June 2020

“Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes” experiment; Iowa Dept. of Corrections training; if you aren’t black..; being present; James Taylor’s song Welcome to the June edition of Tips and Topics. This edition is focused on an important, game-changing time in USA history. In SAVVY, I share an experiment from 1970 that changed the attitudes of 3rd graders. The Iowa Dept. of Corrections had a training that was equally illuminating. It’s worth taking 53 minutes of your time to watch. I also highlight three areas of life that black people experience that I have never thought of; and I bet you haven’t either if you are a white person. In SKILLS, three of my colleagues and friends share their thoughts on what to do and where to start as we rethink race relations; re-imagine policing practices; and search our own attitudes and actions. In SOUL, I share where I am beginning to commit to change.  Also listen to a classic song from the 1949 musical, South Pacific, refreshed and re-recorded by James Taylor. savvy I have learnt so much in the past month about US history of black and white race relations, personal and systemic issues of race, policing practices, and what has worked before or not. I have written before about racial disparities; unconscious bias and Nonviolent Communication in the January 2019 edition of Tips and Topics. In the May 2008 edition, I noted that when you are in a minority, certain behaviors and attitudes occur that don’t cross the mind of a person in the majority. This month, I am sharing more of what I have learned. I hope that this edition will catalyse whatever action you are inspired to take to truly believe and achieve the self-evident truths “that all men* are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (* people) Tip 1 The Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes” experiment – what third graders teach us about racism Maybe you learned about this experiment in child development classes. Somehow I had never heard about this before. I got so much out of this one documentary and hope you do too. Here are excerpts from the Introduction (published January 2003) of the FRONTLINE documentary  “A Class Divided”.   I learnt so much from the full 53 minutes that I hope you have time to listen too. But if you don’t, I have provided the ‘minute’ location of sections of the documentary to focus your attention on relevant sections. “On the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in April 1968, Jane Elliott’s third graders from the small, all-white town of Riceville, Iowa, came to class confused and upset. They recently had made King their “Hero of the Month,” and they couldn’t understand why someone would kill him. So Elliott decided to teach her class a daring lesson in the meaning of discrimination. She wanted to show her pupils what discrimination feels like, and what it can do to people.” The Experiment …

May 2020

“Quarantine fatigue”; fear and Law of Attraction; use it or lose it. Welcome to the May edition of Tips and Topics. We’re not ready to move on from COVID-19 yet, as much as it would be wonderful to get back to “business as usual”. In SAVVY, the focus is on “quarantine fatigue”. The HIV epidemic has lessons that can help shape where we go with COVID-19. In SKILLS, fear attracts more fear.  Daily stress and worry plagues a majority of Americans (60%). Shifting our focus away from what pulls us down, can help us get through COVID-19.  But don’t forget to wash your hands. In SOUL, the blinds in my lakeview room reminded me to use it or lose it.

April 2020

Bill Gates on pandemics; smiles and songs; how I read the news now In SAVVY, Bill Gates’s 8 minutes TED talk could have saved thousands of lives and trillions of dollars if we had listened to him. As we think of opening the USA up again, will we listen now?  In SKILLS, SMILES, SONGS I share some of my favorite coronavirus related humor and music.  In SOUL AND SHARING SOLUTIONS, I pass by news items that leave me angry and less empathetic. Is there anyone out there wanting to come together to find solutions to our shared common challenges?

March 2020

March Problem Gambling Awareness Month; Language of Recovery; No need to panic

February 2020

Turning frustrations into Systems solutions; 1 year since I lost my wife

January 2020

Frustrations, frustrations – what kind are they and what to do; visioning a new year and decade