News: Students Support Michael Sam in Rally Against Westboro Baptist Protest

Mizzou SealSaid it before and I’ll say it again … The Heartland has the BEST college students in the country …

Yesterday I shared a post from an old and respected friend Down Mizzou way, which included this statement:  

My suspicion: Their stream of hate speech will not find an audience. Students will steer a wide circle around them. It will all die for lack of a second.

Ignore them. Respond with no response at all. Focus on something that matters.

Tim has the right idea.  Do not stoop to the level of hate, but spend your energy and your passion in something which matters … which is exactly what Mizzou students did:

Students Support Michael Sam in Rally Against Westboro Baptist Protest.

… to which I can only add this:

Go, Tigers, Go!

Feeling rather proud of the young folks in the Heartland ….


Heart Jobs …

Heart - LoveLike many of us, my wife has experienced several distinct careers during her work life and she has excelled at each … even the ones she did not like very much ….

As many have observed over the years, you do not have to enjoy something to do it well.   Too many people spend their working lives doing something well, but not enjoying it.

My wife calls her favorite career her Heart Job … she was the administrator of an interfaith retreat center and loved the mission to bring people of faith together in “A Place Apart”, where quiet reflection and nature might work magic in self-discovery, faith development, collaboration, and learning.  She was not quite as fond of the daily paperwork, ceaseless fund-raising, and the “people problems” which arise, even among people of faith.

However, through the tedium of the daily work, her passion for the work and what it meant sustained her, giving her energy and vibrancy, which still shines through when she speaks of this part of her life, even decades later.   “Heart Jobs” are not about perfect and consistently enjoyable jobs, but about jobs with a soul which supports us during all the times.

I have my own “Heart Job”, although my net is cast somewhat broader and includes several times of my life when I could see the difference which I sought to make in people’s lives.

In both our cases, the Heart Jobs are in the past and they are not coming back.  However, the essence of what made them our Heart Jobs lives on … and we continue to seek that essence in other roles, in other places.

We spend a fair amount of time considering the role of passion and connection in our work.   It must be important …

Now a few questions to ponder this fine spring morning:

What is or was your Heart Job?

What made it your Heart Job?

If you no longer have your Heart Job, what are you doing to find your passion in another place?

Feeling the burn of passionate work in the Heartland …


Life After Art … Absolutely!

Life-After-Art-3.2-small-Copy“You are a creator!”    

 Matt Appling’s Life After Art: What You Forgot About Life and Faith Since You Left the Art Room is one of the more enjoyable and quotable books I have read recently … and I read a lot of booksSmile

The best quotes are often simple and direct:

“You cannot help creating.”

“You have never stopped creating”

“You just stopped thinking about creating.”

“Creations always say something about their creator.”

I you have read my earlier posts on this engaging book, you already know the basic approach Matt Appling takes to life.   If not, read here and here, or just Google the book title.  I’m not the only person who likes this book.

Matt builds a solid case around the societal, psychological, and spiritual elements which combine to convince us that we are no longer the creative individuals we began as and that we cannot fight.

Then he deftly builds the case that we, in fact, can regain our creativity.

His discussion of the unintended consequences of the recent self-esteem movement which culminated in such nice, but absolutely untrue statements as “everyone’s a winner”, with its resultant dilution of the sense of quality, standards, and individual achievement, is particularly worth reading.

Matt concludes that we just have to be open to creating, let go of our need to judge our own creations, and ignore the drumbeats that would stop us.

As a reminder: 

You are a creator”

You may not be an artist, as Matt points out, but you are and can always be a creator.  Here’s some random thoughts about how I can be a creator:

Create a better world through my actions to protect both our world and those who live in it …

Create a loving home for my family and friends …

Create purpose in the things I give my time and energy to …

Create positive energy in those organizations to which I am committed …

Create kindness to those who I meet along the way …

Create myself as a person others look to for help, for understanding, and or love …

I may never paint pictures with the gusto of that long-ago five-year-old and a small part of me will probably always worry a tad about the technical quality of what I do, but I can be a creator.

Well folks, I’m off to create “something” of beauty in the Heartland ….


Disclaimer:  I received a review copy of Matt Appling’s Life After Art: What You Forgot About Life and Faith Since You Left the Art Room .   I would not be posting this if I did not believe that this book has something very important to say about how we live our lives and how we might do so in more fulfilling and enjoyable ways … so there.