Mattimore , Hank
128 Articles at Lifeissues.net

Hank Mattimore is the Chair of the Sonoma County Juvenile Justice Commission.

2343 Avenida De Las Brisas
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
707-544-3763

Contact: hmattimore@yahoo.com

Website:http://www.grandpahank.com/

Articles

Time to say goodbye to "Dudes"

Males of almost any age are referred to as "dudes" these days.

Date posted: 2017-11-19

"Be still and know that I am God" (psalm 46)

The psalmist is speaking to us, restless and fearful ones, searching for that elusive prize of peace while wars and violence cast a cloud over our lives.

Date posted: 2017-05-05

He Could Have Been My Son

He sits across the table from me, this nice looking young man of 15 years, attired in his juvenile prison grays. I'll call him Alonzo.

Date posted: 2017-03-31

The Lottery of the Heart

People who hit the lottery big are not the only ones to get rich quick.

Date posted: 2017-03-31

Dealing With the Divine Nag

Who is this God who intrudes upon my peace? Why won't he just go away? He's an inconvenient presence in my life. A holy nag, that's what he is.

Date posted: 2017-03-20

Hugs at the Warm Puppy Cafe

Hugs are good for the soul.

Date posted: 2017-01-17

Running From God

Francis Thomson was a dope addict, a man haunted by his failures to pull himself together and be the person he wanted to be. He sought meaning in sexaul conquests, in nature, in the innocence of children but came away empty. Frustrated, he would go back to his opiates and hated himself for it.

Date posted: 2016-11-03

The Brothers in Our Midst

Why is it that we separate our fellow human beings into the little boxes of countries or states or neighborhoods as though where we stand on this great blue planet divides us into different species? Does not the same red blood flow in our veins?

Date posted: 2016-09-11

If My Son Were Black

If I had a black son what could I say to my kid? I hope I would be big enough to say "You did right, son. In a racist society, your first rule is to survive. But that doesn't make it right for that cop to act the way he did. He wasn't respecting you son, Not OK. Never OK."

Date posted: 2016-07-17

Fear of the Stranger

Just as the human need for hospitality is a constant, so, it seems, is human fear of the stranger.

Date posted: 2016-05-15

A Thing Called Hope

In the musical, South Pacific, Nellie sings "You can call me a cockeyed optimist..but I'm stuck like a dope with a thing called hope and I can't get it out of my heart, not this heart." Want a buzz word for 2016? How about Hope?

Date posted: 2016-01-18

Reflections on Time

Time has a special relevance for those of us of a certain age. There is no turning back the clock for persons of any age, no rewind button.

Date posted: 2015-12-11

Where oh Where is Love?

Do you recall the scene from the musical "Oliver" when little Oliver gazes out the window to the busy street below and his loneliness at being an orphan flows over into his voice as he sings, oh so plaintively, "Where oh where oh where is love?"

Date posted: 2015-09-23

Alone With a New Grandson

Little Ben and I are having a staring contest. He will win. Nobody in the world can outlast the stare of a two-month old baby. I wonder, for the upteenth time, what is going on in his head. Is he thinking anything at all?

Date posted: 2015-09-05

Mondays at "Juvie"

Monday afternoons at juvenile hall are laundry folding days. A staff person and three or four of the kids are buried in the week's laundry of institutional gray shorts and shirts. Each inmate gets his weekly supply which he takes to his own cell, his uniform du jour.

Date posted: 2015-07-06

Kudos To Cato the Elder

Cato, the Elder, Roman statesman and philosopher, started to study Greek at the age of 80. When questioned by a younger friend why he was taking up a brand new language so late in life, Cato was said to reply "Well it's the only time I have left."

Date posted: 2015-04-06

Some Cool Things About Being 80

Youngins may think that being 80 years old has got to be the pits but, wait a second Sonny, there's lots of perks besides those senior discounts at the movies. Take it from a dude who is living it; it ain't all bad. Here's a few things, most silly, some serious to keep in mind as you travel inexorably on your own personal journey towards the big 80.

