Archive for the ‘People’ category

Barack Obama – 44th President

January 20, 2009

One of the most brilliant moments from the festivities of today was the poem recited by Elizabeth Alexander.

“Praise Song For the Day”

Each day we go about our business,
walking past each other, catching each other’s
eyes or not, about to speak or speaking.

All about us is noise. All about us is
noise and bramble, thorn and din, each
one of our ancestors on our tongues.

Someone is stitching up a hem, darning
a hole in a uniform, patching a tire,
repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere,
with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum,
with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin.

We encounter each other in words, words
spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed,
words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark
the will of some one and then others, who said
I need to see what’s on the other side.

I know there’s something better down the road.
We need to find a place where we are safe.
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain: that many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges,

picked the cotton and the lettuce, built
brick by brick the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables.

Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need
. What if the mightiest word is love?

Love beyond marital, filial, national,
love that casts a widening pool of light,
love with no need to pre-empt grievance.

In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air,
any thing can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,

praise song for walking forward in that light.

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Don’t Name It – Just DO It!

January 3, 2009

This is going to be a somewhat short post. There are so many things that I am excited about this coming year. Many I will be laying out in detail here first. For that reason, if you haven’t already subscribed to this blog, click on the “subscribe” link to the right. When you do this, you’ll be the first to know what’s going on.

 

The core of my thought today is that as I’ve looked at the need for learning organizations in the past, (you can check out here, and here, and here for more), the key component has moved from the community to the individual. When the individual is working better, the community that he or she is a part of runs better.

 

Often we try to give these things names, but honestly names aren’t important. The important thing is for “people to find their own language for describing the intent of their efforts in ways that work in their own context, as part of developing their own strategies and leadership practices. How we talk about our work matters. But the key lies in our personal journey of reflection, experimentation, and becoming more open, not the words we use. It is the reality we create, not how we label it, that matters.”

 

Don’t worry about what to call what you do, just do the thing that you can’t NOT do. In embracing yourself, you embrace all and that WILL change the world!

Tribune Co. files for bankruptcy protection

December 8, 2008

I know this is an odd title for a post, but there are a multitude of things that are happening around us and some are worth mentioning. This is one of them. Today the media giant became the first major newspaper or chain to file bankruptcy in the modern era. This tactic is aimed at relieving financial pressure while the Tribune works out arrangements with it’s creditors.

The Chicago-based company owns a coast-to-coast empire with television stations and newspapers in most of the nation’s largest cities. Its holdings include the Los Angeles Times; cable television superstation WGN in Chicago; the Baltimore Sun; and WDCW-50 in Washington, the CW affiliate. The company also owns the Chicago Cubs.

The reason this is important is that it signals a trend that has been in the background for a while. The old ways of receiving and dispersing information are no longer financially viable and will cease, eventually.

Real estate mogul Sam Zell engineered an employee-owned transition to private ownership one year ago this month. He says, “We believe that this restructuring will bring the level of our debt in line with current economic realities, and will take pressure off our operations, so we can continue to work toward our vision of creating a sustainable, cutting-edge media company that is valued by our readers, viewers, and advertisers, and plays a vital role in the communities we serve,” Zell said. “This restructuring focuses on our debt, not on our operations.”

With the President using the word Recession and the failings and moves by major businesses, the tempo of concern is speeding up among the consumer. The key in all this is to maintain a balanced personal outlook. The fundamentals are called “fundamentals” simply because they remain when everything else is failing. The fundamental of living in Today, the Present, is one we should keep in front of our eyes.

The past is gone, the future is not yet here. Change and Decision can only take place in the magical land of Now. You control Now; your reaction and action. Live on purpose and keep to the fundamentals.

World AIDS Day 2008

December 1, 2008

2008-world-aids-day

Today is December 1st and that also means that it is World AIDS Day. Since the 80’s I’ve seen the little red ribbon surge in popularity and create a whole new way of showing support for a cause, to being left in the drawer and almost forgotten. There are even those who believe that the whole AIDS Crisis was made up. Kind of hard to believe that when you have over 25 million people dead between the years of 1981 and 2007.

