An Ancient Idea and New Expressions

There was a front page story in the Herald-Sun recently about Joe Parker, a retired school system employee who is the President of the Durham Civitan Club. Joe has been elected to a three year term to serve at the international leadership level of Civitan first as President Elect, then President and finally as immediate Past President. Congratulations Joe, we celebrate your service and the honor it brings the city but what really caught my interest in the article was a note that this year’s Civitan theme was “pay it forward.” It turns out that concept has ancient roots in philosophy, law and literature going back to the ancient Greeks. It is associated with names as diverse as Benjamin Franklin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Woody Hayes and Robert Heinlein. In 2000 Catherine Ryan Hyde’s novel Pay It Forward was published and adapted into a Warner Brothers film, Pay It Forward. In Ryan Hyde’s book and movie it is described as an obligation to do three good deeds for others in repayment of a good deed that one receives. Haley Joel Osment plays a struggling young boy and Kevin Spacey his teacher. As part of an assignment Osment’s character outlines an idea so simple that it could actually change the world. Eventually he becomes a martyr trying to live up to the ideal.

Kids need tutoring, playgrounds need building, shut-ins need meals, scouts need leaders and hundreds of causes need money. Suppose every one of our citizens…or just half…committed to three things they could do to pay their good fortune forward. The energy generated would be enormous. Pay It Forward can be our social currency. Need some ideas for how you can pay it forward? Two good places to start are at DurhamCares or The Volunteer Center of Durham.

Amendment 1

April 23, 2012

Vote “NO” I’ve been debating with myself whether expressing my opinion on Amendment 1, the proposed amendment to the North Carolina Constitution that would define marriage as a union between one man and one women is a good idea on a real estate website.  I’ve concluded that it is, simply because it affects the livability […]

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Carbon/Silicon – The News

August 1, 2011

Here’s a feel good anthem to cheer you up after the dreary debt ceiling debate. Thanks to Brian Clark who posted this on Google + . Speaking of Google +, I’m experimenting with it. Like what I see so far especially the “circle” thing.   Here’s the other video from the Full Frame Summer Camp […]

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Full Frame Doc Camp

July 27, 2011
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One Monday in July of last year, I took the opportunity as I often do to write up a little summary of the weekly program of the Durham Rotary Club for the Club’s bulletin. That particular Monday the write-up was about a program delivered by Deirdre Haj, the recently named Executive Director of the Full […]

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KidZNotes- Another Way Durham Will Distinguish Itself

December 12, 2010
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Another Fabulous Program from the Downtown Durham Rotary Club Note: This is republished from a write-up I did of a program presented to the Downtown Durham Rotary Club. The club is the largest Rotary club in our district and one of the ways we’ve been able to recruit and hold members is several years of […]

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Top Ten Durham Websites

June 10, 2010
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My Picks for the Ten Best Websites to Learn about Durham If you believe that the three most important things in real estate are location, location, location, it probably seems a little bit of a paradox that the descriptions most real estate agents write about their listings barely mention it. Part of this is just […]

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Ringing the Bells

December 18, 2009
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Watching the Snow Begin While Ringing the Bell for the Salvation Army. Spending an hour in the cold ringing the bell and trying to collect money for the Salvation Army isn’t the least bit praiseworthy especially when compared to the people in the Salvation Army who devote their lives to helping people in trouble and […]

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Durham – A Great Place to Live

October 20, 2009
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It took a while but I finally figured out how to place photos in the “media box” at the top of the column on the right of this page. Of the five pictures in the rotation only one, the aerial shot of Duke Chapel, was of something that was here in 1984 when I moved […]

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Durham is…

August 19, 2009
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As the chair of the PR committee for the Downtown Durham Rotary Club I often end up writing the report on the program for the weekly bulletin. Last Monday, Tom Bonfield, Durham’s new city manager and a member of the club presented the program. I’m re-publishing my write-up here because Mr. Bonfield made such a […]

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