Enlightened Conflict

Large and full and high the future still opens

October 24th, 2015

imagery black ink write


“I take up my old pen again – the pen of all my old unforgettable efforts and sacred struggles. To myself – today – I need say no more.

Large and full and high the future still opens.

It is now indeed that I may do the work of my life.

I like these words.

For anyone approaching middle age, or wading through it, they may be the most useful words anyone has written, words that if we repeat often enough we may even start to act upon.

Words that could change our lives, or the long sweet stretch of it that is left.”


Henry James

<wrote in his early 50s>


“We know that greatness doesn’t come from building walls, it comes from building opportunity.”



<note: the original quote has “America’s” before greatness>









Bad we help that


Yesterday I wrote about ‘no chance means no chance.’ Looking back upon it while I don’t regret the truth, or pragmatism, of it … I began recognizing I kept going back to it again and again … my fingers hovering over the pragmatic side of it and the ‘delete’ key … and having my thoughts hover over the hope portion with itchy fingers, and itchy mind, to write more and talk about how glimpses of ‘having a chance’ are the things that often not only get us thru the day but get us thru life.



That is the power of words. A word has the power to change the way you think about things but maybe more importantly a word … yes … a single word … has the power to change your life <because what you think often begets what you do>.



A word can surely be a wall … but more often than not … a word is a building block for opportunity.



Such a small thing is large and full and … well … high the future still opens.



And while that sounds big & sweeping and maybe easily dismissed as words of a dreamer and things that are nice to think about but will never happen … I would like to point out that for almost 20 years now the internet has brought more new & different words into our lives.
These words are opportunities.



These little things are big and full of the future.



Because of this seeming barrage of words our lives, our culture; our minds have been forever changed.



There is no going back and there is no ‘giving back.’ Words when encountered remain your companion to be hugged, bewildered by, spurned, loved and shadows you wherever you go from that moment on.words big brevity



Even on the days when we shut ourselves away from people and the bustle and grind of Life there will not be a single day in which you will not interact with words.

They are your constant companion <friend or foe>.



Whole companies are now dedicated to words.



Any search engine or browser company.


Any social media company.




Whole industries these days has been developed solely on the use and management of words.



Your words beget their words.


They organize words which inevitably force you & I to consider, an reconsider, words.



At the core of our lives is one simple thing … a word.



one plusOne word at a time our life is built.


One word at a time … opportunity … a dream … a hope … is built.



This means that a word, or combination of words, is the key to everyday life.



The way we interpret a word can not only change the present but impact the future. One word can … well … actually change our behavior <Amazon is the most practical tactical example of this>.




Technology has actually given a word ‘super powers’ <and they were pretty frickin’ powerful before>. a word is no longer something we simply observed & absorbed … it now has acquired a more active role in life … it creates and impacts how we interact.






A word is a fundamental catalyst of Life.






It is impossible to imagine the world without words.



A word enables us to do things that maybe seem unthinkable.


A word encourages us to think … well … we have a chance.



And, maybe most of all, while I think of a word as the small key to greatness and opportunity I continue to think of the one syllable 4 letter word that is possibly the most powerful word in any language – hope.

words a minute fast


Whenever I wonder why I sit in front of my computer and write I remember that words not only are the only constant companion we encounter every day but they are involved in almost every aspect of our lives.




In some small way maybe I think of James’ words … “today – I need say no more. Large and full and high the future still opens. It is now indeed that I may do the work of my life.”



Weigh your words carefully today my friends … and take a moment and ponder the words you encounter … for most do not build walls but offer opportunities.

words are chameleons

May 6th, 2015


——-words inspire and destroy

“Words are chameleons, which reflect the color of their environment.”


Learned Hand


“Words …

They’re innocent, neutral, precise, standing for this, describing that, meaning the other, so if you look after them you can build bridges across incomprehension and chaos. But when they get their corners knocked off, they’re no good any more … I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are.

They deserve respect.

If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little or make a poem which children will speak for you when you’re dead.”


Tom Stoppard






words remember

I cannot tell everyone how often I am reminded that how you say something is possibly more important than what you say <at minimum I would suggest it is a symbiotic relationship in which the life of ‘what you say’ is in the hands of how you say it>.



That thought alone should make us respect words. They hold life, and death, of thoughts in their hands.



What makes words tricky is that words are not always a true reflection of the speaker’s thoughts … they enter into the ether and … well … are chameleons.


They often take on the hues of the environment.






This makes choosing words even more difficult.


More difficult in that a word can mean several things at exactly the same time … what it means in your head, what it means as it leaves your lips, what it means as it floats thru the environment <slowly, or quickly, changing as it is bombarded with contextual environment> and what it means as it is heard.



That, my friends, defines the challenge of stimulus – response. If any of those moments in which the word floats thru is not aligned … then incomprehension, or chaos, reigns.





This happens with every word and every combination of words.



This is a multi-dimensional constantly in flux contextual challenge.



Words are chameleons.


Last thought on these chameleons.


invisible presence

And while we would like to envision those bright colorful chameleons you see on National Geographic channel … more often words begin to blend in together and become almost unseeable & unrecognizable.




They fall like snow blanketing thoughts covering the landscape of fresh thinking … muffling inspiration and allowing unique features and anything interesting to become unrecognizable.



Here is what I know about words.



Empty words are evil.



“And empty words are evil.”

<The Odyssey>



If your chameleon words blend in to the environment so much so they become invisible … they have become empty.



You may have uttered them full of something … even a lot of something <passion, thought, insight, whatever> but as they wove their way through the environment they slowly got emptied of everything they were once full of … and as good chameleons do … they blend in and become invisible.



It would be easy to suggest they have then become harmless.


But if you think about it … they have not become harmless … they have become empty … an evil.



Evil in that they have not prompted any thought, any idea … any new passion. They are evil in that they have not inspired anything new … and everything old, or that which exists now, remains unchanged.



That’s what evil does … it fights change and thrives on inertia.


words know what to say




I imagine my real point is that words without their corners knocked off, or ground down, and used well … can be good words … and used for good. They need to be shaped, protected and guided through the environment instead of being flippantly flung out assuming a basic stimulus – response world.

Enlightened Conflict