Daily Life


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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The 'Bystander Effect' and Why We Look Away

When something terrible happens to an individual, why do witnesses freeze up or choose inaction, especially when in a group? One such story to gain major media attention was that of Catherine “Kitty” Genovese, brutally murdered in 1964 in Queens, New York. According to initial reports, as many as 37 of her neighbors heard or saw Genovese being attacked in the alley near her home; later reports called that number into question. Still, her killing sparked the first studies of what’s come to be known as the Bystander Effect -? a sociological......

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Befriending Your Own Critical Mind

Recently, a friend was relaying a story about something he’d done that he regretted. He rattled on nervously, slipping into a dark vortex of self-condemnation about how disappointed in himself he was and how stupid he was. The thought occurred to me: If I were in the same situation, what would he tell me in order to lift me up, to make me feel better? How would he characterize that person and that mistake, if he were speaking about someone he truly loved? Such is the challenge of dealing with our own......

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Finding Home Away From Home

I am writing this post from Israel, having spent five days visiting our daughter (who is living here for the year), and I’m about to spend a week with a group of Protestant seminary students. But this post isn’t really about who I’ll be interacting with on my travels. It’s about the feeling I have in Israel – and one I hope we all have at special destinations which bring about the sensation of being at home, even when you’re far from your regular home base. Indeed, this is a feeling that......

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Do You Have a 'Designated Survivor'?

Sometimes, political tradition points the way toward wise personal practice. Okay, maybe not that often, but when it works, as it did this week, it really works! Did you know that there’s a ‘designated survivor’ during the State of the Union address? No, it’s not somebody assigned to stay awake when the whole thing gets so boring that everyone else in the room dozes off – although I smiled when my 13-year-old daughter thought so, after she heard me use the term. The ‘designated survivor’ is a single government official, typically a......

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A New Year's Challenge: Connecting While Disagreeing

What resolution can we make as we begin 2015 that would have the greatest impact on our personal and public lives? I found my answer reading a remarkable interview in the new Smithsonian magazine of the civil rights historian Taylor Branch, whose three-volume, 2,500-page chronicle, America in the King Years, is a landmark biography in American history. In the article – filled with fascinating insights about Martin Luther King Jr. and his doctrine of nonviolence – Branch tells an extraordinary story about three Freedom Riders, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney.......

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