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Archive for August, 2013

Sunday musings 8/25/13

Sunday musings…

1) Doorman. My life has been reduced to its most bare essence: I am the Doorman for 3 dogs.

2) Stillness. “There is a difference between being still and doing nothing.” -The Karate Kid.

There’s a lot of meat on that skinny bone. Let me be still.

3) Sandwich. As in generation. Mine and Mrs. bingo’s. Sandwiched between children still in need of a bit of parenting, and parents just in need. There was once a playbook for this, or more accurately a small number of playbooks that people my age could look at in order to get an idea of what lay ahead. Maybe some thoughts on what came before. There’s very little of anything that’s actually all that new, ya know?

Why, then, is my generation characterized by the notion that this whole “sandwich” thing is some kind of ambush? Well, as with anything else, it’s really all on us. You may recall that we were not known so much as the “Baby Boom” generation when we were younger as we were known for the rather newish ways we went through life’s stages (some of these things really WERE new). Most of this was roughly the equivalent of generational navel gazing.

We brought you the “Summer of Love”, culminating in Woodstock. A certain segment of the boomer generation became the “Yuppies” (young urban professionals), a portion of whom drove all kinds of markets as “DINKS” (double-income, no kids). There were too many islands to visit and too many fancy cars to be driven to think about what was to come. Even those who couldn’t afford it and didn’t really do that stuff were swept away to 2-incomehood through sheer aspirational longing.

The “squeeze” of the sandwich is all about what’s happening with our parents. The progeny process is not unfamiliar to us because, after all, we have experience as progeny. No, it’s the issues that are now being faced by the children of older parents, and a huge swath of the Baby Boom generation is feeling a bit ambushed because we don’t seem to have really paid all that much attention to what was going on when our parents were sandwiched.

Like I said, there really isn’t all that much that is truly new or different in this family domain. The teachable moment is probably for those a generation or two younger than Mrs. bingo and I: this will happen to you. Pay attention now.

4) English. In my day job I work with folks of various backgrounds, both in terms of education and upbringing. In all walks of my public life I come in contact with an even broader swath of humanity in all regards. I routinely travel up and down the social, economic and educational ladders at work and at play. For the most part, with everyone I meet the language we all speak is English. I live in Cleveland, Ohio, USA after all. Our English, however, is hardly the same.

While we cannot truly escape our origins, as we cannot truly escape our genome, we can choose how we interact in the daily mechanics of society regardless of origin. For better or for worse this begins with how we speak. That old saw, you only get one chance to make a first impression, is especially true when you speak, and especially important because for the most part you can choose not only what you say but also how you say it.

There’s nothing new or striking about this concept, either. You can think of it as verbal situational awareness. You would (hopefully) speak differently to a priest than you would the surfer sitting next to you beyond the break. On the phone with the cable company should sound very different I think than on the phone with your BFF. All speech is by definition qualitatively different that a text or an email because speaking implies hearing; speaking and hearing involve the inclusion of inflection, tone, and tempo. Really basic stuff.

Why, then, is it so brutally common to hear such poor English? Poor grammar, improper word usage, a situational tone-deafness. This doesn’t even begin to touch on the concept of working vocabulary (BTW, the person with the largest working vocabulary I’ve ever met is responsible for our little CrossFit thing). Once upon a time one heard much about “Proper English” or “The Queen’s English.” What happened?

In English we do not have the French equivalent of “Tu” vs. “Vous”. No lazy man’s way to “polite-up” our speech. A certain unearned familiarity is too often presumed. We take way too many liberties with grammar, and frankly we too infrequently make the effort at “polished” English when it’s time to do so. That first impression thing is incredibly affected when you open your mouth to speak, on the up and the down sides. It is equally jarring to hear the word “ineluctable” from a guy in faded jeans and a baseball cap turned backwards (up) as it is to hear “me and Joey are gonna go…” from a guy in a suit and starched collar (down).

The stark reality is that there are no barriers to the “up” version of English. There is no genetic, social, or economic barrier blocking the acquisition of the ability to speak well, and by extension to acquire the situational awareness to know when it is vital to do so. All that is required is the effort to learn that version of English that we know as “proper”, and the effort to learn when. It’s not necessary to speak like this all the time. You can choose to “let your hair down” so to speak–my love for the versatility of the “F-bomb” is well known in certain circles–but a lack of virtuosity in the English domain is a choice.

