Self Mastery

I hammer my pedals ferociously, I speed up the 3 foot bike ramp, joyfully take air and BAM, land with a hard bounce. My treads skip across the cul-de-sac like a thin stone glides across a still lake. The exhilaration of the jump at 8 years old is awesome!

My two friends Derek and Johnny follow my lead joyfully taking flight with the same jump. We all land successfully, but can’t stop there. We scurry to accumulate more bricks, rocks or old newspapers from our neighbors to heighten the wooden ramp.

The three of us add more risk by propping it up another 3 - 4  inches. I take another stab at the jump
, joyfully land well and then Derek and Johnny follow. This is so much fun!

After each successful jump we decide to take the ramp up a notch with another weather worn newspaper from the neighbor’s yard. We three Evil Kenevil 3rd graders continue with our daring leaps imagining we’re defying death by scaling over snake pits, fire pits or trenches of swords.

The...

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The Courage to Stand for Peace

This modest middle aged man, Jamie stares out at a 1,000 people from stage. From a short distance away he doesn’t look that special with his khaki pants and button down shirt. Jamie’s looks declare average in every way... average height, average weight, average looks, etc.

 

I don’t know it yet, but I getting ready to be blown away by this seemingly average man.

 

After a few moments of introduction Jamie shuffles side to side with discomfort as he says hello behind the microphone. However he puts me and the whole audience at ease with a simple toss off about his uneasiness with being on stage. His preference he says is in the trenches rather than the stage.

 

Shortly in to his share, Jamie takes stride, his eyes beam with light as he ushers us on a journey from from Los Angeles to Afghanistan...

 

I’m in Kabul as the war relentlessly pounds the people of this country. I’ve seen it before in so many places. The locals are tired, as...

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