Transportation Echoes Life

I was asked to write an article for a local magazine on transportation. The full article is here:

People. Relationships. Heart. You need all three. In fact, according to my six year old son, life is about relationships first and foremost. How lucky we are to have air conditioned and heated public transportation in the United States of America and safety and security standards to keep our loved ones safe. We are truly blessed. Pause and say thanks.

I have lived and worked in countries where public transportation pales in comparison to what we enjoy here. I have also witnessed public transportation systems in other countries that I wish we could emulate here. In a global world, a global mindset is necessary, one where we value diversity and are humble enough to learn from one another. That’s the beauty of the United States and the value we bring to the world. It starts and ends with the quality of our relationships. Share your strengths with others.

Transportation echoes life. All of us regardless of nationality, religion, gender or background ride the journey of life. The stops we get off on may be different, but we are all headed somewhere. Take a moment to think about the people you encounter and their families next time you ride public transportation. Say thank you to those heroes that protect you and get us to and from work safe. Theirs is a noble calling. Honor those servants of humanity.

 

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A Monk’s Advice

I visited a Buddhist monk in Japan in-between his prayer and teaching sessions. I asked him, “how do you practice your faith?” He said first, do not have expectations. When you expect people to receive you a certain way or respond to you positively or negatively, you set yourself up for failure. Placing expectations on yourself and on others leads to self-imposed, needless suffering. Second, say “thank you” in all situations, including in the day-to-day mundane activities you take for granted. A warm cup of tea, a chair, hearing a bird sing, a child’s laughter, be grateful for each moment.  He ended by stating, life is about killing time until you reach your next destination, the afterlife: 人生は冥土までの暇潰し.  Put another way life is about penance before reaching heaven: 人生は天国までの苦行.

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Where Do We Go From Here?

“All men are interdependent.  Every nation is an heir of a vast treasury of ideas and labor to which both the living and the dead of all nations have contributed.  Whether we realize it or not, each of us lives eternally “in the red.” We are everlasting debtors to known and unknown men and women.  When we arise in the morning, we go into the bathroom where we reach for a sponge which is provided for us by a Pacific islander.  We reach for soap that is created for us by a European.  Then at the table we drink coffee which is provided for us by a South American, or tea by a Chinese or cocoa by a west African.  Before we leave for our jobs we are already beholden to more than half the world.  In a real sense, all life is interrelated.  The agony of the poor impoverishes the rich; the betterment of the poor enriches the rich.  We are inevitably our brother’s keeper because we are our brother’s brother.  Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Chapter 6 of his book Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? (1967)

 

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Civil Rights

“Whatever career you may choose for yourself – doctor, lawyer, teacher – let me propose an avocation to be pursued along with it.  Become a dedicated fighter for civil rights.  Make it a central part of your life. It will make you a better doctor, a better lawyer, a better teacher.  It will enrich your spirit as nothing else possibly can.  It will give you that rare sense of nobility that can only spring from love and selflessly helping your fellow man.  Make a career of humanity.  Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights.  You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.”  – Dr. Martin Luther King excerpt from a speech before the youth march for integrated schools in Washington, DC on April 18, 1959.

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Truth Matters!

“Without truth, a country walks in darkness and causes the worst of misfortunes to befall its people.” Page 68 in Cardinal Robert Sarah’s book God or Nothing below. A great read with other excellent words of wisdom.

 

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Happy New Year

Wishing all a healthy and prosperous 2019!

2018 brought the publication of 3 books. One more on the way in 2019!

Ken Reiman

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Inspirational Message on Courage

A man’s courage can sustain his broken body, but when courage dies, what hope is left? The intelligent man is always open to new ideas. In fact, he looks for them. – Proverbs 18:14-15.

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Embrace Your Duality

“Love all of who you are no matter the cost. If you must bear two crosses for the sake of two countries do so unapologetically. Ultimately, you are an ambassador to both. Two is better than one.”  – Ken Reiman

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Why Goodness Matters in Life

“Life is like a voyage on the sea of history, often dark and stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the stars that indicate the route. The true stars of our life are the people who have lived good lives.” – Pope Benedict XVI

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Climb Your Way to the Top

“The summit is believed to be the object of the climb. But its true object—the joy of living—is not in the peak itself, but in the adversities encountered on the way up. There are valleys, cliffs, streams, precipices, and slides, and as he walks these steep paths, the climber may think he cannot go any farther, or even that dying would be better than going on. But then he resumes fighting the difficulties directly in front of him, and when he is finally able to turn and look back at what he has overcome, he finds he has truly experienced the joy of living while on life’s very road.”  – Eiji Yoshikawa

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