I was never a great speller…in school…when my teacher called on me

I was never really sure if the ‘I’ came before…or after the ‘e’


When it came to certain words…I always found it telling…

how two words could sound exactly the same but both have different spellings?


In every spelling bee I ever entered…I never won first prize…and I never dreamed my lack of spelling skills would be a blessing in disguise.


But in some cases it has been…(in many others that remains to be seen)

Let me offer one example of exactly what I mean.


With hatred, bigotry and war in this world all on the increase…

one way, we’re told, to solve this problem is to attack it piece by piece.


But due to my lack of spelling prowess…when I dream of a way for hatred and bigotry to cease…I write: the best way to solve the problem…is to attack it peace…by peace.


If we attacked it peace by peace…despite our disagreements…if we showed one another we care…we might look less at the things that make us different…and find more of the things we share.


Peace by peace we might discover we’re all quite similar when we look into each other’s hearts…perhaps we’d find what brings us all together…and stop tearing ourselves apart.


Perhaps it starts quite simply…just by writing piece another way…

Instead of putting the ‘I’ before the ‘e’…we put the ‘e’ before an ‘a’.


Of course I’m not sure my teacher back in grade school would agree…

But I like to dream the world wold be more peaceful…

If everyone spelled…a little more like me.

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May we bet blessed to understand…

what peace there is in holding hands…

be it with our partners

our friends

our daughters

or our sons

If we’re holding hands with one another…

we can’t be holding guns.



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I never fought in Vietnam…my parents never had to worry…to fear…to morn…for the simple reason my draft number was connected to the day that I was born.


I sat watching draft numbers being picked…wondering what I was going to do until my birthday draft number was finally called and I was 322.


As luck would have it I had a friend whose birthday was number 4….So I went off to college…while he went off to war.


A war that had been raging for 9 years…causing pain and grief and tears…

Sadly, the anguish and the agony of that war would rage on for 10 more years.


The soldiers who went off to fight…young men and women side by side…like any soldier in any war…they served, they fought…some died.


Over 58.000 young men and women died in that war…a number both sad and profound…some of their bodies never made it home…to this day they’ve never been found.


But those who returned alive from that Vietnam…found their war was out of fashion…they did not receive their country’s glory…nor their countrymen’s compassion.


It was a war that divided our county…pitting Americans against each other…

In the streets, to protest a war, we fought with our own sisters…our own brothers.


Yesterday we stopped at a park near a downtown South Florida neighborhood…where, to our surprise, a replica of the Vietnam War Memorial stood.


The wall was erected to memorialize these soldiers…whose lives went un-completed…with the hope the lessons from that war would never be forgotten…or repeated…


In a solemn, sobering moment I was filled with sadness…tears began to fall as I ran my fingers across the name of my friend upon that wall.


How sad it was to gaze out on all those names…trying to ascertain…after watching what Americans did to Americans this week…if my friend and all his friends hadn’t died in vain.


Wondering in the aftermath of a week where we ignored old lessons…where old mistakes were, once again, repeated…how many more people will be hurt…how many more lives will never be completed.


Wondering if it’s possible, as I ran my fingers along that wall…if there will ever be a time when there’ll be no wars at all…


I believe it is possible, without war, for people to come together, to compromise, to help their hate and anger cease…I believe every language has a word for this…

I believe that word…is PEACE

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We were filled with hope for peace and love in the 60’s

but how quickly that hope would decline

as our dreams and wishes turned to ashes by the end of 1969.


But 51 years ago today our crumbling faith would be rewarded

for that was the day Bridge Over Trouble Water by Simon and Garfunkel was recorded.


Reminding us when we are weary…when we’re feeling small

how building a bridge is so much better…than putting up a wall.


America has navigated troubled waters as 244 years have elapsed

but many of the bridges that were built have long ago collapsed.


We can’t ignore the hate in this country that rains so freely from above

But we can begin to fight that hate by building our bridges out of love.


So I will lay me down over these troubled waters 

with the hope that peace and love I find

when you lay yourself down and your bridge connects with mine.


I leave you now with the lyrics of their song in the hope that we might find

a way to build a bridges out of peace and love…

A way to ease our mind.




Bridge Over Troubled Water

Song by Simon & Garfunkel


When you're weary, feeling small

When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all, all

I'm on your side, oh, when times get rough

And friends just can't be found

Like a bridge over troubled water

I will lay me down

Like a bridge over troubled water

I will lay me down

When you're down and out

When you're on the street

When evening falls so hard

I will comfort you

I'll take your part, oh, when darkness comes

And pain is all around

Like a bridge over troubled water

I will lay me down

Like a bridge over troubled water

I will lay me down

Sail on silver girl

Sail on by

Your time has come to shine

All your dreams are on their way

See how they shine

Oh, if you need a friend

I'm sailing right behind

Like a bridge over troubled water

I will ease your mind

Like a bridge over troubled water

I will ease your mind





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I once dreamed of being a carpenter…but I don’t want to be a carpenter anymore…

Who knew there is only one right way that you can hang a door!


