Remembering Living Saints, Solving the Mysteries of Aging, Meeting the World’s Oldest Athletes & a Tribute to Mom’s Everywhere!

This week:


Remembering Jean Vanier, The ‘Living Saint’:
Remember a philosopher and humanitarian who dedicated his life to helping those less fortunate.
Jean Vanier passed away in Paris on Tuesday at the age of 90.

The Science of Aging- Solving the Mysteries of Optimal Aging for the Body and Mind:
Jeanne Calment, a Frenchwoman born in 1875, stayed physically active and mentally alert until passing away at almost 123 years of age. She outlived her daughter and her grandson and has been recognized as the longest-living human. She cycled regularly until she sustained a leg fracture at age 100; smoked a daily cigarette until 117; and enjoyed “considerable” quantities of chocolate until her death.

Age is No Barrier: Meet the World’s Oldest Top Athletes:
Meet 5 Pensioners Aged up to 108, Who Thrive on Extreme Exercise

Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper for Mother’s Day:
Happy Mother’s Day to all who have mothered and who are mothering. May you stay the course. May you know that what you are doing is what the world needs more of. May you never doubt the importance of what you do. And may you enjoy it along the way. Any time the job gets hard, just remember this: mothering is the most important job in the entire world. It’s not easy, but it’s one of the most rewarding things we’ll ever do…



“Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.”  — Barbara Kingsolver


I love Mother’s Day because I just love, love, love being a mother.

It’s such an honor to bring a child into this world. It’s such a humbling experience to try to get it “right” and do your best. It’s humbling because you never know if what you’re doing is what your child actually wants or needs. That’s especially the case when you have more than one child because you quickly learn that each of them is different. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to mothering.

Over the years, I’ve learned that you have to feel your way into mothering, a.k.a. the most important job in the world. It’s a job that is unrelenting, but that gives back over and over again.

My favorite Mother’s Day gift is the gift of my children’s presence. They are, without a doubt, my favorite people in the world! I love being in their company. I love laughing with them, playing with them and observing them. I also love listening to their exaggerated stories about all the crazy things they remember me doing when they were young (or even last week!).


Mother’s Day is also an emotional time for me, though, because I miss my own mother. I think it’s hard to fully enjoy Mother’s Day when your mother has passed because, the truth is, I miss her each and every day of the year. There is so much I’d love to discuss with her at this moment in my life. I still need her advice, her counsel, her wisdom and her judgment. I just need her.

When I see other women with their mothers, I feel a tug at my heart. When I see other kids with their grandmothers, I wonder if they know how blessed they are to be in their company. I wonder whether they are doing all they can to soak up the wisdom from their lessons and their stories.

I’ve written a lot about my mother over the years. I even did an ESPN film called “Brave in the Attempt” about her mission to change the world for those with special needs. But at this time in my life, I find myself wondering how deeply I truly knew my mother. I mean, how well did I really know her inner-most thoughts and feelings? Did I really understand her struggles, her pain, her anguish, and her joy?

I find myself wondering how she really felt about so many of life’s biggest moments. Now that my oldest daughter is engaged, I think about what was going through my own mother’s heart and mind when I stood on the brink of my own marriage. Did she feel what I’m feeling now?

I also wonder how she got through the days when all her children left home. Did she feel lonely? Did we hurt her by moving away? I wonder how she truly felt about getting old. I know she didn’t like it, but how did she manage her fears? I wonder how she managed her loneliness, grief and loss?

I once tried to ask my mother a few of these questions and she said she didn’t know what I was talking about. She came from a tough family and an even tougher generation. It was an era when there was no talk of self-care or self-love. There was no talk of feelings or emotions.

If my mother were here today, I guess the most important thing I’d like to tell her is the same thing I told her in the hospital as she took her final breaths:

“Mummy, you did such a good job as a mother and I’m so honored to be your daughter. I’m so sorry for you that you were never nurtured, hugged or even loved in a deeply personal and intimate way. That must have been so hard for you. It must have been tiring, pretending to be so tough and so strong.”

