1.5, 6.5, 4... 12 hours

Do we define friendship in minutes, hours, days, years?

I define it in respect.

Respect for how you live your life. The goals you set... the people you choose to share milestones and misery with...the effortless way you greet me... the confidence I feel when I say I know you.

I set a goal with this house project, I reached out for something that I was not certain I would be able to hold onto... almost like chasing a butterfly...almost too delicate to truely grab and hold... so it is constantly IN and OUT of your grasp. It can be frustrating, and overwhelming.

But I have friends.

Some of whom I knew not what incredible level of commitment they would showcase over the last year and a half .... on my behalf... most of which, I still struggle to feel deserving of.

But yet still... I have friends.

And in a quiet hotel room in Tempe, Arizona... one such friend calms his spirit to a whisper as he prepares himself for his own butterfly. On Sunday, a friend and growahouse patriot, Eric, will endure a twelve hour mystical and physical journey into the limits of his abilities as he begins and completes his first Ironman Race.

  • 2.4 Mile Swim
  • 112 Mile Bike Ride
  • 26.2 Mile Run
  • This Herculean effort is daunting to most, maybe even to Eric.... but like a true growahouse veteran, he will meet it on the battlefield nonetheless.

    If I could make the water more buoyant, the wheels faster, or the tailwind stronger...

    I would.

    Unlike the 450 lb countertop or the impromptu flight of stairs, and despite my strongest desires to help...this is not a burden that I can share with you.

    But I CAN wish you well... I CAN think good thoughts for jersey #277...

    ....and I WILL summon the full breadth of the growahouse spirit and community energy in welcoming you back to its hallowed halls next weekend.

    Good luck tomorrow, old friend. Breathe easy.

    river currents

    I think I started this entry last November on the streets of Denver, Colorado. I had come to the conclusion that my life was way too hectic for me to manage in my current mind state and that trying to manage the madness in "mountain time" was equally as ridiculous. So I'm walking the streets of mile high city and I see a ne're-do-well couple having an intense argument. It was the kind of argument that made me stop and worry because it looked like it could get violent..... but in my distant and silent anticipation...they were dysfunctionally picture perfect...on mute...they were in the heart of the city quietly and verbally pushing and pulling amidst columns and amphitheatres, and monoliths. It made me think.....How do we design public spaces?

    Do we design for breakups? Do we design for mid-day lunches?... for siestas?....for lunches when she said yes to eat with you outside, and the other person you only invited as a buffer unexpectedly cancelled?... Do we design for chance encounters? Do we design for the “good and the bad”... ?

    I walked 4.2 miles last night in my meandering trek home... it was just too nice outside to not keep walking...to not keep moving. I walked across the Sousa Bridge, the Anacostia River breathing heavily below. I stopped midway to look into the black. I noticed, as always, that there are granite benches carved into the bridge, but they face inward... why would I want to look at traffic? I want to look at the river... to feel its pulse and know that it is the life blood of the city that I just traversed....

    Can I design for that?

    For that late night Anacostia River walk on a unexpectedly warm day in Washington.... for my 21-year old Italian past that slept along the Tiber?.... for an honest early morning reflection of an amazing yesterday while on the shores of the Charles?

    Can I design my life to flow with my rivers?

    wipe all four feet at the door, friend

    In strong defiance to the designer dog condominium culture permeating the sleek new corridors, coffee shoppes, and neighborhood parks across the river, growahouse welcomed its first four legged visitor this weekend... ... in all his well-behaved-not-a-poodle-so-I-can-shed-if-I-want-plus-I-don't-do-sweaters-but-I-do-speak-hindi-100%-mongrel glory.

    I hope you enjoyed the chicken apple sausage, homie.

    dungyness melody

    A football aficionado I am not. Moreover, I hasten to reveal that I am at best... a person with a fair weather appreciation for the gridiron, (unacceptably offensive Washington DC mascots not withstanding)

    Last night, the Colts, their coach Tony Dungy, and their rainy south Florida victory in the super bowl... highlighted a necessary character trait for which my appreciation is infinite.

    Less is More.

    It is said that at the beginning of the season, Dungy, with a calm and stirringly gentle voice, said to his team... "I want you to pay attention to what I'm saying, because this is as loud as you will hear me speak all season."

    In essence, it's the proverbial catch more flies with honey, than with vinegar.

