Literacy, where Democracy begins

“Civilization begins when everyone eats. Democracy begins when everyone reads.” – Willy Thorn

Recently, we came across this quote and I just can’t stop contemplating on it.

It pretty much “nails it,” doesn’t it?

“Everyone reads,” literacy for all, informed voters, critical to a thriving democracy.

Over the course of history, America has sacrificed an enormous amount of human and financial capital trying to preserve and promote the institution of democracy throughout the world. It’s a quest which continues today.

If literacy IS an essential component for democracy, which I believe it is, and we care so much about democracy, seems to me literacy would be more of a national priority in America, no?

So, it begs to questions, are we REALLY interested in a true democracy in America?

And, if not, why?



Is this a word you’ve heard recently?

Don’t worry, recession is not my “word of the week,” but it sure seems like it’s been the word of the last 6 months or so around these parts.

Recession is certainly not a word anyone wants to hear, but especially someone who works in the philanthropic sector.

Now, I’m obviously no economist.

I couldn’t even play one on TV if I tried.

But doesn’t it seem talking about it constantly is somewhat “un-American?”

I thought having a growth mindset was a hallmark of who we are as a people.

Not to sound naïve, but isn’t optimism in our DNA?

I’m also not a psychologist, nor sociologist either, but aren’t we going to talk ourselves right into one?

Why do we insist on talking about where we DON’T want to go?

Wouldn’t it make more sense to focus on where we DO want to go?

RECESSION. Google it. You won’t be lacking for things to read.

Actually, don’t, it’s a waste of time.

Instead, let’s not spend another minute worrying or talking about it, let’s just get after it America!


I thought golf was different

If you haven’t heard, there’s a new professional golf tour, LIVGolf.

It’s a pretty big deal in the golfing world and it doesn’t lack for drama and controversy.

Everyone has an opinion, and I mean everyone, even non-golfers.

I’ll let you research it for yourself if you’re really interested but as a “recovering” golf professional and someone who loves the game of golf, it’s certainly gained my attention.

Honestly, I’m not quite sure how I feel about it all yet but there is one thing which bothers me about it all… the influence of MONEY.

Now, it’s professional golf, so of course they should get paid and paid well, but ONLY when you play well, it was always about merit. THAT has always been the beauty of professional golf and where I thought, golf would remain different, but silly me.

I guess this horse has left the barn too.

Watch it run, because we’ll never find that horse again, let alone get it back in the barn.



Thermometer or thermostat?

I recently heard this analogy, although I don’t claim it as my invention, I LOVE IT!

There are people who are thermometers – all they want to do is tell you the “temperature.”

Then, there are people who are thermostats – they’re willing and able to change the “temperature.”

Which one are you?


Word of the week

As a family, we’ve started the fun exercise of cataloging stellar words which you don’t really hear used often anymore. We don’t necessarily sit around and think of such words, but we put them on our list when they pop up in the course of everyday conversation.

Recently, skedaddle, made an encore appearance.

What an awesome word, so fun to say, whimsical.

I often wonder if a word like this is a REAL word.

Sure enough, I consulted my Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary and yep, it’s in there, page 1699…

“running or scurrying away”

The origin of the word, skedaddle, is unknown, but by all I’ve read about the word, it looks like it first appeared in written accounts of battles in the Civil War.

See if you can naturally fit the word skedaddle into a conversation over the next week.


Fun, unexpected

I might have grown up in a town with a NASCAR track, Dover Downs, but cars and/or racing them was never really “a thing” in my family. Therefore, I have spent very little time watching motorsports.

If I’m being honest, I’ve always thought motorsports was a bit dumb and for sure not a sport.

But, unfortunately, that tends to be the case with things we don’t know much about, drawing unfounded conclusions thanks to our ignorance.

I’ve been converted.

Last Friday night, we thought it would be some good clean fun to go see the Monster Trucks at the Lake County Fair. If nothing else, we thought it would be entertaining just watching Ziggy’s (8-year-old son) reactions.

But, O… M… Goodness.

It was awesome, awesome, awesome.

Being outside in the summer air, dirt flying everywhere, the sound of horsepower echoing against the backdrop of a midwestern sunset, large pieces of machinery launching through the sky.

But the best part, the Master of Ceremonies… part play-by-play, part color-commentator, part ringmaster, part promoter, part personality. This guy rocked!

“Thunder, thunder, thunder!”

If you’ve never been, put it on “the list.”

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