Tag Archives: thoughts

Beyond Abracadabra – Peace Through Intentional Action – Changing Bullets to Wizards

One of the professional sport franchise owners I deeply respect and admire is the late Abe Pollin, former owner of the NBA’s Washington Wizards. While he led the efforts to bring professional sports back into city centers to help revitalize downtowns rather than suburbs, I am most appreciative of the amazing stand he took against violence.

Most owners, and people for that matter, don’t like to go against the status quo. Change is scary. “Tradition! Tradition!” goes the Fiddler on the Roof anthem. Pollin was the exception.

He had been thinking about changing the name of the Washington Bullets for many years. He felt like it sent the wrong message in a city that was dubbed the murder capital of the world.

“I’ve thought about it for 31 years….Bullets connote killing, violence, death. Our slogan used to be, ‘Faster than a speeding bullet.’ That is no longer appropriate,” Pollin said in an interview with the New York Times.

But it was the assassination of his friend Yitzhak Rabin in Israel that brought Pollin from an idea to action.

“I just came back from Israel, where I attended the funeral of my good friend, Prime Minister [Yitzhak] Rabin,” Pollin said. “My friend was shot in the back by bullets. The name Bullets for a sports team is no longer appropriate…..”

“It was a peace gathering. He was about to leave, but he walked back again. They were rejoicing for peace. I walked those steps. I realized it was time to get this done.”

“I have asked our staff to implement an entirely new community relations program, an anti-violence initiative that will begin this season,” Pollin said. “All that we do in the community will be focused on an anti-violence message with a conflict resolution theme. Our name change will go hand-in-hand with the Bullets’ anti-violence campaign.”

So Pollin and his staff sponsored a naming contest and the Bullets became the Wizards.

There is nothing magical here. The switch was a matter of image, yes, and a chance for the team to turn over a new leaf, to start anew. But I admire Pollin for his willingness to act, to move beyond tradition to a place more reflective of peace and justice.

As the late owner said, “If I save one life, make a change in one life, it’ll be worth it. The Bible says that if you save one life, you save the world. Hopefully, we’ll save many more than that.”

(Another owner of a professional franchise in Washington would do well to follow Mr. Pollin’s example).


Reprinted from original post from 02/29/2012



I write this with my mouth because I am the broken finger man. So there may be some mistakes in the authoring but that is the price for a little less pain.

The Muse will out like the truth and I must give in to the outing. You and I both know that broken finger or not the words must flow.

Technology does have its benefits though I must say sometimes it has a mind of its own for when I stop the dictation and pause, it continues on and on and on to repeat what I have already said.

But the word remains.

It will always be.

Conversations around a picnic table as the sun disappears and dusk falls around us are the stuff that make life worth living. We begin talking in the light and end in the darkness but we leave enlightened, better men for the sharing.

We step back into our lives, filled with new strength for the daring.



just because you
say something
over and over
and over and
over and over
and over again
doesn’t make it
the truth

The Space of My Neglect

On this cool fall morning with the taste of wood smoke on my tongue
and the nip of Old Man Winter on the wind, I am pulling up the dead
yellow stalks of Jefferson Grass that I sprayed in the summer.

They chose to grow in the space of my neglect behind the cottage
beside the stonewall until I grew tired of seeing them in the morning
when we pulled back the curtain of the bedroom window,
like the unwelcome and exotic species that grow in me
suddenly revealed by thought or conversation
and I go on another inner killing spree.

Honesty and self-love are at times uneasy bedfellows.
In the air above me, two ravens chase a hawk from the meadow.

Rolling Ridge, WV – October 24, 2003

The Troubles of Today

I have been admonished not to worry about tomorrow because each day has enough trouble of its own.

But here it is another morning and I find myself worrying about what troubles may come today. I can’t even begin to think about the troubles of tomorrow. I am too worried about those that may happen in the next few hours.

So how do I spend the moments of today not in fear of the sound of another shoe about to fall, but rather in anticipation of the soft padding of angels’ feet?

There is always the potential for possible joy and whatever happens, I must trust that I will not be alone or abandoned.