Triage: A Human Level of Understanding the Virus

93-year-old uncle who has diabetes and asthma falls ill with the virus. You take him to the now-overloaded hospital, where you’re told that because there are higher priority cases and limited resources, the hospital can’t treat uncle. However, because uncle has the virus, he must go to the emergency quarantine ward, where there’s no medical intervention, but if hospital staff has any time after treating higher-priority cases, they’ll provide basic care. Because it’s a quarantine ward, you’re informed the family can’t visit uncle, so he’ll be isolated, alone in his last days. Or, perhaps worse, uncle may turned away for lack of space, sent home for you to care for as best you can until he passes.

Scenarios like this are reality when the health care system is in overload and triage is the most basic.

Understanding triage helps us realize at a very human level what’s happening with the spread of the virus, and why each and every one of us needs to take steps to contain its spread.

Developed centuries ago on battlefields, triage is “the process of determining the priority of patients’ treatments based on the severity of their condition. This rations patient treatment efficiently when resources are insufficient for all to be treated immediately”.

Medical personnel use triage to quickly assess and classify cases — injured or ill persons — during wars and disasters so that the greatest number of individuals can be saved with the resources available when medical personnel, supplies, and time are limited. Triage assigns each ill/injured person to one of four levels, often indicated by a color: Red, yellow, green, or black, to be treated in that order. 

The definitions and wording of the triage levels may differ slightly depending on country or institution. However, no matter the system, because triage deals with the reality of limitation, the actual triage level assigned to a case varies depending upon the resources and situation

For instance, at the start of a catastrophe, medical personnel may use the following triage classifications and criteria: (these are summaries of different classifications; see Wikipedia or talk with a doctor, nurse, or paramedic to learn more.)

  • Red: Those with life-threatening illnesses who require immediate care in order to survive. 
  • Yellow: Those who have non life-threatening injuries or diseases, yet require care soon. 
  • Green: Those minor injuries or diseases, who do not require immediate care.
  • Black: Those who are dead or presumed dead after a basic check of vital signs. 

As the number of cases increases and/or the resources decrease, the classification criteria adjust to reflect the diminishing ability to provide care. Thus, as a situation worsens, the criteria may be more like this:

  • Red: Those with life-threatening illnesses who require immediate care in order to survive.
  • Yellow: Those who have life-threatening injuries or diseases and require care soon in order to survive.
  • Green: Those with minor injuries or diseases, or non-life threatening injuries, who will not receive immediate care. 
  • Black: Those who are dead, presumed dead, whose injuries/illness/condition make survival unlikely, and/or for whom providing care will compromise the ability to provide care for those with a higher chance of survival

As case numbers and severity increase, as resources decrease, the fewer the people who can be helped. And when fewer people can be helped, those who are most likely to survive and need immediate care are treated first.  People who might have been helped during a non-crisis time won’t/can’t be helped — including those who may need surgeries for cancer, diabetes, transplants, or conditions that would normally be considered curable .

Think of this now in human terms.

93-year-old uncle, mentioned in the first paragraph.

A 63-year-old sister who had been scheduled for surgery two weeks from now to remove a tumor on her breast. Will the hospital have time for the surgery? Will sister’s health be compromised by potential exposure to the virus while she’s in the hospital?

A son in an auto crash. An auntie who fell down the stairs. A friend who dropped the knife on her foot chopping veggies for dinner. Will they get emergency care when the health care system is overstressed with a pandemic?

Heartbreaking and beyond comprehension, for those needing care, families, you, all of us — including for the doctors, nurses, medical support staff, and those making triage decisions.  

People are fragile. The health care system working to treat people is also fragile, both here in the United States and in most other countries. 

On normal days, health care systems run at near maximum capacity. Add multiple cases of a virus and more patients to the system, and more basic triage becomes necessary. Medical systems, doctors, nurses, staff run on overdrive, yet still the cases increase. Levels of triage, levels of care become even more basic. People are left untreated. Eventually, the system may be completely overwhelmed.

This is why, to the best of our ability, we need to contain the virus. 

People are at risk, the health care system itself is at risk, and the systems of our contemporary lives are at risk: Small businesses, large businesses, travel, trade, the economy, governments and societies are all fragile, not just in one country, but across the world. 

The virus does not stop at political, social, or ideological borders. Itself a part of the contemporary interconnected world of instantaneous communication, the virus is global and pervasive. And it has the ability to topple systems, those of healthcare and those beyond, in a way perhaps no other means save massive warfare has.

We can mitigate the effect of the virus by increasing our awareness, applying our compassion, making a change of our habits, taking common-sense steps to contain the spread of the virus, and by helping those in need, in the ways we each and all can.

Note from Kelly: 

I’ve found that discussing triage is the clearest, most concise, simplest, and most human way to understand and explain what the imminent danger, need, and actions are around the virus. 

Discussing triage goes beyond charts and statistics, which are impersonal, imprecise, and can be skewed. Talking about triage demands immediacy while still honoring discussions of how disasters can be manipulated by governments and big business. 

Triage gets to the point: It brings discussions of the virus to a very human level. 

This is why understanding triage is so important: We need to think of people. Not just in one country, but across the world. And we need to realize that as one system fails, related systems can fail — not just in one country, but across the globe. The virus is not bound by borders; neither are our economies, our air, our water, our hearts. 

And we need to consider how, after mitigating the immediate threats presented by the virus, we can work together to rebuild systems, hearts, lives in a manner that respects and sustains all.

The Little Goat

A story of self-confidence and persistence told in traditional cultures across the world.

High in the hills above the village, the goats kept an annual tradition known only to themselves. 

Each spring, on the first full-moon day after the grass sprouted, the one-year-old goats would gather at the foot of the highest mountain. At the sound of the elder goat’s signal, the goat-kids would all charge up the narrow, rocky mountain path, in full view of the herd. This was a test of their goat skills: They were to climb the mountain as an initiation into the next stage of life in the herd.

However, the herd elders knew, absolutely knew, that it was impossible to climb all the way to the top of the mountain. 

Before the event, in secret, the goat-parents conveyed this message to their goat-kids. 

“The tradition states climb the mountain, but really, no one ever reaches the top. It’s impossible. Just get as far as you can by midday, then turn around. Everyone will have seen you, and we’ll have a nice lunch waiting when you return.”

And so it was, year after year. 

Until one year.

The herd was especially large that spring, with many kids jostling one another at the starting line, all trying to gain the best starting spot — all except one, that is. One kid on the edge of the bunch seemed a bit slow at the beginning, not minding that the others charged ahead when the elder goat gave the starting call. 

After the first few frantic minutes of the course, the goat-kids spread themselves along the trail winding up the mountain. From below, the elder goats cheered the kids, urging them higher and higher. 

Several large kids ran as fast and long as they could before slowing to a trot. Most goat-kids alternated their pace, run-walk, run-walk. A few goat-kids walked together, talking the entire time. The little goat-kid who had the slow start walked alone, sure-footedly yet steadily up the mountain, still trailing the others. 

As morning stretched towards midday, the faster kids reached a prominent ledge halfway up the mountain, and felt that they had proven their ability. They had received lots of cheers, and were getting tired. They wanted lunch and a nap. Turning around, they headed back down the mountain.