If my mother were here today, I would hold her. She would hate it, but I wouldn’t let her push me away because, as a mother myself, I know that everyone responds to love, nurture and safety.

I know that if she were here today, she would eventually soften into my embrace. Deep in my heart, I know she would love it. At the end of the day, I believe that the greatest gift we can give someone we love is to see them, hold them, nurture them, and know them for who they really are.

So on this Mother’s Day, if your mother is here, hug her, hold her and comfort her. If she pulls away, stay the course. Look deep into her eyes and tell her that you see her. If you can, thank her for doing her best.

And if you’re gathering with your own children this morning, thank them for the joy they have brought into your life. Thank them for the honor and privilege it’s been to raise them.

Mothering requires us to do our best all the time. No one gets it totally right, but it has been my honor to try. That’s why this morning, I’m going to be loving on my kids. And if one of them hugs me, I’ll relax into their embrace. Being mothered never loses its impact.

Happy Mother’s Day to all who have mothered and who are mothering. May you stay the course. May you know that what you are doing is what the world needs more of. May you never doubt the importance of what you do. And may you enjoy it along the way. Any time the job gets hard, just remember this: mothering is the most important job in the entire world. It’s not easy, but it’s one of the most rewarding things we’ll ever do. I’m so grateful to my children for the fun, laughter, and wonder they’ve brought to my life. How rewarding it has been to raise them and watch them grow. How amazing it is to be their mom.



P.S. I hope you’ll also remember today that some moms face challenges due to poverty, lack of healthcare, etc. Please consider donating to a cause that benefits mothers. Or, give to The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement and support our mission to protect the minds of all the women we love.

Dear God, thank you for the gift of the women in my life who have mothered me. May I never forget to thank them, embrace them, and cherish them for all that they’ve given me.

If you are local…
Vote with Your Pocketbook and Support Organizations that Support San Diego!

05-17-19-7 05-17-19-8


Refer a Friend and get $40 each!

Now your friends and family can earn $40 once when they open any one of these services and meet the promotion criteria:

  • Checking Account
  • Credit Card
  • Auto Loan
  • Personal Loan
  • Mortgage Loan
  • Home Equity Loan

And, you’ll earn $40 for referring them to Mission Fed!

Tell your friends to open an account by June 30, 2019!

Make sure your friends and family take advantage of this great offer and have them bring the coupon from our website with them when they visit the branch. There’s no limit to how many people you can refer!

Plus, all year long we are rewarding members with our $1 Million Mission Fed Money Match. Are you next?


The new primary member must be 18 years of age, open Mission Fed eligible accounts and meet the minimum transaction requirements for the accounts they choose by 6/30/19. To be eligible, the new member may not be a signer on a Mission Fed account within the last twelve (12) months. The new member must be eligible for membership and all accounts and loans are subject to approval. The new Checking Account must have a minimum of five (5) eligible member-initiated transactions completed and posted to the account prior to the 91st day of initial account opening. A Mission Fed Credit Card must be opened with a minimum of five (5) purchase transactions or one (1) balance transfer posted within 90 days of initial account opening. New Auto Loans, Personal Loans, Mortgage Loans and Home Equity Loans must be funded within 90 days of initial account opening. Indirect auto loans, share secured loans and auto leases are not eligible for this promotion. A Savings, Checking or Money Market Account must be opened in addition to the new loan or credit card. Upon satisfaction of the above requirements, the $40 will be automatically deposited to the new member and referring member accounts on the 91st day of the new member’s initial account opening. $500 minimum balance required to earn .05% Annual Percentage Yield on Smart Checking as of 5/1/19. The rate may change after account opening. APY is accurate as of the last dividend declaration date. Fees may reduce earnings on the account. Visit for Official Rules, a list of eligible member-initiated transactions and other details. No other promotional offer may be used in conjunction with this special offer. Programs, rates, terms, conditions and services are subject to change without notice. For Mission Fed Money Match, certain restrictions apply; visit for Official Rules.

