Oscar showing his age…

Posted March 9, 2010 by bridgebldr
Categories: oscars

Despite the touted improvements in the ceremony this year to improve ratings, if THIS was the promised facelift for Oscar we heard people talking about prior to the ceremony, maybe it’s time to find a new surgeon!

I found that watching Twitter was far more entertaining than watching the ceremony alone, including a running humorous commentary from many in the Twitterverse…like this choice oft-repeated comment at the end from Tina Dupuy: “The Academy Awards should not hand out Oscars for editing until they learn how to edit the Academy Awards.”

I discovered this nice sampling of Oscar-related tweets, after being alerted to one of my own being included in the list.

And if you looked closely at the continuously updating tweet stream with the #oscars tag, you may have even discovered live comments from bonafide celebrities…like Jane Fonda: “It IS moving to see sandra win. And she made a great speech. I am weeping #oscars” or “I love jeff honoring his parents. I have felt that way when I won. #oscars”.

But when it comes to the actual production, it’s obviously time for far more than a facelift. Maybe a complete reincarnation is in order.

First, it was a mistake to eliminate the performances of “Best Original Song” and instead include breakdancing to the “Avatar” theme (I kid you not, if you missed it). Although I know “Dancing with the Stars” is hot, so maybe people think these big dance production numbers on the small screen still entertain (no, they really don’t), it is far more entertaining to see the original artists perform the best songs.

As for the big dance numbers, back in the 1960’s and early 1970’s, people were regularly entertained by an endless array of such dance productions on their tiny television sets. But that just doesn’t work anymore in 2010. Unless you are actually sitting in the theater, all those feathery costumes lose a great deal in translation.

Maybe it’s time for Oscar to give social media a try – perhaps include live polls (like “who is wearing the best dress”) or display the most entertaining live Oscar-related tweets on-screen during the broadcast, kind of like CNN and the other news networks, even from certified celebrities watching from home.

Now THAT would increase ratings! I laughed far more at the Twitterverse last night than most of the lame pre-canned jokes of Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. A few struck gold, but not very many. And where was the spontaneity? The best hosts of all are the ones who do it on the fly (or manage to make it SEEM like they’re doing it on the fly). Faking on the fly falls flat very fast.

And what was going on with the production itself? Did anyone else notice all the little “glitches”? The missed cues? The awkward pauses? The odd way the John Hughes presentation ended (with apparent disarray and chatter being caught by the mics)? And the more-than-usual confusion at times getting award-winners on stage?

I know they cut the time limit on the acceptance speeches this year, and apparently Tom Hanks felt pressed for time (an understatement), but it’s the speeches that actually carry the unpredictability which have added spice to Oscars past. Unpredictability isn’t sanctioned much these days. And the joke segment at the beginning was FAR too long, excruciatingly awkward, and not in a good way.

I personally think it’s time for something completely new, some truly adventurous, out of the box innovation. Think “Avatar”. A paradigm shift. Yes, the Oscars are a tradition, no doubt about it, but it’s 2010. We don’t need to keep pretending it’s 1950 for nostalgia’s sake. Recast the nostalgia in an ENTERTAINING way, and add some high-tech, up-to-date flair to the broadcast. The more I think about it, the Twitter feed is not such a bad idea!

And focus on the MOVIES themselves, not poorly written jokes and obtuse production numbers. Maybe even find a way to make the whole thing SHORTER, but BETTER, without sacrificing the parts that matter most.

Don’t get me wrong. As a long-time movie buff, I LOVE the Oscars. But Oscar is ready to be reborn.

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Shifting from Fear-Based Authority to Love-Based Respect

Posted March 6, 2010 by bridgebldr
Categories: consciousness

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lately I have been contemplating how our historical societal beliefs in a strict, judgmental authoritarian God have influenced just about every aspect of our lives, from marriage, to parenting, to schools, to the workplace, to government itself.

