I love interdependence. We thrive when we collaborate and build community. We are all craving connection and relationship. Interdependence helps us feel less stressed and more effective. There is a deep satisfaction that comes from building that trust and caring. 

Very few of us seek theoretical knowledge. Many of us love to hear stories. We love to hear the stories of ancestors, the elderly, and children. We love to tell our story. We need to be heard. We lean in when we hear personal stories. Stories help us feel like family.

We need to be transparent and vulnerable. The more we share our story, the more we become self-aware and whole. The more we listen to other stories, the more our worldview expands and we learn we are more similar than we are different.

"You alone can do it, but you cannot do it alone." - O. Hobart Mowrer

Journey of Transformation

I have found my life to be a journey of transformation from little nature boy, to young athlete, to social justice advocate, to addictions counselor, to educator and public speaker.  Woven throughout this spiritual journey has been the study, experience, and commitment to love and truth.

I am a veteran of spiritual experience and practice. The word veteran originates in the Indo European 'wet', which means "to inspire or spiritually engage." I will confess with great humility that when I speak, I seek to inspire and what interests me most is spiritual engagement. 

The work we all do on this journey of spiritual transformation is essential. It is impossible to do alone. We thrive in community.

As my spiritual journey has become more and more conscious, I am acutely aware that my prayer time has become more intimate, receptive, and silent. I listen for "the still, small voice." I breathe and wait to hear God's voice. 

What I have heard the past 20+ years has been; love, speak your truth, serve, make your life and your love, a resource for others. I have found that as I share my truth and vulnerability, I give others the permission to do the same. Our spiritual transformation is to grow from our individual egos to being fully human and finally to finding our way back home to God.

Doing ordinary things...

We must focus on the importance of doing ordinary things with the perception that our actions are essential and of great value.

We can all be examples of love and unity

We need to change our hearts. Love is unity, understanding, empathy, and compassion.

What can I do today for the health and safety of the homeless?

What can I do today to help those who will not wear a mask in this pandemic?

What can I do today to stop racism and sexism?

What can I do today to make sure all children have enough to eat?

What can I do today to stop greed and injustice?

I cannot solve all the problems of humanity. But every choice I make contributes to who and how the problems of humanity are resolved.

The world will change as our hearts and minds change.

We can all be examples of love and unity.

Treat all life as sacred

As caring human beings, it is our responsibility to support and care for the earth, our neighborhood, our home, and everyone in the shared life. This is the bottom line. Either we continue to care for the earth and each other or we will devolve to a place and time where there is no one left to care for us and no earth left to nurture and support us.

This is not some power game where the loudest, most abusive, fear inducing, and hate promoting demagogue wins and takes all the cash. This is real life. This is the deep commitment of saving the earth, and as the indigenous people have taught for thousands of years, when we save the earth, we save our souls.

This is a time of transformation. Wake up! There is only a little time left.

This is not a dress rehearsal. This is the only life we get. This life, our life, and everyone else's life, is sacred. Please, please, please, treat all life and the earth as sacred and we will survive this catastrophe that we have created.

If you cannot treat all life as sacred than at least - "Do no harm."

Be the Light

"You are the light of the world… Let your light so shine that all may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." - Matthew 5:14, 16

We need each other's light. Now is the time to choose to be loving and kind. 

Now is the time to be wise and forgiving.  Now is the time to take action.

Be part of the problem solving not part of the problem.

Be a voice that lifts us up not puts us down.

Be part of the future dream, do not despair.

Be a light on to the darkness.

Be someone's hope, be someone's joy, be someone's love.

Be the light.

Our thoughts have power

 "The thought is ever father to the act" - Shakespeare

In these times of challenge, crisis, and anxiety, it is essential that we reclaim the power of our thoughts. There is in each of us and in each of our thoughts, great power. We have the ability to find and create stability. Our creative and constructive thinking can change the world. It always has and it can again.

We must bring our honesty to intervene with dishonesty

We must bring our integrity to counteract corruption.

We must bring our kindness, compassion, and empathy to all forms of hatred and exclusion.

The universe responds to our thoughts.

Servant Leadership

Make a gift of your life. Be clear with your intentions to work and serve. It is wise to see your work as a service and contribution to the world. In this context your service becomes a gift. Your gift may be keeping a clean and loving home. Your gift may be tending a garden that provides vegetables and bounty to your family and neighbors. Your gift may be teaching or counseling. Your gift may be in the world of science or engineering.

Whatever your gift, give it with love, caring for life, and service to the greater good. Our life can be a joy to all who come in contact with our loving service.

When we put our attention and energy into serving and uplifting others, we are uplifted in the process.


We are all ripples of God's love.

 We are all ripples of God's love.

"I am the vine, you are the branches." - John 15:5

When we think with respect and understanding, we think like God.

When we act with compassion, we act like God.

When we see equality, we see with the eyes of God.

When we share joy, we feel God's joy.

When we reach out to help another, we reach with the hands of God.

When we speak with love, we speak with the voice of God.