    I spent the latter half of the superbowl nailing 1/4 inch rubber weatherproofing strips to the interior seam of the giant front doors to keep Jack Frost at bay... and as the bitter northeastern cold front chattered the back of my teeth... I thought about less being more... about governance through quiet respect, as opposed to aggressive fear or better yet... thunderous intimidation.

    I feel that in a world where we grow our homes and lives understanding that we have individual responsibility for shared fate... it is the quiet voice that will resonate and sustain long after the loud eco-bandwagon has run its course. Mind you, the aggressive proponents of green living should not be chastised or undervalued... but if we have learned nothing else from inability of the solar panel industry to thrive in America or even from the demise quality hip-hop music... we should know... that eventually momentum fades and mediocrity takes its place.

    Unless... you change the character of people, as well as, their habits.

    Well done, Tony.

    national geographic

    This is a tale of felines, warm winters, and destiny. "Its not global warming, its el nino."

    They lied to you about global warming... so don't believe the El Nino hype that wearing board shorts mid January is perfectly normal. It was 70 degrees in DC this past weekend... huh?... I watched folks playing ultimate frisbee on The Mall like they were catching a breather during summer session Calc II at GW.

    Its Not Normal... Its Not Good.

    What do five of the last six years have in common?

    The hottest years on record, since they started recording temperature.

    So with my windows open mid January... I'm painting on the first floor and I look out to see one of my friendly backyard cats(white with grey patch) stalking a squirrel in my oak tree. It was nothing short of fascinating. For ten minutes, the cat sat patiently at the bottom of the tree... eager, but stoic in preparation and then as though the veil of silence had been lifted abruptly ...potential energy burst into kenetic and the cat was 10 feet in the tree at the squirrel nest in three bounds.

    No Luck.

    The squirrels were quick and as the cat sat in their nest, not triumphant, but somehow accomplished... I couldn't help but think of another cat... (black, white patch). Struck by a car at the bottom of the block roughly 6 months ago. I have watched, unabated by timely removal and unaided by winter's snowy promise lost...I have watched this creature slowly and effortlessly unexist.

    During my daily jaunt down to the bus stop, I stop habitually to notice milestones of this gradual procession into the earth. In stark contrast to the vibrant prey-seeking feline that stirred my soul and stopped the progression my painting, this daily reminder exists for several reasons.

  • So that I remember that life is fleeting.
  • So that I understand that all things are connected... all things are... in life and death... connected. One feeds another. One eats, ones becomes food.
  • I mean imagine if the white cat had caught the squirrel, then got hit by the car... the cat and the squirrel would then feed the ground they laid on... together.

  • So that I repeat my most essential question... what do I do, with the time I am given?
  • a new beginning

    Some have undoubtedly been waiting for some new year's message of encouragement and optimism... a verbal testament to the audacity of hope. well.

    I have spent the first fortnight of 2007 agressively recording my thoughts. I will start to share some of them with you in a thinly veiled attempt open myself up to you... to be overtly candid.... to be free thinking... and to explore my potential by not hiding my more private emotions. The intent is that by sharing my prose I will get to the core of something within... that will hopefully make me:

    a more dynamic designer... a more accountable person...

    and if nothing else...

    a more honest soul...

    I'm not sure what I will unearth... but I think its important for all of us.


    zapatos de navidad

    I awoke this morning in the still of the night. The sun had not yet burst free of its nocturnal bondage and I, alert and engaged, stood on a balcony… in a distant city… wondering if the lights on the houses in the distant view below were symbols of the souls that laid asleep within their walls. Soft yellow hue glowing symbols… subdued energy… peaceful brilliance. As the depth of the sky’s darkness crept further into my pajama’d silhouette, I had a phone conversation with a great friend, who like me, was searching for meaning in the morning stillness. The conversation, like the friend, brought some amiable answers to questions… some simple solace to the morning… some purposeful prologue to Christmas.

    As many are aware, I am transitioning my thoughts from growing a house to growing a village. There is a shift in focus that is far more altruistic. It’s less about me, nyahmean? The burgeoning complexity of the transition is, at times, difficult to wrap my brain around. I have not yet completed the house… have not yet matched the reality with the intent and here I am… trying to think about the next step.

    But that is my path… my star in the night.

    In seamless timing with my soul searching, I received as a gift a pair of Starbury sneakers. They came to me at a time when I was looking for simple answers to complicated questions. Typically, sneakers tied to professional athletes cost over $100. This high cost can contribute to additional problems/ persistent inequalities for consumers that face financial hardship, a condition that encompasses a large percentage of the sneakers’ buyers. At $9.98 for mine, an athlete saw an opportunity to break a chain of negative decision making in various communities by simply charging a price for his sneakers that was congruent with the cost of producing them.

