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tragic gap

Terrorism, PTSD and Standing Hopeful in the Tragic Gap

Once more the news is filled with stories of mass murders at the hands of terrorists. In the past few weeks, ISIS claimed responsibility for downing Russian Metrojet flight 9268 in Egypt, the two suicide bombers in Beirut, and six terrorist attacks in Paris. At least 400 were killed and 352 injured. Unfortunately, these murders  Continue Reading »

A Way Forward: Finding Middle Ground in Activism

Two autumns ago, I was experiencing what may perhaps be called divine discontent. I was becoming more passionate and vocal about causes in the world–most notably, environmental causes–but I felt stuck. I found myself arguing with the same three people on Facebook. “What good is this accomplishing?” I asked myself countless times. After a period  Continue Reading »

Counseling with Heart and Joy

In August 2012 a friend sat beside me on the couch in his home and lay a book in my lap. A simple enough occurrence, but as I glanced at the title, the vibrations in the air around me changed in a way that heralded a paradigm-shift – he gave me his copy of The  Continue Reading »

Buoyed Up for Courageous Leadership

Last year I found myself on the hotseat as a leader, being scrutinized and needing to come up with solutions to a major problem. My role at the time included directorship of a multi-organ transplant program at a large academic medical center. A routine certification survey conducted by the Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) revealed  Continue Reading »

How do you lead your life?

Is leadership an “out there” enterprise? Is it a function performed by other people — special, chosen others — who stand in front of a group and show us the way? Perhaps… but increasingly I’m realizing that our culture defines leadership too narrowly. What if instead of passing this practice off to the chosen few we  Continue Reading »

Parker Palmer on Standing in the Tragic Gap

“By the tragic gap I mean the gap between the hard realities around us and what we know is possible — not because we wish it were so, but because we’ve seen it with our own eyes.” —Parker J. Palmer Where do you see the tragic gap? You can read more about Parker Palmer’s ideas  Continue Reading »

The Tragic Gap and Sustainability

Part Two Students becoming certified in Sustainability Leadership connect two concepts to help them find and sustain their own passion. I recently completed the facilitation of a three-weekend Sustainability Leadership Certificate (SLC) program with 2nd to 4th year students in Dalhousie University’s College of Sustainability (by the way, they are at the other end of  Continue Reading »

Love & Limits in the Classroom

This week’s Chapter 4 video of A Year at Mission Hill, considers the questions: What is the relationship between our social & emotional well-being and our capacity for intellectual growth? What are the opportunities and the obstacles associated with full-inclusion classrooms? In this next installment from Mission Hill we learn that the school has been  Continue Reading »

Using Humor To Create Sacred Space

Clergy and congregational leaders are some of the most skilled humorists I know. Versed in standing in what Parker Palmer calls the tragic gap between our reality and our ideals, these men and women know how to “crack-up” without cracking apart in light of life’s tensions. If used well, a good sense of humor (like  Continue Reading »

When healing our democracy gets messy

Healing the heart of democracy, as we are collectively setting out to do, is not always easy or straight-forward work. In fact, most of the time, it’s fraught, messy, and complex. I was reminded of this, once again, as I read about a controversy that cropped up this week regarding advice columnist Dan Savage and  Continue Reading »