When you view the Creator of the Universe as a gentle Loving partner and guide, as something truly inseparable from us all, that is a paradigm shift with profound effects on how we view relationships and leadership in general.

In marriage, some may be surprised to know that there are still many people who believe the husband should be in a leadership role, based on their beliefs, although how they interpret their beliefs does indeed influence how much of a partnership exists in marriage, as opposed to the husband taking on a strict authoritarian role. I have explored this topic online in the past, with interesting responses on all sides. In fact, it was one of the most popular posts I ever created on the Oprah forum, with almost 23,000 views and over 200 replies (Let’s Discuss What the Bible Says About Women). I learned a lot from that thread regarding how marriage is gradually evolving towards more of a respectful partnership, even very subtly in conservative circles (though many women still disempower themselves daily). There are some who are attempting to re-assert the authority of men in marriage, but I believe such attempts will ultimately fail, as more and more women claim their truly equal status in marriage and in society.

As a parent, when a child behaves inappropriately, it is easier to lay down the law in an strict, authoritarian way, than to act as a gentle guide. Yes, younger children require more direct intervention, if they are about to run into the street, for example – however, HOW you go about this is very important. James Dobson and “Focus on the Family” still advocate authoritarian methods of parenting, even physical punishment. However, many parents are now evolving towards a different model altogether, as indicated by the popularity of “Love and Logic” parenting classes.

A strict authoritarian approach does not truly teach a child. All it does is instill fear of punishment, just like strict, authoritarian depictions of God. Fear may be a motivator, but it’s not a truly productive one, and ultimately this is why children choose to rebel. And directing anger or physical correction towards a child only tells a child that reacting in anger, or even worse, with physical violence, is perfectly ok. When you view parenting as a partnership, particularly as children become old enough to understand, when you use your creativity to lead via influence, not authority, when you gently guide a child towards appropriate behavior in innovative ways, THAT’s when lifelong lessons are truly learned. Threats and punishment may have a short-term effect, but the lasting effect is more harmful than good.

School districts which deploy “zero tolerance” approaches are essentially modeling the behavior of a strict, authoritarian leadership structure, indeed subtly modeled on the concept of a “zero tolerance” God, though we may not realize this is so. Such approaches are based on fear, not on reason. Children are punished severely, even when there is no intent to commit an offense. I believe all such approaches in school administration will ultimately fail and be replaced. In the old days, even corporal punishment in public schools was allowed. Now it is almost universally frowned upon. Society has evolved, and society will continue to evolve towards a model which treats children with the loving respect they deserve, while still creatively guiding children to appropriate behavior. This is NOT the easy path – it is much easier to lay down the law in a strict authoritarian way, but we are capable of creatively devising the solutions to make it happen. And the result will be children who actually listen and become the balanced, loving citizens of Planet Earth we seek to create.

And now we come to the workplace. Authoritarian structures run rampant in just about every workplace environment today. We all know the difference between a good boss and a bad boss, and generally the bad bosses are the ones who do not know how to treat their employees with the respect they deserve, who choose not to listen to those they lead, who have forgotten that a true team is a partnership, not a dictatorship. Where did we ever get the idea that it is ok to yell at employees in the workplace? Yet such highly disrespectful, disempowering scenarios occur daily, with many workplace environments resembling abusive parenting households more than true teams. We must have the courage in business to lead with gentle influence, to take the road less traveled, to innovatively find ways to motivate those we lead, and to treat even the people on the lowest rung of the corporate ladder with the respect they deserve. People with good bosses already know why this works. Indeed the term “boss” itself has authoritarian implications. A true leader is not a “boss” at all.

And then we come to the ultimate authority structure of all: government. Our criminal justice system is failing us. That’s because it is based on punitive, often unreasonable, vengeance-based, fear-based foundations, not on the intent to truly understand and seek to rehabilitate those who fall into its clutches. We see our impulse for vengeance in the punishment of accidental crimes, or of the mentally ill, or in punishing offenses based on the results, not the intent. Even when clear intent exists, we would rather slam the door shut and throw away the key, rather than seek to heal what caused the crime to begin with. Once again, our impulse in society to follow the strict, punitive path is based on age-old beliefs in an authoritarian God who does much the same.