There are many aspects of a “first impression” over which we may have little control. Don’t choose to let your English be one of them.

I’ll see youse next week…

Posted by bingo at August 25, 2013 9:39 AM

Service, Creative Destruction, and the Cost Curve

We hear an awful lot about the cost of medical care in the U.S. No, no, this isn’t going to be a post about Healthcare Reform, whatever the hell that is. Rather this is just a bit of thinking out loud about cost in general, and the cost of CrossFit in a roundabout way.

“Bending the cost curve” is a fancy-shmancy term that essentially means that someone thinks they’re smarter than you are, and definitely smarter than that guy you wanna buy something from, and they (the smarty pants one) are gonna somehow affect the cost of something or other. Top-down, command and control economic planning kind of stuff. Healthcare, airline travel, farm production, you name it–someone who is in a seat marked “Director” thinks they know what that thing you want to buy should cost.

Now, there’s lots and lots of economic theory with adherents who line up on either side of this issue, and for better or worse there are an equal number of adherents who populate the halls of governments of all shapes and sizes who hue to one call or another. But if you break it down to a very simple level, the cost of something at the transaction level is determined by the investment by the seller and the perceived value by the buyer. I know, I know, there’s the whole power thing, and what constitutes want or need, but if you are reading this post the chances are that you have more “first-world problems” than real ones, and most of your transactions can be fairly described thusly.

How does this relate to CrossFit? Some guy coined the phrase “Creative Disruption” (his name as lost to me as that Andy what’s-his-name whose own 15:00 of fame has come and gone) to describe the phenomenon of something dramatically new and different that enters a market and essentially bl0ws it up. I was reminded of this as I read an article on a new Smartphone equipped with a camera sporting a massive amount of pixels (80? 180?) that was surrounded on the page by advertisements for stand-alone digital cameras. Ironic, eh? Supporting the publication of the article is an industry that is on the cusp of being destroyed by the subject of the article.

How come? Ah, now we start to close in on the intersection of CrossFit and cost. You see, in technology of all sorts there is an inexorable progression to lower cost (what’s that guy’s name who stated that processor speed doubles every 18 months?), and with lower cost comes disruption. Indeed, any THING is subject to this phenomenon. One only needs to think of the calculator or the digital watch, once terrifically expensive non-essentials now so inexpensive that they are incorporated into pretty much every single electronic anything.

The Cost Curve need not be bent for things; “Creative Disruption” has forever had the watch there.

It is in the realm of services, thought-intensive “products” provided by people, that this relationship is turned on its head. Can you think of any other phenomenon in fitness that more fits the description of Creative Disruption than the Affiliate model of CrossFit? I can’t. Individuals choosing to pay MORE for training in return for the facility, programming, and coaching of a CrossFit Box. In order to provide value for this cost the Owner/Trainer must demonstrate superiority to lower cost options (YMCA, Globo-gym, garage) like any other service. Value must be driven here by the over-arching quality of the product, the service, such that a higher cost still looks like a bargain. (As an aside, Affiliate owners, and for that matter everyone who works in the healthcare industry,  should be ever aware that the provision of quality is the table stake in this game.)

On a global level, though, the CrossFit gym illustrates the one area that pushes back against the whole “Bending the Curve” desires of the command and control adherents: people who actually do something, make something or perform a service, represent an ever INCREASED cost. It is the WORTH of the product to the purchaser that drives the sale, drives the value, more so than the cost. The people who run a CrossFit gym determine what their service is worth and then go out to prove it; the people who join a CrossFit gym perceive the value there.

Therein lies the problem when one looks at any economic sector in which essentially people are the product and one tries to lower cost. Everyone is underpaid. Well, maybe not Larry Ellison or Asht0n Kutcher, but pretty much everyone else. How do you “Bend the Cost” of an industry when doing so necessitates lowering the value of the contributions of people, reduces how much they are paid no matter where they fall on the food chain?

My bid, for whatever it’s worth, is that it’s better to seek some form of “Creative Destruction”, like CrossFit in the fitness world, in which buyers see the value in the offerings of the sellers and are allowed to act accordingly.


Moderation in Fitness

Several articles on the health benefits of alcohol caught my eye this week, and the concept of “moderation” was discussed in each. What exactly constitutes “moderation”, in this and elsewhere? What is the metric that one evaluates to determine where the line falls between too little, moderate or just enough, and too much? It’s a very interesting question because I came upon these articles at the same time that I became involved in several discussions about fitness and injuries, specifically CrossFit training and injuries.

