This past weekend Kathi's sister and her daughter came to visit, and we took a trip down to Springfield to see the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. That evening when we got home, we rented and watched the movie, Lincoln. (I recommend both the museum and the movie highly, if you haven't experienced either of them—or even if you have!) So for pretty much the entire day, we were immersed in the experience of Lincoln's life. It all lead to some rather spirited and inspiring conversation and contemplation for all of us.
One of the major challenges of Lincoln's presidency, perhaps even more important than the Emancipation Proclamation or winning the war, was getting the 13th Amendment to the Constitution passed in Congress, officially ending slavery. Lincoln had to pull out all the stops, in the face of seemingly insurmountable opposition, from both those in favor of slavery, as well as the abolitionists, in order to influence enough Congressmen to vote for the bill to get it passed. We now think of Lincoln as one of the greatest Presidents, but he wasn't seen that way until after his death! During his Presidency, his was criticized and ridiculed, and opposed more harshly than perhaps any other person of his day.
In our conversations we were expressing our amazement at his achievement and acknowledging Lincoln as a true hero. And we began to explore what it is that makes a hero. Heroism isn't just about bravery or conquering an opponent. It's about acting consistently on the highest sense of integrity and honesty. This is what Lincoln was able to do with unwavering focus, even in the face of circumstances that were heart-wrenchingly overwhelming and even devastating.
Any time that we act with integrity and honesty for what we sense as in the best interests of all involved, rather than taking the easy way out, it is an act of heroism. When we are willing to take this narrow path of what Joseph Campbell called "the hero's journey", all manner of circumstances often come to our aid. Even though Lincoln faced powerful opposition, through his unwavering dedication to the pursuit of justice, the perfect set of circumstances eventually came together to help him achieve his goal.
Even though we're normally not faced with such overwhelming odds, it can nonetheless be difficult to consistently act on what we know is right rather than opting for the easy choice. When we do, when we choose the heroism of service to others, there is real magic in play. In that sense heroism is simple but not necessarily easy. But we do always have this choice, and upon it we build our lives, for good or ill.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
For my corporate clients, I just came across this helpful article on "How to Plan a Successful Corporate Event". Interestingly, one of the points the article makes is that trends in corporate events have shifted to being more fun: that companies have learned that "the most effective way to deliver a message or share information is experientially". Which of course is something I've advocated for many years.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
I'm currently continuing my Monday evening appearances at Culver's Restaurant in Morton. Mondays are "Superhero and Princess Night" at Culvers. Kids 12 and under that dress up as their favorite superhero or princess receive a $1.99 Kid’s Meal! There's also a facepainter, and magic by yours truly. I'm there from 5 to 7:00 pm, but the meal deal goes until 8:00. Hope to see you there!
Friday, May 10, 2013
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Here's another article on cooperation, this one on some rather interesting alternatives to our current financial system, that are based on local cooperation and "cooperatives" in contradistinction to our current debt based system. Very interesting. It's called: "Opting Out of Wall Street and Building Sustainable, Resilient Communities".
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
One of the key principles that I discuss in my book, A Call to Magic, is that cooperation is the fundamental foundation of human success, and not competition, contrary to frequent popular belief. Here's an article that presents new evidence that cooperation is actually the driving force of evolution (not competition!) and expands on this to explore some rather interesting implications for our modern economic and social environment.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Tonight is my monthly appearance at Tyroni's in Bartonville, from 5:30 to 8:00 PM. Saturday is my regular spot at Cherry Street in Galesburg, 7:00 to 9:30 PM. And I've just learned that my Monday evening appearances at Culver's in Morton have been extended, at least through May, and possibly longer. So, plenty of opportunities to get your magic fix. Here's a shot of me recently having fun with the customers at Cherry Street.
|Mitch at Cherry Street|