Human Growth and Development

Essays found in this category pertain to spirituality, recovery, human growth and development, facing reality, our addictions, faith and fears, problem solving and risk taking.

A letter from President Julia Stasch, MacArthur Foundation

A letter from President Julia Stasch, MacArthur Foundation

Several weeks ago, I received a broadcast email from the MacArthur Foundation where they announced their new president, Julia Stasch, a longtime executive and the interim president with the foundation.  For several years, I’ve been sharing my commentaries with the previous president, Robert Gallucci, for the following reason.  Annually, the MacArthur Foundation names some 20-40 recipients known as the MacArthur Fellows who “show exceptional merit and promise for continued and enhanced creative work“.  The program has no application. This anonymous nominating process collects names from experts in various fields where the names are turned over to the board and its president who select the recipients.  Each recipient gets $625,000 over five years...

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From The White House

From The White House

The White House Washington October 8, 2014 Dear Ted: Thank you for writing. I have heard from many Americans whose lives have been affected by mental health issues, and I appreciate your perspective. The needs of people with mental illnesses have gone unaddressed for far too long. Since the first White House Conference on Mental Health over a decade ago, doctors and researchers have made extraordinary progress in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses, and promoting mental health. Yet, many families still lack access to the treatments and community resources needed to help their loved ones recover. As a longtime supporter of mental health parity, I recognize we must do more to improve services for individuals and families. My Administration has coordinated...

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My appearance on Chuck Morse Speaks: Mental Illness and Stigma

My appearance on Chuck Morse Speaks: Mental Illness and Stigma

September 15, 2014 If you missed the live broadcast of my radio interview, here’s your chance to listen to the podcast. The interview starts at the beginning of the show and it’s about 50 minutes...

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Risk averse

Risk averse

Introduction If you missed your first chance to watch my short film, In the company of geniuses, I would encourage you to check it out. It’s been well-received. Here’s another chance… YouTube: http://youtu.be/3iClXzj32xo?list=UUG_arS5C4wdc4c6KorfrCwg “This short film (18 minutes +/-) is about famous people with a mental illness and how our schools, our teachers, our textbooks failed to mention the connection between their illness of bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia… and their groundbreaking achievements and breakthroughs to generations of American children that later created a false impression and a stigma for those diagnosed with a mental illness. Rather than appreciate the mentally ill or have empathy for them, too often there’s...

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In the company of geniuses

In the company of geniuses

The following short film (18 minutes +/-) is about famous people with a mental illness and how our schools, our teachers, our textbooks failed to mention the connection between their illness of bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia… and their groundbreaking achievements and breakthroughs to generations of American children that later created a false impression and a stigma for those diagnosed with a mental illness. Rather than appreciate the mentally ill or have empathy for them, to often there’s fear and hate for this misunderstood group. Copyright © 2014. All Rights Reserved. “In the company of geniuses” by Ted Burnett All my videos and essays can be viewed on my websites – www.tedburnett.com and www.thesageofmobile.com. I can be...

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Searching for Mobile’s Soul.

Searching for Mobile’s Soul.

YouTube: Searching for Mobile’s Soul. This ad lib, off-the-cuff documentary was produced by native son, Ted Burnett, who has slowly awaken to the fact that something is terribly wrong in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama after traveling to several southern “destination” cities, in the past decade, only to see what makes each one of them successful.  At the heart of Mobile’s Dauphin Street, is a struggling 7-year-old, 1-screen, known as, The Crescent Theater.  It offers up a banquet of award-winning independent films produced with a lot of heart, sweat, tears and virtually no money.  To the open-minded moviegoer, to those with an open-heart almost every film is an opportunity to learn, to grow and thus be changed.  Its the...

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Talk #7: Getting Honest (Part 3)

Talk #7: Getting Honest (Part 3)

Description: Getting Honest, the benefits and liabilities, integrity, dignity, sanity, dishonest, cope, survive, insanity, home, church, school, society, lose our innocence, telling the truth, telling lies, lying stress all relationships, avoid reality, unable to face the truth, pain and suffering, drugs of choice, spiritual bankruptcy, rebirth, Living in the NOW, state of awakening, conscious, secrets, reclaim our sanity, regain dignity and integrity, This seventh video was shot overlooking Mobile Bay and the Fairhope Municipal Pier, on June 30, 2014. www.tedburnett.com and www.thesageofmobile.com Copyright © 2014. All Rights Reserved. “Talk #7: Getting Honest (Part 3)” by Ted Burnett My other essays can be viewed at my website —...

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Talk #6 Getting Honest (Part 2)

Talk #6 Getting Honest (Part 2)

Description: spiritual awakening, Father Joseph Martin, chalk talks, alcoholism, AA, Melody Beattie, Codependency No More, John Bradshaw, author and speaker, Bradshaw on: The Family, PBS, spiritual life, Father Anthony de Mello (a Jesuit priest from India and author of Awareness, Song of Bird, de Mello talks on YouTube, integrity, dignity, sanity, at birth, facing our problems, solving problems, organized religion, the God within, insanity, schools, teachers and coaches, direction and personal satisfaction, tests over talents, school is an escape. This sixth video was shot overlooking Mobile Bay and the Fairhope Municipal Pier, on June 26, 2014. www.tedburnett.com and www.thesageofmobile.com Copyright © 2014. All Rights Reserved. “Talk #6: Getting Honest...

