All you need…

You certainly have noticed that at the end of each post I include a teaser to the current ROAMcare blog. From the ROAMcare website we explained how I and my co-founding partner are attempting to help people “bridge the gap from existing to living and refresh your enthusiasm for life!” We aren’t special any way.  We are ordinary people who have a desire to live what years we have in positivity and to invite others to join us in that endeavor. Our blog posts are drawn from our experiences.

Last week’s message resounded with me more deeply than any we had yet published. It is the essence of bridging the gap from existing to living. Like so many of the most profound concepts, it’s strength lies in its simplicity. If I was to write a teaser for this blog it would be,“As we begin February and almost everybody’s first thought is of love, let us consider those we love with all types of love, and tell them we love them.”

Today I’m going to do something I’ve never done.Instead of a teaser to the current post I am reprinting it in its entirety. I feel the message is so needed to be heard by as many people as possible. If you would like to share the message please do. If you should, I only ask that you attribute it to The original post can be found at

Thank you!

Three Little Words

The Oxford English Dictionary lists over 750,000 words in the English language. There are about 171,000 words in common usage. According to a 2007 article in the journal Science, Mathias Mehl and others reported the average American adult speaks about 16,000 words a day. Of all those words, we don’t use many of them to convey our most important messages. Perhaps that is because we only have one word for the most important message of them all – love.

As we begin February, almost everybody’s first thought is of love. For as much that goes on during this, the shortest month of the year, Valentine’s Day holds a lot of attention. Valentine’s Day indeed is for lovers. But love is for so many more!

Humans are social beings. We relish, in fact we need to be with and interact with other humans. Our connections with each other are often born of need but grow because we want to explore and deepen those connections with other individuals, certain individuals. All of those connections are some form of love. The Greeks did it well. They coined seven different words for love, one for each type of love – Romantic, Affectionate, Familial, Selfless, Playful, Committed, and Self love, Eros, Philia, Storge. Agape, Ludus, Pragma, and Philautia respectively. Each type of love exhibits its own characteristics, but no one is more important, more special, more “loving” than any other. And yet, we seldom hear people verbally express their love for others except in the case of Romantic or sometimes Familial love. We are more likely to tell others we love our jobs, we love pizza, we love to travel, or we love swimming, than we are to tell our best friend, “I love you.”

Love is a source of motivation and strength for us as individuals. All types of love can induce the release of dopamine, adrenaline and norepinephrine, the so-called “feel-good chemicals.” But to affect that release, a relationship with a specific other person must be realized. Simplistically speaking, each form of love demonstrates a specific relationship. Eros involves a physical connection with others. Pragma is characterized by an emotional connection with another. Agape is known by its selfless, almost one-way flow of compassion and concern. But there is no pure form of each love. Some characteristics of each of the seven types of love can be found in all of the seven types of love. And thus, any love can improve a person’s self-worth, build trust, or strengthen family and social ties.

Another trait of humans is the need for physical contact. Reported by the National Institutes of Health is a 1995 study on the significance of physical contact that proposes four hugs per day as an antidote for depression, eight hugs per day to achieve mental stability and twelve hugs per day to possibly affect real psychological growth. We see people engaging more universally in hugging throughout the seven love spectrum. Family members hug each other, care givers hug their charges, friends hug their friends!

We suggest that hugging is an outward sign of love. People respond positively to hugs just as they would to any other indication they are loved, whether a kiss, a physical touch, a clasped hand-shake, a warm smile, or a verbal acknowledgement that they are loved – being told, “I love you!!”

As we begin February and almost everybody’s first thought is of love, let us consider those we love with all types of love, and tell them we love them. If we’re willing to say so to a large pizza it should be easy to admit it to our loving, living connections, no matter what type of love we feel for them. It’s just three little words out of so many you will say today.



