Sharing

My two favorite parts of “It’s a Wonderful Life” are both born out of crisis.

The first comes as there is a run on the Bailey Building and Loan, the small community bank led by the movie’s protagonist, George Bailey. Fearing insolvency the customers descend on the bank with the hope of withdrawing all of their money out of fear caused by the stock market crash.…


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.…


Thanks to readers like you…

One of the best things about writing these weekly notes is the response I get from readers like you.

Some share a brief thumbs up or question, a related link or recommendation.  Other share personal stories or reflections on their own. 

All are so appreciated, so please keep them coming.

Among the emails I received recently were three that go to the heart of these Monday morning notes.…


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.


The Space Between Hope and Despair

In the film First Reformed, a reverend and environmentalist are experiencing existential crises – each waging a battle between hope and despair. In one exchange, the environmentalist shares his conflicting feelings about being an expectant father yet having to answer for the catastrophic effects climate change will have on the earth his unborn daughter will inherit as an adult.  He asks, “What will I say when she looks at me and asks – ‘You let this happen?’”…


What You Can Learn From 2 Bankers Named George

Two of the most beloved family movies of all-time focus on a banker named George.

I’ll give you a moment to see if you can guess either or both.

The first, George Banks, works for Fidelity Fiduciary Bank in London. His job is securing investments from customers whose money can help build “railways through Africa, dams across the Nile, fleets of ocean greyhounds, majestic, self-amortizing canals, plantations of ripening tea.” …


Do Children Cry Happy Tears?

This weekend my youngest daughter and I went to see the new movie Coco. The movie is a multi-layered parable about how family connections transcend time.

The penultimate scene shows a boy singing a lullaby to his great-grandmother who suffers from dementia.  The song, Remember Me, was written by her father and they would sing it together each time he said goodbye to her when she was a little girl.

Can You Do This Math?

Last week, Seth Godin wrote, “The difference between who you are now and who you were five years ago is largely due to how you’ve spent your time along the way.”
 
Serendipitously that same day, I watched, The Man Who Knew Infinity – a true story based on mathematicians trying to understand the world by discovering life’s underlying equations.  
 
With Seth’s words in mind, this amateur mathematician tried to develop a simple equation to capture how we become who we are.…


One Woman’s March

“There was once a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to be in harmony with its surroundings. The town lay in the midst of a checkerboard of prosperous farms, with fields of grain and hillsides of orchards, where white clouds of bloom drifted above the green land. In autumn, oak and maple and birch set up a blaze of color that flamed and flickered across a backdrop of pines.”