As the returning kids passed those still climbing, each of the climbing kids used the encounter as a signal to go a few more steps and then turn back. They, too, were tired and hungry, and looked forward to lunch. 

Each time a goat-kid turned back, they paused briefly to look at the crowd and toss their head, reveling in the wild cheering from the adult goats below. The kids had gone far enough. No goat had ever gone to the top of the mountain; it was impossible. 

Finally, down towards the herd and lunch, laughing and playing, came the all goat-kids. 

All but one, that is. 

The goat-kid who had started slowly was still climbing up the mountain. In fact, she was now higher than the spot at which the fastest goat-kids had turned around — and she was still climbing. 

The adult-goats had turned their attention from the mountain to the lunch preparations, thinking all the kids were headed back. Surprised, they heard the elder goat calling loudly.

“Come back, come back, you can’t go any higher, what are you doing?”

The heads of all the goats at the base of the mountain turned, following the gaze of the elder goat. The lone kid was still climbing. 

“Come back, come back! You can’t go any further,” called all of the adult goats. “No one climbs that high, it’s impossible, you can’t go any higher! Come back!”

The lone goat kid continued to climb. 

“Come back, come back! It’s impossible, you can’t go that far, come back!” shouted the adult goats, milling about.

The goat kid continued to climb, more slowly than before, yet steadily. The path before her had all but disappeared, as certainly no goat in the history of the herd had ever climbed that high.

The adult goats continued to call up the hill, joined now by the kids who had finished their descent. 

“Come back, you can’t go any higher!” shouted the chorus of goat-voices. “It’s impossible! Come back!”

The little goat continued to climb. She was a tiny speck, nearly invisible even to goat-eyes. 

The other goat kids were annoyed. They wanted their lunch, which would not be served until all the kids returned. The biggest, fastest kids were also upset because the little she-kid had climbed higher than they had — and she was still climbing.  

The commotion at the bottom of the mountain continued. The little goat continued to climb. 

When she reached the top of the mountain, the little goat paused briefly and looked down. The crowd at the base of the mountain fell silent for a moment — and then roared with cries and stomps of respectful applause for the goat-kid who had reached the top. 

As the cheers subsided and the little goat headed back down the mountain, the adult goats and the kids jabbered amongst themselves, asking “How in the world did that little goat do that? Every goat knows that it’s impossible to climb to the top of the mountain.” 

One of the adult goats who had been unusually quiet during all the cheering spoke up. 

“That’s my kid. She’s deaf. She couldn’t hear your cries calling her back, and she can’t hear your applause. She thought the objective was to climb to the top, so she did.”

The photo is not mine — it was found it online and uncredited. Thanks to the unknown photographer!

Seeing Beyond the Fear

During this time, as always, acting with common sense is essential for our health, ourselves, and our communities. And how we act, what we do, how we maintain ourselves has consequence beyond the realm of the pandemic of 2020.

Absolutely, we’re all doing our best to follow common-sense guidelines about containing the spread of the virus

We also need to follow common-sense practices for how we handle ourselves during this time. These practices are simpler to state than do, yet they are essential.

Don’t fall into fear. Don’t panic. Stay centered. Follow practices and do exercises to maintain inner equilibrium, which is essential to maintaining outer health, be it of the body or the world.

Practice whatever focusing activity centers you and clears your mind, body, and spirit, be it running, pottery, meditating, or something else (of course, these may need to be adjusted if you’re ill/under quarantine).

Have discernment and use your own mind for positive purposes. Be in the present moment. Serve others. Remember the power each one of us has within.

And again: Don’t fall into fear. 

This is essential within ourselves, and within all levels of our community. 

While the virus can be dangerous to at-risk populations, fear can mentally and physically immobilize even otherwise healthy people. And while the dangers of this virus are more than health-related, fear is ultimately more dangerous than the virus.

We understand some of the health dangers of the virus. We understand the huge economic implications of the virus, especially for countries, businesses, and individuals already financially unstable. Yet what is often unrealized, or forgotten at times of crisis, is that governments, corporations, and power-seeking individuals always leverage, for their own benefit, critical events such as the virus and the fear these events create. 

I could write at length about this, and probably will in the coming days and weeks. 

For now, I’m posting below a very few links to news stories currently buried in the media, and related references. My intent is to increase your scope of awareness and discernment, encourage you to stay centered and strong within no matter what, and to maintain and use common sense in all thoughts and actions.

U.S. sending 30,000 soldiers to Europe for military exercises for DefenderEurope 20, the largest deployment of U.S. troops in Europe in 25 years (In Italian; title only translated here).

In Russia, A new constitutional amendment would permit Putin to remain in power until 2036 (In Italian; title only translated here).

Apparently, this has passed the lower house but not yet gone to the next step of voting. Related articles mention that Putin initially sought to extend potential term limits until 2024, but then with the “opportunity” caused by the virus, he sought a longer extension, until 2036.

Trump “joking” about serving a third term; many articles including this one on Huffington Post.

Twitter discussions about the virus and power grabs

Martina Navratilova (who, like many women pro athletes, is far smarter than most people realize, not to mention she was raised in and left a communist regime— both reasons I mention her specifically) has many insightful comments on her Twitter feed about the virus, U.S. response, and politicians.

In a post on March 11, she wrote “I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump turns the COVID-19 will just magically disappear into declaring martial law instead and cancelling the election. . . if there is a path to that, he will take it…”

This echos concerns many of us have had since his election. And the virus would be the perfect entrée. 

As we know, perhaps the most effective means of assuming power and control is to do so gradually. Similarly, eroding rights and abilities is generally more effective than cutting them outright. 

America already has issues with the validity of the election processes, election results, and the judicial system. We have non-physical money, transacting instead with credit cards and apps. Big businesses and the government have detailed information about individuals, more than most people realize. People are used to being tracked for marketing purposes, for health reasons, and in general.

Politicians disparage and discredit the media. Lobbyists have long paid experts to put groomed messages on media/social media, encouraging fear and other desired attitudes in the public. This is especially easy when most of the public is isolated, and/or obtains their information through sources that are easy to control and monitor.

Now, in the cause of maintaining public health, we’re limiting individual contact between humans, further tracking people, and, in some instances, locking down movement. In China and Italy, they’ve used police/military to enforce the lockdowns.

In such an atmosphere, and with a complacent, distracted public, it’s especially easy for the media, politicians, and public relations experts to turn attention the way they want to. And yes, at a primed moment, a politician could declare martial law, or state that he’s not going to step down even if elections say otherwise.

Here are a few more links to expand your thinking.

*** ADDED 2020 03 14: The Guardian published this piece on March 14, 2020: Be Careful. Trump may exploit the coronavirus for authoritarian ends. ***

*** ADDED 2020 03 23:

Edward Louis Bernays, the father of propaganda

If you haven’t heard of Bernays, at least read the Wikipedia article above. Among other projects (some more palatable), he worked for big tobacco and quietly pushed the practice of having doctors endorse cigarettes as a way for women to remain thin, a trend he also pushed to sell cigarettes.

See Project Gutenberg and Amazon for his books.

