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A Tale of Two Travelers

 “A Tale of Two Travelers" A traveler in an ancient time arrived at the gate of a city and found a gatekeeper sitting at its foot. “What’s it like in this city?” the sojourner asked. “What was it like where you came from?” returned the gatekeeper. “It was a horrible place,” the traveler replied. “There were no jobs, everyone was fighting with each other, and the streets were a mess.” “Well, that’s pretty much what you’ll find here,” the gatekeeper explained. The visitor shook his head and continued on his way. An hour later another traveler approached the city gate. “What’s it like in this city?” he asked the gatekeeper. “What was it like where you came from?” returned the gatekeeper. “Pretty nice, actually,” the traveler replied. “My work was rewarding, people helped each other where they could, and it was a decent place for kids to grow up.” “Well, that’s pretty much what you’ll find here,” the gatekeeper explained. The visitor thanked the gatekeeper and entered the city. The wo

Positive Peace

I'll be honest.  The past years, at least for me, it's been hard to believe that peace can prevail.  The categories of verbal strife that exist between persons, levels of discordant perspectives, and the egregious wealth disparities that exist make it difficult for me to believe we're getting better. Blatant ignore-ance (ignoring) of ways to care for others with SARS-CoV-2 are truly hard for me to discern. Noting that, I want to be a caretaker and advocate for peace - and a better world. If you want to read more about actual metrics that mark issues of peace, let me refer you to the Institute for Economic and Peace - an agency I've been fortunate to work with as an Ambassador. In the link I'll share they advocate for peace with these words: Peace is the prerequisite for the survival of humanity in the 21st century. Without peace, it will not be possible to achieve the levels of trust, cooperation and inclusiveness necessary to solve these challenges, let alone empow

Tomorrow is today . . . now let us begin

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Photograph by Matt Herron / AP Images Martin Luther King Jr., “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” speech at Riverside Church in New York City, April 4, 1967. The couple of lines I have bolded stood out to me personally today. "I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I am speaking against the war. Could it be that they do not know that the Good News was meant for all men – for communist and capitalist, for their children and ours, for black and for white, for revolutionary and conservative? Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the one who loved his enemies so fully that he died for them?… We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy, for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers . . . We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing a

Peace & Flourishing

Working to get all things established for Private Practice out of Oregon  - with ability to see clients in any U.S. State. Quite a few things with Oregon State LLC we've established, (4U, LLC), taxable stuff, banking accounts, insurance, website(s) with domain based email. Thus far:   www.peaceandflourishing.com   ("up" though new pics and graphic/logo in process) marty@peaceandflourishing.com ~ marty

Coming in 2022

A multi-state teletherapy practice with Marty Alan Michelson will exist. Check back to this website on the 1st and 15th of each month for updates. Temporary gmail until Business Design & Website is complete: confidentialconsultation@gmail.com   ~ marty

Obviously not accurate, and yet, has a measure of truth.

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I like this whimsical sign. Obviously, we're *not* only in need of water and sun.  We need sleep, companionship, mental stimulation and so much.  And we're not houseplants! And yet, I enjoy how this trivial sign is a reminder, too, that in some ways we really need few tangible things to have a good life.  And, also, we do need to manage our complex emotions. Emotions that include anger, fear, sadness, grief are difficult. My hope is that all persons can live in a world spurned  on by more hopeful and loving emotions. My hope is that all persons can live in a world characterized  by less fractured and hurtful emotions. Let's do more to share water, sun and care & compassion, one to another. Toward eupan ~ ~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

We get better when we own our actions and apologize

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We can learn how to be better by studying the habits and practices of peace-able persons, peace-making communities, and by studying what has worked to achieve peace between and among persons, individuals and nations. Cinnie Noble has written books and articles to help persons engage conflict toward reconciliation and peace.   Cinnie Noble founded CINERGY® Coaching and is former social worker and lawyer, Cinnie is a certified mediator (C.Med). At her blog today she shared more than the abbreviated version I'll include below - as you are encouraged to read her presentation fully at her site . The reality is people on the receiving end are not always ready for an apology – we might still be processing our hurt about what was said or done; we might not be otherwise ready to move on; we might consider the behaviour exhibited as unforgivable. Some have heard too many apologies from the other person for the same behaviours, and feel trust has broken down irreparably.  . . . 

Can a Virus Push us to become Better?

