I once worked with a man, we’ll call him Dave because that was his name, who rarely took responsibility for missed deadlines or miscommunication. He always had a reason why he struggled in his work and personal life. His “misses” were inevitably the fault of someone else: “They didn’t give me the right information.” “They made it impossible for me to do my job.” “They are terrible to work with.” “They are the reason why I’m late on this assignment.”

Lone Ranger and TonotoOddly enough, if something did go his way, no one else seemed to have a hand in it. He was a Lone Ranger who didn’t even need a Tonto.

Continue reading #Charlottesville

A Path to Peace

IMG_20161225_083039_349.jpgIt’s who we are. It’s a part of our DNA, our story, our very nature. Rather than finding peace, we go to war. Instead of seeking resolution, we raise objection. We choose conflict. We gravitate to the powerful. We are attracted to the brave and valiant rather over the diplomatic and level-headed.

War is as old as recorded history. Murder, even before that.

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A Long Winter

Typically, by this time of year, the number of refugees crossing the Mediterranean from the northern coast of Africa would have subsided. Rough waters brought on by winter winds and currents would decrease traffic on the sea. However this year, the rush of immigrants continues at an alarming pace, resulting in a higher number of dead and missing persons lost to the cold waters than ever before.

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Random Acts of Violence

I saw a news report of a man who approached a perfect stranger and punched him in the face. The stranger fell to the ground, never getting up, while the man walked calmly away.

The man who received the blow later died in a local hospital. The man who delivered the blow is still walking for all we know.

I saw a video of a refugee rubber raft that pulled alongside a large vessel in the Mediterranean Sea. While a sailor on the top deck shot the video with his phone, the refugees scraped and clawed to get off the raft and onto the rope ladders hanging from open doors on the port side of the ship. By the end of the short 10-minute video, the raft was sinking, debris littered the water, and the sailor was calmly pointing out drowning and dead bodies.

A man in Yemen lost 27 family members in a single airstrike that hit his home during dinner.

A church burns in Mississippi.

A woman is taken.

A child is abused.

What is our response? How do we act in the face of these stories? They happen while we sleep, literally and figuratively. They’ve become background noise to our busy and toy-filled lives. Random, unwarranted, hateful, hurtful, devastating acts of violence.

It leaves us shaking our heads, bemoaning the state of the world and asking the question, “What can I do?” Of course, the better question, is one we never ask ourselves, “What will I do?”

A Broken World, A Hurting France

The news accounts are grizzly. The video footage is shocking. The loss is tragic. The reasons are inexcusable.

Bastille Day celebrations.

Black Lives Matter marches.

Turkey political unrest.

Police shootings.

Hate crimes. Anger. Pain. Death. Darkness.

Each day the news brings accounts of violence of one against another. Every paper declares the injustice. Every network anchor looks into the camera with sincerity and tells the story of another horrifying moment in our nation’s collective story, our global community’s painful legacy.

We are unable to find a solution but we are able to point fingers of blame.

We have no answers, only excuses.

We can find no common ground, not even common enemies.

When will we ever learn? When will we begin the dialogue?