The Identity Beacon Blog

Why the middle matters

One has to go beyond the pairs of opposites to find the real source of anything.” Joseph Campbell    We’re living in a polar world, a world which, in many ways, is defined by polar opposites. Our notion of opposites tends to default to politics: Republicans...

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What does joy mean to you?

  In my last Viewsletter, I referred to the Book of Joy, published in 2016, which condenses a week’s worth of discussions between Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama into a compendium of wisdom. In today’s complicated world, I believe it’s worth looking at joy,...

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A time for JOY

The two men reflect on their personal experiences and outline what they call the eight pillars of joy. In re-reading the book, I was struck by how relevant these pillars are today as we navigate a new way of being in the world....

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What do you believe? (v.7)

It’s been two years since my end-of-year viewsletter focused on what you believe. Too long! Over time, readers have submitted dozens of answers, ranging from the illuminating, serious, and funny, to the distressing and the reassuring. Let’s do it again. After all, we are in...

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Are you stayin’ alive?

The other day, a classic rock station happened to play the Bee Gee’s famous 1977 song, Stayin’ Alive. The lyrics tell the story of someone who is struggling with life, but won’t give up. He has ups and downs, but has hope and won’t abandon...

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Why can’t we all just get along?

Diversity and pluralism have informed America’s identity for generations. In these two principles, we celebrate the fullness of our humanity: the similarities as well as the differences that make us the individuals we are. Yet today we are short-changing that humanity by confusing social labels...

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(What) do you believe? v.6

It is said that opposites attract. That popular notion is being sorely tested these days, as we appear to be living in a time when polarities rule, where being opposite, indeed, in opposition, is informing our opinions in significant ways. We see this phenomenon politically,...

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What two weeks in Japan taught me about walls

My wife and I just returned from a two-week vacation in Japan. The trip took us from Tokyo through the Japanese countryside, where we stayed in Ryokans: the small, country inns that capture the traditional essence of rural Japan. A few days later, we wound up in Kyoto...

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What’s on your business card?

How do you present yourself to the world? Do you -- can you -- present your true self or do you present the traditional, expected "data?" -- What you do, who you work for? Here's another approach for fashioning a personal business card that asserts your...

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What do you believe? (v.5)

Whether the state of the world today leaves you feeling desolate and fearful, or elated and excited, no doubt you hold strong beliefs that fuel those feelings. Consider this posting your opportunity to express some or all of those beliefs.  Below, you will find 12 fill-in-the-blank...

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Can kids learn the joy of giving?

We live, as the Chinese saying goes, in "interesting times." Wild politics. A fragile global economy. A fundamental shift in the distribution of wealth. It's hard to navigate these treacherous waters no matter who you are. Taking rather than giving seems to be the underlying...

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But, what about the bird?

It's almost spring and here come the birds, back from their southern migrations. Ever wonder how birds get around, how they are able to fly? They use their strong breast muscles to flap their wings to give them the thrust they need to move through...

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