The impact of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 are intriguing at many levels. It will be interesting to discern the future impact of this pandemic. It has reshaped the world. A few intriguing studies in the news today include: Some personality types are less likely to cohere to social distancing/social care.  Individuals can negatively impact the future of societies. Fossil Fuels may never recover from the impacts.   (Personally, I think fossil fuels will persist for many decades, simply based on the number of "end-user" needs in the forms of current vehicles on the road.) A single nation, acting with social/government intentional impact, while impacted by SARS-CoV-2 has demonstrated they can "conquer" it.  Good Job New Zealand.  And, it's evident that when people acted with some intention in shut-downs and social-distancing - lives were spared from COVID-19.  Social care and social action can make the world safer, better. We can be better. We need more

Communication, Clarity and Data should inform our Social Transformation

I am sharing a comprehensive website about a social change advocacy program with metrics and data about police issues, police policy, and public political policy with safety issues. Because the website and the data are new to me in recent days, I reserve the right to not agree with nor advocate for *every* *individual* issue. The content data within the site, as well as the quality of graphics/handouts, and the presentation of relevant data is important to our public conversation. We can live in a world where the police don't kill people  by limiting police  interventions , improving community  interactions , and ensuring  accountability . A  comprehensive package  of urgent policy solutions - informed by data, research and human rights principles - can change the way police serve our communities. More at  https://www.joincampaignzero.org/ A four-page PDF, with data and their suggested policy changes is at this link . We can be better. We can act better. We ar

Pure Objectivity is impossible . . . and yet

Detached and disconnected objectivity is impossible. We are each shaped by personal, social, family, cultural, contextual, educational, experiential and genetic issues. And yet, it seems likely to me that "to any outside observer" - persons from outside America looking at America  - must objectively ponder how "great" we are as a nation and/or how realistic is the claim of "the American Dream." Viewed from outside America, it is likely that an objective outside observer would think that America is deeply divided, politically unstable, failing to care for the poor, not nurturing the sick, and fraught with true dis-ease and disease with respect to how immigrants and people of colour are (dis)respected and (mis)treated. It's impossible for outsiders to know what America is really like. Even if the killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, or the racial profiling of a bird watcher peacefully enjoying the park does lead to systemic change for Ameri

"The rich get richer . . . "

U.S. President Andrew Jackson stated in 1832:  when the laws undertake... to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society... have a right to complain of the injustice to their Government. Prior to this, the Poet Percy Shelley wrote in 1821: The rich have become richer, and the poor have become poorer; and the vessel of the State is driven between the Scylla and Charybdis of anarchy and despotism. How and why Rich people are rich and Poor people are poor is complex in various ways.  And yet, it is true for many who are poor that they do not get the "simple uplift" they need in a month, or a few months - or at crucial junctures that give them the extra dollars they need to "start" on the path to greater financial independence or success. The following story is from an author/book not familiar to me from fiction I do not read. Though, when I read it online today it captured a glimpse of the "$50" that a

Influence

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It is hard to "change" a person. Ultimately, each person has to choose to change themselves. Though - we can have influence. The word influence derives from the latin: in - into fluere -  to flow Water that cascades over rock, with enough time, will "influence" a change in the rock - making rough edges smooth or carving a channel for the water's journey downstream. My hope is that we will each learn better ways to "flow into" the lives of others - setting up patterns of behavior and habits that influence each of us to be more caring, loving and compassionate with all of Creation. My hope is that we will have influence to help persons change themselves in ways that better reflect solidarity, kindness and mutual care for all living things. Toward eupan ~ ~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.
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The etymology of the world companion derives from two latin words:  com - with panis - bread Companions are those who eat bread together - in the journey of life along the road - or in the quiet of one's tent, apartment, condominium or home. May we learn better how to share our bread one with another as we develop companions in life's journey. May we become better companions. Toward eupan ~ ~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

What will this Great Disruption create

We are all discerning SARS-CoV-2 differently. It seems "those" who "previously" leaned into dystopian futures and apocalyptic fear are reading this Great Disruption as fulfillment of their concerns. Alongside that, those who hope for changes in a better situation for the world with Climate Change and care of one another and care of Creation are positing that this Great Disruption might be a "tipping point" that helps us toward a better future. I'll cast my "vote" for the hope that in this Great Disruption we'll "see ourselves" better as agents of mutual care in the world. I hope we'll discern our interconnection and our need to care for one another - no matter our creed, skin colour. I hope we'll make a more equitable and caring and compassionate world with greater dignity for every job/occupation and for all children, for anyone aged, for widows, orphans, immigrants and those who are (or feel) far off. I d

The Great Disruption

It's impossible to predict the future. This has always been true. It feels yet more true in light of SARS-CoV-2. And yet, I wonder if we'll potentially come to know this as The Great Disruption .  It is that, even if we don't apply the label. "Everything" is shifting for us - I think more than we know.  In transportation, education, energy, medicine, housing, employment, uses of technology and more.  It's also such an urgently difficult time for many.  I know several personal friends and professional colleagues and family members who have lost jobs, been displaced, been locked down - and a few will never get their jobs back.  A few may lose homes - become forced to move - becoming exiles in future weeks. This single article was quite impactful to me, of too many articles/blogs I'm discerning: "This Is Hard For Everyone. It’s Even Harder For Parents Who Don’t Make Much Money. By Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux."  I hope we find our way forwa