(In)tractible-Part II


February 14, 2021-

The earnest young man got ahead of himself, demanding that his financial problems be addressed, immediately, by those whom he saw as being well-off and comfortable in thier own lives. This went on, for nearly two years, as one potential benefactor, after another, turned away.

The imbalance between one group of people and another, whether it be a matter of money, food, water or, in this present environment, medical supplies to defeat COVID-19 is the single overarching matter facing humanity-and has been for several centuries now. It is viewed by many as a nuisance, a bore, something intractible.

It is my position that things become viewed as intractible largely because of the human impulse to want a matter resolved immediately, if not sooner, that one may move on to the next matter. I get this, very clearly. We are hard-wired as a species to move along and accomplish new and better. We are also, however, hard-wired to notice when others are left behind. This awareness rankles one’s conscience.

There is, simply put, nothing that nettles most people more than being asked for money. We are raised to share food, drink and even clothing with our siblings and those in our neighbourhoods. Money is an entirely different matter- perhaps because of insecurity, as to its possibly running out. So, the homeless, the destitute, the demanding are are seen as impediments, rather than as fellows.

The second seemingly intractible issue, from which many wish to turn away, is the continual persecution and conflict in certain parts of the world, particularly in west Asia. Religion is often blamed for this, but religion is simply a codification of man’s belief in a Higher Power. It has given us a single thread of rules for proper conduct, with the changes in social practice evolving as Mankind itself has evolved. That certain groups have continued to fight and contend with one another, in some cases for millennia on end, is not the fault of the Higher Power, but of the leadership and members of those groups. They are not, inherently, any more or less capable of getting along than are any other groups of people.

These two seemingly intractible issues reflect two phenomena: A lack of systematic process for equitable distribution of goods (food, clothing, water, medicine-and money) and a paralysis of the will to do the hard work, over time, that is needed to resolve deep-seated conflict. Fortunately, there is a shift in the consciousness of many on the planet-and an increase in the number of people in the process of finding and implementing solutions.

Nothing put before us needs to be seen as intractible.



November 14, 2017, Prescott-

If I am chosen to serve as a co-ordinator for international students,

I would work to make their time here a cornerstone of the rest of their lives.

If my son safely completes his time in service,

I know he will make a huge mark in the world,

in the time afterward.

If it be God’s Will, I shall not be moved aside

from generous acts of service,

both here and far afield.

If there be a clear sense of reality,

the good people of the world

will find a way,

to end imbalance,

for Puerto Rico,


Rakhine Province,

Sri Lanka,


South Sudan,

Rockport- Port Aransas,

central Appalachia,

the Navajo Nation,




If  justice prevails,

those being marginalized

will see solutions,

that honour their


their intelligence,

their dignity.



February 24, 2016, Prescott-  In “To Kill A Mockingbird”, Scout reminds one of the racist men that he, too, is a father.  The man then walks away from a hateful mob.  I was reminded of that scene, this evening, when a “racially-mixed” couple made a presentation, on their experience living here in this largely Libertarian city.  It seems that, not so many years ago, a noose was tied and left hanging, from a tree branch in their front yard.  While many treat them well, there are those I have historically viewed as misfits, trying to make those they view as square pegs, fit into round holes of their imaginations.

We each set a noose to a tree, at some point in our lives. Usually, it’s the noose of blame- intended for someone else, as a way of evading responsibility.  Sometimes, it’s the noose of “Us vs. Them”.  Other times, the “wagons in a circle” noose hangs, from the branch of imbalance.  We certainly see lots of these, of late.

The worst nooses of all, though, are those we set for ourselves.  The noose of anger, or that of addiction, lead us to swing from some unsightly branches.  The noose of self-pity, now, there’s one I have to work especially hard to keep off my neck, at times.

I am getting better at facing such traps, and cutting them down, before finding myself looking at a victim- or being one.  It’s been nearly 24 years since we heard, from a flawed, but cogent, voice:  “Can’t we all just get along?”