HuffPo and Daily Kos Help Carry My Thoughts to the World

I cannot claim mush credit for my progressive sentiments as it was my parents who rebelled against our family’s conservatism.  I was raised by a father dedicated to ending the Vietnam War and building housing for the poor and a mother who was an advocate for Civil Rights.  A professor and a child psychologist – non-corporate professionals – nonetheless they raised me to be very much pro-union.  I was on the United Farm Workers’ picket line for César Chávez at the age of ten. ¡Viva la Huelga!  And I can still sing along with Pete Seeger from memory Joe Hill, Talking Union, and Which Side Are You On?

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The Dalai Lama asked a doctor in NYC to build a school for Tibetan orphans
in India. Photo courtesy of Dr. Kazuko Tatsumura. From my story in HuffPo
Japanese Holistic Healer in NYC to Build School for Tibetan Orphans in India.”

 

Fast forward a lifetime.  I leave the corporate world to spend my days bettering humanity, a vague idea made unexpectedly concrete initially through orphan care.  My goulash of interests, education, goals, and commitment were interesting enough that in December 2007 HuffPo approached me to write about my world.  I focused on thought leaders and global citizens, and the broader theme of connecting good people and their astonishing good deeds.  My first story was about my childhood hero Peter Yarrow performing a concert in his home – for my orphaned kids (story).

I had heard about Arianna for years, and how she went from conservative in the mid 1990’s to solidly liberal.  When she launched The Huffington Post in 2005, I was enthralled.  When I was asked to support her efforts in 2007, I was excited.  Today, there are over 9,000 of us HuffPo bloggers.  I have also written a few stories for The Daily Kos, following in Markos Moulitsas Zúniga’s footsteps.  Rather randomly, these two Greek-Americans have altered my life.

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Aquiles: el Corazón cayó al mar (The Heart Fell Into the Sea), 2007. Archival pigment
print, hand coloring on Nylon. Reinforced paper on Styrene on wood. 40 x 48 inches.
From my piece, “Painter Julio Valdez: In the Same Path as the Sun.”

Three years ago, when I wrote of my efforts to create and sustain Orphans International Worldwide (OIWW), I did so to promote our cause and build support for the children we loved around the world.  I could have pushed to write for a publication that paid, and in fact did write my orphan care story for the New York Times (here).  I discovered that blogging, although unpaid, gave me far more flexibility than the Times and allowed me to own the intellectual rights of my labor.

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Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as strong supporter of Rotary, says we are this
close to ending polio in our lifetime. Photo courtesy of Rotary International.
From my “Rotary International Names Dynamic New General Secretary.”

Today, my stories focus on helping the unluckiest of humanity, while celebrating the best of humanity – especially in international development, education and the arts.  I have really appreciated the opportunity to write deeply personal essays as well.  Among my favorites:

Will A Vow Of Poverty Fill The Void In My Soul?

The Dichotomy Of Haiti: Hell Meets, Well, Heaven

Mayflower Roots – and a Metrocard – Get One on the Subway

Let Us Not Waste The Limited Number of Hours We Have Left

Fifty Lessons Learned from a Decade of Service in International Development

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Kamal Mitra (b. 1962). “Meditation,” 2007. 49 x 59 ½ inch. Acrylic on
canvas. Photo courtesy of Donald and Shelley Rubin. From my piece
Goddess, Lion, Peasant, Priest: Modern and Contemporary Indian Art

I have now written more than 200 HuffPo pieces and another hundred-plus in Daily Kos blogging on the non-profit organizations and leaders our foundation supports.  This central theme of highlighting goodness became the idea behind The Jim Luce Stewardship Report and the new James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation.  I have helped raise awareness for large NGOs like the International Red Cross and Rotary International as well as smaller organizations such as Fonkoze and Pro Mujer.

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Yoko Ono graciously agreed to provide the text of her speech to The Huffington Post.
From my piece, “Michael Douglas and Yoko Ono Support Mayor Akiba and
Nuclear Disarmament at John Catsimatidis’ Fifth Avenue Home” (story).

I have blogged on subjects ranging from Sufi poetry to the Western Union Foundation, Japan Relief, and Indian Art.  I have eulogized friends such as Betty Millard and Leila Luce.  I have helped Ban Ki-moon, Angelique Kidjo, and Yoko Ono get their messages out to our readers.

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Modern dance with a Latin Touch, a “Latin Classicism.”
Spotlight on the Annabella Gonzalez Dance Theater.”

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This girl lost both parents in the earthquake but carries on with great dignity.
Photo by the author. “The Dichotomy of Haiti: Hell Meets, well, Heaven.”

Stories I have penned such as Japanese Holistic Healer in NYC to Build School for Tibetan Orphans in India are my equivalent of the Daily News’ legendary “Headless Body Found in Topless Bar.”  These stories fill me with joy and surprise.  I can only hope the reader is at least 1% as excited to read them as I am to write them.

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My mother’s father, Dudley Alleman, is the boy sitting in the middle. Photo: Luce family.
Mayflower Roots – and a Metrocard – Get One on the Subway.”

Getting back to Paid-vs.-Unpaid labor.  I support any effort that encourages individuals to give back – which is ultimately what Huffington Post and The Daily Kos do so well.  It is important join with thousands of other volunteer writers, each focusing on sharing the world around them to the world at-large.

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Winner of the 2008-09 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, violinist
Hahn-Bin makes his New York debut at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. Photo: Andrew Chiciak.
Young Korean-American Hahn-Bin Wows Carnegie Hall In Debut Performance.”

A Living Wage is crucial to modern society – no one should do work that is needed without being able to support their families.  In the world of non-profit, I address this issue all the time.  But much work can be done without getting paid, or by being paid less.  I personally chafe at the NGO workers around the world in their big jeeps, holding multiple cell phones, and taking time in the afternoon for the beach and evening at the bar.  My foundation applauds NGOs that achieve maximum social impact with the least administrative overhead possible.  Admin should be held to 20%.  For me personally, this has meant a vow of poverty – but I don’t recommend that for others.

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Mosque in Herat, Afghanistan. Photograph by Manav Sachdeva.
Exploring the World and Self, Poetically, Through The Sufi’s Garland.”

I like to think my parents would have been very happy to know that I am using writing as a weapon against ignorance and a tool to build connections – to do what I can in my own small way to help repair the world.  And to encourage others to do likewise.  Their Yankee frugality is reflected in all that I do.  Blogging allows me to reach a large audience without having to pay a penny.

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Sitting at the table at our Haitian base camp, writing for the Huffington Post and Daily Kos.
Live Report: No Spiders to Bite Me in My Pre-Dawn Haitian Shower.”

One recent story was on the best film I have ever seen about Haiti.  The Huffington Post allowed me to state that in the headline – phenomenal freedom for a writer.  I was not assigned this story.  I was not told what to write.  I saw a film at the Tribeca Film Festival and wanted to share its brilliance with as many kindred spirits as possible.  Only HuffPo or Daily Kos can do this.  The blogosphere has changed our lives and our world more than we have yet realized.

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I was enormously honored to be able to interview Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan.
Queen Noor at Soliya on Obama, Islam and Interpersonal Global Communications.”

Hello there! My name is Sean Creamer, and this is my salutation to all of you. I am a business journalism major at Baruch College, but I have found that my yearnings for covering markets and crunching numbers has yielded to a greater desire. i now try and make a difference through writing and covering stories which showcase that humanity still has a chance to do some good in this world.

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