The data for alcohol, especially regarding cardiac risk, seems to be pretty solid. People who don’t drink at all have a higher risk of having an adverse cardiac event than do those who drink “moderately.” Research has shown that moderate alcohol intake is exactly 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women. More than this and not only does the cardiac benefit disappear but the adverse effects of alcohol intake (liver disease, cancers, not to mention social risks like accident) become primary. The tipping point between too little, enough, and too much is quite precise with regard to alcohol and health.

In a similar vein, the big-splash article on weight gain/loss this week also involved alcohol and the concept of “moderation.” “Moderate” drinkers were found to overeat less than both the lush and the teetotaler. Follow up data on that study showed that this effect was also present when it comes to weight gain; again, the moderate drinker gained less weight in general than either the non-drinker or the souse.

What about fitness, though? Specifically, what about CrossFit? I’m speaking here about CrossFit the fitness prescription, not CrossFit the Sport of Fitness. Indeed, when questioned about alcohol this year’s CrossFit Games’ Champion Sam Briggs said “I have no time for that stuff.” I imagine two curves super-imposed; on the X-axis we have Benefit (Fitness or Health) for the one curve, Injury for the other. The Y-axis for both is volume or perhaps Intensity. I picture the Benefit curve like a Bell Curve with a long, shallowing tail and the Injury curve one that hugs the baseline until it starts to rise with an ever-increasing slope.

The two are not un-related, of course—Injury clearly drags down the Benefit curve. Indeed, in most cases Injury probably precipitates much of the reversal of the Benefit. But where? Where on that volume curve does it happen? When does Intensity or volume tip, like a third drink, and become harmful?

The lesson lies in the alcohol story. The tipping point (tippling point?) for alcohol intake was arrived at from BOTH directions, from observations made from higher to lower, and lower to higher volume. Havoc and destruction were the markers on the high side. There seems to be little need to explore the intersection of the Benefit and Injury curves from the right side of the charts. Not when we have been taught to travel a long and shallow on-ramp to the highway of fitness, to linger on the left side of our graph in the pursuit of Form and Consistency, before we explore volume or Intensity. Coming slowly from the left side of our graph might just move both curves to the right.



The Empty Nest

SkyVision is jammed with kids heading off to school who are getting in their eye exams before the end of the summer. It’s fun for all of us when we see a kid leaving for college and remember when they got their first pair of glasses or got fit for contacts for the first time. The chat with their parents is a bit more poignant for the two of us who are empty nesters. We both go through a little bit of that empty feeling along with those parents.

My brother is sending his youngest to school in a week or so. Randy has been blessed with two very athletic sons, and he has really enjoyed watching them play their sports. His nest is going to feel really empty without having the guys there. My brother-in-law just left our house after dropping off his youngest for the beginning of her freshman year, thereby emptying his nest. Pete was more than a bit melancholy when he got back to our house, a somewhat foreign state of mind for him. I can relate to both of these Dads. Here’s what I wrote for “Sunday musings” when my youngest, also Randy, headed off to college.


“There’s a hole in my soul right now. I know it will get smaller, fill in, but it just opened up so it’s really quite obvious at the moment. My youngest, Lil’bingo, is off to college. Mrs. Bingo and I dropped him and “Lovely Daughter” at the ‘Hurst’ yesterday leaving a packed and ready to fly “The Heir” as the only progeny on premises.

I’m not sad, mind you, nor am I frightened like I was when “Lovely Daughter” left for her freshman year. Nope, not relieved either, the emotion felt by both of his parents when “The Heir” went off to Denver. It’s not an emptiness or a feeling of a door closing, the things that Mrs. Bingo has expressed as she has said several times: “All I ever wanted to be is a Mom; I know it’s not so, but it feels like that’s just done now.” For me it’s just a hole.

Do you have a special person in your life? Remember how you just couldn’t imagine that you could love them even a little bit more only to discover that each day brought just that, a little bit more? What happens when children enter your world? Does your heart expand, your love for your spouse the same, maybe even expanding still while you add more love for the kids? Or is there really a finite amount of love to give, a bucket with little compartments and a ladle to mix it up, move it around?

