“Remember, You are Just a Man!”

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There’s this part of the Catholic Mass called the “homily.” It’s like the “sermon” of other denominations, albeit usually a lot shorter. For whatever reason, I tend to 1242681_27218650_roman_statue_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300do my most creative thinking during homilies. That’s probably true of most people. According the Catholic Encyclopedia, the homily, in brief, intends to mix the specific practicum of everyday experience with the generic spiritual/philosophical treatise offered by the Gospel. It’s said to be the oldest form of preaching. These inspirational words must therefore prod one into reflexive thought; hence, my tendency to brew ideas as the priest speaks in the most general of terms.

Today was different. Not only was it Scout Sunday and I was dressed in uniform to accompany a small covey of Boy Scouts as they brought up the gifts, but today the priest didn’t communicate merely in generalities. Today he named specific names. Today, he pointed to me and proclaimed Continue Reading ““Remember, You are Just a Man!””

How Have You Rediscovered Christopher Columbus?

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Last week, a good friend of mine wrote a piece called “Don’t Be a Social Media Debbie Downer” (see MarkFrisk.com). In it, he says “overdoing it on the negative 400129_8598_Christopher_Columbus_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300is maybe not the way you want to go.” While ostensibly written for the social media space, he quickly adds the lesson applies to any space.

Today is Columbus Day. No one has suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous Debbie Downer Syndrome more than the man who discovered America. Almost every event, person, place or thing in the human record stands as a glass either half empty or half full. Throughout history, we’ve taken the “half full” approach when defining our heroes. Why?

The best answer I’ve seen lies within a 60+ year old movie directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Henry Fonda called Fort Apache. In this classic western, Ford both unmasks and makes the Continue Reading “How Have You Rediscovered Christopher Columbus?”