Daily Life


Three Ways to Resist Temptation

Being tempted by people, things or behaviors which may not be so good for us is part of being human.? I even think that succumbing to those temptations is part of being human, and not necessarily in a bad way, either?- at least not always.? But clearly, there are plenty of times when we want to resist, when we need to resist, or when we regret not resisting.? What helps in those moments? How do you deal with being tempted by something that you would otherwise not want to do or be......

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Crisis of the Soul in America

We are coming into the holiday season and something is badly out of whack in America – beyond our ongoing economic and political crises.? Take Hawaii State Representative Tom Bowers who, sledgehammer in hand, walks his district’s streets and parks looking for shopping carts used by homeless people, which, he then smashes to bits.? Bowers is “disgusted” by homeless people and is so proud of his tough guy approach that he allows himself to be filmed engaged in his grassroots effort to rid his district of the homeless. When asked if he......

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What's Certain in Life?

Life is complicated. That’s a nice way of saying that, for most of us anyway, life comes at us faster, messier and with less clarity than we often long for. People often feel like there is not enough to hang onto, not enough that we can rely on, not enough that is certain. Don’t despair! You are not alone, the challenge is not new, and there are things we can do to make it better. It was this week — November 13, 1789 to be specific — that Benjamin Franklin wrote a......

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Sights Unseen -- The Monkey Business Illusion

Before you read on, watch this video that was an Internet sensation. I guarantee you will be surprised.   If you are like the majority of people, including myself, who have watched this video you missed something that was right before your eyes.? You experienced the phenomenon called “inattentional blindness”. It turns out that we consciously see only a small subset of our visual world, and when our attention is focused on one thing, we often fail to notice other, unexpected things around us — including very major things going on right......

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Why Be Negative When You Can Be Positive

I just saw Liberal Arts, a nostalgic coming-of-age indie film directed by and starring Josh Radnor (of How I Met Your Mother) that tells the story of Jesse, a 35-year-old college admissions officer in New York City who loves literature and language who has a romantic relationship with Zibby, a 19-year-old college student. ?The film deals with the addictive pull of nostalgia for our youth but there is a line in the film that caught my attention. Jesse is overly negative and judgmental and at one point after dissing a book Zibby......

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Why a Controversial Baseball Play Should Be More Than a Metaphor

For the first time in baseball history?- and in the World Series no less?- a game ended because the umpire called “obstruction”.     Will Middlebrooks, the third baseman for the Boston Red Sox, lunged for a throw from the catcher Jarrod Satalamacchia but could not reach it. He fell, and while lying on the ground he tripped Allen Craig who was rounding third base trying to score. Though Craig was out at the plate with plenty of room to spare, Jim Joyce the umpire, immediately called obstruction. According to this rarely......

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Take the "Talk to Strangers" Challenge

If there is one universal piece of parenting advice, both given and received it is likely: “Don’t Talk to Strangers, it’s Dangerous”.? In a country where approximately 160,000 children a year are kidnapped by non-family members and thousands more are exploited on the Internet, ?it is obviously critically important to teach our children about strangers.? But I wonder, what is lost when this same advice is heeded by adults.? Do we really want a world in which no one speaks to strangers?? What do we lose personally and collectively by not talking......

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What Jet Lag Can Teach Us About Embracing Change

I hate jet lag.? Hardly a provocative statement? – does anyone really like jet lag?? Who could possibly enjoy waking up at odd hours, or worse, falling asleep at dinnertime? ?But I wonder if there is anything to be learned from jet lag.? This week as I returned from a trip overseas, I began to realize that I could find some lessons in dealing with jet lag.? I realized that in using the practices I have discovered over the years to counteract jet lag, I could also apply them to some of......

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Sleep Is the Best Meditation

Why we sleep is a question that has captivated philosophers and scientists for millennia. If you really think about it, letting go of all activity and going to sleep for several hours every day – becoming totally unconscious and completely vulnerable?- is actually quite bizarre.?Yet sleep is not just a human need: every species of animal on the planet is known to sleep in some fashion. Recent findings have shown that when we sleep, our brain undergoes a sort of mop-up process that removes waste products linked to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.......

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This Columbus Day, Celebrate Discovery

Columbus Day 2013 is officially observed Monday, October 14th, and like the old comedian Rodney Dangerfield used to say about himself, “it don’t get no respect” – at least not much, which is a shame.? While all but 3 states recognize this federal holiday, it has lost almost all significance to most Americans other than those of Italian descent who celebrate Christopher Columbus’ Italian heritage. That’s a shame, as there is much about the Columbus story to celebrate, whether we judge him to be a hero or a villain. There is plenty......

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