Embracing a new form of enforcing the laws of society will require a huge paradigm shift, and it is not the easy path. Yet we will begin to treat people with the respect they deserve. And when it comes to leadership in government, we are finally evolving as a civilization beyond the kingship/emperorship/dictatorship model. Many of us are beginning to realize that government cannot rule with an iron fist, even if that’s the apparently easy path (not really, since it ultimately leads to strife and dissolution). But still, we have a long way to go before we figure out how to define the government of a society based on true respect and influence, rather than authority.

There is an ultimate solution. It is evolution. The old fear-based approaches are based on survival-level existence, where fear is inevitable, where God is something to be feared, not simply Loved, where authority appears required just to survive. I truly believe our quantum leap to a new level of Consciousness holds the lasting key. And that is once again where peace not only becomes possible on Earth, but in every aspect of society.

Our Quantum Leap is the ultimate Answer to “politics as usual” (and while we’re at it, Peace on Earth”

Posted January 29, 2010 by bridgebldr
Categories: consciousness

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

As I observe the ever-widening political divide in the U.S., I realize that we can no longer abide the continual cycle of bouncing back and forth from one party in power to the other. How does it serve us to continue in our seemingly endless and irreconcilable differences? Yet the opposite extremes become ever more starkly polarized.

Even our Supreme Court is so obviously NOT impartial and driven by idealogical agendas. If our Supreme Court was truly impartially interpreting the law, then you would NEVER be able to predict how a particular vote might proceed or a particular justice might vote. There would be no predictable 5-4 split on controversial issues. The outcome would be virtually random. The party in power when a justice is nominated would be completely immaterial. There would be true impartiality. Yet the justices bring their politics, personal preferences and idealogies into the courtroom with them. This is not impartial justice. This is something else altogether. And the proof is in the votes themselves.

So how do we heal the ever-growing chasms appearing between us?

The old, highly honored traditional way would be to patiently seek common ground, and of course it is the natural and noble impulse of many of us to do so. Yet those of us who have lived on both sides of the fence, observing the fierce commitment of the factions, also know that in many cases, there simply IS no meaningful common ground to be found. Except a change of mind.

Is hammering a particular agenda through, just because you have the political power, an answer? That’s actually the worst and most divisive approach of all, with endless reverberations, starting the vindictive vicious cycle of back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, all over again.

So let’s take a step back and examine this situation in an entirely new Light. While we’re at it, we might as well expand our focus to ALL that divides us, not only in the U.S., but the world. The polarization on Planet Earth grows ever more severe, the more extreme extremists become, with each contingent feeding the fear-based fires of the others. The only difference now from the centuries prior is that we do have the ability to destroy ourselves in the process.

As spiritually awakened citizens of Planet Earth, I fully believe the time is coming when we must realize that our true agenda must be HUMANITY’s agenda. Even nation-states, a system of organizing ourselves that I truly believe will one day be as transient as feudal fiefdoms once were, cannot allow their often fear-based self-serving, isolationist and protectionist impulses undermine the agenda of HUMANITY. This too is a difficult leap to make, virtually impossible, completely contrary to everything we have known and held in esteem. Until we go QUANTUM.

I have said many times that I fully believe that the Consciousness of Mankind is expanding. What exactly does this mean? It means that although we will still treasure our individuality on the planet in a non-divisive way, including sentimentally treasuring our national and cultural origins, a time is coming of TRUE common ground, and that common ground is one of shared Consciousness. The chasms of fear and confusion will be distant memories. Extreme polarization will no longer exist, for it can’t exist in the presence of telepathically shared understanding. Humanity’s dark secrets will no longer be hidden, but fully revealed, understood and forgiven. We will simply know that we are many, yet One, not only on the planet but One with All That Is. That’s HUMANITY’s agenda and our only viable future.

