14 Rules for Living a Good Life

Every year, I spend a few weeks after New Year’s reflecting on the past year and how things went: what did I accomplish? How did I feel? Did I help my family, friends, and associates with the goals they wanted to achieve? Did I leave my part of the world a better place than I […]

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Develop Routines That Free You – Not Ruts That Trap You

In 1949, the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein visited Norman Malcolm (a professor of Philosophy at Cornell and a former student of Wittgenstein’s) for three months. On the first night of Wittgenstein’s visit, the Malcolms presented a makeshift dinner of liverwurst sandwiches, apologizing that they had not had a chance to do much shopping in preparation; however, […]

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Personal Freedom is not Opposed to Community Well-being

A misleading narrative has gripped the popular imagination in the United States over the last few months as we continue to struggle with re-opening our economy in the face of ever-increasing COVID-19 cases. That narrative is this: personal freedom is diametrically opposed to the well-being of the communities we live in. The moment we begin […]

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Is it Time to Rethink Financial Security in America?

Will COVID19 cause us to re-think government policy around economic security in the United States? Is some kind of basic financial security a privilege for the few, or a necessity for all citizens, especially in times of crisis? For at least the last hundred years, major economic crises have resulted in the strengthening of the […]

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Living With Fear: A User’s Guide

The world is a scary place right now: the novel coronavirus is spreading around the globe; the Saudis and Russians have picked the worst possible moment to engage in an all-out oil price war; financial markets have dropped about 30% since their record highs just a short time ago and entered bear market territory; and […]

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For 2020, focus on well-being – not New Year’s resolutions.

It’s the New Year, the season when we typically make our lists of resolutions – the things we resolve to do in the coming year to make progress on our goals. The practice is an ancient one with religious roots, starting with the Babylonians about 4,000 years ago in conjunction with the religious festival of […]

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Travels in Africa, Chapter 4: Life is deadly serious, so lighten up and enjoy it.

My last couple of posts, on our travels through Rwanda and Uganda, were pretty serious: suffering, forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion, kindness, and connection are all important topics but can be rather sobering. So it’s crucial to remember that, in the face of life’s constant trials, we all need to seek out opportunities to have fun.  To […]

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Lessons From Africa, Chapter 3: You Have No Excuses

One striking thing we noticed in the first part of our trip, through Rwanda, Uganda, and parts of South Africa, was the incredible industry and optimism of the people we encountered, in spite of the widespread poverty and general lack of resources. In Kigali, Rwanda, we saw thousands of bicycles and small motorcycles in use […]

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Lessons from Africa, Chapter 2: Practice Compassion.

We stared out the windows of the van as Benon, our driver, steered us north on the main highway out of Kigali towards Uganda, our next stop. Overloaded bicycles, topped with burlap sacks filled with produce, were pushed, tugged, and prodded uphill by their weary riders; thousands of people, many of them with baskets, clothing, […]

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