The Red Cross and the Red Road


Today, I was supposed to be in New Hampshire helping friends cut some felled trees. But the steady rain from Hurricane Matthew cancelled out those plans. My heart goes out to the thousands in Haiti, where Hurricane Matthew has wreaked unimaginable havoc. No doubt the Red Cross, among other charitable organizations, will solicit donations for the victims.

I think back to Haiti’s 2010 earthquake and the outpouring of funds in its wake. Apparently, the Red Cross collected well over $500 million, however, much of that money is unaccounted for. The Red Cross refuses to share details of how the money was spent. Non-profits’ books should be open to the public, in my opinion. Haitian government officials claim they never received sums near that amount. But local governments also have spotty records when it comes to dispersing aid dollars.

When I think of the “Red Cross”, I envision just that: a red cross. It corresponds to the red road indicating the four quadrants of the Wisdom Wheel: Integrity, Higher Purpose, Trust and Right Action. If the Red Cross adhered to these laws of the Wisdom Wheel, I suspect they’d be a very different organization.

Perhaps there are more transparent agencies we can donate our money and time to. But the only thing I know for certain is that Haiti needs our help, now more than ever.

A Life of Balance


One of the regulars at our Sweat Lodge ceremonies is a friend of mine. He lost his right arm in a car crash when he was a young man. Now he’s a grandfather in his 50s who has lived over 30 years with only his left arm.

As we beat our drums and sang the native songs in the pitch black lodge, he dropped his beater. I sensed him urgently trying to find it as the song continued without the pounding of his drum.

And then… suddenly, his drumbeats returned.

Long after the ceremony ended, I kept thinking about life with one arm. My friend is out of Balance. He must make adjustments for everyday activities we do without thinking, like tying shoes, eating, typing on the computer.

For me, Balance requires considering the four quadrants of the Wheel. On the horizontal axis we have the mind in the East (Right Action) and the body in the West (Higher Purpose). On the other axis, we have Spirit in the North (Integrity) and Heart in the South (Trust).

Considering all four quadrants of the Wisdom Wheel helps me Journey through life, embracing challenges and issues honoring not just my Self but also others.

I have so much respect for my friend with one arm. Whenever we send time together, he shows me no matter the challenges we face, they can be surmounted.