Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Bill of Health

My Dear Son:

And so the bill of health called “normal” is not signed until the doctor's checklist is complete:

The veterinarian is trained to feel the organs in the abdomen and sense if the animal has any painful areas. Just like us, your pet has a stomach, liver, pancreas, intestines, and kidneys, to name a few.

Any animal that experiences excessive itching or hair loss—well, just like we are, health can truly be skin deep. The skin reveals how internally healthy we are in general.

It's a mouthful, but the musculoskeletal system is a huge part of health. It determines whether or not we can move without pain, and, as your dad was trained, the placement of the bones means everything in terms of blood, lymph, and organ health. So the veterinarian obviously considers the animal's gait and usage of limbs. Particularly in Sukie's case, since she had quite a near miss and a tall tumble.

Lymph nodes and mucous membranes are the final consideration. Just as with humans, flow, hydration, and color are all strong indicators of health or disease.

I smiled to watch you really read the 101 Essential Tips to Cat Care, because it showed me, after all, that you truly care about educating yourself in the latest research on caring for cats. It saddens me that, with so much information now available to us, humans still remain grossly undereducated about caring for their most loyal companions.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


My Dear Son:
Other features the veterinarian looks for are:

Healthy ears, including flap formation, a normal amount of ear wax, and canals free of ear mites and other foreign objects.

The mouth includes a healthy set of teeth with little accumulation of tarter, which also includes for kittens and puppies losing their baby teeth and cutting permanent ones. If you remember Sydne, my Chihuahua, did not lose her baby teeth and developed a double row. The veterinarian removed these to allow her permanent teeth to come in normally.

The veterinarian uses a stethoscope just like a doctor to listen to your pet's heart and lung sounds. He's judging whether your kitty respires deeply enough, the normal rate of inspiration and expiration, and whether the lungs sound clear of wheezing, which could occur with, say, asthma or pneumonia.

He also listens to your pet's heart, determining whether it has regular rate and rhythm, just like your dad does with humans. It's always a good sign when the valve sounds are normal and there are no murmurs, which indicate the heart has lost its efficiency in transporting blood throughout the body.

We are two-thirds through the veterinarian's checklist for your pet's exam! More to come!

Monday, September 28, 2015


My Dear Son:

Sukie's first trip to the veterinarian was, as with many cats, filled with small reassurances and terror. She'd rather ride in a lap than in a crate, but we didn't test that theory. The ten-minute car ride was filled with mewling. In the exam room, she settled down, stopped shivering, and purred loudly for a few minutes. The exam, culture, and shots seemed no big deal to her. The trip back home in the crate was punctuated once again by louder and accelerated mewling.

Sukie checked out generally very healthy except for Coccidia, a parasite that infects the intestinal lining of many young animals, treatable with ten days of sulfadimethoxine, an antibiotic that kills single-cell organisms. Otherwise, she proved her health with an abundance of playfulness, voracious eating, remarkable adaptation, and rapid responses.

I thought you might want to know what a veterinarian looks for in our pets. It's a long list, so I'll start with a few and finish next letter:

The veterinarian looks first at your pet's appearance, weight, and temperature. He considers whether your pet has enough muscle mass or too much adipose (fatty) tissue, which also changes with age. He also considers whether the pet is well-hydrated or dehydrated, because, as you have experienced recently, inadequate fluid in the tissues can cause all sorts of problems, among them pain.

The veterinarian looks at your pet's disposition, considering its breed. It's sort of like considering how the animal is doing emotionally, and whether its personality is developing as we would expect it.

The veterinarian looks for age-specific concerns, which, at this time would be parasites or diseases that might easily overtake a young animal while its immune system is still developing.

The veterinarian looks at the eyes, which are huge portals to understanding disease processes. If the eyes are bright and clear, the animal stands a strong chance of being healthy, at least for the next few weeks. When the eyes or eyelids (cats have three) are draining or otherwise damaged, it's very likely some disease process has already started.

