Archive for the ‘Overall’ Category

My 1000 Small Steps – January 20, 2019

Posted on: January 19th, 2019 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

What Can You Do for You?

by Kathie England

This post begins the third year of My 1000 Small Steps project launched on January 20, 2017. The goal of this project is to share the perspective that small actions taken by many individuals can help shift our future to prevent the results of the 2016 election from repeating in 2020.

In the introduction to this project I shared the words of Leo Tolstoy, Margaret Mead, Leonard Cohen, and Edward Kennedy – all reflecting on the power, the process of not giving up in the face of despair that so many of us felt on the morning of November 9, 2016. (And almost every day since…)

Leo Tolstoy: History is the combined effort of the many small things that ordinary individuals do every day, “An infinitely large number of infinitesimally small actions.”

Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Leonard Cohen, recorded shortly before his death, quoted Werner Herzog. “Keep on walking. Shape the future…”

Edward Kennedy, quoted in The New York Times shortly after his death. “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”

I asked, What if millions of us committed to take small actions?

Today’s post was inspired by Krista Tippett’s recent interview with Claudia Rankine, poet, essayist, and playwright. (One of my favorite pleasures has become listening to Krista Tippett’s On Being podcast while I take long walks.) The title of this podcast intrigued me: How Can I Say This So We Can Stay in This Car Together?

Quoting from this interview I invite you to focus on Ms. Rankine’s response to a question she was asked, “What can I do for you? How can I help you?”

“Ms. Tippett: You wrote a play, coming out, The White Card, as you were on the road with Citizen and out of the conversations that emerged from that. Now, you said, you’re writing about how to have these conversations. It seemed to me, maybe this was a spark. You describe being in this cathartic moment where you were speaking, reading, and a man stands up and says, ‘What can I do for you? How can I help you?’ — trying to muster in himself the appropriate response to what you were showing, and you said, ‘I think the question you should be asking is what you can do for you.’

https://onbeing.org/programs/claudia-rankine-how-can-i-say-this-so-we-can-stay-in-this-car-together-jan2019/

As you listen to this conversation, I invite you to answer Rankine’s question for yourself: “What can you do for you?”

And, I encourage you to read Citizen, An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine, whom I had the privilege of hearing last year at Portland’s Arts and Lectures Series.

My 1000 Small Steps – December 20, 2018

Posted on: December 16th, 2018 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Hope and Meaning

by Kathie England

One year ago I shared the Prayer of St Francis, also known as the Prayer of Peace, with the hope that it provide perspective for the tumultuous year we had experienced.

I want to share this prayer again to help provide hope and meaning as we end 2018. I just finished listening to the On Being podcast with Krista Tippett where she interviewed Pauline Boss, the family therapist who introduced the idea of “ambiguous loss.” This is loss without closure. During this interview, Boss recounted the words of Viktor Frankl.

“Without hope there is no meaning. Without meaning there is no hope.”

May this prayer offer hope and meaning for the year ahead!

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me bring love.

Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.

Where there is discord, let me bring union.

Where there is error, let me bring truth.

Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.

Where there is despair, let me bring hope.

Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.

Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.

O Master, let me not seek as much

to be consoled as to console,

to be understood as to understand,

to be loved as to love,

for it is in giving that one receives,

it is in self-forgetting that one finds,

it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,

it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.”

This prayer was read in the United States Senate to mark the end of World War II. Mother Teresa included the prayer in her acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. It was sung as a hymn at the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997.

May we embrace its message to help us find the courage to take many small steps in 2019!

My 1000 Small Steps – November 20, 2018

Posted on: November 17th, 2018 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

The Choices We Make

By Kathie England

Shortly before her death in 1962, Eleanor Roosevelt wrote:

“The course of history is directed by the choices we make and our choices grow out of the ideas, the beliefs, the values, the dreams of the people. It is not so much the powerful leaders that determine our destiny as the much more powerful influence of the combined voice of the people themselves.”

I discovered Roosevelt’s quote in the November 12, 2018 issue of TIME magazine’s article titled “When Leadership Fails.” This article by Jon Meacham is from his new book The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels.

The title of Meacham’s book was inspired by Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address, described by historian Jill Lepore in her book These Truths to be the most eloquent inaugural address in American history.

Lincoln hoped that the dispute over slavery could be resolved by debate rather than by war.

“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.”

Lincoln continued with the wish that “the mystic cords of memory…will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

Meacham states, “My own view is that we must attempt, insofar as possible, to focus our civic energy not on the President’s heart and mind – these seem a lost cause – but on our own. The nature of a republic is shaped by the mysterious and complicated interplay between the leaders and the led, and experience and philosophy teach us that popular governments often mirror as much as they mold who we are.”

