The Powerful Play Goes On

He was, at different points in his life, a journalist, a school teacher, a nurse and a government worker. If these were his only contributions in life, his human impact would have still been immeasurable. After all, he tended to Civil War soldiers in their greatest hour of need and educated children at a time when most received little.

But what Walt Whitman is most known for is a short collection of poetry, Leaves of Grass, that he self published in 1855 and continued to revise throughout his life.…


Home Is Where?

In New York and other cities, we have become conditioned to largely ignore homeless people. Sometimes, not even acknowledging their requests. Exceptions are made. For example, when someone performs a song or a dance we may reward their obvious talent with a dollar or two, perhaps rationalizing this as a fair exchange.

Recently, I’ve seen several instances where a homeless person asked for either food or money so they could buy food.…


I Was Wrong

Three simple words, yet so seldom heard.

Recently, after an especially stressful day, I came home to a chaotic house — kids being kids, running around and not particularly listening to anything any grownup had to say.

On a good day, this would have rolled right off my back. Maybe even caused me to get lost in it myself and act equally silly.

But not on this day.…


“I” Of The Tiger

In his acceptance speech after winning the Golden Globe in 2015 for his role in “Creed,” Sylvester Stallone said, “I am the sum total of everyone I’ve ever met and sort of lucky that I’ve absorbed some of it.”

This was a bit ironic given that most people think of the character for which he is best known and won the award as one of America’s greatest stories of the “self-made” man.…


Why Do We Really Send Our Children To School?

This morning children from all over will start bustling back into their classrooms.

Presumably, we send them off to learn, but learn what? How to acquire knowledge, get good grades, or perform well on tests? How to get along with others or be a better person?

Is the purpose to prepare them for college, a job, or life?

Recently, someone shared with me this video (scroll down) of the student speaker, Donovan Livingston, at Harvard Graduate School of Education’s 2016 Convocation.…


The Scariest Part of Bungee Jumping

Recently someone told me that the scariest part of bungee jumping wasn’t taking the first step off the bridge. It wasn’t even at the nadir of their fall when they were closest to the river below. Instead, it was when they began bouncing back up.

The reason? This was the only point when they didn’t feel the safety and support of the harness and it was terrifying.…


“I recommend…”

In our lives we make and receive thousands of recommendations. From books to read and places to visit to foods to try and people to meet, and so on and so on. But perhaps the most important recommendations are those that help someone else move up in life — an idea worth pursuing, a job recommendation, a letter of reference for school.

Is there a recommendation you’ve received that came at the perfect time, that changed the trajectory of your life?…


“I just want to do what’s best for my kids…”

It’s natural to want to do what we think is best for our kids. Consider these three scenarios:

1. Your daughter makes two different travel soccer teams. After committing to one, you agree to switch her to the other team after you learn the second offers, what you hear is, better coaching.

2. After your son mentions the extra time he is spending preparing for standardized testing, you decide that it would be better to minimize his stress and you opt him out of the state test.…


“I am sick and tired…”

Typically we hear this expression when someone is voicing extreme frustration or disgust. People become fed up about one thing or another and on the verge of having a Howard Beale moment—”I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

Often there is good cause for their angst. Systems continually fail, organizations are dysfunctional, and people are, well, human.

Yet the reaction may be out of proportion to its true impact in our daily lives, especially when compared to being literally sick and tired.