Like many Canadians, I watch America with deep concern. An article in this week's New York Times has echoes of one I read in the New Yorker about the Florida woman who has had such a profound effect on gun laws there and across many other states on behalf of the NRA. The article is here in the April 1 magazine.
As the writer confronts gun culture as his personal culture, there is an interesting revelation. His fear started when as a young boy he was robbed in a dark alley. He has reacted ever since by arming himself with more and more guns. He shares that experience with the Florida advocate who was also robbed as a teenager.
Both are suffering from post traumatic stress that this writer is starting to acknowledge. It's something that is shared more widely by a fearful culture that finds it hard to trust anyone and has mistakenly put its trust in weapons designed to destroy.. That doesn't work. Whether this writer and his culture can heal itself is the challenge. It's not helped by its leader. The only charitable response is that the leader might be most frightened of all - of what we are still to learn - and perhaps we never will.
Is dressing up in this fashion a metaphor for the common, the crude and the unfinished? but we have enough of that already. Note that the handbag is very expensive and quite likely over priced to assure us that this is a pose. Just a bit of elegance would help.
There is still some reverence for PPT in spite of the fact that it nearly always displays a canned document – not an engaging screen. So even if you like the software – which I actually do – for heaven sake start with a blank page, an image and a maximum of about six words. Otherwise Death by PowerPoint will still hold sway.
Space and setting matter. Both are worth consideration before you convene your next meeting. As a colleague observed recently, when people say that meetings are a waste of time, they really mean Bad Meetings.
When I started this blog – which followed one created many years earlier – the tagline was suggested by a book by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander – entitled The Art of Possibility. I first met Ben Zander on a TedTalk, where he introduced a bunch of techies to classical music.
We are affected by what happens to us as children and the strong positive or negative feelings these events evoke. Both become internalized and part of how we cope. We bring them into the relationships in our lives, Families and organizations of all sizes become a network of tangled pasts.
How I spend my time is what really matters. Am I making the world a better place through incessant following of news stories? Are there better choices? No matter what’s going on, the choices are still mine to make in a much smaller field of influence.
It's no question that there is a hole in this picture. The other thing that I like about the image is that it asks a question? Is the person pictured now in the sink hole permanently? Is his job there? Is he a stand-in for all of us?
Zander is different. He had an epiphany some years ago when he realized that the conductor of an orchestra is has a different role.
The insight transformed his conducting and his orchestral musicians immediately noticed the difference. Now he’s a leader who asks for input in the form of written comments at every rehearsal. He understands that the musicians’ skills and experience enhance his own.
The house was magic - with its glass door wood stove, copious living room windows that let in the bright sunlight of the 19 below zero cold day. some braver scond generation souls departed to stock the already over-flowing larder while the senior and younger set settled in for an introduction to The Settlers of Catan - the perfect game for the place.
Three years ago I spent Christmas at the beautiful retreat centre Rivendell on Bowen Island. If your holiday season is too frantic this year, here is a space to unwind. Every good wish for the holiday season.