Monthly Archives: July 2018

the best medicine

We now have compelling evidence people need more to survive in this world than food, water and shelter. If these findings are true, Maslow will need to amend his hierarchy, science its premises, and boardrooms around the globe will rewrite employee manuals to embrace this new 4th force.  The food pyramid, the flow chart, Venn diagrams, dietary labels, nothing will be sacred going forward.

In huge numbers, people are dying to laugh.

Save yo wife, save yo children, malnutrition of the funny bone isn’t funny. It’s the new killer and literally, no joking matter. High stress diets deficient in humor cause pile ups of 150 million viewers on YouTube watching silliness in action. Countless workplace millions daily risk it all for a bellyful of breakroom laughter behind closed doors while cutting their cheese.

It’s time to come out.

HR departments take notice. A laugh at work beats a tiny raise hands down. Scrolling masses bring daily side dishes of lunch room giggles to share with equally afflicted coworkers and the sick are again discovering the healing truth that laughter is indeed, the best medicine.

Since the 50s, researchers have known that three episodes of I Love Lucy are more effective than a shaker full of Prozac. People everywhere are dying to laugh.

So if it seems life is a joke these days, the remedy before us is also within us, with equal access for gay, straight, transgendered, transfigured, and those who just deserve the right to pee in the stall of their choice.

So rise up, raise your memes, post your funnies and someone call an emergency summit to permanently revise the hierarchy so we can finally Make America Laugh Again.

We can’t survive without humor, the new 4th force.

(Share this post six times and Jesus will send you four million dollars and a kitten.)

the stranger

[Once was not enough and twice was already too late. Eight years lost was an entire lifetime. Now almost seven off Meth, this is how I roll. If you know an addict or you are one, don’t wait to take that first step.]

In just the right place, at just the right time,
He caught my eye and called me.
“I’d like you to meet a friend of mine.
He really needs somebody.”

He said “I kinda need some help.
I’m wondering what you got.
I haven’t much, but three days clean
But for me that’s quite a lot.”

I said, “What’s up, my name is Don,
I’ve been where you are too,
I should be gone to prison
But today I’m here with you.”

We spoke the language addicts do
And quickly made a bond
He asked me how I got this far
I said “No magic wand.”

New on the scene and over zealous
He was hardly apprehensive,
Wanting one more day, and of me jealous,
Scared and aptly pensive.

I said “Advice?” He said “For sure!”
So I went on to tell him
“For what you got, there ain’t no cure”
I had no line to sell him.

He listened to my story.
He feasted on each word.
Ravenous and hungry
For all that he had heard.

I wished him well and shook his hand
He countered with a hug.
Then thanked me for my sincere words
Which had spared him from the drug.

And at just the right place and at just the right time,
Years later, less in danger
That friend I’d met with a story of mine
Was asked to help a stranger.

Hitting the bullseye, not just the target.

If I’ve learned anything working nonprofit: don’t just ask for money when you can ask for more.

This is Las Vegas. There’s plenty of money and more people able to give more than most.  Shame on the notion of the “ask” as a “necessary evil” in any relentless fight to help those less fortunate to succeed.  Rightfully, asking is a privilege, if it’s the last thing you do. Those who just ask for money get only money.  It’s not a bad thing, just a very incomplete one.

Tell real stories, show real results, demonstrate the change in the world made with a buck or a million of them, and do it in such a way that requires no scrutiny but can stand up to the sharpest.  Appeal to souls in ways that both prick hearts and consciences while evidencing purpose, value and integrity. Not an easy task, but worth far more than a dollar if you’re able.

This is Las Vegas. People here–more than in most cities–want and need to believe in something real and to be a real part of it.  Vegas proud and Vegas strong, they want to know their time and money will make verifiable change in lives of those needing it most.  Show you know how to use their money, vet the recipients with wisdom, think long-term, and make real change on their behalf in exchange for their generous contribution.

If all you do is ask for money, you can hit the target but miss the bulls-eye. Capture minds first, hearts second and leave the wallets for last, and they’ll take care of themselves.  Vegas people gladly and sacrificially invest in works and visions which promise and actually deliver real and valuable change in the community.  Persuaded of a cause that’s real and genuine to believe in and Vegas always steps up to the plate with open wallets, purposes and unbridled hope.

And God knows, hope is far more valuable than money.

missing persons

They are uncounted pockets of missing persons in wait for the unlikely chance of being found. A generation of lost, lonely and mostly forgotten, abandoned by family, underserved and unacknowledged by society, making do with less than any man should. Few with the mobility to seek available help and all living their golden years dressed in aluminum foil. While they dream of somewhere else, they’ve no place better to be. They eat what they can on $16 a month, pay their rent on time often at the sacrifice of air conditioning wearing the same broken glasses they bought in the 1980s when times were different. With few friends if any to talk with about their struggle, they are unable to muster a lasting live audience.
They’ve neither owned nor operated a computer, plow their walkers along highways in the heat of the day hoping to return home, and if so, with a couple bags from the food bank to quench their hunger and avoid a payday loan for a bag of food at 600% interest they will pay on for the entirety of their remaining days.
Each day they fall further into the pit. They are medically unstable, unemployable, and prized marks for thieves, criminals, schemes and scam artists. They’ve few if any assets, raises in income, and no awareness that this kind of life is not normal.
Yet despite it all, they are among the kindest most generous generation of friends anyone could ever have and my very best reasons for waking up each morning.
They want no pity, seek no justice and pray relentlessly for the best for others. They are almost buried treasures hoping still to be found and cherished for their enduring and colorful life stories and the touch of someone’s hand who will listen through desperate hope that they themselves will never end up this way.

the power of a pause

If I was a younger man, I would use more commas than exclamation points, make pregnant pauses mean something more in conversation and ponder longer the silent moments I was dealt.

If I was a younger man, I would take up causes that mattered most, view my future the least and risk much more for what I believed.

If I was a younger man, my contemplations would be richer, reflections clearer, and conversations more indelible.

As a younger man I would spend more time writing poetry, longer notes on greeting cards, and make more calls to those I love for no particular reason at all.

My friends would be closer, my enemies further, and my heart much softer as a younger man. I would listen to older men more, memorize better quotations, create more memories, and remember more of what was most important.

Everything I’d do would be taken down a notch or two, time would be much more precious, and life would boil down to a single purpose. And I would do it today instead of tomorrow, look at the big picture,
and take more snapshots on the way.

The clock would pale in significance and my “I” would be much less important than my “you.”

As a younger man, my gains would be more intangible, my virtues more apparent, and my focus more intense. I’d play more, give more,
and say more thank you’s to complete strangers for their unacknowledged acts of valor.

I would pet more puppies, take longer walks, and pause a few more times to see smaller things around me in bigger ways. And I wouldn’t be afraid to cry.

I would be an older soul in a younger body, chasing more inventions, reading more genres,
and blazing more trails for younger men to follow.

I would scour the dictionary for just the right word, enter more contests, and share more of my winnings with strangers.

I would edit less, listen more, and use smaller words to say the same things to more people so they could understand the wisdom of men much older than them.

And maybe then, the younger men would see the value of using commas more, exclamation points less, and the perfect power of a pause.