About Me  

I'm joining Service Space because ...

A good day to me is when ...

My hero in life is ...

My favorite book is ...

One thing I'm grateful for is ...


"Always Be Happy. Don't Worry."

Jul 29, 2016, 7 comments, 12 smiles For your reading pleasure, from the NY Times ... "Always Be Happy, Don't Worry".   The man who lost his voice was a gentle man who didn’t ask terribly much of life. He lived in a miniature space in a single-room-occupancy residence on the corner of 74th Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan, above J. G. Melon, the popular restaurant and bar known for succulent hamburgers. And he was a New York story. He was a New York story because he didn’t have a lot and yet he gave a lot. And in return he got what New York for all its busyness so often offers those who could use a good dose of it — kindness.  

Moral Authority Of Mandela

Dec 12, 2013, 1 comments, 8 smiles From Friedman's column in NY Times ... Man­dela had an ex­traor­di­nary amount of “moral au­thor­ity.” Why? And how did he get it? Much of the an­swer can be de­duced from one scene in one movie about Man­dela: “In­vic­tus.” Just to re­mind, it tells the story of Man­dela’s one and on­ly term as pres­i­dent of South Af­rica, when he en­lists the coun­try’s famed rug­by team, the Spring­boks, on a mis­sion to win the 1995 Rug­by World Cup and, through that, to start the heal­ing of that apart­heid-torn land. Be­fore the games, though, the sports com­mit­tee in the post-apart­heid, new­ly black-led South Af­rica tells Man­dela that it wants to change the name and col­ors of the al­most all-white Spring­boks to some­thing more re­flec­tive of black Af­ri­can iden­ti­ty. But Man­dela re­fus­es. He tells his black sports of­fi­cials that an es­sen­tial part of mak­ing whites feel at home in a black-led South Af­rica was ... Read Full Story

Art Of (Not) Asking

Jul 27, 2013, 4 comments, 5 smiles "The media asked, 'Amanda, the music business is tanking and you encourage piracy. How did you make all these people pay for music?' And the real answer is, I didn't make them. I asked them. And through the very act of asking people, I'd connected with them, and when you connect with them, people want to help you. It's kind of counterintuitive."

The Golden Hour

Jun 18, 2013, 8 smiles I met a men recently who inspired me.  Agung Rai started an art museum and community center in Ubud, Bali in 1996.  HIs goal was a living museum, one that is connected to Balinese life.  He enjoys taking small, select groups on something called the "golden hour."  You arrive at the museum grounds at 6 A.M. and he drives you in darkness into the mountains and jungles of Bali.  He likes to stop in the middle of the winding mountain road and direct you to an opening into the jungle. "Go walk; be silent; listen and observe," he tells you.  Birds are singing, wind rustling the thick vegetation and water ... lots of water running.  Water is the lifeblood of Bali rice farming. Over 100 students come to the museum grounds each week, after school, to learn about the art, life and culture of Bali.  Agung's motto for all he does: "learning and sharing."  When visitors walk the grounds of his center, they will find him working inconspicuously outdoors.  When they ask who he is, he simply says, "the gardener."  

Coke Embraces Giftivism

Jan 30, 2013, 5 comments, 3 smiles It looks like Giftivism has reached Coke too. :)  Their latest PSA: 

First Draft Is Complete!

Jul 14, 2012, 4 comments, 14 smiles As most of you know, we're in the middle of writing a book that shares the ServiceSpace values and lessons.  We've hit a pretty major milestone this week, in that we just finished the first draft of the manuscript.  Surely, lots of work remains and we'll be pinging lot of you for feedback at different points in the process, but for now, it feels great to have reached this far.  Here's a quote from the preface: "If you wonder whether the digital age is a backspace delete button for our common humanity, here will unfold a story of goodness and generosity rippling across new frontiers that would have been unthinkable without the Internet and two other vital ingredients: the skill to fully exploit what technology has to offer and the values to see technology as a tool -- not an endgame.  The examination of ServiceSpace is particularly rewarding because it offers such a remarkable story of alignment.  It is a story of how certain simple principles can lead to individual transformation, as well as community and social change."

Most Satisfying Moment Of Seligman's Life

Dec 19, 2011, 5 comments, 4 smiles Father of positive psychology, Martin Seligman often says: "I actually detest the word happiness, which is so overused that it has become almost meaningless."  Instead he prefers using "well being", which is pillared by five autonomous elements, fashioned into the mnemonic PERMA: positive emotion, engagement, meaning, accomplishment, and positive relationships.   He also notes that scientists have found that kindness produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being.  In "Flourish", Martin Seligman relates a kindness incident that changed his life.  He was in a long line of customers at the post office waiting to buy a sheet of 1-cent stamps.  He needed them because of the increase in postage that had taken effect, as did most of the other people in the line.  When he finally got to the counter, he bought 10 sheets of 100 stamps each - 10 dollars worth.  Then he turned to the long line ... Read Full Story

How Doctors Die

Dec 03, 2011, 1 comments My experience with an aging parent has revealed a great compassion among many health workers.  It has also reinforced a view that the medical establishment is first and foremost an industry and that compassion sits often uncomfortably within those walls.  I found this article on How Doctors Die interesting:  "It’s not a frequent topic of discussion, but doctors die, too. And they don’t die like the rest of us. What’s unusual about them is not how much treatment they get compared to most Americans, but how little. For all the time they spend fending off the deaths of others, they tend to be fairly serene when faced with death themselves. They know exactly what is going to happen, they know the choices, and they generally have access to any sort of medical care they could want. But they go gently."

Trickle Forward Economics

Nov 01, 2011 Fast Company's Trickle-Forward Economics article speaks a lot about SS's principle of not-fundraising ... Scott Harrison's nonprofit has raised over $40 million for clean water projects worldwide. Now they've started WaterForward, a pay-it-forward model of charitable giving where, for $10, a donor inscribes a friend of his or her choosing in a public book; each donor can only be in the book once, so any sense of reciprocation has to be directed to another friend, hopefully sparking a cascade of forward reciprocity.  "It doesn't start with an ask, it starts with a give," explains Harrison. "We don't use our social media to ever ask for money," keeping consistent with the strategy that an ask for money will likely terminate the relationship after the donation, but storytelling keeps both the initial donor and future donors engaged.  "We've outsourced our fundraising to you," says Harrison, who explains that charity: water's strategy has ... Read Full Story

Holding Open A Door

Jun 29, 2011, 1 comments I took a long walk today in honor of Rod and being in a relatively poor South American country, there was little on the ground to be collected. As I continued, my eyes moved from ground to doorways and I found myself doing the most natural thing I could think of: holding open a door in an old Portugese church. This simple act of service brought somewhat surprised smiles from the older folks that were entering, bundled against a winter wind. I felt barriers fall more rapidly than any of my fledgling attempts to speak Spanish. Thanks Rod for this gift.