"We are all pencils in the hand of God." - St. Mother Teresa


Please Vote

 "Forget the hours of suffering, but not what they have taught you." - Holocaust survivor 

I feel our nation is suffering. The coronavirus has painfully impacted hundreds of thousands of our fellow humans. The Black Lives Matter movement was given rebirth when we saw George Floyd murdered on our various screens. Because of our technology, he was not murdered once. In our eyes and hearts he was murdered repeatedly. Racism, slavery, and inhumanity has murdered black women and men for 600 years.

We committed genocide against the native people of this land. There are very few indigenous people left to share their beautiful cultures. Latinx parents and their children continue to be imprisoned at our borders. We tear families apart with an ignorance that is inconceivable. 

Those of us on the path of peace and unity are not to blame for the past, but we are responsible for the future. There are moments when I am afraid to speak my truth. Resilience is part of my character. In every way possible, I will create a safe place for dialogue. Every moment we are together is an opportunity to speak our truth and share our character. I want to create a safe emotional space so we can honor all of the courageous souls who have given their lives for the radical dream of democracy. I will do all that I can so that generations who died will not have died in vain. I will not let the dream of peace and unity die in me.


A new day is rising...

I see the Divine in the flowers, trees, and bird song. I see the Divine in you and sometimes me. I strive to see the beauty of creation in everything and everyone. There is a grace, a blessing, and unconditional loving presence above, below, and within all things and all life.

I believe this unconditional loving presence is so abundant it cannot be imprisoned by hate and greed. Even when the powers that be lie and manipulate to control and fuel their ego, the presence of love seeps through.

I rejoice in the unconditional love that always finds a way to comfort and heal. When we are at our last breath, this loving power is there to keep us from drowning.

We are the emanations of this love. We are here for a purpose. We must share the light and love of spirit. Turn off the internet. Stop watching the commercials. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and your Amazon account can wait.

Sing a song of gratitude. Let your joy for life shine. Know that unconditional love will always negate the darkness.

A new day is rising.

Nature's abundant beauty...

Our world offers us exquisite beauty to focus on each day. Here in the New England area where I live, the leaves are changing color, the deer are coming more into the open areas and the sun mixes wonderfully with cooler temperatures.

I think that when we focus on the abundant beauty in nature, our demeanor becomes more calm, peaceful, and beautiful. When we are open and accepting of love and friendship we become more loving and friendly.

Please know I am not naive. I hear the hate. I see the fear. However life has shown me, hate does not serve me. Hate is an idea of the frail human ego. Love is an emanation of the Divine.

When we focus on peace, calm, and compassion, we are ripples of these Divine characteristics in our community.

I find that when I am afraid, anxious, and in turmoil, I go inward. I breathe, I pray, and I meditate. I listen to that "still, small voice." I listen to my Higher Self. This process brings me peace. My body relaxes and my mind let's go. I find myself in an experience of beauty and harmony.

Let your light shine

I was raised Catholic.  I am catholic.  I love the words of Jesus.  In the new testament, Lamsa translation from the Aramaic, Jesus's language, Matthew writes in Chapter 5 the Sermon on the Mount.  From this writing, I have always been drawn to the Beatitudes.  The Beatitudes speak to me today.

"Blessed are the humble, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

I look for humble, wise, and caring leadership.  My humility reminds me we accomplish nothing on our own.  Many others will always play a part in our success and service.

"Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted."

In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement for Social Justice, there Is too much to mourn.  Our collective grief is overwhelming.  Our only sane solution is unity and compassion.

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be well satisfied."

Worldwide, millions hunger and thirst for justice.  Racism, sexism, poverty, hatred, gender prejudice, and violence towards those we perceive as different must end now.  Love and fellowship are the only answer.

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall have mercy."

I pray to release my judgement and to be more forgiving and merciful.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

I am privileged to live with the pure in heart.  My beloved wife Sandra and our daughter Ashley are both pure in heart.  I see God in them each and every day.

"Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called the children of God."

My intention has always been focused on peace.  To be a peacemaker you stand with the great spirited warriors; Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, St. Francis, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela.

"Blessed are those who are presented for the sake of justice, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."

This persecution is sadly part of humanity.  The persecutions are historical; slavery, holocaust, genocide, apartheid, and they continue on the streets of our cities today.

"Blessed are you who reproach you and persecute you and speak against you every kind of evil, falsely, for any sake."

This has happened to each and every one of us who we speak the truth with integrity, empathy, compassion, and love.

Gratitude can change everything

Gratitude can transform a mundane day into a celebration of Thanksgiving.  It can turn boring routines into moments of awareness and joy.

We have the power to choose.  We can change our perspective and see something or someone with fresh eyes. We can expand our world view.

Gratitude has been proven to enhance physical and psychology well being.

Here are a few of the research based benefits of gratitude:

  • enhanced long term happiness
  • enhanced positive emotions
  • increased social supports
  • increased optimism
  • improved mental health and reduced stress
  • reduced blood pressure
  • improved sleep
We have an opportunity each day to create our lives with positivity by putting our focus on gratitude.

Gratitude is loving, and in that love, we become a better version of us.

Unconditional Love...

 "I looked in temples, churches, and mosques.
But I found the Divine within my heart." - Rumi

There is an infinite unknown that knows who you are.  This infinite is unconditionally loving and emanates love, peace, and happiness to each of us.  We each decide on the structure of this infinite, unconditional, loving presence.  Our Higher Power is personal to each one of us.