A great deal has been done, but there are still more than an estimated 33 million people living with HIV today. As the years pass there is a new picture emerging of AIDS. In the 80’s it was young “reckless” people, living “reckless” lives. Now, almost 30 years later, those young people are either well into middle age or are retiring.

The first World AIDS Day took place on December 1, 1988.  Twenty years later the red ribbon seems to have been with us forever. Today, say a prayer for those who are dealing with this pandemic and their families. And say a prayer that we find a cure and put this virus into history along with smallpox and polio.

It’s Beginning to Sound like Christmas

November 28, 2008

In our city there is a ritual that takes place the week of Thanksgiving that my kids have found irresistible. A radio station, Z93.7, begins to play Christmas music nonstop. They play every kind of Christmas music, from classic to the tunes being created this year. A couple of years ago, this was cute and, I thought, nice for people to get into the Christmas spirit.

Now, whenever we get into the car, the kids automatically ask for “Z93.7“. Obviously it was a good marketing from the radio guys. The kids aren’t asking for “Christmas music”, just “Z93.7” There is no doubt what time of the year it is – it is most definitely Christmastime!

There are a couple of good new Christmas albums that I’ll review in the next couple of days. Also, a new book has come out to help with the money crunch we feel at this time of the year, and I’ll be looking at that as well.

Leapfrogging

November 23, 2008

There is a lot going on in what is called the Global South – south of the equator.  One of the most promising aspects is that these countries can leapfrog, or skip over, outdated modes of development in order to embrace cutting edge technology. In fact, these countries are not only embracing the cutting edge, they are in fact redefining it for the rest of us.

One of the big areas this is most obvious is in mobile phones. Most of the countries have no existing phone system at all. Since that is the case, there is no need to spend decades, millions of dollars and untold hours of manpower to string a grid of wires when cell towers can go up much quicker. If the cell phone will work, why bother with having landlines at all?

The mobile phone technology is rapidly spreading and preempting the implementation of traditional landlines. There is so much possibility in the Global South as we look ahead and try to visualize the way it will look. We like to think that we are the center of the cutting edge, but in many ways the Global South is the place to be as far as cutting edge technology and practices are concerned.

One of the most exciting things is to watch and look at the impact this leapfrogging will have on other aspects of the social strata. How will these advances effect communication – both personal and public? How will these changes and introduction of complexity into otherwise simple lifestyles augment the development of the individual people and their individual way of making meaning in life?

These are questions with no answers right now, but with implications that will radically change the way we think and communicate in the very near future.

Dialogue for Change

November 19, 2008

One of the big topics in education and learning is the concept of Dialogue Education. Jane Vella first proposed the concept in the early 80’s. It draws on a variety of adult learning theories and combines them into an integrated learning experience. The biggest difference is that teaching is typically done in a monologue format, this form is a dialogue. The dialogue focuses more on what the student does and less on what the teacher says.

The implications for this are staggering as we look at the current way in which most learning environments are designed. In the church setting there is a person talking (monologue) and a congregation listening. In the work world during a meeting, there is a person making a presentation (monologue) and a group listening. In most educational settings there is a teacher (monologue) and students listening.

Dialogue education is a form of Constructivism, in that it focuses on the argument that people construct knowledge and meaning from experiences, because of that, Dialogue Education can be a means for transformative learning. The big reason is that it gives ownership to the learner for his own learning.

I know that is lot to digest, but the implications in the church setting cannot be stressed enough. Because of this I’m beginning a series of Dialogues, called Dialogue4Change. At the onset we will discuss the theory and practice of Dialogue Education itself and what its meaning in our different environments:work, family, church.

If there are a majority of people in the Warner Robins area we will meet at Lifepoint Church approximately once a month. If the majority are from further places, I’ll do my best to facilitate an on-line discussion in the same time-frame.

To let me know if you are interested in becoming a part of this cutting edge discussion, email me at dialogue4change@gmail.com.  In the next few days I’ll be putting up a separate page that will go into more detail. This is going to be Great!