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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 »

The Courage to Accept and Love Others In Spite of Our Fears

The past several days I have been in retreat with my colleagues and leadership of the Center for Courage & Renewal. Hence, no internet access. It is a discipline to unplug and be out of touch. As difficult as it is to disconnect from the voices of our every day, this simple act of self-care  Continue Reading »

Seeing Humanity in the Context of Race and Racism

This opinion piece follows a week of escalating racial tensions around the grand jury decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson, a white police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown, an African American. The event has sparked heated debate about excessive use of force against people of color. Sherry Watt, a higher education professor and facilitator with a focus on  Continue Reading »

The Great Potential to be Whole

For our first gathering as Fellows of the Beatitudes Society, I volunteered to be a focus person in one of the clearness committees. Never had I imagined what the experience would do for me. The process has provided great clarity, has offered me guidance, and has helped me uncover inner tools to face life questions  Continue Reading »

Nelson Mandela: Courage and Humanity

We share the spoken words of Dr. Maya Angelou reciting her tribute poem for Nelson Mandela, His Day is Done As Dr. Angelou says, “We lift our tearful voices to say thank you!” We honor Nelson Mandela’s life, legacy and hopeful vision lived out in the midst of injustice and suffering. He was a man  Continue Reading »

Rethinking the Violence of Modern Life

Sometimes, when I talk about the value of contemplation, someone will say that contemplation is a cop-out, an escape from the world’s needs. But my experience with activism tells me otherwise, and this quote from Thomas Merton explains why. When we fall into the frenzy of overwork, we do violence to ourselves and kill “the  Continue Reading »

Must intruder lockdowns be part of our children’s curriculum?

In a classroom of fourth- through sixth-graders, I am visiting as a university supervisor observing a student teacher. The host teacher is my former student, Jill. She is direct, funny, smart, and articulate. It’s easy to see in her the passionate student I first knew. A few minutes into a geometry lesson, an announcement comes  Continue Reading »

Stay in your heart, no matter how painful

You have heard by now: a man shot and killed 27 people, including 20 children and himself, at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Author Elizabeth Stone famously wrote that, “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart walking around outside your body.” Hearts are  Continue Reading »

Abraham Lincoln’s Melancholy

There’s much talk these days about Steven Spielberg’s current movie, Lincoln. We thought you might enjoy Parker J. Palmer’s reflections on Abraham Lincoln’s “melancholy” (a 3-minute video) and how it prepared Lincoln uniquely to lead in the face of the violent rifts that led to and fueled the Civil War. Have you’ve seen Spielberg’s Lincoln  Continue Reading »

Words of EnCOURAGEment #19 Summer 2012

Terry Chadseyby Terry Chadsey, Executive Director

As we delve deeper into building a networked organization that both embodies and grows distinctive programs and resources to help you connect who you are with what you do, we’ve been revisiting Jim Collins’ monograph, “Good to Great and the Social Sectors.” Collins finds great organizations have “piercing clarity” about the intersection of three questions:

What are you deeply passionate about?

What can you be best in the world at?

What drives your resource engine?

This frame is helpful as we deliver on our mission to nurture personal and professional integrity and the courage to act on it.