Archive for July, 2011

Presentation files

July 11, 2011

Download the Power Point show:  Tomorrow’s Technology Today
Download the Goodness Engine
Download Build Your Own Inexpensive Game

The websites that are mentioned in the presentation:

Letter From New York

July 2, 2011

Or, as it seems to me…

Another day; another airport. Feels like the old days – I’ve been up at oh dark hundred several days now, catching planes to a variety of cities for a variety of reasons. I was having an email exchange with my friend Robert Murray who, as I recounted my schedule, gave me advice: meet interesting people. And I have.

First interesting person along the way was Sis Wenger, President and CEO of NACOA, the National Association of Children of Alcoholics. She is a powerhouse, a seventy something gray haired lady who has been an almost unstoppable force in the recovery community for a long, long, long time. Her work is amazing. And necessary.

When I was in college, there was a play that some friends did a scene from: “And Mrs. Riordan Drinks A Little.” Sometimes, when I was being a wag, I would say to my friends “And Mrs. Tombers Drinks A Little.” My mother had some issues – which is not to say that she couldn’t be the most charming individual on the planet. She could. And she did her best. And…

So I was confronted with some memories that I hadn’t expected when I was getting ready for my meeting with the indefagtible Sis Wenger. Studying her website opened some places in my heart I have not gone for a long time. But good that I did. I could be sad for young Mat and glad for old Mat and appreciative of the goodness that was in my mother and grateful for the fact we had resolution with each other before she died.

Sis Wenger is one of the most amazing individuals I’ve encountered for a long time. Sincere, interesting, dedicated, inspiring and very real. I am privileged to have met her.

So, moving on, to an afternoon in Philadelphia to meet another very interesting man: Michael Shevek, a Rabbi. I have a friend, David Arcara, and we get together once a quarter or so for a lunch to discuss global realities. He is, without a doubt, one of the smartest people I know. At our last lunch he mentioned Michael and suggested we get to know each other. He made a connection. Michael and I had a Skype conversation when he was in Paris and then met last weekend.

A man with an extraordinary history: Creative Director of a major ad agency and when he got let go from his position [an inevitability when in that position], went through a life crisis which ended with him as a Rabbi [I simplify a very complicated story]. He is now working with the Patton Foundation, founded by Helen Patton, who is the granddaughter of George S. Patton, the General who tore through Europe, defeating the Nazis.

Michael was in Europe around the time of D-Day and ended up, by circumstance, at a German Memorial Service for soldiers who died during D-Day. His presence resulted in the German organizer bursting into tears, as he had always wanted a Rabbi to be there, to bring some kind of closure. He begged Michael to be part of the memorial service for the Germans and he agreed. Even after Michael had been told that there were SS buried in the cemetery. When told that Michael’s response was: before they were SS, they were children.

And that is true. Before there is corruption, there is childhood and we are innocent. And at some point, the men who became SS were children, were innocent and uncorrupted. And how sad that someone offered them the apple from which they ate and which led them out of the garden of good into the garden of good and evil.

All of us are offered the apple; one of the great choices we make in life is how deeply we bite into the apple, how much we surrender the innocence of our childhood on our path through life. Because we all surrender some of our innocence.