Is the force with you?

On a recent flight, I decided to watch the movie, The Last Jedi.

During one scene, Luke Skywalker dispels a long held myth about “the force.”  Over many films the assumption was that the force was something that one possessed, an internal feeling or power that was universally good.  Here Luke explains to the young Rey that the force is actually a connection we have with our world and with each other.…


What to do?

This week I watched a two-minute video and read a ten-page magazine article that hit me like a punch to the gut and left me staggering and wondering, “What to do?”
 
The video was of the sixteen-year-old environmentalist, Greta Thunberg, who had sailed from Sweden to address the United Nations.  Her provocative and passionate speech left me feeling shamed and helpless.  Watch for yourself.  How do her words make you feel?…


What’s on that post-it note?

In the corner of the sixth grade classroom, there was a chart with twenty or thirty hand written post-it notes attached. Each represented a student’s recommendation for their non-fiction essay. 
 
Approximately half were about global warming, several more about hurricanes.  A few would write about inequality or racism. By my estimate at least 80% of the suggested topics were about large societal problems.
 
My initial thought was how conscientious and social minded these students must be – which was admirable. 


Polar Opposites

It stood almost ten feet tall and weighted close to a thousand pounds. We were less than four feet away, separated by two trainers and a steel fence. Feeling small in its presence, it was literally awesome.

While most of the onlookers were equally mesmerized watching the polar bear go through its training exercises, it was impossible not to notice the five-year-old girl who sat just in front of me.…


Searching for the King

Growing up I absolutely idolized Elvis Presley. His rock and roll greeted me after Friday Little League games as I walked into the bar where my mom worked.  His movies kept me company on Saturday afternoons. His gospel music was my church on Sunday. 

Why I was so drawn to him is a bit of a mystery. Perhaps it was his devotion to his mother – which I shared to my own. Or…


Father’s Day Presence

This was the seventh father’s day for my youngest daughter. It means that all three of my children now have had a father in their lives longer than I had one in mine.

And I wonder to what benefit?

The absence of a father in my life inspired me to be ever present in my own children’s lives.  

I thought this would mean that they would see me as the greatest Dad ever. …


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.…


They Were Everywhere

On bookshelves, under end tables, on the dining room table, behind the sofa, and under chairs. In the hallway, kitchen, bedroom, living room and yes, the closet. They were spread to every corner of our home like the Starks to the kingdoms of Westeros.
 
Legos, Legos and more Legos. Our home had turned into a literal Lego-land. Constructed sets abounded – tree houses, ski lodges, yogurt shops, pet hospitals, ice skating rinks, pizzerias and amusement parks.…


The True Meaning of Eve

For millions of children around the world (and perhaps an equal number of adults), today is a day of incredible anticipation.  For tomorrow, they will wake up uncontrollably consumed by the excitement that comes with presents nestled under and around the Christmas tree.
 
The very nature of any “eve” is one of anticipation and even anxiety.  As the great Tom Petty once sang, “the waiting is the hardest part.”