In Baseball, Politics and Life, Authenticity Scores

Whether you are zeroed in on the World Series, the November elections, or daily life issues, the classic baseball poem “Casey at Bat” brings home a great lesson about being authentic. 

It was a rough day in Mudville the story goes.  And the outcome didn’t appear too promising. The game was in its final inning. The team was behind by more than one run and the fans weren’t having very much fun.

The crowd’s hopes were all but sunk when it appeared their favorite son wouldn’t get a chance to face the pitcher.  You see everything depended on Casey getting to bat, so they believed.  There was Flynn at the plate, but he was “no good.” And Jimmy Blake was to follow, but Blake was “a fake.”  Alas, hope was slim as the team was bound to go down.

Miraculously Flynn and Blake got on base which gave mighty Casey the chance he needed to save the day.  A home run would win the game and the fans were giddy with excitement. There was pride in his demeanor and a comforting smile on his face as he confidently strode to the plate.  It seemed without a doubt Casey would end his team’s scoring drought.

I’m sure you are familiar with the story’s climactic finish. Casey standing there with a lofty gaze didn’t even swing at the first couple of pitches… Read more

Healing the divisions that separate us

No trespassing. Keep out. Violators will be …

Constructing borders and defending them seems an irresistible proclivity manifested on many levels. From national boundaries to backyard fences and even personal space, there is a strong impulse to establish lines of demarcation that separate us from each other for the purpose of safeguarding. There are consequences.

Territorial violations make the news everyday: illegal border crossings, mass immigration, international as well as personal property disputes, to name a few. The walls built to keep some in and others out are not confined to physical structures, but also ideated ones, less obvious but just as formidable.  Barriers such as distrust, prejudice, indifference and hatred can seem more impenetrable than a barbed wire fence.

On the other hand, an instinctive drive to associate and unite with others impels us to connect. It is an interesting dichotomy… Read more 

Thinking Faster, Higher, Stronger

At times aging seems like an Olympic sport. Successfully maneuvering through this time of life depends on a certain amount of preparation, perseverance and endurance. It can be a Herculean effort that requires not a little confidence.

“Perhaps two-thirds of all the people who have ever lived to the age of 65 are alive today.” Peter Peterson’s, Gray Dawn, points out some sobering statistics about the aging of the world’s population and its impact on society.  It’s unchartered territory.

And that’s what makes preparing for the “golden years” such a challenge.  This many people living this long is a relatively recent phenomenon. Never have so many faced this situation. And it is creating a lot of angst for individuals and planners.

By what standard do we qualify as old?  Read more…

When life seems sideways

What’s wrong? Why so uneasy?

There are moments when you suspect deep down you’re not whole, when you feel you have somehow misplaced a portion of your soul. Nothing is clicking, joy seems a stretch or you’re just going through the motions in a haze of detachment.

And you’re not sure what to do about it or that it is worth the effort to figure out.  For that matter, there is doubt that what you’re experiencing is even abnormal. I’ve experienced that uncertainty.  I’ve also found success in challenging subtle feelings of personal inadequacy and experiencing fresh inspiration, fulfillment and presence. Wholeness comes when I take the time to look honestly at myself, all of me. Hear me out.

The number of Vine loops, Instagram selfies and Facebook missives don’t replace authentic introspection.  Our primal ID is far different than the face at the end of a selfie stick and posts of today’s conquests on a timeline.  Each of us is an intensely complex and uniquely elegant creation.  Read more…

Simple Prayer

The most important thing we can do today is pray.

It turns out most of us already know that, even if we don’t talk about it. Nine out of ten Americans have turned to prayer for healing at some point according to a study.

Calamities and sickness impel many to turn to God whether religious-minded or not. “For active believers and people of faith, prayer, including for healing, is more than a situationally motivated response to one’s own suffering; it is an ongoing expression of piety and of taking up the yoke to be of service to others,” writes  the study’s author, Jeff Levine at Baylor University.   Read more…