Insured by NCUA
Equal Housing Lender

Mission Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 919023, San Diego, CA 92191-9023 | 858.524.2850 | 800.500.6328 |

Copyright © 2019 Mission Federal Credit Union – Rates, terms, conditions and services subject to change without notice.

Thanks this week go to Cathy S, Ron M and Caring Moms Everywhere!
Please Pay it Forward with Purpose

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“God made the world for the delight of human beings.”—Mother Teresa

“Do The Right Thing. It Will Gratify Some People And Astonish The Rest”


“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.”—Mark Twain

This week:

People are taking their comedians seriously and their politicians as a joke”
When you chip away at the press, you chip away at our democracy.
We are all members of Team USA and not members of enemy camps so let’s stop making a mockery of the first amendment.

The 2019 White House Correspondents’ Dinner last week: Reporters, Politicians and Celebs Gather to Honor the First Amendment
Keynote Ron Chernow makes a spirited case for the first amendment.  (2:19)

For The Complete Remarks in the White House Correspondents’ Dinner Keynote:
A historic review of the relationship between the press and the white house, where civility has been part of our culture, and where our best presidents have handled the press with wit, grace, charm, candor and even humor… (29 minutes)


More than 1 million species at risk of extinction because of humans UN warns:
Six months after the United Nations announced the world has less than 12 years to act on climate change, the agency is warning an estimated 1 million species are threatened with extinction thanks to human consumption.
Our current rate of species extinction “is already tens to hundreds of times higher than it has been, on average, over the last 10 million years”…

Here is the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Media Release:

Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’
Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’

Current global response insufficient;
‘Transformative changes’ needed to restore and protect nature;
Opposition from vested interests can be overcome for public good

Most comprehensive assessment of its kind;
1,000,000 species threatened with extinction


What American Collapse Teaches Us About Human Nature:

If Cruelty, Selfishness, and Greed are Good For Us…Why Aren’t Americans the Happiest People in the World? First they compete for schools. Then, for the right universities. Then, the right jobs. Then the right promotions. Then the right toys to prove how powerful and wealthy they are. Then, if they’re lucky, healthcare and retirement. The competition never ends.

Americans are among the world’s unhappiest people. They’re more stressed out than Iraqis and Venezuelans. Iraqis and Venezuelans. Depression and anxiety are endemic, epidemic. Suicide is skyrocketing. Americans don’t expect life to ever get better again. The young have given up on having sex, relationships, and ever moving out of their family homes.

Americans aren’t the happiest. They’re the unhappiest, among rich countries, becoming a weird, unique outlier of despair and misery. And all that should teach us something deep and true about ourselves — if, that is, we’re open and willing to learn…——2-49——————8ee22b0d_354a_4aed_89e6_abe5707779f7-1&sectionName=top

An antidote- be a lover of humanity and a defender of this tiny planet!

If you are local…
Nominate Individuals and Organizations That Make a Difference for National Philanthropy Day 2019!


National Philanthropy Day 2019

Call for Nominations

Nominations close on
June 14, 5:00 p.m.

Nominate Now!

Joining a Legacy of Philanthropists, Fundraising Professionals and Volunteers who have made an outstanding impact
in our community.

Nominate an Individual, Organization, or Company
that is Making a Great Difference

National  Philanthropy Day 2018 Awardees


Do you know of a philanthropic story, or story
of giving that needs to be told?

Is there someone who is doing good work for your community?

Submitting a nomination for National Philanthropy Day San Diego
is a great way to show your admiration and appreciation.

And the nominations process has been streamlined!

The AFP San Diego Chapter annually recognizes individuals and organizations whose philanthropic achievements have made an impact in the San Diego region, Imperial County and Tijuana. On Monday, November 4th, we look forward to building on the success of our predecessors and celebrating and honoring the rich diversity of our region.