More next time on health!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Small Things

My Dear Son:

This week made demands upon all of us, housekeeper included, in assuring our new house guest felt welcome and safe. I've always been amazed how something so small can make huge changes in one's life (and daily routine). So, you had an imposition of sorts with your first experiences babysitting while we were at work. The crate, as I explained to you, was an option for nighttime, as it is fifty times her size and stocked with bed, litter, toys, food, and water. But I also wanted her to have plenty of floor time especially the first week as she acclimated to her new home.

This meant remembering to close certain doors, confining her run of the house for several reasons, including gradual introduction to our queen dame Petal, our neurotic rat-terrier mix Mina, and litter box training. You stepped through your kitty assignment feeling at first a little put upon, but then I think I also observed you enjoying her playtime antics a little more each day.

There's an old saying that small things come with large packages. As you saw, this little one-pounder had us rearranging furniture, sitting on the floor, kid proofing, getting up earlier, coming home for lunch, making runs for supplies, rearranging our schedules, and running to the veterinarian's. It's similar in many ways to what happened when you were born!

Saturday, September 26, 2015


My Dear Son:

Since it's been at least eight years from the time we last had baby animals, I'd forgotten how incredibly fun and exasperating babies can be. When I volunteered for our local shelters, part of the educational process was preparing potential adopters for the benefits and challenges of purebreds versus mixed breeds, young versus old. 

In an animal rescue circumstance, there's always first concern, of course, about the general health of the animal. Also of concern is how much training the animal was able to obtain before separation from its mother, which can make a difference in house training, adaptability, and general instincts.

I think Sukie had probably not been separated from her mother for very long, but she was still around the six-week mark. More than likely she'd been dumped after an unsuccessful give-away attempt at our Wal-mart Superstore, and even more than likely her brothers went instead of her, because of the misnomer that we're okay if we slide on neutering our males.

Worthwhile to us at this time with Sukie: that you are at home for the summer, able to give her some monitored floor time; a huge crate my dad donated for her at nighttime; a bargain-bin chew-toy just her size to sleep beside; aluminum cake baking pans, which make great disposable litter boxes for small kittens; kitty-safe wipes for cleaning faces and paws; that kittens love batting eggshells and yarn over manufactured jingle toys.

With all the helpers in place, we could watch with joy as she acclimatized and discovered her environment, graduated from running from us to running to us, bathed and groomed our fingers, stalked us, leapt out from dark corners, and purred like there was no tomorrow.

And once again, as with Petal, we watched out for electrical cords, foreign objects, falls, and all those unexpected dangers for the little tike. And it was all worth it.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Cat Names

My Dear Son:

I always thought it was important for you to have an understanding and respect for creatures of all kinds, so from a very young age, you've shared lives with numerous critters, including dogs, cats, a horse, goldfish, guinea pigs, mice, hummingbirds, and a water turtle. When you were younger, the major idea was, if one was good, more was better.

Currently we have of course, three dogs and a very spoiled house cat. Until about two years ago, you consistently asked for another kitten or puppy, since all of our pets are approaching the eight to twelve-year mark. And, as we explained, let's take care of the ones we have, and if the time comes for a new pet, it will be an undeniable event.

And so, on Saturday, I would say that qualified as an amazing set of circumstances where timing defined the life or death of one of these little creatures. Both dad and I couldn't deny it. She was supposed to come home with us, no question.

When I set her on your bed, you looked over from your video games with a raised eyebrow, “Mom, really? What are we going to do with her?” Suddenly you were the adult, running through all the practical reasons we were too busy or challenged or otherwise unable to care for a kitten.

And of course, we all were concerned how your first cat would react, who you, then five, deftly and instantaneously named Pedal, later to be amended by Mom at the veterinarian's as Petal. And she reacted in predictable old-cat fashion: long looks of wide-eyed utter disgust at the little alien bouncing about the family room. So we began, among enjoying the kitten antics, introducing them slowly and safely to one another, hopeful that, within a few weeks, the two would find lasting companionship. And of course, we tried to make sure we gave Petal plenty of hugs and reassurance that she was still queen dame of the house.

