Posts Tagged ‘Ethics’

Going Deeper

Monday, April 9th, 2012

My colleague and friend, Dr Andrea Neal, of Blue Ocean Sciences, sent me this very cool piece on Tom’s Shoes (who I really admire) today.

It is very in theme for this blog series. Many of us are looking at ethics and architecture these days. It is essential if one really wants to make an accurate difference.

In surfing, being accurate is 90 percent of the battle in being competent and thriving. (I frequently relate everything back to the oceans)

To be there and successful in surfing you need to know the Architecture of the Earth and have skill. If you do that, your experience is challenging, rewarding and allows one to move forward without a serious hold down or wipe out. The best way to survive in challenging surf? Choose a wave that you know you can make. Don’t wipe out. Simple eh?

But you would be amazed at the number of people who refuse to apply these basic principles to things which they choose to support or believe in.



Here is how I see it:

Architecture, and really great design,  begins with the Philosophy of the designer.

In Nature (which was designed by God) you see this, the brilliance of great Architecture, as well as the heart of the philosophy being espoused.

Herein is contained both the problem and it’s solution.

It is not easy.

But it is simple.

God is Love.

Use Love as your benefit quantifier.

Watch what happens.

Seth Godin absolutely nails the validity of an accurate voice in his Blog today “Is Everyone Entitled to Their Opinion?”

Here is a fantastic piece on Man and Nature, by Frances Moore Lappe entitled “How to Think Like an Ecosystem”.

Drew Kampion states: “Life IS a wave”¬† So choose wisely. Or you may find yourself on one of these, below.

Beautiful Closeout

Beautiful Closeout


Wednesday, August 17th, 2011



One of the linchpins in the success of my imaging career, has been the ability to recognize and communicate beauty. Sounds simple. The reality is far from that. The reason being, is that beauty is a complex subject, and really has little to do with obvious and apparent physical attributes.

Take the image above. Pretty girl. I made her prettier with my skills as a photographer. But what makes this beautiful, is understanding. Me taking the time to understand who and what she is, made me want to pursue working with her.¬† Jentry is the daughter of two¬† remarkable parents. She is a dancer with discipline, talent and creative vision, and has what I like to call: “purity of motivation”.

In other words, she “gets it”. That makes her inspiring. This translates to real beauty. You cannot forge beauty. It may be counterfeited to those who only see in the superficial tones¬† communicated in today’s highly compromised value systems. But true beauty will always be above corruption.

That is probably why I attach myself to the Ocean so willingly. It is difficult to corrupt that. It goes on. Powerful and Beautiful in it’s intricate workings and purpose. Water is life and carries within it the energy signature of the universe.¬† When we experience beauty, it resonates in the human heart in much the same manner as a string plucked or stroked on a musical instrument which vibrates and exudes sound.¬† Beauty is like that: pure in tone and motivation.

Blue Pulse

Blue Pulse

My phone rang early yesterday morning. I was online and engaged in a written conversation with Dr. Ed Brenegar about corruption in our culture. Ed is a very educated member of a global leadership community. He always seems to be on point and is generally writing what I am thinking .

The voice on the other end was my friend George Orbelian, who was ringing to speak with me regarding an event being put on by Tre Packard of the Japanese based Environmental action group, Pangea Seed.

Pangea is putting on an Art event in SF, and had sought some help in promoting it. I had suggested Tre speak with George, who is a loved and connected member of the SF Community, and heads a plethora of Organizations.

George is a busy man. He always gets right to the point. “David, what can you tell me about Pangea?” I went straight to the heart of it. I knew what George was asking. “They endeavor to change the perception of Japanese culture through Art and Inspiration, George. Being Japan based, they understand cultural tenets and know that in order to implement real change, the head on approach to Environmental Activism that we use in American Culture is ineffective. Pangea has what I would call a very pure approach. They communicate the beauty and importance of preserving sharks and other marine life, in building a healthy ocean and country. They get it.”



“That is perfect. Okay I know what to do”. George is like that. We all should be. One needs to check behind the facade these days. For often, what appears to be beautiful and pure, may be something else by the time you see it, than what it was when it was born.

