Snippets of GOOD

From an old friend, this quote, recently shared. I think it stands pretty well on its own. Enjoy. I did. Do.

“As long as we observe love for others and respect for their rights and dignity in our daily lives, then whether we are learned or unlearned, whether we believe in the Buddha or God, follow some religion or none at all, as long as we have compassion for others and conduct ourselves with restraint out of a sense of responsibility, there is no doubt we will be happy.”~ His Holiness The Dalai Lama

And the thoughts I’d woken up with that day, “What’s on my mind? Tolerance and love, patience and mercy, and just a spark of inspiration — wishing this for each of you, and the world, for the world, Happy Tuesday, peeps~”

Lyrics Post: “The Trees”

Timeless, and fitting.

“There is unrest in the forest
There is trouble with the trees
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas

The trouble with the maples
(And they’re quite convinced they’re right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light
But the oaks can’t help their feelings
If they like the way they’re made
And they wonder why the maples
Can’t be happy in their shade

There is trouble in the forest
And the creatures all have fled
As the maples scream ‘Oppression!’
And the oaks just shake their heads

So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights
‘The oaks are just too greedy
We will make them give us light’
Now there’s no more oak oppression
For they passed a noble law
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe and saw”

Lyrics By Neil Peart

Shanty Town

It’s not near Cape Town or Karachi, not even Skid Row— nothing like that scale or density of population, but in this home town of mine, San Jose, California, homelessness has over the years become a societal problem on the rise.

The pandemic has only made it worse.

Vast disparities of income versus the cost of living is part of it. Mental health issues are part of it. And with the pandemic, pretty suddenly many whole could just make it, can’t anymore. And so they live in their car, maybe, or under an overpass, or in a shanty.

In this wealthiest of regions in this wealthiest of nations, how can this be so? And how can we fix it?

Can we agree that it should be fixed? That we are better than that, that we can do better than that. Let’s figure it out. Let’s make it better.

We can do this. We are called to do this. Love your neighbor as yourself. love your neighbor as yourself.

Compromise 2

The way forward.

Compromise.

“Not every disagreement on every issue requires a war; that’s not reasonable; that’s not responsible leadership.

We elect our leaders to govern; we expect our leaders to govern.

If you’re not protecting our people and moving our society forward, you’re not governing. You’re not doing your job.

The Gang of Six, 2018.

The Gang of Eight, 2013.

The Grand Bargain, 2007.

Consider the art, the duty, of compromise. I believe it’s a fundamental trait we humans possess, and must adhere to, to co-exist in the world. We are a social species, which means we are meant to live together.

To live together, in this world, in this country, in our community, in our family, we must hone the skill and willingness to compromise.

Compromise: the path forward.

What is a President?

Talking about the top elected official of our Executive Branch, the President is the CEO of the country.

The President is the ultimate servant leader, elected to set policy, make decisions for the betterment of the people, and the Commander in Chief empowered to protect the citizenry and our land.

The President’s duty is to the Constitution, and to the people. To serve and to protect the people. ALL THE PEOPLE

Here’s the text, the following Presidential Oath or Affirmation:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

And usually closed out with…”so help me God.”

With these words an ordinary person is given tremendous power for a time, entrusted by the people to fulfill the oath.

And then often, and maybe quickly, and maybe frequently, things get muddy, and things get murky.

But the work of the President, it’s Sacred Duty. Sacred Duty.

Presidents and People

It’s a big world out there: more than 7 billion people, on 7 continents, more than 200 countries all told.

Who leads? It depends. In the United States, we have something like a democracy. And so in this political system who leads formally? Depends on who wins the election.

Who follows? Everyone else.

The thing is, at least in the United States, those who become president, he or she, has pretty close to an ultimate power while in office,

And then they become regular citizens again, once the term is completed.

Presidents, and all leaders, in the US and everywhere, they should be, and are, just people like everyone else.

Presidents in their best moments, give themselves to their office, to their people who they are elected to serve.

That ultimate power, it’s to be used to serve, to further the common good.

Let it be so. Let it be so.

More Props

I just heard a piece on the radio about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the diversity of their coaching leadership. It’s expanded my appreciation for the team and my attitude about that team, Tom Brady joining the team, and their victory in Super Bowl LV.

Listening to Rod Graves, executive Director of the Fred’s Pollard foundation, it all comes quickly into focus. Lots of good from the Tampa Bay organization, their approach, their leadership, their victory.

Some of the insight came from this piece:

“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers And Diversity In The Upper Ranks Of An NFL Franchise”

And here, the proof in the staff:

https://www.buccaneers.com/team/coaches-roster/

Then more insight from Rod Graves, ED of the Pollard Foundation, and about them, here:

https://www.fritzpollard.org/fritz-pollard

Bottom line?

More props, more GOOD. Let the colors wash together, let the very best rise to the top.

The Campers In The Shadows

Down Garcia Drive, and South / East Bayshore Frontage Road in Mountain View, amongst the many buildings that house the likes of Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, there are campers after campers after campers.

A long row, on the east side, the industrial side.

In the shadows of so many tech companies. I sit writing this in the same shadows, watching, wondering. Not all the buildings are full; some seem empty. But I bet these campers aren’t empty.

Who lives here on the shadows?

Where do they go?

Where do they come from?

Here in the campers, here in the shadows…

Navalny

Democracy is for all humanity, at least it should be, in my humble opinion.

One country in which democracy has long struggled is Russia.

One voice that resonates from within? Alexei Anatoliovich Navalny.

He has become maybe the most powerful voice calling for an end to corruption and more transparency in the Russian political system, policies, and decisions therein.

He was poisoned in Russia last year; flown to Germany for treatment; there, he recovered. There he could have stayed, safe in self-imposed exile.

But he did not. His place is in Russia. His home is Russia. And there he must do his work.

He flew back to Russia with his wife last week. And he was swiftly arrested at the airport.

The charges? Money-laundering. Six years ago. The details? Murky. What’s not murky?

Navalny’s steady voice of opposition in a country long characterized by a heavy, authoritarian hand against said opposition.

Well more than 10,000 protestors across all of Russia’s vast timezones protested for Navalny’s release on Saturday. More than a thousand were arrested.

His voice, and all such peaceful but very critical voices need to be heard. When the people‘s voice is silenced, it must be supported from all sides, allowing it to resonate.

Let Navalny’s voice be heard.

More on Navalny? Yep.

Straight from Wikipedia: Navalny, (born 4 June 1976) is a Russian opposition leader, politician, lawyer and anti-corruption activist. He came to international prominence by organizing demonstrations, and running for office, to advocate reforms against corruption in Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Putin’s government.

And the link to the whole wiki-profile, here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexei_Navalny?wprov=sfti1

And the article about his arrest, here: https://globalnews.ca/news/7595321/alexei-navalny-putin-protests-explainer/amp/

Let Navalny’s voice be heard.