Then came the naming. Dad wanted to name her something that had to do with the Olympics, considering the grand tumble we'd just observed. You had the idea to name her Leaf until I reminded you it was a girl. So then, you did what all teenagers would do and Googled best female cat names. And presto, we had over two-hundred fifty names. Then all we had to do was look up the meanings behind half those names. But it came down to Sukie, meaning lily, which after all, is a flower—and Olympia, to fit in with dad's wish that she be more firmly connected to her tumbling roots. And, of course, my dad reminded me to think about how that would sound as I yelled the name out the back door.

But Sukie, amazingly uninjured, healthy, and excited to be a part of our motley crew, was here to stay.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Coffee Break

My Dear Son:

I ground my teeth at the U-turn; the light had just let another stream of traffic ahead of us. Cars barreled down the access road. I had my eye out for that tiny spot of fur, your dad and I bantering about exactly where along the stretch it was. It came up sooner than I thought, near the entrance of Huntington State Bank. I had my seat belt off and jumped out of the car before we came to a stop.

My pellmell approach caused the kitten to run away! I was relieved, on the one hand to see that its back wasn't broken. The other part was internally screaming, “No, no, no! Let me help you!” I was grateful that it hugged the curb, but greatly feared at any moment the kitten would dart out into traffic. I forced myself to breathe, slow down, and reached down again. The kitten paused momentarily, then ran again, but this time, with not so much angst. This time I had her, with all the high-pitched mewling and trembling from a terrible adrenaline rush. I was impressed in all this that it never once tried to bite or scratch.

And so, with a pint of hot milk and our coffee from Starbucks, our plans altered and hearts tethered, we headed home.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sukie Olympia

My Dear Son:

The weekend promised to hold the record for the hottest day of the year. We'd just experienced a roller-coaster of events: the arduous decision-making behind purchasing our new vehicle on a budget, with which you greatly assisted, and, in fact, chose the perfect SUV. I was still basking in the sunlight of purchasing it when you fell ill with what we first determined was whooping cough. But the neurologic symptoms buffaloed us. Why were you experiencing such excruciating pain in your hands and feet? This illness had us worried, if not for one major reason: it was going on two weeks with a slow recovery. As the weekend approached, you were improving, but another visit to your family physician was in order for Monday.

Your dad and I, as equally disappointed as you that we were unable to make our family excursion to Austin (particularly given your interest in living and working there) were restless. On Saturday, we set out on our usual weekend routine: coffee at Starbucks, workout, gas and grocery shopping. We'd watched the opening ceremonies of the thirtieth Summer Olympic games in London with you the night before, which prompted me to download old favorites, movie theme songs like Chariots of Fire and Tubular Bells.

ad's day was starting with a tough spell, the digitally remixed Tubular Bells reminding him of pre-teen memories surrounding that movie. I had my own set of memories, as well. On tap for the rest of the weekend besides laundry and the mix was perhaps the Batman movie that we'd foregone the previous weekend, and maybe a swim. We both acknowledged that, at the moment, life left us feeling a little stale.

That was all about to change. As we turned onto the access road leading to Starbucks, I saw something terrifyingly familiar, though I'd only seen it once before, in Arkansas: a kitten thrown four feet up in the air behind a white SUV in front of us. Dad saw it, too. And in our side view mirrors we saw it crawling back toward to curb. “Oh, hon, we have to go back,” I said. My first inclination was for him to stop at the next drive, the entrance to the Marriott. But he chose to stay with traffic and make the loop around. It was a long three minutes. I could just see over the median as we raced back to make the last U-turn. The kitten was balled up against the curb. My heart sank. How would we ever make it in time?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


My Dear Son:

And so, the conclusion of the first year's application of A Course In Miracles was albeit an intriguing one. This is what happened: I discovered, over the next eighteen months that I had another service to offer, that of healing and training others how to heal themselves. The satisfaction I received from following this new path for years to come far exceeded anything I'd ever expected.

The difficult task was taking ACIM to the letter, and truly forgiving the person who had contributed to my resignation. You must understand that, a thorough following of ACIM required I practice forgiving this person daily for nearly fifty percent of the course. I was asked that instead of mental retaliation, to bless her. That's about 150 days.