Yes, true revolutionary change IS possible. QUANTUM change. This change begins within, not without, a quiet revolution in the stillness of the mind. And for every person who experiences the shift, it will be that much easier for the next, and the next, and the next, accelerating at quantum speed, until we find we have arrived, taking the leap TOGETHER. It is only then that “politics as usual” (and “vengeance as usual” and “secrets as usual” and “religion as usual” and “war as usual” and “fear as usual”) will be over. What will remain is simply Love. And that’s when Peace on Earth begins…

Why we are drawn to “Avatar” again and again…

Posted January 24, 2010 by bridgebldr
Categories: consciousness

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I have now seen James Cameron’s “Avatar” twice, and I will no doubt see it at least one more time during its theatrical release. Why is it that so many feel this movie calling them back to theaters again and again? Is it the special effects? Perhaps, for some. But I think for most, it is something far more profound. It reminds me of how we lined up for “Star Wars” again and again and again in the 1970’s. That wasn’t all about special effects either.

Some have claimed that the storyline of “Avatar” is simplistic, but the greatest messages of humanity are often delivered in simple packages. I realize in retrospect what a remarkable impact “Star Wars” had on me in my sheltered youth, despite its simple story. The themes behind the story, exposing many of us to the concept of expanded Consciousness in a subtle way, were what gave “Star Wars” its true power. And the “Avatar” phenomenon is the “Star Wars” of the present day, both in special effects and more importantly, Consciousness effects.

We are at a point in our history where “the little people” will no longer tolerate being disempowered by those who claim authority over us in unethical, insatiable ways. That’s because we finally realize we are not “little people” at all. Corporate greed and power plays are being exposed for what they are. The ignorance of selfish, war-hungry arrogance, such as what led to the utter desolation of many indigenous cultures on this planet, is rapidly falling out of favor. Religions claiming fear-based, violent, authoritarian “gods”, veiled with a veneer of privilege and conditional love, are losing their resonance. Fear itself is losing its grip on the planet, though it may not seem that way at times.

The Voice of expanded Consciousness is speaking to us through “Avatar”. The Voice of true transformation. We are fully capable of connecting to the planet, the Universe and each other, even more readily than the fictional Na’vi. We can already “see” into the hearts of others and All That Is, if we simply open our eyes. We can finally release our fear of death and even connect to the voices and the hearts of the past, once we realize Life is never-ending.

“Avatar” is leading many to ponder whether the supposed glories of our technology are truly worth the price. The sarcastic, atheistic snickering quietly explored in “Avatar” reveals just how arrogant, vacuous and destructive the strictly materialistic mindset can be, when taken to an extreme, in light of TRUE reality. Ultimately I believe technology will become one of many tools in a much grander toolset, until it is one day rendered obsolete by Consciousness itself. Technological evolution is not the answer for mankind. That path, when pursued at the expense of all others, only leads to emptiness, unbridled greed and utter destruction. The real answer for humanity is our quantum leap in Consciousness.

Dawn is breaking, after a very long night. Can you “see” the Light?

We are ALL “avatars” dreamwalking on this planet we call Earth. Our true Consciousness resides in Infinite Love.

I See You.

New Year, New Frontier – Reason Outside the Box

Posted January 2, 2010 by bridgebldr
Categories: reincarnation, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I vowed I would write in this blog before the end of New Year’s Day, as part of my commitment to expanding my writing beyond the Oprah Discussion Forum. For whatever reason, I find it easier to ask questions, to fully engage people in interactive conversation, and although that can indeed happen with blogs, they tend to be more declarative than interactive.

Even so, perhaps I’m not interacting quite as much as I seem to think on the various forums where I have participated. That’s because many questions I have posed go unanswered. Like how is it that so many of us (even me at one time) could even consider the notion of a “God” who would eternally torture people by fire? It is utterly preposterous and devoid of conscience, once you really ponder the implications. Such is the power of the voice of fear. But the voice of Love, combined with the voice of reason, is more powerful still.