I asked my friend a question. “George, are all Environmental Govt agencies and NGO’s corrupt? I mean, is that just the way things are today? ” (George heads up Project Kaisei, an NGO Environmental entity).

I gave him a brief account of a locally based NGO that was founded on the premise of serving the poor, and what I had recently learned about the leadership, one of which is paid a 200K annual salary.



“Let me tell you a story” George quietly launched into an account of some close friends of his, who had gone to India to do some humanitarian work. In process they found themselves in the facility of a world famous organization headed up by a global religious figurehead. What they saw there perplexed and alarmed them.

In the facility was a large  room being used as a nursery. Against one wall of the dirty room was a huge pile of toys apparently discarded and untouched. In cribs throughout the room where infants. Grimy, marginally cared for. George began to choke up and explained that this was difficult to talk of. He went on.

“As my friends began to pick up and meet each child, they realized that the children were being left in there. They were never taken outside. They tried to make a difference in caring for them. But it was obvious what was going on. (George describes in intimate detail what those aide workers saw. Chokes up more)

“Thanksgiving was a few days away. They figured that maybe they could help by easing the lot of the women in the religious order, who were a part of the operation. So each member of the party picked something to cook and on Thanksgiving, they brought the people at the orphanage a beautiful traditional American Thanksgiving meal.

As they brought it in, one of the workers there, realizing that the group was trying to do a good thing, took them aside and explained something. The people of the Religious order ate like that every day. A prestigious Hotel chain catered all of their meals. They also told them this: “And you see some of those unkempt babies? Those neglected, discarded children? Some of them were born to the members of the order.”

In tears, George explained “Everything goes this way, they are all bad. But they generally do not start out that way. It is just the process that organizations go through.”

In tears as well, I got it.

Beauty is an honorable state of being. The pretty face of the warm fuzzy thing you thing you feel compelled to “save”? Well, you may have just fed something corrupt. In not looking, and not endeavoring to see, you may have contributed to something evil.

No one wants to abuse babies.

People are what matter.

Be the solution.

Seek beauty.




When we do this, if we do this, we take the lead, and engage the creative process, rather than becoming a part of the destructive process, also known as entropy. That should matter greatly. It cedes to accountability and responsibility. Our organizations need this.

Click on any of the images below to toggle through as a slide show.


Friday, March 4th, 2011
Walking Among Us

Walking Among Us

This is the sixth installment in the series on many loves. It is on Heroes.

The world seems to have  a real thirst for heroes. Artist Hilda Kilpatrick yesterday, asked me what the word hope meant to me. I told her that hope was seeing the future as the way you would like it to be.

Heroes inspire that in us.

Though I have lead a life that has had me in the company of champions, and people that always seemed to be the best in the world at what they do, I must admit that none would consider themselves to fit into that category. In fact, most would seek obscurity if given the chance. Sort of the opposite of our cultural world view, where we seek and desire to elevate these who believed, when few else would have thought to.

A hero does what needs doing, when no one is watching. They are a best case example of what happens when Faith comes to abide in the human heart. Hope opens the door to Faith. Faith in turn swings wide an entirely new realm of possibilities for the future. It will kick you down the right path when maybe, the true direction is not so clear to the rest of your world.

These days I continue to be surrounded by heroes. Some of the brightest examples are in my Community and exist in places and under cover of a disguise that is nearly impenetrable in it’s obscure and sublime design.

Though unrest exists as never before in this country and a huge dis satisfaction with Governance has arisen, sometimes rightfully so (It is within the regular process of maintaining a Republic), I see the tenets of heroism even in my town’s City Council and Mayor’s office, as they struggle to determine the correct direction for Ventura’s philosophy of leadership.

And within the cultural tableau of this town resides a true community of heroes, people who soldier on as the place groans with the weight of change. Many will never know what these people have invested and risked, so that this place will once more thrive and be a healthy, welcome, warm harbor for a world that has too few left on the California Coast.

Harbor Haven

Harbor Haven

If you ever want to see what a hero looks like, check your world for the one who serves you.