Virus privacy concerns: Data from Sardinia sent to the U.S (In Italian; only the headline translated)

As a virus-containing step, yes, it makes sense that everyone entering Sardinia since 14 February must complete an online self-certification, noting when they arrived, address, uploading a copy of the ID Card, etc, so Sardinian/Italian health services can keep track of folks moving about on island. Similarly, now there are laws/forms that must be completed even when someone goes from one town to another, and ships and aircraft landing on the island must provide more detail to lists of passengers, baggage, and cargo.

However, the process of self-certification includes major violations to Europe’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR): The data is collected by a U.S. company and stored in the U.S., and a note on the upload site states data may be transferred to other companies and/or used for marketing purposes. 

A Sardinian attorney is investigating and challenging the privacy violations.

Race is on for health data in Eastern Europe as healthcare companies seek to increase private market

Data about individuals is especially valuable to businesses for marketing and other purposes. Health care data is no exception. Even though data is ostensibly “anonymized”, individuals can be identified by combining data. Some uses of data we may judge helpful; other uses we may not consider so beneficial to the common good. As a small exploration, see the website for the company LiveRamp, which offers “Identity Resolution products” and “HealthVerity” data tracking.

Hershey pulls ads with hugs and handshakes amid coronavirus concerns

This is just a very simple example of the extent to which advertisers consider their ads, the virus, and the message they convey.

Yes, it’s important to take common-sense measures to preserve health and limit the spread of the virus. It’s also important to not fall into fear, the False Evidences Appearing Real.

Stay centered and calm, be aware, and live and act with awareness, discernment, and love. 


Things You Don’t Think About

I recall reading that Greta Garbo, upon walking into the United Nations building in New York, looked at the carpets and exclaimed, “Think of the girls working in the factory making that!”. *

My respect for Greta only deepened, reading this. 

Now — in a time much different from the period when Greta made her comment — her words need some explanation. However, the insight and truth of the comment has not changed. 

At that time, wall-to-wall carpeting was still relatively new (and there’s a history of how and why it became so popular in the United States, but that’s for another writing). Factories, particularly those making carpeting, were mechanized, yet of course far less automated that factories of today. Workers still did much by hand, moving not just alongside, but within huge machines — dangerous, loud, crushing machines — with few, if any, safety regulations or equipment. The work was dangerous, even more so because it was boring and rhythmic, both enemies of safety. Then, as now, textile workers were badly paid, usually female, and seemingly invisible to the world. 

That anyone — especially a famous actress — would think of a textile worker, especially when walking into the esteemed halls of the United Nations, was shocking. 

However, Greta grew up poor, knowing girls and families who worked in the textile mills of her native Sweden. She understood the difficulty, the tediousness, the invisibility of the work. She saw and understood much about “little people” and their lives that most people of power and wealth — including many of the middle class — didn’t, and don’t, perceive and therefore cannot understand.

The seemingly little things that can and do affect a life, many lives, have always been of importance, and have often been invisible to those not imminent to the conditions. 

The invisibility only grows as technology increases. Yes, there may be an app on your smartphone that enables you to schedule a food delivery, a house cleaning, a refill of gas delivered to your parked car. But individuals, each with their own life, family, needs, desires, difficulties, perform the work your app orders. Someone is delivering the food, cleaning the house, filling the gas tank. And an individual wrote the code that made the application, and that person was hired by an individual. . . And so on.

What about each of those people? What happens if the person delivering food has a flat tire on their car, motorcycle, scooter, bicycle? What happens if the girl who worked in the factory years ago had cracked fingers from working long hours with her hands in near freezing conditions? Was it merely painful, or did the blood from the cracks in her fingers stain the carpet, meaning she would be fired? Or did her manager have awareness and kindness, and give the girl salve, bandages, and a gentler job?

Little things no one thinks about. Small acts, passing thoughts, random words, physical things that matter. Little things that contribute to the anima, the spirt within what you use, what you encounter, within you. Little things that together form communities, companies, nations, our world. Our lives. Our selves. Our self.


* The exact quotation is not one I can find at the moment. I believe it was in Walking With Garbo, by Raymond Daum. I had thought it was in Greta Garbo: A Life Apart, by Karen Swenson, but I can’t find “United Nations” in the index. Daum’s book does not have an index. 

I’ll be writing various pieces under the category Things You Don’t Think About and posting them here and on the Sardinian Arts website. 

Bird on a Twig

Be like a bird on a twig.

This saying is a reminder to us: “Be like a bird on a dry twig, always ready to fly away, because the twig may break at any moment.”

We generally consider this to mean “Life and any situation can change at any time, be vigilant, be detached, be willing to let go and move on.”

Yet do we consider how the bird leaves the twig?

The moment the twig cracks, the alert, mindful bird discerns what to do, and uses her own wings to soar off. 

As Above, So Below—Programmatically So

So many teachers and so many texts have stated it: 

What you think creates your reality.

What you feel inside magnetically attracts the same to you in the external world.

As above, so below.

What you see behind your eyes creates what you see in front of your eyes.

A reminder often stated with these truths seems obvious: Watch your thoughts, watch your words. 

A related reminder is: Watch what you Google, watch what you search for online.

Programmatic advertising is the immediate, technological proof of statements such as “What you think creates your reality”.

These days, when you think about something, especially something you want, you most likely Google it. You search for it online. The next time you log into Facebook, your favorite news site, or even a random website, you see the very thing you thought about and Googled. Not just one ad, but many. Ads promoting what you searched for appear everywhere!

These ads are “programmed” to display according to data captured about you from various sources — your insurance provider, credit cards, the music you listen to, and much, much more — including what you search for on Google and Amazon. 

Advertisers argue programmatic ads are helpful to you (the “consumer”). Advertisers say these ads guide you to items that fit your profile, based on things you searched for — thought about — previously. Advertisers can even predict other “related” items you might want, based on your current search, previous searches, and your profile.

So: you search for something; a little later you see an online ad for that same item; you click and explore the offering. Even if you decide not to purchase the item at that moment, merely clicking the programmatic ad triggers more ads of a similar vein to be displayed to you. Soon, something that was a little thought, a Googled item, manifests everywhere in your online world — and even your offline world.

Programmatic advertising now extends to platforms beyond your computer, your tablet, and your phone. You could encounter related ads on electronic billboards, radio/streaming services, and more.

What did your one thought, your one search, trigger? 

Can you get away from that item, the ads, and your thoughts about it? Or are they reinforced by what you see “out there”?

Are you waiting for the ads to change, so you can have a different selection of items from which to choose?

Or do you have to change what you search for before the ads you see “out there” change? 


I’m always amazed at how technology mirrors what we humans have the capability — or need — to do within ourselves.

We have to change what we search for first.

We have to change what’s inside, before we can change what’s outside.


Il Tramonto — Sunset at Alghero, Sardinia

Il tramonto ad Alghero, Sardegna, con una bellissima vista di Capo Caccia. Non è accompagnata da una colonna sonora. Il video è stato registrato 2018 09 20 dal muro della vecchia città, senza treppiede o manicotti per il microfono, e le sonore ambiente erano quelle della città, rumorose; perciò, sono stati eliminati.