As we celebrate many victories in the recent midterms, may we each keep this perspective – we must focus our energy on our own heart and mind to make choices that grow out of our ideas, beliefs, values, and dreams.

Happy Thanksgiving!

My 1000 Small Steps – October 20, 2018

Posted on: October 13th, 2018 by Kathie England | Time for Success 1 Comment

Our Greatest Existential Threat

By Kathie England

The Season 5 Premier of Madam Secretary concluded with an amazing speech by Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord played by Téa Leoni.

I share excerpts from her speech for this month’s blog.

“…What is an even greater threat than nuclear weapons? That which makes the use of them possible: hate. Specifically, the blind hatred one group or nation can have for another. That is why I am convinced that nationalism is the existential threat of our time.”

“… Nationalism is not the same as patriotism. It’s a perversion of patriotism. Nationalism… promotes the idea that inclusion and diversity represent weakness, that the only way to succeed is to give blind allegiance to the supremacy of one race over all others. Nothing could be less American.”

“…Patriotism…is about building each other up and embracing our diversity as the source of our nation’s strength. ‘We the people’ means all the people. America’s heroes didn’t die for race or region. They died for the ideals enshrined in our Constitution:

Above all, freedom from tyranny, which requires our unwavering support of a free press; freedom of religion, all religions; the right to vote, and making sure nothing infringes on any of those rights, which belong to us all.”

“Look where isolationism has gotten us in the past. Two world wars. Seventy million dead. Never again can we go back to those dark times when fear and hatred, like a contagion, infected the world.”

“… We must never lose sight of our common humanity, our common values and our common decency…we call on all Americans and people everywhere to reject the scourge of nationalism. Because governments can’t legislate tolerance or eradicate hate.”

“That’s why each one of us has to find the beauty in our differences instead of the fear. Listen instead of reacting. Reach out instead of recoiling. It’s up to us. All of us.”

Though this goal is far larger than one small step, I share the words of John Lewis to provide perspective. “Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month or a year. It is the struggle of a lifetime.”

One important step each of us can take is to vote on November 6!

Here is the link to Secretary McCord’s speech: https://tvline.com/2018/10/08/madam-secretary-premiere-speech-season-5-episode-1-video-e-pluribus-unum/

My 1000 Small Steps – September 20, 2018

Posted on: September 15th, 2018 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

What You Do Today

By Kathie England

President Obama’s eulogy for John McCain on September 1, 2018 included these thought-provoking words from For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. (This quote was one of McCain’s favorites.)

“Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.”

What if we each asked ourselves this question: What can I do today that will help create the country I want for all of us?

Paul Wellstone, a Senator from Minnesota and leader of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party until his tragic death in a plane crash in 2002, said: “The future belongs to those who are passionate and work hard.”

What is the hard work we each need to do today to create the country we know is possible?

What is one small step we can take today that will impact all the other days ahead?

 

My 1000 Small Steps – August 20, 2018

Posted on: August 18th, 2018 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Journalists Are Not the Enemy

By Kathie England

Thursday morning, August 16, the editorial pages of more than 350 newspapers around the United States were filled with arguments in support of a free and independent press in response to a call from The Boston Globe’s editorial board to confront President Trump’s recent attacks on the media.

Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Senate even passed a resolution from Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer expressing support for the media and stating that the press is “not the enemy of the people.”

Ann Curry eloquently addressed this same issue when she spoke at TEDx Portland on April 21. If you regularly read this blog, you may remember the May 20 post written after I had seen Ann Curry speak. Since then, I have been eager to share her full TED Talk when it became available.

Now, I invite you to watch Ann Curry at TEDx Portland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjqGpTmvdvQ

Next, I invite you to take this small step:

Subscribe to one of the newspapers that every day is striving to keep “a free and independent press” alive in this country!

https://www.newyorktimes.com

https://www.washingtonpost.com/

My 1000 Small Steps – July 20, 2018

Posted on: July 14th, 2018 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Perspective and Hope

By Kathie England

It has been overwhelming to listen to the news over the past month – immigrant children cruelly separated from their parents at our border with Mexico, decisions by the Supreme Court, and the resignation of a Supreme Court justice that opens the door for the president’s next appointment. This justice will likely make decisions that shape our country in ways we hate to imagine, possibly for decades.

It has been hard to keep perspective and maintain hope!

Perspective

I recently watched the 9-part documentary from 1996 by Ken Burns titled The West. This documentary gave perspective about the many atrocities committed during the westward expansion of the United States. I doubt most Americans are aware of many of the cruelties involved in the “glorious” idea of “manifest destiny.”

