I had a very simple task to do yesterday.
All I had to do was stand in front of a staff meeting and invite them to visit a few of our locations for an Awareness Tour.
No big deal. I stand in front of this group all the time. I’ve known most of them for many years so there’s no “stage fright”.
And I completely lost it. Read More
One of my earliest memories is of my father taking me out of class early one afternoon. He had our Y Indian Guides gear with him and we drove over to the newspaper building in downtown Anchorage where someone stood me up on a chair in front of a wood-paneled wall and took our picture. If I ever knew why we did this I don’t remember it now, but I remember the day well because it’s one of only a few times I can recall he and I doing something where it was just the two of us. I have three older brothers, so most events were group events. I remember this day well, though: I remember the dark striped wood paneling; I remember him laughing and smiling; I remember feeling so important and practically famous to be in the newspaper. Read More
When I think of the Christmases of my youth there are few presents I can remember receiving. A gallon of pickles when I was about 10 or 11, because I really loved pickles. A remote controlled airplane that I crashed and destroyed on the playground of my elementary school on its first flight. An electric typewriter, when I was 15 or 16, which I learned to type on while listening to a cassette tape of Sting singing “We Work the Black Seam Together”. To this day, if I’m really in the groove, I type to the tempo of that song. Read More
When I was 10 or 11 years old my Uncle Frank gave me a book titled “Cathedral”. It was an illustrated book, mainly, but the story that ran through it was about a fictional town in the 12th century that elected to build a new cathedral after their existing church had burned down. In this age this was no small decision: a building as large and as expensive as a cathedral could take over 100 years to construct, meaning that those who initiated the project were highly unlikely to see the finished product. What motivated them, then? Certainly not personal glory or fortune, as those rewards would not come in their lifetimes. Prestige for their town? Perhaps, but even that boast could not be claimed for many, many years, if at all. So just what would move a community to pitch in and undertake a difficult, costly goal with the payoff a century away? Read More
I dropped Ben off at YMCA Camp Seymour this evening for a weekend of Winter Camp and as I walked the nearly pitch-black trail from the dining hall back to the parking lot my heart was heavy with the thought of what happened in Connecticut today. I stood on the trail for a moment looking down at the foundation of the new dining hall, poured just yesterday, and listened to the singing and laughing drifting up the hill, wondering just what the solution would be to put an end to such horrible violence. It occurred to me as I stood there in the dark that the answer was right in front of me. Gun control is unlikely to be effective. Endless debate and compromised legislation would probably just polarize the country even more. But in the midst of such darkness, what works best, what lights the candle of warmth and hope that lets us move through times such as these, is to lean ever more firmly into providing the children we have before us the opportunity to play, to be respected, to be honored, and to be loved. I’m proud to work with so many who are part of the solution.