Sunset at Alghero, Sardinia, with a beautiful view of Capo Caccia. It’s a silent video. The video was recorded from the old city walls on 2018 09 18, without tripod or wind muff, and the ambient sounds were loud city noises, so they’ve been removed.

E’ lungo e forse noioso. . . o no!

This is cross-posted on

How to Launch a Successful Startup in San Francisco

AKA Why I (Mostly) No Longer Write Satire, Part II: There’s often no longer any difference between satire and reality. See the first part of Why I (Mostly) No Longer Write Satire in the archives.

This overview of what makes a successful startup was compiled after many conversations with startup veterans.

Come up with an outrageous business idea and label it “disruptive”. Note that your idea does not have to be “outrageously good”; your idea needs to be outrageous, then it will be good. Your idea does not have to create a profitable, self-sustaining business, as your money will come from venture capital (VC) and your initial public offering (IPO). 

Name your company immediately. The name should be a one- or two-syllable word, spelled in a non-traditional manner to reflect your disruptive space in the market. Design a logo that looks equally good in a circle and a rounded rectangle.

Rent a historic building in San Francisco’s Jackson Square area. Emblazon your logo above the door. Avoid putting any other identifying information on or around the entrance.

Fill the office with cool minimalist furniture. Hang bike racks on the wall. Put stainless steel dog dishes of water on cute mats near the front desk. Stock the office fridge with craft beer, kombucha, and performance-enhancing water. Keep baskets of fresh fruit, kale chips, and dog treats (organic only) in the kitchen and reception area. 

Ensure the kitchen has fixings for avocado toast and energy juice, especially from midnight to 10am. Install an automatic espresso machine with four compartments for liquids, so team members can make lattes with soy, almond, coconut, or oat milk. Make certain not to have any plastic straws or cutlery in the the kitchen. 

Hire a vegan kosher caterer who sources locally to prepare in-office sit-down lunches five days a week. For nightly working dinners, schedule a rotation of trendy local restaurants to bring in buffet-style meals. Make certain you include restaurants that put a hip twist on macaroni and cheese, hamburgers, and grilled cheese sandwiches (all with vegan options). Schedule happy hour on Thursdays, with sustainably-farmed sushi and plenty of locally-crafted wine and beer. 

Work with the VC firm to hire other visionaries for your leadership team. Visionary leaders are especially important for the Marketing and Research & Development (R&D) teams. Hire only MBAs with impressive schools and companies listed on their resumes. A leader’s image is more important than their performance, and certainly more important than their morals. 

Get an attorney, a creative Finance expert, and someone to lead Human Resources (HR). Hire some software engineers. Contract out everything else. For office maintenance, use an app to find a service that comes once a week to empty trash cans and do a touch-and-go on the bathrooms and kitchen. You expect the company to grow fast, so by the time the office gets really dirty, either no one will care because they’re working too hard in anticipation of the IPO, and/or you’ll move to a bigger office with new stuff.

Think up creative names for all C-level positions, employee positions, and the requisite office dogs. The names should reflect your value statement. The value statement itself must include the words “transparency”, “inclusion”, “accountability”, “social responsibility”, and, of course, “team”.

When enticing high-performing team players to join your company, ensure them you offer unlimited time off. Talk highly of team-building days, flexibility, and your collaborative workspace. Obliquely mention that no drug tests are required. And yes, mention stock options.

Ensure you have the swag you need to present your boldly understated company image. Buy 50 grey Patagonia® Synchilla® vests with the company’s logo, and give these to your team members. You’ll only need about 15 of the vests, but you can auction the leftovers after your IPO for a good bit of cash. 

Give team members several pairs of logo socks in company colors. Give branded water bottles to contractors as well as team members to enhance your reputation for being “green”.

Encourage the R&D team to produce outstanding ideas and visions of the company’s product. Add gaming components, especially scorekeeping, to your product. Inspire the Marketing team to create compelling stories and incredible visuals to illustrate what the product will do. Make certain all collateral is written using mixed verb tenses, so past, present, and future states of the product are confused. Share the collateral produced by the Marketing and R&D teams internally and externally.

On the Engineering side, have your highly flexible scrum master lead meetings. Ensure the engineers use JIRA and lots of other cloud-based software to stay busy creating artifacts. Have managers generate productivity reports that display always-improving success metrics.

Success metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) are really important. Make certain your visionary CEO presents both at industry events. The presentation should include beautifully-illustrated slides that tell the story of how your company discovered a pivotally important product for the niche market. The CEO should also tweet often and share their opinion on everything and anything. If the CEO or another TED Talk-presenting member of the leadership team is involved in a scandal, you’ll get lots of press. Plan for this carefully before the IPO. 

Continue activities to build your company’s reputation as a desirable market leader. Time your IPO to maximize your option price, and launch!

Whatever happens after the IPO doesn’t matter — you’ll have cashed in and someone else will take over. 

Don’t worry — It’s a disruptive, sharing economy and you, like everyone, need to flex for change. You have options — and they’ll support you well. 


© 2020 Kelly Manjula Koza

iPad Users: Known Issue Viewing Home Page Photos

There is a known issue with Apple Safari on iPads running iOS 13.1 and above: The home page photos of some websites are magnified beyond recognition.

The issue occurs when using Safari on iPads running iOS 13.1 and above to view websites built with the WordPress 2017 theme.

The issue does not affect iPhones using Safari or iPads using other browsers or running earlier versions of the iOS.

SITE OWNER WORKAROUND: See this post on the WordPress forum. Look for the comment by user PhillipPrem, copy the snippet of CSS suggested (also shown below), paste it into the Custom CSS area (Appearance > Customize > Additional CSS), and click Publish.

The code snipped is as follows.

@media only screen 
and (min-device-width : 768px) 
and (max-device-width : 1024px) {
.background-fixed .panel-image {
background-attachment: unset;

USER WORKAROUND FOR AFFECTED SITES: Click menu links at the top or bottom of the page to view pages and photos as they should display.


The Archives: A Tiny Sampling of Old Work

You’ll find a tiny sampling of my old work posted under the category KMK Archives

To see a specific item within the archives, click the title in the list below. To peruse all of the archives, scroll down this page. To see all posts, go to Work + Musings.

To learn why I’ve chosen not to post much here, see A Note about the Archives.

Partial List of KMK Archives Contents 

This list contains only select older work. To see all posts, go to Work + Musings.

Producing and Organizing the 2017 Sardinian Handwoven Textiles Exhibit

The Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders in 2002

The Inaugural LGBT Business of the Year Awards

Video and Film

New Business Feasibility Study

Why I (Mostly) No Longer Write Satire

Sardinian Arts, the Answer is Yes

The Road Less Traveled, a Business Owner Profile

Elinor Ostroms Commons Sense

The Landscape Changes But Do We


Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Ancient History: National Columnist, My First Job

A Note About the Archives

Producing and Organizing the 2017 Sardinian Handwoven Textiles Exhibit

Sardinian Textiles: An Exhibit of Handwoven Art was an international exhibition on display at the Italian Cultural Institute – San Francisco for two months in 2017. The show was a supported by a number of related events, including Intrecciati, an intercultural fiber arts project coordinated between Sardinia, Milano, and San Francisco, and a screening of the film I Want to Weave the Weft of Time

As the conceiver, producer, and organizer of the show and related events (including the film), I am delighted to say that all were well-received and successful — and the show is my personal favorite among the events I have organized/produced. 

