Does your heart beat for “America’s Most Unwanted?”

Today’s Seven Sentence post is from our new regular contributor Rose Angulo. Rose is an attorney who represents people on death row in Southern California.


It is easy to be moved with compassion for a child. You would have to be pretty cold-hearted not to be affected at all by the photos of impoverished, hungry children that numerous charities use for fundraising; it’s so clear that children are not at fault for the unfortunate situations in which they find themselves.

So we pat ourselves on the back for dropping change in the bucket to “save the children” as we leave the grocery story, our carts filled to the brim with potato chips, ice cream, and all sorts of gluttonous treats that we view as necessities in this culture.

But at some point, it seems, people age out of our capacity for compassion. When we see a gruff-looking man panhandling outside of the store, our brains come up with a million reasons why his begging is an insult and we convince ourselves that at some point between an impoverished childhood and adulthood, the playing field evens itself out, relieving us of any responsibility to use our resources to help.

My elderly friend David, who’s been homeless for over thirty years as a result of extreme childhood poverty combined with an adulthood characterized by trauma and mental illness, often sits with a sign that says “American’s Most Unwanted” because he believes that’s how society sees him.

What can you do to maintain the compassion and empathy you feel for a child, even when a person’s innocence and common humanity is not as obvious as it once was?

Hope Love and Beauty

Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus

Today’s excellent book review of Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus comes from Author Alice Spicer.

What if time travel already exists?

This is the premise behind the masterpiece, Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card, is that if time travel will ever exist, it actually already exists, and what we currently perceive as reality may be an alternative reality created by people from the future with the power to manipulate the past.

Through time travel, the parallel narratives of Tagiri, a researcher at Pastwatch, an organization that observes and studies the past, and Columbus, the 15th century explorer, converge, resulting in a new timeline shaped by unconventional spiritual and psychological subterfuge, sabotage, genetically engineered viruses, and penis needles.

Yes, penis needles — which make perfect sense in the context of the story..

My favorite line, “Having finished this most impious and offensive prayer, Columbus could not sleep until at last, no less angry than before, he flung himself out of bed and knelt again” highlights my favorite aspect of the story, that is, Cristoforo’s unique view of God.

Pastwatch compels the introspective reader to think deeply about how one’s current decisions and actions may cause ripple effects in the continuum of personal relationships that spread further than we ever imagined possible.

Although this book is fiction, it is loaded with truth about the human condition and the idea that “Happiness is not a life without pain, but rather a life in which the pain is traded for a worthy price.”


Get It From Amazon

Fighting to be Heard

Today’s incredibly powerful true story is from Rachel Wilson, the screenwriter of Be Heard – a short film written, acted in, directed by and produced by survivors of abuse, under the mentorship of industry professionals. She is also an English teacher, writing coach and personal development mentor. Her new blog Write Well Do your Thing is set to be launched June 2015, until then you can find her at Rachel Teaches English.

What if the part of me I believe I must hide – the raw wretched core I hold onto for all I’m worth – is what someone else is crying out for?

That life-changing thought occurred to me on a day when all else was normal; after thirty-five years scribbling into journals, wrecking my neck with the force of my pen: journals tumbling out of boxes in the attic; journals spilling out from under my bed; journals full of words for no one to read.

You see I’d spotted an opportunity: one which launched my heart into my ribcage: two fears in one: terrifying exposure if I took it; brutal disappointment – in myself – if I didn’t:

I fought my urge to flee and used the adrenaline to stay and fight: for my truth and for others who believe the shame they wrongly carry should forever remain their own private burden. I set aside my journals and dug deep, channelling all preparation for this moment into four pages of screenplay: I attached them to an email and on the dot of the midnight deadline for a script contest called Be Heard, in a half-crazed state, I pressed send.

I had no expectation: I only did it because I had to: I needed to know what would happen if, for once, I didn’t silently swallow this small voice asking: “what if I let myself do this?”

I received an answer to that question some days later: “Your script has been selected to be produced”: it turned out that the hardest part of my story was exactly what was wanted… imagine that.


Fighting To be Heard Movie

Copyright 2015 –  Rachel Wilson

My Favourite Book: The Magus

Today’s excellent book review of “The Magus“ comes from writer and designer, Donald M. Henzi.