Mentioning the voice of reason, I found myself following well-known skeptic Michael Shermer on Twitter in the past couple of weeks. I couldn’t resist directing a couple of tweets his way in response to some debate points that went unanswered during a recent CNN debate on the afterlife with Dr. Shermer, Deepak Chopra and others.

Who was it that decided closing your mind completely to the potentials of the true human experience is “reasonable” or “rational”? Who was it that decided that dismissing even exploring the possibility of some form of GUIDED evolution is “reasonable” or “rational”? Who was it that decided that all spiritual experience can be placed in a pre-defined box, labeled with one of the major religions and then dismissed?

Not all spiritual experience fits inside a neatly defined box. Indeed most of it does not. Neither is investigation into spiritual phenomena devoid of science, or of reason. In fact, such investigation outside the box is precisely what science has always been all about.

During the CNN debate, Dr. Shermer asked a question regarding reincarnation that I thought was very inadequately answered. He also made a dismissive comment about a particular famous reincarnation case which was one of those evasive diversions typical of so many skeptics, not actually based on the facts that had just been explained moments earlier. Since I just happen to be becoming unexpectedly engaged in objective, logic-based reincarnation research myself, I think Dr. Shermer deserves a reasonable and rational response.

Dr. Shermer noted that his biggest objection to reincarnation is that the numbers do not add up, given the number of people on the Earth today or the numbers that have existed in the past.

Whether the numbers increase or decrease, the answer to Dr. Shermer’s conundrum is really very simple.

More people are living on the Earth right now than at any time in Earth’s history. There are also times on the Earth when the population has been reduced. Where could those souls possibly be? On CNN, there was essentially a non-answer from one of the other panelists suggesting they might be reincarnated as cockroaches. Sigh, yet another box, defining reincarnation itself based on age-old assumptions from an ancient religion. We must think outside those boxes too, leaving dogma out of it.

So here are some very REASONABLE and RATIONAL possible answers to the question, answered within the framework of postulating that reincarnation could indeed be true:

1) When the number of incarnations increase on the planet, it is completely possible that they are being created. Do we assume the number of the souls in the Universe is static, or can they increase? Do we assume that a single soul can only have one incarnation ongoing at a given time?

2) Another very reasonable consideration is that souls are incarnating in multiple locations in the Universe, essentially on tour, even in parallel, not just in this little corner of the Universe we call Planet Earth.

Many are quick to scoff at such notions, but let’s talk about reason here. As they say in the movie “Contact”, if Earth is the only inhabited planet, it would be “an awful waste of space”, not to mention as Earth-centric and ignorant as we were in the Middle Ages. Only a reasonable person would conclude that statistical probabilities point to a Universe teeming with life, even if intelligent life exists on a very small percentage of planets. Carl Sagan is a notable atheist/agnostic who certainly entertained this notion.

And if you choose to ponder reincarnation, as was the case during the CNN debate, that makes the numbers game a no-brainer, whether the numbers on Earth increase OR decrease.

3) And there is yet another option. One can reasonably speculate within the framework of reincarnation that there is a place where souls go in between incarnations. How do we know how long they stay there? This could easily explain variations in the number of people incarnated on Earth (or anywhere else) at any one time. Those souls are simply unincarnated at this time. Is that so difficult to understand as a reasonable possibility?

QED.

And BTW, there is also reason to believe that each incarnation continues its existence in some state, as what is created does not necessarily need to be destroyed, nor would that impact other incarnations of the same soul. We do NOT need to believe we return to the ocean as little drops, as Deepak Chopra speculated during the debate – any obliteration of a life once lived is essentially akin to the annihilistic version of hell.

Yet another comment of Dr. Shermer’s completely ignored the facts of a reincarnation case which had just been clearly explained to him. He made a statement suggesting that the young boy James Leininger, who had memories of being a World War II pilot could have just had an interest in pilots, building model airplanes, etc. The statement clearly implied that the boy was his current age when he came up with all of this, befuddling the actual facts of the case.