It’s not that you, I, love them any less because they aren’t here at the table, there’s just less of an opportunity to DO the loving. You know, exercise the love domain in the language of CrossFit. That’s the hole, I think. What happens now? Does the love of Mrs. Bingo start to expand again, grow at the rate it once did in the days BK, before kids? Fill the hole? Does the hole just slowly close?

No teachable moment here my Brothers and Sisters. Nothing but one among you here at the Crossfit table, talking out loud among friends in a place I feel at home. Parenting at the speed of life, pedal to the floor, lucky to have a co-pilot who has always filled the holes.”


Me again, offering a little tip of the hat and a soothing pat on the back to my brother Randy and brother-in-law Pete, and for that matter to everyone sending off any child to college or elsewhere. It’s been 3 years now for me and I’m pretty OK. The holes are still there, I just don’t see them all the time any more. I do miss them, all three, I really do. But I’m kinda liking having just my special girl around again like it was BK.

Trust me, it’s gonna be OK.


Slip-Sliding Away

The announcement came in the mail, by email, and proclamation at a dinner. My good friend (and personal physician) would be retiring from the practice of medicine at age 55 to take a position as a very senior hospital administrator. This news was delivered by another physician friend, a 55 year old orthopedic surgeon who put my wife back together after a Humpty Dumpty fall off a horse, during a dinner at which he described his intent to drastically reduce his call schedule and ER coverage. That morning in the OR I was chatting with an industry rep who was telling the story of an extraordinarily talented 45ish year old cataract surgeon who has limited his daily volume to 6 cases (that’s what he’s contracted for with Kaiser) despite the fact that he is able to complete this schedule by 9:30 AM. I thought of all of this while I, a 52 year old eye surgeon somewhat famous for my ability to handle a crushing workload without sacrificing either outcomes or a pleasant patient experience, was mapping out my 2014 office and OR schedule with a reduced work week and additional vacation days.

Have you noticed? There are fewer of us out there doing our jobs. Fewer doctors, that is. We’re slipping away, young and old. The last vestiges of the physicians who lived through the Golden Age of medicine are hanging up their spurs, taking down their shingles, and riding off into the sunset. They are being replaced by an almost equal number of youngsters just out of training, young bucks saddling up yearlings and slowly joining the rodeo. Those of us in the middle, mid-career docs of all sorts, we’re still there. Sorta.

The stands are full. All sorts of spectators and commentators are there to see the healthcare rodeo. The reporters and the pundits, the bloggers, those who dwell in the halls of academe and the basements of the bureaucracy fill the bleachers, prepared for much back-slapping and self-congratulation as the fruits of their intellectual labors, the young buck docs, take over for the much-maligned Marcus Welby generation. The kids’ll be OK, better than OK, because the audience has successfully changed everything about how doctors are trained and made it the way they, the audience, think it SHOULD be. No need to worry about the newbies and all of the non-doctor “healthcare providers” and how slow they are in general, or how they work fewer hours, or take more time to handle a visit–those docs in the “sweet-spot” in mid-career are there to take up the slack until the audience’s brilliance is born out. Sorta.

Everything seems to be a bit chaotic at the healthcare rodeo. There are so many more things that need to get done. It’s not enough to rope and tie that diabetic, there seem to be too many diabetics now. Those young docs spend an awful lot of time just outside the ring doing non-doctor stuff. Where are the grooms, the seconds, the helpers? Why aren’t they doing all that stuff outside the ring so the doctors can get in there and ride? It looks like there are a bunch of those mid-career guys and gals over there outside the ring too, doing non-doctor stuff. It sure seems to take a lot of time. The young bucks seem to take that all in stride. Maybe a stray shrug of a shoulder, but not much more. It’s all they’ve ever known. The mid-career docs seem to be making do. Sorta.

Something’s just not quite right, though. The numbers just aren’t quite working. Matching the number of docs retiring with the number of newly-trained docs seems to be coming up short. All of those newly empowered other “healthcare providers” don’t seem to be making much of a difference, either. There seem to be too many patients, too many people who need both sick and well-care, and too few doctors to provide it. The pundits and the professors say the solution is not more doctors but more other “healthcare providers” and new technology. Help is on the way they say. Preparing the path to this end seems to involve a PR campaign that not only minimizes the contribution of doctors in general, it denigrates the efforts of the one group of docs that is keeping it all afloat: the mid-career physicians who are neither old enough to retire nor young enough to not know any better.

