Why Wall Out Your Neighbor?


“Love thy neighbor as yourself; but don’t take down the fence.” — Carl Sandburg

This one-time voice of America obviously had a funny take on the second commandment and he makes a great point. Love your neighbor, but watch your backyard.

The operative word he uses is fence. Fences are easily looked over the top of or through to see how your neighbor is doing. Fences have gates that are easily opened to let your neighbor in, or bid them good night.

The poet isn’t saying to build a wall so as to isolate yourself. I suppose that would be the best way to stay completely safe, but who wants to live as a hermit?

It could be your neighbor to the  left or right, the north or south. Who knows how great a neighbor they could be?

It’s certainly okay to exercise caution, but when it’s appropriate, open the gate! Love them as yourself and prosper together!!

#NotATarget – 2017 World Humanitarian Day

Humanitarian Aid

#NotATarget – 

World Humanitarian Day -2017

There is a massive toll on the lives and other non-fighting civilians. Their lives are destoyed at levels we may never directly experience.

But it is nonetheless real!

These civilians are not a target and they must never be. We must do all that we can to protect them and the workers that bring them in so many war-torn or terrorized areas of the world.

No matter your political affinity or position on the United Nations, please join with them in this campaign to make a difference to the most vulnerable among us. And they are among us, even when we don’t directly experience their plight. 


“Every year on World Humanitarian Day, we shine a spotlight on the millions of civilians around the world whose lives have been caught up in conflict. On this day we also take a moment to honour the brave health and aid workers who are targeted or obstructed as they set out to help people in need, and pay tribute to the government employees, members of civil society and representatives of international organizations and agencies who risk their lives to provide humanitarian aid and protection.” — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

I Don’t Want to Win the Lottery!

Loterie de Bebes

“It is not God’s will merely that we should be happy, but that we shall make ourselves happy.” — Immanuel Kant

This is not to imply that others can’t make us feel good.  At the end of the day though, we are the only ones that have control over whether or not we made ourselves happy.

Money makes us feel good too! We can travel to wonderful places that make us smile, or buy shiny things that make us grin.

When I worked at a restaurant we would all chip in a couple bucks for a ticket when the lotto got really high. I knew we wouldn’t win, but it was fun to talk about what we would do if we did. We were buying a dream.

What the others didn’t know is that I didn’t want to win. With that kind of money I would never have to work again.  I could really help out all kinds of people all over the world, and that would make me feel fantastic!!

But deep down, no matter how many people I helped, I would have known that I didn’t really earn it.

At day’s end, only we know if we earned our own happiness or not. It can be retrieved by each of us in a million different ways.

How do you earn yours??

The Next Mountain

Photo by Danka & Peter on Unsplash

The next mountain calls you, just as you stand erect on the first one. 

There is always the next climb. And as often happens, it usually means you have to descend some before you can ascend again to the next highest peak.

And then you do it again. 

Each time you descend, it feels like you are giving up your gains. 

Life is not one continuous rise forward, but it does go forward still. And the highest mountain will eventually come. 

Can you see the blurry image of the figure in the center of the picture? He is both further along and slightly lower in altitude. 

Life can be like that, blurred and lower and yet moving forward to the heights!

The Waters and the Mountain

Photo by Michael Dam on Unsplash

The Waters and the Mountain – challenges that face us.

2 weeks ago, Vanessa O’Brien became the first American woman to finish the climb to the summit of  K2, the world’s 2nd highest mountain at the border of Pakistan and China. This was her 3rd try in as many years, and she was 52 years old; -a feat of determination, great skill and total perseverance.

Now this feat is very much beyond me, but I have other mountains in my life. And I’m sure you also have them.  

What are yours, and how do you prepare for your latest mountain scaling challenge?

I also have had many water stories in my life.  I was never a natural swimmer, and I struggled mightily to get my Scouting swimming merit badge. And stormy seas are actually much more frightening to me than mountains. 

So, the idea of having enough faith to move mountains or to walk on the waters is humbling to me. I’ve always been amazed at folks who seem so at ease in either setting.

So next time I face the waters or the mountain, I will look deep within for that faith.  I hope to find it, and I hope that you find it, too!