A license to kill

We seldom think of how our action, ego driven, can cause a reaction.  Our ego rages away, meanwhile, somewhere else, there is a reaction.  Violence happens.  A life is lost or forever changed.

We could never imagine taking responsibility for the damaged caused by that raging ego.  We don’t understand the concept of cause and affect.  Instead, we avoid our responsibility through denial, projection or worse, blatant ignorance.

When a truth is covered up by fear, bribery, policy, or propaganda, we loose a little bit of our humanity.  When justice is blinded by bias, intimidation or detachment, we offer up a license to kill or maim.

Some say “it’s just the way it is”.  Really?  That is the song of the sleeper, lulled into inaction.






What does the “quality of character” mean to you?

We turn our heads when we see things that are uncomfortable to us – someone berating a child, someone committing a violent act against another person or property – we simply look the other way.

On a national level, we seem to unflinchingly ignore the serious characters flaws in our political candidates…whom we elect anyways.

So I ask you this – what does “quality of character” mean to you?  Why do we give so little conversation to this concept?

I believe this is an important conversation that we as a country need to have…soon.


A Plea – Do we walk upright?


And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder:
One of the four beasts saying: “Come and see.”
And I saw.
And behold, a white horse.

There’s a man goin’ ’round takin’ names.
An’ he decides who to free and who to blame.
Everybody won’t be treated all the same.
There’ll be a golden ladder reaching down.
When the man comes around.

When the man comes around….Johnny Cash

This post is dedicated to the Water Protectors under siege in North Dakota. May their story and stand be told for generations to come.

Man is said to be the highest life form on this planet due to our ability to walk upright.  Interesting concept of measure.  When I see how we treat each other and especially those who we see as different, I seriously question the validity of this claim.  Our blatant disregard for the rights of peoples and their way of life tells of a society who walks with their heads down – ashamed to look up for seeing the truth of what we’ve become.

We may walk upright, but we do so hollow and contorted.

My fellow man, woman and child.  Look up and open your eyes.  Our land, air and water are sacred to all of us.  We shall all be called to answer for what happens here.  No one escapes from this calling.

Let us stop this devastating action that has short-term gain for the few with long-term consequences for the rest of us.

Look up and walk tall.


Taking Action – in love and relating

I would like to share my relationship story.

My partner (we’ll call her M) and I met at a retreat and quickly became attached at the hip.  We dated for three months, then I moved in.   A therapist once commented that we got our relationship equation backwards –

you two had started relating before dating and mating

Things were rocky at first, but we both had a desire to be together, so we became active in creating better ways to relate. Today M and I have a deep, rich relationship that continues to grow in wonderful ways.

What did taking action in our relationship look like?

M and I both have a strong desire to grow.  But to make our relationship work, we quickly learned that our relating improved when we brought the fruits of our personal growth back to our fold.  For example, M has spent two long stints, six months each, working along with her colleagues at a school of meditation.  While there M set intentions for herself like – to get better at witnessing other or working on her fear of public speaking – as part of her process.

For my part, I made a daily practice of meditation and delved deep into the world of men’s work.  I concentrated my efforts on determining my direction in life and changing old belief systems.  For example, seeing myself as a fully capable man and not as someone broken or less worthy (self-esteem).

What will help my relationship grow?

Relationships are dynamic, fluid and gardenesque in that they need to be constantly nurtured and worked.  Here are a few tips I share that have helped me greatly in building my relationship:

  1. Communicate, communicate, communicate
  2. Take full responsibility for how you feel and express it; always and at all times
  3. No silent treatment.  If you go there, refer to the first two bullets
  4. Practice the art of listening like your life depends on it
  5. Know where you are going in your life and take action
  6. Make a commitment to your relationship, then stick to it

We bring our stuff into all that we do in our lives; including how we relate with others.  Making a commitment to be in a relationship means being present, real and vulnerable. It also means bringing oneself fully into the interaction so to recognize the parts of ourselves that can be challenging in relationship.  No one is perfect, so give each other the room to make mistakes.  It is after all a grand experiment with infinite possibilities.

Lastly, just remember to breath.



Our word is everything

Recent events have reminded me of the importance of the word we give, the promises we make, and their connection to our character.

What is spoken in goodwill, should not be undone….for any reason. Broken promise litter the space of our connectedness leaving those who have seen the promise broken, scarred and bitter.  Too many people are willing to give up their word (and thus their character) for the sake of power, greed and/or bias.

In a better world, our word is our stamp of “being in the game, respectful and present”.  It represent who we are here and above.

Should we have to settle for anything less?