Date posted: 2015-03-30

Our Undeclared "War" on Kids

We are a bellicose nation. Even if the cause is just we like to label our initiatives as "wars." In the Kennedy-Johnson era we launched a war on poverty. For the past number of years we have (mostly misspent) our billions on fighting the war on drugs.

Date posted: 2015-03-17

Valentine's Day Story

My late beloved wife, Kathleen, told me this true story of her Valentine's Day visit to her elderly parents many moons ago, I found it touching.

Date posted: 2015-03-17

Return to Wonder

Odd that we elders do not often share with youth the wonders of old age.

Date posted: 2015-01-11

When Just Getting Up is Hard to Do

She is old, very old. The wrinkles on her skin and thinning white hair announced to anyone who sees her that she is near the finish line of life. Still, she manages a faint smile when she says good morning.

Date posted: 2014-12-04

Marriage and, by the way, Family

I remember taking a college course entitled "Marriage and Family."

Date posted: 2014-10-25

The Deeper Side of Love

Remember Dionne Warwick belting out that Bert Bacharach song back in the day?

Date posted: 2014-07-30

Is it Suffering or Restlessness?

A while back a Buddhist corrected me when I called the central truth about Buddhism is that we are all born into suffering. "Suffering" as we understand the word in English, doesn't capture what we mean," he said. "Restlessness rather than suffering better captures the Buddhist teaching."

Date posted: 2014-06-09

Before the Ball Drops

The word "commitment" is bandied about quite often these days. It has a nice ring to it, right? Who doesn't want to be esteemed by his friends as a person who keeps his commitments?

Date posted: 2014-01-11

Laughing Through the Tears

As a group facilitator for caregivers of people living with Alzheimer's disease, we struggled through some very intense moments at our weekly meetings together.

Date posted: 2013-12-22

Scattered Reflections Of a Monkey Mind

My mind is all over the place. Can you relate? I'm like a kite on a windy autumn day, flying this way and that way.

Date posted: 2013-12-04

Saving the World All by Ourselves

The Creator has his own plans for our lives and the lives of wounded teens and traumatized vets and ill-nourished children. We are part of the plan and God or the Universe or the Spirit invites us to be part of the solution but we are not the whole show.

Date posted: 2013-11-11

"Spot Players," Subs and Coming Off the Bench

My brother Dan and I were reminiscing the other day about Dan's high school basketball career.

Date posted: 2013-11-03

Companions On The Journey

My wife Kathleen passed almost eight years ago, but she is with me still. I don't think of her all the time but at certain times, I feel her presence and know that she is still with me on my journey.

Date posted: 2013-09-21

The Abomination of Denominations

Religion is getting quite a bit of media coverage these days. The election of a new Pope for the Catholic Church made quite a splash. TV and other media enjoy speculating on what effect Pope Francis will have on the worldwide membership of the Catholic Church.

Date posted: 2013-08-27

What Maisie Knew

There is a sleeper of a movie out now with the unlikely title of "What Maisie Knew." Based on a Henry James's short novel, it tells the story of the breakup of a marriage seen entirely through the eyes of a sad and wise little girl named Maisie.

Date posted: 2013-07-13

A Dad Named Charlie

What is the saying? "No man stands taller than when he stoops to help a child."

Date posted: 2013-06-22

Parents Might Learn from the Words of Troubled Kids

Every year, the Juvenile Justice Commission of Sonoma County sponsors an essay contest for youth caught up in the Juvenile Justice System, whether residing at Juvenile Hall or in one of the group homes or alternative schools scattered throughout the county.

Date posted: 2013-05-18

A Dying Man, a Boy, A Legacy

Legacies come in different forms. For the rich and famous, it is wonderful that they can leave libraries and papers and all the things that make people sit up and notice them for all they have done. I have no quarrel with that but I am in awe of a man who showed up in the life of a kid who was starved for affection and respect and love and gave him all three. Now there's a legacy.