Put Giving into your Thanksgiving

Several of you made the trip to the ROAMcare site to read last week’s blog, For the People Who Love Us into Being. There’s a second part to that just in time for Thanksgiving and I thought you might like to see it through. Briefly it says, “It is better to give than receive but just what do we give? How about us! Give thankfully knowing by giving yourself you could be loving somebody into being.” I would be honored if you read it all at Put the Giving into Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Used with permission

On being loved into being

I was working in adapting a post I wrote for my foundation site for here because, well, because I think it’s really good and would make a great lead up to Thanksgiving blog post. I thought after what we as country just went through having to experience the childishness that accompanied s years general election, that a word from someone who worked so successfully with children is just what the doctor ordered. So I ordered it.

And then Colorado Springs happened. You’ve heard of that incident. Five dead. Nineteen wounded. One nut case up with a f-ing assault rifle destroys the dreams of 24 People because he has a “right” to carry an assault weapon into a crowd and start firing. Of course you know that same day in Philadelphia, Mississippi nut case or nut cases unknown shot seven people, killing one, over a dice game.

If you’re keeping score, those are mass shootings #26 and 27 in the US for the month of November. Not the year – for November’s, which still has 10 days to go. One of them is Thanksgiving. Are you still thankful we have the “right” to carry guns at will? Maybe this will help. How are 602 mass shootings for this year.

It’s time to stop this madness.

The  post that  I was going to rework, you can read it here. And actually if I were you I would. It’s a whole lot happier and more positive than this dreck.

The theme running through that post is based in an idea voiced by Fred Rogers in his acceptance speech for the Lifetime Achievement Award, bestowed to him at the 24th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in 1997, “All of us have special ones who loved us into being.” What a wonderful way of thinking of how we have become who we are, that there are people who have loved us into being. Gratitude is not, and should not, be an exercise is saying thanks for what we have, for in truth we will not always have. We should be expressing thanks because we are, because even when we do not have, we always will be.

Maybe the nut cases of the world didn’t have anybody to love them into being. We did. Be grateful. Be grateful you have people who have loved you into being. Say thank you to them, because without them, you are not the who you are.

Seriously, do yourself a favor, go read it. It will take you less time to read than you’ve spent reading this junk that I’ve written here.  Go find out about this idea of being loved into being. And then go out and love somebody that much.


Used with permission

A Tale of One City

It was the best of times, it was the worst … no, wait, that’s taken. That’s two cities anyway. How about: it was the best of intentions, it was the worst of intentions. The one city is here, the time was Saturday.

20210321_200444Saturday afternoon might have been one of the better times for this fair city as a small group peacefully assembled with speakers in support of the “Stop Asian Hate” movement, supporting the local and national Asian communities. The diverse group was mostly college aged people with some families and one celebrity who was in town filming a movie. The rally started at a corner a little bit out of the downtown district and after the speakers spoke they move to a nearby park and held a moment of silence for the those slain in Atlanta. It was a good, positive time, Definitely one of the better times. But then again . . .

Earlier Saturday a group of a few hundred gathered at the baseball stadium and accompanied by motorcycle mounted police, they march across a bridge, through town, then to the large state  park that dominates the focal point of downtown. There celebrities, local and state politicians, and candidates for upcoming races assembled to make speeches opposing the ongoing state mask mandate and protesting the results of the 2020 Presidential election. Still. One of the participants spoke about the danger of the right to bear arms “being taken away.” One of the speakers referred to Donald Trump as “the real President of the United States” from the podium. One of the marchers said “freedom is tenuous” when asked about his opposition to the mask mandate.

There is a local TV reporter who each morning posts an inspirational message to her social media accounts. Sunday’s was “Don’t wait for things to get simpler, easier, better. Life will always be complicated. Learn to be happy right now. Otherwise you’ll run out of time.” it’s a great message. The people at the small “Stop Asian Hate” rally would get that. The people at the whatever it was supposed to be rally never could understand that and probably wouldn’t bother to try. Yet those are the people who if they did try and then stopped trying to make everything “better” by their own definition and just be happy that they have the opportunities so many other people around the world do not, there wouldn’t be a danger of not having enough time for happiness. There might be an overabundance of happiness because the rest of the world, the majority of the world I am certain, wouldn’t have to spend so much time protecting themselves from the ones who are never happy.

