Tag Archives: courage

Harold’s Story – Part 2

By Stuart J. Whitley | Bio

Einstein is supposed to have said that the most important decision we ever make is whether the world is a good place or a bad place. I don’t believe that we consciously make that decision—we are taught to believe it, one way or the other, and the most difficult lesson of all to unlearn is that we live in a hostile universe. There are just too many confirmatory events that tend to erode our courage to think differently.

Current strategies in intellectual discourse talk

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Presidential Acknowledgement

By Jim Selman | Bio

President Obama held a briefing on the Community Solutions Agenda this past Tuesday, in which he acknowledged the contributions of several winners of the “Purpose Prize” along with other not-for-profit community organizations. The Purpose Prize was created a few years ago by Civic Ventures as a way to focus our attention on the ongoing contributions that elders make in our country and the world. I thought the President’s acknowledgment summed it up nicely, not only for the Elders in the room but for people of all ages committed to making a difference.

And finally, I want to thank all of you here today for everything you’re doing to find new solutions to some of our oldest, toughest problems. I know what you do is not easy. I know that for many of you, the hours are long, the pay could be better—let’s face it. But I also know the difference that each of you make. I know the lives that you change every single day. You teach us that there’s no such thing as a lost cause if you’re willing to be creative,

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Simplifying Uncertainty

By Shae Hadden | Bio

Spring flowers bloom passionately on this sunny West Coast day, birds are preparing nests for their young and people run madly by me as I sit by the ocean and ponder what it takes to survive in these times. My search for a place to live has not yet been entirely successful, and the conversations I’ve had reveal both desperation and gnawing hesitation in myself and others to actually put a stake in the ground—metaphorically speaking—and declare that this is the future we are committing to. It’s almost as if, with so much uncertainty about so many things in our lives, we are afraid to take a chance—whether on an investment, a potential tenant, a business expense or a relationship.

What do we lose when we put aside possibility and focus on surviving?

I think that we lose touch with our courage and creativity. When things look difficult, change is tumultuous and our internal sense of balance is thrown off kilter, we often forget there is a silver lining to the economic doom and gloom. We now have an opportunity to return to the heart of things, to simplify our lives, to free ourselves from practices that might have had us living beyond our means.


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The Courage to Persevere

By Shae Hadden | Bio

I haven’t lived through the Depression, or participated in a major global conflict. Compared to many people on this planet, I haven’t had a lot of difficulties in my life. But the challenges that I have faced I have been able to survive. If you’d asked me a year ago what made that possible, I would probably have said “sheer will power”. But I’m a little older and a little wiser now. And my answer today has a quality of serenity in it that wasn’t evident back then.

Viewing the future as possibility has allowed me to look at everything that’s happening from a very empowering perspective. The future has not occurred yet…it is and always will exist in the domain of possibility. And, as Jim Selman would say, possibilities are not real (if they were, they’d be examples). So being afraid of the future is simply being afraid of what’s possible. It’s up to me to choose which possible future I want to commit to and ‘make real’.


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Exercising Our Right

By Shae Hadden | Bio

With elections today in Canada and next month in the U.S., this is a good time to remind all the women we know to exercise their right to vote–a right which we’ve only had for less than a century.

In July 1917, a group of 33 women picketed outside the White House, asking for the right to vote. They were rounded up by 40 police wielding clubs, brought to Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia and imprisoned for "obstructing sidewalk traffic". One of the women, Lucy

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Before You Go

Dear Dad,

I wanted to share this song, “Before You Go”, with you today. It says what I have never been able to communicate fully…THANK YOU for my life and all that I cherish, value and hold dear. As you and many of your generation know all too well, many of my generation and those younger than us don’t necessarily understand or agree with your views. But I wanted you to know we all acknowledge and appreciate the gifts you have given us.

The world today is not the same as it was in

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If You Are Afraid

By Shae Hadden | Bio

Believers in the Law of Attraction, take heed! If you are afraid, don’t try to resist your fear. If you do, then you will give more power to it and end up attracting what you are afraid of. I know. I’ve just experienced my worst fear: of being very sick, alone, and uncertain about what is happening.

The interesting thing was that, when I was most afraid, immersed in physical pain and emotional stress, I decided to surrender my fear, my pain and my life to that ‘Higher

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Redefining Success

By Shae Hadden | Bio

I’ve been thinking about how we define success, and observing how serene people become when they feel ‘successful’. For most of my life, I’ve focused my thinking on achieving the traditional symbols of success: significant recognition, meaningful associations with particular people, my own home, specific possessions. Something shifted in me a few years ago when I realized none of these ‘mean’ anything when we reach the end of our journey. They hold only peripheral interest for me now.

Life gets fired at us point blank. And I notice that my actions continue to be predicated on my old definition of success. So I need a new definition to provide a more empowering context for my future, one more in line with my current thinking. Here’s my first stab at a new ‘take’ on success. If I can live the following, I may be successful:

  • Sincerity – listening generously and speaking authentically
  • Understanding – learning about my self and others and our world
  • Commitment – being clear about what I’m committed to and acting on my commitments
  • Courage –acknowledging my fears…and being in action anyway
  • Empowerment – developing others to be who they choose to be (and myself as who I choose to be)
  • Standing – for others and the future I’m committed to
  • Serenity – surrendering to ‘what is’ and trusting intention

As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” So to be successful, I’m committing to these habits:

  • Smiling for no reason
  • Loving compassionately and unconditionally
  • Listening with my whole being
  • Speaking powerfully
  • Singing spontaneously
  • Playing with work
  • Sharing my joy and passion
  • Doing what’s necessary to be energized, healthy and serene
  • Expressing gratitude for the arrival of each new day, every new person, and all the ‘breakdowns’ in life.

So how do you define

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