What does a child feel?

We’ve all been there. Seemingly out of nowhere, a child just loses it.  These meltdowns have an almost surreal beginning, leaving us wondering, “Where the hell is this coming from? “  They quickly escalate into an exorcist-like demonic possession. What else can possibly explain what is being spewed from the mouths of babes?  The litany of complaints, grievances, and injustices fly out like one speaking in tongues.…


Wisdom from William Shakespeare and Marc Maron

The irony of self-knowledge is that to gain it, you need to look outside of yourself. Recently I noticed that tucked inside the word acknowledgement are three smaller words – a + knowledge + me.

Yet science shows that we are wired not to see the broader context of our lives. While confirmed by modern research the sentiment goes back at least to the days of Shakespeare – who wrote in Julius Caesar:

Lowliness is young ambition’s ladder,
Whereto the climber-upward turns his face;
But when he once attains the upmost round
He then unto the ladder turns his back,
Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
By which he did ascend.…


What will you see when you listen to this?

Ira Glass has said “audio is the most visual medium.”  He was referring to the ability of gifted storytellers to paint pictures in our minds using the intimacy of their voice as a brush and words that provide color and form.

Another way to interpret that phrase is the ability to help us hear something that changes the way we forever see the world.

Throughout most of my life, this largely happened via music. Gifted


What will you do at 3:00PM today?

Across the country today, graves will be marked by American flags and adorned with flowers.  Each will be a poignant reminder to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
 
The origin of Memorial Day is not without controversy.  Many date its unofficial beginnings to the period immediately after the Civil War when southerners began decorating the graves of fallen soldiers.  What was seen as an incredible act of conciliation, the women of the South who led this effort, treated the graves of Confederate and Union soldiers that same – decorating both. …


What Do You Do When You’re Wrong?

In response to last week’s post, several readers wrote me to point out an error. I incorrectly wrote, “Mr. Rogers invited the postman, Mr. McFeely, to come soak his feet in his pool.”  

In reality, he invited Officer Clemmons. Mr. McFeely is white while Officer Clemmons is African-American – not a minor point considering Mr. Rogers was trying to make a statement about integrating public pools.

My initial instinct was to hope no one else noticed and ignore it.  


You Can Do Hard Things

This is a phrase my wife has recently used several times with our children. When I first heard it, it immediately struck a chord.
 
As a child, most things seem a little hard at first – tying your shoes, getting your own breakfast, reading a book, riding a bike.
 
It is by only by doing these things ourselves, that we eventually master them and what at first seemed hard eventually becomes second nature.…


What Will You Leave Behind in 2018?

With 2019 right around the corner, it is customary to look forward.  To set goals, create plans and, of course, make resolutions.  It is also an opportunity to reflect and look back.

Recently a friend told me that during a recent yoga class, the instructor asked everyone to reflect on the question, “what do you need to leave behind?”  In other words, what mindsets, behaviors or habits do you need to change if you want to be able meet those goals, follow through on those plans and keep those resolutions?…


What Our Dogs Can Teach Us About Moving Up

As I write this, my two-year old Cairn terrier mix, Scout, is sitting on my lap. Occasionally, he rests his head on my right forearm, making the act of typing a more delicate matter.

The benefits of dog ownership are well documented. They improve both our physical and mental health, reduce stress, increase our sociability, confidence and sense of responsibility and generally just make us happier.  But…


How To Tell The Truth

My six year old daughter stepped off the bus with a very long face.  “Daddy, you’re going to be so mad at me. I did something awful at school today.”
 
Embarrassed, upset and ashamed, it took twenty minutes for her to work through her tears and tell me that she got in trouble for talking in gym class. A crime that was punishable by sitting alone on the stage at the front of the gym. A…


Help!

John Lennon once referred to Help! as one of only two true songs he ever wrote with the Beatles (the other being Strawberry Fields). In contrast, so many of his other songs felt “phony” to him.
 
Both the lyrics and the backstory behind this Beatles’ hit contain many truths about the nature of help, and how hard it is to both give it and ask for it.