Friday, October 23, 2015

Random Acts of Kindness.5

It’s Friday!

Reaching out and helping another person is often a difficult thing to do. In today’s story a young man overcame some social ridicule to help a younger girl.

Here’s the thing…

 “A mom, moved by the unexpected kindness of a young man at an Ontario skatepark, penned an open letter earlier this month thanking him for the concern he showed her six-year-old daughter -- and for giving the little girl a much-needed boost of confidence.”

"I want to thank you for being kind to my daughter, even though your friends made fun of you for it," said Jeanean Thomas of Cambridge, Ontario.

Go here for the whole story.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

$10 Misunderstanding

For me the lights came on when I took a required class at the University of Akron. Dr. David Riede taught Western Cultural Traditions for a bazillion years to thousands of students. He was the master at overcoming years of mind numbing high school history classes. In fact, right with the first hour of his class he had me hooked. That was no small accomplishment because Western Cult was one of those pre-recorded video class which were delivered to hundreds of students sitting in lecture halls around campus watching TV screens.

One of the ways Dr. Riede made history exciting was his ability to weave the personalities of historical figures into his lectures. Because of Dr. Riede, winter semester 1967 was the “ignition and liftoff” of my never-ending learning quest.

Dr. Riede passed a few years ago, so you’ll have to settle for looking at a few of his old videos, if the U of A still has them.

In the meantime, you can check out a version of Dr. Riede’s approach to making history come alive and throwaway your $10 misunderstanding of our Founding Fathers, too. (Hamilton's likeness appears on the $10 bill.)

Take a couple of days off and visit NYC. While you are there, see Hamilton, the smash hit Broadway musical.

Perhaps you'll free your "young, scrappy and hungry" self and make "your best shot". You still have time.
Go here for more.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Random Acts of Kindness.4

It's Friday!

Today's Act of Kindness comes to us from Metro Pittsburgh...

Nonagenarian-led group received a lunch treat

On a lovely fall day I went on an outing with my 94- and 95-year-old parents and their senior friends from Redstone Highlands in Murrysville.

Our destination was the Cracker Barrel restaurant in New Stanton. We all enjoyed a great lunch and happy conviviality.

The day was made even more enjoyable when we were told by our waitress that another customer had picked up the tab for our whole group. There were 10 of us, so this was not a small bill!

We wanted to know who to thank, but were told that this generous individual had already left.

So to the person who gave us this unexpected gift, please know that you put a smile on all our faces. We promise to pay this generosity forward when we see an opportunity.

My parents recently celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary, and this wonderful gesture reminded them how good it has been to spend those years together in the Pittsburgh area!


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Random Acts of Kindness
15 Oct 2015

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Ghost Projections

Rebel Music | Joan Baez: Rebel Icon
It is not often that I’ve admired how a speaker, celebrity or politician has handled hecklers or the noisy people who hate them. Usually the tactic of choice is to ignore the disruption and go on with the “show”.

While that may be a good move for the moment, it leaves the incident unanswered and the witnesses guessing if the disruptive element has a acorn of truth about them.

There is one case which deeply impressed me and clearly left the hecklers pausing to rethink their outrageously unfounded comments. (“Outrageous comments” from my perspective because I lived through the Vietnam War era and served in the U.S. Army.)

Could it be that the two hecklers in this case were projecting their own sins upon another person?

Please comment and let me know your thoughts.

Here’s the story:

 “What would you do if you found yourself standing face to face with people bearing signs accusing you by name of killing babies and encouraging the shooting of American soldiers? Might you lose your cool? Might you get involved in an exchange that would ultimately lead to anger or descend into the shouting matches we've been seeing at so many Town Halls lately?”

“Not if you're Joan Baez, who, in the 50th year of her career, continues to live according to unshakeable ideals of non-violence and compassion in ways that should inspire us all.”

The Music of Joan Baez and Her Quaker Background, John Reeder, HubPages, 10 Oct 2015.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I Am Because You Are

Nelson Mandela Was Only Removed From the US Terrorist List in 2008

“..although South Africa is liberated in terms of ending apartheid and majority rule, the old oligarchy and the economic organizations of the northern developed nations still primarily run the economy. Nelson Mandela (Madiba) was known for his humility as well as his unrelenting defiance of South African apartheid. It may have been inculcated in him in the tribal community in which he was raised, where leadership was by consensus, and the African philosophy of 'ubuntu' prevailed - "I am because you are.” Danny Schechter, Madiba A to Z, The Many Faces of Nelson Mandela. Interview: “Nelson Mandela Was Only Removed From the US Terrorist List in 2008”, Mark Karlin, 6 Jan 2014, Truthout.

- More about Peace at encoreboomer/Peace.2 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Itty-Bitty Bit Out of Balance

In the good ole USA 158 families own our government.

You thought you were free, didn’t you?

Oh, my!

That’s 158 vs. 120 million families.

I’d say something is just an itty-bitty bit out of balance. Don’t you agree?

Go here for the New York Times story.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

On Being

Here is a thought-creating follow up on the Will Rogers quotation in DownriverUSA, 10 Oct 2015, from

Posted by Gary R. Baker

In Praise of Small Kindnesses
*Siri Liv Myhrom, 8 Oct 2015

Today’s is a soft meditation
in praise of the enormousness
of small kindnesses.

Like the café worker who waved enthusiastically
to my father as he walked in the door of the coffee shop
like she was expecting him,
like he was a regular in this hipster enclave
instead of a septuagenarian
in khaki shorts and white tennis shoes.