Many years ago, while working with educators in Idaho, I had an intimate experience of God.  It was 4 in the morning and I was awake since my body was on East Coast time.  I heard God's voice. More accurately, I was enveloped both inside and outside of my body and consciousness with a feeling and message of unconditional love, trust, peace, and joy.  I have followed this Divine message ever since.

Let your life be a catalyst for connecting everyone to the Divinity and unconditional love that resides and emanates from each of us.

Take Action Now. Be Kind.

 "I cannot do everything, but I still can do something.
I will not refuse to do something I can do." 
- Helen Keller

Every day I can focus on the good I can do. I can smile, say hello, have a positive attitude, be generous, and be of service. Every time we take positive action for the good of humankind, the world is enhanced.

Everyone of us, in our own unique way, can take actions that make the world a better place. We do not need to be famous, wealthy, or powerful. We only need to be kind.

Our kindness will have an impact. People will feel better in our presence. We will live in a beautifully diverse and multicultural world. Our kindness will help create a world where everyone feels accepted and cared for.

Take action now. Be kind.

Skills to help us through the pandemic and beyond

Reach out to, spend time with and hold those you love.  If you can not hold them because of COVID-19 then look them in the eyes, be deliberate, go slow and say "I love you".  Spend time connecting and being explicit about what you love in them.  Do not let a day go by without loving.

When you have the ability to be with someone in person or virtually give them your full attention.  Listen without interruption. Turn off the phone.  Turn off all other media and outside stimuli.  Be present.

Give yourself time to focus on your own health and well-being.  Appreciate the sunlight in the morning.  Get up and be thankful.  Review everything and everyone you are grateful for having in your life.  Take nothing and no one for granted.  Stretch, do yoga, meditate, pray, walk, run, swim, say hello from 6 feet away.  Learn to like yourself.  Be in nature and express creativity.

Be of service, somehow to someone.  If there are elderly in your neighborhood, take out their trash, cut their lawn, trim their trees.  Help others and allow others to help you.  Renew your sense of purpose and make a contribution.

A Global Family

The earth is populated with an exquisite diversity. Every life is precious and adds to the greater whole. We are all children of God. We are all relatives in a global family. We must ask ourselves how are we treating our family.

I have family members that live with disabilities and lifelong challenges. I have family members who are heartbroken and grieving loss. I have family members who are genius and unique and creative. I am part of a family that makes mistakes and tries to do and be better.

My ancestors have survived wars, holocaust, slavery, pandemics, and mental illness. My people make music, sing, dance, write poetry, and make beautiful art.  My family has lived in different parts of this world and teach me what is sacred in other cultures and faiths. My family comforts me when I am sad and inspires me to dream great dreams. 

There are no strangers in my family. Everyone is welcome, you are my family.

We are all unique creations

 "If you had an enemy, and knew his heartaches and his anxieties, you would be disarmed of your hostility and claim him as a brother." - Longfellow

We were born in different places, in different families, and different cultures.  We learned different languages, different faiths, and different traditions.  

Where we were born and what we learned were our reality.  But our reality is only one reality. There are vast numbers of other realities, other cultures, other faiths, other languages, other families. These other realities have as much value and sacredness as your reality. They do not need to be you and you do not need to be them. We are all unique creations of Divinity.

We are all here to live in compassion and understanding.

Thoughts, Beliefs, Actions

 "When any real progress is made, we unlearn and learned anew what we thought we knew before."

- Henry David Thoreau

Everything begins with a thought. Where we are today, individually and as a nation, began with our thought process. Thoughts create beliefs and beliefs create actions.

It is time for a new thought. It is time for a belief in humanity. It is time to act with kindness, hope, empathy, and compassion. We must unlearn prejudice, fear, and hatred. We can see, think, dream, and create a better world.

Every thought, every belief, every action we take, ripples out and impacts the world. We must rethink and create loving responses to poverty, racism, sexism, homelessness, climate change, and healthcare.

We have an opportunity NOW!

Individual thoughts, beliefs, and actions, inspire national and global change.

I take responsibility for my thoughts, beliefs, and actions.

It's in every one of us to be kind

Our nature is unity. In prehistoric times we banded together for survival. Now we must evolve from survival consciousness to thriving consciousness. Unity is our only hope to thrive.

We must treat everyone with respect and equality. We must work for unity in all neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, and houses of worship. We must stop creating false, man-made, unnatural hierarchies of power. We must support all children and families.

Every human being is a unique expression of God. Please help to break down the walls of racism, sexism, hatred, and violence. Please help to build bridges so that every age, every culture, every gender, every group, and every individual can live in peace.

It's in every one of us to be kind.

Creating Unity

We all have the same origin. We all begin our evolutionary journey as human beings in an area of East Africa. Climate and conditions changed us on the outside, but inside we are the same. We are the same genetically.

"The concept of race has no genetic or scientific basis." – Craig Venter, Human Genome researcher

Every human being is an expression of the Divine. We are all one with spirit. We are all one with God. I will never argue or debate about the name you use for God. There are hundreds of names for God. I want to evolve past the hostility for what we call God. I want to evolve to the place that we all, call God.