What Dr. Shermer failed to address was that the boy came up with many of these facts at a very young age, starting as young as 2 or 3, long before most boys are building model airplanes or studying obscure details of world wars. And how does that explain how the boy knew the name of the ship, a ship so obscure that the father had to research history to find it?

Of course, you could suppose that the parents are not telling the truth (not something I think is the case, but no possibility can be ruled out). That’s why reincarnation cases based on hearsay alone are not easily proven to a skeptic.

An even more compelling aspect of this case (and many reincarnation cases) is that James Leininger has an eerie resemblance to James Huston Jr., the fighter pilot in question, not to mention the statistically unlikely “coincidence” of sharing the same first name. That never came up on CNN, but photographic parallels are without a doubt the most compelling, observable evidence of reincarnation, especially when discovered among an entire group of people.

There are other cases where not only does one person look like the person from the past, but a parent looks like a parent of this same individual from the past, friends look like friends from the past, etc. This is when statistical probabilities come into play, as in some cases there are astronomical odds that all of these photographic parallels could occur through mere coincidence, particularly if you have life parallels, names and skills carried forward and/or memories as well in the mix. This happens to be an area I’m studying myself.

One more note about the CNN debate….I was dismayed to see the fear injected by the doctor who mentioned the hell-like experiences people have at death, suggesting that those people go on to change their lives to avoid such a fate. If you study the statistics, such experiences are much, much rarer than positive experiences. And it really is within the realm of possibility that some of what occurs in these scenarios is akin to dreaming, whether a good dream or a nightmare.

Some people have been so indoctrinated with stories of hell all of their lives that their fears at death might be so powerful they could indeed allow their fears to get away with them in that dreamlike near-death state. I don’t find such cases to be convincing. When the evidence gets more compelling is if people are able to describe what was happening in the room when they were floating above their body after death. I thought the story of the blind woman describing the room was particularly interesting and would like to study that case more myself.

Apparently Deepak Chopra is going to debate Michael Shermer again. I happened to see Deepak live at the ABC Nightline debate on the existence of Satan. I think Deepak can be quite effective with Dr. Shermer, but only if he doesn’t let him get away with assumptions or unfounded observations.

As I venture into the New Year, I sense the time is coming for me to expand my own discussions to include atheists and skeptics. Ex-evangelical Frank Schaeffer in his book “Patience with God” echoes what many of us have been observing for quite some time regarding another form of Fundamentalist zeal taking root in our society, demanding conformity to their unproven assumptions about reality. This has also been a point of discussion among non-atheist, non-agnostic ex-evangelicals in the Oprah forum.

New voices of reason need to be heard above the fray, those who know how to balance spirituality with logic, without resorting to the assumptions and intrusiveness of Fundamentalism, those who have learned what having an open inquiring mind actually involves, those who can even find ways to systematically and thoroughly present objective evidence of life after death.

The hidden mountain behind the molehill: President Obama’s school speech and Creatures from the Id

Posted September 9, 2009 by bridgebldr
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , ,

The uproar regarding the President’s speech to schoolchildren today was essentially much ado about nothing, from the very beginning.  But then the uproar itself became the something, and we were no longer talking about nothing anymore.

All day as “bridgebldr” on the Oprah discussion forum, I have been nursing a thread I started discussing the President’s speech.   It was #1 in popularity on the front page of http://www.oprah.com all day today, just as it was yesterday (under Everyone’s Talking About” on lower left).    If you are curious or want to join in on the fun, check out http://www.oprah.com/community/thread/116165.

What is interesting about this entire controversy is that it started out being a conversation about what really was a molehill, no matter how tall and darkly looming some chose to portray it.  Who can really complain about the President encouraging students to take school seriously?  And yet complain they did, but it wasn’t about the molehill at all, it was about the mountain, that mountain of mythology which looms ever higher and darker, teeming with all sorts of nasty creatures, the constructs of minds filled with fear.