He met me here on my workday
so I could help him format a document —
something he couldn’t figure out how to do at home
no matter how many buttons he tried,
something my mother always did for him
in the decades after he gave up his trusty typewriter.
So he arrived at the coffee shop
             vulnerable and exasperated in that way
             that only technology can make us feel:
             like slow, dependent children — and
sorely missing my mother.

Like the barista who didn’t blink
when he ordered his coffee the wrong way,
when he said la-TAY instead of LAH-tey,
who took his order from our table
as if we were in a sit-down restaurant
and she was our waiter,
who smiled the whole time like a halo of warm light,
softening the space everywhere,
who made him feel like he belonged.

You cannot know how those small gestures matter,
unless you are him,
unless you are me, watching,
unless you see his shoulders relax,
             in that way that we can do only
             when we feel safe and seen enough to let go,
and his eyes dampen, the tiny liquid pools held in at the rims,
barely noticeable, as he smiles and says,
She always knew how to do this for me. For years she did this.
She would have been 69 today. How I miss her.

Please go here for much more and to comment

*Siri Liv Myhrom is a Guest Contributor to On Being and lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two young daughters. When she’s not working as a freelance writer and editor, she’s reading, writing, researching, and generally obsessing about human connection — how it works, why it doesn’t work sometimes, and how we can get more of it in real, transformational ways.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Random Acts of Kindness.3

It's Friday!
Time for another Random Act of Kindness... this one comes by way of Will Rogers... the humorist...not the Mr. Rogers... of Neighborhood fame. Here it goes:

"Don't let yesterday use up too much of today."

That's it...Go here for more

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


The other day a friend asked me, “Of all your skills which is your strongest?”

I thought a couple of seconds and answered, “Outreach. I have the ability to help others reach out.”


How do you know when you have gotten your message through?
Perhaps you notice a glimmer of understanding in the eyes of the person or people you are talking with; or, your message is repeated; your product is purchased; a vote is cast in your favor; or, a donation is made to your cause.

Most people judge their success by measuring the obvious parameters which characterize one-way information transmission such as these. All of them require a nearly immediate conclusion in the sense that someone must do, initiate or say something before you believe you have communicated with that person and he or she actually understands what your are saying.

On one level that’s all that you may want to accomplish — one action or datum point racked up on your scorecard.

That’s fine.

However, if you plan to operate your business or nonprofit in the future there is much more that you need to accomplish.

More than a one-time sale, you need to ignite a sense of passion for your concept, cause or product. You need to bring 'em back for more.

There is only one way to do that…Outreach.

Outreach is a multi-lane superhighway of social interaction. Outreach requires that you speak with intelligence and hear with comprehension. All your senses must be tuned in to understanding, acting upon, meeting and exceeding your friend’s feedback message.

Communicating through Outreach, that is, truly getting your message into another's thoughts, requires more than making a casual effort. It requires that you travel 99.9% of the communication path to your friend, relative, customer, member or potential customer.

Then, if you succeed and your friend is open to hearing you, Outreach requires that your product, your service, your idea must be the very best product, service or idea available and obviously the best choice at a reasonable price.

Then and only then will you have earned the right to meet and exceed your friend’s needs and most importantly his expectations and trust in you.

Still, your work is not done. You must repeat the Outreach process again and again.

Only then will you and or your business or organization flourish.

Monday, October 5, 2015

For Humanity... it's Time

Spending trillions on war technology is an every year thing here in the USA. Likewise, every year, one can count on a large percentage of that money disappearing into bottomless holes located in some God forsaken places such as Afghanistan, Iraq or the bank accounts of connected contractors like Halliburton.

Still, once in a while, the wealth does end up funding mind-blowing hardware and unbelievable, science fiction-like killing tools through which we maintain our “influence” as the one and only global superpower.

Has the thought occurred to you what else we could do with a fraction of those trillions of dollars and a little, itty-bitty bit of that mind-blowing technology?

Well, perhaps we could apply a few of those killing dollars and some of that murderous technology to stopping the senseless murder of our children.

Doing so could slow our headlong free fall into the chasm of barbarism.

Jam Up the Works

You may not be aware of it, but our military and secret agencies can destroy missiles, rockets, boats, airplanes, mortar and artillery rounds with laser and other “beam” weapons. It’s also true that we can shoot microwaves at protesters, painfully heat their skin (accidently, of course, fusing their contact lens to their eyeballs) and force them to disperse.

Such is our power today that we can even cause targeted “subjects” to hear voices inside their heads (Sorry, tin hats are no protection.), manipulate weather, and even cause earthquakes. Even more frighteningly, we can cause atoms to “dissociate” on a molecular level, reducing steel, for instance, into nano-sized particles of “dust”; turning massive buildings into piles of talcum powder-sized particles carried away with the wind.

This “technology” exists.* It is under our nation’s control. Why then don’t we politely request that the “powers that be” use a bit of it for a preventative purpose?

Let’s start with something relatively easy: create a protective system which causes a rifle, shotgun, or handgun to misfire when someone attempts to use it in a school, retail store or public place.

Go here for the rest of the story:

Friday, October 2, 2015

Random Acts of Kindness

It's Friday!!

I admit to being disenchanted with TV programming and "star" personalities... but, here's a random act of kindness shown by some celebrity types toward a brave, talented young person who overcame a life challenge one day not so long ago... Anna Clendening: