World Philosophy Day 2014 – UNESCO


 PhilosophyToday is World Philosophy Day … a day devoted to thinking about thinking …

Philosophy is one of those much-maligned notions … we often misunderstand or simply do not recognize the centrality of our philosophies to how we live.  Too often, we run screaming from anything that smacks of a philosophical nature, a looking at a thing or a concept from a meta-view.  Sometimes being philosophical equates to being hard to understand, even when the best philosophy is as clear as clean water.

I have a new philosophy. I’m only going to dread one day at a time.

Charles M. Schulz

For some, philosophy equates to religion or spirituality, although it is not just that.  Our religious beliefs will reflect our philosophies around ourself and others, but philosophy also addresses non-religious issues.

For others, philosophy represents a wasting of time pondering “mushy” things, and not getting on with the business of living.  I blame philosophers for this one, since sometimes the philosophic among us take guilty pleasure in being mysterious through unclear or mystic thoughts, apparent only to them. 

Philosophy is common sense with big words.

James Madison

For too many, philosophy is idle consideration of minutiae and trivialities.  Philosophy can be sidetracked by interesting, but not universal questions and we sometimes just plain take refuge in considering the philosophy of a thing, rather than living that thing.

Philosophy often seems inaccessible or confusing, or at least it did when I studied it in formal education.  However, I have found that the consideration and creation of a personal philosophy, combined with the evaluation of jointly held philosophies to be the most important elements of my life.  

Insert your own closely held belief about life here:)

Our philosophy determines our lives.  

For much more about this day, click HERE.

Feeling rather thoughtful in the Heartland ….


Learning Old Lessons Again …

Ghost Writer - Wikimedia CommonsI was working with some words this morning …

It’s a weekly task where I take someone else’s thoughts, add a graphic, and make the package suitable for framing, or more correctly sharing online.   Usually the words come from one person.

This week, the words came from a guest poster and I could immediately sense the difference.   The flow was not as smooth, the phrases not as clear, and the overall impact was less.

My first thought:   Well, this is not good.   It’s not as good as usual.  It’s not what I have come to expect.  

My second thought:  Well, this person is learning.  They have not done this as much as the usual word-provider.  This is how they will get better at doing it.

My conclusion:   Sometimes we react from a position of assessment, where we are judging the worth of a thing against the yardstick of excellence, when we should be allowing for growth and learning.

This is a reinforcement that much of life is a process of learning and continual improvement.  I’ll bet even the masters of word and image and thought had a few clunkers and missteps along the way to their greatest accomplishments.

So … I will send a few well-chosen words of positive and critical analysis to help the person do better next time, while I let go of the idea that everything has to be as good as possible every time.

Learning anew an old lesson about learning in the Heartland ….




Curiosity and Learning …


I am combing through an extremely long list right now on Goodreads

The list is of all the authors listed on this site … the list has around 4300 pages.  I am on page 43.  It’s a lot of people who have written books.

If a way exists to filter the authors by genre, I have not yet found it. 

My purpose (and yes, I do have a purpose other than idling await my Saturday morning) is to follow all the authors I have found special value through over the past few years. 

Most of these are folks who have affiliated with Weaving Influence, so are leadership or personal development related, but I also have a healthy selection of people who write in other areas, and whom I know of through other experiences.  

As I tried to categorize the people and titles that are “popping up”, I find myself noting the broad range of topics which my natural inquisitiveness has brought me … and I am pleased.

I see titles in leadership and learning, but I also see spirituality, technology, critical thinking, creative thinking, humor, and even a dash of thoughtful fiction:).

A healthy curiosity, combined with some passion around a mission, seems a strong combination.   While my authors naturally group around some general themes, they are not all of a type and the topics range magnificently from the deeply personal to the global and sweeping. 

Passions, in this sense, are those things we do for which we may or may not be paid, for which we may or may not receive recognion or appreciation, but which we feel we must engage with.

Curiosity is that nagging suspicion that something exists which you do not yet know , but want to learn about a particular thing, which motivates you to exert energy and effort in the finding and understanding of that thing.

With the above two operational definitions in mind …

What are your passions ?

How have your passions informed your curiosity?

How has your curiosity informed your passions?

Wondering just how long I will be scrolling and clicking today in the Heartland ….


“Nothing More … “

Life Nothing More

I remember the first time I realized that life does, indeed, consist of a series of gains, followed by a series of losses …

I was relatively young then and my head was full of possibilities.  I seemed capable of accomplishing quite a lot and my abilitites seemed to just grow with each day.  Experience piled upon experience and nothing could ever go wrong … or so it seemed at the time.

Of course, now my perspective has changed … I see a different arc of life.

How about you?   Do the words above ring true or do you see things differently?

Wondering how things will all turn out in the Heartland ….



On This Veteran’s Day …

Veteran's Day 2014 posterVeteran’s Day has been part of my life  …

As a boy, I watched as what seemed like every adult male in our community, including my father, crammed themselves into their old uniforms and paraded around the square as the high school band gayly played.

Some made speeches, some offered prayers, and we always ended with “Taps”, as mournful and evocative a song as you can play on a bugle.

Then we went to the small cemetery near our farm and placed little American flags on selected graves to honor those no longer with us, followed by brief and quiet reflection and remembrance of each person.

Veteran’s Day was up close and personal to me …

During and after my military service, I sort of lost track of Veteran’s Day. The city folks celebrate differently than the way I grew up with.  The day seemed to become more about having a holiday, a day off from work, and sales in the big box stores.  Patriotic speeches which were like snack food (temporarily feeding our hunger, but soon gone) fill the air and much hoopla occurs.

On a more positive note, I enjoy the many personal stories that show up around this date about fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, and others close to someone who stops to remember their service … up close and personal.

Today, I have only one wish for our annual celebration of those who have served and those who continue to serve …

Let’s dump the day …

Instead, let’s truly honor our men and women who have taken the oath, worn the uniform, and done what their country has asked of them,  every single day of the year.

Let go of the politics associated with whether you agree with every decision made by the country past or present.  Let go of whether you personally served or even know anyone who has.   Let go of the temporary pride that comes and goes with the appointed day.

Consider thoughtfully and carefully how our elected officials and laws affect active and retired military personnel and their families.  Take time to learn about how benefits and treatment are administered and dispensed.  Just ask yourself one simple question and honestly answer it to the best of your compassionate ability:

Are we truly honoring their service every day in how we care for them?

As stories of substandard and sometimes unforgivable treatment of those who have served continue to come forward, only one thought should be in our minds: 

We can and should do better with our financial, medical, psychological, educational, and economic support of military personnel and their families.  

Hold our elected officials and ourselves accountable for meeting this sacred trust to do what is fair, just, and right.

I am choosing intentionally not to beat the drum for any specific law or action that falls in this category.  My plea is not about supporting or defeating any legislation or candidate … it’s about all of us seriously treating our veterans in a humane and just fashion.

Trying to truly honor those who serve and have served in the Heartland ….


For context and history of Veteran’s Day, go here:  Veteran’s Day History