“If you are depressed, you are living in the past.

If you are anxious, you are living in the future.

If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”

Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher

Okay, class. Today we are going to have a look inside your brain. Located somewhere between the frontal lobe, the parietal lobe, the occipital lobe, and the temporal lobe is the pause button. My own research indicates that many people don’t realize their brain has a pause button.

Have you ever noticed how fast bad news or gossip travels? As a wise man said long ago, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

Well now that I’ve had a chance to put on my pants, let me tell you the truth. All the news isn’t bad and not everyone is out to get you. Please hit the pause button and listen to me. Let’s start with one of my favorite Bible verses.

“This is the day the lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Psalm 118:24

Last winter was tough. It was so cold most of the time I had little goose bumps on my arms. And all the little geese were wearing sweaters. But guess what? After Winter, Spring arrived just like it has since the world began oh so many years ago. And I’m betting it will show up again after next winter and all the winters after that. The flowers will bloom, the birds will chirp, and get out the lawn mower because it is very likely the grass will grow.

And if you’ll just hit the pause button now and then you can take in all the good things happening.

The blue sky with puffy white clouds drifting by. The sun coming up and the sun going down. How about that gentle breeze that’s busy rearranging your new haircut. Mother nature has plenty of free stuff to enjoy. How about a walk in the woods or a swim in the lake? Take a little time and plant a garden, the food seems to taste better when you grow it yourself.

When taking care of business, I’ll bet you’ll meet some interesting people in the waiting line at the bank or the checkout line at the grocery. Hit the pause button and start a conversation.

No, I do not live with my head in the sand. I know the world is not always kind. But you and I can be the good news. Hit the pause button long enough to smile at the folks you pass by. Be nice, be generous, be the light in someone’s darkness. I’m sure there is a worthy cause that would be happy to have you as a volunteer. Finally, count your blessings, the most important arithmetic you’ll ever do.

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.

Guillaume Apollinaire, French poet



“As a kid, I got three meals a day, oatmeal, miss-a-meal and no meal.”

Mr. T, actor


For me a typical trip to the grocery store usually includes a stop in aisle 27. That’s where they stock the shelve with oatmeal. After all, if you want to be a champion, you have to eat like a champion. If oatmeal is good enough for the winner of the Kentucky Derby, then it’s good enough for me, a marathon runner.  Check out this proverb,“It is not the horse that draws the cart, but the oats.”

Secretariat, the record setting hall of fame racehorse, ate 15 quarts of oats a day. And when it was time for a workout, to turn the oatmeal into muscle the champ did speed work. I’m not quite up to 15 quarts, I’m holding steady at one bowl of oatmeal a day. Splash in some vegan friendly milk and some berries then say grace and were ready for breakfast. I’ll use some toast and a fruit smoothie to bring my fuel tank up to full.

My speed work is done on a track near my home or on a treadmill at the gym where I also lift weights. Long runs take me to the bike path that stretches sixteen miles across town. And yoga is done in the comfort of my living room.

Time for lunch where I will share the salad bar with an elephant, rhino, hippo, bison, wildebeest, manatee, deer, whale, and yak who, like the horse, are vegans.

Eating vegan is not a new idea. Some great minds caught on to the benefits of this lifestyle many years ago. Plato, one of the big thinkers of ancient Athens said, “The Gods created certain kinds of beings to replenish our bodies; they are the trees and the plants and the seeds.”

Going vegan makes better use of water, air, and soil. Vegans live longer, have lower cancer rates, and heart disease. They also have more fun on a date.

“I personally choose to go vegan because I educated myself on factory farming and cruelty to animals, and I suddenly realized that what was on my plate were living things with feelings. And I just couldn’t disconnect myself from it any longer.” Ellen DeGeneres, entertainer

A whole bunch of athletes are now enjoying the benefits of going vegan. I like the way actor and author Pino Caruso said it, “People eat and think they will become strong as an ox, forgetting that the ox eats grass.”

Patrik Baboumian, who holds world records in power lifting, is a vegan.

Scott Jurek, one of the greatest runners of all time, is a vegan.

Venus Williams, one of the best tennis players ever, is a vegan.

And then there’s Jerry Snider, that’s me. I’m not yet a household name in the world of sports, entertainment or literature, but the game is not over yet. Meantime, please pass me the tofu fries.

Thank you.

Peace and love.