The Rocks Are The Ones Who Endure


February 1, 2023- The young man privately explained his actions, wanting to make sure that I understood and was not swayed by the chatter of others. I determined that it would be best for me to mainly observe what everyone was doing, and pay close attention to his teaching style. All in all, he led well, and engaged the students, through some rather tough subject matter. The other staff followed his lead and maintained a unified front. it was a good day.

In times past, I have been inclined to take the side of a woman, in disputes, especially if the man comes across as bombastic and patriarchal. Time has shown that this is not always fair-and that women (and girls) can certainly be devious and less than truthful as well. It is the subsequent behaviour that often gives the culpable party away-and I am not surprised if both are at fault.

Yet, it is the person who is direct in communication, sure of self and able to cut through the fog of others’ machinations and misinformation who gets my support and confidence. Often, that has been a woman, but it is MOST often the person who is being shut out by a small coterie. I have been in that situation, countless times, and so am more inclined to offer the outlier the benefit of the doubt. That happened in this case, and I am confident that the students are in good hands, all around. It’s been a good three days, even if I was mainly a fly on the wall.

Those who are towers of strength, who withstand buffeting winds, who are rocks, are the ones who will endure. Those who yammer and undermine would do well to stop, look and listen.



June 9, 2021, Bellemont, AZ- Arguments and fighting can sometimes clear the air, in which case they serve a purpose-and need not be repeated. Most of us have experienced this sort of thing, at one point or another, in our lives. Often, fatigue, depression, and feelings of abandonment can trigger a quarrel, which forbearing people de-escalate. The underlying love that the parties have for one another will win out, in such cases.

The most intractable quarrels, though, find their roots in ego, insecurity and not a small amount of malice. These tend to be found within the larger issues facing our species, our nation-and a good many communities. Egotistical actions themselves are mainly rooted in insecurity-the parent of narcissism, which, to me, is a misplaced attempt to cover for feelings of inadequacy. One public figure, known for expressions of narcissism, experienced a childhood in which he was routinely berated and belittled by his own parents.

Where we, as a society, or as a planet, suffer from acts of egotism or insecurity comes in cases of reckless prejudice, greed or lust. We see these in the behaviours of some in government, in business and even in public service. A senior figure in our Federal government recently asked people working under him to act against certain legislation- “as a favour to him”. Some on both sides of a conflict, in another part of the world, continually focus on what they see as the “transgressions of the other side”. A military leader in a developing nation seized power in his country, claiming that only he can save the country from “the forces of corruption”.

I go back to problem-solving processes based on transparency, unconditional positive self-regard, and respect for other people in general. There is also a degree of letting go of past hurts, which proceeds from the aforementioned qualities. There can be little doubt that the paths which perpetuate turmoil and division between people, at all levels, are ludicrous.

Real Deals


May 4, 2021- I spent the day with a group of people who ask nothing of me, other than that I help them learn, in as clear a manner as I can muster. They only want respect. They don’t pester me for money. They don’t demand political fealty. They don’t seek to blame others for their personal blunders. When wrongly accused, they speak up-honestly and, again, respectfully. They are a group of fourth-graders, with whom I have spent a fair amount of time, this academic year. When I arrived, a minute late, due to the luck of the draw with red lights, I was greeted with cheers, and a productive day with sentence building, graphing and the seven continents, ensued. These are not quiet, complacent people. They learn in small groups, embrace knowledge with relish and hold the teacher accountable for anything that is not presented clearly at first blush. Again, they do so in an atmosphere of mutual respect. They are not children of privilege-most families live rather simply and the children know Medicaid, recycled clothing and free/reduced-fee school meals, all too well. I have two other groups of people, who ask nothing of me except respect and learning assistance, with whom to meet, before heading back to the family among whom I grew up and learned what matters most in life. No begging hands, no loud political rants, no whining about being cheated- just showing respect and being respected.



April 30, 2020-

Part II, of “HAL and Griff” will appear on Saturday’s blog.  In the meantime:

We have, as is Americans’ wont, reached the Rim of the Grand Canyon.  Everyone is right, in the confines of their own silos, and whoever dares caution someone not to call for the firing, arrest, or DEATH, of another human being, who happens to be either suspected of wrongdoing or is the focus of exposes of various levels of veracity, is an unctious waste of DNA in his/her own right.  This speaks volumes about those who stand in judgment.

A few thoughts, then, from my own humble and fallible mind:

We each have a dual nature- There are things about which we are self-centered and “freedom-loving” and there are things about which we are supremely giving and kind.

