Vietnam War – Perspectives & Possibilities

Tag: Vietnam War

(Left: Title: Shoes taken off of the Jews-Holocaust Museum | Author: rpavich | Source: rpavich | License: CC BY 2.0) (Right: Berlin Holocaust Memorial)

The Menace of Mendacity

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters. —Albert Einstein There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. —Buddha Truth is not a trivial thing. Words matter. Being accurate requires curiosity, diligence, and rigor. I know that everyone has a different idea about what is truth. Much of the debate started when Pontius Pilate asked Read More

Hand carrying a piece of paper of the world

Marketing and Leadership

“When you are made a leader, you aren’t given a crown; you are given the responsibility to bring out the best in others.” —Jack Welch, Former CEO of General Electric There is an old adage that leaders are born not made. That myth became popular as people observed that most leaders had personality traits such as intelligence, charisma, attractive appearance, and confidence. I believe the truth is that effective leaders are typically born AND made, Read More

Title: Nulle chose ne peut être détruite | Author: Bruno Malfondet | License: CC0

Disruption, Destruction, and Distraction

Independence Day 2017 “Power can be very addictive, and it can be corrosive. And it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere.” —George W. Bush, 2017 Disruption can be for better for worse. Luckily for me, the two major disruptions in my life turned out for the better. In 1968, at age 23, I was sent to Vietnam as a soldier in Military Read More

"what's the answer" | Author: Erich Ferdinand | License: CC BY 2.0

Quests and Questions

As long as humans have told stories, we’ve shared tales about people going on quests. There is a long list of these tales about quests of one sort or another in history and in literature. Here are a few of the more famous quests. About 2,000 BC, Gilgamesh embraced the quest to find the secret to eternal life. He started out as a cruel despot who raped any women he fancied. After losing his best Read More

facade | Author: mitchell haindfield | Flickr | | License: Attribution 2.0 Generic

Bubbles, Beliefs, and Behaviors

I grew up in a bubble. It was a very common bubble for a lot of folks in our country: Mid-western, white, Christian, republican, working class, conservative, and rural. I had very little understanding about the lives of people outside my bubble and no awareness that I was even in a bubble.

My first bubble was burst in 1968 when I served in Vietnam with Army Intelligence.

Tu m' by Marcel Duchamp (Photo Credit: Yale University Art Gallery)

Taming Tourette

When I was 30 years old, I was diagnosed as having Tourette syndrome (TS).

It was a huge relief to me to finally have a name for what had been tormenting me since I was about 13 years old. I was also depressed to know that I would be dealing with this neurological disorder for the rest of my life.

"014b," by Elton Eerkens, www.eltoneerkens.tumblr.com

P and E Trump I and S

When I was a kid growing up in the 50s, my whole life revolved around kickball, basketball, running, climbing and hanging out with a neighborhood full of friends. My community consisted entirely of white, Christian, straight (as far as I knew) people. My world was physical and emotional. I measured success by goals scored and games won, and by how many friends I had in the In-Group.

Title: Eyjafjallajökull plumes | Author: anjči

Renewal

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” —Samuel Beckett Remember when air traffic was shut down in Europe from the eruption of E15 in Iceland? It was April, 2010, when Eyjafjallajökull (E15) erupted causing floods to rush down the rivers and requiring 800 people to be evacuated. The eruption was so explosive it caused air travel disruption in Europe for 6 days. More tragically, it buried the farms below it Read More

Title: Stevie Wonder & Muhammad Ali 1963 | Credit: RV1864

Sense and Sensitivity

March, 1968. I arrive in Saigon during the Tet offensive. I’m scared shitless. Having grown up in a rural, middle-class, Midwestern, small town, I’m not exactly used to hearing bullets whistling over my head. How in hell did I get into this hell and what am I supposed to be doing here?

Photo by Sérgio Rola, http://unsplash.com/sergio_rola

Wonder and Wondering

In 1968, I met Stephen Williams at Fort Holabird, Maryland, where we were both enrolled in Army Spy School.

Credit: Jens Lelie

91 per day

Yup, it’s true. America is #1 in guns per capita and not even in the top 100 in murders per capita. The NRA would have you believe that there are no problems with guns. In fact, they argue that there is an inverse relationship between guns and murder—their message is essentially, “The more guns, the less murder.” The evidence for this argument is a single statistic, isolated from its context. Here are the facts: While it Read More

Fudekuyo Calligraphy Ceremony, by Aurelio Asiain | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A Tribute to Old Friends and New

There’s a comfort in old friends. It’s a warm, easy comfort that is somehow different from the new. There’s no posing, pretending, or pandering. There’s no need for anything other than relaxing in the joy of connection and in being who you are. There is no fooling an old friend. There is a fullness and richness in conversations with old friends. The long histories and specific details of trials, triumphs, and tribulations enrich the re-telling Read More

Full Rainbow | Credit: Jakob Owens | License: CC0

Step Back

In 2013, Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In became a massive cultural phenomenon, and its title became an instant catchphrase for empowering women. The book soared to the top of best-seller lists both nationally and internationally, igniting global conversations about women and ambition. Sandberg packed theaters, dominated op-ed pages, appeared on every major television show and on the cover of Time magazine, and sparked ferocious debate about women and leadership.

Untitled photograph of a flower, by Master Wen (License: CC0)

Making Love

Don’t get excited. This is not a sex post or a guide to more exciting intercourse. Although I am a fan of great sex, this post deals with making love to life – in simple, everyday ways that don’t require expensive props or bundles of money. It’s simply an attitude and a choice. I should preface this post by saying that I was a participant in the “Make Love, Not War” movement in the 60s. Read More

Title: The $1.50 Roll | Author: ffunyman | Source: Flickr | License: CC BY-NC 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/ffunyman/3414045884/

Freedom

It’s a terrible feeling and a freeing experience to have your illusions destroyed. As I walked down the streets of Saigon and watched the army trucks full of terrified, tough kids purposely drive through mud puddles so that they could laugh gleefully as the brown, polluted water splashed randomly on the elegant, white, long dresses of the beautiful Vietnamese women I knew my view of the world had been irrevocably shaken.  In the name of Read More

Image by Thomas Hawk

Being at Home in the Universe

An Internal Space or an External Refuge At my older daughter’s wedding, she sang the song, “Feels Like Home to Me” to her husband. It struck me that we are all searching for a sense of home in our lives and I was so grateful that she had found a man with whom she felt at home. Her beautiful voice filled the reception hall and my hope for everyone there was that they felt, in Read More