Why I Volunteer

More often than we would like to admit, we lead curiously monotonous lives. Work, home and the occasional insufficient vacation. We could hardly be blamed for not placing a priority on how those around us are going about their own lives. But this is not about them. It is about us and how their plight affects us.

Stretching the Truth with Pictures

The expression “pictures don’t lie” was used pretty frequently when I was growing up – I was born in the mid-80’s, in case I date myself too much. Today, in much the same way that most children born after the year 2000 have never seen a roll of film, you don’t hear this phrase much anymore, at least in my experience

Be Accepting and Be Accepted: A Blind Oasian

Because I am legally blind, I thought it might be helpful to write a blog to inform others about my disability, to educate and to show that I am a fellow Oasian who enjoys being a part of the community like everyone else.

Writing Our Secular Stories

What I love about this blog is the stories. I’m a bookworm, but serious reader or not, I believe the best introduction is always: “Let me tell you a story.”

How are You Doing? Do You Need Anything?

"How are you doing? Do you need anything? Those questions still throw me back into the first hazy, grainy days after my husband, Bruce, died very suddenly November 22, 2017 from double pulmonary embolisms.

Even Small Hands Can Solve Human Problems

"Human hands solve human problems" is my favorite Oasis Core Value. I believe the only way to help the world is by actually putting in the hours and getting hands on. This value is one that I want my children to grow up incorporating into their lifestyle.

Finding Your Tribe

Every four years, the world slows to a standstill to watch 22 grown men chase after a ball. The World Cup provides drama and pageantry, but is there something truly special about sweaty individuals with muscular thighs trying to kick a ball through a rectangle?

It Takes a Village

In many respects, I breathe the Oasis core values. As a scientist by training who serves others, my favorite core values are: “Reality is known through reason” and “Human hands solve human problems.” Today though, I want to address the core value I struggle with the most: “Be accepting and be accepted.”

The Limits of Compassion

A community of reason and compassion. That is how we describe the Houston Oasis Community. It’s an encapsulation of the community’s core values. Yet beneath this simple expression lies complexity and ambiguity...

Heaven's Not the Great Beyond

For this installment of the Oasis blog, we offer a discussion of a song lyric provided by long-time Oasis member, Gary Taylor, with an analysis by TC Smythe. (TC's favorite lines are in bold text.) We hope that this topic might inspire our members to create more songs and anthems with a humanist twist.

The Godless Dollars

In 2007 the US Mint started releasing a new series of dollar coins. The series would include four designs a year for up to ten years and each design would feature the portrait of a US president, in the order in which he served – earning them the name “the presidential dollar series."

We are the Difference

I don’t get too excited about a lot of things. My highs are not too high, and my lows are not too low. I tend to live in a moderate, middle, calm area that I sometimes call Zen. Now in my mid 40s, I’ve realized some ideas that DO excite and energize me...

Sharing the Credit

I'm a biologist and wildlife photographer. So I have spent my lifetime engaged in the study of living things. When I’ve spoken at Oasis, that relationship between us and other living things was front and center, or peripheral, but it was always there.

On the Subject of Labeling

Since coming to Oasis, I’ve been asked by some long-time friends, “What’s the deal with this Oasis thing of yours?” often accompanied by a slight rolling of the eyes. I’m never offended since I’ve even asked the same question of myself.