I believe in the sanctity of life-from the moment of conception, AND I believe it is a mother’s place to decide what is done with her body, hopefully choosing adoption over abortion, but her informed decision, nonetheless-and no one else’s.

I believe that a community can and should take the stance that the lives of everyone-richest to poorest, of all ethnicities, genders,  ages and sexual orientations, are sacred, as well.  I believe that respect for everyone’s sensibilities, with regard to health, is just common courtesy.  I also believe that no one should be deprived of livelihood, for an open-ended period of time.  Staggered shifts have been proposed for school children- the same could conceivably work  for those whose jobs preclude work from home.  Ditto for using common sense, with regard to spacing of people whose infection status is unknown.

We are also in a state of flux, which I know is scary for many.  Humanity has been at this juncture before, when barbarian hordes have invaded their homelands.  A micororganism is not a barbarian, so there is the all-too-human tendency to turn one’s perceived opponent into said barbarian.  This, to me, is valuable time wasted.

It’s time to wake up, gear up and stand up-for the raising of a truly shining humanity.

The Road to 65, Mile 226: The Measure of A Man


July 12, 2015, Prescott- I went to the high-end downtown shoe store, yesterday, to be properly fitted for a more stylish pair of black shoes, which will stand me in good stead in the workplace, this coming academic year.

I learned that my feet were different sizes, and that the size I had been buying for the past twenty  years, no longer fit.  I have experienced late-onset foot expansion (my term), with the left foot being larger than the right, to boot (no pun intended).  So, I settled on a size 10 1/2 pair, and will replace the smaller pairs, one at a time, until my shoes are in compliance with Foot Reality.  This, of course, means that my sneakers will be larger, by week’s end.

It got me to thinking:  How do I measure, in other ways.

Health-wise, my teeth, which could be replaced by a full set, are stable, and I won’t worry about the full set unless it becomes a deal-breaker, in an otherwise budding relationship.

That brings me to the notion of relationships.  We’ve discussed this here before, and almost ad nauseam.  I am in a good place, right now, and have several fine friendships with women, based on mutual respect and regard for each other’s well-being,  just as my friendships with men, or with children, happen to be.  None of us sees any reason for that to change, and several of the several are in good marriages, or other committed relationships.  Those who aren’t, are happy being where they are.

I am honest, by nature, and almost to a fault.  This sometimes causes problems with people who communicate with circumlocution, or roundabout speech, subtle hints, etc.  I never was very good at that, even when an offended party screams at me or slams the door, as has happened a few times.  I have to be true to my own soul, though I do make an effort to be gentle about it.

Work-wise, I finish what I start.  So, once this academic year gets on, I will be very conscious of doing all that’s needed to ensure the success of any students with whom I happen to work.  A commentator on another post suggested “take the money and don’t concern yourself too much with the outcome.”  That may be the person’s way of “avoiding burnout”, but to me, it is a recipe for crashing.

I will continue to measure myself, in various ways, knowing that the path should always be, as Jack Kornfield wrote, “with heart”.

The Road to 65, Mile 51: Real Friendship


January 18, 2015, Prescott-  The question came up, earlier today, about energy flows and what they might have to do with who is attracted to whom. Throughout life,  I have found myself inexplicably drawn to people, of various ages, and all types, for no outward reason.  The same has happened with people being drawn to me.

Most of these encounters tend to run their course, and many of these people I see once, twice or a few times, and then not again, for a long time, if ever.  Yet, I never forget them.  There are others who have gone on, and with whom I still communicate, in thought waves and in visions.  This is especially true with my late wife.

There are maybe two dozen people alive today, who are indelible in my life, and with whom I enjoy a robust and mutually supportive friendship.  Perhaps five or six, I have never met, in real time.  Another ten or so, I’ve met, face-to-face and spent a day or two with them, here and there. Others are a regular, almost daily, part of my world, both on-and offline.

Real friendship does not depend on physical presence, on lock-step agreement or on identical world-view.  It does depend on mutual respect, regard and willingness to fully entertain and learn from the other’s point of view, It also depends on a passionate commitment to the friend’s best interests, as well as to one’s own.  Forbearance is frequently essential, for who among us is 100% in sync with any other person?  True friends are there at the end of a bout of pain-fueled rage; there, as a period of confusion and  foolishness ensues; there, in happy times and in their opposites.  A true friend sees the real person shining through, regardless of occasional lapses.

There will not be a time when I don’t treasure my real friends.