I dreamed of being an electrician but from that career I would quickly tire….

Who knew if you simply get your wires crossed it can easily cause a fire!


I dreamed of being a plumber but plumbing is much harder than you think

Who knew you had to be a contortionist to fit under a sink!


So I became a teacher and  I taught ’til I was old and grey.

In teaching there are no absolutes…if something doesn’t work…

you find another way.


If my students were having difficulty learning…it wasn’t an option to adjourn.

It was up to me to help them find another way…another way to learn.


If they continued having trouble…if what I was doing still didn’t reach them.

It was up to me to find another way…another way to teach them.


It’s ironic when you think about it…for me as a teacher at the end of every day

It was my students who would teach me…to find another way.


Another way of thinking…another way of viewing life

Another way of overcoming obstacles, 

overcoming heartaches, pain and strife.


Which is why I still have hope our country will survive this latest crisis…

even though things look bad today….

I have hope that people can put aside their hatred…

and find another way.


Another way of thinking

Another way to make their anger and enmity cease…

Another way to live together…

Another way to harmony and peace.


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We are awash in a world of colors…reds, greens, yellows…blues.

Each color is unique…

each with its own distinctive hue.


And by themselves they are quite beautiful…

when we see one we’re transfixed

but we can’t deny the beauty once the colors have been mixed.


When the sky is blue it is beautiful…it’s a pleasure to our eyes

but what a beautiful mix the colors make as the sun’s about to rise.


Or when the sun begins to set in the days evanescent light

and the colors synthesize harmoniously…as they usher in the night.


And there must be a heavenly reason…

after the darkest storms in a sky overflowing with rain

a rainbow arching across the sky is the mix of colors that remains.


Sunrises, sunsets, rainbows have proven…they have shown

that each contains a beauty…creating a color of their own.


Which leads some of us to wonder…

and others of us to muse

Doesn’t the beauty they possess arise from the mixture of their hues?


What if we saw each other as a mix of colors

no matter the day or night

a beautiful blend of colors…instead of just black, yellow, red or white


Would that alter the way we feel?

Would our love and acceptance of each other increase?

If we could see each other as a blend of colors…

We could call that color…Peace




A morning stroll along the beach, just the two of us, walking hand in hand

when I found myself enchanted by all the footprints in the sand.


It was beautiful how the sun met the water and the water met the land

but I felt myself mesmerized by all those footprints in the sand.


They came in all shapes and sizes…they were everywhere I scanned…

an endless overlap of footprints…blending together in the sand


I had no way of knowing…if it was a woman or a man

If they were made by someone young or old…these footprints in the sand.


Was their skin black or white or yellow…red, or pink or tanned?

could not be determined from these footprints in the sand.


What was their religion?  Were they from here or some other land?

These I could not ascertain from mere footprints in the sand.


Were they single…or was their partner a woman or a man?

Information not to be discovered from footprints in the sand..


And I wondered if we judged people only by their footprints in the sand

would we still have prejudice and bigotry…

would people still be ridiculed or banned?


Would hatred still flow as easily across our seas and land…

or would we find a way to blend together…


like footprints in the sand?

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Yesterday while watching the sun set

I thought how nature is so beautiful…

and yet


I find myself hesitant…afraid

at the world before me man has made


At all the horrible things we’re doing

At all the bitterness and hatred brewing


As the sun descended this thought entered my mind

There is a way to make the world kind?


And though this may be hard for some to swallow

I believe it depends on who we follow.


What if at sunset…when today is done

We stop following fools with power…fools with guns


And when we awake to a new sunrise

We follow only leaders whom we think are wise.


So at future sunsets we’ll just enjoy the view


Like, I believe, we were meant to do.

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Yesterday was World Ukulele Day…you heard me right…it’s not a fluke

Yesterday people all around the world came together…to celebrate the uke.


They were playing in the park in our town so we had to check it out…

We wanted to learn a little more and see what the fuss was all about.


The ukulele originated in Hawaii…that state surrounded by the sea…

and translated roughly from Hawaiian…ukulele means ‘jumping flea’.


It’s possible the name comes from how fast the fingers seem to jump around when people play it

but whatever the reason the word ukulele makes you smile when you say it.


On stage a group of people picked up their ukuleles

and played familiar songs

as people who brought their own ukes accompanied them

while the rest of us sang along…


In a world that is so divided so filled with distrust and animosity

people coming together to play and sing was a beautiful sight to see.


Perhaps that is the point of World Ukulele Day…

to bring people together no matter their religion, sexuality or race….

for no other earthly reason that to put a smile on their face.


To show the world through a 4 stringed instrument and some old familiar songs

that we can come together…

that we can get along.


Which leads me to wonder… 

What if there is a way?

What if a world with less hate and animosity


begins with more ukulele days.

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