What To Remember This Memorial Day

In 1943, off the coast of North Africa, my grandfather, Burton Poucher was one of 1,149 U.S. soldiers who were killed aboard the HMT Rohna.

The ship was sunk by a newly designed remote control German glider bomb – a precursor to today’s “smart” missiles. It was the largest single loss of life in the sea during the war.


Prior to shipping off, Burton was stationed in Indiana for training.…


How Do You Compare To Others?

We all like to believe that our self-worth is something we determine on our own. It is after all called self-worth.
 
Then why do we so often feel compelled to compare ourselves to others? We do it with our looks, our grades, our performance, our income and raises. And we do it between neighbors or friends (e.g. keeping up with the Joneses) and within our families (e.g. will we do better than our parents?)…


Are You Feeling More Restless?

Last week, my five-year old daughter suffered a small fracture in her tibia just below the knee. Ultimately, she will be fine. As they say, we grow stronger in all the broken places. For now, she is laid up with a removable knee brace, unable to walk, go to school, or move freely about on her own.
 
She has warmed to this new situation. Reminiscent of Hodor and Bram from Game of Thrones, she must be carried everywhere and has an innate power over all of us as we cater to her every desire. The

Now, More Than Ever?

Now more than ever, I’ve been hearing and reading the phrase “Now more than ever.”
 
When you google that phrase, you will be bombarded by hundreds of thousands of results from election day to today.
 
Most are calls to arms from organizations and individuals who understandably feel threatened by the changes they anticipate. Their intention is to create a sense of urgency that will translate into more support – both financially and otherwise.…


This Is How Real Change Starts

Our problems seem intractable. Opposing sides become so entrenched in their world view that any prospect of progress seems bleak.

So we spend our energy either demonizing the “other side” or trying to persuade them to “see the light” and come over to our side. 

New research out of Stanford that examined one of the most intractable of all issues offers us hope that real change starts at a more basic level – showing people that ANY change is possible.…


How Do You Get Out Of A Jam?

I’m writing this fresh off an eight-hour stint in a minivan with my wife, three little girls and our new four month old puppy named Scout.  Jealous?

Three hours in things could not have been better. Only one pitstop whose efficiency would have made any Nascar driver proud.

Around hour five, the estimated time of arrival in our GPS began to go backwards. Instead of counting down, it began going up. First…


What My Daughter Taught Me About Giving Thanks

Each Thanksgiving is an annual rite of passage to think about those things for which we are thankful.

In our home, like I suspect in many others, it’s usually a cursory reflection lasting just a few minutes before we dig into the turkey and stuffing.

But shouldn’t real gratitude be a little more expansive than this?

Do me a favor – take this two-minute quiz to see how grateful you really are?


ANNOUNCEMENT: Webinar on the Science Behind Moving Up – July 27th @ 2pm

Tomorrow, July 27th, I am excited to be teaming up with The Communications Network to lead an online discussion about the interesting research behind Moving Up.

During this one-hour webinar, we will examine how social sciences are transforming our understanding about how and why people engage with their world and the issues we face as a society. I’ll share stories on how Moving Up has engaged individuals from all walks of life, and notably how it has engaged academics in new research surrounding the narrative of opportunity and inequality.…


I Remember, Therefore I Am

How has the idea of hard work become so prevalent that we have developed blinders to so many factors that affect our station in life?

Some may suggest it’s a cultural thing. After all, it is relatively unique to Americans. We are the land of self-reliance and pulling ourselves from our bootstraps.

Sociologically, researchers like Paul Piff will point to this as a sign of Fundamental Attribution Error, which is our natural tendency to overestimate the role of the individual versus the situation.…


Name Calling

When I was six, my mother called me “Little Professor” even though she had never met anyone who went to college, yet alone taught at one. She called me this simply because I wore glasses and liked to read.

At LIFT Communities, people who come looking for assistance are called “members” as a sign of being equal to everyone who works there.

And at the public charter school, KIPP NYC, incoming students are called by the year of their expected graduation…from college!…