    Complex problem…simple answer… exponentially positive results… village growing.

    They’re brilliantly inspiring people out there to help us embrace the answers to the questions that drive us…

    …if only we awake searching.

    Merry Christmas

    3rd bowl of porridge

    So I ventured out last night to find a watering hole that would welcome me into the election night political scene. First stop, Capitol Hill.

    So I dip into a politiki hot spot called Hawk & Dove. 1 minute, 37 seconds later I emerged shaken, but not deterred. It was just WAY too crowded and WAY too monochromatic. I was definitely the sole representative of Team Brown. Make no mistakes, I'm all too familiar with "being the diversity" of any given room of two hundred people, but this crowd was just WAY too rowdy and aggressive. It was not a pleasant vibe. Granted, this is capital hill, so they had Election results blaring, charts and diagrams, big screens with talking heads talking their heads off.

    It was DC on Election Night!! You can't get that anywhere else.

    Second Stop.

    Still in Capitol Hill, I dip into this spot called Pour House.

    Take that first experience and multiply it by 2. Needless to say... I spent all of 42 seconds in there and I was homeward bound.

    Third Stop.

    Not to be defeated, after a quick bus ride, I went with an old favorite... Trusty's. Not too far from home, this spot is always tame and relaxed. There were three non-profit type women at the bar and me. It's the kind of bar that you could imagine being a regular in... Assuming that you are looking to be a regular in a bar.

    They weren't even playing the election on the TVs. These cats were watching Seinfeld and some basketball game.


    "Hey barkeep, you mind switching the channel on one of these screens to the election.... oh and uh... Can a brother get a half smoke w/ onions sautéed in Bourbon while I check these stats online?


    get your vote on

    I, as I'm sure many of you did, exercised my voting ability this morning for the midterm congressional elections.

    I slept at my parents’ house last night and voted in Maryland. I haven't "officially" transferred my permanent residency to DC and I decided that today would be a good day to end my civic responsibilities to the Crab State on a positive note.

    What is unfortunate is that moving to Washington, "the cradle of democracy," means that I no longer have a say in National politics.

    That is not cool.

    DC is all about taxation without representation. I can vote for local politics... mayor... school board... but other than that... and the presidential election...

    I got nuthin.

    Anyway, it is my hope.... nay.... my intent... to find some political hot spot watering hole to hang out in tonight and watch the election results come in. It’s an important night for the city... there are a lot of vested interests at stake with the power structure in congress and I'm gonna watch it go down.

    not for you, darling

    From the desk of growahouse... A letter to the "angry" woman on the bus last Tuesday.

    At first I thought that your anger filled words about the city's changing demographics were the mere rants of a mad woman... the unabridged, volatile cursing of an irritable, misaligned, urban heretic...

    In retrospect, it was a protective instinct in my subconscious that kicked in and inspired that opinion. I wanted to protect the over packed bus riders from your verbal assault... to protect the school age Halloween costumed youths from a bad example of how to engage society... but ultimately to protect myself from having to acknowledge that your poor delivery, does not negate the importance of your message.

    In this city's the path of change, there are casualties. Those casualties are not numbers, percentages, nor forwarding mail addresses.

    They are people.

    They are you.

    The influx of wealth to your Washington neighborhood, will probably mean, as you stated, that you will be pushed out of your home. I don't know what form that push will take. It may be economic through property taxes, rent hikes, or physically through new construction. It might just mean that the 1.2M condos on your corner with the Harris Teeter on the first floor will attract more people that aren't like you and you will be culturally alienated. I don't know.

    What I do know is that people have more potential to grow and learn in diverse environments. I believe that your neighborhood will benefit from having the full gamut of incomes and cultures represented. Granted, that may not be what happens. Your neighborhood might flip from impoverished to wealthy over night, become a high end monoculture, and miss the boat on diversity all together..... but let's just say it doesn't. Let's say it becomes a diverse social/economic Mecca for various Washingtonians, old and new.

    It still might not be for you, darling.

    And I think that amidst a bus ride of stingingly inappropriate epithets, that was your message. Not that any type of change was inherently bad, but that any type of change... would be your undoing.