It’s sad that a small but so loud group of people so desperately clinging to a fantasy still garner so much attention and cause such an extreme amount of hate that a peaceful group of people, ones of all ages, colors and ethnicities, are held hostage by the fear that that desperate ones might any moment mutate into desperados.

I was right the first time I thought about it. Saturday afternoon indeed represented a better of times in my one fair city. Let’s just leave it at that.


Spring into Action, Spring into Love

Spring is close to being around the corner you can smell it in the air. I cannot remember a Spring I have waited for more than this year, and that’s a lot of Springs. Talk about a winter of discontent. It should have been one of great hope. A vaccine was out and in use! Even though the first doses were administered in December, technically that was still Fall. And then it went downhill.

Right out of the gate, reports of cheating among West Point cadets hit the papers. Of course the Commander in Chief was busy trying to beg, steal, or cajole a few million nonexistent votes (oddly he never tried to buy) so why shouldn’t the youngest of the military try to game their way through the system especially when just the following day the first of over 40 pardons or sentence commutations were issued by Trump in his last month in office. December wrapped up with three people shot in a bowling alley in Illinois. January saw landslides in Norway, blizzards in Spain, and nutcases raining down on Washington DC. In February, if CoViD-19 wasn’t an infectious enough problem to deal with, avian flu broke out in Russia and an Ebola outbreak in Guinea had all of West Africa on alert. The month wrapped up with 5 dead from a shooting in Indianapolis. That lead to February opening with 4 dead in an Oklahoma shooting, and in a weird homage to December, three people were shot in a bowling alley in Central Pennsylvania. Uprisings and protests dominated the news in February and March with unrest in Myanmar, Ethiopia, Catalonia, and Somalia.

With just 3 days remaining in this winter, the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center released a report documenting 3,795 incidents of harassment, physical assault, and civil rights violations against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders since March 19, 2020 that include 503 in January of February of this year. (The Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University launched the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center on March 19, 2020.) These are only the reported incidents. It is impossible to say what the actual incident frequency is although the Pew Research Center estimates 3 in 10 Asian Americans have been verbally abused since the start of the pandemic last year.

In front of a house on a road I use often there is a sign proclaiming, “Impeach China Joe.” I doubt the people responsible for posting that sign understand what the words mean. Like most bullies, they simply repeat what the head bully says. One of their favored means of attack is denigration. In the school yard fifty years that would be “Four Eyes,” or “Stinky Pants.” Now it’s China Joe, Crazy Nancy, Braindead Bernie. Now it’s every time that somebody wants to look tough without a pack of Marlboro’s rolled in the white t-shirt sleeve, they repeat a select epithet. Even if it was just name calling to make themselves feel superior it would be so wrong, but the modern societal bullies do not stop there. Actual violence, hospitalizing and killing people make up over 10% of the reports received by Stop AAPI Hate. That was before six Asian women were killed and one other wounded in the Atlanta shootings this week.

IMG_20200726_232745We have a new season starting Saturday. Spring is supposed to be a season of rebirth, hope, and beauty. This would be a good time to start acting like reborn, hopeful, beautiful people and stop the unrelenting slide into the ugliness this country and this world have become. It will take action of your part. Positive action, not just a heart and praying hands icon on your Tweets and emails. I have said this here before, you cannot stop the hate if you are doing the hating. You must love. Make no mistake, the opposite of love is not hate. It is however the cure for hate. The opposite of love is apathy. If you are not actively loving then you are not truly loving, and if you are not loving you cannot oppose hate.

RogersClemmonsI don’t suppose that it is coincidence that Saturday is not only the first day of Spring but also Fred Rogers birthday. If I had to pick only one hero to model my life on it would be Mr. Rogers. For over thirty years Mr. Rogers was a friend to millions of young Americans, and with a diverse group of performers shared time, stories, music, and make believe. Unfortunately at the same time, thousands of young American bullies were already gearing up to throw water and hatred on the devotees of Fred Rogers gentle manner and universal friendship.

Don’t let the bullies take over. Spring into action. Spring into love!