I want to evolve to the place where we all seek to create unity.

Our diversity is an opportunity to join in beautiful harmony. The love of the universe is our ultimate song.

"While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God's creation." - Maya Angelou

Love or Fear

We, as a people, are living our chapter in an ancient story.  A story of love or fear.  Those who fear, seek power and domination.  They have destroyed the environment and are so narcissistic they would destroy their fellow humans.  Those who fear are spiritually bankrupt.  They lack compassion and empathy.  They are so afraid, they gorge themselves on the noise of hatred, racism, sexism, and violence.

Those who love, seek to join, connect and build relationships.  Those who love build wholeness, community, and unity.  They know they carry the seed of unconditional loving spirit, and they plant the sacred spiritual seed wherever they walk the earth.  As the world heals and blossoms, there will be a renaissance of love.

We have all, at sometime, been both love and fear.  

We must now reflect on our next choice.

Who am I, love or fear?

Choose one.


The economy should never take precedence over valuing and nurturing human life. Every human life. This is a core issue today. Without the health, safety, and well-being of humanity there will be no economy. We must remember and reclaim that we are the economy. Not the elite 1%. We, the every day people of the 99%. We the “essential workers” who support life. For most of us there will be no bonus or bail out.

We have to be courageous. We have to live our lives based on core values. Values of caring, respect, compassion, and integrity. The financial bottom line must always be subservient to these essential core values. When we allow ourselves to make governmental and economic decisions based on caring, respect, compassion, and integrity, the economy will thrive.

Greed has created fake leaders who are narcissistic, abusive, and strive for domination. The bottom line has oppressed and dominated the larger population. We have been sold a lie that our security lies in having more than someone else. This lie has almost destroyed community.

Community is the answer in this pandemic.

“In and through community lies the salvation of the world.“ - M. Scott Peck

In community individuals come together, we depend on each other. We share with each other. We communicate with caring, kindness, and honesty. We commit to each other. We rejoice together and we grieve together. We support each other. We trust each other.

“Trust is the heartbeat of genuine love”- bell hooks

In community we are open and courageous. We want to know and be known. We recognize and affirm each other’s value. We acknowledge each other‘s presence and make connection. Being kind connects us.

The ultimate goal of community is “to seek ways in which to live with ourselves and others in love and peace” - M. Scott Peck

Human Connection



Some people ask me why am I still working, full time, at 68 years of age.  Why?  Because I was raised with a work ethic that taught me to contribute to the greater good.  I saw my father work 3 jobs into his 60's, always thinking of his family and contributing to his community.  I saw my mom teach kindergarten for 37 years.  Always loving every child she had in class.  I was always taught to make a contribution to something and someone greater than me.  I was taught to try and create something of value that would last long past my life.  

I believe good caring leaders always think about generations after themselves.  I have never seen myself as a good business man.  I have always wanted to be a good man who wanted to leave a legacy.  I have always found my passion in education and human services.  I have been driven to make schools as human and caring as possible.  I have never thought of those that worked with me as employees.  I think of all those that work with me as family.  It has been a blessing to watch our family grow and see the beautiful service they all are giving to the world. 

My clear vision for the past 20 years has been to have every K-12 school be a fully integrated Social Emotional Learning and academic environment.  At 68 years of age and 47 years as a professional educator, I am aware I may not see my dream as a reality so I take solace in every day of progress I can contribute to building.  I am inspired every day I work with fellow educators.  Their passion, love, and commitment ignites my spirit to continue to serve.  I am aware that every good we do in schools benefits multiple generations.  Our work is personal and it must be personal.  Our personal work is authentic, transparent, vulnerable, and full of integrity.

We must create schools where everyone can do their best.  Whatever unique form of their best might be.

Creating success for all while being authentic, transparent and vulnerable demands integrity.  Integrity is built on trust.

"Trust is the stacking and layering of small moments and reciprocal vulnerability over time." - Brene Brown

"Trust and vulnerability grow together and to betray one, is to destroy both." - Brene Brown

I am aware that all of our work is dependent upon and built upon trusting relationships.  It is only with trusting relationships that we can do the heavy lifting of leaving a legacy of Social Emotional Learning for many generations.


"Our shared humanity is strong and vast enough to encompass our beautiful diversity. 
Think of yourself as a bridge extending forward so that others might walk across." 
- Jacqueline Novogratz

It takes courage to build bridges. When we build bridges, we encourage others to believe in themselves. To encourage someone is a great gift. It is the gift that says "I believe in you."

"Courage is not the absence of fear. 
Courage is the ability to look fear in the face and continue to walk forward."  
- Jacqueline Novogratz

We must find the courage to speak our truth. The courage to speak our truth is born in our core values, our authenticity, our transparency, and our integrity.

Change requires courage.

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror'. 
I can take the next thing that comes along. 

You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
- Eleanor Roosevelt


"When we dare to meet another as a friend, willing to hear painful and uncomfortable truths, we can discover the parts of our identities that overlap. We can acknowledge the other person's- and our own- yearning to be seen. True listening is more than an act of hearing another's words. 
It is the unspoken recognition of our shared humanity." - Jacqueline Novogratz

Now is the time for listening. Leaders, true leaders, must listen. Listen to the generations of pain, hatred, prejudice, and racism. We need leaders who will listen with empathy and compassion. Those who claim to be leaders because they are loud, vulgar, abusive, and can post, tweet, and comment faster than I can write, are not leaders.

