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Rubbing Shoulders with Greatness

“I engaged her in conversation and after a few minutes, it became apparent to me that I had come into the presence of a very sharp, well informed intellect.”

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Being Human is a Team Sport

Being human is a team sport. Sure you need to pull your own weight, but you pull your own weight better when you pull with others.  Nobody ever does anything well alone. Take the sport of cycling. It’s seen as an individual sport but it’s far from it. Last year, I rode in the Hot […]

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Master of Teamwork: Tomas Kriska

With this post, I begin a series of blogs about people I’ve known who’ve taught me over the years the value of throwing oneself into the mix of a team of service.  Some of these folks I met in international contexts, others are as close as my home city.  All of them had a profound […]

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Support Teams and Bears in the Woods

In doing support teams over the year and a half since I’ve been at UAB, I’ve met some fantastic people. But I wouldn’t have met them if I hadn’t gotten off my usual beaten path. It sort of reminds me of a discovery I made right after I ran into a bear once in the […]

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The Twin Towers (in Kuala Lumpur)

When I went to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia a few years ago, I had no idea they had twin towers, too. Of course, from my American standpoint, there had been only one set of twin towers, the towers made famous by the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Little did I know that when in Kuala […]

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Everything is Incredible!

In the village of Siguatepeque, Honduras, lives a man named Augustin. Before the government gave free vaccinations to the children of the country, polio struck Augustin. For most of his 70 plus years, Augustin has lived in a wheelchair. He managed to learn a trade, however, and became a shoemaker. Augustin might have gone unnoticed […]

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Loneliness – Our Very Real “Matrix”

“Let me tell you why you’re here,” said Morpheus. Neo looks on with skepticism and we hear the ambient sound of thunder and rain. Morpheus continues: “You’re here because you know something. What you know, you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. […]

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Loneliness Can Kill You! No, Really . . . It Can Kill You!

Remember the movie “Crocodile Dundee?” A recent medical journal article with a very dry title made me think of a scene in that movie. Here’s the scene: Crocodile Dundee, himself has gone to a party with his New York girlfriend. Across the crowded room, she points out that her mother has arrived among the revelers […]

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Japonicas

I thought I’d moved to the “Sunny South” when I moved to Birmingham last year, but the Spring of 2014 didn’t exactly march in and take over. Last year, Spring was more like a timid child, peeping around the door into a room, fearful of what might be found in there. I think this year […]

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Walking in the Light

I must confess that I’m not a morning person. It’s true that I get up around 5:00, do my discipline of silent meditation, brew coffee, eat breakfast, then head out for the hospital. This pattern has been going on since I was in college and I had a host of 8:00 classes. In fact, throughout […]