The whole house of cards depends on these men and women going to work and doing just what they’ve been doing for 20+ years. Seeing lots of patients in any given time slot. Performing lots of surgeries efficiently and well. Showing up in the ER for a consult or answering the phone at 3 AM. All for lower pay and less respect. The whole thing rests upon the presumption that they will continue to do this regardless of the non-medical impositions of the new “way it should be”, regardless of the continual battering of their self-worth. Thus far that’s how it’s playing out. Sorta.

There’s something afoot, though. Quietly and without much fanfare, the mid-career doc is slipping away. She’s sliding out the side door and taking a job in administration. He’s slipping in a 4-day weekend every month, on top of the 4-day week he started working a couple years ago. While nobody noticed she started to limit the number of surgeries she would do in a day, ducking out at noon on OR day instead of 2 or 3, the backlog of cases now building up to months rather than weeks. Oh sure, they are still counted as a full-time doc on everyone’s ledger, it’s just that they aren’t as full-time as they used to be, as full time as the system is counting on them to be. The net effect is that with the same number of doctors counted we actually have FEWER docs available to see more patients.

You see, the mid-career physician is also listening to what the editorialists and the bloggers and the academics and the bureaucratic minions are saying, about the “way it should be” and how they really feel about worth of doctor work, and in response they are slip sliding away.

Told to do more for less some of those mid-career warhorses are just doing less. All those men and women who are the equivalent of “innings eaters” on a Major League pitching staff are no longer as available, effectively reducing the number of physicians available to take care of patients. If the new “way it should be” is correct this should pose no problem, right? Just have all those folks who used to be seen by a physician seen by a “healthcare provider.” Got a sore throat? CVS or Walmart is just around the corner and they do the same quicky Strep test your doctor would have done. Surely the AP nurse will notice that tender spleen, or that especially swollen tonsil encroaching on the midline like your 55 year old doc with 25 years of experience would have. No worries. You can follow up with that nice new doctor in the big clinic, that ACO thing you’ve read about. There’s an opening in 12 weeks. Your old doctor who would have stayed late in the office to see you in follow-up in a day or two is no longer available.

He started a new career selling veterinary supplements at rodeos. Slip sliding away…



Committing to a Memory

The White family is moving. Beth has declared that the “Netty Empsters” shall live in a one-level abode. Furthermore, she has decreed that said abode shall occupy ~50% of the land and air now taken up by the dwelling “White house” in which I’ve lived for 21 years. Let the purge begin!

The challenge is in part rather prosaic: what do I/we/you need? There’s really no doubt that there is plenty of extra around here. Plenty of stuff and clutter. Where, though, does one draw the line between necessary, desirable, and…I dunno…neither? Once the line is drawn where does one dispose of “neither”?

I’ve got two very real problems with this process, one understandable and one irrational and silly. The silly one: what if I pitch something, only to discover later that I wanted it? Or worse, NEEDED it? That really is just silly; anything I truly need will be obtainable in a pinch, and anything I think I want will likely be forgotten by my next meal. Yet however silly and however irrational, I still worry over that as I sift through stuff.

The understandable one is a little more poetic and has to do with the totems of my past, those little knickknacks that tease out an equally little smile each time I stumble across them. Even if “stumbling across them” only occurs during a purge. Pictures, yearbooks, trivial little souvenirs of trips and places mostly forgotten.

Only, not really.

It’s that tiny connection to an event or a place or a person, or all three, that I most fear losing. Is this irrational, too? Or worse, is this also silly? I don’t dwell in the past, mine or anyone’s really. I don’t really spend very much time there at all. Yet each of us has a little collection of memories–some real and some (like last week’s musings) just little lies that we choose to believe–that are bathed in a soft sunlight of something that could be called “happy”.

Perhaps it’s generational. Will my kids (and both of you other kids out there their age reading this) ever experience what my darling Beth and I did in our garage yesterday as time stood still, frozen again and again by a picture, a seashell, some trinket? I sure don’t know, but that doesn’t really help me as I sift through the delights and the detritus of a house filled with 21 years of Clan White, and the stored 32 years of memories that came before. The memories and their “triggers” rest in my hands at this moment, not among the electrons dancing across the internet to someday rest in a place that may never need purging.

