Wednesday, September 5, 2012

not a joke, but more lighthearted

"The vices help make virtues just as poisons help make medicines.  Diluted and blended correctly, they are quite useful against the evils of life."
--Francois de La Rochefocauld

The Book of VICES: A Collection of Classic Immoral Tales
Edited by Robert J. Hutchinson
Dedicated as follows:
 To my children, 
Robert John and James Timothy,
and to my wife, 
Glen Ellen,
the source of all my happiness
(and many of my vices)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

 "I once asked a newly-arrived Soviet Jewish refusenik what he thought of our Simchat Torah celebration."  The man said it was fine, but better in Leningrad.  Rabi Kushner, who admitted to being "curious and a little insulted," asked how it was better.
 "'In Leningrad,' he explained, 'if you dance in front of the synagogue on Simchat Torah, you must assume that the secret police will photograph everyone.  This means that you will be identified and sooner or later your employer will be notified.  And since such a dance is considered anti-Soviet, you must be prepared to lose your job!  And so you see,' he went on, 'to dance on such an occasion, this is a different kind of dance.'"
Annie Dillard
For The Time Being
Chapter Six

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Regarding Direct Service & Advocacy

Despite external and internal pressures to specialize, NCLR's senior leaders stood their ground. "My thought was, you couldn't be good at either one of them if you couldn't see them both," says Yzaguirre. "Programs inform your public policy and give you the means to change it; and if you didn't have policy, you make your programs less potent."
Those who advocate to change public policy (lobbyists, protesters, politicians) are, ideally, working for the public good.  Direct service providers (the folks running food banks, thrift stores and charities) are also, ideally, working for the public good.  However, the two normally don't work hand-in-hand.
Thus, it's even more surprising that all the organizations in our book have engaged in both.  Although most groups started out as direct service providers, at some point they all realized that if they wanted to create more significant systemic change, they needed to influence the political process.

[excerpts are indented. Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits, by Leslie R Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant, chapter 2]

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Let's learn to carve.

chair, home tour, Plein Air Festival 2012--Spring City, Utah