Strength to Love

Boy I had a time coming up with today’s post. I started thinking I should do something lighthearted. It’s been a while since I’ve been particularly light about anything and the world certainly could use a break from its self-seriousness. Then I thought I should do something for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the second of many reasons each year for banks and post offices to close while the rest of the country celebrates by buying new washer/dryer combinations or king size mattresses for the price of a queen. Then there’s the whole inauguration protest combination thing going on this week. Personally I think Twitter was about 1400 days late in pulling that particular plug and it goes to show people will believe anything they read online. And how can we let a week go by without paying homage to the real ruler of the world, Orthocoronavirinae betacoronavirus-2. In the end I decided to do what I do best and just ramble.
Let’s start with the good reverend doctor. Although I have not yet today opened a paper, wood based or electronic, I’m certain somebody somewhere has managed include the word “dream” in a headline, photo caption, or lede. Dr. King said more than that one phrase we associate with him almost to the exclusion of all others. I particularly like “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy” from Strength to Love, a collection of his sermons published in 1963.
The whole idea of of needing strength to love is so appropriate for today. Nearly 50 years after it appeared in print we are still struggling with how we mark the measure of mankind and the concept of loving our neighbors (no exceptions). We are clearly in a time of challenge and controversy and if you want to rise above the pack of animals – or crazy people dressed in animal skins – that man has become, you must accept the challenge to rise above the controversy, set it aside, and move on.
So I’ll offer a challenge that I know many if you don’t even need to hear. Let’s get through this week without saying anything negative about somebody who you don’t agree with or who doesn’t agree with you, whenever discussing anything stick to the facts rather than “alternate facts” and think three times before committing anything to writing – particularly electronic writing, smile at a stranger even knowing they can’t see it under your mask, and love your neighbor.
Can you do that? Do you have the strength to love?

No Exceptions – Still!

I don’t know if you noticed I’ve missed quite a few Thursday posts. I’ve had lots to say, I never run out of words much to the chagrin of so many, and have gotten many posts written. It seems though that at least half of everything I’ve put down lately has gotten there through anger. Hence although they got writ only half as many got published.
I’ll not say anger is bad. A lot of who were are and want we’ve accomplished is because somebody was angry. Early settlers were angry at what they perceived as unfair treatment in their native lands and set out to establish new homes elsewhere resulting in most of the modern world. Pioneers in diagnostic procedures were angry that they couldn’t get a look at what was happening inside the body so they could effectively develop treatment plans and went about creating all manner of gadgetry to see what was lurking under the skin, thus the field of medical imaging was borne.
Those were instances of anger turned to beneficence through inspiration, imagination, and doing the hard work needed to make things better. There is anger out in the world again only much of that anger is over pettiness. In a world where almost 1.7 million people have lost their lives to the no longer novel virus SARS-CoV2 and its spiffy street name CoVid-19 we get angry that we cannot fill a football stadium with tens of thousands of screaming fans to watch 22 college “graduates” concuss each other. Or we get angry enough to file suit against a neighbor seeking damages for pain and suffering when he (or whatever freaking pronoun is politically correct this week) put up a campaign sign in his front yard blocking the view of the campaign sign Neighbor One put up on his yard for the opposing candidate of course. To anybody who thinks these are important expressions of personal liberties, you’re stupid!
This week marked the second anniversary of the mass killing of eleven people attending services at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. At the time I changed the banner on this blog to the sign “Love Thy Neighbor – No Exceptions.” Rallies were held, the obligatory pop-up memorial overflowed with flowers, and people bought up t-shirts, hats, and flags declaring the city is “Stronger Than Hate.” Two years later people are wearing those shirts to riots, and inventing new derogatory names to call people with political views different from theirs.
Life in America has become a series of memes, the 21st century version of sound bites, where it’s easier to wear a red hat or a string of pearls than to engage in meaningful dialogue. Where its easier to say hate won’t win than to act like I love you.  

