Good Things Matter

We never know what impact we’ll have with what may seem to us like a small kindness.

Just Hate the Bite

Sly and the Family Stone, was an early musical crossover band, black and white, male and female, rock and soul. Their music expressed a joy that transcended boundaries and included all.

Let It Be

Grace seems not to come when we’re tensely waiting for it, but when we relax and let it be.

Happy Birthday, Tom Paxton

Look who showed up in my Facebook birthdays this morning! Tom Paxton, who turned 78 today. I’m spending the day working on my sermon for tomorrow morning at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Loudoun (Virginia), but I paused long enough to enjoy this recent Tom Paxton interview, with three of his songs:

Noise

With all due respect for the wisdom of the monastics, I wonder why they seek such total silence for meditation.

Ode and Owed to Singer-Songwriters

I’ve developed a deep respect for, and appreciation of, people who devote their lives to creating music that helps heal this ailing world and its suffering citizens.

Music

…music is far more than a delivery mechanism for words of comfort. I believe that good music can cut through what Buddhists call the “monkey mind” — the chattering that distracts us from what is in the here and now.

Everyday Healers

I wanted to honor the doctors, nurses, and other volunteers who put themselves in harm’s way because, well, they say to themselves: “If I don’t do it, who will?”

Questions for My Father

Dad, what were you thinking and how were you feeling when you left your little shtetl of Shershov in 1921 and set out alone for the United States? At the age of 23, what made you go? Hunger? War? Pogroms? Poverty? You left behind a brother and sister in that swampy town in what’s now…

Temporarily Embarrassed Millionaires

I used that title for a sermon I delivered in February 2012 about income inequality. The phrase, which has been attributed to Steinbeck, is a very loose paraphrase from his “America and Americans”: Socialism never took root in America because Americans don’t see themselves as poor – only temporarily embarrassed millionaires. I added that, speaking as…