Date posted: 2013-04-29

Gershwin In the Monastery

It was quiet as the Trappist monks lay to rest the body of Brother John. But then, it's always quiet at a monastery. The monks thrive on silence as much as our modern world hungers for noise.

Date posted: 2013-04-20

Thank Heaven For Little Girls

A Latina mom comes into the meditation chapel with her little girl. The girl, who looks to be about ten-years-old, kneels with her mother. Mom brings out a prayer book and mother and daughter kneel close together reading from the same book.

Date posted: 2013-03-26

Invisible Kids

We need to really SEE these kids; put ourselves in their tennis shoes. It is not their fault that they find themselves in foster care. And, like the man on the stair, wishing they would go away will not make it happen.

Date posted: 2013-03-16

God's Other Name

The God I believe in has another name. The name is both simple and profound. Everybody knows what it means, because like the air we breathe, it is everywhere. God's other name is love.

Date posted: 2013-02-18

From the Cowboy and the Cossack

The words in the title are taken from an excellent book by Clair Huffaker called the Cowboy and the Cossack. Set in the period of history when the Tsar ruled Russia with an iron fist, the story is about a cattle-trading outfit from Montana who sold a herd of 500 long horn cattle to a group of anti-Tsarist rebels in Russia.

Date posted: 2013-01-17

Songs Unsung

Procrastination is one of our most common flaws as human beings. Who has not put off that appointment for dental cleaning? What student hasn't delayed doing his homework until the last minute?

Date posted: 2012-12-20

Wise Musings From an Old Rose

I paused to look at one of the last roses of the season the other day.

Date posted: 2012-11-23

Searching for a "Lost" Faith

Is my faith "lost"? Sometimes I think of it that way. The faith that I now profess is most assuredly not the faith of my boyhood.

Date posted: 2012-11-01

No, I'm Not Only Spiritual, I'm Religious

Here I am at the Adoration Chapel of St. Eugene's Catholic Church. That's what it's called, the "Adoration" Chapel, not the "Meditation" Hall or some name more politically acceptable in our secular world.

Date posted: 2012-09-18

Is Anything All Right?

A friend of mine had the right attitude. Old Fred used to greet me every day with "Hey Hank, Is ANYTHING all right?" That beats the hell out of our usual "Is everything all right" greeting doesn't it?

Date posted: 2012-08-18

A World of Hurt; a Bigger World of Love

The other day I hauled my body out of bed bright and early to play some tennis. I was feeling chipper. The weather was perfect. I had my morning coffee. This had all the earmarks of a good day.

Date posted: 2012-08-18

Are We Becoming a Nation of "Fraidy Cats?"

I was having a beer with my old friend Max the other day and he was on a rip.

Date posted: 2012-08-18

Old Dads and Fathers Day

Standing in front of me at Church last Sunday is an older man flanked by his two grown-up daughters. Each woman has her arm linked with dad. They remain close like that during the whole service. Occasionally, I notice, the young women giving the first love in their life a light squeeze.

Date posted: 2012-08-18

A Kid With Integrity

True Story. I'm taking this tall Afro-American teenager out with me to help him look for a job. A friend had helped him with his resume and it looked pretty good except there was little to show for his work experience.

Date posted: 2012-08-18

O'Bama's Support of Gay Marriage, a Pyrric Victory?

While the gay community celebrated President OBama's declaration of support for gay marriage this past week, I can't help thinking that this seeming triumph may turn out to be a "Pyrric victory." You may recall from your history class that while King Pyrrus won a great victory over the Roman army, he lost so many soldiers in the process that he found no reason to rejoice. The President's outspoken endorsement of gay marriage may have lost him more than he gained.

Date posted: 2012-07-05

Coming "Out of the Closet", Not Just for Gay

It's not only the gays who struggle to come out of the closet. Many of us are in closets of our own making, closets that have nothing to do with sexual orientation but everything to do with owning our real self.