Leaders are women and men who have been challenged, they have suffered, they have worked hard, they have been betrayed, disenfranchised, and persecuted. Leaders know failure, loss, and broken trust, and they still show up. They show up open minded and open hearted. Their character shines with integrity, compassion, empathy, understanding, perspective, respect for all, and a deep sense of responsibility.

They will listen to the broken hearts and bodies of those they serve because they too, have been broken. They will listen until everyone has a chance to speak.

Listening, in and of itself, is healing. 

"Listen… to change yourself, spark your moral imagination, soften your hardened edges, 
and open yourself to the world. When we fail to listen to those the world excludes, we lose the possibility of solving problems that matter most to all of us. 
But when we succeed at listening with all our attention and empathy, we have a chance to set others and ourselves free." - Jacqueline Novogratz

How do I put empathy for you into action? How can I be compassionate today?

"Moral imagination means to view other peoples problems as if they were your own, 
and to begin to discern how to tackle those problems." - Jacqueline Novogratz

"Moral imagination starts with empathy, but it does not content itself simply to feel another's pain. Empathy without action risks reinforcing the status quo." - Jacqueline Novogratz

I have made a lifetime of studying empathy and feeling that I am an empathetic person. I now move from empathy to compassion. My dear friend, Krista Leh, has taught me that compassion is empathy in action. The question that I work to answer each day is; "How do I put my empathy for you into action? How can I be compassionate today?" 

I can be compassionate by studying the truth from all perspectives, standing up for and speaking for justice and respect for everyone, making ethical and moral decisions, pointing out our common humanity, offering opportunities, and showing dignity and love for all.

Service to others

Our nation is dangerously divided. Inequality and prejudice poor from our streets and neighborhoods to our highest national offices. We are all part of "One nation under God".  For our nation to be "indivisible with liberty and justice for all", we must remember our shared humanity. We are each connected in the web of life. Ultimately, what we do to another, we do to ourselves. No one is free until everyone is free.

We must focus on individual and common dignity. We must make our lives a service to others. We are in need of caring, compassionate, courageous, and empathetic leaders. Leaders who believe they are here to serve. We need men and women of character. Character that was built over years of commitment to dreams that were bigger than themselves. Character that was built on ethics, morality, common decency and truth. Character and servant leadership are not some idealistic dream. 

We must be prepared to commit our lives to service. We will find the joy in helping others find their passion. Our joy will come in the good we have offered, the ideas that have created physical and emotional safety for all, in the lives which we have helped transform.

Our health and well-being will be present in the people we have loved, in the children we have helped grow, and in the communities we have improved.

We must be willing to listen to each other's story

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely 
rearranging their prejudices." 
- William James

We must be willing to listen to each other's story.  When we know each other's story, our prejudices dissipate.

Each of us has a unique story. Each of us has explored a different life journey.  There is great danger in only knowing and listening to a single story. 

Nature shows us that diversity always wins. Our strength is in community.  Our common unity is our only chance of survival.

It is time for a course correction.  We must find our North Star.

The North Star is our human values of love, compassion, empathy, and kindness.

All that we do now must be done in respect of nature and all life

There is a great evolutionary movement
This is such a powerful flow
There are those who are afraid
They will try to hold on to all that they have and all that they knew
They will be washed away
Nothing stops evolution

We must let go of our secure knowledge of what was
We must invest in the wisdom of inclusion and diversity
If we do not follow the wisdom of nature
We will come to an end

The time of greed is ending
The time of egotism is ending
The time of exclusion is ending

Build community
There is strength in diversity

All that we do now must be done in respect of nature and all life

- with thanks to the Hopi Elders

We can no longer resist change. Change is now enveloping all of us. We must flow with the change.

"The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking." – Albert Einstein

We need to reclaim our service mentality. We need to rebuild community. Greed and egotistical narcissism has created a sick environment and now a sick humanity.  We must reclaim our reasoning ability and listen to science. We need to embrace the behavior that saves lives. We need caring, compassion, kindness, empathy, and deep truthful connection. We need to rebuild trust.

We can no longer resist change. Change is now enveloping all of us. We must flow with the change. We must become "the bridge builders, the hand holders, the light bringers…" – L.R. Knost

We must build bridges of understanding. We must be willing to listen to different perspectives. In this pandemic, we cannot physically hold hands but we can hold each other's heart. When we hold each other's hearts, we know our fears and our joys. We can bring a light of hope. The smallest light dissipates darkness. We each need to bring our light and hope to a frightened world.

It is easy to resist with violence. The great peacemakers of all time have led the way out of darkness through love, acceptance, understanding, service, and healing.


Perseverance from the Latin per for very and severus for strict: "means to continue steadfastly", "one who sees through to the end", "one who doesn't yield." 

Perseverance is the ability and courage to continue our task and our journey through difficulty.

The story of being human is the story of perseverance. Our original migrations, our coming together in tribes, and our finding fire are all examples of perseverance.

