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I Must Believe

By January 25, 2017One Comment

“In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
― Anne Frank


Yesterday evening we had the privilege of hosting a remarkable person, to promote a book he’d recently published.


Farmer, visionary, photographer, author and educator, Michael Abelman

Michael Ableman was at our home last night as the right man at the right time.  The dozens of people who came to listen and learn cared deeply about what he had to say.  His presence shown like a beacon in what has come to feel like a dark world.


He reawakened in me and I think in others who were in attendance, our faith in the goodness of humanity.  It was a timely gift to us all.

You must not hate those who do wrong or harmful things; but with compassion, you must do what you can to stop them — for they are harming themselves, as well as those who suffer from their actions.” – Dalai Lama

Michael thinks big.  He’s not afraid to make mistakes.  He’s a searcher.  He’s humble.  He’s humorous.  Compassionate.  Clear thinking.  A visionary.  And an inspiration.

“It is very rare or almost impossible that an event can be negative from all points of view.” – Dalai Lama

You could practically feel our living room vibrate with the good will and positive energy we all felt for his journey.  His journey is our journey, no doubt about it.

The takeaway for me from the experience, is that people are basically good, kind and interested in leaving the world a better place.  I’ve been reading The Book Of Joy, which I’d written about in an earlier blog.  Both the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, despite the hardships they have endured, have no doubt that, by nature, we are compassionate and kind. They both believe that by stretching those unused but present muscles, we can reveal the happiness of our true nature.

It’s a timely and appealing message that I am going to do my best to remember and act upon.


Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.” ― Dalai Lama







Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.

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