still keeping up with the Games, in between cleaning and sprucing up the dump;  this disqualification of 8 badminton players—i’m shaking my head…it was actually for trying to deliberately lose a game in order to placed in a more favorable position…like i said…badminton???  it makes the whole thing more like theatre…   the gymnasts, swimmers, divers, beach and regular volleyball—all of the athletes are  keeping me cheering (and occasionally tearing)…

i’m feeling these last days of my 82-day sabbatical flying by quite quickly now.  in addition to playing a lot of piano (jazz standards), reading my usual mysteries (nero wolfe and inspector lynley), i’ve begun “twelve steps to compassion” by karen armstrong.  i’ve read several of ms. armstrong’s books and especially enjoyed “a history of god”.  this one is different, though, since it stems from a $100,000 award she was granted to promote an idea that could “make a difference in peoples lives”, so she got together with spiritual leaders throughout the world and across many different faiths to develop a Charter for Compassion.  this was back in 2009 and the website has the charter and lots of other helpful reading—its motto:  peace starts here.   the charter states, in part:

 compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the center of our world and put another there, and to honor the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity, and respect. 

the book is supposed to be used like a 12-step program, but it’s really 2 steps:  learn the golden rule and then live it.  in this time of  polarization in our country, this is the perfect antidote.  check it out.  i know many christians don’t go for anything that is so tolerant, but just try peace on.  see if it fits.  if it doesn’t, check your bible, i’m sure you’ll find some passage that condemns even the golden rule…  but please don’t report back…

i’m obviously not sleeping well, another clue that it’s time to get back to school.  13 more days…

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