Easter, Earth Day, & Saint Francis


Think of a moment when your fear was suddenly proved unfounded and you were surprised by joy.

A moment when something you thought you lost forever was found again and you could hardly believe your eyes.

Such was Easter, and it was a beautiful one indeed. Even if our pastor told Deanna and I that our late entry and sneaking in the side looked a bit like the walk of shame.


Happy Earth Day everybody.

Climate change stopped being an issue of debate and speculation for me a while ago. These are a few incredible women in Haiti I met last summer and they’re among the people most badly affected by unpredictable weather patterns, soil degradation, drought, deforestation, hurricanes, and all those other related issues.

They’re also some of our planet’s capable defenders. By doing things like promoting the use of organic fertilizers like they’re making here to planting dozens and dozens of trees each year, they can reduce about half the amount of carbon that an American individual puts out each year.

If you want to go beyond just Earth Day sentiments and help get involved, check out Plant With Purpose’s most recent post and website. A matching campaign for Earth Week has the potential to throw the effects of climate change in reverse in a community like Fonds Verrettes!


There’s this couple, The Salgados, who live in Brazil. Twenty years ago, they returned home after a few years living in Africa to see that everything was destroyed. The forest where they used to live was completely stripped of its trees and the land was barren.

Then they got busy. They planted saplings by the hundreds, then the thousands. Over time they replenished their land with 2 Million trees.

Now? The air is cooler. Wildlife has returned. The soil is strong and rich.

I only read about the Salgados, but I’ve seen this type of change in person. In Haitian communities and in villages beneath Mt. Kilimanjaro. I’m convinced that planting trees are some of the most valuable things we can do for the future.

They heal soil. The provide shade. They reduce temperature. They grow food. They slurp up carbon. What more could you want?

If you head over to Plant With Purpose this week, you can plant two trees for a buck. That means it doesn’t take much to grow a small forest somewhere. You can plant one whenever you wanna commemorate something. You can plant one when you travel and want to offset your emissions. You can plant one just cause.

And in time you’d be amazed what that little forest could do.


High Water [5].JPG

Do you prefer to go into a live show familiar with an artist’s work or latest album, or would you rather go in cold and let the live experience shape your ultimate impression of the music?

I tend to think that I’d prefer familiarity before going to a live show, cause it is pretty fun to be able to groove along. But I’ve also found myself able to appreciate some songs and albums so much more after a live show provided more life and context.

So I guess I’m split. It could turn out pretty great either way.


Have you seen that Dwayne Wade video?

Throughout the course of his final season, the basketball player has been trading his jersey with other star players like Lebron or Steph at the end of each game. Budweiser arranged for him to do a couple of other “jersey swaps.” A pair of sneakers from a Parkland shooting victim. (Wade vocalized his support for the school last year.) A graduation cap from a student he helped get a scholarship. A jacket from his own mom.

If you haven’t seen it yet, go! Check it out.

What I loved about that video is that it’s a reminder that our legacies don’t get built during our hero moments the way we expect. We prepare for those moments like they’re the NBA Finals, thinking that if we could hit some sort of milestone of success, we’d cement our legacies.

In truth, the stuff people end up remembering about us are the little things. The way we show up for our neighbors, our family, people in need. They happen in between daily activities and massive aspirations.


The Seuss Collection [1].JPG

Quit that beefing and go do something!

The last time I was at UCSD, I got to explore their Dr. Seuss collection and see some of his rough drafts, sketches, and B-sides. I thought more than a couple of these were pretty relevant and timely.

Speaking of people who want to stop complaining about the world and actually do something to make it better, I’m going to be back on campus this week to speak at the International Studies Association’s Career Night. I did the same gig last year and had so much fun talking to students who want to work internationally, who are interested in nonprofit or NGO work, etc.

In other words, most people in the audience will be like me eight years ago! Thursday night is gonna be a fun time.


Sainthood is quite a feat, but to be the kind of Saint artists always depict with animals is truly aspirational.

Not only do I admire St. Francis’ benevolence to all loving creatures, but he also always seems to have words that are timely, needed, and challenging.

Today’s quote that resonates?

“It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.”

It’s easier than ever to share opinions and everyone’s got something to say. Being able to articulate truth is a good thing. Being able to do so with more than your words is essential.

Philippe Lazaro