Archive for May, 2009

What would you do if you didn’t know you couldn’t do it?

This is a big week for me.

On Friday I completed the final day of a thirty-five year teaching career. I’m officially retired, a former teacher. And since I’m making the formal transfer from one phase of life to the next, this is the perfect time to announce my CRAZY QUEST. (more…)


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The question for each man to settle is not what he would do if he had means, time, influence, and educational advantages, but what he will do with the things he has.

How much do you make for writing a blog?

When I replied that there’s no pay involved, he asked an even more revealing question: Then why do you bother?

While this inquiry may initially appear cynical or shallow, the “question beneath the question” actually prompts a profound examination of motivations. It’s good to stop occasionally and ask ourselves that question: Why do you bother? (more…)

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One ship sails East, and another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
Tis the set of the sails and not the gales,
That tells the way we go.  ~ Ella Wilcox

Occasionally I become a bit frustrated with “inspirational” musings about the blessings of adversity and the magical effects of a positive attitude.

When I’m having a tough day, when my wheelchair breaks or my back hurts or I can’t reach the top shelf, I don’t want to be reminded of the bigger picture. I want to lash out with my own deeply philosophical response, something spiritually uplifting like If you think it’s such a blessing, YOU try sitting here for the rest of your life. (more…)

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I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable.

I spend much of my time these days seeking creative ways to tell my story. In the past few days I’ve been blessed to speak to two diverse groups about adversity and resilience.

I’m convinced that an account of a senseless accident does little to help, encourage, or inspire. But I’m learning that when it’s combined with personal vulnerability, the story can serve as a catalyst for powerful and profound interactions. (more…)

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Normal is a setting on the dryer.

We’re obsessed with labels. Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, Christian, atheist—it seems that we’re intent on placing ourselves in neat little boxes and pretending that everyone in a particular box is identical.

The big problem with labels is that they obscure ideas and individuals. Then we demonize, bash, and attack the label, and forget that behind the generalized, standardized label stands a real person. (more…)

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“We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.” ~ Steven Covey

I wonder if we’re not a little too distracted by what we perceive with our senses. The physical world has a way of deceiving us, getting us thinking that what we can see and touch comprises reality. (more…)

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Why do you believe in God?

The question stopped me in my tracks. I’m naturally a seeker and a questioner so I’m accustomed to reconciling the internal consistency of my faith, but such interactions occur with other believers. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered this foundational question. (more…)

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