The Reason for Suffering and Struggles

Imagine I take my one-and-a-half-year-old grandson Oliver to the doctor. A vaccination is on the docket and a sharp shiny needle pierces his tender arm. Oliver belts a horrifying shriek and whimpers. He doesn’t understand that the shot is intended to protect him from a life-threatening illness. He only knows he’s in pain and grandpa […]

Faith Must Be Fed

I am not what you would call a musical prodigy. There was a time after years of practice that I could pound out a reasonably passable tune on the piano. Take away the practice for any period of time, however, and my full repertoire reverts back to a rather mechanical rendition of “Twinkle Twinkle Little […]

True Tolerance

The foundation of true spirituality is an insight that seems, at first, counter intuitive: we are all imperfect. We are all flawed. We are all broken. If there is any doubt of this fundamental truth, consider the opposite. The prideful being. The being that looks down on others or considers himself superior, no matter how […]

More on Acceptance

“Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.” — Michael J. Fox While it is important to accept life as it is, there is a catch. Acceptance implies that I am fully conscious and aware of how things really are, […]

Taking the Leap of Faith

There was a man who got lost in the desert. The summer sun was sweltering. Even the cacti looked parched. Wandering for miles his mouth became very dry, his lips cracked and his body ached with thirst. In a weakened state he spied a shack in the distance and made his way there. Once inside […]

Thoughts on Acceptance

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” – Carl Rogers The slugfest began with my first Twelve Step meeting–I was twenty-eight. I was forty-two when I put the bottle down and waved the white flag of surrender. After little blips, like trying to burn down […]

Knowing Through Doing

Are you unhappy? Lonely? When Alcoholics Anonymous first formalized the Twelve Steps of recovery now used by so many groups, the success rate was in the neighborhood of 50 to 75 percent. At that time, AA was closely affiliated with The Oxford Group, a non-denominational movement modeled after first century Christianity–a group which stressed total […]

The Cracked Pot

Centuries ago in India there was a water bearer tasked with bringing two large pots of water to his master’s house each day from a nearby stream. Visiting a local market he carefully picked out two pots and hung them from either side of a pole that he carried on his back. He spoke to […]

Lottery-Induced Insanity

Lottery fever has broken. Last night players in North Carolina, Texas and Puerto Rico each won a share of the $564.1 million U.S. Powerball lottery jackpot. Now, hopefully, those in the cubicles surrounding me can find something else to talk about. I’d like to say I came through this latest round of lottery frenzy unscathed. […]

Brotherly Love

At a street fair in Austin, TX my wife and I decided to have a cartoon portrait done by a local caricaturist. It was late. The sun was nearly set, there were no lights and the artist was rushing things. Whether by intent or in the rush of the moment, the woman who I was […]