Aurora Colorado violence: relationship literacy = domestic harmony

The Aurora Colorado cinema gun violence massacre is not about guns, controlling guns, reacting with yet more gun legislation – it is really about people, you and I, communication, and the quality of our relationships.


Rather than talk about domestic violence – why not shift he ground of being to legislating on behalf of domestic harmony?

Why not promote relationship literacy legislation in place of gun control legislation?

What do I mean by shifting the “ground of being?” What is being done now? How can you help?
Relationship Literacy is:
  • about shifting the ground of being in the conversation about domestic violence and abuse to promoting domestic harmony.
  • Relationship Literacy is tasked with the mission to “Bring honor and respect for ourselves and to each other in every communication in any relationship.”
It is now my counseling practice, and I am working towards “Relationship” being adopted as the “Fourth R” in our educational school system. (after the three traditional “R”s of education, “Reading ‘Riting and ‘Rithmetic”.) Do you want to join?

Imagine teaching middle and high school students effective relationship and communication skills.

  • Quality of all their relationships would rise.
  • Domestic date rape and abuse would diminish.
  • Calls for police intervention services would go down.
  • municipal court loads would shrink.
  • Child Protection Services would be out of a job altogether.
  • Domestic violence would begin to disappear.
  • (This is all measurable BTW)
Note that there would be no room, no place, no conversation about, no need for legislative agendas regarding guns and violence.

If you want to be part of forwarding this pro-life conversation, let’s meet, talk, and generate the next step towards domestic harmony together.

You are invited to comment below and participate in our conversation.


Writing session after TwD – Part 2

I told the following story about grocery rescue, my TwD friend captured it and emailed me a first draft. It is one way to write together. We will write together again June 5, from 2:45 to 3:45, and other TwD participants are welcome to participate. Tomorrow I may be giving editorial feedback on a collection of my friend’s writing. It is inspiring to be in the company of writers.  Join us by the fireplace at Friends, Philosophy, and Tea for a second cup of tea; draft your next blog post, be part of the conversation a bit as we all improve our writing practice. We will discover how to move our writing along.  Here is what my friend and I made possible in less than an hour last week:

I wish there were more “grocery rescue” volunteer drivers.  That way, it would be easier to find a substitute driver when I go on vacation. Being a grocery rescue volunteer is a very important part of my life.  In less than three years I have personally carried more than 15 tons of donated food to the local food bank, and the only cost to my family has been 2 hours per week of my time plus the gasoline to drive 2 miles per week.

How much money would I have to earn to feel as though I could donate 5 tons of food per year?  That’s 10,000 pounds!  For reporting purposes, a food bank might value donated food at a dollar a pound. So food bank arithmetic would tell me that a dollar value of the food that I carry each year is about $10,000. I do not feel as though I have $10,000 every year to give the food bank, but I do feel as though I have 2 hours every week to give the food bank. And my 2 hours a week makes it possible for the food bank to obtain the fresh food that my local supermarket is eager to donate – extra that they do not wish to throw away.

I wish more people would donate time to their local food banks, so that there could be more grocery rescue drivers and more substitutes for us.   The Food Lifeline Network is the umbrella organization through which my local grocery rescue operation takes place; Hopelink is the social service agency that operates my local food bank. The experience enhances my life, values, and community connections.  It has formed me and benefited my family and me, every bit as much as any food bank client has benefited from the food obtained by my participation.

Big dreams, little steps..Rotary makes dollars & sence.

Big dreams and little steps, has been on my mind lately. Rejuvenating the health and POWER of a Rotary club has it’s challenges, but it took big dreams and little steps….over a period of time to do it. ONE step at a time…one dream and goal at a time. Day after day after day…..after day…..until we had a winning combination of projects and an awesome fundraiser, the Coup de Cascades.

Just like the little engine that could, we kept chugging along to rebuild hopes, dreams and projects for others. It is with gratitude and determinations that I have been able to endure this kind of dedication for 3 years. All the people that have joined the club in the past 2-3 years have inspired me to continue to keep pushing forward. An we did, and we won awards along the way. I am immensely proud, just like a mom with A+ kids.

Opening hearts, making big sacrifices and being the underdog, is not foreign to this Redmond Rousers ROTARY club. We have always been the loud rowdy ones at meetings….It’s the comments like WOW, I thought you guys were a BIG club, not just 15, that makes us smile with pride for the many awards we possess. Our responses are always the same…”Small but Mighty”…. & “WE Make a Difference”.