Please help AFP San Diego honor those most deserving!

Nomination Categories:

Outstanding Philanthropist
Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer
Outstanding Organizational Volunteer
Outstanding Grant Making Organization
Outstanding Philanthropic Business or Corporation
Outstanding Development Professional
Outstanding Youth/Student Volunteer

Nominations will close on June 14, 2019 at 5:00 PM.

For more information, including the categories and criteria,
Click Here

For Questions: Contact Mark Lagace, AFP San Diego Chapter President,


Thanks for reading and paying it forward!



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An Immigrant Story-Am I That Immigrant You Are Fearful About?

This week: An Immigrant Story that is Real Getting Personal


We had a Celebration of Life for my Dad, affectionately known as, “Dr. Billi” this past weekend, who passed at the ripe old age of 89 after a rich life well lived on multiple continents!

Dad, was a physician that in the 1970s left a good but known life in India, for the promise of a better but unknown life in America.
45 years ago, along with his wife and 3 kids and nothing but a suitcase each, he left India to create a better life for his family, to advance his career, and contribute to the emerging field of diagnostic medicine.


Go West young man. Go West!

Dad’s is the classic immigrant story.
Migration is an adaptive strategy for living systems. Birds, Fish, Insects, Animals and Humans typically migrate as resources are depleted, or climate and/or social/economic/political conditions change…
Humans mostly do it by necessity because they have no choice.
Others do it by choice because they are pioneers and trailblazers unwilling to “settle”.
The American West was “won” by pioneers and trailblazers. Their rugged individualism and spirit for better and for worse are celebrated in the American ethos.


Manifest Destiny:

Dad didn’t come to the US to simply extract value or live off the fat of the land.

He came to America, both to contribute to and benefit from the greater good he in turn could advance and manifest.

His nearly 40 years of medical practice at Loma Linda University Medical Center in the second half of his life, required starting from scratch, retaking medical exams and leaving family and friends.

As a teacher and a clinician, he taught every radiology resident and cared for innumerable patients, while pioneering computerized axial tomography (CAT scans) to create better diagnostic tools to serve humanity. He might have saved someone in your family’s life.

He never missed a day of work, except for annual vacations and addressing some sporadic medical issues of his own, retiring after decades of contribution to the local and medical community.


Dad was a member of the Zoroastrian faith, one of the first monotheistic religions on the planet, that now has less than 200,000 practitioners left on earth. His ancestors were also immigrants and came from a long line of priests. They left Persia generations earlier due to religious persecution and left with nowhere to go ended up sailing to the coast of India. Here, the locals that didn’t speak the same language, greeted them with a full cup of milk, suggesting that there was no place for them and they were full. (Sound familiar?)

After considering this dilemma, the newly arrived immigrants poured copious amounts of sugar in the milk and stirred it without spilling a drop, suggesting they would only add sweetness to the current condition not drain resources.

As a result they were let in and settled in Gujarat on the west coast of India.

The rest as they say is history.

The Parsi community as they came to be known (Pars = Persia) made and continue to make significant contributions to India and the world as captains of industry, professionals, philanthropists, educators, politicians and more… (look them up if you are interested)


Dad was a lifelong learner, and loved books and quotes.

On Dad’s passing we found a handwritten note in his wallet that said,

“In life, be like a cube of sugar, so when you are gone you leave a sweet taste”.

While his particular migration was by choice and not by necessity, the aspiration and outcome was the same.

Making life sweeter for others and for yourself.

As each of us faces our own mortality, in whatever time we have left, we must decide whether our fears or our dreams will dictate our present and determine our future.

If not forced to migrating geographically- and the threat of climate change suggests we are about to see massive human migrations the likes of which we have not seen in recent memory globally in the next decades- let us at least all migrate our thinking and actions to be more tolerant, more inclusive, more global, more sporting, more mischievous and more fun as was so brilliantly and authentically modeled by my Dad.

