Get Your Assignment to Turn That Good Dream into a Good Deed

One thing that can really make ripples is if a person is essentially “on assignment”—acting as a participant journalist. For the anniversary of Spirituality & Health, we want to cocreate great stories— to put our readers on assignment to do good works. And so we’ve partnered with the Utopia Foundation to make that happen. When confronted by “Who are you? Why are you here?” you may be able to say, in all honesty, “I’m on assignment!” This blog post explains how.

Read More
Meggen PetersenComment
What About Intentional Communities?

I lived in what would be considered an intentional community from age 18 to 25. I think the community worked because of a few key things: We were selective and ruthless about who we let in. We prohibited drugs and alcohol on the acres. We expected members to keep commitments—or get out!

Read More
Meggen PetersenComment
How Is Progress Defined?

Everything is cyclical. Habits change slowly, and most humans are not early adopters, not ready to embrace new realities until there is often significant discomfort or even pain. Thankfully, we humans are somewhat rational in our behavior and will hear the drum roll of progress if things seem cheaper, better or more convenient.

Read More
Meggen PetersenComment
Why Emmanuel Can’t Read

“What age group is the book for?” a former Parliamentarian asked, as he looked into my eyes for an answer.

“Age 0 to age 88,” I answered.

He continued looking at me, and clarified, “I mean, is it for P2? P3? P4? What classes would use it?”

“Any class,” I replied.

The reason we were chatting is because this former MP had been involved in education at the ministry level and shared my passion for education.

As if I had not heard him, he asked again, “Paul, what classes would we buy this book for?”

I responded, “We create books that tell great stories. Each page is well-illustrated. We use high-quality paper and then think about every word, every illustration, and how each page is put together. We don’t consider 'age.' We only ask ourselves, 'Is this book one that kids and even adults will love?’”

Read More
A Family Is a Family by Choice

 

My dad, Dale Sutherland, was born during the American Great Depression. In fact, my grand-mother said about my dad’s birth, “When I went to the bank to get the money for the hospital, the bank was closed.” I still remember that particular sentence from my grandmother, who spoke it directly to me. I remember because I had little one-on-one time with her since I had to share her with a few dozen grandkids all wanting another molasses cookie. It seemed to me Grandma was “A-Okay” with the bank closing—like that was the least of the trouble at that time. I did not find out until later that I was right.

Read More
Meggen PetersenComment
The Commons: How Can I Love You Better?

After the Haiti earthquake, I toured the Port-au-Prince hospital with my wife, Amy, to see a few of the organizations we have supported over the years to make sure we were helping them in ways that foster resilience, self-sufficiency, and non-dependence. The administrator showed us rooms filled with donated supplies, most still boxed or covered in dusty plastic.

Read More
Pay for Preschool or Save for College?

Question: I get paid little but love my work, and my partner and I get by. Now we suddenly have become parents to two children under the age of four. (It’s a long story...) The children came with a modest school trust fund, and I want to spend the trust fund over the next few years on early childhood education, better equipping my home for the children, and allowing me to slow down my work schedule and have more time with them.

Read More
I Don’t Want to Own “America” Right Now

Question: I don’t want to own “America” right now. I don’t want to profit from killing people, destroying jobs in other countries, and ruining lives through a system that places profits over people and the planet. I have a 401(k) and an IRA filled with mutual funds. I really don’t even care if I make less money by being conscientious. My advisor says he has other clients who are “that way.” I don’t think he gets me. Any advice?

Read More
The 4th Industrial Revolution

It’s interesting how our world works. On the one hand, we admire success, yet on the other we often dismiss it. For example, many thought Jeff Bezos’s Amazon would be just another book retailer. Now, he and his company are considered revolutionary and an enormous success. However, as Einstein once said, “It’s all relative!” And Aristotle was known to start his arguments by stating “Let’s define the definitions!”

Read More
Respecting the Three C’s

Over my career, I’ve spoken and written quite a bit on the topics of complexity, connectedness, and change. Respect for these “three C’s” is something that our team at FIM Group regularly discusses as we analyze investments and manage portfolios. I recently circulated a report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, that includes Figure 1, showing major trends and five categories of risks (economic, environmental, societal, geopolitical, and technological) facing the global economy today.

Read More
Current Observations

Happy New Year! I often get philosophical and reflective at the end of the year. I think about the past and reflect on the beautiful people I have known and those who are still in my life. I often miss and am saddened by memories of friends and family members who have lost their lives at relatively young ages. I also feel grateful to be alive in these exciting times. Each day seems to evolve and feel like a sort of “stay tuned for what’s next” drama.

Read More