Date posted: 2012-07-05

A Young Boy, a Dying Old Woman and a Moment in Time

I wanted so badly to connect with my sister-in-law who was very close to death, but her once bright alert eyes were unresponsive. The nurse, who had seen the last days of many nursing home patients, told me that Phyllis had decided to let go. She had lived a full life but now, it was her time.

Date posted: 2012-05-11

Let's hear it for the new Narcissists!

Did you happen to catch the article entitled "Living Alone is the New Norm." in the March 12, issue of Time Magazine? The article written by Professor Klinenberg, a Professor of Sociology at New York University, is like a peon of praise for living the single life.

Date posted: 2012-03-07

What If There is No God?

Leaving my apartment this morning to spend my half-hour of prayer and meditation at St.Eugene's chapel, the thought struck me, "Could I be wasting my time? What if my prayers are no more useful than the wishes we make before blowing out the candles on a birthday cake? What if my prayers are addressed to a delusion, a made-up God who exists only in our minds?"

Date posted: 2012-03-07

"Don't Call Me a Foster Kid"

Just recently I was watching TV with my foster grandson when the mattress company commercial came on the screen…the one that asks people to donate money so that children in foster care might have warm clothing for the cold weather. I asked Tony if the commercial embarrassed him at all. He admitted that the company probably meant well but "it sort of gives the impression that we are all poor kids and need to be pitied."

Date posted: 2012-02-15

World Religions and the God Within

I have been reading Houston Smith's classic book on World Religions, A devoted Christian from birth, he writes eloquently and respectfully about the way Hindus and Muslims, Buddhists and Jews approach God. What a different world it would be if more of us shared his respectful approach to other religions.

Date posted: 2012-02-15

A Meditation On a Meditation

I want to keep connected with the world around me but not THAT connected. Know what I mean? The news of the day can be a major downer. So I am on the run, escaping the bombardment of troubling news by doing some meditating.

Date posted: 2012-02-15

I Shall Not Hate

In his book, "I Shall Not Hate," Dr. Isseldin Abuelaish, the Muslim father who experienced one of the worst nightmares that can befall a human being, the killing of his three daughters, writes a story not of vengeance but of forgiveness.

Date posted: 2012-02-15

Occupy Movement Should Try a Softer Sell

When my dad was chairman of the parish charity drive in Buffalo, he never tried to shame or bully rich folks into contributing more to the drive each year. His approach was to sit down with the potential large donors and respectfully point out to them the opportunity they had to really make a difference in the community.

Date posted: 2011-11-15

Stuff I'm Sure About

Benjamin Franklin once famously remarked "In this life nothing can be said to be certain but death and taxes."

Date posted: 2011-10-14

The Cycle of Life

An old man's wisdom and a baby's smile gave me a "two-fer" I'll remember

Date posted: 2011-09-18

Doorway To the Soul, The Magic of Touch

We can't ask professional therapists to give us facials that compare with those we receive from children. Only babies and little kids have the gift, maybe because only children look upon the face of God.

Date posted: 2011-09-11

"Sir, You're Beautiful!"

Still, for most of us who struggle through life, only too aware of our flaws and limitations, it's nice to get a compliment from someone. And, if we feel good receiving an encouraging word, what keeps us from going out and returning the compliment to a friend or even a stranger? What does it cost us?

Date posted: 2011-09-10

Some thoughts on "the Man upstairs"

My Dad often referred to God as "the man upstairs." He used the term reverently; with due respect for the Deity and at the same time an acknowledgment that God is eminently approachable. God, to my Dad and a whole generation of Christians, was perceived as all-powerful, the ultimate judge and decision maker.

Date posted: 2011-08-22

A Child's Terror..Not Being Loved

Kids get taken from their parents and put into foster care for all sorts of reasons, neglect, physical or sexual abuse, mental illness or drug addiction; the reasons are as complex as human nature itself. But none of these forms of abuse are as shattering to a child as coming to the realization that he is not loved.