The rational, actionable answer probably lies there: utilize the tech of the present to preserve the memories of the past. It’s different, though. It really is. Much like the difference between turning the pages of a real newspaper, one made of real paper, and swiping through the same sentences on the device of the moment. The words are the same and the information is transferred equally effectively, only not.

Physically clipping an article or a picture and then carefully husbanding that memory over time, physically, is both qualitatively and quantitatively different from clicking “save” to either Instapaper or Evernote. It takes so little effort to do that latter that there’s no commitment to the memory! I look at a photo on FB, often one of 100+ in an album, and it’s…different.

I think that’s it, really. Commitment. Each time I sift through “stuff”, be it photos or books or trinkets, I make a tiny little on-going commitment to a particular memory when that little trigger goes back in the box, and the box goes back in my house. I make a tiny little commitment to the people who were a part of that memory (usually without ever telling them), a commitment that I will continue to remember them, to remember when being with them made me happy.

Will it be the same for our SM-centric, cloud-connected younger generations? Will it be the same for me and for Mrs. bingo as we go forward, hopefully not done creating tiny memories that will one day elicit those same tiny smiles? Will something be there to prompt them or us to open those virtual boxes that store the trinkets, that store the memories?

I only know that today I am visited by memories, by the people who populate my past, as they compete for a place in my present, the survivors of this latest purge. The ones that still make me smile.


A Little History, A Little Lie

“In talking about the past we lie with every breath we draw.” William Maxwell.

If I know who William Maxwell is I can’t remember at the moment. That’s kinda the point anyway, isn’t it? There’s a certain amount of self-delusion in any historical account, whether it be small and personal or global, encompassing all of humanity. You know, history belongs to the victor and all. It’s possible to uncover the unvarnished truth; inexorable technological advancement makes even the best of lies fall open eventually. Tabitha King says that when you lie “all you do is postpone the day at which you’re revealed to be a liar.”

Memory is a funny thing; that’s kinda what Maxwell is saying. How we remember things oft times involves more than a little lying, to ourselves and others. Each of us remembers the part that was good for us, then or now. There might not have been any part that was good and in those cases we remember the part that hurt the least. We can bury the pain if we fail or refuse to remember it.

The inability to truly remember challenges our very sense of self, a challenge that is unacceptable to the subconscious. We seek to defeat that challenge to our essence through confabulation, the wholesale creation of memories from the scrap yard of our mind. One who cannot remember lies out loud in the hope that he, and we, will believe what we hear. Being unable to remember is kinda like having a damaged hard drive. We might be able to muster the technology to repair the hard drive, exhume the memory, expose the lie.

But must we?

The truth is powerful. Like a powerful storm it washes away the veneer that the victor places on history. Like the sun that never sets the truth eventually bakes through the permafrost of the lies we tell ourselves. The truth, like the storm and the sun, is the proverbial double-edged sword that both cleaves the fat and cuts the flesh. One man’s truth unhinges another man’s lies. The sun shower might pre-sage a tsunami, as it were.

Where’s this all going? Talk of lies and history? I’ve been on a little quest, a walkabout of the mind if you will, examining the little lies of omission and commission that sit at the foundation of the house of cards that is my own little self. Seeking a more accurate truth by trying to wash away some of the veneer that covers my history so that I might own up to whatever part I might have played in creating hard stuff in my life, or the lives of those who travel alongside me. I find myself saying stuff like “boy, I really coulda done a better job of that”, usually followed by some version of “I’m sorry.” Find myself saying that quite a bit, actually.

At a certain point I will have to stop doing this, at least out loud, for at some point the exposure of my own little lies will produce a kind of destruction elsewhere. If you think about it, what appears to you as a little drizzle might be a raging downpour to someone else. All of those trite little sayings like “the truth will set you free” are balanced by “the truth hurts.” My poor Dad has no memory whatsoever of the horrific pain he suffered 6 months ago, and yet by now he has no memory of today’s breakfast. He’ll have no memory of the lies he will tell to manufacture a memory.

For the rest of us, memory intact, the lesson is probably as simple as “tell the truth” starting now. At least “tell the truth” with kindness and compassion extended both to others and yourself. Some lies, some memories should remain right where they are, in the past. For some, maybe most, we might be able to invoke the great philosopher Rafiki: “it doesn’t matter, it’s in the past.” Every little truth told now, though, is a lie that need not be given breath, past or present.

Every little truth told now is the cornerstone for a house to provide shelter from storms yet to come.


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