Here's what happened the following year: a category F3 tornado hit the little town we lived in. It made all sorts of crazy jumps, plowing up tons of pasture on one side of our property, hopscotching over ours, and moving onward. When it reached town, it wrecked entire streets, including the one where this person resided. Her house was amazingly untouched.

I didn't make the connection right away, but a few months

following the inclement weather, I recalled that, after all, 
I'd just spent six months sending blessings this person's 
way. I'd also discovered that no path is absolutely precious 
in and of itself. And our willingness to leave a path is not 
always necessarily the end of it, either.

I think the possibility of our thoughts outworking themselves into the physical is, well, something we observe every day. Does it perform at category F3 proportions? Does it factor into
 the great boomerang effect? I don't know. I can only observe that our property, as well as hers, was spared.

Then again, if our houses are the only ones left standing, leaving us surrounded by a war zone and the sadness therewith, although these other properties are not technically "ours," we must behold them as we stand in our front yards, do we not? At times like these we come to see that we are not as separated as we think. Neither are we as solely blessed, or, cursed as we think, either.

I think the possibility of the great boomerang effect exists. Is the world a better place for it? What do you think?

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Course In Miracles

My Dear Son:

Based upon my experience with A Course in Miracles, at one time I recommended it to virtually everybody. Over time, however, I came to see that, like anything else, we each undergo similar and, dissimilar learning experiences in our own framework. So now, you might say I am more selective in my recommendations.

However, in this example, I think it's important that you know about the experience or, outworking that I went through. You see, approximately two minutes after I made that difficult decision to resign from my employment, the steam of resentment was still roiling out of my ears. I was in no way ready to receive what came much later through exercising forgiveness.

A two-sentence summary of ACIM is not entirely fair, but for the sake of this letter, I will summarize. For approximately 395 days, I set out to discover what ACIM had to offer. And the crux of it was: the reality you think you are in is just as manufactured as the rest. And: forgiveness is a way of seeing the mess you think you're in quite differently.

So, that was my focus, when you were barely seven years old, to ultimately come to a place where I could forgive my world for all that it seemed to be.

Sunday, September 20, 2015


My Dear Son:

So also the reciprocal of the boomerang effect is simply, blessings. The idea behind this fourth part of the total concept is, you can likewise reverberate good will toward yourself by extending it to others.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to extend this kind of blessing and reap its benefits. On the outset, it might sound selfish; that you are simply extending good will in order to receive blessing yourself. But once again, you have to consider the context. If you are being intentionally wronged by someone and you choose to extend good will instead of retaliation, you are hardly acting selfishly.

The context for me was, I loved my work dearly and put my best foot forward. Due to some interpersonal conflicts at the workplace, I decided it best for me to resign. After that I was frustrated on several levels: one, I no longer had my own income, and two, I'd left a career that I'd only just begun to develop.

Now, a very big part of me wanted payback. I felt that the terms which led to my resignation were highly unfair. And, as long as I lived under the auspices that I had been treated unfairly, my body hurt very badly. Until one day when a friend handed me a very special book. Its introduction begins:

This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time

you take it is voluntary.

And I was about to be very, very surprised.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Boomerang Effect

My Dear Son:

My friend's idea also expands to a third and fourth concept. And so, as I came to understand its possibilities, I'll explain them to you. I was told this next idea has its origins in Native American Indian thought, but I have no proof. We talked before about the boomerang effect, and the circular movement of thought and action. I'd say this third concept is grounded in that idea, that what you start comes back to you eventually, if not immediately.

But the idea is, if you feel annoyed with someone and you send out mental barbs or judgment toward that person—those mental barbs will find their way back to you. Now, in the case of you being first wronged by another party, it almost seems unfair; after all, you didn't really start it, did you? That's usually how we first understand wrong as children: determining the one who started it.

So the Indian's wise council, it seems, is refusing to account for who started it, refusing to get caught up in casting aspersions and blame, even if they are wrong and you are right. Reason: because this sets up the the great boomerang effect, and you as initial victim will only heap more misery on yourself.

