Make Your December Wish Come True

December is full of holidays and goodwill and wishes for world peace. This isn’t the first December of these wishes, so why haven’t we achieved world peace? I can hear some of you now, it’s the other guy’s fault. And the answer is, no. It’s not. To make your December wish come true, you have to be willing to do the work.  The Dream of Peace Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one. —John Lennon Obviously, no matter how many people dream it, dreaming doesn’t make it happen. What will? A change in the way you interact with the world. For those of you are saying hell yes, stop for a moment. Are you so vehement in your protests that you are part of the problem? For those of you who think, you need not change? Seriously? If you don’t change with the times or because of newly acquired knowledge, then you are part of the problem, too.  Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for […]

Playing a pirate can be fun. Being a pirate is stealing.

Pirating is Stealing

The interwebs have been vibrating with arguments over a website that has pirated many books. Let me be clear. Any site, person, organization which did not pay for copyrighted materials has stolen that property. Pirating books is stealing. There have been flurries of arguments. Some have insisted that all ghostwriters are pirates (ridiculous). Others have argued that anyone who publishes a book a month must be a pirate (not necessarily.) No Excuses I once posted on a social media site. I warned about an organization that had instituted a new policy. Their new policy allowed them to post copyrighted material without permission. My post went to a group of readers and video/movie watchers. The derision invoked by this post amazed me. One commenter said that I’d found the wrong group. No. I did not. If my post warned those who cared, it was enough. If my post educated some who did not understand. That was enough. There are people who understand that pirating is stealing. Some people choose to excuse stealing. Though I suspect that those who excuse stealing books would protest long and loud if a thief had stolen their car or money or furniture. What is Not Piracy […]

Practice Makes Perfect is Full of Baloney

Practice makes perfect is full of baloney. Some people who practice may reach perfection, but not most. Yet, practice is vital no matter what you’re doing. So how do we manage? When you Google “Fun Facts About Practice” you get a bunch of “fun with math” links. Um. That’s not what I had in mind. But, isn’t it interesting? We’re desperate to prove that mathematics can be fun, but not one word about practice as a thing to do. I believe we do a disservice to everyone with the practice makes perfect phrase. Practice becomes the thing that we focus on. We kill our enthusiasm with forced practice. As a child, I took piano lessons. I loved playing piano but I grew to hate it. The rule at my house was thirty minutes of practice after homework and before anything else. I hated to practice. It was drudgery. The seconds ticked as if mired in molasses when I sat at the piano. We improve with practice, without a doubt. And there are times when rote practice is what we have to do. But as Mary Buckham says it’s when our practice becomes a game that your progress will explode. And […]