The Things you See

Every now and then I’ll pass a car on the road or in a parking lot with a dash cam. A car that is not a police vehicle. I’ve often thought why does ordinary Joe Driver need a dash cam.  I don’t know how Joe thinks but I think I figured out why I should get one. Your car is still the one place you can be and say “the things you see when you don’t have a camera.” Even with an ever present cell phone with 5 lenses and auto-zoom you miss that shot you need to prove “No, I’m not making this up!” In just one week I saw a custom license plate celebrating greed, a bumper sticker proclaiming selfishness and stupidity all in one, and evidence that apes can drive. Fortunately before I got home I also saw proof that there still is hope for humanity.
I did a whole post devoted to the state issued vanity plate experience. That was 8 years ago and the thought process people have behind their licences plate requests hasn’t changed much. Almost universally with custom plates one is convincing letters and numbers to approximate the word he or she wants. “IM L8” might explain why that car sped past you in the no passing zone. In that earlier post I mentioned one plate I saw that was an honest to gosh English word, ALIMONY. At the time I wrote, “Although it was on a fairly pricey vehicle it wasn’t on a true luxury car so maybe the owner could have worked out a still better deal.”  Perhaps somebody read that and got the idea from me. If so I would like to extend apologies to the payor whose support clearly is responsible for the Audi S6 with the plate ALEMONY. Apparently the previous plate is still in use and not available but as long as you’re soaking the ex, don’t let a little thing like spelling spoil the opportunity to rub it in at the same time.
Also affixed to the back of a vehicle, this one stuck to a slightly older crossover (is it a van, SUV, or station wagon?) idling ahead of me at a traffic light, was the bumper sticker demonstrating a while new level of selfishness, even for America. “I wouldn’t wear a mask if you were the last person on Earth” A most interesting sentiment. It went along with the other bumper stickers “I’d Rather Be At The Range” and “My kid can beat up your honor roll student” although the ones providing evidence that vehicle made it to “Sunny Florida 🌴” and “Walt Disney World” made for an interesting contrast. I had to think the “mask” sticker was a custom job because if it was mass produced, who ever was responsible wouldn’t have been that stupid. If “you” are the “last person on Earth” what does that say about the person who is not wearing the mask?
20200914_082114A dash cam might not have even picked up the evidence that not all drivers have evolved equally. This was the pick-up truck with the spiked wheels that pulled up beside me. Not spokes but spikes. Six inch long, tapered, metallic looking pointed spikes where each lug nut would be. My first thought was of the hot rods of the 1950s and the chopped roof and flame paintjob driven by the stereotypical bad boy but this was no throwback. This was a basic newer American made full size pick up truck but with weaponized wheels. I had to go in the Internet in search of a picture of something similar and actually found the very wheel although not the very truck. And that can only mean they are organizing. 
But the week ended on a more positive note, still one many people probably won’t believe without proof. I can tell you I saw it and I believe. There is still love in the world. While I turned into the drive of my complex I had to slow to allow the couple walking the road in front of me move off to the side. They weren’t youngsters these two, just entering a life together, nor were they an older couple who had been through decades of life side by side. They were approaching middle age, not quite there, often an age of some insecurity when questions of what’s next don’t always have clear answers. This couple was making it clear that whatever was next for them they were facing it together. In that day, at 11 something on a Saturday morning, these two 40-somethings representing the best of mankind were out taking a walk in public for all the world to see – and doing it hand in hand. 
Oh yes, the things you see…

