Tag: Communication


Talking About Donald Trump: Why We Should Channel George Orwell

Donald Trump makes me think of George Orwell, but perhaps not for the reason one might expect. My association is not with the totalitarian state described in Orwell’s book, 1984, and its dictator, Big Brother. Rather, it is with the author himself, and the value he attributed to words, their import and the responsibility human beings have when using them. George Orwell was first and foremost an opponent of using language in a sloppy or unthinking way. For Orwell, without clear and precise expression, there could be no clarity and precision in......

Continue Reading


Teardrops, Civility and Hope: Our Week in Wisdom

On The Wisdom Daily this week (Sept. 14-18),?we wrote about men who avoid crying, refugees fleeing Syria in record numbers, employees bringing religious rules to work, Americans becoming uncivil with each other and more. Did you grow wiser this week? We hope The Wisdom Daily played a part.   Why Don’t Men Cry More Often? – Brad Hirschfield Why do so many people in our culture still buy into the notion that “real men don’t cry”? In a recent piece on Aeon, writer Sandra Newman raises this question. And she suggests that......

Continue Reading


Why We Freeze Up and Forget How to Communicate

We’ve lost the art of civil discourse. According to an annual “Civility in America” survey, more than 90% of us now consider lack of civility a real problem. More than a third of us admit to being uncivil to others. When we take into account social desirability bias, we know that there are a lot more of us out there who are not engaging in civil discourse. Our inability to enter into genuine conversation is undermining our communities and denying ourselves the opportunity to learn about each other. It’s time for a......

Continue Reading


Recognizing When 'The Whole Truth' Won't Fulfill You

As generations of TV watchers know, the words “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?” pretty much define how we arrive at just decisions in state and local courts where that oath is used. But is it possible, even for the most honest and well-intentioned people, to actually live up to that promise? Perhaps even more importantly, does it lead to the best outcomes? Don’t get me wrong. I think truth is a really important ideal, and the well-known vow aims at inspiring people......

Continue Reading


Games, Talent and Lasting Love: Our Week in Wisdom

On The Wisdom Daily this week (July 27-31), we brought you a variety of issues and stories, including: a review of the card game Hanabi, a singer’s inspiring viral video, an essay about overreacting, an Auschwitz survivor’s love letters and an animal cruelty controversy. Did you grow wiser this week? We hope The Wisdom Daily played a part.   The All-American Sport of Being Offended – Skip Simonds A recent post on The Wisdom Daily started me thinking about the line between being personally offended about something (in this case, a bobblehead......

Continue Reading


Getting Real About the Black Experience

I was in Baltimore this past weekend for the bar mitzvah of my close friend’s grandson. The site of our last racial hot zone, Baltimore is still reeling from the recent unrest over Freddie Gray’s death (tourism is reportedly down; some students are turning down Baltimore universities where they’ve been accepted for 2015-’16), while at the same time, people I spoke with repeatedly told me things are returning “back to normal.” But as I drove out of Baltimore, it struck me that I went an entire weekend without having a conversation with......

Continue Reading


An Inspiring Voice

The human spirit is remarkable. Take Musharf “Mushy” Asghar, a high school student who gained fame on the British reality TV series Educating Yorkshire. With a serious speech obstacle to overcome, Mushy exhibits a powerful combination of courage and will. Add a teacher, Matthew Burton, who simply won’t give up on his student, who is open to sources outside the typical curriculum for inspiration (in this case, the Academy Award-winning film The King’s Speech), and who is committed to educating in the purest form – i.e., raising up and bringing forth the......

Continue Reading


In a World of Opinions, It's Healthy to Engage

How often do you seriously engage those with whom you may deeply disagree? It’s not always our fault if we don’t (though it’s usually to our detriment) because we live in a world where we can easily surround ourselves, through media and technology, with opinions and ideas that mirror our beliefs. But however easy it is, that’s the opposite of wisdom, from our perspective at TWD. Engaging people who hold different opinions – at least occasionally – is calisthenics for our spirit and our intellect. It stretches our minds and opens our......

Continue Reading


When We Take Ourselves Beyond Walls

As I write these words, I am observing an ancient holiday which celebrates both the importance of walls and the sacredness of permeability. Then, like millions of others around the world, I celebrated the Jewish/Biblical holiday known in Hebrew as Sukkot – the Feast of Tabernacles. The temporary huts built outdoors recall the huts used by ancient Israelites on their journey from Egypt to the Holy Land.? They are also reminiscent of God’s presence, which the Hebrew Bible describes as surrounding them on that journey. Now here’s the really interesting part: Permeability......

Continue Reading


Lifesaving Words Sent 'From Auschwitz with Love'

Imagine writing love letters from Auschwitz. That’s exactly what Welsh soldier Ron Jones did. Captured in 1942 by the Nazis as a British prisoner of war, Jones penned heartfelt messages to his sweetheart, Gwladys; the two met as teenagers and experienced “love at first sight.” From his darkest days as a laborer in Camp E715 at Auschwitz, Jones poured out his heart in writing. And you can see him read his letters in the BBC documentary below, From Auschwitz With Love. The messages capture Jones’ unwavering devotion: “I am, like you dear,......

Continue Reading