Wednesday, March 23, 2016

One of the ten best............. I have attended in DC in the past 20 years was a Conference convened by the Aspen Institute on Income Inequality.  I was blown away by the presentation of Slam Poet, Clint Smith.

I urge you, implore you, to hear it NOW at

I hope you will pass this on to others


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

One of the TOP TEN..................

.....................lectures and events I have attended in the past 20 years in Washington, D. C.

Religious leaders from the Sikh, Muslim, Jewish and Christian traditions were present for a Worship Service at the Washington National Cathedral in January just after President Obama was inaugurated for his second term.  The tradition has been followed since the inauguration of George Washington and has been held in the Washington National Cathedral since the inauguration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  This years address was given by the Rev. Adam Hamilton from the Methodist Church in Leawood, Kansas, the largest church of that denomination.  While the entire service was awesome, I was particularly impressed by the "advise" Hamilton directed to the President.

In brief he made the following points:
  • There seem to be three reasons why people run public office;
    • desire for power and to feel important
    • they are a little off in the head
    • they really want to make a difference
  • The historic example of Moses discloses three aspects of leadership
    • A humble person with heart and character brings forth compassion for the marginalized and oppressed.
    • Vision is necessary to motivate and inspire people.
    • Despite opposition and discouragement a true leader never gives up.
Hamilton closes with a story from Robert Louis Stevenson.

What a privilege to be in attendance.  Rather than just reading my summary, I sincerely hope you will avail yourself of the entire printed sermon at:

Or even better see and hear it at:


I'm quite sure that you will find next weeks "one of the top ten" to be most interesting. I heard - and you can too - hear a fabulous SLAM POET!.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Ron Rants and Raves about the four social/cultural institutions that have shaped his life

The nearly 2,000 questions that were asked of me on Reddit's "Ask Me Anything" initially focused on my longevity and amazement that an old man could have a blog, I soon came to realize that the underlying theme related to what I felt contributed to my having a relatively satisfactory and successful QUALITY of life.

It seemed the questions posed by (mostly) young people were a rather nostalgic look at the past wondering what made the "Greatest Generation" what it was. But at the same time it forced me to look at the FAILINGS of the past with the hope there might be clues for making America EVEN BETTER in the future.  While I was surprised at the number of questions, I was even more surprised by how insightfully probing they were and how they seemed to want advise from the "Voice of Experience" on some of  the basic issues of life!

Equally dramatic to me was how answering them effected me.  It was almost as though - at the age 90 - I was mysteriously forced to look critically at these 90 years and place my life and existence in perspective.  With questions as wide ranging and intrusive as "After 43 years of marriage how could you even consider marrying someone else" to "What do you think of revenge" to "What is the purpose of life" to "What did you think about the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima"?   I was amazed at how easily the answers flowed, but I hardly expected to have to be philosophical about that which is so important.  And even though I have never had a course in philosophy, I now begin a philosophical look at my life and offer some thoughts for the future!
  • The four social/cultural institutions that have shaped my life are:
    • The family
    • The church/Religion
    • Public Education
    • Government
  •  Each of these are in the midst of dramatic change.
I'll have a week now to prepare my thoughts on the topic that was so profoundly effected by Traister's book, "All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent nation". I'll look forward to any thoughts you might like to share with me.