Monthly Archives: June 2012

COURAGE

The cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz held the wrong notion, that fear negated courage. The wizard corrects him, “There is no living thing that does not fear when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing the danger when you are afraid.” Aristotle noted that the vice of a shortage of courage is cowardice, and the vice of an excess of courage is recklessness. Appropriate fear orients a person to the reality of risk. Increased risk should amplify fear. Acting in the face of that fear constitutes courage. Continue reading

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POSITIONING FOR THE HARVEST

More people are slipping out of the middle class into the abyss of poverty. The feast at the banquet table continues to expand for the wealthy, while the middle class and poor fight over the leftovers and scraps. Printing more currency will not reverse this trend. Amassing more debt will not secure a rescue vehicle. Continue reading

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THE ANTI-COMMENCEMENT SPEECH

“…but here we are on a literal level playing field. That matters. That says something. And your ceremonial costume… shapeless, uniform, one-size-fits-all. Whether male or female, tall or short, scholar or slacker, spray-tanned prom queen or intergalactic X-Box assassin, each of you is dressed, you’ll notice, exactly the same. And your diploma… but for your name, exactly the same.

All of this is as it should be, because none of you is special.

You’re not special. You are not exceptional.” Continue reading

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PERSPECTIVE

How much of life do we live this way? Our limited perspective rushes to judgment. Our dogmatism disguises itself as wisdom. Our egotism masquerades as enlightenment. At least, this is the way it seems to work in my life.

Perspective is everything (well, almost everything). We have to realize that each of us is situated in time and space. Our education overlaps on a venn diagram, but our assumptions and opinions are shaped by so much more than mere education – heritage, neighborhood, generation, ethnicity, parental training (with each parent also situated), siblings (also situated differently from you), peers, extended family, experiences, religion, and the list goes on. Continue reading

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