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.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Peacebuilding and Functional Medicine: An Isomorphism

I was in Los Angeles this past weekend for the 50th reunion (!) of my North Hollywood High School class of 1961. Classmate Jack recounted how, about 10 years ago, he phased out of his general surgery practice and into the field of functional medicine. It was as if he’d worked himself out of a job in surgery as he’d begun treating his surgical patients à la functional medicine and found that in so many cases they no longer needed surgery.

It dawned on me that functional medicine is isomorphically related, in a general systems theory way, to peacebuilding. Each focuses on treating its “patient” (in the one case an individual human being; in the other a human society) as a holistic system rather than on treating distinct symptoms; that is, treating the underlying causes of dysfunctions as imbalances that “arise as environmental inputs…are processed by one’s body, mind, and spirit through a unique set of genetic predispositions, attitudes, and beliefs.”

Sunday, June 5, 2011

As American as Pie

It's going viral, and The Green Pen joyfully joins the contagion. I cried "the day the music died" (how many of you are old enough to remember that?), and I cried watching The  Grand  Rapids LipDub.

A heartland American  community, Grand Rapids, Michigan, comes together in harmony and joy to remind us what community means and what America can be and, deep down, is. That's the America that, according to the Cherokee legend, is to be nourished and flourished.

Deep gratitude to Mike Marthaller for passing this virus on to me.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Economy: Gloomy or Hopeful?

Well, it's another Saturday morning in the Bay Area, and a cool, rainy one at that -- "Junuary" weather, it's being called. Let's see what's happening in the world today. Hmmm.

Oh, here are two items of note in the San  Jose  Mercury News, both related to the dismal economic situation and outlook. Very in tune with the weather. One article, appearing above the fold on page one of Section A, is by Patrick May of the Mercury News and headlined Volunteering in a Bad Economy: Down on their luck, but still giving back. The other, in the same relative location in the Business section, is by Don Lee of the Los Angeles Times and screams Sputtering Economy: Job growth disappoints.

One is human interest and hopeful; the other statistical and gloomy.