The exhibit and related events were three years in the making, and I spent much time working between Sardinia and San Francisco to organize everything. In addition to negotiating several challenging issues and a number of situations too complicated to detail here, I drafted agreements in English and Italian (many thanks to my Italian tutor Gabrielle for refining the Italian versions), paid visits to all artist studios and potential sponsor headquarters in Sardinia, and attended to countless details.

I also designed and wrote all event collateral including postcards, bookmarks, online ads, and the poster advertising the event as well as the educational materials and banner displayed at the exhibit.

Of course, there are many people to thank for their help! See this event recap and thank you (and the Italian version).

If you would like to read more details, here’s a discussion of some of the challenges I faced organizing and producing the exhibit.

This page has information about Intrecciati, the intercultural project.  

As people often ask: Yes, the website is also entirely my own creation. With the exception of several pages noted as artists describing their work “in their own words”, the writing, photos, videos, and website design are mine.

The Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders in 2002

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives.

The Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders was held in Geneva, Switzerland in October 2002, on the grounds of the United Nations. I filmed and reported on the event as an accredited journalist. This piece was written for a women’s magazine based in Colorado.

Published in Zenith Woman Magazine, January/February 2003

The Inaugural LGBT Business of the Year Awards

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives: Of the many events I have organized and run, this inaugural LGBTQ+ event from 1997 is one of my favorites. In addition to this event, I helped organize and publicize smaller GLBTQ+ events for the chamber. Prior to moving to Denver, I was a trained peacekeeper for pride marches in Tucson and the founding vice president of the University of Arizona GLBTQ student club.

During the mid-1990’s, I was on the board of directors for the Colorado Business Council, the Denver-area GLBT (the acronym was shorter then!) chamber of commerce. Their name has has since changed; at that time, we could not use the words gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, or queer in the organization’s name as homophobia was rampant in Colorado. Even some of the chamber’s leaders were not out in the business world and did not want to be publicly identified with the group.

To better integrate the chamber with the community-at-large and other chambers, gain recognition for gay-owned businesses; promote GLBT issues; and serve as a fund-raiser for the organization, friend Anne, also a board member, came up with the idea of initiating an annual awards ceremony lauding gay- and lesbian-owned businesses and community allies.

The inaugural event in 1997 was a huge success, and the awards ceremony ran for about 15 years before being discontinued due to having achieved its long-term goals. As Elfriede, another friend and former board member said, “The awards and ceremony were phased out because we had been able to honor all of the ground-breaking GLBT business owners, and the chamber and GLBT community has become so well integrated into Denver that having distinct awards for GLBT businesses no longer served any purpose.” 

I was thrilled to hear this: The inaugural ceremony had been a pet project of mine, and I had been credited with taking the event from conception to reality. At the time, I was CBC’s Director of Special Events and de facto PR director, and I did everything I could to ensure the first event’s success. I managed details large and small, created processes that I knew would set precedents, penned documents, wrote articles and talked with journalists to secure top local publicity, garnered corporate and business sponsorships, and collaborated with other board members to attract politicians and business leaders to the event and ensure their support of the chamber. The event and people were also a great deal of fun!

A few pieces of the local publicity around the event are below.

The Rocky Mountain News Sunday Business section, August 31, 1997.
Sent as informative article/PR piece to numerous papers; published as-is in some, by my request without my byline.
Feature in the Women’s Business Chronicle, a Colorado paper, April/May 1998.

Video and Film

Over the years, I’ve done a considerable amount of video filming and editing. My recent work focus on Sardinia and the island’s traditional women handweavers, the tessitrici artigianali. The documentary I Want to Weave the Weft of Time is the first of a planned series about these amazing artists.

Short videos you’ll find on the Artist pages of provide the core of what will expand into longer documentaries. I’ve also done some promo pieces, such as the one for Agriturismo Nuraghe Tuttusoni.

From about 1998 until 2006, I helped document the activities of Mata Amritanandamayi Mayi Devi (commonly known as Amma). I worked primarily in the USA and India, and somewhat in Australia and Europe, including at The Global Peace Initiative of Women Spiritual and Religious Leaders held in 2002 in Geneva, Switzerland on the grounds of the United Nations.

While I primarily captured footage for archival as well as documentary use, and a colleague was the primary editor, I did edit a handful of short videos for general release and/or to include in media kits. I also designed the covers for several videos. Given the size, ongoing expansion, and large TV crews now filming and producing Amma’s work, the complete versions of older films are difficult to find. If still available, the would be found through the organization’s bookstore.

I’ve also filmed and edited video for private events, consulting projects, and corporate training departments. The most interesting of these projects (for me, at least!) were those where I filmed electrical lineworkers demonstrating how to repair live electrical distribution lines!

New Business Feasibility Study

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives. This is a recent example; I’ve led or participated in many similar projects over the years.

In 2019, I was approached by a multi-talented colleague who had been doing some part-time consulting outside the realm of her primary profession. She wanted to consider the feasibility of expanding the consulting into a successful business that would operate as a B-corporation, balancing purpose with profit to provide critical services to underserved market. 

She had been working with small businesses and individuals to secure their computers, technology systems, data, accounts, and finances from threats inherent in the realm of technology. She repaired compromised accounts and systems, established secure hardware, software, and network solutions, and trained individuals and business owners how to maintain security best practices. 

In doing this work, she saw the potential of what she felt would be a great business opportunity: Her existing clients knew little to nothing about security threats that could significantly damage financial security, business operations, and individual peace-of-mind; they did know how to protect themselves or their businesses, and they were under-served by security consultancies. She felt that creating a consultancy to provide these much-needed services to these individuals and business owners would benefit the community, give her personal satisfaction, and be profitable. 

After an initial talk with her and a number of potential business partners, we confirmed a small group of individuals committed to investigating the potential, risks, and feasibility of founding such a business. As the designated leader, I:

  • Lead the business feasibility study, including market analysis, risk assessment, and strategic planning
  • Created a scalable business plan to deliver tiered service levels
  • Designed several iterations and models of the plan to accommodate partner resources, capabilities, and gauge overall business feasibility
  • Advised partners on marketing, technology, financial, and operational infrastructure considerations
  • Created an internal communications structure and trained partners on use (Confluence wiki, emails, shell website)
  • Designed the company logo and identity and wrote draft marketing copy

Based on the exploration and work conducted over the course of six months, I advised the group not to proceed with the business.


Why I (Mostly) No Longer Write Satire

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives. A discussion and two old satires I wrote.

I’ve always had a passion for satire: I devoured the writings of Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, and S.J. Perelman when I was a kid, and English teachers and friends often urged me to write pieces for them. For a long time I did write short satires, yet I intentionally stopped (well, mostly), long before the current political environment essentially killed the genre by rendering it nearly indistinguishable from so-called reality.

