Friday, September 18, 2009

“The powers in charge keep us in a perpetual state of fear, keep us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant sums demanded. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real.”
 Douglas MacArthur
The most successful people are lifelong learners; they constantly ask questions and never cease to explore the wonder-filled world around them. Regardless of where you are in life-- whether you are fifteen or a hundred and fiftenn, whether you are going through a rough patch or are thriving-- create an education program for yourself. 

Your program can include the following two catagories: personal development and professinal development. Under each category, commit to learning material that will yield both preent benefit (that you enjoy reading and thinking about) as well as future benefit (that will contribute to your overall growth). Ritualize your program by putting aside regular times each week for your education.

Tal Ben-Shahar, Happier-- Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment.  p. 95. 

What have you learned this week? That's the question we ask ourselves each week at Franklin Circle. Join us this afternoon at 3:15 p.m., right after the Denver IDEA Cafe. More information and optional RSVP for both groups, click on:

Denver IDEA Cafe

Franklin Circle Denver Open

Another group that I've found helpful is Socrates Cafe. I've been leading the Thursday evening group that meets at Trinity Church, but I've had to resign because of conflicts with my new job as Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Inventors Association. John Hart has agreed to take it on, and I'm sure he will do a great job. I'll be at the RMIA Denver meeting next Thursday evening, thanks John!

Looking at yourself, are you more connected with others in groups like these now than you were September 11, 2001? I certainly am, maybe to a fault. What is the effect of online social networking such as Facebook and Twitter? Are they bringing us together or drawing us into even deeper isolation?

What are you finding helpful right now? What encourages you to be a lifelong learner? Does reading this and posting a comment here help you right now?

I'd be very interested in your thoughts on this. When you have a few minutes, read back through posts here since September 11, 2009 when I started to attempt this online dialog. Does this have the potential of being helpful to you? If so, let me know and I'll continue. If not, this next week will probably be my last with you here online each morning.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all bretheren. 
Matthew 20:8

You can get someone to teach you things mechanical or scientific or mathmatical. But in things that really matter, life, love, reality, God, no one can teach you a thing...So put your books and formulas aside; dare to abandon your teacher whoever your teacher may be and see things for yourself. Dare to look at everything around you without fear and without formula and it won't be long before you see. 
Anthony de Mello, The Way to Love

A nurse told me that nurses are taught how to keep learning new procedures: watch one, do one, teach one.

The best way to find the combination for a lock is to have someone write it on a slip of paper for you.

But other things just aren't that way.

I went to a conference about the future of newspapers here in Denver last night. There are a lot of reporters and editors waiting for their next assignment.

God bless my Aunt Opal, who is being buried today in Amarillo, Texas.

"It is difficult/ to get the news from poems,/ yet men die miserably every day/ for lack/ of what is found there." William Carlos Williams, born this date in Rutherford, New Jersey (1883).

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Love is to be found only in fearlessness and freedom. How do you achieve this freedom? By means of a two-pronged attack on your dependency and slavery. First, awareness. It is next to impossible to be dependent, to be a slave, when one constantly observes the folly of one's dependence. But awareness may not be enough for a person whose addiction is people. You must cultivate activities that you love. You must discover work that you do, not for its utility, but for itself. 

Anthony de Mello, The Way to Love

Yesterday this release went out to the media:

September 15, 2009
Contact:  Joshua Duignan
                Association Management Group
DENVER, CO - John S. Wren, MBA has been elected the Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Inventors Association ( by the RMIA Board of Directors.

John Wren ( , 720-495-4949) is a graduate of the University of Denver (BA’69, MBA ’79), where he was President of the Graduate Student Association. He is also the past President of the Denver City Club, the Rocky Mountain Direct Marketing Association, and the Metro South Denver Optimists Club. He has served on the board of directors of the Denver Lions Club and 1311 York Street Club. Past employment includes: Secretary/ Treasurer, Western Merchants Wholesale Company; Assistant-to-the-President, Outdoor Sports Industries; Telemarketing Manager, Mountain Bell Telephone Company; owner, Wren Marketing Corporation; Marketing, Director for the Denver Symphony Orchestra;  Business Analyst, George S. May Company; and Sales Manager, Villager Newspapers and Sentinel Newspapers. He now does business consulting and he manages the IDEA Cafe/ Franklin Circles, which will continue.

