Afghanistan in the Days around Christmas

  Over the past week, I’ve received three email messages from my friend Zaher Wahab.  Each of them was written across the time he and his colleagues in the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) were in lock down – a rather horrifying protective captivity complete with razor wire, massively thick concrete walls, deep basements, and heavily armed guards on the grounds.  And, as Zaher says, a situation that is finally a privilege… Read More

Gratitude in Four Days

My dear friend, Valerie is a rock star.  This designation, star, is certainly figurative, but it’s also for real – like, it’s her job.  That’s not all.  Valerie’s a mom, and a wife, she’s a sister and a dancer and a teacher – and she is one of Dr. Day’s two daughters.  Valerie, her father, her sister and brother have been engaged for months now with the precious progression of Dr. Day’s transition… Read More

In the Presence of a Great Gray Owl

I just sent email to children I met in North Carolina last week.  They live in an enormous old house right in the middle of the Smoky Mountains.  They run around the house, its sprawling porches and every inch of the generous land that surrounds it.  They are learning with every step.  They’re kids.  Learning and running around is, most naturally, what kids do. These children have parents who are committed to… Read More

Gaza and the Courage to be Kind

There is so much that is difficult about circumstances in Gaza. Two Julys ago, my niece Mary spent time volunteering in Palestine, building homes there, her colleagues of all nationalities, and the promised residents all knew would be destroyed – and they were (MARY SAYS, MITT SAYS. Blog July 29, 2012). Mary met and befriended Palestinians and Israelis. She has made more friends in subsequent visits and remains dearly connected with many… Read More

Stories and Specialty

I just spent four days in the company of poets and writers.  Well-published storytellers like Naomi Shihab Nye, Luis Urrea, Kim Stafford, Teresa Jordan, Gary Ferguson — and hundreds more, published and not.  No matter the notoriety, each one wove images into stories — tales to entertain, to instruct, to push beyond whatever bounds any of us imagines. All week these stories echoed across the wide meadow in the northeastern corner of Oregon… Read More

Children at the Border

A few updates from Scott: 7.July – Thanks Mary. I am going to be here two more weeks. It is quieter here so far today. The plane load left and the numbers are down from yesterday. I met Caesar this morning, he is by himself, 11 years old and was brought over by a coyote from Mexico. I have an app on my iPhone that helps me communicate with the kids. Since it is… Read More

Having it Happen

I was 19 when I met my fairy good mother.  Thirty four years later, in February of 2009, Mayme and I had our last conversation.  She is the … voice in 100 VOICES – AMERICANS TALK ABOUT CHANGE. I found Mayme through her daughter Margie.  She was in a nursing home and spending her days increasingly occupied with Alzheimer’s.  In spite of her condition, Mayme remembered me immediately and, well above the… Read More

Leading with Age

I’m pretty sure I’m on a soap box.  Have been for a few years, now.  My subject from this modest elevation:  The Reclamation of Elderhood ™ . Like most of us, I remember my grandparents.  I remember a few great uncles and aunts.  I even remember some of their friends.  My maternal grandmother, for example, was born in 1896.  I know too little of her life.  I know she was raised in… Read More

Why Read a Blog on Leadership and Change?

You may know this blog has a history.  It started January 21, 2009 – the day after Barack Obama was inaugurated for his first term as President of the United States.  It was a time when the ragged red underlining of word processing programs – the marks used to flag misspellings – showed up without fail beneath the two words, Barack and Obama. The blog first followed my road trip around the… Read More

Merry Christmas to All

…and to All a Good Night. With gratitude and finest possible wishes to each of you ~ MC –Red Lodge, MT