If you're out for justice, the other part of this equation is: Justice Will Happen. Or maybe we might rephrase it: justice is already happening. For, in the great boomerang effect, if the other has truly wronged you with malicious intent, then more of that is going back to them. The process will cycle, and that is one idea you can count on!

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Evil Eye

My Dear Son:

Yesterday I mentioned the first part of my friend's idea. Today, we come to the second part. I would expect that the direct mind-body effects that I described in the last letter would be more widely accepted, but I think following this idea with all its components is necessary for the bigger picture to evolve.

It goes like this: someone decides what you're doing or something you own is something he'd really like to have for himself. But circumstances prevent him from having or making one just like yours. He wants yours. In cultures throughout the world, this is known as “the evil eye.” The interesting thing about the evil eye, however, is that, according to these customs, it ultimately destroys the very object that it wants. And so the tenth commandment of the Torah tells us not to covet.

Coveting is frequently tied to killing, stealing, or defrauding. And so, you see, it's the measures that the coveting person feels he must take—this changes and/or destroys the form that he coveted in the first place.

The idea goes on ... tomorrow!

Thursday, September 17, 2015


My Dear Son:

A few years ago, a friend shared an idea about retaliation with me—one of those ideas that, for several reasons, locked down in my memory and hung on. And I think, given the circumstances, it's worth passing onto you. The signature of retaliation, as I've noted, is one of fire and hate. The very nature of retaliation sets off a series of reactions in the body that prepare it for the next saber rattling, which of course, the body may not literally perform. But the body doesn't know that. The pulse quickens, the breath shortens, the stomach creates more acid, the blood pressure rises, and a whole series of chain reactions occur in preparing the body for fight or flight.

And, unless you actually engage in a sword fight or a sparring match, this energy has nowhere to go, and is ultimately detrimental to your body. Our justice system is a prime example of plaintiffs involved in lawsuits for years before any possibility of resolution or closure—and if the plaintiff holds himself on the ready to saber rattle for one year, two years, three years—well, you can imagine what that is doing to his body.

That's the first part of my friend's observation. More tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


My Dear Son:

In order to move toward a more congruent relationship between life and death, aboriginal cultures for centuries have described existence as “the circle of life” versus viewing birth, life, old age, and death in a straight line. There are many ways of seeing our lives differently, which prefaces seeing our deaths differently. Most people don't think about it on a regular basis, but biology shows us that the bodies of any multi-cellular organism has a complex system of life and death going on inside-out for its entire existence. In other words, parts of our bodies are dying as well as regenerating all the time. And the dying/regenerating happens in finely tuned cycles, or circles.

We don't like to think about our bodies throwing off dead stuff, but the fact is, it does just that every minute of the day. And our dead stuff makes food for other live stuff throwing off its dead stuff. And so on.

So the great line of demarcation for humans is when the body completely dies, because
that takes away the spirit and personality that emanated that body during its earth life. It feels as if the essence of who they were is gone, and remotely, if not impossibly assessable. So—we still draw the line of mystery in the sand, asking questions like, is there an afterlife? What happens there?

When perhaps, in order to really answer those questions, we need to ask,
is this living? What happens here?

More to come!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


My Dear Son:

Our weekend plans changed, as it appears they also did with many other theater patrons, after the shooting of seventy people in Aurora, Colorado at a midnight opening of the movie Dark Knight Rises. As I explained to you, we chose another movie out of respect, although we had eagerly anticipated the next Batman adventure for the better part of the summer.

We live in a world challenged by uncertainty, and as adults, make our best efforts to protect those we love and hold dear. How can we make certain our child is not the next one who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?

We can't.

Regarding this type of tragedy, we often sift through numerous reasons, prodded by our seeking-the-tidy-answer belief systems, in an attempt to understand why one life is spared and another taken.

We can't.

What tells us it's better to survive instead of dying? What makes us believe continuing life in these bodies is our blessing, and that death is our curse? Or, if a person should actually long for death instead of life, what makes him believe that one is preferable over the other?

