This famous path in Japan is part of the ancient road connecting Tsumago with Magome. I walked these very steps while contemplating the two things that I had learned as a Youth Worker. In my thirty years of service to others, I realized that every problem in life can be solved if you know the answers to two very simple questions.
Who am I? And, what do I believe in?
These two questions did not make my life simple, but they did however, make my life simpler. My quest to answer those two fundamental questions led me to touch the perfect pillars of the Parthenon and to stand in awe before the Mona Lisa. To hike the Inca Trail in Machu Picchu as well as the Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto. To live in a cave home on the Greek island of Santorini and a high rise in downtown Tokyo. In the people choked slums of Cusco, I have eaten the finest pastry imaginable and while sipping saki in a Japanese Onsen, relished food that was both remarkable and unidentifiable. I have explored the Alps of Italy, Switzerland, Japan, and France, as well as the South American Andes — all while searching for an answer to these two seemingly simple questions.
My answers to these questions led to a life lived passionately, while ruled by something far more important — compassion. In my travels, I learned to cherish silence and therefore try not to add to the noise of the universe — that hope is stronger than fear — and that denial is one of the most potent forces in the cosmos.
Who am I? I am a writer.
What do I believe in? Karma.