Invisible Heros

Roy H. Williams · August 17, 2015
invisible heroes, Pendulum In Action, Pearl

Pearl was a bit of a whore.
We never kept her in a fence
So she had puppies at least once a year.

She was a good mother.

Abandoned in the country, starving,
We found her when I was in third grade.
She knew she was my dog immediately.

God help you if you got mad at me.

A blur of fur and teeth and little-dog roaring
Awaited you halfway to me. No one ever called
Pearl’s bluff because they knew she wasn’t bluffing.

I think I learned loyalty from Pearl.

Her oversized […]

Roy H. Williams · August 10, 2015
Pendulum In Action, invisible heroes, creativity in business

Do Creative People Have to be Self-Destructive?

New York Times writer Samuel G. Freedman asks,
“Can the forces that make you creative also kill you?”
“Can you live with control and yet create free of restraint?”
“Can you live enough of the dark side to tell the tale without becoming a casualty?”

Freedman’s curiosity is well founded. History is littered with the corpses of creative geniuses who were self-destructive.

Vincent Van Gogh cut off his own ear and mailed it to his […]

Roy H. Williams · August 03, 2015
Pendulum In Action, We Cycle, Me Cycle

America contained about two and a half million people when we declared our independence in 1776. Today’s Portland, Oregon is bigger than that.

The Constitution (1787) empowered every citizen who was white, male and a landowner. Minorities, women and poor people? Not so much.

America was unlike Europe in that we didn’t divide our population into nobles and peasants. We divided our people into landowners and land workers. This was different from Europe where the nobles owned the […]

Roy H. Williams · July 27, 2015
Pendulum In Action, invisible heroes, business

1845: This is the year Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman will plant his final apple tree. Mark Twain is 10 years old, living the boyhood that will bring us Tom Sawyer. Florida will be added to the U.S. this year, raising the total number of states to 27. We think of life as being simpler, more idyllic back then, don’t we?

The American Revolution was more recent to them than World War II is to us today. Memories of colonial times were only just beginning to fade. But Thoreau felt compelled […]

Roy H. Williams · July 20, 2015
Invisible Hero

Eleven million copies of Tuesdays with Morrie have been sold.

But one hundred years before Mitch Albom began spending the-day-after Monday with Morrie, a previous Tuesday gathering had already left its mark upon the earth and walked triumphantly into the pages of history.

You are cordially invited to the home of

Stéphane Mallarmé
89 Rue de Rome, Paris
Tuesdays, 9PM until Midnight

Stéphane Mallarmé was an English teacher who wrote a little poetry on the side.

Marcel […]

Roy H. Williams · July 13, 2015
Pendulum In Action, invisible heroes, theory

The boys were born on the same day in the same year: February 12, 1809. Both were intensely private. Each boy lost his mother in early childhood. Neither was close to his father.

The two never met but together they tipped the world on its axis and made it wobble for 100 years.

You know the story of the first one; born in a log cabin, taught himself to read by the light of the fireplace, wrote with charcoal on the back of a shovel because there was no paper in the house, became a […]

Roy H. Williams · July 06, 2015
Invisible Hero

What makes us “America”?

If you were to name a single incident in American history that you feel was America’s finest hour, what would it be?

Would it be a moment of patriotic sacrifice?

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”
– Nathan Hale, [Sept. 22, 1776]

A moment of relentless determination?

“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”
– Admiral David Farragut [Aug. 5, 1864]

A […]

Roy H. Williams · June 29, 2015
Invisible Hero

Excerpted from remarks delivered by Spider Robinson,
(Award-winning author of more than 30 bestselling books,)
At the Trade and Convention Centre, Vancouver,
On international Literacy Day, September 8, 1990,

Paul Simon once said that “…the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls/and tenement halls…” I have myself recently seen the future writ large upon my own sidewalk.

Due to the recent construction of four megaboxes […]

Roy H. Williams · June 22, 2015
Invisible Hero

It’s 1933, the lowest point in America’s Great Depression, when Max Gaines loses his job as a novelties salesman and is forced to crowd into his mother’s house with his wife, Jessie, and their two small children. Adolph Hitler has just been named chancellor of Germany. It’s a dreary, overcast day.

The only cheer Max can find is in some old, Sunday funny papers that he finds stored in his mother’s attic. Smiling as he reads the panels, it occurs to him that maybe other people […]

Roy H. Williams · June 15, 2015
2015-0615-Paulo-Freire-BW

Paulo Freire was born in northeastern Brazil in 1921. When he was eight, the depression of 1929 struck his family hard and Paulo knew hunger for the first time. “I could not understand the lessons of primary school. I got zero. I cried, I suffered. I was hungry and feeling guilty.” By 1939 the family’s economic situation had improved. “I began to eat more, and then I began to understand everything.”

Growing up poor gave Paulo Freire a unique perspective. During his university […]