A Labor, then Love

In 1894, Labor Day became an official federal holiday.

The year before a different kind of labor inspired a 26-year-old nurse to become one of the most important social reformers the country has ever known.

Lillian Wald was teaching a homemaking class on the Lower East Side when a little girl burst in begging for someone to help her dying mother.  She had struggled in labor before giving birth but was now badly hemorrhaging blood.…


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.


A Father’s Day Blessing

I didn’t even see her. I had walked in and out of our local supermarket with my eight-year-old daughter to run a quick errand for a next day’s class picnic.  Once we were both buckled in the car, she said, “Daddy, didn’t you see the woman holding the sign saying – Homeless. Pregnant.”?

I said I hadn’t and now was in a rush to get home as it was well past her bedtime. More…


I Hope You Don’t Ace This Test

Clinicians use a common tool to assess the extent of toxic stress a child experiences during his or her childhood. It’s called the Adverse Childhood Experience test, or ACE for short. It’s a simple tool made up of just 10 yes/no questions.

Please take two minutes and take the test.

In his New York Times column, David Brooks succinctly summarized the adult outcomes associated with higher ACE scores.…


Are You Writing a Resume or a Eulogy?

This is a terrific question raised in a TED Talk by columnist David Brooks. Are more of your actions something to talk about on your resume or for others to talk about at your eulogy?

In Linda Ellis’ poem, The Dash, she asks readers to reflect on that “dash” on your tombstone; your life’s actions between birth and death.

So, when your eulogy is being read,

with your life’s actions to rehash…

would you be proud of the things they say

about how you spent YOUR dash?