The Universal Need for Unconditional Support

Yesterday, my friend Clemetin wound up back in prison. He didn't end up there because he's dangerous or has done anything particularly bad. He was put there because he hasn't shown up for court-mandated appointments. Several months ago, rather than putting Clemetin in prison, a judge assigned him three years of probation during which he has to show up regularly to meet with a probation officer. But that has proven to be too much for Clemetin. He showed up at the … [Read more...]

What Does it Mean to Have Limited Opportunities?

I've been enjoying Seth Godin's new book, What to do When It's Your Turn (and it's always your turn). It's a beautiful book. Fantastic images. Elegantly laid out. And it has one of those covers you just like to touch. One image in the book jumped out at me. It shows a wonderful photo of 29 physicists who in 1927 gathered at the Solvay Conference in Brussels. The photo includes many of the most remarkable physicists of their time... in fact... of all time. People like … [Read more...]

Friends for Life — Your “Through-Line” Friends

Do you have people in your life who have been friends for so long that you speak in a sort of code? People who have been with you through thick and thin? Friends who know you inside and out? Most people have hundreds or even thousands of acquaintances, but relatively few long-time, deep friends. I've just spent the day with Barbara, one of my closest friends. We've known one another for decades. We've laughed together and cried together. We've encouraged one … [Read more...]

My First Adventure with Miracle

Meet Miracle Edwards. Miracle is a beautiful 8-year-old girl I met over the summer with her father. She had never seen a ballet or anything like it before, and I thought it would be a wonderful idea to treat her to a performance. Preparing for the Big Day I called her father, Jeff, several times and left messages but didn't connect.  I let some days pass and was about to call again when my phone rang. It was Jeff, returning my call. He and Miracle had talked about … [Read more...]

Trapped in a Crazy Court System

You might be wondering what happened to my felon friend, Clemetin, who was picked up in the park and accused of selling heroin back in August... A crime he didn't commit. A few weeks earlier, he'd been caught stealing a pack of peanuts from a store. He did do that. But that's a far cry from selling a deadly illegal substance. Punished for an Uncommitted Crime Since then, he's been in and out of court, sitting for days at a time, and then having to come back again … [Read more...]

Ask These Three Questions Every 90 Days

I just had breakfast with my super smart friend, Brigid Ganley, who started a new job this year. When she was starting out in her new job, she set up a meeting with every staff member in her department and asked each of them the following questions: What would you preserve and why? What would you change and why? What advice do you have for me? The information she gathered from these questions has proved invaluable. Not only did she see strong patterns when … [Read more...]

Why Some Anniversaries are Worth Celebrating

I've always poo-pooed birthdays. The years roll by. Numbers grow year by year. So what! In truth, you've done little (or nothing) to earn your good fortune of having lived through another year. So in my family, most birthdays' pass by with little notice. But some anniversaries are worth celebrating. Why? Because you've worked to get there. You've mustered the discipline and stamina to do something again and again. And occasionally, it's worth taking … [Read more...]

Seeking Your Advice for Little Miracle

A couple of months ago, I went to an outdoor movie in my neighborhood. I got talking to a tall man sitting in front of me. He was with his 8 year old daughter. He introduced me to Miracle, his little girl. "This is my daughter, Miracle," he said. "I'm acting as both her father and her mother because her mother was killed last spring." A beautiful little girl, Miracle was full of life and energy. She was happy to talk to me. She told me that she goes to a girls' … [Read more...]

The Simple Secret to Easily Connect with Anyone

The most effective way to make a strong connection with someone else is simple. There are two key steps: Really notice who they are. Accept them as they are. Really Noticing Who People Are You may find it easier to judge people or to give them advice or argue with them. But you'll find that when you carefully observe someone close enough to notice who they really are, you'll be more likely to develop a real rapport. "Seeing" is the basis for love My friends … [Read more...]

If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…

Have you ever said something snarky to someone and then immediately regretted it? A Snarky Comment I was talking to someone recently and by mistake I repeated something I had told her the day before. Instead of just letting it go, she said, You're repeating yourself. You already told me that yesterday!" Now, that wasn't exactly nasty. She had stated the truth. But it was unnecessary, and I felt myself pull back for a moment to regain my footing. Another example … [Read more...]