Category Archives: Wisdom in Action

2015 – Have We Hit Bottom Yet?

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It’s now the time of year when everyone seems to be doing recaps of what happened in 2015 and making resolutions or predictions for 2016. I usually like these efforts and look forward to being reminded of all that has occurred and the speculations of what lay ahead. This year, however, is different. Our challenge and my message is that if we’re going to have next year be better than this one, we need to get beyond thinking in terms of a ‘good year’ or a ‘bad year’ and

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Responsible Gun Ownership

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How we approach change and how we personally relate to issues can make all the difference between whether we get upset and fight to defend the status quo and our values or whether we listen and consider that maybe we can have our cake and eat it too! Like most progressives, when presented with hard-line conservative positions, I just shake my head and become resigned. Gun control is one of those issues. I simply cannot understand how unrestricted and laissez-faire attitudes toward guns make

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Who’s Leading? Who’s Responsible for Leadership in Government?

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There is a lot of talk in the Public Service about leadership. We say we need it. The question we don’t ask, however, is “who is responsible for leadership?” Moreover, if we stop and reflect, we recognize that leaders don’t lead without the commitment of those who follow and that uncommitted followers can destroy any leader no matter how talented or sincere. Leadership can be a solution to many problems, but it is a solution ONLY IF we are

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Where is offense?

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Like most of us I have been following the tempest succeeding the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris, the wave of anti-terrorist rhetoric, the rendering of Mohammed as a kind of ‘we’ll-show-you’ counter-punch, the counter-counter punch of Muslims being offended by the rendering, and on it goes. Everyone seems offended by something.

I spend a lot of time thinking about and trying to observe the phenomena that are being referred to in ordinary conversation — when we are speaking and listening

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Between Trapezes

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By Jim Selman | Bio

I love the metaphor of being ‘between Trapezes’. In one image it connotes the comfort and familiar arc of my current life, the emerging possibility of moving from where I am onto an entirely new trajectory, and most compelling — the excitement and terror of letting go and confronting that existential moment where annihilation seems to be a genuine possibility.

Charles Dubois once said that the most important thing in life is the willingness to let go of

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Why do we procrastinate?

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It’s a bit more than a week into the new year and I am already behind on all the things I was going to get done during the post-holiday lull. I am procrastinating. As with many of my less agreeable habits, I decided to do a workshop on the subject for a European client late last year. The overarching question of why we procrastinate was framed a bit more specifically as “Why don’t we do the things we KNOW we need to do to accomplish what we SAY we want to accomplish?” The correlation

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Compassion

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For some reason I have been feeling acutely connected to people I am encountering these days. In addition to my friends, family and others I know, I am observing all sorts of people – on the street, providing services, working in stores. It is as though I am more ‘present’ to them individually, and more conscious of who people are and the uniqueness of each one’s lives. We all are in pretty much the same soup — working, raising families, dealing with problems, dreaming, and dealing

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The End of the Beginning

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By Jim Selman| Bio

Ah, January 1st, the new beginning and a chance
to finally get it right this year. Or is it?

Perhaps it is the End of the Beginning. When we began as a
nation, we were full of hope and idealism. We believed that every person could
thrive and prosper if they worked hard and learned from their past mistakes.

Today, can we honestly say we believe that hard work will
take us in the direction of our dreams? What happened to us? Where are we
going?

Our current

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The 3 Rs of Citizenship

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By Jim Selman | Bio

When I was growing up, you needed to be master the 3 Rs (Reading, Writing and Arithmetic) in order to be educated. Today we need to master a new 3 set of ‘Rs’: Rights, Rewards and Responsibilities.

When I first started traveling to other countries in the 1970s, the conversation about the USA was always in a context of respect and even admiration—even when criticizing certain aspects. But for the last 10 years or so, I have noticed that the conversations are changing

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