Alive and Kicking

I’ve missed some of my “regular “posting days but not to worry, I’m still alive and kicking. You may recall I’m in the midst of preparing for a move and that has taken me to places filled with cardboard boxes and bubble wrap and tape that sticks to everything except cardboard boxes. But I am quite alive and desperately kicking. I haven’t always been here to write and occassionally I don’t even get to read as much as I’d like, but… well, as I said I’m still alive and kicking. Now just in case you might have missed some of the news, I took some time over the weekend to catch up on it and I’ve found I am not the only thing you might have mistaken as being out of your lives but in reality is still A and K.
Also very much alive is:
Working from home. I don’t know what the conditions are around you but around me quarantine orders are relaxing. Retail businesses are opening and some restaurants have either reopened their doors to half capacity crowds or have co-opted outdoor space, or both, to satisfy the eating out crowd at acceptably social distances. This has “resurrected” an early casualty of the virus, traffic. But office based businesses are still mostly still home based and you can tell by the way the group dog walks happen every day at 8:30, 12:30 and 4:30.
Spam calls: What looked to be another early virus casualty, unsolicited sales calls and robocalls have proved to be rich in COVID antibodies and are thriving once again. More likely the robo-coders got established in their home offices and the rest is weird history.
Greed: If you think really hard you might remember those early fund raisers, donations, food distributions, and loan/living expense forgiveness programs that were once all the headlines. It took less than a fiscal quarter for the layoffs, contract renegotiations, and bankruptcies to re-capture the headlines. 
Hatred: I’ll leave this to your nightly news.
Stupid memes: In typical American fashion we can’t let a crisis go by without demonstrating that we can overdo everything. Robert Orben, a professional comedy writer known for his work in early telelvision including the Jack Parr and Red Skelton shows and author of The Speakers Handbook of Humor, said: 
In prehistoric times, mankind often had only two choices in crisis situations: fight or flee. In modern times, humor offers us a third alternative; fight, flee – or laugh.
Unfortunately it’s the amateur comedy writers who feel they know just the right clip to exploit to keep is laughing through the crisis. They don’t.
20200615_201912That virus thing: Again, I don’t know what the conditions are around you but around me I’m expecting all heck to break loose in another week or two. Record positive results and hospitalizations have been recorded in Texas, Florida, California, and both Carolinas, where quarantines were lifted, beaches opened, and social distancing ignored. I know it is politically incorrect to say but you can’t not expect there to be some virulent response to the amassed masses no matter how righteous the cause. The virus doesn’t care.
Yep, all of the above are alive and kicking. In fact, the only thing that seems to be in short supply is some love for a fellow human. How about it, can you spare a cup of love?

No Means No

The road to hell. We spend so much time on that road it should be paved in gold with diamond milestones. 
I’m not writing about the tragedy that befell George Floyd. It’s not about the tragedy that befell Tony Timpa. It’s not about Black Lives, All Lives, muted media, cops, robbers, killers, or racists. It’s not about how we spend so much time making, responding, defending, and demeaning knee jerk decisions that we forgot when and where we should be on our knees. It’s not about whether police should be defunded and it’s not about that police aren’t the problem. It’s not an argument that the black man has been subjected to racism or that the black man suborns racism. It’s not about who is right, who is wrong, or who has been wronged for 200 years.
The biggest back and forth argument since the phrase entered our lexicon is Black Lives Matter / All Lives Matter. Perhaps you’ve seen the clarification Black Lives Matter doesn’t mean Only Black Lives Matter. Maybe you’ve read the short article that a protest to save the rain forest doesn’t mean you are against other forests. Maybe you’ve scratched your head and wondered, perhaps aloud, what about all the other colors that aren’t white. The danger in those arguments is that emphasis is put on the exact thing that should never exist in a perfectly equitable society, a difference.
We are not going to undo whatever has been done. It can’t happen. The moving finger wrote it and the wall isn’t erasable. The horrible things people have done and the good things as well. They are. They won’t go away. They won’t go away if you shift money, if you shift thinking, if you shift positions. They will always be because they were and in real life you cannot undo. And unlike in the perfectly equitable society were there should never be a difference, in real life there are differences. They are as indelible, as permanent, as incapable of not being a part of our beings as our skin color. We will never see past that if we continue to highlight it.
Oh but we do know how to see past it. We know the answer as sure as we know our names. We preach it often enough with our ad slogan-ess, sound bite like, politically correct banners and hash tags and avatars. We just keep missing what those words mean. All of us. Missed completely. 
You say you want to protest against racism. How about protesting for love instead. Maybe you want to support black restaurants in your area. How about just trying something new, maybe even outside your comfort zone and spreading the word if you really loved it. Maybe you want to mute your voice when it’s not going to be all the rage, but don’t mute it so loudly those who are amplified can’t be heard.
And most important, love. You can’t beat hate if you’re doing the hating.