Could this be the best way to reduce stress?

While watching the Red Sox get shellacked by the Seattle Mariners on Opening Day, I grew so stressed that I decided to hit pause, record the rest of the game and turn my attention to something, anything else on TV.

Appropriately enough, the documentary One Nation Under Stress was on HBO. My first inclination was to take a hard pass. The title itself sounded stressful. Upon second thought, I decided I would watch for a few minutes and an hour later was glad I did.…


Changing Lives is a Contact Sport

The opening of David Brooks new book, The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life reads:
 
Every once in a while, I meet a person who radiates joy…They are kind, tranquil, delighted by small pleasures, and grateful for the large ones.  These people are not perfect.  They get exhausted and stressed.  They make errors in judgment. But they live for others, not themselves.  They’ve made unshakable commitments to family, a cause, a community or a faith.


The Best Book I’ve Read in Years

The best books forever change the way you see something – and that is what The Overstory has done for me and my connection to nature – and specifically trees.

It is hard to describe, so I will start with these three  passages from different parts of the book:

That’s the trouble with people, their root problem. Life runs alongside them, unseen…A chorus of living wood sings to the woman: If your mind were only a slightly greener thing, we’d drown you in meaning.


Small Invisible Acts

A man wrote a short story that he could not get published. So he included it in 200 Christmas cards he sent out to friends and family.
 
One of the cards ended up in the hands of a film director. He made a film based on that story.
 
It lost a fortune and the director never made a successful film again. He ultimately had to sell his production company and with it the rights to the film.


Why We Share

Every minute there are over 3,000,000 pieces of content posted online via social media. That’s doesn’t even include texts or emails like this one.

Most people keep what they see to themselves.  Only 18% of people share more than one piece of content a day.

When we do share content, the number one reason is to entertain our friends (insert cat video joke here).  Conversely, only 13% of people share something for the purposes of making their friends “feel something.”…


Thank The Forgotten

This Thursday most of us in America will find ourselves surrounded by family and friends celebrating Thanksgiving.

Perhaps during prayer or a quiet moment in our mind, we will offer silent thanks for those whose presence in our life has made us who we are.  Our parents, partners, children, family or close friends will top most lists. 

Hopefully more than a few will go the extra steps and give voice to those silent thoughts in ways that go beyond a cursory thanks but offer a level of specificity of why we are so grateful for their presence in our lives.…


The Hidden Costs in Your Shopping Cart

It’s hard to argue with the convenience shopping carts have added to our shopping experience. But upon further inspection this seemingly innocuous invention may be both a cause and symptom of some of society’s gravest ills.

In 1937, Sylvan Goldman the owner of Humpty Dumpty grocery stores in Oklahoma created the first shopping cart by attaching wheels and two shopping baskets to a chair. His goal wasn’t shopper convenience but a desire for people to be able to carry more groceries around and out of his stores.…


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.


Why I Can’t Stand To See You Suffer

Several weeks ago, I was leaving Grand Central Terminal.  As I was going up a very long staircase, a young Asian woman was descending in the opposite direction on the escalator. Talking on her cell phone, I noticed a single tear slowly trickling down her cheek.

My initial inclination was to turn around and walk down the 40 steps or so to ask her if she was ok – her pain was that palpable. Thinking…