Today we persevere by being still. We persevere by staying home and staying solitary. We persevere by listening to science rather than ego. We persevere by listening to facts rather than fear.

We have all had role models of perseverance. Mine have been my wife Sandra, my daughter Ashley, and Martin Luther King Jr., St. Francis of Assisi, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, and Mother Teresa.  

Who have been your role models of perseverance?

What can you and I do today to persevere?

We all have the tools to move through today's pandemic.

We have been here before. Our current pandemic is not new. Humanity has struggled with fear and disease; the plague, the flu of 1918. We have been challenged by hatred and narcissistic aggression; the Holocaust, genocide, slavery, and the destruction of all indigenous people.

We must return to the answers of history. We must return to humanity. The answers to today's pandemic are the answers of humanity at its best. Courage, generosity, integrity, truth, empathy, compassion, and love.

We have always overcome adversity. We have always overcome dictators and despots.  We have always overcome malignant narcissism.

We must stand with the spirits of all those who have come before us. We must stand with Jesus, Buddha, Saint Francis of Assisi, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Saint Mother Theresa.

We all have the tools to move through today's pandemic.

My tools are Faith, love, connection, trust, and truth. What are your tools? 

Act now with love

"Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely." - Clarissa Pinkola Estes

A beautiful compassionate piece of writing for our time.  Whatever action each of us can take to curb the downward spiral of disease, suffering, lies and arrogance, we must find the courage to take loving action now.  Loving action can be prayer, meditation, donation, kindness, giving blood, taking care of the needs of elderly and disenfranchised.  

We simply need to find the courage to let our love speak.

This is how we make change.  This is always how humans have made change.  We can not wait for anyone to come to our rescue.

This is our time.  
It is our turn.  
Step, show up, speak up.
Act now with love.

This is my guiding light

"I can see that in the midst of death, life persists, in the midst of untruth, truth persists, in the midst of darkness, light persists… God is life, truth, light. He is love. He is the supreme good." 
- Mahatma Gandhi

I have experienced moments of significant struggle during the past six weeks. The coronavirus has presented challenges for each of us. My nature is to help, educate, and build community. I and my colleagues are working very hard to support children, families, and schools. Most days, it does not feel like enough.

Science and philosophy teaches me that chaos will be followed by order. In my heart, deep in my heart, I know we will have peace and health again. I need to focus on peace and health and keep my mind free of fear and anger.

"That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power – which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe - forms my idea of God." – Albert Einstein 

I would add that my spiritual comfort is in an unconditional loving God. This is my guiding light.

Our desired outcome is always unity

"There is a significant difference between 
'All are welcome here' and 'This was created with you in mind.'" – Dr. Crystal Jones

In our Social Emotional Learning professional development and masters degree courses, we do not offer cookie-cutter programs. We design unique courses and programs based on the needs of school districts, buildings, or individual educators. Our work recently continues to be in Social Emotional Learning, Diversity and Equity, and Trauma Informed Care. We strive to create safe conditions for emotional, social, and mental sharing that revitalizes and nourishes our participants.

To create safe circles of trust and inclusion, we must be transparent, authentic, and vulnerable as leaders and role models. Our desired outcome is always unity.

"If we are to verify our own experience, we must honor each other's." – Mark Nepo

Easter Sunday

I have always admired the historic Jesus and loved the spiritual Jesus.  Jesus served the poor, the disenfranchised, the outcasts, the homeless, and the disabled.  Jesus spoke, taught, and lived a life of mercy, forgiveness, and love.  He stood against greed, earthly power, and injustice.  He openly lived a life of healing, communal meals, homeless wandering, equality, and connection without discrimination.  He was conscious of a personal divine relationship.  He died for all that he lived and loved.

I hope we can see the connection from Jesus' time to our times.  I hope we have the courage and love to live as Jesus did, in our time.

Share your fears to heal

"What we hold dear can heal the world." - Mark Nepo

I have learned that what we fear to share, our deepest feelings, connects us to everyone. 
When we share our feelings and especially our fears, 
we give others the permission to be vulnerable, transparent, and courageous. 
When we release our fears and witness others releasing their fears, we create a healing bond. 


"For me, forgiveness and compassion are linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrong doing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed." - Bell Hooks

We are all human.  We are all imperfect.  In my better moments, I am aware that those who have hurt me were doing the best they could with what they know at the time.  There are infinite unknown pressures, concerns and stressors on all of us.  I can never know someone else's motivations.  They may not even know their own motivations.  We are all, often, living with a lack of awareness.

When we forgive, we let go of the expectations and dreams we had for the other person.  Often when I feel hurt, it is because someone did not live up to being the person I thought they could be.  Forgiveness requires that I allow them to be the person they are.

When asked how he was able to forgive those that unjustly imprisoned him, Nelson Mandela said, "When I walked out of the gate, I knew that if I continued to hate those people, I was still in prison."