My colleague and friend, Shawn Alladio of K 38 Rescue, lectures repeatedly that we are to be like janitors. In rescue you come in, be un noticed, quietly and efficiently clean up any messes, do any repair that needs doing and leave. That is heroism in action: servitude. She leads a global community of janitors. I like that.

Shawn Alladio

Shawn Alladio

My friend Ed Brenegar, who fronts the Community of Leaders had this to say on the subject.

I have never been particularly fond of cops.¬† The thought of a black and white generally does not evoke the warm fuzzys. They are literally the ones who, when push comes to shove, must enforce the peace and be the face and hand of the Law. It has to be one of the single toughest jobs in the world today. It is a career which by it’s nature, affords great opportunity daily, to be society’s janitor, and at the same time, be scorned for it.

But in my lifetime some of my deepest inspiration has come through the examples set in the way some Law Enforcement people lead their lives.

I always say that no good deed goes unpunished. The crux of heroism is in the comprehension of that, and retaining both the willingness and skill, to do what needs doing without fanfare, because that is what matters to you.

I keep a list. I look at and see everything. That is my job, seeing. My hero’s list is incredibly long. I think that some people reading this blog would be very surprised to find their names on that list. But that is how I see it, and them.

Seth Godin, describing the scenario for heroism.

Peter Gabriel, in a sonnet for the people who challenge the reality in Haiti. Sent to me by Hilary Minias. Several very close friends of mine have been working quietly on the wreckage of Haiti. Alleviating suffering.

You have to love heros. Not many will.

USCG Stan Team, K38 Training, Astoria, Semper Paratus

USCG Stan Team, K38 Training, Astoria, Semper Paratus

Fact of the Matter: Inconvenient Truths

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010
Ventura Palmset

Ventura Palmset

I got in a lively discussion on Global Warming the other day. More specifically Anthropogenic Global Warming.

It is a “given” that we humans have¬† the capacity to foul the Earth. It is also a given that the Earth by it’s architecture will cleanse itself.

In the civilized and educated Western world we typically endeavor to keep a clean house. Look around. PZEV vehicles are standard fare in our world and have contributed to a massive decline in hydrocarbon emissions from Automobiles. That is just one example in a huge list of things Western Culture embraces as a means of keeping air, land and ocean clean.

But we have a fly in that ointment, and ironically it is the “Global Warming” environmental chant so common in media today.

What you will find is a complete lack of understanding of the role of Globalism, Trade and Commerce among the proponents of that environmental group chant, which begins with a sort of chicken little fear mongering, that gets all of the uneducated to line up for the Kool Aide that can destroy Western Culture.

Tiny Bubbles of Light

Tiny Bubbles of Light

Seth Godin has this to say about a culture which has decided to stay deliberately misinformed.

Here is “The Deal” in a¬† nutshell. Our culture places a huge demand on durable goods. We used to make them here in the US. As the environmental movement acquired traction here, and a punitive method of regulatory control took effect, industry went overseas in order to avoid the additional expense and hassles that increased cost and decreased bottom line.

As a result, Western based Cities and Oceans cleaned up. Third world Cities and Oceans grew much worse.

Clean Wave

Clean Wave

The world is a space ship. Everything connects via atmosphere and is in turn moderated by weather. That is how the Earth maintains control.

The affect of the “Global Warmers” is actually promotion of a willful ignorance of weather, economic law, basic human greed, and puts control of hazardous effluent and exhaust into the arena of Third World entities.

Zuri Starr just returned from a tour in China, explained how dirty the place is, and how sick she became as a result of her recent time spent there. The same people who, in what I am pretty sure is a display of abject guilt, in ascribing to groups “fighting global warming” buy most of their durable goods which are MADE in China and other places with little to no ethical manufacturing process.

The net result is a huge dumbing down of Western Culture, environment and our power to effect positive and sustainable change.

Green Girl: Donna Von Hoesslin

Green Girl: Donna Von Hoesslin

It is evil.

One Volcano can spew more into the atmosphere than decades of industrial output. That is a really inconvenient truth.