    Your pain is not necessarily about the train that's coming... it's about the fact that you don't have a ticket. That is a lot to manage and I can barely imagine how I would respond in your place.... how I would respond if I felt overlooked by everybody around me... even everybody on this bus... ....perhaps I would shout so people would pay attention.

    You might have difficultly expressing yourself, but you're not crazy.

    I understand that now.

    public policy poetry

    Lunchtime yesterday was a refreshing change from my usual peanut butter and jelly on wheat. I attended the Washington DC Economic Development Partnership Expo at the DC Convention Center. For the most part, it was suits and smiles, handkerchiefs and handshakes. The intent of such a meeting is to gather all the players in the current and future economic growth of the city under one roof for a couple of hours... let them talk and network... entertain and feed them... and then go home.

    I was fortunate enough to have two delightful experiences back to back. The first was an inspired lecture from Richard Florida.

    I am very familiar with Richard's work, which studies the need and methods of harnessing human capital in urban environments. The Creative Class, as he defines it, is the conglomeration of diverse peoples with diverse skills in a given metropolis and how that critical mass is the most powerful engine of creating phenomenal places to live, work, and grow.

    Even back in Pittsburgh, he was always a bit of a rock star in the otherwise dry realm of economic development. Yesterday, he did not disappoint. Having moved from the 'burgh down to DC a few years ago... his insight on the climate of Washington was fresh and inspiring... I believe that I will write him a letter and tell him about the house progress. I am going to need some advice as to the next evolution from growahouse to growavillage.

    The second takeaway from the meeting yesterday was a young spoken word poet that graced the stage after Richard's lecture. She had a line that stuck with me and I feel it is worth while repeating.

    "I realized that I have to change the way I look at things until the things I look at change."


    300 plus

    As many are aware, this morning the US population crossed the 300 million marker.

    Insignificant to some, ominous to others.

    While watching TV last night, I was reminded of an ongoing joke I have had with folks at my office for the past few years in which I tell everyone to make their kids take Mandarin classes. I say this because I have been closely following the unprecedented industrialization of China and its 1.3 Billion people.

    While I build a house, and while many of you look at buying homes in new small communities in Everywhere, America...

    China is building cities.

    Yes, I said "cities" plural... like 50+ of them. 40% of the worlds construction. Imagine 50 new Washington, DC's in 10 years.

    Anyway, as we mark this monumental occasion in which we are celebrating mankind's unchecked population dominion over the world, I am reminded of a conversation I had with a great friend several months ago...

    Me: China has to be unrelenting in pursuing sustainable, environmentally sensitive, and energy efficient strategies as they industrialize their nation.

    Friend: Oh I see... They really have to be mindful because they are all going to be in dense urban environments and since they have a lot of people moving in from the countryside, they have to be green in their approach or they’ll be kinda screwed with pollution, and energy costs....

    Me: No, no, no.... that’s true... but there is more to it.... We have spiked the world’s population in the last 50 years and put a strangle hold on the global immune system... we are all connected now....

    If China doesn't industrialize sustainably....

    ...we are all screwed.

    city limits

    My train came in at about 3:00am this morning. I had an eclectic matrimonially abundant weekend in New York. It was refreshing. What wasn't refreshing was my difficulty catching a cab from Union Station over to SE Washington. Granted, I might have been overly naive at the notion that my metropolitan attitude, travel methods, and corduroy blazer were enough to transcend the whole being a "black man trying to catch a cab thing."

    I felt like I was back in high school (three blocks away) at a friday night mixer in the gymnasium asking some girl to dance with me... asking her to pick me... subconsciously asking her to acknowledge that I was good enough... asking to be judged... sowing the all too common adolescent seeds of self loathing convinced that if she didn't chose me, it was my fault.

    My first mistake was walking across the street from the station because the crowd waiting for cabs was way too long. In retrospect, the credibility of the Train Station would have helped me out.

    Across the street...I waved. I pointed at over a dozen empty cabs. When the few drivers that bothered to slow down leaned out of their windows to ask my destination, I tried to make my home sound more "Capital Hill South", less "Southeast Propper." It was an exercise in futility. Finally, I stood in front of a nice hotel down the block in an attempt to seem like I was a guest. It was oddly successful.

    Oh... the best part... I went into the hotel to get the phone number for a cab company and the concierge told me (through the door, cus opening the door would have been way too polite) that everybody was asleep and that I wouldn't be able to call a cab, so he couldn't help me.


    I just need the number, dude. I'm not trying to rob you...