"Forgiveness is the only way to heal ourselves and to be free of the past.  Without forgiveness, we remain tethered to the person who harmed us.  We are bound to the chains of bitterness, tied together, trapped. Until we can forgive the person who harmed us, that person will hold the keys to our happiness, that person will be our jailor.  When we forgive, we take back control of our own fate and our feelings.  We become our own liberator." - Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mphu

"We teach who we are" - Parker Palmer

"We teach who we are" - Parker Palmer

I have been in the profession of education and human services for the past 47 years.  The best teachers I have ever witnessed teach from their soul.  Whether through lecture, dialogue or activity, they are teachers who share their heart.  Good teaching is the integration of knowing myself, knowing my students, and knowing my subject.  In that order.  If I do not have self awareness, I cannot help my students find their true passion when I do not know myself.  I will be unable to integrate my content with the personal or the real world.

"Good teaching cannot be reduced to technique, 
good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher." - Parker Palmer

In every class, it is essential to build community.  

"We are hardwired for connection." - Breńe Brown

We need to build relationship, trust, compassion, courage and empathy.  All content must connect to the human.  If we lose our connection to the human, we lose our connection to our hearts, to our integrity, to our lives.

Focus on Gratitude

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, 
while loving someone deeply gives you courage." - Lao Tzu

"Your talent is God's gift to you.  
What you do with it is your gift back to God." - Leo Buscaglia

"Even in a life full of challenges, like living with chronic pain, 
there is always something to be grateful for." - Lauren Zalewski

"The more you express gratitude for what you have, 
the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for." - Zig Ziglar

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was 'thank you', 
that would suffice." - Meister Eckhart

"Gratitude turns what we have into enough." - Aesop


I open myself to authenticity and vulnerability and something spiritual (Divine) emanates from my core. This opening is "voice".

We are all spiritual beings.  The greatest gift we can give is ourselves. We are all uplifted when we share our kindness and love.  Our loving thoughts, words, and actions ripple out to touch all humankind. Each act of forgiveness and gratitude benefits everyone.

I all feel as if this past year and a half, I have been working through my obstacles to my spiritual growth. I need to be kind and gentle with myself as I seek to stop habitual responses.

All of our work is spiritual work. The joy is in the work itself.  Step forward, one day at a time. I strive to replace disappointment with acceptance, compassion, and understanding.

What can we do to melt the hearts of those who build walls?

These past few months, I have had the privilege to lead and participate in our high school Unity Day program. In this program, 100 students of influence and diversity gather with their teachers and my team in a gym. We discuss issues around racism, sexism and conflict.  I continue to be impressed with the young adults willingness and desire To have deep levels of conversation. We all want to be known and excepted.

Empathy is part of our biology. Mirror neurons in our brains confirm our biological capacity for empathy and compassion.  If I hurt my finger, the same part of my brain that lights up showing pain will also light up in others who are watching me. As I ask students questions about times in their lives when they have been excluded, alone, unwelcome, or afraid, I see empathy and compassion on the faces of those who witness the experience.

There is no reality that divides us. It is our perception of reality that divides us.

Truth shared openly connects us. Truth kept secret separates us. We must take time to listen to the underlying truth that connects us all.

I continually ask myself and others, what can we do to melt the hearts of those who build walls?

Mr. Rudy Bell

"It is not our differences that divide us. 
It is our inability to recognize, adapt, and celebrate those differences." - Audre Lorde

I grew up in rural South Jersey where we grew silver queen corn, tomatoes, and asparagus. Growing up in an extended family environment, I only knew blood relatives until I went to school. In Kindergarten my Mom was the teacher. She taught love and respect to and for everyone.

I first met people from other cultures when I played Little League baseball. We had baseball, play, and fun in common. My primary concern was being the best I could be and helping my teammates be the best they could be. I found a common goal can bring people together.

When I was a little older I moved to Babe Ruth Baseball. I was on a very good team that was coached by Mr. Bell. Mr. Rudy Bell was a beloved early role model in my life. Mr. Bell was a black man. He was kind, caring, and a great teacher of baseball. One day while sliding into home plate, I opened a significant deep gash on my right leg. The scar is still prominent at the age of 68. Mr. Bell took me or should I say carried me, to the neighborhood doctors office. In those days small town doctors did everything. I was a frightened kid who loved that Mr. Bell stood by my side until my parents arrived. Later, as I healed, I remember saying to my dad "If you weren't my father, I would want Mr. Bell to be my father." The innocence and truth of youth.

Remember this is the early 1960s. The civil rights movement is in full bloom. People are dying for their freedom, as they still are today. My Dad wrote an article in our local newspaper. He wrote about Mr. Bell, how much he admired him, appreciated what he had done for me, and what a role model he was for our community. My father ended the article by writing, "If I was not my son's father, I would choose Mr. Bell to be my son's father." That was the beginning of my passion for diversity and equity. I know that acceptance, understanding, and celebration of diversity will heal our troubled nation.

We are all part of Gods loving creation. We are all an essential part of our exquisite diverse humanity.

We must rebuild community

I am deeply concerned by the divisiveness, anger and hatred I see in the nation that I love.  My Father was a patriot, serving in both the Coast Guard and as a Navy Pilot during World War II.  He was also my first role model for equity and diversity as he wrote articles in support of the Civil Rights movement.  I feel that what my Dad courageously stood and spoke for was being challenged by voices of fear and hatred. 