Dr Ed Brenegar pointed out this very accurate essay, which explains why evil people promote ignorance, in the Servile Mind.

So let’s be honest.

Or not.

It is a big world.  Make a difference. You matter.

I like where Elliot Minor went in their endeavor to matter, at the direction of Tyler Swain. All Along.

Kool Aide fans click here. Your people are this serious. They made this.

Death Destiny

Deaths Destiny


Tuesday, August 10th, 2010


I watched an Airshow at Point Mugu NAS this weekend. I was impressed. The USAF Thunderbirds, a precision flight team, performed. I found myself awed and inspired. Why would a water centric, eco minded, sustainability preaching, artist like me, love what I saw? Because it demonstrated mightiness.

I stand, able to write this blog and engage my world and community, because my country is mighty. That is humbling, and it inspires gratitude in me.

K 38 Rescue sent this link along to a small group of leaders today. It is an interesting look at how a culture embraced something in the course of great social upheaval. That religion has completely shifted the country and it’s ideals. It was seduced. We can be as well. Anyone can. It is a choice. I want to be clear. We all choose.

The ensuing text is part of my response to Shawn and the other leaders. I am sharing it with you now as well.

The concept of Holiness is based on being sanctified, which in essence is the setting aside of a person for use as a vessel of God.

These people are sanctifying themselves, and their God is using them. They are Holy unto their God.

We choose our Gods. They do exist. Oh no doubt about that in me. We become what we serve.

So now this place, a country, is in bondage. Hell does that. When you see bondage, that trail of fear and oppression, you all should know what that is.

The trick is to still be able to walk in love. Can you understand what Jesus did? Do you see why His story really is the greatest ever told?

We live in a time and place fraught with some of the greatest peril I have seen in my life. This is not merely a battle for our culture, ideals, and economy. What we see in this story, is a choice based upon a seductive lie. It is not those poor women who are possessed. It is that nation. They invited it in.

We have done that here in a way. We have allowed it. Change starts with people committed and sanctified to their God. Best to choose the one that created existence. Then you have won. In your winning, the other Gods fall.

When I see intolerance, bondage, fear, within a religion and a culture. I know what that is.

Keep in mind that a religion is anything that we give power to, which separates us from a relationship with God and his creation. It could be anything. Even something as religiously insouciant as an environmental group.

True religion is this, that you love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. If you find you have become less than tolerant. You just gave your power, your might, away. It is where true strength lies. It is how we all come to God. we must believe and rest on His tolerance of our shortcomings. So should we act any differently?

This is why I am constantly harping on polarization in this country.

Right is right. Simple stuff. Does it make sense? Is there a benefit associated to the cost? Tolerance is different than promotion. One can tolerate a person or concept without promotion and personification of the entity.

Amazing how many people fail to ask that, and blindly engage a religion, a cause. That is how evil works. It is seduction, it is sloth. Be mighty. It matters.

Creation is all viral. God designed it to be that way.

I was going to just leave you with a quote from God’s word. But I thought it better to have a look at what happens when a people choose the God of Hosts in this Church. We become what we serve and in turn we proselytize others according to the knowledge of our own truth. That is why it is of the utmost importance to embrace the Way, the Truth, and the Life.¬† Jesus said it was him. I believed him. That was a choice that for me meant no turning away, no other. Why would anybody?

Lies. That is why. We know where those come from.

Our Country was founded on Truth (It is capitalized for a reason) . This is why, in our Constitution it states that all men are created equal, and that they have an unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

This is the essence of true leadership, and why we need to pray for and build up our leaders. It is rare for an organization to fall, other than by attack on it’s leader. This is why we win as a people when our might rests on the master of everything. The concept must be rooted in love, by which it all stands.

Guard your heart.

Sam Shoemaker, doing a raw performance improv. It IS this easy to display your own might and creativity. We need to own it.

Seth Godin has this to say.

A succinct and powerful example of how our system works by Fox News and an opposing Ted Olson.

USAF Thunderbirds precision flight team. Mighty. They matter. So do you.

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.