Tag Archives: community

Objectifying Arabs

I, like a lot of us, am disturbed by the whole global state-of-affairs,
especially terrorism. I am also disturbed by how well intended
“pass-it-on” letters can fuel the polarization of views in our nation
and fan the flames of intolerance and mob hysteria. It’s all driven by
fear of course, and as Roosevelt said, “The only thing we need to fear
is fear itself”. How true today.

The “this-is-worth-reading” item that triggered this response was a
letter-to-the-editor by an airline

read more


I am writing a speech. It is the speech I would give to a college graduation ceremony if anyone ever asked me to give the commencement address. So far no one has. In the speech I am telling the new graduates they are as ‘adult’ as they will ever be and that I don’t really have any answers for them. The world is changing too quickly for me (or anyone in my generation) to presume to know what they will need to know in the future. I am also suggesting that, whatever else defines our respective

read more


Recently I saw a CBS story about the strange mystery of the bees. It seems that we have another ‘horrible’ to add to the growing list of threats to life as we know it. The facts are that a lot of honeybees are disappearing in what is being called the “Colony Collapse Syndrome”. I have no idea what this means from a biological point of view, and I gather the phenomenon of billions of bees disappearing has the scientists stumped as well. But whatever the cause, a lot of folks are getting

read more

Aging and Poverty

I just came from Sao Paulo—an enormous city of more than 20 million folks. Brazil has about 188 million, a lot of them dealing with poverty every day. They have about 17 million folks over 60 and, like our aging population, that number will almost double by 2025. The biggest difference is that Brazil doesn’t have as much of an economic foundation and social infrastructure to support its older citizens. I was speaking to a friend there who shared his view that very few people in Latin America,

read more

Building Bridges

I was listening to an interview on CBC’s wonderful Sunday program called "Our World”. They were speaking with Charles Taylor, a 76-year-old Canadian philosopher and political activist who was recently awarded the Templeton Prize to research how spiritual aspirations shape society and politics. In this interview, he came across as one of the most optimistic commentators on the state of the world I’ve heard and he was positive without being unrealistic or naïve.

The essence of his message

read more

If I Were a Leader

I’ve been musing about David Suzuki’s campaign some more…. If I were leader of a major nation, I think I’d be overwhelmed by all the input from every imaginable camp, not to mention the politics of decision-making and the drift toward ‘governance by poll’. I don’t think there is a centralized institution in the world capable of taking on all the items that need to be addressed in the timeframes that

read more

Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo is a big city—the largest in Brazil and one of the largest in the world. From my point of view, it’s not particularly pretty, but it is alive with energy. On the weekend, I went to Parque Iberapuera, their equivalent of Central Park. Like most parks on a Saturday afternoon, it was filled with people of all ages, walking or jogging, enjoying this lovely oasis in the middle of tall buildings and endless residential streets.
I got to thinking about the culture here

read more


One of the principal notions many newly retired folks consider is
volunteering. To be sure, most community agencies will attest there is
a large and growing need. Interestingly enough, these same agencies are
mostly run by paid full or part-time staff, and the work available to
volunteers is mostly limited to administrative chores and fundraising. Volunteers of America, for example, is almost entirely run by career social workers and full-time staff.

I think the reason for so little actual volunteering

read more

The Day After

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

read more