Lean in Softly

Have you ever listened to someone in order to gather evidence that what he or she is saying is wrong? Have you ever felt yourself lying in wait until the person phrases something in a way that you can grab and throw back, killing what might have been a fragile thought trying to become better formed? That kind of listening is geared to winning rather than connecting. People often use words and ideas to build walls of confrontation.  We harden our hearts and build walls … [Read more...]

Use the Cycle of Creation to Get Things Done

Months ago, on the glass wall behind my desk chair, I wrote the following words: Hope Disillusionment Pragmatism Renewal I'm sure I pulled those words from somewhere. They probably represent somebody's well-known cycle. But for the life of me, I can't remember where I first saw them. So while I'm not the person who coined this series of words, I'd like to borrow them and present them to you as the cycle of creation. Let's compare that to another well … [Read more...]

The Anti-Trump Armband Project Takes Shape

I couldn't shake it from my mind.  And I can't let it go. I'm in mourning for the ideals I hold dear -- the ideals of my 70+ year lifetime. I've gotten lots of thoughts and suggestions from friends and acquaintances.  And I've gotten help.   Help thinking through and designing an image. Help in figuring out the message.  Help in finding a url that'll make sense. The First Prototypes My friend created a preliminary logo in record time.  I've ordered iron-on decals … [Read more...]

Would You Take a Stand for Your Values?

Since the 2016 election, I've been vacillating between wanting to put my head down and disappear and wanting to stand up and be seen as someone who believes in inclusiveness and social justice and honesty, kindness and love. One moment, I bury myself deep in a page-turner type novel, hiding from the world. And The next minute, I think about things I might do to raise up the values I so believe in through the years to come. An Idea is Taking Shape.. I, like many people, … [Read more...]

If / When-Then: A Tactic to Help You Follow Through

I've just about finished reading Robert Cialdini's new book, Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade. While it's interesting and occasionally fascinating, I've gotten one big tip that is making a big difference in my life and you may find helpful, too. He calls it If/When-Then.  And I've been trying it out with promising results. Connect Your Desired Behavior to Trigger Events The idea is to tie goals you have to triggering events that lead to … [Read more...]

My Silent Decry of “Idiot” Chased Her Away From the Table

In the heat of the political season, I'm finding it difficult to talk with people who don't share my views. Even as I try to frame a comment or question in a non-judgmental way, my brain quietly inserts "You idiot" at the end of each sentence. For example, I found myself sitting across the table from a woman who supported Trump. We were both staying at the same Inn in Denver and six or seven of the guests were having breakfast around a big communal table. The subject … [Read more...]

Don’t Let Anyone Steal Your Joy

If you've been reading this blog for a bit, you know that I walk most mornings at Saint Mary's Park in the South Bronx. Walking to the park on school days, I'm often struck by fathers and mothers dropping their small children off at school. The pride and love and hope are palpable. Perhaps this sense is so present because in a neighborhood like this, parents walk their children to school rather than dropping them off from a car. So for blocks around, you see mothers and … [Read more...]

Should You Be Flattered or Outraged by Unwanted Advances?

The tape of Donald Trump and Billy Bush talking about groping women unlocked a flood of memories for me. Memories I had stashed into a dustheap of unwelcome thoughts. But this past weekend, they started rising up. These are stories from the time I was a college freshman and through the following decades. Here are just a few that come to mind. Unwanted Sexual Advances Take a Toll There was the college student at Princeton who invited me to visit for the football game and … [Read more...]

One Word Makes a World of Difference

When I was growing up, I knew I was expected to go to college.  Everyone I knew went to college. I understood early that going to college would be likely to shape my life.  I would meet new people, learn new things, and when I got out, people would think of me differently. Here's the same paragraph with only one word changed: When I was growing up, I knew I was expected to go to prison.  Everyone I knew went to prison. I understood early that going to prison would be likely … [Read more...]

IMPORTANT! It’s Time to STOP Undermining Hillary Clinton

I'm scared. I'm truly scared that Donald Trump might become the next president of our country. I've been listening to what people are saying, and I find that even my liberal friends and associates have been brainwashed to undermine Hillary Clinton. They criticize her even though they plan to vote for her. The Time is Now It's time that those of us who believe in experience and commitment and passion for a country that celebrates inclusion gather ourselves together … [Read more...]