Date posted: 2011-08-15

The Soft Breath of God

I'm trying to put aside some time for meditation these days because unless I do, I won't be able to hear that inner voice. God knows how many times I missed God's promptings in the past but this time, for once, I got it right and was there for a kid named Bret.

Date posted: 2011-08-10

O God of Loveliness

Seasoned Catholics may remember a hymn that was once quite popular in Church a number of years ago. It was called "O God of Loveliness." and was often sung at Benediction along with the Latin hymns, "O Salutaris Hostia" and "Tantum Ergo."

Date posted: 2011-06-24

Praying to the Spirit Within All of Us

I am not personally acquainted with any of the people who kneel with me yet I feel at home with them. They are fellow Catholics who share with me a common heritage.

Date posted: 2011-05-18

The God of Silliness and Laughter

When we are most discouraged, bent low by our sadness or failure, God intervenes and tells us to lighten up on ourselves. "Hey guys, cut yourselves some slack." It's not all up to you, you know. I'm in charge, and nothing is that grim that it can't be lightened by laughter.

Date posted: 2011-04-14

Losing a Child...Grief Beyond Measure

The little kid I mentioned who expressed his sorrow at losing a friend, both with his tears and his words, was right on target. No one is ever really lost, as long as he is held in our hearts.

Date posted: 2011-03-27

God's Got His Back. The Kid Will be Okay

Kids have a way of breaking your heart at times and serving you a great big dollop of humility in the bargain. I found myself falling big time for this little kid at the Village right from the first day I met him.

Date posted: 2011-01-03

A Kid, a Grandma and Some Wisdom from Sammy

"What will happen when we grandparents become too old to volunteer or incapable of volunteering with the kids? Lia thought for a moment, then she said. "Well, when that time comes, maybe the kids will have to take care of their village grammas and grandpas."

Date posted: 2010-11-26

Being Thankful for What We Give

One of our noblest impulses as human beings is to want to "give back" to our community, our God, our country the blessings we have received. There is no better way to make us conscious of that "larger" kind of gratitude that puts the stamp of A Plus on our character than to step outside ourselves and use our gifts for the benefit of others.

Date posted: 2010-10-23

Deep summer

When I was a young man, I used to think that folks in their mid-70's were in the autumn of their years. No more. Not for me. Thanks to the opportunity I have to hang out with these bright and beautiful children, I am still in the deep summer.

Date posted: 2010-09-11

Hearing the Voice of an Angel

Life is lived in moments. Being an audience of one for the song of a little girl was one of those moments for me. May all of you enjoy your own special moments.

Date posted: 2010-08-03

Needing Something To Carry

Human beings are wired to have a symbiotic relationship with one another. We are in this world to carry one another's baggage. If at times it is a burden, so be it. To have no one who needs us, nothing to carry, is the heaviest burden of them all.

Date posted: 2010-07-20

Making Do With a Fantasy Dad

When a fifth grade boy in a school in Texas was asked to write an essay about "My Very First Dad," his essay pulled at his teacher's heart strings.

Date posted: 2010-07-15

Go Carts, Cheating and the Human Condition

It's hard to know what to say to a twelve year old who has been rejected by mom and dad.

Date posted: 2010-01-25

Guatemala trip

I've found the best way to travel to a third world country is to come prepared to help their children. In Guatemala, I was treated not as a tourist but a member of the family.

Date posted: 2010-01-25

Our Dark Side Has Two Sides

Recently a fifteen-year-old girl was savagely beaten and raped on a schoolyard in Northern California while twenty schoolmates watched. A few of the boys participated in the violence but most were passive spectators, too scared to confront the perpetrators.

Date posted: 2009-10-30

"Are You Gonna Watch Me?"

I know I'm not mom or dad or even their "real" grandpa but at least they have someone there to give them a hug or a pat on the back and say "Hey, you did great."