    Did you not see the corduroy blazer?

    talking' bout the carwash

    I made my first trip to my local car wash last weekend. In the true tradition of old school neighborhood vehicular shine spots... this place was alive with people and music. Everyone playing a unique and vital role in the seamless movement from interior vacuum to window wash to hubcap scrub to wheel well wax... it was fun.

    It reminded me of being a child... manually pushing down the radio antennae and then waiting eagerly with my brother because our parents were going to let us ride in the back of the light blue wood panel Buick Regal station wagon as it made that long mechanical march through the tunnel of water, soap, and gimungous spinning brushes.

    But I'm no longer a child and so for better or worse... my antennae is tuned into a different station. What my receiver picks up is not the dynamic of the machine... but mechanics if the people that sustain it.

    From my turn into the car wash driveway to the vacuum station and then to my solo walk down the long time warp corridor, in which I can vaguely make out blinking signs beyond the looking glass that say things like "Applying Turtle Wax NOW", I am greeted with brown face after brown face after brown face....which makes sense... black neighborhood... black people working at the car wash. No surprises there... but as I approach the ancient sign that reads "Cashier" I am greeted by a middle-aged Asian man and woman.... again no surprises. Asian entreprerneurs have a long listory of investing comercially in predominently black neighborhoods. Nevertheless, the man then leaves the cashier booth and begins to berate the noticeably idle employees on drying duty outside the vehicle exit. It was unpleasant to watch... he was an angry boss... talking down to his employees... needless to say...I didn't like the situation.

    Here's the rub...

    No one likes to see people getting yelled at and treated badly... fine... and no one likes to pay people to stand around... fair...but what role does race and culture play in my ability to see this situation clearly. What predispositions am I bringing to this observation?

    and most importantly...

  • How can I, as a professional, incorporate a keen understanding of this perception/reality of my neighborhood paradigm into design?
  • How can thoughtful design make the owner less likely to yell, and the employee less likely to idle?
  • pigeon rhythm

    So in my efforts to maintain my sanity, I have been trying a little morning yoga meditation to calm myself down before I walk around in the money pit that I call home. I have to say that it might be working. I feel a bit more centered... a bit more focused... a bit more enthusiastic... a bit more ... well... a bit less like trading in my tool belt for a one way plane ride to Paraguay.

    I even started noticing positive energy around me. After my lunch yesterday, I took a nap out in a nearby park an as I awoke I saw two pigeons grooming each other. I thought that was only a silver back gorilla habit... but no... these pigeons were helping each other out... it was very peaceful.

    But this morning, after an exhaustive night of cutting tiles for the third floor bath (I hate tile cutting by the way)... I was less than eager to greet the new morning with energetic stretching (namaste shout out) and I left the house... without my morning cup of yoga.

    Bad Idea.

    I feel like an old man with a bad back and a dwindling will to push through the day. I might as well turn back around and head to the airport. What airline flies to Paraguay?

    Light the fuse

    As football moves into the semi finals (sorry Brasil) and the nation marks its two hundred thirty some odd birthday... I find myself planning my barbeque appearances and pub soccer viewings and all the while feeling very pedestrian. I have been riding the bus like its going out of style.... and I can't get enough. It forces you to calm down. It forces you to be patient. It forces you to plan ahead.

    Did I bring my laptop? What about my schedule? Did I forget my camera charger?... what about reading material? Is it supposed to rain?

    Being pedestrian, to a certain degree, forces you to be.... thoughtful.

    This is not groundbreaking testimony by any means... but it does support my theory that the transition to a more urban lifestyle with shared resources and shared space... can lead to a more intentional life.... a more engaging life.

    By the way, every kid in the neighborhood under 14 with access to fire, has a pocket full of fireworks. The past week has been a non-stop assault of fire crackin, bottle rocketin, and m-80 madness.

    transit tales: part deux

    I am a bus rider. It is who I have become and I embrace it. Make no mistakes... I love biking and I can bike to my office in about 22 minutes. But the summertime heat is making itself known and I have little to no interest in arriving to work feeling... swampy.

    So... I say again... I am a bus rider. It allows me to actively promote mass transit, leisure read, and people watch. The ladder of which will fuel the remainder of this post.

    So I'm riding the bus and I am analyzing the passengers, moving about, sitting standing, old young, loud and insular, and representing every shade of brown. I'm standing near the rear exit and there is a women standing in front of me. Someone passes betwixt us to exit and as the doors are creeping to a close the standing woman leans down and tosses her crumpled bus transfer out of the bus.

