regardless of perspective. Without placing any moral or ethical value on integrity it simply means "what you see is what you get."

Common understandings of integrity include moral and ethical values like honesty, dependability, trustworthiness, etc. However, someone could theoretically have integrity in dishonesty and shiftlessness as well. If a scoundrel is truly a scoundrel, they have integrity.

The problem with labeling someone else's integrity is that we never know another person's inner life and intent. However, one way to assume intent is by consistency. If a person is consistent in their words and actions this gives us a glimpse at their integrity.  As Jesus said, we will know them "by their fruit."

The only integrity we can ever truly know and affect is our own. Are my words and actions true to who I really am? Do I act from my true identity and core values?  What is the fruit of my life?

Do I have integrity?

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Slippery Slope

There really is a slippery slope. It's not just something our parents, teachers, coaches, and other made up to keep us from doing stupid things.

You can't undo the past or return to it. Once a decision is made and action taken on that decision the consequences create new reality that leads to more decisions that are usually based on previous ones and the next thing you know you're sliding along wondering, "How did I get here?"

Notice in the previous paragraph there is no value on the decision made, even though my guess is that most of us automatically associate the slippery slope with bad decisions.  What if you make "good" decisions grounded in positive values? If so, the "here" of "How did I get here?" is a much more rewarding slide.

Maybe life itself is the slippery slope. Where we land ultimately depends on the choices we make.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


coward : one who shows disgraceful fear or timidity ~ Merriam-Webster online dictionary

Are we all Scot Peterson?

Two weeks ago a School Resource Officer for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida arrived at the school with gunfire taking place. Armed with a hand gun he took up a position outside the building because he thought the gunfire was somewhere outside the building. As we all now know, it wasn't.  The shooter was inside the school.

Deputy Peterson was suspended, subsequently resigned, and is now being called a coward by the news media, most state and national legislators, the NRA, and the President of the United States. Thank God we finally have a scapegoat. The problem with scapegoating is that we are always looking for and placing blame on someone else for our own fear.

Unexamined fear is at the core of cowardice. Fear does many things to us and leads us into dark places, whether physical, psychological, or verbal. Fear causes us to lash out at others. Fear paralyzes and keeps us from doing what we know is right. Fear is used as a call to arms as well as resignation and surrender. Ultimately fear, left unexamined, will lead to violence.

Perhaps our problem in the current turmoil over gun violence is similar to Deputy Peterson's. Are we taking up positions on the outside, looking for anybody and anything to blame instead of looking inside ourselves and examining our own fear and taking action?

Think about it! In one way or another, are we not all Scot Peterson?