Thursday, February 24, 2022

Now is the time for Action and Condemnation!



Across history there are too many moments where the “silent majority” of the global community have sat on the sidelines and quietly “tolerated” authoritarian atrocities and humanitarian crises to occur.  Today the unprovoked, criminal invasion of Ukraine by Putin’s Russian military forces is just such a moment that REQUIRES all of us to act and let our “voices” be heard.  We can’t “take a back seat” and assume that this is someone else’s problem.  This massive attack/invasion of a sovereign democratic nation by its autocratic neighbor is actually an attack on democracies broadly… and this trend of autocracies “flexing their muscles” against weaker foes to get their way is nothing new.  History is filled with this exact cynical action across centuries with no more glaring of an example as the 1939 invasion of Poland by Hitler’s autocratic Nazi regime, and Stalin’s autocratic Soviet government.  This invasion of Ukraine today is a direct parallel and must be responded to with universal and immediate condemnation. 


On that point, I find it unthinkable and dangerous to read today that our ex-president THIS WEEK was quoted as saying that Putin’s invasion was “smart” and “savvy” and actually praised Putin’s actions by saying “this is genius.”  Now this should not surprise this writer or any readers since this is the same individual who encouraged an insurrectionist mob to storm our nation’s capital on Jan 6, 2021; but today another required action is to repudiate and denounce these comments and for all political leaders (REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS ALIKE) to reject these traitorous comments of unconditionally!


Its in this context that I share the information and links below.  What can we ordinary citizens do today in the light of this mounting global crisis??  In addition to the condemnations that I mentioned above, one thing we can today is help innocent Ukrainian citizens in need.  The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) is a very important global organization and is diving in to support those in need in Ukraine. I received the email below just a few hours ago, and I have donated today via the link below, and I encourage any readers of this essay to join in with your support.  These are dark days indeed, and certainly darker for those innocent citizens in Ukraine, but let us all stay involved and active and find ways to lend our voice to condemn autocratic actions ( or those that support autocrats) and lend our resources to those groups working to help “on the ground.


Link for donations:



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USA for UNHCR - The UN Refugee Agency


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Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Its time to smell the roses .... literally!


Last week i had minor sinus surgery.  I won't go into the messy details, but I have had had breathing challenges for years, and over the past few months had seen some doctors who uncovered a deviated septum, and extensive scar tissue... issues that needed to be corrected and eliminated.  The procedure went well, and I returned home the same day and began my recovery.  Jennie (my sweet spouse) was an incredible caregiver, and was very attentive and patient to my situation.  Among the MANY things she handled so well on my behalf last week, there included a lovely small arrangement of flowers ( pictured here) that brought a bit of fresh color into my messy recovery universe in the spare bedroom.  The recovery has gone well, I am feeling much better and back to work, and all-in-all getting back to an easier breathing "normal" pattern of life.  

It's in this context that I want to comment on "appreciation" and the idea of taking time to "smell the roses."  As news of my impending surgery spread a bit, I was surrounded by so many notes/messages/texts/emails/calls of support, love and friendship. Numerous friends dropped off/sent soup, ice cream, juices, and meals all wanted to help me recover well... ( the Matzoh ball soup and the while bean chili all rocked!!) My primary family lead by dear Jen totally rocked, and my extended family all were checking in to see how the surgery went and how I was coming along.  I can go on and on, but what I am really commenting on is how touched and appreciative I am to be so well loved and supported!

It's easy in life to get too busy on the "wrong" things.... too focused on the petty challenges at work, or the never ending negative headlines that cast a "pall" on our lives and communities.  While I am not being "pollyannaish," I am suggesting that it is high time for all of us to recognize and appreciate our contexts.  I am literally surrounded by family and friends that care deeply for me and I am too often prone to take that for granted.  This past week has reminded me how appreciative I am for that "context of support" from the community of friends and family that surrounds me and I want to encourage all of us to take an extra moment.... smell the roses and appreciate their beauty ... and recognize the community of support and love that surrounds us in our worlds today!