Welcome

WELCOME TO THE GREEN PEN!

It's my personal soapbox, a place for me to express thoughts and feelings, musings and rants, reflections and recollections; to have fun with words -- about things spiritual, environmental, social, political, economic, and, from time to time, personal. And of course about peace. Soapboxes are in public places (as London's legendary Hyde Park) on purpose, and so I invite conversations with you, for it is through civil discourse that we can gain some perspective on the seeming chaos of these changing times and learn together how to shape a positive future for ourselves, our communities, and the generations to come.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Safe, Healthy, Sustainable Communities - Happening Now!

Some good news about hope for inner cities and at-risk youth in crisis. And it’s not just hope for the future – it’s happening now. Warm your hearts for 7 minutes by watching this video (link below) from the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding in Gainesville, Florida. The National Peace Academy’s president Dot Maver also serves as executive director of RPCP, and NPA played a role in the initial design of RPCP’s program.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama


Below is a YouTube link to  President Obama's speech today at Nelson Mandela's memorial in South Africa.

A beautiful, inspiring speech and a fitting tribute to one of the greatest, most transformative figures of our time. When Obama speaks like that, I’m always moved to the depths of my soul with hope.

In this Season of Light and as we transit to 2014, may President Obama's words about Nelson Mandela inspiring him to be a better man and president strike a similar chord of inspiration with all leaders in this country and around the world -- in both the public and private sectors and civil society at large, which means all of us -- and find expression in our decisions and actions every day at work, home, and play.

Friday, November 22, 2013

“He was our president, too”

Bordeaux, France, November 22, 1963. There were over 20 of us, juniors from various University of California campuses. On that evening, we dispersed easily along two banks of banquet tables in the University of Bordeaux student union dining hall and among the French and North African students who had arranged this dinner to welcome us. As the meal progressed, we made friends, jabbering away in awkward hand signals, broken French, and broken English. By 8:40 p.m., the meal was drawing to a close with patisseries, and we were excited about the dance to follow.

A student came in from the TV room to convey the news flash: the president had been shot.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Recycled Music: Food for the Soul

Music is everywhere   – from landfills, to the hearts of children, to concert halls. It’s in the soul of humanity, the soul of nature. Everywhere in all things. See this video from Paraguay, and please share with children and others who appreciate the pervasiveness and power of music.

Thanks to my friend Mike M. for sending it.

And then there is the Academy Award-nominated documentary Waste Land.

I am reminded of William McDonough and Michael Braungart's book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, and their equation, Waste=Food. Based on the landfill films, I would say that this includes food for the soul.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Rays of the Dawn

I have written before about this time of great, evolutionary transformation that we are in as a species, as a planet. As I wrote last July:
“It is truly an epochal time in human history …. Some people despair that the world is just as violent and venal as in the ‘60s when the dawn of the new age was heralded, and, for sure, the dark will not yield (is not yielding) willingly to the light. But the sun is coming; it is inexorable. … [I]f we climb up to the top of the hill and look real carefully out across the plain, we can just barely see the first rays peeping out ….”