Daily Life


Our Neighbor's Suffering

How could it be that, in this richest country at the richest time in human history, some 49 million Americans are hungry, including 33 million adults and 16 million children? In New York City alone, 1.4 million – disproportionately represented by women and children, the working poor, the elderly and disabled – rely on soup kitchens and food pantries to meet their basic food needs. How could that be? And how could we – as caring human beings – have allowed ourselves to become immune to the suffering of so many? I’m......

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Tax Time: Should We Try to Pay Less?

Tax day is upon us, no secret there. And unless you’re profoundly generous and remarkably patriotic, deeply trusting the wisdom of how dollars are spent by the government, you probably feel like most people: less than thrilled about paying your taxes. There’s generally little use in crying about what cannot be changed, e.g., the taxes owed on last year’s earnings. Instead, you may as well turn your attention to lowering next year’s tax bill, now. Turns out that’s something most of us can do, as finance columnist John Waggoner points out in......

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Celebrate National Poetry Month

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? Inaugurated in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month is touted as “the largest literary celebration in the world.” Writers, teachers and librarians throughout the United States band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. For the organization’s annual event this month, luminaries in the creative arts (the 2015 list includes choreographer Judith Jamison, songwriter Sam Beam, actor Holly Hunter and chef Anita Lo) will gather in New York City to share their favorite poems at......

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What It Means to 'Receive in Order to Give'

Robert, a good friend of mine in his mid fifties recently celebrated his birthday in a way those who really do have everything might consider. He is a very successful lawyer in Florida, happily married for three decades with two wonderful sons – one a senior and excellent student at Vanderbilt and the other a passionate liberal-progressive writer for leading platforms like AlterNet and Salon and about to enter law school. He could have done just about anything he wanted, and as a generous philanthropist and someone deeply committed to community, whatever......

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Your Bracket Is About More Than Basketball

It is March Madness – college basketball’s two-week sacred time where 64 NCAA teams become 32 teams, and then a Sweet Sixteen, an Elite Eight, a Final Four and a Championship. The communal act that millions of people enjoy is filling out a bracket predicting who, from the initial chosen, will emerge victorious. Even President Obama participates in Bracketology. Over the past few days, I’ve done an informal poll on how people fill out their brackets. The responses, of course, reflect profoundly different worldviews. There are the rational-logical decision makers. They focus......

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Resting Is Far More Than 'Doing Nothing'

Ever feel insecure about what you aren’t accomplishing? Feel like you should be doing more, getting ahead faster, thriving on fewer hours of sleep? If so, I’d estimate there are probably millions of Americans right there with you, at one time or another — and me, for that matter. For inspiration, here are ten quotes that will inspire you to “Feel better about not getting anything done.” For example, take Gandhi’s observation: “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” All these words of wisdom are quite fascinating, as they’re really......

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Can Complainers Be Cured?

About ten years ago I was in a taxi with Elliot, the calmest of my five younger brothers. Traffic was at a standstill, and I was complaining about how late I was going to be for a meeting, and how impossible it was to get around in New York City. Elliot turned to me, and said something that’s become one of the most usable pieces of wisdom I’ve ever received: “Relax. It doesn’t pay to complain about what you can’t control.” Complaining without doing anything is often a security blanket used to......

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The Nostalgia Machine

Have you ever felt in one of those lonely, sad, or just funky moods when a pop song suddenly brought back memories, and evoked a wistful wave of joy? Recently, for me, it was the Grateful Dead’s “Fire on the Mountain” that took me right back to those days of being fearlessly creative in the face of the fire coming at me… And then Southside Johnny’s “We’re Having a Party” had me back a few decades, dancing in carefree, intoxicating love with my then-girlfriend (now wife for 32 years) Dana… We all......

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Bringing Cruelty to Light

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series:? A retired baseball star who’s also an active blogger – former major league pitcher Curt Schilling – was shocked when his teenage daughter became the target of extremely crude internet abuse, so he tracked down the cyberbullies’ real identities and exposed the young men by name. Did the determined dad handle it well? What should the consequence be for those who terrorize kids online? Watch my video below for more insight and discussion.     Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith in action......

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That Dress, and the Humbling Reality of Others' Perceptions

In just one day, a seemingly innocuous question from a Tumblr user (“Guys please help me – is this dress white and gold, or blue and black? Me and my friends can’t agree and we are freaking the **** out”) generated an infamous internet debate, hashtagged #TheDress. As it tore across social media, it became the top trender on Buzzfeed, Twitter and Facebook. While the actual dress is blue and black (sold by a retailer in England), people really do see it differently. Some truly view the image as a white and......

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