When someone is grieving….

I wish I had written this myself…..

John Gerber


The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” ~Henri Nouwen

It’s hard to stand at the edge of someone else’s grief.

There’s the awkwardness. You always feel a little like an uninvited guest who arrived late and missed the first half of the conversation—a conversation that turns out to be a wrestle between another person and the deepest parts of their own soul.

What can you say when you realize you’ve barged in on an interaction so intimate, so personal that you just want to avert your eyes and slink quietly away?

Then there are the triggers. Continue reading When someone is grieving….

Why I bother with God….

In a recent episode of the TV series The Crown, Queen Elizabeth’s husband Prince Phillip, had a brief conversation with his mother Princess Alice of Battenberg, who asked him casually “so how is your faith?”  After a slight hesitation he replied, “dormant.”   The aging Princess told her middle aged son bluntly….  “That’s not good, let this be a mothers gift to her child … find yourself faith, it helps, no… not just helps … its everything.”

It is easy to imagine why the husband of the Queen of England might find himself too busy to worry about his faith… too busy to “bother with God.”  After all, there are all those royal ceremonies to attend!  But what about you and me?  Why and when did we let a sense of the divine, the spiritual or the sacred slip out of our lives?  Or maybe we are hard core materialists (if you can’t see it, then it doesn’t exist) and have never had any sense of the spiritual in the first place?  If so, you would not be all that unusual in the secular world in which we live today.  Most of us today don’t “bother with God.”

Continue reading Why I bother with God….

A Letter to the People of the Earth…

un

The Earth’s Human Rights Day, December 10, might be an appropriate time to consider the following…

Assuming there are 400 billion galaxies and about 250 billion stars in each galaxy in the universe, it is not too far-fetched to imagine there is not only life on many planets circling stars throughout the universe but also “thoughtful life”.   If so, it might also be possible that a Community of Universal Thoughtful Species might send the following letter to the people of the Earth….


Dear Earth,

Good day, I am your representative from the Community of Universal Thoughtful Species, and I bring you greetings from Us All. As you are interested in sharing our Cumulative Knowledge, we have a couple of questions to ask you first, questions that would be obvious to any responsible membership manager.

How are you going to get along with 10 trillion other species in our community if you do not respect even your own? If you permit yourselves to treat your own kind so despicably, why would we grant you the power and reach to treat others as badly?

Moreover, if you do not have the highest respect for the natural bounty that has befallen you, if you do not protect and nurture it for all you are worth, why would we afford to you the means to abuse as badly similar treasures elsewhere?

Continue reading A Letter to the People of the Earth…

Digging for new ideas

I introduced the quotes below from Dr. Edward DeBono’s book, The Use of Lateral Thinking,  at a 1988 conference exploring the role of university faculty in dealing with the new concept (at that time) of sustainability.  Universities that ridiculed the idea of sustainability have now accepted sustainability as a primary objective, at best, or perhaps an advertising tactic, at worse.   In 1988, sustainability was a “new idea” and like many new ideas it was rejected by most university faculty.

While it has been asserted that the function of the public university is the creation of new knowledge (through research) and dissemination of knowledge (through teaching Continue reading Digging for new ideas

Beyond a Job: Doing The Great Work

Adapted from an Interview with Matthew Fox by Mary NurrieStearns

Much of our life is spent in the world of work. Our time, energy, and even identity are wrapped up in what we do and how much money we have. Therefore it is important to explore how work is associated with prosperity. At times, work is a job an exchange of effort for money. But work can also be vocation. When work is vocation, it is where we express our unique talents, find meaning, and contribute to what Matthew Fox calls “the great work,” the work of the universe.

To discuss this subject with Matthew Fox was like finding a gold mine. The author of many books, Fox describes in “The Reinvention of Work” a new vision of livelihood. In his envisioned world of work intellect, heart, and health come together to celebrate the whole person. He is a true teacher of what he espouses. He was dismissed by the Continue reading Beyond a Job: Doing The Great Work

Excerpts from “Thoughts in the Presence of Fear”

Full article published in Orion Magazine by Wendall Berry

  • Petrusich-WendellBerry-1
  • The time will soon come when we will not be able to remember the horrors of September 11 without remembering also the unquestioning technological and economic optimism that ended on that day.
  • This optimism rested on the proposition that we were living in a “new world order” and a “new economy” that would “grow” on and on, bringing a prosperity of which every new increment would be “unprecedented”.
  • The dominant politicians, corporate officers, and investors who believed this Continue reading Excerpts from “Thoughts in the Presence of Fear”

Systems Thinking for a More Sustaianble World

Levi Stockbridge Lessons and Legacy

What can we learn today from "Prof Stock"?

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Changing the Story

Systems Thinking for a More Sustaianble World