Gratitude: A List

Gratitude: A List

Thanksgiving, for all its complex and controversial history, is one of my two favorite American holidays, and the official act of giving thanks is something that I think shouldn’t be restricted to one day a year. So putting that in practice, I started free writing on gratitude. Here is a partial list of what and … Continue reading

Turn to the Poets

Turn to the Poets

Closing in on the end of a year of zombies, Mayan prophesies, dramatic elections, and abundant natural disasters and scandals, not to mention a cluster of unforeseen personal crises swirling in and around the lives of my friends and family (as well as my own), I’ve been thinking about the nature of fear. There seems … Continue reading

All You Climate Change People

All You Climate Change People

While debate moderators may not have seen fit to ask the presidential candidates how they’ll deal with climate change, Hurricane Sandy, which has already killed 69 people in the Carribean at the time of writing, will give them another chance. I doubt they’ll take it, just as George Bush refused to seize the opportunity after Hurricane Katrina, … Continue reading

Social Entrepreneurship and Self-Discovery

Social Entrepreneurship and Self-Discovery

Casting about on the interwebs on an entirely different task the other day, I came across this thought-provoking post by Lara Galinsky of Echoing Green on social entrepreneurship. Given the immense popularity of social entrepreneurship and Echoing Green’s role in promoting it, I was intrigued that Galinsky took on the task of examining its shadow … Continue reading

What to Do When Things Go Wrong

What to Do When Things Go Wrong

On Jennifer Lentfer’s blog on international development, a discussion is under way about “how our own personal approach affects the relationships and processes of which we are a part,” or as I interpret it: how our own baggage helps or hinders our efforts to make the world a better place. Of the many questions up … Continue reading

Room for Error

Room for Error

For many of us working in the non-profit sector, internationally and domestically, the power of learning is not just a slogan. It’s the value that undergirds the programs that we help deliver, programs designed to support people in discovering their own talents and skills to better their well-being, their environment, and their society. It’s a … Continue reading

What We Talk about When We Talk about Self-Sufficiency

What We Talk about When We Talk about Self-Sufficiency

Self-sufficiency is one of those concepts in non-profit and development work that we rarely question because it seems like such an obvious goal. When it comes to funding, most organizations I’m familiar with would prefer to have the autonomy they need to carry out their missions. Funders, meanwhile, often have limited resources in what looks … Continue reading

BK and the Beasts: The Compassion of Conservation

BK and the Beasts: The Compassion of Conservation

Sometimes, when the world gets to be too much, you just want to lie on your back on the shady grass and read the literary equivalent of fluffernutter sandwich. Or you want to pay to sit for two hours in an air-conditioned theatre and be engulfed in pleasant fantasy. When you emerge, the world is … Continue reading

The Up Side of an Upside Down World

Like a lot of people, in the last couple of weeks I’ve felt the mixture of disappointment and indifference that UN climate change summits tend to elicit these days. With the failure of governments to come to a binding agreement on greenhouse gas reduction at Rio+20 and the silence of major media outlets in reporting … Continue reading