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Do you have the resources to perform acts of kindness?

Last week, I found myself sitting in a fancy boardroom in midtown Manhattan. A group of about twenty well-dressed white men and two women were meeting with me to discuss matters of corporate strategy, for the nonprofit healthcare system I am consulting with.

As we talked through anticipated state budget cuts to Medicaid and the difficulty of serving that program, I gazed out the window from time to time. Thirty-five stories below us, we could find the people who would be impacted by these decisions. Sure, this was only one nonprofit healthcare system among many. But collectively, we represented the decision makers, and others had to live by our decisions. There was no Medicaid recipient who would speak up for the program; there was no elderly person living in one of the organization's nursing homes would lend their perspective; there was no person from a homeless shelter who could say what they needed, what would help their situation most.

It was seven o'clock in the evening,…

Why don't we follow the teachings of the great thinkers who have come before us?

Do you ever pause from an act of creation and think, what's the point of this? Someone has already written a better poem or essay or blog post. Others have painted better portraits or crafted better knickknacks or knit better scarves. I can get a dress on Amazon for less money than I will spend on the fabric, and the craftmanship will be better too. Why create?
I think this all the time. The logical conclusion is not an optimistic one: why do anything, because it's all been done before, and better, by others?
In particular, to our point here, all the writing on kindness and love has been written and rewritten and translated and adapted for every age, every people.
We have Moses. We have the Buddha. We have Jesus Christ. We have modern writers and gurus and leaders of all kinds.
The teachings are there, sitting on our dusty shelves or buried deep in our subconscious.
Have we listened?
Have we truly understood these teachings from these great saints and leaders?
And if we have …

Things You'll Never Hear Anyone Say

As I was sitting at a busy lunch spot in Manhattan yesterday, I overheard many different snippets of conversations. Themes included: "I can't believe that so-and-so did this..." "It really sucks to work there because..." "If only [insert almost anything here] were different, then [insert future happy outcome here]."

I listened with curiosity, and considered the contrapositive of these statements. Here is an abbreviated list, which I am titling "Things that you'll never hear spoken aloud because people will never say them." Usually people won't even think these statements - at most, these could be a dark glimmer on the horizon of understanding.

My boss won't trust me, which is why I don't know the answer to that question.  In my relationship, problems are due mostly to me.  I'm not just wrong, I probably am ignorant of the history / context of the underlying issue.  I could greatly improve my life if I got up off my ass an…