Happiness statistics may be most valuable in smaller, local discussions. Understanding how different sorts of programs affect the well-being of citizens would be enormously helpful to a mayor choosing between building a new bridge or offering a tax cut.
Grounded in the natural philosophy of the Middle Ages, alchemy formed a bridge: on the one hand into the past, to Gnosticism, and on the other into the future, to the modern psychology of the unconscious.
If all my bridge coach ever told me was that I was 'satisfactory,' I would have no hope of ever getting better. How would I know who was the best? How would I know what I was doing differently?
I'm involved in quite a few ministries as a bridge builder, trying to match generous givers and donors to other ministries. Based on my past, I'm also involved in mainly the prison ministry. I go to jails and prisons and share my story, trying to give them some hope.
I'm a 'tweener,' man! I couldn't march with Dr. King and them. And I'm too old to be a hip-hopper. But I've been granted honorary status in each generation... I see my tongue as a bridge over which ideas can travel back and forth.
In education, technology can be a life-changer, a game changer, for kids who are both in school and out of school. Technology can bring textbooks to life. The Internet can connect students to their peers in other parts of the world. It can bridge the quality gaps.
I loved science, and when I discovered Buddhist meditative practices and martial arts, I was able to bridge those ways of knowing the world into my own unique way. From that grew the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, which became my karmic assignment.
Theater is a space where you cross over from everyday life, because there are real people in that moment moving in front of you - you're being invited to believe in a story and cross that bridge.
One thing 'not right' on the 50th anniversary of the Selma marches is the sad fact that the Edmund Pettus Bridge hasn't been renamed the John Lewis Bridge.
I like to see myself as a bridge builder, that is me building bridges between people, between races, between cultures, between politics, trying to find common ground.