Jack London’s Credo I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in … Continue reading I Shall Use My Time
Trails less traveled. The way is narrow. The way is steep. The way is hard. But the way is good. … Continue reading Lifesummit
Keep the earth below my feet
For all my sweat, my blood runs weak
Let me learn from where I have been
Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn
Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn
— Mumford & Sons, “Below My Feet”
As each small bag passed through my hands to the next volunteer, I thought of each man, woman, and child, in some other country, who will open these packages. They will be happy because it’s one more day they can eat. I am happy because I can help. Continue reading “Prescription for Doing (Life) Part 3 – See Another”
In my last post, Discovering the Pioneer Spirit Inside of You – Part 1, I asked the question, “Do you consider your life frontier?” We looked at how your life is confronted with many unfamiliar territories over its course. And although countless people before you may have encountered similar frontiers, these challenges are still unique to you.
Now comes the question, “What do you do with this?” How do you rustle up the courage to step into the unknown and find the gumption to keep going? (If you haven’t read Part 1, I encourage you to read that first.)
Frontier. The word itself evokes thoughts of majestic landscapes, high plains prairies, mountain ranges untouched by human presence. Wagon trains heading into the Wild West, modern pioneers exploring the reaches of space and diving the depths of our oceans. We rarely use the word in the lexicon of our own lives—instead we use words like season or journey—but your life today is very much frontier.
Seasons come and go. Like moving to a new area, changing jobs, switching churches, going from football to basketball season. If our team doesn’t do so well, we say: there’s always next season. We weather through these cycles, and we learn what to expect when the next comes around. And so we become seasoned.
A journey is more a long, steady course over a lifetime. Ups and downs. Wide roads and narrow ones. Easy times and hard ones. A beginning and an end. We are taught to appreciate the journey as much as the destination. Others have gone before us on this road, and we learn from their experiences to improve our own chances at a successful life.
But what of a frontier? Does it sound more risky? Untamed? Ballsy, even? Continue reading “Discovering the Pioneer Spirit Inside of You – Part 1”
I saw him approaching out of the corner of my eye as I sat on a park bench. The well-shaded grounds of the State Hospital is a spot frequented by local office dwellers escaping for quiet lunches on warm summer days, and that’s what I was doing there. But that’s not what he was doing there. The thirty-something year-old looked around nervously and asked if he could sit down.
Psychiatric patients at the hospital can receive permission to stroll outside during the day, but they’re not allowed to talk to the public. I knew this, and reluctantly I motioned him to sit.
His story was a bit shocking, but I didn’t flinch. Apparently I was the first person in the park who didn’t walk away from him, especially “after they found out I was gay,” he said. Continue reading “Crazy People Who Speak with Their Eyes Closed”
Novelist James Scott Bell calls writers “The Fellowship of the Weird.” Cecil Murphey, co-author of the popular 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Life and Death, shares in his recent newsletter, “Because I like who I am, I like being alone with myself” (after he explains his struggle with loneliness).
Run a Google search on “artists are weird” or “artists are misunderstood,” or my favorite, “artists are crazy,” and you’ll get millions of results.
I posed a question on my Facebook page asking, “If you’re an artist, do you feel lonely or misunderstood around non-artists?” The overall answer was yes (mostly the misunderstood part). But where does that leave the non-artist? Continue reading “The Art of Understanding the Artist in All of Us”
Many of us were saddened this week at the passing of Leonard Nimoy, an icon (if not the icon) of the Star Trek universe. I guess you could say I’m a trekkie, minus the spock ears. Okay, I did own a pair when I was a kid, but I never wore them in public. Does that still count?
As I explored the many highlights of Mr. Nimoy’s life, I asked myself, “What can I learn from Nimoy’s most notable character?”
Even if you don’t have pointy ears, I believe you may become a Spock fan after this. Here are three virtues even non-trekkies can learn from Spock. And if you’re already a fan? These will come as no surprise. Continue reading “3 Virtues Even Non-Trekkies Can Learn from Spock”
I love movies, and one of my favorite (yet saddest) parts of the Oscars every year is the In Memoriam tribute to those in the film industry who passed away the previous year. What always strikes me are the faces, the slow motion film clips backed by a solemn instrumental, and thinking, Wow, that’s it. A lifetime of accomplishment is over. And now they are but a memory played over and over again on a silver screen.
And we won’t remember them for all of the trophies they were nominated for, or all of the extravagant homes they owned, or the exotic vacations they went on, or even the demons they dealt with in their private (and sometimes public) lives. We will remember them for their performances, their art, their talents, the stories they played out on a two dimensional screen reeling us to higher dimensions of laughter and tears and thought-provoking subjects, and in some cases, messages so powerful they changed us. Ultimately, it was their gift to the world. Continue reading “Our Little Golden List”
Don’t let the opinions of the average man sway you. Dream, and he thinks you’re crazy. Succeed, and he thinks you’re lucky. Acquire wealth, and he thinks you’re greedy. Pay no attention. He simply doesn’t understand. — Robert G. Allen
“It’ll get old, trust me,” said the driver, smiling in a crooked sort of way as I stared out the window.
“What will get old?” I asked.
“The mountains,” he said. “Give it a year and you’ll get bored seeing the same thing.” His gaze never wavered from the road. Continue reading “Live Better Than Average”