I Would Like to Have Your Eulogy Now, Please

Let’s Stop Saying “I never knew that!” About Someone We Just Lost

I do not wish to dampen anyone’s holiday spirits today but know that we are about to reflect on the loss of those close to us. But take heart! This is actually an upbeat discussion. You will like where we are at the end of this posting.

We recently had the bitter-sweet experience in a memorial service for an old friend. Bitter, of course, because of the loss. Sweet for all the wonderful, funny recollections brought forth. This was typical of such Unitarian Universalists gatherings.

Tipping Points: Science, Surprise, and Power

There is a phenomenon in both the physical sciences and in human interaction known as the tipping point. In common language, such a thing may be referred to as “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” a “point of no return,” or “the last straw.”

That such things exist, in nature and in human society, is widely recognized. It is often easy to see exactly where that point was in post event analysis. Ah, but seeing it as it comes over the horizon – that is much harder. Discerning the tipping point is a fascinating process.

In Praise of Preparation

A Plea for Getting it Right the First Time

 

Four Tales of Woe

I have had occasion over the last few days to attend two ceremonies and two meetings. Two involved ceremonial candle lightings. One required mounting a plaque The fourth entailed showing slides from a computer.

Four very different activities. All four failed to execute in small but unfortunate ways. The organizers for each were likely a bit embarrassed. This posting is not to embarrass anyone further (some involved in one or more of these events may read this blog).

So, Here’s The Thing About Loyalty…

Some leaders and followers have it backwards.

 

Leadership and Loyalty

The study of leadership has been a life-long passion of mine. I have watched it in terrible crucibles and in beautiful opportunities. I have strived to practice what I have learned. There are, of course, many types of leaders. But about loyalty, there seems to be only two mindsets from which leaders may choose.

Loyalty is an important quality within an organization and among its members. In military organizations, it is often a matter of life and death. But even in less dangerous environments,

Thanksgiving, You Sneaky Thing, You!

Lincoln had the right idea for a National Day of Thanksgiving. What about this year?

Americans have had a tradition of giving thanks since before we were Americans. The pilgrims had such a time. President Washington noted the importance of a time for reflection and thanks. President Lincoln finally made the date official.

In every year, there are many of us who wonder if there is much for which we should be thankful. If we are thankful, what does that mean exactly? This might be such a year for many of us. But be of good heart – there is much to earn our thanks.

The Purposes and Power of Conversation

 

As We Careen into the Midterm Election, Let Us Reflect on the Art of Conversation.

This blog began last Summer in part to provide improved dialog opportunities.

Our diminishing ability to talk with each other in this country should be a matter of concern for all. Disagreements are natural – and healthy. But if we are unwilling to talk at all with millions of our fellow citizens, this is problematic. Not easy stuff, but we need to try.

It cannot bode well for the health of this country to continue down this path.

Let Me Tell You a Story….

Story Telling as High Culture and Community Connector.

 

Most of us have good childhood memories that begin with the phrase “tell me a story.” Stories are some of the earliest connections we have with those we love. They can fire our imagination, touch our emotions, teach us valuable lessons.

That is only the beginning. Stories are also how we pass down culture and history. In some cultures, this is the primary means for passing along what is important. Story tellers are honored people, with foundational roles in society.

You may be forgiven for thinking this is no longer the case in America.

The Relationship Between Science and Science Fiction

An Ideal Partnership That Nourishes Both Partners

 

For as long as I can remember, I have loved science. Not to say I always understand it. A good case in point: a couple of years ago I watched a program about string theory. It looked fascinating. I understood almost 5% of it. Five more repeats of the program and I understood enough to grasp the essentials. By the next day, much of that was gone. But I loved it anyway!

One of the things I really like about science is scientists. As a group,

“I Don’t Watch TV.” Too Bad – You are Missing Out

This is Not Your Parents TV.

Surprise! This Might be a Golden Age for TV.

I have friends who proudly proclaim they watch no TV. Some even make a point of saying they do not own one. On the one hand, I can understand that. There is a lot of junk on TV. There always has been. But there are also amazing feats of programing going on today. My biggest problem is not avoiding the junk. The problem is catching, or even knowing about, all the good stuff that is out there.

If we are going to talk about this,

Mel Brooks and the Ten Commandments

 

What if 10 was Not the Right Number of Commandments?

 

It’s Friday; let’s relax a little today and have some fun. If anyone reading this may have thought I am a sophisticated person, allow me to put that to rest now. Mel Brooks is one of my favorite funny guys. I love his stuff.

One of my all time  favorite Mel Brooks scenes is from his film History of the World, Part I. Check out the film clip for a reminder of the Brooks genre.