I spent a good chunk of my life learning to be reasonable. In business, the mantra for any proposal was always: “Is it practical?” It seemed to me that reasonableness (and its sister practicality) were virtues. People who were unreasonable or impractical seemed to be exceptions—they came across as flaky, dangerous, occasionally lucky, unpredictable, disconnected, loose canons and, above all, they weren’t team players. When I turned 50, I came upon a quotation by George Bernard Shaw
By Don Arnoudse | Bio
is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated
through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all of
time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never
exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable
nor how it compares with other expressions.
Thomas Friedman’s great op-ed piece about global warming definitively declares that, when faced with making decisions that have life or death consequences, there is, at some point, no more time for procrastinating, debating and analyzing. At some moment, to continue to procrastinate or put off until tomorrow becomes a fatal decision.
I love this idea that ‘later’ ceases to be an option when the stakes are high enough. When this is the case, we are committed—no matter what we choose. It
I was speaking with a friend today about how we sometimes feel
‘disempowered’ in certain situations where people repeat their patterns
of the past and where we have no ‘accountability’ for the outcome. I
realized as we were talking that we generally look at ‘being empowered’
as a solution in our careers and personal lives—as the pathway to the
promised land that will deliver us from whatever circumstances are
challenging us in the moment. When
Christmas is just about here, then the ramp up for New Year’s Eve
and the post-holiday recovery. I am looking at the Christmas cards
we’ve received and thinking about what to say that hasn’t been said a
hundred ways already at this time of year. “Peace on Earth, Goodwill
toward Men” seems to pretty much capture the point of Christ’s message,
but then it also captures the message of Mohammed, Buddha, a bunch of
Hindu Gurus, most Jews, Zoroaster, and
Think about the positive attributes of growing older, and ‘wisdom’
will always appear near the top of the list. Until recently, I had
assumed ‘wisdom’ was a kind of ‘right knowledge’. Every time someone
says the Serenity Prayer, I am reminded of this attribute again.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I
cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the
wisdom to know the difference.”
As Dick Gregory used to say when talking about social change, “In a forest fire, there comes a time when the only thing that will save us is a ‘shift in the wind’”. Well, we certainly witnessed a shift in the wind yesterday with the mid-term election results.
This blog is dedicated to the idea that those of us who are “old enough to know better” have a special role and an opportunity to make a difference. Today is one of those moments where we can choose to exercise our wisdom and maturity