Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/waynemos/public_html/index.php on line 1

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/waynemos/public_html/wordpress/wp-blog-header.php on line 1

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/waynemos/public_html/wordpress/wp-load.php on line 1
Wayne Moses Burke / I trust that the world will save itself given the opportunity. The challenge lies in guaranteeing the opportunity.
Skip to content



Thanks for stopping by.

If you have arrived here, you probably already know about the Open Forum Foundation. You can visit that there.

On the off chance that you aren’t familiar with it — check it out! I could gush about it, but I’ll let it speak for itself. Me? That has primariliy become my life and that’s why I’m sending you there before I even say anything about me, but if you’re interested you can poke around here and learn a great deal about who I am, where I came from, and how I think.

I also use this for blogging personal thoughts and ideas – when I do that (the best laid plans…).

Anyway, hope you’re well. And let me know if I can do anything for you.

The 3rd Way.


How do you solve a problem?


My first answer would be to use logic. Figure out what the problem is. Determine a solution. Rationally lay out a plan of action. Implement it.

The problem with this is that I don’t follow plans well – let me rephrase. Plans do not approximate reality well. They don’t take into account:

  • The fact that when you make the plan, you don’t know everything you’re going to encounter. You can’t fully understand the situation until you’re in the middle of it.
  • Often times you have to deal with other people, and they may not fit neatly into your plan.
  • You are more efficient at certain times than others and this seems to be sporadic (at least for me). With a solid plan, you often have to do things even when you’re not being very efficient at them, eg you have a headache or are distracted by a fight with a friend or spouse.


The next possibility is emotion. You know, just feel it out and go with what seems like the right thing to do. This has its share of benefits (more action, less thinking, more efficiency of activity because you’re in the moment dealing with things as they come up), but it can also create problems:

  • This isn’t so good with deadlines.
  • It’s easy to ignore other people and their problems.
  • If the problem is complex or requires several steps, you may miss something critical and then have to deal with in a “putting out the fire” method.


Doesn’t it seem like there should be a 3rd way? Something that provides the best of the other options while minimizing their difficulties? Let’s try this:

  1. Identify the problem.
  2. Lay out a plan to solve the problem. This may or may not be written down, but think it through as best you can. If you do write it down, realize that this is a rough guide, not a rulebook. You don’t actually have to do anything that you write down. This is very important.
  3. Do whatever feels right. This is most likely the first thing on your list (if you made one) since you just did it, but the second thing you do may or may not be.

Now you may be asking, how is this different from any other system of problem solving? Well, it’s not really. I mean, it does create a sort of logical structure around emotional efficiency, which is nice but let’s be honest – that’s what most of us do anyway, isn’t it?

I think what I’m really looking for here is something that is not yet defined. Let’s try this:

Three (part the Deux)

What if you could live your life with an awareness of “what needs to be done” (logic), how you’re feeling (emotion), and how anyone else affected by the problem is feeling? What if you could hold that in your head, balance it, and then automatically determine your actions based on it? Now that’s what I’m talking about.

Sound impossible? Sound easy? Maybe you already do this – or think you do. I think I used to do this, but I know that I don’t now. I wonder if I can again?

Metaphors, not understanding.


I have always thought that it was possible to fully understand things. Now, I’m not so sure.

I think it’s possible that all we do as humans is develop metaphors that approximate what we experience and prepare us to deal with it the next time. If the metaphors predict behaviour and response accurately enough, then they’re good enough and we don’t worry about it! Let’s be honest, our hard-wired goal is to live – to survive, not to understand. Understanding merely satisfies our intellectual curiosity.

(Oh my gosh! Did I just discover the scientific method and apply it to daily life?)

Number 39.


I’m how old? Yeah. I guess that happens.

Here’s some picture showing the aftermath following the UPS delivery from my family. Wow. I’m loved.

It’s nice.

[Bigger pictures on the click through – but not better quality]

2010-04-30 18.03.42
Here’s the Zingerman’s medley from mom and dad:

2010-04-30 18.02.27
My favorite cookies from childhood from the Jonesville Bakery (a little worse for wear!):

2010-04-30 18.01.23
And an assortment of bizarre and crappy candy (and condoms) from my sister’s boyfriend ‘Mar:

2010-04-30 17.59.19

Yes, that’s a Wii click candy dispenser and teriyaki beef nuggets that smell like dog food! Thanks, ‘Mar!

Thank you!

Humbled by $3500 in 3 days.