Not long ago I had the pleasure of watching a film that terrified me in my youth.  I was not yet born when it was first made, but it found its way to reruns on many a random Sunday afternoon.  “Creatures from the Id” lived in this film, those things our fears create, creatures which grow ever larger when gorged by the ever more creative fears of the masses.

If you choose to see a conspiracy, you will see a conspiracy.  And even if some conspiracies are real, it is our fears which give them power.  Creatures from the Id they do indeed become, tearing our world apart in very real ways. 

I choose not to feed the beast.  That planet is indeed forbidden to all of us, for that planet, our planet, will be no more, if we collectively choose to take that path.  I choose the dawn, which is indeed breaking, despite the lingering darkness of the night. 

And when it comes to the molehill, as a Mom, I for one appreciate the President taking time out of his busy schedule, not only today, but probably far more than he anticipated in recent days, to give a heartfelt, honest, encouraging message to our nation’s most precious resource – our children.

In peace,
BridgeBuilder

A blogless blogger finally blogs…

Posted September 8, 2009 by bridgebldr
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

After essentially being a blogless blogger for a very long time, I am finally venturing formally into the blog domain. I have been writing online as bridgebldr (or BridgeBuilder) for quite some time, most visibly and frequently in the Oprah discussion forum and more recently in compressed form on Twitter.

The Oprah forum is unique in the sense that the most popular posts migrate to the front page of http://www.oprah.com under “Everyone’s Talking About” on lower left. It’s truly amazing that more people haven’t discovered the gratification and sense of community derived from discussion forums such as Oprah’s, even the visibility. But it’s a pure art straight from the heart, in many ways a throwback to earlier days online, and this is not the first discussion forum I have participated in, nor the last. There is no one who is going to pay you by popularity, no way to include ads, and the focus is somewhat more on the content of what EVERYONE has to say on a particular thread, as essentially equal participants.

It is because of a very lively discussion in that location right now, ranked #1 in popularity at this very moment on Oprah’s front page, that I’m finally venturing into becoming an “official” blogger. It’s not the first time I have managed to get a topic onto Oprah’s front page – it’s actually an amazingly approachable thing to do, though you wouldn’t think so, and there is no way of planning or predicting it – it just happens when it happens. If you are curious, check out the topic “Criticism of President Obama’s message to schoolchildren is WAY out of bounds” here: http://www.oprah.com/community/thread/116165

And you can learn a great deal more about what I tend to talk about here: http://www.oprah.com/community/people/bridgebldr

I do venture where others often fear to tread, but I’m used to it by now. Be aware that discussion forum threads are a bit different from blogs in format. They tend to start small with a question, then grow into blog-like responses, kind of like blogging in reverse.

And I post a completely different form of content on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/bridgebldr) – this is where you’ll see my poetic side come out, one tweet at a time. I like to post affirmations that are spiritually uplifting, giving people a little boost to their day. Apparently 2300+ followers have appreciated that (at least the ones that aren’t drones, lol), and I earned those followers the old-fashioned way, one at a time since March, again writing straight from the heart. People on Twitter seem to think I’m enlightened, but I’ll let you in on a little secret – a lot of those tweets are reminders to ME, on those days when I need to be reminded, when I don’t feel quite as enlightened as my muse tends to be. If others can benefit from my reminders, wonderful!

Ultimately I am finally doing what I love to do: WRITE

And I intend to do A LOT more of it now, in many diverse ways. I was always a writer from the day I learned to hold a pen – insightful young poet & story teller, spontaneous essayist and award-winning high school newspaper editor, etc. etc etc. It was essentially my writing which earned me a full-paid ride in college. It was my writing that was my passion and my purpose, or so it seemed. But then a day came when my voice hushed itself into silence. Maybe we will talk about that another time.

Thankfully another day dawned, after many years of rest, and on that day, I finally found something to write about…

In peace,
BridgeBuilder