There is so much fear.  Fear of those we "perceive" to be different than us.  I have come to learn that we don't know someone until we know them.  We need the courage to build connection, build relationship, and build community.  We must stop the dehumanizing narratives that tell us that women, the poor, those with darker or lighter skin, the disabled, the old, the young and the non gender conforming are all less than. 

When we speak of "they" in derogatory terms, we undermine our collective humanity.  We must focus on "we."  We must rebuild community.  Community contains Unity.  Community needs to be diverse to be healthy.  A single perspective leads to destruction and death.

"No one thing or place has a privileged point of voice, that is, no one point of view holds the entire truth.  The primacy of any one point of view is not only invalid, but damaging and disrespectful to the inherent unity of life." - Einstein, Zajonc, Nepo

Community only exists when we know each other's story.

Honoring Black History Month

Black History Month honors generations of men, women and children who were brutally taken from their homes.  We honor all those who were treated inhumanly.  We seek forgiveness for our ancestors who tore families apart in slavery.  We pray in honor of those who gave their lives in post slavery hatred, violence, cruelty, and atrocity. 

We acknowledge that the wounds still linger.  We honor the lives of African American men and women who shine as beacons of nonviolence, courage, compassion, and human greatness.  We all must continue to honor diversity and work for equality and equity. 

We must continue to facilitate deep dialogue about racism, and justice for all.  The work is heartbreaking and inspiring.  The power to overcome is deep within each of us.  Courage and commitment is required every day.

We must remember the Divinity in everyone.  We must listen with our hearts to the stories of each others truth.

"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." - Aristotle

One of the principle concepts that motivates me to still be working full-time as a teacher at 68 years of age is the truth.  I love to share, reflect and search for the truth.  I find that in my authenticity and vulnerability, I find my truth and can better listen to your truth.

In my teaching, I love to create a safe emotional environment where we can create community.  In an emotionally safe community, the truth can be revealed, spoken and experienced. When we share our truth with each other our perspective, understanding, compassion and empathy grows.  As we share the depth of our truth we open ourselves and each other to the spiritual.

"I am a ripple in the ocean of God, and I want to be able to see my reflection in the face of everyone I meet, to understand that even people I will never know are reflections of my undisguised self." 
- Mark Nepo

Share our stories

The exploration of our shared humanity is a privilege that I have been deeply committed to for my past 68 years.

Each day I begin my exploration with meditation, self reflection, and assessment. I deliberately focus on the good I can give and the good I will receive. I have a genuine interest in people I meet and interact with throughout my day. I do my best to smile and have a positive attitude. I strive to be a good listener and focus on remembering peoples names. I think calling someone by name is a sign of respect.

I love to listen to people stories. We all have a life story. I believe our stories are our wealth. I feel that our stories reveal we are more similar than different. In the sharing of our stories, I find perspective, understanding, compassion, and empathy.

I encourage all of us to embrace our story. Speak our truth. In speaking our truth and sharing our story we are all able to listen to other truths, embrace other stories and feel the unity in diversity.  We are hardwired for connection.

"Authentic social connection has a profound effect on your mental health - it even exceeds the value of exercise and an ideal body weight, on your physical health." Dr. James Doty

Kindness, respect, understanding, compassion and empathy is good for everyone.

What Schools Need

Schools do not need more standardized tests
Schools do not need more technology
Schools need servant leaders

Schools need servant leaders who put service above ego,
who can persevere through challenge and crisis,
who will stay present even when it is uncomfortable.

Schools need servant leaders who care about children, parents, staff, 
and the diverse community we all live and work in.

Schools need servant leaders who will not be lead down a false path of faster is better, 
force wins, and degrees make you smarter than someone else.

Schools need servant leaders who will receive and celebrate the human spirit.

Schools need servant leaders who will recognize that time and attention are more important than expediency and the next new cell phone app.

Schools need servant leaders who have the courage to share leadership 
and empower staff, students, and parents.

Schools need servant leaders because we have lost our way as a nation. 
Children should not be put in cages and parents should not be punished for sacrificing everything for their child's well-being. We need servant leaders who will remember the courage it takes to intervene with hatred, violence, poverty, addiction, and mental illness.

We have not lost our way because of lack of ideas or technology. We have lost our way because of a lack of courage. The solutions are already here. Servant leaders have the courage to be caring, compassionate, empathetic, understanding, patient, firm, clear, forgiving, and grateful.

Servant leaders live in integrity.

Schools need servant leaders.

A new is quite simple

Something eternal has been born in me. I have no choice but to nurture it until it reaches its full growth and maturity.

I have been studying, experiencing, practicing, and teaching to become my best self for the past 68 years. I am aware that we all have been blessed with the sacred spark of Divinity within each of us.  I know that spark grows and blossoms as we serve others.

I continue to feel deeply called to a life of service. I am gravely concerned for our nation, our families, our communities, and our children, all our children. I have no interest in a political debate. Either I am serving the greater good or I am not. It is that simple. The greater good is quite simple to me.

Am I kind?
Am I respectful?
Am I compassionate?
Am I responsible?
Am I conscious and aware?
Do I seek to be a better person today than I was yesterday?
Will I make a greater contribution to our world today than I did yesterday?

"Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field. I will meet you there." - Rumi

We must move beyond judgment that lacks understanding. We must meet in the open field of compassion and love.