Odds are you might find your story is tied to our story.

We are all in pursuit of the American dream and striving to make life sweeter for all.

It is not a zero sum game unless you choose to make it so…


I love you Dad!
Thanks for EVERYTHING!


Paying it forward and spreading the light this week so you don’t have to do so yourself…Love,


“In life, be like a cube of sugar, so when you are gone you leave a sweet taste”—Dr. Billi”

Your Soul Food for Earth Day Week Friday April 26 2019: The Power t Rise Again, Defending Against Mass Extinction, The Earth’s Prayer, Green Space For Kids & Things YOU can Do In Nature

“We may stumble and fall, but shall rise again;
it should be enough if we did not run away from the battle.”  — Mahatma Gandhi

This week:

Us humanoids tend to regard ourselves as the pinnacle of evolution when we’re actually the little sisters & brothers of creation. But plants, animals and landscape have been around much longer. We have a lot to learn from these teachers about how to live in balance…

Image result for earth day

International Earth Day 2019- Over 1 Billion People in 192 Countries are Dedicated to Protecting Millions of Animal and Plant Species from Going Extinct:
Did you know…

  • Insect populations have decreased by more than 75% in Germany over the last 28 years, which is “alarming” because 80% of wild plants rely on bees and other insects for pollination, and 60% of bird species rely on insects for food.
  • Primates are also under “extraordinary threat,” with close to 60% of the world’s 504 primate species under threat of extinction and 80% in “severe population decline.”
  • In the past 20 years, by-catch from global fishing operations has affected 75% of all toothed whale species, such as dolphins and porpoises, 65% of baleen whale species, such as humpback and blue whales and 65% of pinniped species, such as sea lions.
  • In addition, 40% of the world’s bird population is in decline, with 1 in 8 species threatened with global extinction.
  • Big cats, such as leopards, tigers and cheetahs, are in “critical decline,” and many will become extinct in the next 10 years. They are often exploited for their body parts and skins, and China retains the biggest market for these items.
  • Lizard populations are “especially vulnerable” to climate change, according to the organization. If the current decline continues, 40% of lizards will become extinct by 2080.
  • The American Bison, which one roamed from Alaska to New Mexico in the millions, now occupy less than 1% of their original habitat. The species is now compared to herded cattle due to its “small and tightly controlled” habitat.

Learn more about how Earth Day started and more about this year’s theme…

The Earth’s Prayer:
I wrote this some years ago and shared it before, but for me it feels as relevant today as ever!
The Earths Prayer

Being surrounded by green space in childhood may improve mental health of adults:
Children who grow up with greener surroundings have up to 55 percent less risk of developing various mental disorders later in life.
This is shown by a new study emphasizing the need for designing green and healthy cities for the future.

The Power to Rise Again
Enjoy the ‘Holy Week’ edition of Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper…

If you are local…

Happy Earth Day 2019!

For nearly five decades, people have celebrated Earth Day on April 22nd. It has become a global day dedicated to creating meaningful connections with nature and taking action.

At The San Diego River Park Foundation, we know that conserving open space and connecting people with it is essential. These nature connections foster lifelong stewardship of the San Diego River and its associated ecosystem.

The deer in the photo above was taken on a property that was conserved by many of the readers of this e-blast who made donations toward its acquisition. Many others have contributed their time and talents to begin to heal this damage land. So when we see a deer, mountain lion, newt or eagle at this property, we pause and reflect.

There is an urgent need to take action in caring for and healing our local environment. The San Diego River ecosystem is globally significant and it is at risk.

Thankful, we can take meaningful action on Earth Day and throughout the year. We are hopeful and remain so appreciative of you. Thank you for your support!


Join the 100 TREES Campaign

Support Kids Learning How to Plant and Care for Trees

We have set a goal of this fall teaching 100 deserving kids how to plant and care for trees. We have found that not only will they be making a difference for nature, they also will have a lasting connecting to the tree they planted and much more.

