"Men are not prisoners of fate, but only of their own minds." – Franklin Delano Roosevelt
My manifesto is a declaration of how I see myself, the world, and my place in the world. Who am I? What am I about? What drives me?
We each can live an ethical and honorable life and touch and impact others. It is the momentary choices we make every day that matters. It is one thing to talk and write and philosophize about integrity and health and fitness and faith—I have to live it. This I strive to do.
We don’t just live for now and for ourselves with the goal to become financially independent and lead comfortable lives.
I am a creationist and believe there is life after the physical life we live right now. Helen Keller said it so well: ͞I believe in eternal life because I have within me eternal longings. Yes, it’s called faith.
During my six decades of life, I have witnessed the power of compassion and mercy—as well as the devastation in its absence.
As a physician, I will continue to practice ethical medicine. Ethical physicians heal, they don’t hurt or harm. (This applies to my patients, colleagues, students, co-workers, and the public.) Money will always be secondary.
I have found a voice in writing. Through it I have found strength and healing.
Storytelling changes lives.
My goal as a writer is to touch, challenge, and transform—to have a profound impact on the reader. Whether it is nonfiction, fiction, blogging, memoir, essay, short story, or poetry—the goal is to make the reader pause, compel them to think, sometimes make them catch their breaths, and hopefully, initiate change. Yes, I want to entertain them, make them laugh; make them weep, but also inform and inspire, and above all, challenge them to grow.
If we never challenge the status quo (and ourselves), seek the truth, come up with better models, and push beyond our comfort zones, nothing can ever change or improve or grow.
Freedom, without borders and limits, can soon achieve the opposite: enslavement. Speech (or writing or any creative endeavor), which instigates hate, threatens, insults, harms and destroys, is not free. It’s called abuse and tyranny. No amount of sugarcoating can change that.
I strive to never become complacent.
There’s always something new (and amazing) to learn.
It’s a good idea to remain a student for life. This does not imply that I do not master certain skills, but will continue my quest to grow and learn and master new competencies.
- I strive to be assertive, not arrogant.
- I strive to remain compassionate and not become callous and indifferent.
- I strive to remain respectful of others—irrespective of their age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, social status, occupation, or worldview.
It is my goal to make a living in an ethical way.
I believe serious artists should not starve.
Too often individuals (and wider society) are silenced by leaders, by governments, and by organizations. Through fear and intimidation and disinformation and physical harm, individuals and society are controlled and ruled and bullied into apathy and silence.
Abuse of any kind is wrong. Workplace abuse is still abuse.
It is my duty to be cognizant and to speak up.
It is my goal to help victims of abuse move toward healing, become survivors, and then grow toward victors, healed witnesses, who have found a new voice, new hope, and with it, a new life. It will often not be easy. The cycle of abuse will never end unless victims are guided toward becoming victors, and perpetrators and abusers are held accountable.
There is much hate, contempt, indifference, suffering, and despair in the world. I strive to not add to this. In my writing, and through my actions, it is my goal to help alleviate some of this.
There is also much beauty, wonder, love, compassion, healing, and endless possibilities that surround us. I will strive to add to that.
Individuals can be empowered, inspired, and guided toward the light.
We all search for meaning.
We all search for hope.
We need hope—everlasting hope.
I believe in grace, also in God’s grace.
I believe in mercy.
True strength is found in kindness.
When we learn to walk in the light, In God’s light, it all becomes a little easier. Only then, does it all makes sense.
I do not claim to have all the answers. I do not claim to be without fear or fault. I have failed many times. What I have learned is this: quitting is not an option. I do not claim it is easy—it is not.
I would like to be referred to, and one day be remembered as, "a man, an artist without ego, someone who touched people’s hearts."
This is what I believe and why I write and tell stories. Storytelling changes lives. You and I can make a difference. We need each other. You and I can touch people’s lives, their hearts. We can empower others. We can offer hope and some laughter and some healing.
The choice is ours.