I desisted for several reasons. Writing satire puts me in a pessimistic mood: I become critical, cranky, and unappreciative of the good in the world. I’ve also increasingly believed that our thoughts influence and create our reality, so writing satire generally seems unwise: I’ve had many satirical ideas that I would NOT want to see manifest in world! In addition, the rapid reaction to a piece I wrote and sent to friends and colleagues in 2007 spooked me: Not even my closest friend — whom I thought would recognize my writing — identified the piece as satire, and she and many others began sharing the email, which I thought could land me in major hot water, possibly even a lawsuit, if I did not quickly retract the piece — which I did. (Read the piece further down this page.)

I often structured my satires as newspaper articles or press releases, and sometimes even took the first few sentences of a real newspaper article and wrote a satirical ending to it. This format combined with my extremely dry sense of humor apparently makes it very difficult for people to discern what’s true and what’s not.

The first piece below is an example of the newspaper format, based on a 2004 article found on the BBC website. The second piece is the satire I retracted.

Passion over for Barbie and Ken

Valentine’s Day is approaching, but the romance is over for Barbie and Ken. 

 After 43 years as an item, the plastic pair’s “business manager” at toymaker Mattel said they “feel it’s time to spend some quality time – apart”.

 “Like other celebrity couples, their Hollywood romance has come to an end,” said Russell Arons of Mattel toys. 

Ken will go his own way, and the new romance in Barbie’s life will undoubtedly raise some eyebrows — as will the new Barbie herself.

Barbie will be sporting pants, flat heels, and wearing a ring from her new significant other, who is dark, handsome – and a woman. 

“Woman-loving Barbie has been a long time in waiting,” says Arons. 

Lucia, Barbie’s new partner, was introduced to Barbie’s circle amidst considerable astonishment and excitement.

“The conservatives who haven’t been paying attention will undoubtedly have some strong reactions, but Barbie just couldn’t go on with Ken any longer,” says Arons. “Lucia comes with a full range of emotions, interests and talents that we just couldn’t bundle into Ken or any male doll.”

Mattel will market a full range of new accessories for the lesbian couple, including a pickup truck/camper combination, large furry dogs, and an assortment of Mikita power tools. ###

The piece I retracted (below) was written as a press release during a very snowy winter when planes were delayed and cancelled across the country, with each week bringing a new storm and a new set of delays. Vacationers as well as those of us who flew regularly for work were upset with what seemed like persistent travel difficulties and unaccommodating policies of airlines. I wrote this thinking it so far-fetched that no one would believe it, yet after people began sharing it as a real news piece, I became worried that the airline would find and sue me. 

United Announces Frequent Flier Flight Delay Program

CHICAGO, IL, February 14, 2007 — United Airlines today announced  the company will award frequent flier program miles to travelers whose flights are delayed due to weather. Elite members of the airline’s frequent flier program will also be awarded miles for any flight delays. 
“We realize that fliers, especially frequent fliers, lose time and money because of weather delays. This winter has been particularly difficult for travelers and airlines, and United wants to recognize the fortitude and loyalty of our customers,” says Bob Forappel, United public relations director. “We feel there’s no better way to do this than by offering travelers frequent flier miles.”

Travelers who are members of United’s frequent flyer program will receive 5 frequent flier miles for each minute of weather-related delay. Premier members (those who have flown 25,000 miles in the past year) will receive 10 miles for each minute of delay. Premier Executive and Premier 1K members will receive 20 and 50 miles, respectively, for each minute of delay, as well as corresponding miles for any flight delay, weather-related or not.

For more information, see ###

While I’ve pretty much stopped writing satire since then, occasional outbreaks occur. See How to Launch a Successful Startup in San Francisco, subtitled Why I (Mostly) No Longer Write Satire, Part II

Sardinian Arts — The Answer is Yes

Sardinian Arts is work of my heart, designed to share my love of the Sardinian handweavers, their art, and Sardinia in general. I seek to help preserve, protect, promote, encourage, and advance the tessitrici artigianali and the arts, culture, heritage, land, economy, and people of Sardinia in a sustainable manner.

Sardinian Arts is designed to highlight the weavers. However, the website and what I do for Sardinian Arts also provide examples of the scope, style, and quality of work I do, so I mention it here, especially as people often ask questions such as the following:

Is Sardinian Arts all my work?

Yes. Sardinian Arts is a one-woman production. In the past, I did hire some part-time contract help for certain tasks, but that was short-lived.

Did I made the documentary I Want to Weave the Weft of Time, found on the website?

Yes. I conceived, filmed, edited, narrated, and produced the film. Thanks to Ruth Mendelson for her fabulous soundtrack, which makes the movie. 

Did I conceive, organize, and produce the 2017 exhibit and the related projects?


Did I design the logo?


Did I write the copy on

Yes. I wrote the copy and all posts. (The few exceptions are Italian versions of the artists’ “In Their Own Words” pages, where I post what the weavers wrote in Italian. I translated each artist’s statement into English. Intentionally, I do not optimize the copy for SEO.)

Did I take the photos?


Did I design and put the site together myself? 


Do I design ads and collateral myself?


Do I write my own presentations?


Have I met the weavers mentioned? 

Yes. Some have become family.

Come visit if you haven’t yet!

~ KM Koza

The Road Less Traveled: A Business Owner Profile

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives: I wrote this profile of a Denver business owner for a women’s magazine in 2004.

Over the years, I have done many interviews and profiles, both in print and in video. Some were published under my byline; some were used without byline or credit in promotional materials for businesses and nonprofits, or kept for an organization’s archival purposes.

The profiles I most like were — and are— those featuring amazing and inspiring women. The piece below is perhaps my favorite profile from those I wrote about Denver business owners. I had known Qui Vu for a year or so before this was written, yet interviewing and filming her for the piece brought me to tears: Her quiet courage, fortitude, peace, and inspiration were evident in all she did, and touched all those in her life.

Originally published in Zenith Women’s Magazine, March/April 2004.

Elinor Ostrom’s Commons Sense

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives: I wrote this piece in 2009, after Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel Prize for Economics. The article was published by eZine Articles and also on my previous blog, Pointing to the Moon.

Elinor Ostrom’s award-winning economic theories about sharing resources are in part based on lessons learned from observing how Swiss farmers determine grazing rights for common-pasture cows.

Elinor Ostrom, co-recipient of this year’s Nobel Laureate in Economics, has been the subject of a flurry of media excitement, yet the attention given Ostrom and her work is only beginning: As more people begin to understand what Ostrom has said, the influence of her words and work will be felt more greatly – especially by women.The benefit will not come because Ostrom is the first woman awarded the Nobel for Economics – a fact the highlighted by the press during initial reports of the award, most likely because of lack of publically-known information about Ostrom and her work. As the media and public have shifted from focusing on “the first woman” to actually looking at Ostrom’s contributions to economics, the practicality of what she says has become apparent. Reporters, writers, and the public are beginning to understand Ostrom’s work and realize how vital it is to the world right now.

The commons – commonly-shared resources, from pastures to oceans – and how they are shared and sustained are a focal point of Ostrom’s work. Unlike many economists and politicians, Ostrom believes that most people challenged with the distribution and use of a resource can cooperate and act for the common good. Ostrom believes problems should be solved as locally as possible, yet she does not denounce the need for government.