Come see us…bring a friend, or bring your business cards…network with other business professionals….get your name and business out there to do SERVICE to others….SERVICE ABOVE SELF…that’s what Rotary is ALL about. Come see us at the next Redmond Derby Days on July 13th & 14th. We will be making money at our hot Buttered CORN booth, or sign up to ride in our Coup de Cascades cycling Rides and or the 425mile RACE at . You can find us walking in the local parade….at 10 Am on Saturday at Derby Days too…..  Join us in the FUN!!!!  Come see us any Tuesday, hear a great speaker, eat dinner, learn something new…make friends. Rotary…we have it all.

De-fragment for life

Celebrate the doughnut not the hole.
I suggest that too many of our community suffer from fragmented memories leading to living fragmented lives.
It is as if our biological hard drives are fragmented, with a snippet of memory here, another piece of memory residing there, and it is difficult for us to see our own lives as a single narrative.
Some of us have a doughnut’s worth of life and of living – but are only aware of the holes, the struggles, the survival.
Too many are astonishingly ignorant of triumphs, contributions, and achievements.
The Living Legacy LifeBook  is only one of many tools out there to reclaim your own life and living and take your rightful place in the sun.
Celebrate the doughnut not the hole.

Preventing homelessness, one task at a time

Homelessness is easier to prevent than to solve.

This truism came to mind when an acquaintance asked me to take her to a mandatory appointment at a state unemployment office on Tuesday February 28.

Clearing an afternoon’s calendar, I said “yes” because I imagine the hardships at the heart of her request to a mere acquaintance for this type of ride.

This woman, I will call her Sophia, has no blood relatives. She is over 60 and was laid off some time ago from the job that kept her independent. She has scraped by with the assistance of food banks and a couple part time jobs, one of which she is now losing. During that job, she experienced a fall and injuries causing chronic pain. Her car is unreliable. She does not live within easy walking distance of a bus line. It is hard for her to get to the doctor or pharmacy for proper pain management, but she wouldn’t have money for pain meds anyway.

I cannot “solve” all of Sophia’s problems. But I CAN take her to an appointment that might qualify her for unemployment benefits in a system that she, and I, have paid into for years. And I CAN listen, without flinching or patronizing, to her seemingly interminable rants about her woes. This behavior pushes many people away. I will not be among them. I will take her to the appointment.

And I will miss being at “Tuesdays with Deborah” on Feb. 28th.

How to evaluate conflicting commitments

Leona posed this question: “How do you answer the call to business and the call to family, especially when the time commitment conflicts?” Check out Leona’s post and find a link to her site at:
I often encounter conflicts between two family commitments, or between a family commitment and a business commitment.

I guess I evaluate each commitment, along these lines:

  • Six months from now, will it make a difference whether or not I was there?
  • Is there someone else who can handle it, given the required time, skill, etc.?
  • Will it interfere with a family’s food and shelter?
  • Will it interfere with relationships?
  • Whose “peace of mind” is at stake, and how greatly?
  • Can it be be done at a different time without much inconvenience?

I have not been a family breadwinner in recent years. My commitments are many, and of the multi-generational, community, and volunteer varieties. If I do not go to some of my commitments, it may not take bread off my table, but it might take bread off the table of a vulnerable person in our community. Most often, though, I am weighing a commitment to “the greatest generation” against a commitment to “the millenials.”

I Am Tired And Inspired

I am tired.  I am tired of the local conversation.  I am tired of talking with local businesses. I am tired of  sitting in newly forming local charities trying to do good work.

That may shock of few that know me, especially since I am a local advocate.  Let me tell you why.

It is not because I don’t believe, it’s not because I don’t want to be there or that I am going to stop. I am tired because I walk away from those conversations feeling inadequate and overwhelmed and inspired.

more inspiration

War, Communion, Empathy, Domestic violence, Holons, and much more!

Tossing a number of seemingly unrelated insights into the hopper of thought produced a number of intriguing results. I would love to know of anyone you know would might like to toss ideas like these around, to explore further and see where they might lead….
Do you know of anyone – or group of anyones?
Paul Pinchas Zohav


War is a dominator holarchy’s attempt to grow in complexity. But because it’s fundamental integrity stands on the suppression of some of it’s parts, War ultimately fails as a means to rise in complexity. Imperialists and Empires fall.
Marriage that is based on the suppression of one of its holon constituent parts, and including domestic violence tactics of power and control, cannot last.
Domestic violence has to be continually applied to keep a marriage holon intact, but must ultimately fail.
Similarly any nation that stands on the suppression and exploitation, of it’s holon parts, will not last. (Think of the Confederate States of America, the Soviet Union, and perhaps our modern American nation as well. )

Communion: It is the capacity of holons to increase in individual and social complexity by means of a linking process named communion.
In popular culture Communion is most often cited as a spiritual practice of the Catholic Church, an performed by a congregant in which by eating the wafer (symbolic of the Body of Christ) and drinking the wine (symbolic of the blood of Christ) causes unity with Christ and thereby experiences a reconnection to the Divine, or Salvation.
In philosophical circles my understanding of communion is that it is the experience, the medium of being, that causes, permits one or more individual or social holon/holarchies to become one, to link and form a higher-order more complex holon or holarchy.
Note: that it can be no accident that communion shares the same roots as communication and community. In the world of Be-Do-Have Communion is the from the realm of BEING that allows the DO-ing of Communication, which when fulfilled, completed allows the holon of Community, a HAVING, to arise.)

