Rabbi Gittelsohn’s words live on.

Rabbi Gittelsohn, the rabbi of record who was embedded at the Iwo Jimo invasion, was to give a unified sermon to all survivors at Iwo Jima in memory of the fallen in 1945. He was forbidden, and the 3 religions were separated. Yet he still gave his non-denominational address to the Jewish troops. Protesting, other priests attended anyway.

In his autobiography, Rabbi Gittelsohn reflected, “I have often wondered whether anyone would ever have heard of my Iwo Jima sermon had it not been for the bigoted attempt to ban it.”

“Here lie men who loved America because their ancestors generations ago helped in her founding, and other men who loved her with equal passion because they themselves or their own fathers escaped from oppression to her blessed shores. Here lie officers and men, Negroes and whites, rich men and poor . . . together. Here are Protestants, Catholics, and Jews together. Here no man prefers another because of his faith or despises him because of his color. Here there are no quotas of how many from each group are admitted or allowed. Among these men, there is no discrimination. No prejudices. No hatred. Theirs is the highest and purest democracy …

Whosoever of us lifts his hand in hate against a brother, or who thinks himself superior to those who happen to be in the minority, makes of this ceremony and the bloody sacrifice it commemorates, an empty, hollow mockery. To this, then, as our solemn duty, sacred duty do we the living now dedicate ourselves: to the right of Protestants, Catholics, and Jews, of white men and Negroes alike, to enjoy the democracy for which all of them have here paid the price …

We here solemnly swear that this shall not be in vain. Out of this and from the suffering and sorrow of those who mourn this will come, we promise, the birth of a new freedom for the sons of men everywhere.”


We are one, after all, you and I. Together we suffer, together exist, and forever will recreate each other.
– Pierre Thiehard de Chardin

Fathers Day Gift: Financial literacy

“Everyone needs money. That’s why they call it money.” – David Mamet

You have been presented with “resources”, (often code for $), but in your case intellectual resources to see more, understand more, and be more. Therefore…

1. You are not defined by what you have, but rather what you do with what you have. Resources, be it money or education or experiences that you earn mean far more than money you are given.

2. Do not allow money to rule your decision making process. It is only one component of your decision making process.

3. Although money doesn’t buy happiness, it  can provide peace of mind, freedom and flexibility. Those are 3 very valuable and powerful results of money.

5. “True wealth” is much bigger, and can only be defined by you from within. Over time it will morph, and will help define much of who you are.  Choose wisely, for the devils lettuce is a dangerous idol and brutal enforcer.

7. It begins with hard work, and ends with investing. In between are budgeting, saving, patience, restraint, vision and goals.

11. Avoid debt. If money represents freedom and flexibility and peace of mind, then debt is the opposite. Debt is anxiety, constraint and mental slavery. Others around you will seemingly have more through the acquisition of stuff. They do not. They have borrowed from their futures in a pact with the devil, exchanging today’s pleasure for tomorrow’s pain. Just don’t do it.

13. On the other hand, invest wisely with joy, foresight and patience. The most valuable assets an investor has are time and compounding. Both, applied properly to savings, will provide tremendous benefits that only the smart and visionary can understand. Again, it comes down to math. Patience means forgoing today’s one pleasure in return for tomorrow’s exponential gain. You must trust me on this. Only from the future can you see the past with certainty.

17.  Donate something. Give what you can. That might be money. But I would argue money is only the result of your output. If you are as smart and thoughtful as I think you are, then give of your intellect and character and the resulting output will have a far greater multiplier effect and leverage for the recipient. Think Zambia school, teaching, sharing your time and insights. Those have greater and powerful lasting value beyond the simple conveyance of money, both for the recipient of your largesse…and for YOU in the form of reciprocal satisfaction.

19. Finally, I’ll leave you with a quotation from sociologist William Bruce
Cameron, although many people attribute it to Albert Einstein:
“. . . not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts
can be counted.”

(Alexander, See if you recall why I used prime numbers for this love lesson.)

Seneca on travel and Bourdain

The Roman philosopher Seneca, in his letter On Travel as a Cure for Discontent, Seneca cautions his friend Lucilius against using travel to escape from his problems:

“Socrates made the same remark to one who complained; he said: ‘Why do you wonder that globe-trotting does not help you, seeing that you always take yourself with you? The reason which set you wandering is ever at your heels.’ What pleasure is there in seeing new lands? Or in surveying cities and spots of interest? All your bustle is useless. Do you ask why such flight does not help you? It is because you flee along with yourself. You must lay aside the burdens of the mind; until you do this, no place will satisfy you.”

R.I.P. Anthony Bourdain

Asians must be sub-Human

As the reported deaths by Pol Pot seemingly decline in what is perhaps revisionist history, (or not), it is apparent to many the US had a harrowing effect on the incredible Cambodia. And informs two of my “100 things we learned during our 82,000 miles.” (“100 things” will come a bit later, as the final results are reflected upon)

– “In order to have done what the Unites States did in Asia, they had to have viewed the ______ as sub-human. “(Choose: Japanese, Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians)

– “A human’s ability to forgive might be the most powerful and stunning force we have witnessed.”


“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”


“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain.

The Power of Witchcraft in Zambia

Witchcraft. One those ‘huh’ kinda things. But today we heard of a recent minor league example where a man’s two dogs were stolen. He hired a witch doctor who came and placed chicken bones around the property, located white X’s around the property and herbs and such sprinkled about.  Finally, a “special” bicycle inner tube was given to the man with a pump contraption. The witch doctor said if the dogs were not returned by morning, to begin blowing and inflating the tube and the perpetrator will explode in minutes.

The dogs were in the yard at sunrise.