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.


Where does wealth come from?

By definition, wealth is “an abundance of resources.”  In other words, you have more than you need.
 
It may seem counterintuitive, but research shows the primary determinant for wealth is not how much we make (income) but how much we are given (intergenerational transfer). 

This can come in three forms.  

  • Inheritance that is passed down upon the death of a parent or grandparent or other older relative.

Learning from the Boss

I’m sitting here paying my bills and just kicking myself.  Not over money spent but on money not.

Before sitting down, I went to Spotify and stumbled on Springsteen Live on Broadway. When it came out, the reviews were stupendous as were the first hand accounts from friends who had shelled out significant money to see it. 

Within five minutes of listening, I could tell that this would have been money well spent.


What Kind of Neighbor are You?

Consider these three stories:
 
A couple in Newton Massachusetts give birth to a daughter who is deaf.  In response, twenty of their neighbors learn sign language and have been speaking to that child regularly for the last two years.  Rather than having to travel hours away to learn how to sign at a school for the deaf, the little girl is able to stay in her community and learn by signing with her family and friends.…


This Is Me vs. This Is Us

This devastating article details the lengths to which a private school went to drive their students into college. It included allegations of abuse, falsifying transcripts and encouraging students to exaggerate the challenges in their life in their admissions essays. 

The idea was to “manufacture up-from-hardship tales that it sold to Ivy League schools hungry for diversity.”

In the fictional world of the TV show “This is Us”, a recent episode also focused on a character’s inspirational admissions essay. …


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 Child or The Road?

Uncertain times raise the stakes for raising a child.  We project our own fears upon their future and our anxiety seeps into our actions and ultimately theirs. 

This manifests itself in ways big and small, many of which are chronicled in the new book, The Coddling of the American Mind:  How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure.  (Ironically, the title itself may unwittingly add to this anxiety.) …


Watch This Twice

A few weeks ago, someone suggested that I watch the video, This Is America, from Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover)

A better recommendations would have been to watch it twice.

My first viewing left me mesmerized, but also wondering, “What the hell was that about?”

My inclination was to google that very question.  The results were revealing. Countless articles broke down the multiple layers of the video, pointing out important things I had clearly missed in my initial viewing.…