Ostrom’s findings are a departure from what has been the prevailing force in economics: For centuries, economists have focused on lack, and control of resources by a few. Common resources were thought to be best handled if divided and distributed by a superior and controlling power. Traditional economic theories have led to imperialism, competition, scarcity for many, gross over-abundance for a few, wars of resource control, and a rapidly declining environment.

In a discipline dominated by men, Ostrom’s emphasis on empowering groups and letting them work out practical, applicable, sustainable solutions for resource use is ground-breaking. Ostrom’s consideration of the community as well as the individual, and her call for cooperation at the local group level is surprising – in a discipline dominated by men. To women, I don’t think Ostrom’s work is so radical: In fact, I would say that Ostrom’s work stems from being a woman.

By nature, women tend to recognize and value inter-dependencies, between and among individuals and the community. Women strive to balance and sustain fair use of resources, and encourage self-dependence and situational problem-solving rather than the imposition predetermined, rigid rules.

The women’s perspective and presence has been squelched in modern economics, and I believe this has been a major cause of the many crises we face. An over-emphasis on hyper-masculine qualities, including competition, winning, me-or-you allocation of resources, and focus on short-term gain has brought the world to the brink of financial and environmental collapse.

Ostrom’s work and ideas are intellectually credible and grounded in practicality, and the Nobel award gives her words a validity respected beyond academic circles. The Nobel award committee chooses recipients not only to commend them for their work, but to focus media and the public eye on issues the committee feels demand global attention. Public perception and actions can be and are changed by the designation of the award. In this case, the Nobel committee has consciously directed attention to the need for a more cooperative, inclusive, sustainable, and self-directed world economy – one that recognizes and includes women as determinants, not as derivatives.

Elinor Ostrom’s Nobel prize gives credibility to what women already, inherently, know, and men are beginning to recognize, value, and seek. Ostrom has opened the door for evolutionary economic change, and the increased inclusion of women in government, businesses, and economic decision-making processes will facilitate that change – and demand women’s active participation.

Photo by Juan Flauta, via FlickrCC BY 2.0

The Landscape Changes, But Do We?

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives: This was written in 2010, and is still highly relevant today.

Quite frankly, the photos speak for themselves.

However, for those who prefer words to photos:

Citizens of contemporary Western nations — especially the United States — tend to think of their time and their “civilization” as being the most advanced, the most civilized, and indestructible.

The photo of Kabul in 1970 doesn’t even represent the pinnacle of Afghanistan’s cultural, scientific, and spiritual heights, which many would argue came long before Afghanistan was colonized by the British or adapted “modern” Western ways. But the photo from 1970 shows a landscape reduced to rubble by what only can be called inhumanity. This inhumanity manifests in many ways, including war, greed, corruption, rape, abuse of power, abuse of people, and general “uncaring”.

Consider the cultures of ancient India, China, South America, Central America, Persia, and, of course, Rome and the other civilizations of the ancient and modern “Western World” (for so many years, the only countries included in history classes in the United States).

How many advanced cultures have fallen? How many will, unless we humans start treating our world and all our people with respect and compassion, embrace humility, accept diversity, and act with integrity and kindness?

These photos are from the Finnish website Kuvaton, which claims no copyright to images published on the site.

Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives: Written in 2009 to celebrate a ground-breaking international document, the ideals of which we still work to attain. The Declaration was signed on December 10, 1948.

Sixty-one years ago, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Much contested and debated at the UN before its acceptance, the UDHR was developed as a non-binding agreement of nations working towards and upholding basic human rights for all individuals around the world.

Eleanor Roosevelt, a key player driving the drafting and acceptance of the UDHR, stated that the document would educate people as to their basic rights as humans and encourage nations to adopt laws promoting and safeguarding essential human rights.

In April, 1948, ER wrote in Foreign Affairs:

In the first place, we have put into words some inherent rights. Beyond that, we have found that the conditions of our contemporary world require the enumeration of certain protections which the individual must have if he is to acquire a sense of security and dignity in his own person. The effect of this is frankly educational. Indeed, I like to think that the Declaration will help forward very largely the education of the peoples of the world.

Sadly, many rights specified in the document are still far from being universal, and adoption of the UDHR continues to meet opposition from number of governments around the globe. And, while ER and the United Nations consider the document to be personal and “belong to each and every one of us — [to] read it, learn it, promote it and claim it as your own”, the rights enunciated in the UDHR are not so well known, even by those here in the US — the home of the Constitution that provided a strong foundation for the drafting of the UDHR.

How familiar are you with the UDHR?

At a very basic level, the Declaration covers the following:

  • Protecting children’s rights
  • Fighting discrimination
  • Halting torture and political killings
  • Advancing the human rights of women
  • Reinforcing workers’ rights
  • Spreading the word of free expression
  • Halting religious persecution
  • Advocating for fair trials and due process
  • Securing freedom from want for all
  • Protecting human rights defenders

On this Human Rights Day, take the step of educating yourself as well as helping others. Visit the following sites to learn more about the UDHR and human rights:

While the technology of the world has changed drastically since 1948, attitudes and the implementation of policies safeguarding human rights have not changed much. The UDHR is as critical now as it was 61 years ago. The peoples of the world must move beyond the document, and implement universal acceptance of human rights, as human rights are timeless — and priceless.

Photo by SpecialKRB, via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Internet Changes Coming to India in 2003

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives: I wrote this satire in 2002 while in Kerala, India.

Bangalore—Indian government officials today called for new polices regarding internet use in the country. Recognising that the internet has and will continue to play an important role in the development of India into one of the world’s leading technology producers, but concerned that that traditional Indian culture will be lost in the modernisation, government officials mandated the following changes designed to instill Indian tradition into the internet.

The step-by-step implementation of these polices will begin 1 January 2003. 

  • The internet will close on all bank, public and religious holidays.  
  • Lunchtime closing will be from 1.30 to 2.30 daily.
  • Foreigners using the internet in India for over six months will be required to register at the District Office, providing in triplicate the completed form FOR.INT456, along with 3 copies of the passport and visa, a list of all website addresses they plan to visit, and the address of their local ISP. If using a laptop brought into the country to access email, the serial numbers of all software loaded onto the laptop must be listed on form SOFT789, which must be provided to the local police department along with a CD copy of each software programme. An HIV test is not necessary.  
  • All email addresses will be changed over the next three years to reflect traditional Indian address conventions.
    • First, the “@” symbol will be replaced by “near to”: will become This change will be put into effect 1 January 2003, but as it will take some time to update millions of lines of code in internet servers to handle the change, a slight delay in email delivery is expected.
    • Second, so as to instill pride across the country for local contributions to the world wide web, the correct identification of the local mail server will be implemented in all Indian email addresses: will become In large cities, if there is any confusion as to the mail server, a qualifier can be added:
    • Third, the full use of initials denoting all of a person’s names will be encouraged: will become From this point, it will be natural to discard the English tradition of truncated Indian names, and add the full last name to the email address:

Each change to the email address will require completion of application INTCHANGE.3345 and a fee of Rs150 payable by cheque to the local branch offices of The Minister of Internet. Due to increased workload, applications are being taken online only. Applications containing an incorrect email address will be denied. 


@2002 KM Koza


From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives: I wrote this some years ago for my old blog; it was originally published with a different photo.

