January 23, 2005


I think we are all blessed to be around people who can change our lives and make our lives so much better, if we are ready to receive those people. I believe this because of the people surrounding me in my life. People whose middle names I know just the same as people whose first names I just learned. People who I’ve known for years as well as people who I want to get to know years from now. All of the people surrounding me can change me, help make my life so much better and provide me company on my journey if I am ready to receive them.
In Kitchen Table Wisdom, a counseling doctor recounts watching relationships missing this opportunity through the people she sees. Two physicians, partners in a practice together, both come to her separately telling her that they feel alone in their thoughts and feelings about practicing medicine. When she asked them if they could talk to their partner, they both respond that, “He wouldn’t understand.”
A cancer patient continues chemotherapy only because of the 15 minutes he gets to spend with his doctor. The oncologist suffers from severe depression and feels like no one needs him. He feels like no one needs him and he doesn’t matter.
I think about every time a pass a person and fight the urge to say “hi,” every time I think about my wants and needs and forget about the person who stands beside me. If I am ready to lead, if I am ready to help and serve, I will be ready to recognize my blessings…the ones I give to others.

January 22, 2005

Harry Potter

I have watched Harry Potter before and really enjoyed it, but as I watched it again tonight I got a lot more out of it. I was pleasantly surprised. Toward the end of the movie, after Harry had told Hermione that she was a greater wizard than he, she responded,

“Me? Books, cleverness…There are more important things. Friendship and bravery.”

That definitely impressed me and as a student like them, it impressed upon me a strong need for understanding what I am studying and why I am studying it…However, what struck me most this time when I watched the movie was what Professor Dumbledore had to say to Harry as they looked into the Mirror of Erised.

“Back again Harry? I see that you, like many others before you have discovered the delights of the Mirror of Erised. I trust now, you realize what it does. Let me give you a clue. The happiest man on earth would look in the mirror and only see himself exactly as he is.”

“So then, it shows us what we want…Whatever we want?”

“Yes, and no. It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest and most desperate desires of our hearts. Now you Harry, who have never known your family, you see them standing beside you. But remember this, Harry, this mirror gives us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away in front of it, even gone mad. That is why tomorrow it will be moved to a new home. And I must ask you not to go looking for it again. It does not do to dwell on dreams, Harry, and forget to live.”

As I heard these words, spoken so slowly, articulately and emulating such old wisdom, I felt very moved. Moved enough to find the exact words from a script and see them again. However, I think I prefer the spoken words, hearing this wisdom from the experience of an older and wiser man than myself. Remembering to live, focusing on living, truly living…I think that is one of the first steps to take before I can look into that mirror and see myself as I am.

January 20, 2005


Woven into the fabric of our already planned events for the day there are things that come along and bring unexpected meaning and significance. People and events, whether profound, encouraging or devastating all work to create a new experience for us each day. Often the experience is strong enough to become a reality check, working in subtle ways to make me revisit those principles and dreams which are most important in my life. It is in this way that people, more than events, have changed me and helped me grow. No matter how noble, educated or pure, no matter how articulate, mature or kind, each person can teach me. As Henry David Thoreau said, "It is from every man that I can learn something and in that he is my superior."

January 17, 2005


I'll tell you this much, I really enjoy going to the library. The Coats Public Library is by far one of the nicest libraries I have been in, especially here around Campbell. I would like to build a library before I die, and I think I want it to look a lot like the Coats library. It's small and comfortable, surrounded by a soft and calm community, at least as far as I can tell. I would like to add some really nice comfortable leather chairs and maybe a couch, that would really make it nice. Actually, I will see what I can do about getting some of those donated.
Being near the library was very relaxing, I guess you need to see this one to understand. There were only five people in the library and it was getting near closing time. The librarian, a gentle older lady was there with her husband who came in right behind me to help her close down and probably drive her home. Another visitor was a little girl staying up (it was only 7) to study or play on the computer, I couldn't tell which. There was an older lady who I gathered was a friend of the librarian as they giggled about little librarian things together. And then the last was me, the boy hanging around the biographies of Bill Clinton and John Edwards, then sliding over to Asimov and looking around for Carl Sagan. I find a little treasure I've been looking for a while, Tuesdays With Morrie. I've already read it and then watched the movie, but I don't own the book. I decided a while back that I would like to own it for referencing back to when I have questions. It cost a dollar which is quite worth it even with some kiddy scribbles on a few pages. I grab a movie I really like (to check out) and I hope to show it to some friends who I think will really enjoy it. I tell the librarian how beautiful I think the library is and she goes on to explain some of its history. It's not that old and was a project taken on my an assistant town manager only a few years ago. I might like to talk with him. Libraries are by far one of my favorite institutions, I realize this as I drive back to Campbell. Freedom and education, history of the past and hope in the future, I think the job of a library is very serious business but it is just so fun at the same time, I love it. I am definitely going to build one before I die.

January 14, 2005


Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try. No hell below us, above us only sky. Imagine all the people, living for today. Imagine there’s no country, it isn’t hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too. Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you will join us and the world will be at one. Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can. No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man. Imagine all the people, sharing all the world. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you will join us and the world will live as one.
- “Imagine” by John Lennon

January 12, 2005


Like most things in life, I think lessons are not recognized until significant time has passed. Tonight it was an hour before I realized I had received a gift, a lesson from an old man in the Kiwanis club I visited. He is talkative and was thirty-five minutes talkative tonight. He told me about many things, including the bananas he gets from the grocery store at reduced prices, bananas he gives to nursing homes for free on a regular basis like he has done for over three years. He told me about how he started with the bananas when his doctor told him to feed his dying wife two bananas a die to help her regain the thirty pounds she had lost as she grew close to the end of her life. He did, he fed her two bananas a day. He told me that she regained all of her weight back because of the bananas. He didn’t tell me how or when she died, but I think he didn’t forget. He wanted to tell me about things that were important to him, he told me that giving the bananas away made him feel important and helped him to feel like he was doing something that mattered, something that made a difference. Later talk about legal battles with ex-barbershop co-workers and current business partners and rent have lost detail in my mind. They are obscured by this single thought in my mind now: I could, in sooner years than I could predict, be like this man whom I spoke with tonight. I would like to think I would be confident, cool, quiet and reserved in self-respect and dignity as I grow older. I have a vision of my ability to feel important inside to such a degree that I never am seen outwardly chasing after appreciation or worth. I also realize I am vulnerable, fragile and so often a product of my environment. I am a creature molded gently by the caring people around me who have told me I am unique, important and worth immeasurable treasures. I bet Gerald had that too. I bet his wife told him those things, through words and touches. There were probably other people that did too, friends and family in every direction for years. Gerald is old. Many of his closest friends are gone, his family dead or distant and his wife gone now too. I am not so different from Gerald in my potential. I think his gift to me, at least the one I have realized after the last hour, is a gift of illumination. He has shown me where his potential lies in me. I’m not sure I will ever tell him, but I feel like he has shown me his importance and he didn’t even have to give me a banana.