    I was appalled.

    I did not see it coming and there it was... right in front of me. My first question to myself was why would she do that? But I then started to think that the psychological parameters of such a question were way too vast.

    I needed a better question.

    Did she think that littering was okay? Did she understand the consequence of her actions? Did she think that because the bus was bound for Southeast Washington, that her trash would just be one piece of many that accumulate exponentially as you journey out from the city center? Was she protesting against an archaic system of paper currency?

    All fair questions, yet all are inherently subjective?

    I needed a question that I can research, analyze, and get some concrete data.

    Lesson: People respond to data more than they respond to personal attacks.

    Then the right question hit me...

    Where did the bus transfer go?

    I figure that if I can follow the lifespan of a bus transfer from being ripped off the pad, to being tossed off the bus, to the sidewalk, to the storm sewer, to the watershed, to the river, etc... Then maybe I can stop the simply selfish mindless mayhem that is unleashed every time the Bus driver reaches for that pad.

    This may take a while.

    message sent

    I am admittedly a writer, a linguist, and a wordsmith of sorts... but I am desperately trying to be one part less a man of words and one part more a man of action. I delivered my first letter today. In a campaign to take growahouse to the doorstep of decision makers... I delivered my first letter to the man who inspired the last post... to a man who I have long admired for his commitment to the environment

    Al Gore.

    A chance book signing half a block from my office provided me with the opportunity to put word into action. Here are a few excerpts from my letter.

    We enter now, and forever, into an era of clear, and personal culpability for our rise or fall as a species.

    In an effort to amplify my voice, I started a website to chronicle my process… to chronicle the resistance and support of building a responsible house… of growing a home.

    I will continue to write passionately and responsibly as I engage whoever will listen in a dialog about how smart design can address both the poverty of a region and the poverty of mind within it.

    Thank you for being a voice for those that cannot speak, a beacon for those who answer the call of stewardship, and a conscience for those who choose to remain silent.

    Am I the only one with a pen?

    chicken little

    I had the opportunity to see a film yesterday called An Inconvenient truth

    I cannot stress enough the importance of seeing this film.

    It has galvanized my internal motivation, fortified my resolve, and supported every decision I have made in this house.

    Go see the film. Do it as a personal favor to me, or to yourself.

    The film follows Al Gore as he breaks down the severity of global warming in a concise and very real manner. It is unapologetically grim, and simultaneously hopeful. It left me feeling that I'm on the right path, but I can, must, and will do more.

    So here is the more: I'm going to begin a letter writing campaign of one. Maybe some of you will join me, but I'm starting right here at my desk.

    I wrote a letter to my council member when I started this house to alert him to my project and to begin a dialogue about green building, sustainable neighborhood policies, and overall intentional living.

    No response.

    So I'm going to send it again, and again, and again. And not just to him, because we cannot afford to wait.

    The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place, we are entering a period of consequences. -Winston Churchill

    transit tales

    I made a quick jaunt up to NY this weekend. As always, New York is a tasty cornucopia of flesh and brick fused together in a rhythmic dance, where the baseline beat is the rotating grind of turnstiles and the transition light pulse from green to amber to red and back to green. [Stage left][The second platform waiting for the D train UPTOWN] (A desolate scene loosely populated with strangers midway between pitch black tunnels...simultaneously reeking of urine and infinite possibilities) [ENTER] drunken man.

    There is no warning... just the fast paced visual as this guy, lets call him "Arsenio," takes a header off the platform right onto the tracks.

    It was instantly a tense situation.

    Having hours earlier been involved in an extensive dialogue about the bystander effect as detailed in "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell... I was instantly faced with the emotion of ... THAT GUY IS IN TROUBLE. SOMEONE ELSE WILL HELP HIM.


    When there are others around, the bystander effect allows us as individuals to transfer responsibility to the group evenly, thus... no "one" person is responsible and thus no "one" person is going to make a move.

    Its crazy.

    But it was fresh on my mind... and so I was able to have a rapid cognitive process to squelch those feelings and race to the edge of the platform, hand outstretched.

    As I tugged, another gentlemen, lets call him FonteLeroy, came to assist, and we pulled Arsenio to safety.

    FonteLeroy was empowered to help by my action, NOT by the initial gravity of Arsenio's situation. He had already transferred that responsibility to me. Now he was merely jumping onto the proverbial "train in motion."

    Why do we look for others to act in our place?

    Why, as a society, is it our place of comfort to do the minimum?