Fifty years ago Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated as the Vietnam War raged on. Then Richard Nixon was elected.

It was a tweet by John Lewis on June 28 that provided perspective.

“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year; it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble. #goodtrouble”

As I attended the rally to Keep Families United along with 5000 others in Portland, Oregon and in 700 other cities across the country on June 30, I embraced that tweet.

Hope

I invite you to watch this 3-minute You Tube video of Karim Sulayman, an Arab American. Titled I Trust You, this video gave me hope.

My wish is that it will give you hope too! One person’s small step can make a difference.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCy8Cfvoe6g

My 1000 Small Steps – June 20, 2018

Posted on: June 16th, 2018 by Kathie England | Time for Success 1 Comment

Commit to Making Change

By Kathie England, inspired by Barack Obama

At the end of the Obama Foundation Summit late last year, President Obama closed the event by holding up a commitment card and asking attendees to answer this question:

What action are you going to take to make concrete local change in the next few months?

Obama explained, “The simple act of writing something down and saying you’re going to do it makes you more likely to take action and make it happen. The change you commit to doesn’t have to be huge – in fact, it shouldn’t be. It should be something you can do in the next few months, something that will make a positive change where you live – something you can lean on your friends and neighbors to help with.”

He invited the attendees to fill out a commitment card and share with the summit what change they planned to make in their community in the next few months.

In the spirit of the Obama Foundation Summit, I invite each person who reads this blog or receives this email to post their answer to President Obama’s question:

What action are you going to take to make concrete local change in the next few months?

Though you may be discouraged by recent events, I invite us all to remember the words of Winston Churchill:

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”

 

My 1000 Small Steps – May 20, 2018

Posted on: May 19th, 2018 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Truth and Trust

By Kathie England

“Ranting is not journalism!”

Those were the words of Ann Curry, an American journalist for the past 30 years and the final speaker at TEDx Portland on April 21, 2018.

Journalism, described by Curry as a “noble calling,” is about truth and trust. The motive of journalism is the public good.

An informed citizen has the responsibility to seek truth.

Curry invited us to ask ourselves, as informed citizens, whether the stories we hear and read are real. She offered seven questions for us to ask ourselves in determining whether a story is real.

  • Are no other news organizations reporting the same thing?
  • Is this being reported by an organization you don’t know?
  • Does the article lack a publication date?
  • Is it billed as a “must read” in the headline?
  • Does the story confirm your opinion neatly?
  • Is it in all caps? Are there a lot of exclamation marks?
  • Does it make you angry?

I just started reading We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates. In the introduction to this book, Coates notes that when President Obama left office, “a majority of the opposition party did not believe he was a citizen.”

One of my favorite coaching questions is “What if…?”

What if those people who did not believe that President Obama is a citizen had asked themselves the questions Ann Curry posed?

What if we all took those small steps of asking ourselves Curry’s questions before we believe what we are reading and hearing is the truth?

“Ranting is not journalism!”

My 1000 Small Steps – April 20, 2018

Posted on: April 14th, 2018 by Kathie England | Time for Success 1 Comment

“Revitalize Citizenship”

By Kathie England

What does it mean to be an American?

Eric Liu, who served as speechwriter for President Clinton and was nominated by President Obama to serve on the board of directors of the federal Corporation for National and Community Service, asked that question.

In 2014 Liu launched the Aspen Institute Program on Citizenship and American Identity to advance the conversation about the nature of American national identity. Today Liu is the CEO of Citizen University, a non-profit organization that promotes what it calls “powerful citizenship.”

Sworn-Again America is a program that is part of the effort of Citizen University to revitalize citizenship. Inspired by the naturalization process for immigrants to become American citizens, Sworn-Again America invites citizens to renew their civic vows.

One step in this process is to take the Sworn-Again Oath:

I pledge to be an active American

to show up for others

to govern myself

to help govern my community

I recommit myself to my country’s creed

to cherish liberty

as a responsibility

 

I pledge to serve

and to push my country:

when right, to be kept right;

when wrong, to be set right

Wherever my ancestors and I were born,

I claim America

and I pledge to live like a citizen

Citizen University wants to “spark a movement that will inspire Americans to become more engaged in civic life, more connected to people from all walks of life, more grateful for the opportunities and freedoms that come with citizenship, and more willing to show up and take on the responsibilities of citizenship.”

https://www.citizenuniversity.us/programs/

Whether “in ceremonies at dinner tables, schools, block parties, or town squares, with five or five thousand,” Citizen University invites us all to take the oath to become a Sworn-Again American.

Would you be willing to take this small step?