Friday, August 18, 2017

It's NOT about sashimi

You are correct if you think this blog is NOT about me. Oh and today, it's NOT about sashimi. (Did I get your attention though)? Actually I just wanted to remind you that your comments are certainly welcome here every day. You might even give me some ideas of people or events to share with everyone. Oh and I have two blogs (yeah I suppose a bit of self-promotion would be about me, but thought you might not know).

Five days a week I write something here about making a difference in the world. I've been writing these now for nine years. Last fall I also began a daily blog about kindness that you can find HERE. Those entries are short and hopefully inspiring - often I quote others.  Read them both.  Comment on both.  Share them with your friends.

What could be better than a nice plate of salmon sashimi?  Why hearing from dear readers of course!

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Walking down an unfamiliar street in Buffalo, New York many years ago, it suddenly began to rain. It wasn't a light shower but rather a cold and pounding downpour. I wasn't wearing an overcoat and had no umbrella, so I was soaked almost immediately. My usual sunny mood had turned to quite the opposite, but all that was about to change.

Hurrying up the sidewalk with water pouring off of me, I looked down and there in front of me was a fifty dollar bill! Oh my! Now the rain didn't seem so bad. If it hadn't been raining, surely that money would have blown away. I put it in my pocket and continued on my way.

Later when I mentioned my good luck to a friend, he said "But it isn't yours. Did you even try to find the rightful owner?"

This wasn't a wallet or an identifiable piece of property. It was US currency that someone had likely dropped without knowing, but since I didn't witness it, how could I possibly find the person it belonged to?

I'm telling you this story today to solicit your thoughts. Was I wrong to keep it? Was that a dishonest act? What would YOU have done?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

For him it makes a difference

Another one of those "internet parables" came my way the other day, and although you may have heard it, this one again is worth sharing. Like others I have shared here in the past, I have no idea who the author is.

It seems an old man was going for a walk one day when he noticed a little boy feeding a thin, shaggy looking dog with bits of bread. He went up to the boy and asked him why he was sharing his bread with the dog.

The little boy answered, "Because he has nothing. No home, no family, and if I don’t feed him he will die."

"But there are homeless dogs everywhere," the old man replied. "Your efforts don’t really make a difference."

The little boy looked at the dog and stroked him. "For him, for this little dog, it makes all the difference in the world."

I wish I knew who wrote this because they get it so amazingly right. Did you ever hold back from donating money or food or anything else because you could only spare a small amount and thought it wouldn't make a difference? If we all fed those homeless dogs - if we all fed those homeless people, it would make such a difference. I'm thinking we just might wipe out homelessness!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Jeff Adachi is a hero

Jeff Adachi is a hero. He is indeed making a difference in this world. There. I said it upfront in case you don't want to read this all the way through, but I can tell you more.

Adachi, the elected Public Defender for San Francisco County, oversees an office with over 150 staff, including 100 lawyers. He's not just the manager though. You will just as likely see him in the courtroom, fighting for his client. I just read that he has tried over 100 jury trials. He does what every attorney should do, but what so many don't. He looks out for those he represents. 
There's also Jeff Adachi the film maker. Check out The Slanted Screen, You Don't Know Jack: The Jack Soo Story, and America Needs a Racial Facial to find out what I mean.  This would especially be a good week to check out that last one, an eight minute film about race in this country.  (The other ones are noteworthy too, dealing with the underrepresentation of Asian actors in the US film industry).

Adachi is an annual participant in the LGBT Pride Parade in San Francisco and a huge group from his office usually accompanies him.  You'll also see him on the evening news, speaking out whenever there is a local injustice, and raising his voice to see that justice prevails.

I could easily go on and on about how this man has made a difference in the lives of many, as an attorney, a film producer, and an activist, but trust me - Jeff Adachi is a hero.  Our world could use more folks like him!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Disgusted by the hatred

This was not a weekend to be proud of.  On Friday night, things began with a large group of white men carrying torches though the University of Virginia  campus in what they called a “pro-white” demonstration, protesting plans to remove a statue of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee. It quickly spiraled into violence Saturday morning and at least three lives were lost.  Many voiced opinions over the weekend, but none have condemned the hatred as strongly as Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.

On Saturday morning, Governor McAuliffe declared a State of Emergency saying in part "It is now clear that public safety cannot be safeguarded without additional powers, and that the mostly out-of-state protesters have come to Virginia to endanger our citizens and property. I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours. The actions I have taken are intended to assist local government and restore public safety."

On social media there were some who made jokes.  Seriously.  How can hatred and prejudice be funny?  Some leaders made statements, but didn't condemn the hate and the violence.  There were Confederate and Nazi flags and salutes and there were even supportive messages from the Ku Klux Klan.  Terry McAuliffe was quick to condemn all of the violence and hatred.  "You pretend that you are patriots, but you are anything but a patriot," McAuliffe said, with Charlottesville's mayor and police chief beside him.  "We are stronger than you," he added, speaking to white nationalists.  "You have made our commonwealth stronger. You will not succeed. There is no place for you here."

The Democratic Governor would be heard from several times over the weekend.  There were counter protests as well.  There was a lot of anti-hate comments on social media, but will that translate into action?  It is clear that a huge racism problem exists.  Will the haters be driven away though or will everyone just forget about it in a day or so?  Governor McAuliffe said he was "disgusted by the hatred."  Shouldn't we all be disgusted?

"You are not patriots," Governor McAuliffe said at his press conference. "You came here today to hurt people and that is not patriotic.  My message is clear.  We are stronger than you. You will not succeed. There is no place for you here and there is no place for you in America."  Governor McAuliffe should inspire us all - there should never be a place for hatred in America.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Change the World

Listening to Eric Clapton sing Change the World, I find myself thinking of all the many things I would love to do. Clapton's song is really a love song, but it's from the motion picture Phenomenon and the film was about someone who indeed changed the world.

A couple of wonderful scenes from the movie stick in my mind. In on of them, the lead character George Malley asks his love interest Lace Pennamin, "Hey, would you, uh, love me for the rest of my life?" Her response: "No, I'm gonna love you for the rest of mine." In another scene, George is trying to comfort the two small children of Lace, who have just learned that he is dying. George uses an apple as a metaphor, saying that no matter what, an apple will rot and die if thrown on the ground, but if you were to take a bite out of it, the apple would become a part of you, and you would carry it with you forever. I really love that way of looking at it. He is essentially saying that he will therefore live forever.

From a Clapton song to a major film, there are different ways of looking at leaving a piece of yourself behind - of changing the world.  If we all do something that becomes a part of others, we will in a sense, live forever.  Of course we don't try to do good or change the world, just so we will have immortality.  We do it to benefit our families and our friends and other loved ones.  We all can change the world!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

One man's trash

Something that one person considers to be worthless just might be considered valuable by someone else.  I think the old saying is that one man's trash is another man's treasure.  You might also look at it as always seeing something positive, even in something as seemingly worthless as garbage.
I know people who always see the positive.  I try to be like that myself.  I would much rather enjoy the everyday experiences and rejoice in the hidden beauty that is so often missed than to spend unnecessary time and money going for the lavish expensive things that so many covet but which all too often are really over rated.
There is so much good - everywhere.  All we have to do is open our eyes and our minds.  Now, I'm not saying we should wallow in dirt and filth, but we can appreciate the less extravagant.  We can also do something about the filth and make it so that everyone might enjoy it!