Date posted: 2009-10-20

Some Wisdom from William Blake

"The tree which moves some to tears of joy is, in the eyes of others, only a green thing which stands in the way. As a man is, so he sees."

Date posted: 2009-10-01

Some thoughts on abusive parents

Bad or good, these are their parents. The kids need to come to love and accept them. It would be counter-productive for me or any of the Village staff to stand in judgment over any child's parents. You just don't mess with the powerful bond that exists between parent and child.

Date posted: 2009-08-22

Relighting the Fire

"In everyone's life, at some time our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being." --Albert Schweitzer

Date posted: 2009-04-25

Getting Close To the Kids

Some days I find myself loving the kids so much it's scary. It's the kind of love that moms and dads know with their own children, the kind that hurts and also makes you want to sing.

Date posted: 2009-04-12

The Love Bug Lives

Once upon a time, millions of years ago, a tiny little bug was born. People called it the love bug because wherever the love bug landed, people would change and become more loving.

Date posted: 2009-03-29

What's Gonna Happen To Me?

We like to think that kids pretty much live in the present. They have adults to worry about them and their future. Their job is just to be kids. Nah! Not true for a lot of kids and definitely not true for kids in foster care. The nagging question in the guts of all of them is "What's Gonna Happen To Me?"

Date posted: 2009-03-06

Kids and Geezers

To me the experience was a reminder of the magic that exists between the very young and the very old. The so-called generation gap that yawns between parents and their kids does not seem to exist between kids and geezers. They get along because they have so much in common.

Date posted: 2009-01-10

The soul is healed by being with children

I suspect that parents, dealing with their kids being home from school over the holidays, might choose to differ on the "soul-healing power of kids." Words like "frustrated" or "challenged" or "driven berserk" are a few of the more polite descriptive words that might come to mind when big people spend school vacation time with the little people in their lives.

Date posted: 2008-12-15

Letter To a "Lost Boy"

I picked you up from school today as usual. You looked pretty sharp with your new jacket but I knew enough not to call attention to your appearance. I asked the standard dumb question, How was school today, big guy? You gave the safe answer. "Good." I knew better. There were two "f's" on your latest progress report.

Date posted: 2008-11-28

Out of the Mouths of Children

I really believe that there is something about the innocence of children that makes even the Master of the Universe drop everything and pay attention.

Date posted: 2008-09-06

Pay Attention to Your Tears

Frederick Buechner once wrote that "Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears. It is well to pay the closest attention. They are not only telling you the secret of who you are, but more often than not of the mystery of where you have come from and are summoning you to where you should go next."

Date posted: 2008-06-17

The Boy Who Never Smiled

Growing up he was a daily witness to a domineering father physically and emotionally beating up on his mom. His mom, only a child herself when she gave birth to Eddie at 16 was no match for the drunken anger of his dad. Eddie learned early on that women are to be treated like dirt. Men are in charge and it's okay for a guy to beat up his woman.

Date posted: 2008-05-02

A Child Sleeps

Abby rested her head on her princess pillow. It was 7:30 and time to wake her for school but the magic of the moment made me pause. It's not often that a grandpa has an opportunity to see his little five year old sweetheart sleeping. I wasn't about to hurry along.

Date posted: 2008-04-16

A Year in the life of a Children's Village Grandpa

This was a year like no other for this old guy. Living here at the Children's Village full time changed me.

Date posted: 2008-01-01

Christmas Thoughts

Someone once said that there are places in the heart that you never even know exist until you love a child. I believe that. When I became a parent, I got in touch with a part of me that had never surfaced before.

Date posted: 2007-12-20

Raging Against the Night

We don't really have to see old age as the enemy. We can be smarter than that. Let the folks who chase a lost youth grit their teeth and agonize over their lot. We have some living to do, some jokes to tell, some hugs and smiles to share.

Date posted: 2007-12-09

What Are Old Folks For?

Dag Hammarskjold, the legendary humanist and former Secretary General of the United Nations, was fond of saying "The less I let others determine my worth for me, the more I own myself. The less I obsess about my self, the more I am myself."

