How Far Can the Apple Fall From the Tree?

October 23, 2014
How a man defines himself by his own choices,
and not by his father’s hate.


I had originally planned to give you some jokes for a light-hearted post today. But yesterday I was surfing the Net and on the Huffington Post TED WEEKENDS page I noticed a most unusual article titled: “I’m Tired of Hating People” — A Growing Movement Based in Love.

I was fascinated by the article and then watched a TEDTalk given by the son of a terrorist. In it, Zak Ebrahim, whose father was convicted of plotting to bomb tunnels, bridges and even the United Nations headquarter, shares how he chose to follow a more loving path.

When Zak decided to tell his mother that he no longer wanted to judge people on arbitrary measures like a person’s race or religion, she wearily responded: “I’m tired of hating people.”

If you are tired of the animosity so many people feel for others that are not like them, please watch this inspiring video. It can give you hope that not all children raised by bigoted parents continue their family’s view of others. Some reject a path of bullying, bigotry, and violence.

I am the son of a terrorist. Here’s how I chose peace.

Architecture Tour Offers a New Perspective on Relationships

October 20, 2014


Ladder leading to pictureThis post is part of the “Step Into Pictures” series that offers you a new way to explore both difficult relationships and those you treasure. Visit the Step Into Pictures Archive to learn more about it.

 Click on picture to see enlarged view


Tourists on Chicago River Architectural Tour

Tourists on Chicago River Architectural Tour


Recently I went to the Art Institute of Chicago for a program put on by Road Scholar, an organization that promotes life-long learning all over the world on hundreds of topics. This program explored the way in which art reflects the empires in which they are created.

The day before the program, I took a wonderful 90-minute ride on the Chicago River presented by the Chicago Architecture Foundation and learned why Chicago is world-renowned for its buildings.

If you had a friend, or someone with whom you have had a bit of a problem, in your mind’s eye you could take a tour with him or her on this boat. Just imagine what you would could talk about both during the tour and later.

Incidentally, although this picture has my name on it and is, in a sense, mine, I’m not really that good a painter. However, one of the women in the program told me about FotoSketcher, a free program that turns photos into watercolors, oil paintings, pastel sketches, etc. I will be using it for many future Step Into Picture posts. It makes me feel so talented, even though the real talent comes from David Sheppard who created the photo-to-art program.

Where Are Your Boundaries?

October 13, 2014

Expand relationships by asking questions about how you get along with others

Note: If you are new to this feature of the Support4Change Blog, here are some suggestions for exploring questions for yourself and also for your family and friends.


The other day I was eating dinner with a new resident in our retirement home when she asked some very personal questions about the health of one of the people at our table. This felt a bit intrusive, although the person did answer her question.

Nevertheless, I realized that at one time I would have been that person. Until I explored the need for boundaries, I would ask questions that would be better left unasked; and I would share personal information that I should have kept to myself.

So this week I am reminded of the difficulty we can have in drawing a line between what should be kept private and what is fair game for sharing. We all have different approaches to the subject.

Read more »

Grandparents’ Answering Machine

October 9, 2014
Here’s another post on the lighter side of life.


If you are a grandparent, perhaps you may want to use this system for your phone:


Good morning . . . At present we are not at home but, please leave your message after you hear the beep.


beeeeeppp ….


If you are one of our children, dial 1 and then select the option from 1 to 5 in order of “arrival” so we know who it is.


If you need us to stay with the children, press 2


If you want to borrow the car, press 3


If you want us to wash your clothes and iron them, press 4


If you want the grandchildren to sleep here tonight, press 5


If you want us to pick up the kids at school, press 6


If you want us to prepare a meal for Sunday or to have it delivered to your home, press 7


If you want to come to eat here, press 8


If you need money, press 9


If you are going to invite us to dinner, or, take us to the theater, start talking. We are listening !!!!!!!!!!!

Music That Created Hope

October 6, 2014
 “Hope is music in the heart.”

EscportalW Music transparent

In a world that seems more crazy and uncertain every day, it can feel as though there is less and less for which we can be hopeful. But perhaps that is the very reason we need to be reminded of a story I first heard many years ago.

It tells about how one man created music to prevent war from taking away his joy. I think we all need to find a way to express the music of hope that is in our hearts.

After you’ve read this story, I will tell you how I have been able to hold hope in my heart and overcome a serious disability.

It was 1994. Daily, the city of Sarajevo was under siege. Mortars and artillery fire instantly transformed once beautiful buildings into rubble. Sarajevo’s citizens were frightened, weary and increasingly despondent. Then, one February day, a mortar shell exploded in the market killing 68 civilians. Many more were wounded and maimed from the blast.

A cellist with the Sarajevo symphony could no longer stand the killing. He took his cello to the market, sat down amidst the rubble and played a concert. When he finished, he simply took up his instrument and left.

Read more »

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