“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.


Who Will Remember Your Name?

Recently, I was listening to Clifton Truman Daniel talk about his grandfather, President Harry S. Truman. He spun one charming tale after another of how his grandfather taught him lessons about humility, courage and education.

Perhaps my favorite was when he told how he didn’t even know of his grandfather’s past life until his 1st grade teacher asked:

“Didn’t your grandfather used to be President of the United States?”…


Who Takes Care of Mom?

Generally speaking, there is no person more responsible for who we are or become than our mothers.

There are the obvious reasons: they give us life, carry us for nine months, bring us into this world, and nurture and protect us throughout.

Now not all moms are perfect and many are far from it. They are, after all, human, with their own life story, full of their own hardships and challenges.…


Why Remember?

The late Elie Wiesel often wrote of the importance of memory. In this book, The Forgotten, he shows a father’s struggles with Alzheimer’s and his urgency to transfer his life story to his son. Explaining this in an interview with Charlie Rose, Wiesel said, “If the son does not truly know his father’s story, he can never truly know himself.”

In Michael Moore’s recent documentary, “Where to Invade Next,” he travels around the globe looking for ideas that he can bring back to America, only to realize in the end that many of these ideas originated here in the first place.…


So Beautiful And So Short

“I cry because life is so beautiful and so short.”

This quote ends the poem, “Bygones,” written by Marina Keegan, author of The Opposite of Loneliness, published posthumously.

At the young age of 22, Keegan died in a car crash on her way to her father’s birthday celebration, just days after graduation from Yale University — and weeks before she was to begin her dream job writing at The New Yorker.…


What’s Up With The Hate?

Recently as we sat down to a nice family dinner, my youngest daughter looked at her plate and declared, “I hate this food!”

In looking at her meal of grilled chicken, carrots and watermelon, I asked myself and then her, “What’s up with the hate?” She had eaten each of these items before and loved them.

Unable to explain her feelings (not uncommon for a 4-year-old), we launched into a family conversation about hate.…


Where Do Superheroes Come From?

Every summer, our movie theaters are a parade of one superhero movie after another. But for all the external explosions and special effects, what often draws us in initially is the internal origin stories of these fantastic characters.

In a clever Smithsonian article, psychologist and author Robin Rosenberg writes about the different kind of life-altering experiences that form the basis of superheroes’ origins (e.g., trauma — think Batman, destiny — think Superman, and chance — think Spiderman).…


How Much of Your Life Do You Remember?

Each month we will experience over 600,000 moments (as defined in three-second intervals). Over the course of our lives, we will have lived more than a half billion of them. Naturally, the vast majority is forgettable. But those we keep, we weave together, connecting them to form our own “life story.”

But as time passes, more and more of these memories and connections naturally weaken and fade away.…


What Is A Vacation?

We’ve heard the depressing numbers:

  • Americans on average only receive 10 paid vacation days a year compared to 20 to 30 days in many European countries.
  • Even with that number, we don’t even use the ones we get: over 55% of paid vacation days go unused each year.
  • That number is especially alarming to the 25% of working Americans who receive ZERO days of vacation.
  • And when we are on vacation, 30% of people say they still do a significant amount of work while away.

To Be Awesome, Feel Small

The bubbles and birds announced their presence and our anticipation mounted. The fins teased their magnificence, first the dorsal and then the tail. Then scores of humpback whales pierced the water’s surface, their heads rising high above the water to the pleasure of both the birds who shared in their feast and the viewers who shared in their glory.

And shortly after, one breached. Jumping fully out of the water to the shock and awe of all who watched.…