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The Spiritual Wisdom of Frank Sinatra

12 Jan

I’ve been in a pretty big music rut for a while now. How bad has it been? Let’s just say that last year I spent months listening to – and quoting extensively for my wife and kids – the greatest hits of Hall & Oates. By December, so desperate was I to get “Man Eater” […]


Bono’s 3 Rules for Career Reinvention

3 Jul

Just the other day I saw a photo of Bono, famed front man of Irish rock band U2, celebrating his 53rd birthday. Later this year, he’ll have more reason to rejoice with the expected release of U2’s 13th album. Which made me wonder: How is it that U2, which formed in 1976, is not only […]


The Messy Quest of Pope Francis I

22 Mar

I have a long history of getting to the party a little late – and I don’t mean fashionably late. I was the last of my friends to learn to swim and the last to figure out how to ride a bike. And my family never bought an Atari system. Don’t even get me started […]


3 Helpful Forms of Humiliation

4 Dec

All the classic Christmas tunes I’m hearing on the radio these days by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and other icons of elegance and style seem to be making an impact. The more I listen, the more I imagine myself as being equally elegant and stylish, despite the numerous scabs where my bald head keeps connecting […]


“Always Do Your Best” & 2 Other Olympic-Sized Lies

8 Aug

School starts in a few weeks, and it won’t be long before my kids are back in the classroom being exhorted by their teachers to “always do your best.” I heard the same thing from my own teachers and coaches, back in the days when they could also smack you with a paddle or threaten […]


Don’t Let Your Passions Overwhelm Your Duties

3 Jul

If Thomas Jefferson were alive today, he’d be an iPad guy. I’m sure of it. He’d have solar panels on Monticello, his sprawling home in Charlottesville, Va., and a fancy home-security system he could operate from his mobile phone. He was awful with money, so he probably would have loaded up on Facebook stock the […]


Lessons from an Iron Lady

18 Jan

Last weekend Dawn and I went to see The Iron Lady, the new Margaret Thatcher biopic starring Meryl Streep. It cost about $425 for two tickets, not including popcorn, but it was still worth it. For one thing, Streep is magnificent. As an added bonus, if you’re teetering like me on the verge of official […]


Channeling Your Inner Bono

8 Jan

I’m not cool now, and I never have been. Twenty years ago, during my freshman year in college, some of my buddies had those new -fangled CD players in their dorm rooms. I had a shoebox full of cassettes and wasn’t ashamed to listen to them on my Walkman with oversized foam-padded headphones. And through […]


MLK’s Three Keys to Meaning

27 Nov

My family and I are back from a whirlwind Thanksgiving trip to Washington, D.C., where we visited the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. The memorial’s Inscription Wall includes 14 quotes from King’s speeches, sermons and writing. One of them stood out in particular for me: “I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere […]


The Messy Life of Steve Jobs

1 Nov

In sifting through the avalanche of recent articles about the lessons of Steve Jobs, one particular nugget has stayed with me. And it’s not even something that Jobs himself said. The credit goes instead to his wife Laurene Powell Jobs. She is, among many other things, the guardian of Jobs’ legacy – and has set […]