My thought is, if we could somehow see death and life as co-equals, not opposites, we might finally be able to openly tear down the barrier that seems to separate the dead from the living, once for all. And we would be no less grateful to live than to die.

We are undoubtedly awhile away from this, though, for in life, we encounter the routinely familiar and our personal histories, whereas for most people in spite of their internal resolutions about death, it still means encountering the mystery, the unknown. More tomorrow. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Cover Ups

My Dear Son:

In the cyberworld, as you have seen, stealing becomes a strange and exacting form of electronic guerrilla warfare. But, like other forms of theft, it feeds on lies and cover up, and plenty of it. A thief must develop his skill as an electronic habitual liar in order to stay one step ahead. Now, I must observe, and I hope you will, too: this requires an enormous amount of useless energy and brain clutter, to layer lies upon lies. Once you start the cover-up game, it never stops. It's a perpetual motion monster that will chase a person to his grave.

If I sound like I'm being harsh about lying and stealing, I am. But only because I see the huge cost and waste of life energy going toward such a pointless endeavor. When you contrast a person who lives honestly, you will encounter, and I am absolutely serious about this, a completely different muscle tone and posture than a dishonest one. I'm telling you son, dishonesty will affect you from the inside-out, and it will show in a person's gait, even the way their skin and hair grows.

Honest people can conduct their lives openly without fear, sleep when their heads touch the pillow, experience openness, creativity, and freedom of thought, and create sense in their world because they do their best to be at peace with all men. They apply The Golden Rule frequently and trust that a life lived under honest scrutiny is far happier than one built on a stack of lies.

Sunday, September 13, 2015


My Dear Son:

Retribution. It's a word bound up with fire and hate, otherwise known as payback. And at times, people will go to great lengths to seek revenge. I've been there, and I would daresay most human beings at one time or another, when wronged, have experienced rage and the desire for vengeance.

What if I could present to you a universal law—let's call it the boomerang effect. It's something that happens automatically each time our muscles engage to perform any activity, or even each time our brains create a thought. It's the idea that, what you generate will reverberate, echo, if you will, creating its own series of residual effects and circumstances. You might compare it to the domino effect. And life has a way of tumbling its dominoes in a circle.

Sometimes it appears that people get away with hurting other people, criminals continue crimes without retribution—but I am here to tell you there's no getting away from the stink of crime in any of its various forms. A criminal may not get caught, but he is bound by the same boomerang effect every time he commits a crime. He may appear to be getting off scot-free, but this unique law, if you will, keeps coming back with “what you do to another is first to you.” Meaning whenever you sucker-punch someone else, you've sucker-punched yourself already. Even if it's only a thought in your mind.

Here's the main problem with theft: the thief will never actualize or recognize his own power or strength to earn money from other people in an honest way. He will never experience the joy of presenting a talent or service, made by his own hands, and having other people say, “I like that. I want that. How much do I pay you?” He will never experience looking at the money he just earned and then thinking, “They really appreciated what I did for them.”

Saturday, September 12, 2015

What Really Happens

My Dear Son:

Regarding most every circumstance or event in life, I think it helps to take a few steps back and ask yourself what really happens. We make up a lot of stories and memories around what we think really happens or happened, but after all, that's just one perspective. As you saw from the example with the Golden Rule and shoplifting, there's always a broader circle when you take a few steps back. A broader circle of lives, events, circumstances, consequences, and potential outcomes.

You can take virtually any event in life, give it enough time, and watch it travel in a circle. Life is full of cycles and circular journeys. Although pathways sometimes appear to spawn randomly, I think you will find it true time and time again that life has a way of making circles.

So, what really happens when a person or persons, in this instance, steal from you? Their journey will also travel in a circle. We'll talk more about that circle next letter!

Friday, September 11, 2015


My Dear Son:

Although I'd just as soon skip the content of this next letter, I feel it's best to list the ways people steal from others, and, themselves.

