What’s Your “Shaky Ground” Moment?

Have you ever accidentally missed a credit card payment or a bill? Had a medical scare or even found yourself in legal trouble? Even been laid off or had a child care situation that turned your schedule upside down?

Kirsten Lodal, founder of the non-profit organization LIFT Communities, calls these “shaky ground” moments.

Some people seem to live perpetually on shaky ground. Jobs that have unpredictable hours.…


What’s Your Personal Economic Story?

When we think about the economy, we tend to talk in the macro sense using terms like GDP. But economics is a very personal matter. Each of us has our own personal economic landscape that plays a significant role in how well we do in life.

When you enter the job market, the industries that rise and fall during your prime earning years, shifts in your local economy, the changes in tax policy, industry regulation — all of these factors impact your own personal economic story.…


Home Is Where The Heart Is

A nice house with a white picket fence has long been the embodiment of the American Dream. With home ownership comes pride and stability. A place to call home, raise a family, build a life.

In Washington, D.C. today, there is a 40-year wait for affordable housing. That’s not a typo. Forty years. It doesn’t take much to turn a rented apartment, trailer, or a house into a home.…


Does “Who You Know” Ever Impact “How You’re Doing”?

While we may feel like we are “masters of our own universe,” most of us have a galaxy of friends and connections that impact our lives in a variety of ways. We call them our social networks.

There is the obvious way. We reach out to those we know for help. We have a legal question, so we ask a friend who is a lawyer. Our car has an issue, so we reach out to someone with mechanical experience.…


Look Up…

Researchers project that 50% of the world’s population will be short-sighted by the end of 2050. The result of spending so much time focused on little screens in our hands and on our laps, and not enough time outside. As disturbing as that may sound, it is just the latest example of our growing short-sightedness.

Increasingly, we seem to focus most of our energy thinking about how our actions will affect us in the short term versus how they may affect others over the long haul.…


They Say The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions

A little harsh, I’d say, but there is a point to be made about the unintended consequences that well-meaning ideas and words can have on our success.

Consider these three examples:

  • The IQ test was originally created to identify a child’s learning deficits, so they could receive extra attention and instruction. Later these scores were applied as a horribly misused tool of eugenics. Today, while less nefarious, we still use IQ scores to label and limit a kid’s potential and segregate them from their fellow students.

Undercover Awesome

That was the term used to describe Commissioner Scott Semple of the Connecticut Department of Corrections as he was introduced to a gathering at the Vera Institute of Justice.

In discussing his work to create a healthier and more humane corrections system, Mr. Semple lamented that people who work in corrections seldom get to see the success of their work.

After all, success is when someone doesn’t come back to prison — and goes on to live a happy life as a productive member of the community.…


The Powerful Play Goes On

He was, at different points in his life, a journalist, a school teacher, a nurse and a government worker. If these were his only contributions in life, his human impact would have still been immeasurable. After all, he tended to Civil War soldiers in their greatest hour of need and educated children at a time when most received little.

But what Walt Whitman is most known for is a short collection of poetry, Leaves of Grass, that he self published in 1855 and continued to revise throughout his life.…