Date posted: 2007-12-08

How Does One Go About "Eldering?"

Life never quite lets us off the hook does it? Even when we are retired from the workplace, the kids are grown and we are free to do whatever we want to do with our days, there is still a catch.

Date posted: 2007-09-09

Walking with My Ghost

Steven Levine, author of "A Year To Live," suggests that we take a day off from living from time to time. He advises us to use our imagination to disconnect ourselves from life and pretend that we have died. We see the world as though it were the day after our funeral. We walk through a world in which we no longer are physically present.

Date posted: 2007-07-22

A Hound Dog

Ten O'clock at night. I hobble to my bed nursing a sore ankle from a tennis injury. Oh! Finally getting in bed never felt so good. Then, I hear the sound of Penny, my basset hound at her water dish.

Date posted: 2007-06-10

Wrestling With Your Kids

When my four-year-old granddaughter asks me for some "Me and you time," I marvel at how much we adults can learn from little children. Kids instinctively know that personal, one-on-one time with a caring adult is special. Maybe we realize it too, but it's so much easier to ignore it.

Date posted: 2007-04-13

Inmates are Not a Different Species

True story. A sub compact car with a family aboard was rear ended and burst into flames. A man in his late 20's ran to the burning vehicle and at considerable risk to his own life, managed to pull a little boy free.

Date posted: 2007-01-29

"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"

The popular Irish Rock group has contributed some beautiful music to this generation but no song more hauntingly beautiful than this one, "But I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For."

Date posted: 2006-12-16

Re-Igniting the Spark

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." - Albert Schweitzer

Date posted: 2006-12-02

Most Americans go to church regularly

That's almost unique among nations in the developed world. If you've traveled in Europe, you know how few people go to church at all. Does that make us somehow holier in God's eyes? Nah! I don't think so.


Date posted: 2006-11-17

Memories of Childhood

I think we adults need to put ourselves in the sneakers of our kids. They are living now some of those experiences that knocked us for a loop when we were kids. Take it from this old guy. Tumbling down a grassy slope hill in the summertime is only part of a kid's life. Give them a lot of love and a big dose of empathy. They are you a half-century ago.

Date posted: 2006-09-09

Becoming a Surrogate Grandparent in the Children's Village

Lia Rowley, the Founder and Executive Director of Children's Village, is a believer in the influence grandparents can exert in the lives of children.

Date posted: 2006-08-05

Sunday

"Keeping holy the Sabbath" is the forgotten commandment and, whether you are a religious person or not, when this commandment is ignored, our quality of life is diminished.

Date posted: 2006-07-08

Hearing the Music

I'm convinced that there are moments in all our lives when our music is played. Whether the musician is our conscience, mother earth, or God in heaven, someone plays music that is meant for our ears alone. The melody appeals to what is most noble in us. We recognize it immediately.

Date posted: 2006-05-24

"Instead of trying to look better; Start trying to see better"

Whoa! Those are powerful words, don't you think? Most of us are all about looking good aren't we? If we were not, the cosmetics market would not be the multi billion market it is today. Everything about us, from the clothes we wear to the model car we drive, from hair styling to pedicures, we take our appearance pretty seriously.

Date posted: 2006-04-22

A Soldier for Peace

I was listening to talk show host Pete Wilson yesterday on KGO discussing the torture and murder of a man named Tom Fox in Iraq. To refresh your memory, Tom Fox was not a soldier. He was a 54-year-old Quaker from Virginia who was in Iraq as part of a small peacekeeping organization called the Christian Peacekeeping Team. Wilson was asking the question "Do the Tom Fox's of the world really do any good?"

Date posted: 2006-03-18

Respecting Your Elders

We need to remind ourselves that respect is a two way street. It helps if we do our part to earn it. There's nothing worse than an old coot who thinks he's entitled to be arrogant or demanding just because he has a few gray hairs.

