I don’t pay much attention to most of my dreams. For one thing, I very rarely remember much about them.  For another, the vast majority of my dreams are like a combination of a train wreck and an attic and when they do make sense they probably have a lot to do with first-child syndrome: that burdened business not of feeling like God, but of having been deputized. But tonight I awoke from a dream that left an impression. I was sitting with my younger brother in a hospital waiting room.  To und … [Read more...]

Obstacles and Problems

Ken Hakuta is an inventor and the host of “The Dr. Fad Show,” a children’s show devoted to conversations about inventions.  That’s the extent of what I know about Mr. Hakuta, but he makes an important observation: “Lack of money is no obstacle.  Lack of an idea is an obstacle.” Depending on your life’s circumstances, Mr. Hakuta’s observation could be heard in more than one way: You might hear him telling you: “You talk a lot about money being an obstacle.  That’s not an obstacle.  The real obstac … [Read more...]

The significance of planting trees

According to Nelson Henderson, “The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”  He is remembered only because his son Wes wrote a fairly simple and poorly edited work chronicling his family’s life in the Swan River Valley of Canada.  Henderson moved from Ireland to settle in Ontario, moved further west to settle in Manitoba.  He fought in the trenches during World War I and returned to marry, farm, and raise three children. Perhaps the most enduring lesson … [Read more...]

There is no Yoda

Famously, Yoda observes, “Always two there are, no more, no less: a master and an apprentice.” “Well, yes, if lucky you are.” But in my experience of sending students off to mother church — and in an ecumenical setting, there are lots of mothers — I have watched in horror at the number of those apprentices who are forced to travel alone. It’s a dynamic worth describing, because in most cases you have either been an apprentice or you have the opportunity to be a master.  How you … [Read more...]

What does a Yoda do

Real Yodas in the workplace and in on-on-one relationships function in a way that is very different from the patterns I described yesterday. Real Yodas start with the young yedi knight… The people I have known who functioned like true mentors always put their apprentice first.  They may have had their own agendas, anxieties, responsibilities, and frustrations — but they set those aside to give their full attention to the person they were mentoring. Real Yodas find a place for young Jedi to … [Read more...]