The Thanksgiving holiday understandably brings thoughts of gratitude, and fosters much charity.

I hope these thoughts of gratitude will continue for individuals throughout the next holiday season — which all too often becomes the season of marketing and materialism, with little room left for gratitude — and into the new year.

While I value the good actions and gratitude shown over the Thanksgiving holiday, gratitude must well from within every one of us, each day of our lives. All too often, we not only forget to express gratitude, but in our competitive, time-driven, negatively-focused world, but we fail to create the mental space necessary to recognize our own gratitude.

We are the ones who suffer, for without gratitude, life becomes dry. When we fail to recognize, value, and have gratitude for what truly matters to us, that which we overlook falls out of the spectrum of our life. When we are grateful, “What we appreciate, appreciates”, as Lynne Twist so concisely states.

We cultivate gratitude by paying attention to the small things in life, by making time to realize and express our gratitude, and by living our gratitude. As John F. Kennedy said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

When the going gets rough, expressing and living with gratitude is not so easy. Many spiritual traditions remind us that tough times are not coincidences, or mistakes; difficulties in the path of life are opportunities provided so that we may grow and temper ourselves. We must practice meeting difficult times with the same gratitude we would meet good times. This has practical as well as spiritual benefits, as the following quote states:

When asked how things are, don’t whine and grumble about your hardships.  If you answer “Lousy, “ then God says, “You call this bad? I’ll show you what bad really is.” When asked how things are and, despite hardship or suffering, you answer, “Good,” then God says “You call this good?  I’ll show you what good really is!
~ Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

The world is having a difficult time, and we as individuals can make a difference in our own lives, and the lives of others by cultivating and expressing gratitude – not just on a designated holiday or event, but every day, in every aspect of our lives.

For what are you grateful? Can you ask yourself, and give thanks, every day?

Ancient History: National Columnist, My First Job

From Kelly Manjula Koza’s archives: A scan of a piece I wrote for my first real job as a columnist for a national sports publication in the early 1980’s.

A month or so before I graduated high school, I was asked to write a regular column for a regional sports publication that was launching nationally. My only directive was that the column was to be “for junior athletes”. I accepted the offer, mused a bit, and a few weeks later, I sent in my first column — which I had typed on correctable paper using a mechanical typewriter and mailed in a stamped envelope. It was 1980, before personal computers, email, faxes, or cell phones!

A day later I received a call: The publisher wanted to know if I would be available to edit the entire paper, and yes, I would be paid for that as well as my column. After several days of contemplating this additional job offer — a little mind-blowing for a 16-year old kid who already felt in over her head as a “pro athlete”— I decided that the few days a week of driving nearly 60 miles across the metropolis to the newspaper office was not practical. 

Instead, I wrote more for the paper. Lots more. Over the course of two or three years, in addition to my monthly column, I penned so many player profiles, tournament recaps, and other features (and contributed a few not-so-good photos) that I soon insisted the publisher not put my by-line on anything except my column. (I also edited, laid out, and ghost wrote columns for a few initial newsletters for the fledgeling women’s pro association, which started without staff and was run by collective volunteer effort at first.)

Of the dozens of pieces published, I kept only the random column shown below and one feature. I don’t tend to save things, especially my own work, and in the years before scans were easy and photos were digital, I discarded almost all articles I had written that were published in newsprint, and did so without saving a copy. At times I wish I had saved more, as it would be interesting now to read what I had written then!

I do recall that the first column (which is not the one below) stated my ideal for the series: To inspire kids (and adults) to improve themselves, their physical and mental health and well-being, their playing ability, their love of sports, and their lives in general — and to play and live fairly and honestly. I was rather surprised at the number of adults who confided to me that my column was their favorite part of the paper. 

And yes, the first name in the byline and intro paragraph below is blurred, as at that time I was called by a variation of the first name I was given at birth. The given name most definitely did not suit me and the nickname did not either. I legally changed my name some years later.

(Text continues after the article)

Written sometime between 1980 and 1982.

Writing for RT was actually my second job in journalism. My first was unpaid, when I started writing for my high school newspaper for typical reason: The paper didn’t cover girls’ sports. When the LFHS girls’ field hockey team won the state title (again), not one single paragraph about the championship girls’ team appeared in the paper. I and most girls in the school were incensed at the omission, so I penned a letter to the paper’s editor and faculty advisor. The editor responded that there were not enough reporters (all guys) to cover the girls’ sports. I wanted to write articles about girls’ sports, the paper would publish them.

Of course I wrote articles — quite a few, as I recall – and by default, I became the paper’s girl’s sports editor. Along with the rest of the paper’s staff, I attended journalism workshops given by a senior editor from the Chicago Tribune, which I found both interesting and helpful. Years later, I also laughed at an irony that evolved: The editor of the school paper who told me I had to pen articles about girls’ sports if I wanted any in the high school paper later became a sports editor and a senior editor of the Tribune.

I would suspect that the Tribune, like most mainstream media, does need more reporters to cover women’s sports. If I recall my figures correctly, only 4% of media sports coverage is devoted to women’s sports. While viewership for women’s sports has increased tremendously, and prize money for some sports has increased to some degree, media coverage still lags.

A Note about the Archives

What you’ll find in the archives (KMK Archives category within the blog) is not in chronological order, and it’s certainly not comprehensive or representative of all I’ve done. Some pieces posted here are historically relevant; some highlight projects I particularly enjoyed; others you may find fun or interesting; and perhaps one will lead you to muse and consider a time period or event from your own life.

There are also many writings, articles, logos, designs, videos, case studies, and other examples I’m not posting publicly for reasons of copyright, respect of a person or organization for whom I did the work, or, quite frankly, because the work is not very interesting or germane to the general public. I’ve also discarded much work for personal and practical reasons.

Discarding old work is space-saving, especially when the original was not digital, and scanning or photographing items was not easy. Over the years, I’ve tossed most of the non-digital work I created without keeping any record. Yes, occasionally I wish I had kept a sample of this, that, or the other project — but the feeling passes!

Much old work is also just that: old. Articles were often geared to a specific event, or were so long most people are not going to read them now. Satires were so bitingly close to the truth that often they were harbingers of things to come or not understood as satire. Three-dimensional works I constructed in metal or fibers were interesting and unique, yet I have not maintained a continuing practice in studio art.

Training videos, instruction guides, user manuals, and how-to articles for software, hardware, and so on become obsolete soon after creation, and they are not very interesting to the general public. Neither are old project plans, program outlines, business plans, media kits, or status reports.

I rarely saved copies of my corporate work because employees and contractors are usually required to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) that state any work done for the corporation remains corporate property. In such cases, I didn’t even keep portfolio copies of what I created.

Just as written work was often tied to an event or timeframe, many logos, posters, and brochures I’ve created were representative of a specific era or design style. The two longest-used logos I designed were cutting-edge when I created them, but have now come to be seen as clichéd. One of those logos was actively used for more than 25 years, and the other logo is still in use after more than 30 years.

Ultimately, unless there’s a lesson to learn or person to thank, I prefer to be in the present moment and consider new ideas and projects rather than look backwards or rest on laurels.


© Kelly Manjula Koza unless otherwise noted.