Will You Hear This Today?

From the earliest of ages, we teach our children to say “thank you” when someone does something nice for them. This is undoubtedly important, as it teaches respect, gratitude and appreciation. But what if we also taught them to try and “hear” thank you each day?

When we hear “thank you” it means that we or someone else nearby has done someone an act of kindness.…


See Something Bad, Do Something Good

Consider the following two situations:

  • Sitting outside enjoying a beautiful day, you overhear two people engaging in a political conversation filled with hate, offensive remarks and untruths.
  • Later that day, you are scrolling through your Facebook feed and you see a short video of a little girl, blood running down her face.  She is calling, “Baba”, “Baba”. Looking for her daddy after a missile has just ripped through her neighborhood in Syria.

Who Should Government Help?

Which do you believe?

A) Government should help all Americans equally.

B) Government should focus on those in most need.

Now consider this:

When we design for “A” we create things that we universally value (think Social Security, Medicare).

  • They are devoid of stigma because we know they are meant for all for us and we each expect at some point to use them.
  • They are generally easier to manage as they are centralized, simpler and the same rules apply to everyone.

Another Version Of You

This is the title of a brilliant new PBS documentary about television pioneer, Norman Lear.

It is also his philosophy for creating characters and for seeing “other” people. Whereas someone might look at his most famous creation, Archie Bunker, and see only a bigot, he instead sees a fellow American whose own life experiences have simply created a different version of himself.

In watching clips of All in the Family, it is hard to imagine these shows being able to air today.…


Let There Be Light!

A recent op-ed by The Dalai Lama and Arthur Brooks discussed the benefits of feeling needed. Studies show that Americans who prioritize doing good for others are almost twice as likely to say they are very happy about their lives.

Yet their central argument was that the fear of being unneeded is driving much of the anger, fear and darkness that we see around us.

So what gives?…