I had already read two books by John Fowles, when “The Magus” was published. After reading and re-reading the book, I became a great admirer of Fowles.

With this work, Fowles has definitely made it into the list of my absolute favorite English authors of the older generation (this list contains among others Alan Sillitoe, Virginia Woolf, DH Lawrence, etc.) The Magus is so skillfully knitted together that I, as the reader was drawn from the very beginning into a jungle of confusion.

It was as though I was snatched into a fantastic maze of psychological games – in the form of this mysterious drama, that entered forcefully into the core of my soul. Again and again I was seduced to page backwards and reread certain passages once more.

This book demands courage and a good deal of stamina, but the adventure is absolutely worth the risk.

Get It From Amazon!


May the bridges I burn light the way

Today’s Seven Sentence Blog post is written by regular contributor John Caswell, the Founder & CEO of a very innovative global management company called Group Partners based in London. He describes himself as the Head of Crayons.


I’m probably slow… yes I’m slow.

All my life, the minute I got comfortable with something, anything, I got uncomfortable with it, the way I had arranged my room, the girlfriend, my books… everything waned.

All the while people around me seemingly happy to stay with a given situation, forever, marriage, job, type of automobile, it killed me, I couldn’t see any attraction in it whatsoever.

Ironically it took ages for the penny to drop, plain as a moose on a mountain bike, I looked around the room, it was full of dull people dying from sameness, and I saw that I was different, definitely not on the same page as everyone else.

So instead I built my own page, a great big page to literally draw fresh conclusions, and this became my contribution to this planet, utter dissatisfaction, big white walls and no compromise for ‘what is’… only for what matters.

By being restless, in perpetual challenge of what’s presented, I get to tear into it, to turn it outside up and upside in, burning down walls and building new bridges.

For me the creative life is deconstruction and reconstruction, getting rid of ‘what is’ with positive argument and debate, arguing hard for what ‘could be’, a mischievous obsessiveness for impact and outcome at the expense of dogma and our ridiculous authorities.

Light the way

Sitting on the Edge of Bankruptcy

Today’s Seven Sentence Blog post is written by regular contributor Dr. Keaton Smith, a Veterinary surgeon, blogger and author.

I was behind by several payments and the cash flow simply wasn’t there for my practice to continue. Late fees, taxes, insurance, and now payroll threatened to jump into the hole in my bank account that would have held them all with room for the moon, yet there was no equity in my recently-purchased practice with which to plug the gap.

My wife sat on the couch in our small, cold, falling-down, thousand-square-foot home and cried, “What are we going to do?”

I remember the stress on her face so vividly and my heart ached because I was the boss, the leader, the one who was supposed to be successful, and I was failing big time.

I considered quitting or selling off the real estate under my practice or striking a deal with the devil. However, in a moment of rare insight, I took a deep breath and with confidence I looked at my wife and said, “Tomorrow I will get up and go to work, just like today, and when the government or the bank or whomever decides to take it all away from me and give it to someone else, then and only then will I quit!”

That was fifteen years ago and we are still going strong — Never Give Up!


Dream of being a vet

That last email had a false start and has been disqualified

Written by Geoff Talbot — Co Founder of The Seven Sentence Blog

Apologies for the double blog post today, that last post escaped my clutches and eagerly ran to your inbox before I was finished… because she was so excited to talk to you.

On Friday, I shared very honestly about how great pride had recently caused me to stumble and fall (read).

One of the great things is that my stumbling really highlighted the need for some big changes at The Seven Sentence Blog. Opportunity is created, when we are forced to let go of things because what we lay down others can pick up.

I’m going to be doing way less and as a result I am thrilled to tell you that there are many incredible people are picking things up and contributing to our community.

Many new initiatives have been launched like “The Seven Sentence Book Club” and we have nine regular contributors, from Kentucky Veterinarian Dr. Keaton Smith, to death row attorney Rose Angulo.

I am the founder of The Seven Sentence Blog, but I am not The Seven Sentence Blog anymore, this blog is instead morphing into a global community of people who are determined to change the world in their own way, seven sentences at a time.


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