Communion, as an expression of our universe’s tendency to organize and rise in complexity.
Social alcohol consumption appears to function as a kind of chemical based communion.
Hormonal genetic processes appear to underlay procreation through a biology-based communion (and notably, need not be dependent of thought or intelligence)
Social anger and resentment would appear to function as the glue that assembles mobs, resulting in mob behavior.
Music and spiritual social behaviors have the capacity to link holons within a concert or a church.
Fans: Those who watch or follow a given movie, TV program, sports team, fashion, political movement, and so forth become joined, at least temporarily, into a kind of social holarchy.


Empathy is associated in neuroscience with the development of mirror motor neurons.
Apparently human infants are born with a large number of mirror neurons and that allows infants to learn in their early years of living. Then in the first few years many neurons atrophy. This may be the reason that language, for example, is more easily acquired prior to four years of age, after which acquiring language and other skills of living need to be part of a more formal learning process.
The capacity to empathize may be highly correlated to the degree infants and toddlers are actively loved, handled, touched, and talked with.
If so, then we ought to be able to measure the difference in the average capacity to empathize between males and females. This difference, it is suggested, is a result in the different degrees of human nurturance between male and female infants.
Without the capacity to be empathic a human’s capacity to experience communion and join to become more complex holons is limited.
With a diminished empathic capacity comes the inability to link with other humans, to form good quality human relationships, to be aware of the impact of ones choices of behavior upon others. This phenomenon may help explain aspects of what has been named Asberger’s syndrome, Narcissism, psycho-sociopathic behavior, and more. It is far easier to hurt, murder, kill, dominate another if one is in some sense “immune” to the feelings of the other, the consequence of one’s chosen behavior.
Domestic Violence: A number of our citizens, many males, but not only males, appear to have a deficit in their capacity to experience the pain or joy of another. In the place of good quality empathy, force is used to manipulate and to maintain an interpersonal relationship.
Empathy also seems to be the key ingredient required for holons to move from heap to “good quality” holarchy.

If any of this intrigues you as it does me, let’s talk!

Christmas By Community

In my neighborhood down at the corner is a large lot, maybe more of a field.  It’s probably an acre or two.  Made up mostly of all native grasses, except for the Volunteer.  The city planning people left this ground open as a storm water runoff reservoir. The maintenance crews mow it once a year to control any fire hazard, but for the Volunteer.

Somehow the Volunteer got a hold and survived.  Survived the occasional spring flooding, annual mowing, the summertime play field activities and   even the winter “kid sled fest” on snow days.  But that’s what volunteers are, tough, steadfast not easily turned aside, just giving.

Who knows how it got there in the first place.  A bird, the wind, a kid’s pocket,  no one even knew of  it’s being until it started reaching skyward above the knee high grasses. For some reason the mower gang blades missed it and so it continued to grow, reaching about three feet and pushing higher.

The Volunteer started to take shape, kind of like when a little girl starts becoming a woman.  A beautiful thing, neighborhood folk started to notice the Volunteer.   It marked the place you could run to and back, for a good game of chase in the middle of an otherwise empty sun filled field.

Someone got the idea that the neighborhood should start showing it some love, after all Christmas is supposed to be about sharing love, even to lonely stand alone volunteers.  Now almost six feet tall, first one handmade decoration was hung by no one in particular, then another by some passer by.   Bells made out of  bird seed started to appear bringing flocks of  wild canaries, adding their color and song to the Volunteer.

Day after day the neighbor joggers and walkers pass hoping to find some new handmade marvel proudly hung to be shown off  by the Volunteer in our neighborhood field.  Children come to point and share to one another which was their loving gift to the Volunteer.

I do not have a Christmas tree this year.  The one I cut down in the nearby foothills went home with my son and his little family.

Instead here in my Bridle Trails neighborhood of Kirkland, I have a tree of community, down the street at the corner, in a field of neighbors all waiting for nature’s magical touch of a little snow.

As I have been known to say being the Real Estate broker that I am,

“ Where you live is just as important as what you live in.”

Mark Behringer


What has this Writing Challenge done for you (so far)?


How does writing every day (or intending to), affect your sense of your creative self, your communication skills, your sense of motivation?
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