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Ten Ways You and I Can Help End Racism

In the past week, I have been involved in many conversations about protests and riots in America. Each conversation was different. But they revealed a common dislike of institutional and individual racism. These discussions about minorities, murder, rioting, and looting went here and there, from the rights of the oppressed to the rights of the […]

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Rubbing Us Right: The Common Ground Platform

I was on Facebook yesterday and got into a discussion with someone I had just met online. We formed one of those quick friend-of-a-friend, point-counter-point relationships. She asked me a question and told me that I was a fool if I didn’t answer it a certain way. I responded by asking her who benefits from […]

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The Hot Chili Pepper Pants Award

Chili pepper chef pants have a certain flavor and status. They are bright and loose. They imply that the wearer is hot. And they may become a symbol of achievement among river guides and adventure travel outfitters the world over. The first annual Hot Chili Pepper Pants Achievement Award went to longtime global white water […]

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China is Screwing Us

“It’s a story about us — people — being persuaded to spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need to make impressions that won’t last on people we don’t care about.” — Tim Jackson, Economist We have discovered, by hook or by crook, that China has been screwing us for quite some time. They have been screwing us, hammering […]

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Islands of Awe

As the days blend together in a stay-at-home haze, I find myself missing places and people that positively drop my jaw. Before the shutdown, I hadn’t taken those things for granted, but I know I could have appreciated them more. One of the things that got us into trouble with this virus and our wobbling […]

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When Mother Earth Hands You Your Ass

There are many life metaphors and sayings that reference rivers and water. “Go with the flow.” “It felt like I was swimming upstream.” “Don’t drift away.” “Still waters run deep.” The list goes on. Professional river guides drift a lot. Most of our time on a raft is spent between rapids, literally going with the […]

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Lions and Dolphins and Dogs (and Love)

By a show of hands, how many of you out there like the recent news stories about the animal shelters with no more dogs available for adoption? It seems like we have time on our hands, maybe some loneliness, and love in our hearts. So we are adopting dogs. Please raise your hand if you […]

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The Key to Successful Mass Movements: It's Not What You Think

Gandhi sat in cold damp cells and ate nothing for weeks. Susan B. Anthony marched for decades. Nelson Mandela reflected on change under a scalding sun. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus. Cesar Chavez walked row after row of California crops. And Erin Brockovich convinced hundreds of small-town residents to […]

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Common Ground Zero: The Launchpad for Change

The Sacramento, California, Golden 1 Center holds about 19,000 people for rock concerts. If Twenty One Pilots are playing there, it feels like a million fans—or only two or maybe even just one—are in attendance. As I listened to everyone loudly singing every word to every song, it seemed like a million people. When I […]

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We All Look Up in Wonder at the Same Moon

I created this video a few years ago, but realize how appropriate it is today. As we each face the sadness and uncertainty of our virus, it is important to honor those that have left us too soon and to remember that our differences pale compared to our commonness.  

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