Saturday, February 2, 2019

The Day I met Martin Luther King, Jr.
Every year about this time, I remember the day I walked into the office of the Montgomery Improvement Association and shook hands with Dr. King. It was of no consequence to the Movement but it was a pivotal moment in my life. I share it with the hope that all of us can take the continuing struggle for universal civil rights personally, in our own way.
The first African-American enrolls in Auburn University 
Nearly thirty years after I met Harold Franklin as  he registered as a student at Auburn, we met and recalled those tumultuous times. 

Thursday, January 24, 2019



Race. It's all how one looks at it.



  3 Lessons of Revolutionary Love in a Time of Rage


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Life Without Superheroes
"The storm was a pivotal point in my perception and understanding of loss and recovery. I would never again look to Plastic Man to fix things."

"No storm can destroy our compassion for one another." 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Mountain is Calling

Heart Mountain

     
     
           

One cannot help but be impressed with this geological marvel that frames the Bighorn Basin near Cody, Wyoming, especially when one knows how the mountain was formed.



     The Heart Mountain Relocation Interpretation Center located on the other side of the mountain pulls us back into a dark side of our nation's history.
     I know we cannot live on the mountain in some fantasy peaceable kingdom, but I know we must not live in the swamp of fear and hate. I believe we can love the stranger. Will we? 



Monday, April 2, 2018

A vision quest and moral choices

The Bridge
from Friedman's Fables
Edwin H. Friedman

     This story begins when after years of struggle and search, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presents itself. He is excited to begin the required journey to fulfill his vision and is ready to face any and all obstacles along the way and then he meets the man with the rope. 
     I choose to tell this story because I believe that most all of us recognize persons who will, if allowed, make themselves almost totally dependent on someone else and are willing to take no responsibility for themselves. I wonder, do we sometimes understand ourselves as the dependent one?
     If you want to make the story work for you, I encourage you to raise some questions of it.  Here are some that come to my mind:
     - How would you get the man hanging from the rope to take responsibility for himself?
     - How much responsibility does the man on the bridge have for the other?
     - Could both men be the same person?
     - Why are the dependent so often calling the shots?
     - If someone came up to you and said, "Hold the end or I'll jump," what would you do?
     
You take it from here. 
 Max

     
     
     
     

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Caged Bird



The Caged Bird
     More often than not, if one thinks about it, there is more to any story. The story of the caged bird is a simple little story, but tell it to a child and you'll see what I mean. Put yourself in the place of the little bird yourself and translate the metaphor into your environment and circumstances and your story will be obviously be more complex.
     While there is no judgment in the story about what was the right thing for the little bird to do, we are challenged to examine our own response to the risk of freedom and security. Only you can decide how long to weigh your options and what is the right response to any challenge. The story doesn't judge the little bird. It would never feel the wind in its wings or the sun on its back but neither would it feel the bitter cold or fear predators.
     As I have said, I would have heard this story differently when I was eighteen or when I was forty than I hear it now. I don't know that I have any more answers now than I did then, but I have come to believe that the more I am in harmony with myself, the people around me, and the world in which I live, the more precious freedom is and the more I am willing to risk.
     The little bird in a cage; something to think about.


Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Princess and the Dove

     I tell this Italian folk tale once again, this time in the midst of an ever evolving saga of sexual exploitation, the fallout of which is sending shock waves through our culture. It certainly does not adequately addresses guilt too long denied or anger too long repressed or suffering so long endured nor does it offer, in itself the formula to lead us out of this moral swamp. So why tell it all? Neither the princess nor the spellbound prince are romanticized as the tale begins. One cannot help but be disturbed at the princess' unhealthy willingness to sacrifice her own self worth or the spell-released prince's contempt for her sacrifice—the loss of self-respect as well as the lack of respect for the other. The transformation occurs, of course, when the princess forces the issue. The prince faces his own guilt and asks for forgiveness. The princess, who has discovered her self-worth and power, forgives and both are healed.

     I like happy endings so, of course I like it for that. But deeper than that, it speaks to me of the virtue so long denied—genuine respect which I believe is foundational for the healing of our culture. And that is the reason I tell it again and again.