(You can read the Open Forum Foundation post related to this here)

Monday night, I accepted that my future rested solely on the willingness of others to assist me when I published the blog post $3500 by 11/15? on the Open Forum Foundation website. At the time, the idea of raising $3500 in a little less than a week seemed almost impossible. I expected that each donation would be akin to pulling teeth. I expected that I would get an average donation of about $100. I expected that I would be able to scramble around and call a lot of people and rekindle connections that I wish were more solid. And I expected that somehow through some miracle, I would be able to scrape by and pay rent and get enough money to make it another month.

I wished that I had more time to build the connections in the way that I would like – in a sustainable fashion where each person that I connect with has a myriad of options for getting engaged with the Open Forum Foundation, and where they only do so if they truly believe in the mission and our ability to accomplish it. I don’t want money just because people like me. I want people to get involved and engaged in the things that they’re passionate about, and if my mission is theirs, then let us go forward together and do great things! If not, I wish them the best and am happy to help when and where it’s appropriate.

But I didn’t have that luxury, I just needed $3500 and quick. So I put it out there. I called some people, I tweeted about it, I … asked for help.

Now I’ve been trying to do something good for the world with all the tools and knowledge that I have available, but I have overlooked and misunderstood the most important asset that I have at my disposal: the community of friends, associates, and comrades that I have met and gathered around me. I continually realize that I know so little and have so much to learn.

So in 3 days and only 6 donations, we reached $3500. How do I rectify this with my expectations? My expectations were wrong. People care. People HAVE been looking for an opportunity to help me, and I haven’t been giving it to them.

It is difficult for me to wrap my head around the type of faith that these 6 people have shown in me and in what we are doing at the Open Forum Foundation. I didn’t grow up relying on other people, I was raised to be independent and capable and responsible. I was raised to take care of myself, and this has served me incredibly well.

But not for what I’m doing now. Where there is no monetary return on investment and no self-sustaining funding model, you cannot do it alone. The work that I am doing can only be done if there are people out there who believe in what I’m doing, as well as in me and my ability to do it sufficiently that they are willing to donate part of what they earn to make sure it happens.

I couldn’t conceive of that prior to the last days. Let me rephrase – I could conceive of it. I could understand in an abstract, intellectual way. But not in an experiential manner. Not like now.

Now, it’s tangible. Now I get it. And now, I know that people are watching, expectantly, with trust and confidence in my ability to do something worthwhile. In the ability of the Open Forum Foundation to accomplish the goals that we have set for it.

It changes things. It changes my perspective on Open4m (as I discussed in the other post) but it also changes my perspective on the world around me. Truly, we are all interconnected and we all must rely on each other for life, for experience, for hope, for improvement – both personal and societal. It may seem a bit trite, but it’s true that if we all work together, we can make the world be whatever we want it to be.

The secret to that is getting everyone moving in the same direction. Failing that (as is the most likely result), how about we just settle for giving everyone the opportunity to pursue their own path? I think that in and of itself is sufficiently game-changing for this lifetime.

So let me say to anyone and everyone who reads this: I love you. I thank you. I think the world of you. And most importantly, I will do everything I can with my skills and abilities to give you the freedom that you deserve, both for the betterment of yourself and for the betterment of all humanity.


No fear.


Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Listening to Obama’s acceptance speech last night, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between Lincoln (which he talked about), FDR, and him. I suppose to leave out Washington is historically inaccurate, but I don’t know enough to draw those conclusions. This is not to say that I have decided that Obama is a great president and that history is already decided – there are many issues that he must confront and his challenge is much more in the leadership and organization vein than any other. Will he be able to break the US reputation for only being capable of handling one major issue at a time? We shall see, but I digress…

The point I was headed for is based on the generational political cycles discussed in the book Millennial Makeover. In brief, there are four main types of generations in Anglo-Saxon culture (including the US), and these cycle through in order. The current generation – the Millennials, or Gen Y – are an example of a civic generation. Civic generations also fought the revolution, the civil war, and world war II. Thus, when Obama referenced Lincoln in his speech last night, and the commentators referenced FDR in 1932, the association rang particularly true through that perspective.

Yes we can

“Yes we can,” he said. This is the first presidential campaign slogan that I have heard in my life that seems to reach out and inspire people on a massive scale, a scale on par with the stories that we read about in history books growing up. I guess so much of this will be written by history, but Obama’s climb to power is an impressive feat in a short period of time, and one that does ride on hope for change.

So DC erupted last night. As I lay in bed at 2 or 3 in the morning, I was awakened repeatedly by honking, yelling, and probably gun fire (although I wouldn’t swear to it) above the dull, continuous roar of a crowd all along U street. I have seen so many quotes from black Americans that for the first time, they feel like real Americans – that they are no longer second class citizens. Jesse Jackson crying in the crowd in Chicago. I will not even pretend to understand the relief that seems to have come from Obama’s election in this regard, but it certainly seems to be cathartic on a cultural level for race relations in our country. That is not to say that we are all done with that part of our history, but as Obama said in his speech, this is the beginning of a change that will be significant for our country.