Burglars rob other people by breaking and entering, shoplifting, pickpocketing. People steal when they find a lost item and make no attempt to locate its rightful owner. People can steal others' privacy and dignity by voyeurism, vandalism, rape, and torture. Students steal by cheating on tests. Employees can steal by using company time for their own pursuits.

We'll cover the why of it all later. But for now, it's important for you to know that just about anything can be stolen, you name it: cars, cell phones, jewelry, property, meals, clothes, credit card accounts, profiles, portfolios, online resources, identities, pets, reputations, body parts, healthcare, insurance, services, leisure time, payroll, jobs, time, happiness, justice, security, and the list goes on. People can even steal by misrepresenting themselves concerning their ability or willingness to complete a task, skill, or product.

Hold on until tomorrow—to find out what I think really happens to thieves!

Thursday, September 10, 2015


My Dear Son:

As you are experiencing by being a victim of identity theft at the moment, it is my wish to soften the blow, if possible.

Kudos to you for hanging in there and working with the security experts in trying to recover your account for two days in a row. You have expended the elbow grease in attempting to right this wrong, and you have been very courageous.

If hackers had any idea about how many manpower hours were spent in an already struggling economy trying to undo what they had done—well, not that they would care, right? Unless, perhaps, it happened to them. I think it would be nice if every hacker could experience his own medicine about something very important to him—at least once. Would he change his ways? Perhaps—if he realized he’d only in essence robbed himself. I’ll save that explanation for the next letter.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


My Dear Son:

Today we shared on a small scale what it feels like to be robbed electronically. As I explained earlier, with technological advancements, we must also learn how to safeguard our accounts and identities.

Before technology gave us the ability to travel and communicate instantaneously, identity theft could only occur if an imposter happened along claiming to be a certain individual, and the members of the next village believed him. Before the days of photographs, with just word-of-mouth as verification, the imposter could only be found out if local individuals could locate or present the “real Mr. Jones,” as it were.

In the days before the ease of present-day communication and travel, this could prove to be a lengthy and cumbersome task. And, you might think that, with our current information glut online, our task of locating and proving identity thieves would be faster and easier.

Of course, we've discovered that it's also faster and easier for crooks to access information they want to steal, so the incidence of identity theft has continued to rise.

Hackers nowadays not only steal credit card information and social security numbers. They're after e-mail accounts, internet domains, and online access to virtually anything you can name. So, the sobering part of this lesson is: think of the craziest thing someone would ever want to steal, and you can rest assured someone has already tried it. And someone else has already succeeded!

So it's tantamount, as we saw today, to protect the accounts that are tied to your identity. There are numerous programs today designed to do just that. More tomorrow about how to move on with appropriate caution in today's technological atmosphere.

Name the Real Cardinal

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


My Dear Son:

The static of your own emotions is usually the culprit behind most any situation that is "not right." Masters across the world have spent lifetimes turning down the emotional static so they may engage more fully with inner peace.

Here's something you can try next time you encounter a change of plans: if you will close your eyes and feel a space opening up in front of you, for that is what is really happening, a huge vortex full of possibility and probabilities—then you can step forward with reassurance and not feel like you're running up against a wall.

When plans are changed, it is creation's call for any and every possibility that you can imagine. If you're willing to move forward with equal confidence in the substituted event, that it is actually much more than an event just substituted, then you will be truly blessed.

Monday, September 7, 2015


My Dear Son:

When you were younger, a change of plans could throw you into tears or tantrums. For a young child, a change of plans often takes the same course as disappointment. As you recall, we are usually disappointed because our expectations are not met.

A change of plans falls into a slightly different category, however, because you are not throwing out your intentions altogether, just selecting different ones.

That said, a change of plans can challenge most anyone's flexibility and adaptability. That's because a change of plans brings with it some uncertainty. A change of plans may not always bring favorable circumstances. On the other hand, a change of plans will sometimes create better opportunities or events.

A large part of whether a change of plans works for you is your own willingness to move ahead without interjecting the static of your own disappointment, frustration, evaluation, or comparison.

There's more, but for now, try lowering the volume on your own personal commentary when you encounter a change of plans. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised what may happen next!