The RMIA, formed in 1978 as the Rocky Mountain Inventors Congress, is a non-profit corporation dedicated to helping people with new ideas achieve their greatest potential.
Maita Lester | president
association management group, llc  |  twitter: @amgmtgroup  |  303-831-4133  |

Thanks to the Denver Post for picking it up this morning:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mystics storm against ideas and structures that have become entrenched in their societies and cultures when awareness awakesn them to evils their contemporaries are blind to. Anthony de Mello, The Way to Love

This comment to yesterday's post here was made on Facebook:
 My big question is this. Just what is so bad about the USA that we need to make big changes. 

A good friend of mine got so angry with me during a discussion that he pushed me over, out of my chair, and we both fell to the ground. Only a good friend would do such a thing. It was a learning moment for me, and his point will never be forgotten.

One of the strengths of our two party system in the United States is that we regularly engage in full out, open debate. It has been this way from the very start of our country. Only good friends can argue as we do in this country.

This kind of vigorous debate is healthy when it starts with self-reflection, what is called in 12-step programs personal inventory.

So the big question for each of us this morning is: What is so bad that we need to change? Only with that awareness will healthy growth take place.

If this is to continue, it needs to be a conversation. I'd be very interested in your comments on this. Post here, or if you'd rather email your comment to and I'll put it up here tomorrow morning.

Monday, September 14, 2009

"So be wise as serpents and innocent as doves." Matthew 10:16  

Our challenge is to recapture the simplicity and wisdom of the dove without losing the cunningness of the serpentine brain.

Think of some change that you wish to bring about in your life or in your personality. Are you attempting to force this change on your nature through effort and through the desire to become something that your ego has planned? That is the serpent fighting the dove. Or are you content to study, observe, understand, be aware of your present state and problems, without pushing, without forcing things that your ego desires, leaving Reality to effect changes according to Nature's plans, not yours? Then you have the perfect blending of the serpent and the dove. Take a look at some of those problems of yours, those changes you desire in yourself, and observe your way of going about it. See how you attempt to bring about change-- both in yourself and in others-- through the use of punishment and reward, through discipline and control, through sermonizing and guilt, through greed and pride, ambition and vanity, rather than through loving acceptance and patience, painstaking understanding and vigilant awareness.  

Anthony de Mello, The Way to Love.


Last Friday was the start of this new dialog here on to encourage a year of reflection about the impact of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, the 8 years since then, and the vital importance for citizens to read the printed version of local newspapers, magazines, and books and to engage in face-to-face discussions. I will post my thoughts here each morning Monday through Friday and encourage you to post your comments. If you'd like me to speak at your book club, library, or bookstore about what we are doing, contact me at or (303)861-1447.

After talking with some of my friends, I’ve decided to go ahead with this. The idea is to have a year long online dialog about the personal effects of 9/11, and the changes that have been brought about in each of us since then.

The Internet now makes this kind of world-wide conversation possible, it’s an amazing tool. Writing something and getting immediate feedback from around the world opens up huge possibilities for human advancement.

But the Internet is no substitute for reading the printed word and discussing what is read in face-to-face dialog. I’m encouraging local papers to direct their readers to this conversation, and for their readers to connect us to their efforts to move the conversation of our global village from talk radio to thoughtful reading and discussion.

I look forward to our conversation here online each morning.

John Wren

Who is John Wren?

John Wren created the first online business bulletin board in Denver on Denver Freenet. He is a business consultant, adult educator, and community activist. He is the founder of the IDEA Cafe, Franklin Circles, Denver Socrates Cafe, the Denver Startup Forum, Denver Speakers Corner. He is a graduate of the University of Denver (BA’69, MBA ’78) and has served on the board of directors for the Denver City Club, the Denver Lions Club, and the South Denver Optimists Club. He was the founding President of the Rocky Mountain Direct Marketing Association. He has worked as a house wares buyer, human resource manager, small business owner, stock broker, advertising salesman, and sales manager. He has been on the staff and a columnist for local newspapers, and he is the author of DARING MIGHTY THINGS—THE SIMPLEST WAY TO START YOUR FIRST (OR NEXT) NEW BUSINESS. He can be contacted at or (303)861-1447.