On Leadership and Followership

These are ideas that I elaborated some time ago in a completely different context, but in an election year, they seemed apropos. Not everyone is, or can be, or even should be, a leader. What is a ship at sea full of nothing but captains? Everyone wanting to give the orders and nobody wanting to

Pushing Back the Darkness

In my heart I am dedicated to the effort of pushing back the darkness, or at least holding it at bay. By darkness I don’t mean some kind of ultimate evil that’s at war with the light. I only mean all the subtle and not-so-subtle ills that afflict the world at the hands of humankind.

Can fiction change the world?

Ray Bradbury once said that he wasn’t trying to predict the future; he was trying to prevent it. Everyone accepts that nonfiction books can be very influential, but does fiction ever change the world? Well, I think it can—by changing awareness or attitudes. Usually, when it happens, that was the author’s intent. I believe Charles

On Winners and Losers

Every time I hear someone call another human being a “loser,” I feel it like the lick of a lash across my soul. There are no Winners or Losers, only people – people who sometimes win and sometimes lose, who sometimes succeed and sometimes fail, at different things, and at different times, and under different

Talent: How to tell if you have it

(Warning: This is a long post, and not for the faint of heart. No sugar-coating, here.) The first thing I want to say is that talent is a gift, not an accomplishment. Accomplishments are achieved through effort. No effort: no credit. Using one’s talent to achieve something impressive usually requires some effort, maybe even quite

Dona nobis pacem

Dona Nobis Pacem    Peace… (A brief poem for this day, Nov 4, 2012) Peace… It’s the word that should begin and end every day of the world, and every thought of every mind in it. Peace… It breathes like a sigh. It whispers of hope and of the fulfillment of hope. It sings a song

Truth, Justice, and the Happy Ending

My brother says the main difference between “great” literature and the rest of it is that great literature isn’t allowed to have a happy ending. If there’s a happy ending to it, it automatically isn’t great. Of course he’s being a little facetious, but not much. There does seem to be some truth in the