How the laws we make for ourselves make us miserable

The movie begins five minutes from now, and the theater is 20 minutes away. I’m pacing by the front door. After looking at my watch, I rub my eyes with the palms of my hands. Then I look at my watch again. I call upstairs to my date, “Are you almost ready? It’s time to… Continue reading How the laws we make for ourselves make us miserable

When life is charmed but unsatisfactory

We take the children out for ice cream at Baskin Robbins every once and again. On a couple of occasions, one of the younger kids chose a clown-flavor – something like cotton candy, pink bubblegum, or rainbow sherbet. I tried to convince her that she was making a mistake. “What about Oreo or Rocky Road?… Continue reading When life is charmed but unsatisfactory

Self-reliance versus reliance on others

A group of friends once debated whether we should rely on ourselves or on others. One of them said, “If I don’t look out for myself, no one will. And I want to progress to the point where I am independent.” Then came the rebuttal. “No one on the planet has all the skills required… Continue reading Self-reliance versus reliance on others

What we are losing as a people

During a summer evening in 1948, a woman worked quietly in a paddy near Fukui Japan. She was likely checking that the water levels were adequate for the growing rice. Suddenly, a magnitude seven earthquake shook the muddy ground. According to reports, soldiers witnessed a four-foot-wide fissure open at the woman’s feet. She grasped at… Continue reading What we are losing as a people

Attributes of an ideal companion

I just returned from a white-water rafting trip in the Appalachian Mountains with my father and brothers. The river was at times swift and treacherous. At others it was slow and scenic but always breezy and cold. Even though we were wearing full-length wetsuits, booties and rain jackets, my younger brother said he had never… Continue reading Attributes of an ideal companion

The hidden key to forgiveness

The purpose of this article is not to convince you to forgive. You already know you should. One Gallup study found that 94% of respondents believed it was important to forgive others, but 85% said they needed outside help to do so.1 So today we will focus on how. Forgiveness on the parkway In Boston,… Continue reading The hidden key to forgiveness

Why experiments are preferable to goals

We are taught that the relentless pursuit of big hairy audacious goals is a path toward a meaningful life… but is it really? For every Oprah, there are a million who never take a step toward their goals, who are derailed somewhere along the way or who persist but sadly never reached the finish line.… Continue reading Why experiments are preferable to goals

A critique of ambition

Every time I hear a professional football coach or player talk about an upcoming season, I hear him say that his greatest ambition is to win the Super Bowl. A player named Russ Grimm once said, “I'd run over my own mother to win the Super Bowl.” Of the 32 professional teams, only one can… Continue reading A critique of ambition