Catalyst

Learning from Life and Leadership

Category Archives: Reflections

The Best Answer Is…

I keep six honest serving men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who. -Rudyard Kipling-   Someone commented, “When I was in my 20’s, I knew all the answers. When I got to my 60’s, I had nothing but questions.” That statement rings […]

Thanks for Nothing

Tommy Allsup died on January 11, 2017. His name is unfamiliar to most. The rock-and-roll guitarist for Buddy Holly’s band should have died on February 3, 1959.   That was the date “the music died” (chronicled by Don McLean’s 1970 hit, American Pie). The small plane had too many would-be passengers than seats. So, a […]

Holding On: Four Perspectives to Keep You Sane When Your Life Is Insane

A few years ago, my life turned down a blind alley. It wasn’t one event, but a succession of events. My elderly father fell which resulted in his moving to an assisted living center. My daughter was going through intense stress and needed our help. One night in December, my father had a massive stroke and was gone within an hour. I spent the next few months dealing with his estate (something I was ill-equipped to handle). Doctors diagnosed my father-in-law with severe dementia. He moved three times until he settled in a memory care center. I had four surgeries. (I had never had surgery in my life.) My father-in-law passed away. When I look back at what I just wrote, it gives me shivers. Somehow, we made it through. In the aftermath, I reflected on what it took to stay sane in an insane world. Four phrases capture a survivor‘s mind. […]

Unbending the Bow

The bow cannot always stand bent, nor can human frailty subsist without  some lawful recreation. -Miguel de Cervantes- By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.  -Genesis 2:2- As a kid, my mother tried to keep us busy during […]

Small Change

When my father passed away suddenly in December, we faced the inevitable task of cleaning out a house lived in for 45 years. Furniture filled spaces. Old bank statements and tax returns spilled over file boxes. One of the surprising finds was the small changes in all kinds of places. My parents just dropped pocket […]

Broken Windows

James Q. Wilson died this past week, but you probably have never heard of him. Yet, his “broken window theory” was adopted by police departments all over America to reduce crime. For years people believed more police officers made safer neighborhoods. Wilson noticed something else. Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the […]