From the importance of humor and asking questions to the wisdom of nature and the benefits of digging deep to live in integrity, 2020 had a lot to offer

An early-winter sunset over a river in Japan, one of many pictures of Nature I took this year. (Photo: Author)

I remember one year ago — there was much hope for 2020, much talk of 2020 Vision and yet …

What kind of year did you experience?

It certainly wasn’t the year I was suspecting. Thinking it was going to be a year of expansion outward, instead my 2020 was about going inward, rooting out some bad habits and developing trust in my body and my inner guidance.

What did you learn this year?

One thing I learned is that traditions exist for a reason, so for my top seven lessons of 2020 let’s give a nod to that suspense-building…

Wendy, respectfully, your own comment says that "she lost by so few votes that anything could have tipped the scales the other way" so how can that sync with "the mistakes she made were probably not enough to cost her the win"?

I mean, sure, I think any presidential candidate who loses a tight race is going to feel bitter about aspects of it, especially if one feels the other side used below-the-belt methods, but I'm also a person who played competitive sports and when our team lost a close game, our coaches always taught us NOT to focus on calls that didn't go our way from the umpires, but rather to look at the mistakes we made and to learn and GROW from them so we can become better.

Thanks for taking the time to dig into this and writing about it, as well as sharing links to back up your comments and for us to follow up should we chose to do so.

As for what can be done, on the personal level, yes more commitment to critical thinking seems first and foremost, as does more of an "I don't know" humble approach to life and an "I need not be able to explain everything with one theory" orientation. I know I'm working on this in myself.

Second, I would like to point out that we DO need…

The challenging death and rebirth cycle was at the center of 2020 for many of us. Can we grow from it?

These trees were three of my best friends in 2020.

No matter which way I was blown by my life or tossed by the stormy seas of social media, these trees were there for me.

Standing tall, their limbs stretching over the bike path not far from my house in central Japan, shading me on hot summer days, soothing me when my soul most needed it, I could count on them.

They were there.

And then…

One day in late November 2020 they weren’t.

On what felt like the worst possible day for it to happen, the trees were gone.

The way I listened to him in the early 1990s can provide some answers

Rush Limbaugh (Wikimedia Commons)

In my college years in the early 1990s, I had a summer job as a grounds crew/maintenance guy at my former junior high and I’d pass most of the day listening to the radio. Mostly, I stuck with classic rock FM stations, but as a budding journalist majoring in political science, sometimes I’d venture to the AM dials where news and talk radio hung out and I’d find myself listening to this guy named Rush Limbaugh.

As a liberal (then and now), I didn’t do this because I was like the tens of millions of “Dittoheads” that made up Rush’s…


Photo by Jurij Kenda on Unsplash

Tonya was my first love
A foster-kid,
one of many
who stole — and broke — my heart
with her innocence
and purity

I took her to McDonald’s
and she was so happy
to get a Happy Meal
yet we were both 21
that’s how young she was

I felt guilt
guilt that she didn’t have parents like I did,
parents who took her to those Golden Arches
parents who patiently waited as I begged
for a drink without “the fizz”

Guilt that she loved me for taking her there because I was thinking of how evil McDonald’s was for…

How the rock music of 1991 transformed my life as an 18-year-old college freshman

Note: This post was inspired by one of my favorite YouTubers, Rick Beato, and this recent live stream, which you should check out.

I enjoyed the heck out of this playlist as I wrote this. (Photo: Author).

August 1991

I’m 18, sitting in the backseat of my dad’s car and Led Zeppelin’s epic “Kashmir” is caravaning through my headphones off the mixtape in my Walkman and I’m getting excited. We are about to ascend off the floor of California’s boring, sunny San Joaquin Valley into the mountains that mark the psychological northern boundary of one of the world’s great cities.

Los Angeles. Home for the next four years. College. Who knows what will happen?

My fellow Americans, I come in peace and I speak from experience, your news media diet is making you sick. Here’s how to improve it.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

When I moved to Japan from the Seattle area in July 2004, I was a 31-year-old news junkie and I had to get out of America.

Like now, post-9/11 America was a heavy time filled with lies and mistruths, many of them coming from the Bush Administration and then spread throughout most of the media.

As a journalism and political science major in college, I spent way too much time consuming, and being consumed by, media. …

Episode 2 of my podcast, “The B and P Realm”

Episode 2 finds me rambling very broadly on the topic of censorship, where I try to put into context the recent actions of social media companies deleting accounts in the wake of the January 6th Storming of the Capitol event in Washington D.C..

I speak about how such purges are aimed at outsiders, not just people on one side of the political spectrum or the other, and why this concerns me.

While I recognize there are limits to free speech, I’m ultimately someone who feels we must err on the side of free speech and this episode explains why.


Fiction: A comic take on the extra-dimensional forces that are behind the mysterious force of synchronicity and why we should be grateful for them

The audio version of this tale read by the author.



Professors, theoreticians and part-time pontificators may gather behind ivy-draped walls in the ivory towers of AfterWorld №9 to dissect the causes for the Synchronicity Factory’s failures, but Sylvester Forrester had little time for such navel-gazing.

For Sylvester had a quota to make and one last chance to make it; and it wasn’t just his job on the line, it was the core thing that makes a soul a soul: his identity. …

Bryan Winchell

A Serious Fool who writes about: Personal/collective growth, politics, love of Nature/Humanity, Japan, podcasting, humor, and being a hippie in Service to Life.

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