We just kicked off a campaign to raise $2000 to support this effort. Your gift of $20 will support one kid having this life changing experience.

Thank you if you have already donated as we have secured funds for 13 students!

83 students to go!

Learn More

Volunteer: Whether It is One Day a Year or More Frequently

First of all, thank you if you already volunteer!

There are so many different ways to volunteer such as an education docent, office helper, garden steward, or graphic designer. Volunteers are needed for river cleanups, open space management, habitat restoration, field monitoring and trail work. We have single events, monthly events and weekly ones.

To get involved, contact our office at 619-297-7380 or visit our web page.

Visit our website

Become a Monthly Wildlife Club Donor

Acquiring open space which is at risk, is a target of opportunity. Sometimes we need to act fast!

Our Wildlife Club monthly donors are critical to this effort. They provide the assurance that we will have funds to take the first step toward conserving a property. Their funds give us the time to raise additional funds to complete an open space acquisition to permanently conserve a property for the deer, birds, amphibians, trees, and so much more including the American Badger!

It is easy to setup this reoccurring gift of just $8 per month (or more).

Learn More

Reconnect With Nature – Get Outdoors!

Spring is an incredible time to get out for a walk, hike, roll or ride!

Sometimes just exploring a new view or trail can be a fantastic way to reconnect with nature.

Each year we organize San Diego River Days to provide some opportunities for you.

River Days is May 11 – 19th and there are 55 different activities!

River Days Website

Save the Date – River Days is May 11 – 19th

Together we can create a better future for the San Diego River and its ecosystem

Visit our website

The San Diego River Park Foundation 619-297-7380


Thanks this week go to all stewards of our tiny blue planet!
Please pay it forward…

Be yourself

Celebrating My Father Dr. Billi and a Life Well Lived!

This week:



I dedicate this week’s blog with deep blessings and gratitude to my beloved Dad Phiroze who passed this week, less than a month shy of his 90th birthday. His work as a physician (healer), his love of reading (scholar), his joy of music (artist), his gift as a great teacher (educator) and love of sport (sportsman) live on forever…

This handwritten note was in Dad’s wallet:

Happy National Volunteers Month:
Do invest your discretionary energy in purposeful causes that elevate humanity!
Strategic volunteering is a powerful lever in making our world a sweeter place.

5 Powerful Types of Music That Increase Your Productivity, According to Science:
Music has a subtle way of entering our lives and changing the way we feel. It permeates through empty corners and fills our rooms with substance. It can help you relax, make you well up in tears, or feel alive.
But can it make you more productive? Pick your fav and enjoy the wonder of music to transform us!——1-49——————9a29550f_33ee_4dbb_842b_615b47b4bf1d-1&sectionName=top


8 Ways to Read the Books You Wish You Had Time For:
With all that garbage reading, who has time for books anymore?


On Student/Teacher Relationships:
Sometimes teachers don’t understand the importance that their relationship with each student has on that student’s identity and sense of belonging.

Emotional control, social and relationship skills are learned behaviors that must be taught and practiced by all students.
Enter—the teacher!
The ones that know how to counsel and conduct; the ones that respect, care about and show concern for, the character development of their students. The ones that create a positive learning environment and show that they care are most likely to have their students reciprocate and show respect for them and their fellow classmates.
Enjoy the rest of Dr. Ed’s April Blog…
April Blog Relationships

Thanks to those who light the lamp and lead the way from darkness to light.
We must pay it forward for them…

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Asato ma sad gamaya | tamaso ma jyotir gamaya | mrtyor ma amrtam gamaya

“From what is not, lead me to what is; from darkness, lead me to light; from death, lead me to what is undying.”