Date posted: 2006-02-22

Personal Journey in the Highlands of Guatemala

Deep in the mountainous region of western Guatemala, where tourists rarely wander, I find myself shaking hands with a seven-year-old Mayan kid named Alex. We are not exactly strangers to one another. Alex and I have exchanged photos and letters over the past 18 months, ever since my wife and I decided to sponsor him through a non-profit agency in the United States. But this is my first face to face meeting with Alex and I'm a little nervous because my Spanish language skills are of the mui poco variety and, wouldn't you know it, the interpreter we were supposed to have is late.

Date posted: 2006-02-11

God Has To Have a Sense of Humor

Despite our foibles and cussedness, God continues to love us and wish us well. Maybe that's the Lord's way of telling us to lighten up on our own shortcomings and those of our fellow human beings.

Date posted: 2005-12-18

Is Anything All Right?

Despite our losses, despite that arthritic knee, life is still a hoot, still has its moments of wonder and beauty and laughter.

Date posted: 2005-12-18

Kings and Queens and Common Folks

I ran across an old Italian proverb the other day that tickled me. "Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back into the same box." Think about that one for a minute.

Date posted: 2005-11-02

Thoughts on "The Station"

We may as well make the best of today because it's all we have.

Date posted: 2005-10-16

Tuesdays With Morrie

I find myself re-reading "Tuesdays With Morrie" for the third time. What a marvelous read! For those of you who have not read it, "Tuesdays With Morrie" is the story of an old professor dying of ALS, spending his Tuesdays with a former student, sharing with him some of life's great secrets.

Date posted: 2005-09-24

Deep Summer and the Meaning of Life

We tend to keep our mortality in the furthest corner of our mind. It takes the loss of a loved one or a close friend or the end of another summer to remind us that life, like the lazy days of July and August, goes by all too quickly.

Date posted: 2005-08-25

Riches of the Heart

Our bonds with parents, spouse, children, siblings and friends are our most valuable possessions.

Date posted: 2005-08-10

The Common Good and Rights of the Individual

In Holland, legislation that started out with good and compassionate intent is now being invoked by doctors to put severely disabled babies to death. In this country, laws legalizing capital punishment had all sorts of safeguards built into it to make sure no innocent person was ever put to death. Sadly, we are finding out through DNA technology that our safeguards were full of holes.

Date posted: 2005-05-17

Feeding the Wrong Wolf

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

Date posted: 2005-03-13

On Euthanasia and Babies

Killing infants and children? People may differ, in good conscience, about the morality of aborting a fetus but live children? No, this is where civilized societies have to draw a line in the sand. What gives us the right to take away an innocent life?

Date posted: 2004-12-06

Sentencing Kids to Adult Prisons

Why does our legal system ignore the special status of youth when it comes to the criminal justice system? We don't need a PH.D to know that kids 14 and 15 years of age have developed neither the emotional maturity, the judgment or the brain capacity to function as fully mature adults.

Date posted: 2004-08-06

The Power of Love

Most of the time we remain children fighting one another over our toys. We still need soldiers and weapons and prisons because we haven't figured out a way to protect ourselves without them. It's still an "us" and "them" world where we fight for survival never quite realizing that it is our brothers and sisters that we fight.

Date posted: 2003-03-31

War in Iraq... One Grandpa's View

Is there another way in Iraq? Our President doesn't seem to think so. Maybe he's right. I think he is a moral man who wants to do the right thing. But before we go to war, I'd like to introduce Mr. Bush to a friend of mine. He's a new grandpa who lives in a country called Iraq.

Date posted: 2003-02-16

An Example of Child Abuse

If, as the FDA claims, up to 25% of our children suffer depression, we have a major mental health problem on our hands. I submit that a problem of this magnitude is caused by things like kids being left to raise themselves, broken families, lack of a father in the home, a dearth of supportive day care programs and a host of other issues, none of which will be solved by putting our kids on Prozac.

Date posted: 2003-02-15