Leadership and Courtesy

Most leaders, managers, bosses do not intend to be inconsiderate. They are often removed, protected, and uninformed about the potential effect of their decisions.

A case in point came a number of years ago when President Clinton visited California. Before the President left Los Angeles he had a top hair stylist come on board Air Force One to cut his hair. The problem was not the haircut, but the fact it was done on the presidential plane parked at LAX. Two heavily used runways had to be closed, at a busy time, because anywhere the President is, a protective security zone must be established.

I don’t know how many travelers missed their connections because of the hour long haircut, or how much revenue was lost by the airlines through delays, but it must have been sizable.

The message then is courtesy. Not only from the top, but from those who guide and inform to the top. The misuse of power, however innocent, can only continue when those who serve the top don’t speak up out of fear of telling the boss he or she is wrong.


Have you ever tried to empty yourself of thought? It’s not easy to do since thoughts move through what we call our mind at an astounding rate.

There are those in the Eastern regions of our world who are seemingly able in meditation to empty their minds at will and then embrace the collective font of awareness and become enlightened if just for a short time of personal experience.

I’ve tried it dozens of times and only get as far as leveling the pile of thoughts to just the brim of my mind. I’ve tried to dump or release all the mental images and clogging stuff that overflowed in that moment, and just when I thought I could shove all of it down a mental drain and become empty, everything I thought I forgot welled up from the past: people, events, promises, responsibilities, actions and fears, popped into the crucible of thought and filled the mind again.

There goes enlightenment, I think to myself. See, another thought!

And then, as I try to empty the new thoughts that poured in, I have another thought. I realize that emptying is a futile process and that emptiness of mind or emptying the mind is an illusion that disguises the fact that we are already enlightened. We just have to remember that we are.

My logic is that if All That Is created us to experience the All-Self through the duality of existence as us, then we are already enlightened by virtue of being part of All That Is. We just have to remember we live with a cluttered creative mind, not within it. My suggestion then is for us to experience ourselves in the grandest vision we can imagine and see what happens to the world.

Olympic Determination

Robert Garrett was probably as surprised as anyone that his name would go down in the Olympic history book.

He was captain of the Princeton running team and back in 1896 when the modern day Olympic games were born, Garrett was urged to participate. One of his professors, William Sloane, was one of the games’ organizers. When the king of Greece finally agreed to host the games, Professor Sloane asked Garrett to attend.

At that time the entries were unlimited and not really “national” in the sense of representing each nation’s best athletes. Garrett probably decided to go because his professor asked him and his Mother could afford it. She not only paid for him to travel to Athens, but also for three of his classmates.

Garrett was a runner, but he always wanted to throw the discus. He even asked a local blacksmith to make one so he could practice. The Smithy did so, but it was based on a 2nd century description and ended up weighing 20-pounds. Much too heavy to throw.

On a sightseeing tour in Athens Garrett saw an old discus and picked it up. It was light. It weighed less than 5 pounds. He decided to enter the discus event just for fun.

The first time he threw it, he was so bad the stadium crowd roared with laughter. With each throw he got better and managed to qualify for the finals.

He competed with several Greeks who had been practicing all winter, but on his last throw he made a distance of 95 feet, 7 and a half inches and won a laurel wreath, the equivalent of a gold medal.


A tragedy the magnitude of 9/11, the continuing wars and subsequent deaths of our young in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the economic hardship of high prices can force a tolerant democracy into a society of contentious non-compromising ideologues.

Uncompromising passionate certainties, wherever you find them, in politics, in business, in our neighborhoods and even in our families, are always dangerous. If we find ourselves heading that way, we might want to rethink our position for cemented thought always hardens into a shape that may not fit the future.

Our founding fathers demonstrated that all opinions are to be valued for their contribution to the whole, and by majority vote incorporated into the greater good, even though their singular intrinsic value may be suspect.

Shared ideals are the essence of collective growth, for they are not only the building blocks of freedom and liberty, they nurture hopes and wishes and encourage individuals to let go of demeaning and constraining beliefs and when that is done the value left is reason.

Despite our internal penchant for prejudice, profiling and pandering to our fears, America is still the haven for the oppressed, for the dreamer, for the builder, the scholar, the poet, the artist, and the idealist, even the mystic, for all know America is the place where the manifestation of great thoughts sustains the precious opportunities of freedom.