No fear

If you’re like me, you’re wondering how all of this babbling relates to the title of the post. I guess I would have to say that Obama’s hope for change has successfully moved the US in many ways from a culture of fear. So much of the racial difficulties derive from fear – historic fear and guilt bred from centuries of abuse and mistrust and violence. 9/11 and the politics of fear that ensued from that. Fear is crippling. It promotes decisions based not on reason, but rather on emotion. It creates a world run by reactive response, instead of proactive leadership. It is my belief that it is fear that has led the US to fall from our leadership position in the world. To be pursuing the elimination of danger instead of the creation of safety. To be so busy protecting our interests that there is no room to promote our ideals. If you’re going to lead you have to be in front. No one likes a backseat driver, but that is where we’ve been – all the while sitting in the driver’s seat!

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” said Roosevelt in his first inaugural address in 1933. He wasn’t talking about confronting enemies in a war. He was talking about the Great Depression. He was talking about confronting ourselves. Now, as then, there are enemies out in the world, but the way to defeating them is not through protectionism, it’s through engagement with the rest of the world and confronting our own issues.

Life is for the Living.

As I lay awake last night listening to the crowds celebrate and thinking about fear, I realized something: I have been operating my personal life out of fear. My work life is great, but I continue to struggle in the arenas of play and love. What do I want? What do I enjoy? Am I happy? What do I need in order to be happy? I couldn’t answer these questions. Why? Fear. Fear of losing a friendship. Fear of ending a relationship. Fear of insulting or hurting people around me – the people I love (family and friends), the people I know (acquaintances), the people I meet on the street, the people I just pass and never even speak with. This was not a debilitating fear, it was a very functional fear. Most people would not even recognize it as fear, but rather as a sort of niceness. And in fact, this fear has given me wonderful diplomatic skills. I can’t complain about that, given my current location and goals in life.

The difficulty is that I have been so concerned with avoiding danger (instead of creating safety), that all I have seen is danger. I have known that in fact I am surrounded by love and support (and yes – safety), but unable to really enjoy it, to take advantage of it, to relax, to revel in life and all that it has to offer.

I can’t say that the curse is fully broken, time will tell if that is true. But I’ve made a big step in this regard. And I’m really excited about it.

Several years ago, I was doing some therapy and my final realization was “Life is for the living.” I continue to understand that more and more as I grow up (I know I’m 37), but I think the important part for me today is to take advantage of every opportunity presented to you and don’t spend time worrying about the ones you miss. There are so many opportunities every day, it’s not possible to explore all of them.

And if you think this isn’t true, then your eyes are also shut like mine sometimes are.

Life IS for the living. So get out there! If you’re reading this, tell me what new thing you’re going to take up that you’ve always wanted to do in the comments below.


Blessed Ignorance.


In the same book that I referred to last post, Gut Feelings by Gerd Gigerenzer, there is a section titled ‘Not Knowing the Rules Can Change the Rules’ in which he discusses the advantage that people unaware of the current rules have to make significant social change (p. 220-222).

He puts forth several examples of this throughout history, including Christopher Columbus, who managed to discover America due to a miscalculation on the circumference of the planet. Our friend Chris apparently died believing that he had found a quicker trade route to India. More…



I’m reading a book called Gut Feelings by Gerd Gigerenzer. Fascinating.

In his prelude to the discussion on how transparency creates trust, he quotes Alan Greenspan (p 215). These are fabulous! What do ya’ think?

“If I seem unduly clear to you, you must have misunderstood what I said.” – to a Congressman.

“I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”

Naming Help.


Goodness gracious. I have been struggling with naming this elusive nonprofit that I’m trying to start almost since its inception! The good news is I think I’ve finally figured it out:

The Open Forum Foundation

What do you think? Is it too similar to some other organization that I’m not thinking of or unfamiliar with?

Here’s the whole vision statement so you can see how it ties together:

The Open Forum Foundation believes that all human beings should be able to freely and easily:

  • communicate their views, opinions, and beliefs to pertinent decision-makers and leaders without fear of reprisal, as well as to each other.
  • gain an understanding of the views, opinions, and beliefs of others, including people in their community, pertinent decision-makers and leaders, people on all sides of an issue, and people all around the world.
  • participate in an open, vigorous, and all-inclusive debate that develops realistic and holistic solutions to the issues that concern them.



Life is so simple, until you live it.