Daily Life


Reconciliation Is a Two-Way Street

Think about a time when someone hurt you, and then came seeking forgiveness. How often did you feel that they weren’t doing it “right,” or in the way you’d anticipated – and because of that, you found it impossible to accept their overture? And what about a time when you were the one apologizing, but your sincere efforts were not accepted? How hurt and angry were you? Each party may be sincere, and yet they remain far apart. Why? Because reconciliation is not only about our own sincerity. It is about appreciating......

Continue Reading


Are You Being Heard, or Just Being Loud?

Talking past each other is a human problem which affects us all. More often than not, it afflicts us with those about whom we care most. If we didn’t care, there would be no conflict. We would just walk away. I came across a recent example, concerning the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, otherwise known as the Mormon Church.?Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of developing some wonderful relationships with senior leaders in the Church and I have learned much from them about many things, including the practice......

Continue Reading


Character Day is Today!

Can you learn to be kinder and braver? Can practice make you more persistent, more optimistic, and more compassionate? Is it possible to cultivate your curiosity and creativity, widen your perspective, and strengthen your resilience? These are important questions for us individually and collectively as we work on what it means to flourish as human beings in the 21st century.? For millennia, religions and wisdom traditions understood that their “job to get done” was to help people develop these strengths and virtues. Today, we are beginning to have the social science and......

Continue Reading


3 Ways to Step Up Your Life

Sometimes we get into trouble because we overstep: We jump into a situation too soon. We act with too much enthusiasm or commitment. The bigger challenge that most of us face in life, however, is not that we overstep, but that we understep – that we miss opportunities to be who we most want to be – whether out of fear, self-consciousness, or the simple premise that we are not really up to the opportunity/challenge. Sound familiar? The biggest regrets people share with me (and frankly, which I have felt in my......

Continue Reading


When a Friend Is Suffering, How Do You Help?

How do you comfort someone going through a really hard time in life? Recently, I received an email from someone describing how his very good friend’s 42 year-old daughter (a woman with two young children, age 4 and 6 – his grandchildren) was diagnosed last year with cancer and just entered hospice. This man lost his only son 12 years ago in an auto accident. And on top of all this, his brother, with whom he’s extremely close, just had major heart surgery. He asked me if The Wisdom Daily had any......

Continue Reading


Empathy in Action: I've Got You Covered

Ever been in a position when you needed someone to cover for you? To do something you should have done yourself but, for whatever reason, could not? Of course you have! We all have. Perhaps you planned to bring a sick friend some soup, but asked someone else to deliver it for you because you got too busy to finish the good deed. Maybe you arranged for someone else to take care of your kids for a while because you were delayed. In those cases, someone covered for you, which is great,......

Continue Reading


Create Your Day of Rest in 10 Steps

We all need time to just take a deep breath, relax and enjoy life, reflect, and re-energize. Finding this place of renewal and re-creation, remembering the non-work parts of who we are, connecting more deeply to people we love and to the beauty of the world actually takes just as much intention, creativity, and practice as working productively. Every Spring, the National Day of Unplugging emphasizes this. In our hectic lives, when for the first time in human history we can be plugged in 24/7, it’s not surprising that the practice of?......

Continue Reading


What It Means to Be Cool

Over the next seven months, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in an exhibit called “American Cool” is showing 100 photographs of people who defined cool in American culture, from the “granddaddies of cool,” Walt Whitman and Frederick Douglass, through the generations, leading to Jay-Z, Johnny Depp and Madonna. I am semi-embarrassed to say, but I always feel it a supreme compliment when people call me a “cool” rabbi. It’s meant having some mysterious mix of rebelliousness, openness to new ideas, charisma with being a bit wild, anti-authority and out front, but in......

Continue Reading


A Reality Check: How Much Is Too Much?

When it comes to the bad stuff in life, answering the question of “how much is too much” seems pretty simple – “any” is too much! But what about the good stuff? How much is too much of that? I leave it to you to define “good stuff” for yourself. It may be happiness, success, love, faith, income. There are probably as many good answers as there are people who answer. So, how much is too much of that? Is it possible to have too much of the “good stuff”? Yes! The......

Continue Reading


Can We Recover From Betrayal?

Betrayal is one of the oldest and most serious hurts we inflict upon each other. Dante, for example, relegated betrayers to the lowest and coldest regions of Hell, to be forever frozen up to their necks in a lake of ice. But, as awful as betrayal is, there are ways to recover from it and move forward successfully. Who among us has not experienced some measure of betrayal? It may not have been epic in scope or devastating in its hurt, but it probably felt quite real just the same – the......

Continue Reading