THREE LEGS OF A CIVIL SOCIETY
A civil society requires three legs of a stool to thrive and flourish. The first is our ability to make our gifts visible and useful so that we may lift all citizens up to their highest aims. The second is a set of rules/laws for how we play the game of civility in our community. The third is justice as we must hold each citizen and our leaders to high standards for the rules we adopt.
If we cannot create the civil society we most want, we will eventually become the…
Lately, I have been practicing suspending judgment as my first reaction to events and experiences. Judgment will have its day of course, but it feels good lately to wonder and expand my understanding before leaping into the tunnel of judgment.
I think this is part of the root of compassion…to step back and wonder with an open heart. It says to others around us that I value you enough to be curious and open to the complexities of who you are. This can be especially hard when others are causing us or people we love harm.
I believe we must…
So much truthfulness
Lies at the edge of things
Where certainty falls away
And mystery invites us to explore
Yet it is our uncertainty
Of the great mystery of life
That keeps us from stepping
Through the open door
To our little island of truth
Is what ultimately
Will make us poor
Open up your mind
Open up your heart
And become willing
to leave the hardened shore
It is not easy in our Age of Outrage* (see Jonathan Haidt’s article The Age of Outrage) to be openminded and hearted. Everyone has an opinion and wants…
A SIMPLE POET: CREATING OUR COLLECTIVE WORLD
There are days in my life, wherein I devote my entire day to writing poetry and essays. To give power to my thoughts and feelings through words feels like an act of love as a citizen of the planet. I do not claim to be a good poet, but nor do I claim to be a bad poet. I simply write because I have been given the gift of freedom to express my words in a public forum.
With this gift comes a responsibility. I understand the need for many to call to…
We talk about growth all the time, but do so in fairly abstract terms. What does it mean to really grow?
To really answer this question, we must understand that there are four key categories of growth:
My mother use to tell me our family number is 312. What the hell is a family number I would ask her? She kind of looked at me like, “Kevin, that is not the right question”.
Well the number 312 keeps popping up these days and I suppose whatever we are of conscious of becomes visible. So perhaps the right question is then, “what shall I make conscious that has been invisible, that is important to make visible?”
This feels like the invitation she was offering me in her own quiet way without giving me the answer. Or it may…
Yesterday, I positioned my self at the gate to Montford Park Theater and waited for my friends to arrive. As people filed into the outdoor theater area I smiled at each person passing though. I made the assumption that people were happy to be walking through this gate. After all, in coming to be entertained on a beautiful mid-summers night eve (The play was Robin Hood), why wouldn’t you jus drop your cares and enter this space with the intention of being free for a while?
It struck me as people passed by that I had become, at least for…
Being mindful of the Self is about discovering how you perceive yourself in the world around you. To do this, explore your thoughts and feelings more deeply and the stories you tell yourself about what is true. This self-reflection is a good starting place for becoming more mindful.
You have probably discovered that there is very little that you control in the world, but you can control your responses to events and how you choose to show up. By diving deeply into your own thoughts, feelings, stories, and the places you get stuck, you can begin to become more empowered…
This is about observing your family and close community without judgment but with curiosity. Most people establish certain roles within their family and community that play out over and over again. These roles may be helpful and useful, but they also can keep you stuck in places that keep you from growing. By observing closely your family interactions and behaviors as well as your own role in these dynamics, you can begin to make more informed choices about what roles you want to play.
Most individuals in families take on certain common or archetypal roles. Some family members will be…
Human beings crave certainty like they crave chocolate or ice cream. While you can easily satisfy your craving for sweets, it is not so easy to satisfy your longing for certainty in uncertain times. Many people try to gain clarity by reducing the complex nature of the world they live in.