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Talk #5: Getting Honest (Part 1)

Talk #5: Getting Honest (Part 1)

    Description: Getting honest, spirituality, truth, searching for the truth, drinking problem, learning disability, benefits and liabilities, unexpected relief, personal truths, source of pain, self-esteem, self-worth, self-hate, telling lies, getting caught, life experience, master and student, facing reality, stop running and start facing our problems, new problems, consciousness, denial, procrastination, emotional and spiritual development, building character, changing man, an evolving person, Madison Avenue, twenty-something, new and positive experiences, fighting reality, dropping the life’s script for reality, freedom over slavery, pursuing our dreams. This fifth video was shot overlooking Mobile Bay and the Fairhope Municipal Pier, on...

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Talk #4: more on Spirituality (Part 2)

Talk #4: more on Spirituality (Part 2)

Subject matter: Spirituality, Living in reality, letting go of the past, projecting the future, Now, Getting honest, a logical vs. illogical life, pursuing what you want, taking risks, solving problems, happiness, peace of mind.   This fourth video was shot overlooking Mobile Bay on June 19, 2014.   www.thesageofmobile.com   Copyright © 2014. All Rights Reserved. “Talk #4: More on Spirituality (Part 2)” by Ted Burnett My other essays can be viewed at my blog – http://www.thesageofmobile.com. I can be contacted via email at –...

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Talk #3: Spirituality

Talk #3: Spirituality

Description: Spirituality, Living in reality, Facing past and current problems and learning to solve large and small ones. Conquering our fears with faith in God, courage and strength. Growing up. Being a survivor. nature vs. artificial. This third video was shot at Bayfront Park in Daphne, AL overlooking Mobile Bay on June 18, 2014. Copyright © 2014. All Rights Reserved. “Talk #3: Spirituality” by Ted Burnett My other essays can be viewed at my blog – http://www.thesageofmobile.com. I can be contacted via email at –...

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USS Gabrielle Giffords — “the laying of the keel” ceremony (a moral delimma)

USS Gabrielle Giffords — “the laying of the keel” ceremony (a moral delimma)

Note: An email to Gabrielle Giffords’ organization, Americans for Responsible Solutions. May 29, 2014   Gabby, I live across the bay from Mobile, Alabama.  I caught your recent visit to the port city for “the laying of the keel” ceremony for your new combat ship, on the local news.  Given the unique qualifications for naming a Navy ship after a living person, it seems to me that a person who nearly died from an assassination attempt and who lost members of her staff and even constituents from that event might want to pass-on having an American warship named after them.  Given the fact the Iraq War was a bogus war started by an American president that led to a lot of innocent Americans and Iraqis getting killed and wounded, isn’t it easy to...

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David and Goliath

David and Goliath

Introduction Last week, I wrote to Hon. David M. Walker (the former United States Comptroller General ((1998-2008)) seeking an update from him on the state of the union and his intended plans.  In our previous phone call and email exchanges over the past year, Dave expressed an interest to leave Connecticut for “somewhere warm”, if the president and Congress couldn’t come together to pass new legislation, by 2015, that rewrote the rules on how just three social programs operate (Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security), which makes up nearly 50% of our current federal budget.  (They’re not even talking about it.)  This percentage will only grow larger as more and more Baby-boomers leave the workforce for retirement and begin drawing their monthly Social Security...

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The Camp by Tommy Burnett (2013)

The Camp by Tommy Burnett (2013)

Note: The following is the second of two stories written by my late father. December 3, 2013 Introduction to “The Camp ”“The Camp” was first written in the spring of 1995 while my father was working as a project manager for a Louisiana-based construction company on a construction project in Warner Robins, Georgia. His firm was a subcontractor in the construction of a new Frito-Lay® plant. During his downtime while at the job site and possibly in his apartment he penned the following story. I have always described it to others as being about the rise and fall of our beloved fishing and duck hunting camp and the fall of my father’s life.I first laid eyes on this early draft on a weekend visit that April. At the time, I was a college student who was only weeks away...

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July 24 by Tommy Burnett (2013)

July 24 by Tommy Burnett (2013)

November 2, 2013 Introduction to “July 24” October marked the sixty-eight birthday of my late father, Tommy. He died fifteen years ago at the age of 53, in November 1998, from chronic alcoholism. Only months before dying “unexpectedly” this Vietnam Veteran would reveal in writing, for the first time, to my family including his eighty-three-year-old mother and his older brother, an unbelievable secret from his exposure to war, in 1968. His confession came as a complete shock and devastated, both, my mother and me. Having long viewed his life as a puzzle to be solved, I never had enough pieces to figure out this complex Jigsaw. This thirty-year-old secret was a bombshell, to say the least. It would serve as a giant and central piece in his adult life, which all...

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