–Brhadaranyaka Upanisad

Gratitude Alters Your Heart and Brain, Seneca and Peace, Canada Tackles Poverty, and Meditation Preserves Your Grey Matter

This week:
Why do we venerate action and vilify reflection?
Here’s a reason to revisit this social conditioning…


Scientists Show How Gratitude Literally Alters The Human Heart & Molecular Structure Of The Brain:

Gratitude is a funny thing. In some parts of the world, somebody who gets a clean drink of water, some food, or a worn out pair of shoes can be extremely grateful. Meanwhile, somebody else who has all the necessities they need to live can be found complaining about something. What we have today is what we once wanted before, but there is a lingering belief out there that obtaining material possessions is the key to happiness. Sure, this may be true, but that happiness is temporary. The truth is that happiness is an inside job.

  • The Facts: Scientists have discovered that feelings of gratitude can actually change your brain. Feeling gratitude can also be a great tool for overcoming depression and anxiety. Furthermore, scientists have discovered that the heart sends signals to the brain.
  • Reflect On: Every time we struggle with depression, why are we constantly encouraged to take prescription medication when mindfulness techniques actually show more promise?

How to Cultivate Peace of Mind According to Seneca:

15 Pieces of Stoic Wisdom for Inner Peace

What kind of life do I want to live? What truly matters to me? How best can I go after it? What type of person do I aspire to be?——0-49——————790f86fd_5ff5_46ce_a5f8_ddccc13ef925-1&sectionName=top


Winning the War on Poverty by David Brooks

The Canadians are doing it; we’re not. According to recently released data, between 2015 and 2017, Canada reduced its official poverty rate by at least 20 percent. Roughly 825,000 Canadians were lifted out of poverty in those years, giving the country today its lowest poverty rate in history. How did Canada do it?


Neuroscience shows that 50-year-olds can have the brains of 25-year-olds if they sit quietly and do nothing for 15 minutes a day:

  • Neuroscientist Sara Lazar found that people who practiced meditation had more gray matter in the part of the brain linked to decision-making and working memory: the frontal cortex. While most people see their cortexes shrink as they age, 50-year-old meditators in the study had the same amount of gray matter as those half their age. Participants in the study averaged about 27 minutes of the habit a day, but other studies suggest that you can see significant positive changes in just 15 minutes a day…

Read more…

Thanks this week go to all who practice gratitude, cultivate peace, work hard to eradicate poverty and venerate reflection.

Please pay it forward!


Addressing the Loss of Faith in the Structures and Beliefs that Define a Functioning Democracy

Do you believe in the power of inclusion, the determined, and the potential to move humanity forward?


Silent Killers Hidden in Plain Sight:

I remain concerned about what is now regarded as a whole new category of disease and cause of death; “Diseases of Despair” that are plaguing modern society.

Longevity rates in the US have dropped in the last two years for the first time in decades, not because of the scourge of gun violence which remains a critical topic in our social consciousness that we need to address proactively and systemically as modeled powerfully and decisively right now in New Zealand (see last article below) but because of staggering rises in suicide rates, depression, overdoses from the opioid crisis, and other drugs/alcohol.

Diseases of Despair: Anomie is a psychological imbalance that leads to prolonged despair, lethargy and yearnings for self-annihilation. It is caused by a collapse of societal norms, ideals, values and standards. It is, in short, a loss of faith in the structures and beliefs that define a functioning democracy.

This week we focus on some things we can do about it…


A Psychotherapist Goes To Therapy — And Gets A Taste Of Her Own Medicine:

“I think that therapy at any age, it helps people to relate better to themselves and to the people around them,” she says. “It helps them to examine the way that they live their lives and take responsibility for what’s not working and also for what they can change.”

How To Raise Boys:

Because what it means to be a “man” is changing, as are the ways that parents are raising boys to become men. So who sets that standard? What do we expect of boys today? How do we define what kind of men we want them to be? And are there any traditional notions of masculinity worth keeping?

Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper: News and Views for a Meaningful Life:



“Isn’t it amazing that we are all made in God’s image, and yet there is so much diversity among his people?”  — Desmond Tutu


Sometimes you are lucky enough to take a trip at just the right moment…

I have been in Abu Dhabi this week for the Special Olympics World Games and, everywhere I’ve looked, I have seen the good of humanity.

Athletes from all over the world have traveled here with coaches, parents and volunteers. They have gathered together because they believe in the power of sports, the power of inclusion and the potential to move humanity forward.

Within this community, I find myself enveloped in goodness. I find myself surrounded by people who are giving themselves to others and who speak about unity, tolerance, respect and love. Those are the values that matter to them. These are the values that matter to me.

The Special Olympics World Games have been soul-lifting for me because I’ve met people of different nationalities and faiths who are committed to building a more inclusive world together. These are people who believe in a world where we lift each other up, not tear each other down. These are people who believe in a world of positivity and possibility. These are people who believe in a world where discrimination does not exist, and where the word disability is replaced with determination.

All of this has brought me hope this week as I have absorbed the tragic news out of New Zealand. It’s also brought me hope as I’ve digested the stunning story of wealth, corruption and deceit behind the college cheating scandal in the United States.

News stories like these can really get you down. They can make you feel like the world is really dark. But when you get involved with something like the Special Olympics, it can remind you that there is light in our world and that most people are good.

It’s also a reminder that the way we spend our time, and the people who we surround ourselves with, can change our perspective. You may not be able to travel to Abu Dhabi to see this, but you can still see it in your own community. After all, there are organizations like the Special Olympics doing this kind of life-changing work in your own backyard.

Through the Special Olympics, individuals with intellectual disabilities are stepping into a world where they are treated like whole beings. Many who traveled here are getting health screenings for the first time. They are reveling in the things the rest of us take for granted, like being able to see, hear or have our teeth checked. All of this makes my heart feel full. It fills me with hope and optimism and a belief that things can get better.

Of course, the news out of New Zealand has reminded me yet again that hateful and divisive words still have power, especially when they are uttered in the public space.

My guide here in Abu Dhabi is a Muslim man. He told me that his heart pounded as he watched the New Zealand news on his phone. “Violence in a place of prayer?” he said. “Why? Why?” I looked at him and, for a moment, was unsure what to say. Then, I used the words and the message that everyone else here is using.

We are here to build a world based on love, inclusion and acceptance of everyone. We are here to show the world a different way. I told him that I stand with him. I said that I am his friend and that I am sorry so many people in his faith lost their lives while in prayer this week. I told him that we should collectively condemn this kind of violence and that the best way to do so is to carry forward in a different way.

During times like these, we must remember why we are here. We must remember what we all have in common. The vast majority of us—the good of humanity—are individuals trying to build lives filled with love, family, honorable work, and a belief that things can get better. That’s true no matter who you are, where you live, or what faith you believe. The vast majority of us want to make things better. We must not lose sight of that.

So, on this Sunday, I will visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. I will visit not just as a sightseer, but as a human being standing in solidarity with my Muslim brothers and sisters around the world.

I will also stand with my Irish brothers and sisters around the world in honor of my Irish heritage. And, I’ll stand by those in the intellectual disability community, who are referred to at the World Games as “the determined.”

I’ll stand with everyone who vows to wipe out hate. As New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, “we utterly reject and condemn” this kind of violence. It has no place in our world.

Together, we can build a world based on acceptance, inclusion, faith and tolerance. We can use our words and actions to move humanity forward. We can, and we will, find a new way forward.



Dear God, thank you for this awe-inspiring, beautiful life you have created and given us. Help us do a better job of treating each other with respect and remembering that we are all in this together. Amen.


Thanks this week go to Meg M, Cathy S, Maria S, as well as NPR for being a rich source of important stories and subjects.

Stay positive, stay informed and please pay it forward…

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“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.
Without them humanity cannot survive.”
– Dalai Lama