2020 — What Went Right

Within every social and global tragedy, the light of love, compassion, goodwill and truth shines through the darkness. Acknowledging it and appreciating its appearance demonstrates that virtue lives in the hearts of many people. It gives us hope for the future and a reason to persist in right thinking and socially constructive behavior. Seeing others […]

Irritable? Got A Case Of The Blahs?

Gratitude can turn it around in short order Gratitude: From the Latin gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness depending on the context.  What It Does Gratitude works in at least two ways. It shifts negative thoughts to positive thoughts by recognizing that something in life is good. And because the specific good we think […]

Nature’s Wisdom

We can learn it the easy way or the hard way Ecoliteracy involves an understanding of the basic principles of ecology. Understanding is the relatively easy part. The challenging part is living accordingly. Due to the specificity and complexity of this topic, I draw heavily upon The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision by […]

Autumn Leaves

They don’t fall of their own accord, they’re evicted Function Leaves serve as solar collectors for a tree, gathering carbon dioxide and water from the atmosphere to create energy—sugar—through photosynthesis. In the process, they release oxygen into the air.  For a tree to stand tall and survive the ravages of wind, rain, snow and ice […]

Purpose And Mission Statements

A gateway to peace of mind Twenty-twenty will be remembered as a year filled with crises. The Coronavirus pandemic, Black Lives Matter, political stalemate, police brutality and social polarization top the list. And scientists say the coming decade will be the tipping point in climate change. All can be seen as a catalyst, moments when […]

Adaptation

One of Darwin’s principles of evolution became popularized in the phrase “survival of the fittest.” The problem with memorable slogans like this is that they simplify complex phenomena. In this instance, Darwin’s observations were correct, but his interpretation missed the mark. Scientists now understand that “fitness” does not necessarily mean physical or mental robustness as […]

Life On Autopilot Or Manual

An episode in the PBS series, Hacking Your Mind, addresses the question: How Do Governments Hack Your Mind. In it, host Jacob Ward cited studies that show “We are not who we think we are… We think our conscious minds make most decisions, but in reality, we go through much of our lives on “autopilot”—unconscious, […]

Parent As Teacher

The best kind of parent you can be is to lead by example. Drew Barrymore Every parent is a teacher. When a parent is loving and affectionate in both word and deed, the child learns. When they provide guidance and nurture the child’s health, education, socialization and interests, he or she learns. When a parent […]

Spirit Lives On

Downtown on a playground A little girl saw a white man With a camera And she ran to him. Take my pitcher! Take my pitcher! Take my pitcher! She shouted. When photographing in other cultures The pointing of my camera Sometimes caused children to turn away And adults to turn their backs. What’s the difference […]

Servant Leadership

At this time in American history, in addition to a treatment and a vaccine to effectively manage the Covid-19 pandemic, I would argue that what we need most is courageous and moral leadership in the government, corporations, mass media and institutions. My daughter, Jennifer Smith Miller, is a leader in the field of Social and […]