Permission to Speak Freely

White and red bokeh photography

I often say inappropriate things. I can baffle and offend. I confuse people.

My mind skips around. I connect strange dots. It’s a blessing and curse.

To be odd and unexpected.

Still, I speak freely. Less analysis upfront means less stress in conversations and more brain power … Read more...

That Judging Thing

Silhouette of persons hand

Don’t judge me!

Sorry. Can’t help it.

We’re designed to judge each other; it’s for our safety and survival.

Our brains make rapid-fire decisions about what we see based on past experience, learned and lived. We tell ourselves (in a split second), we’re … Read more...

Entitlement

person standing on white snow covered mountain during daytime

Entitlement elbows Kindness right out of the room.

When someone is entitled (e.g. “This is mine for the taking”), they eliminate the possibility of being assisted.

People around them get the message and put their hands down. They may cheer for the entitled person, but t… Read more...

One Question, One Click

black and silver door knob

We’re often one question away from peace.

No matter how serious or stressful the situation may feel, if we can figure out the right question to ask (and answer), our suffering will begin to lessen

I ask questions all day long. In some ways I feel like a safe cracker with his … Read more...

Empathy All Around

Man playing saxophone

I gain empathy for a person immediately after I get to know them. We all do. That’s how it works.

But why wait until then?

I went to a Latin Jazz/Funk show because I felt the need to move around after a particularly heavy week. We got there early to beat the crowd and get a g… Read more...

The Key to Impressing People

I was hard at work prepping for a school fundraiser at my house.

I had just finished calibrating the stereo and microphones. I still needed to set up the auxiliary A/V system (just in case), make blackberry rosemary syrup for the cocktails, trim back the ivy on the stoop, vacuum t… Read more...

The Nick

I love my car.

Excessively so.

I wash it by hand. I never park under trees or power lines. I try not to take it out in the rain.

I talk to it. “Good to see you… Sorry about the rain.”

So when I came out of Rockin’ Jump Trampoline World and saw that my driver&#… Read more...

Coworkers

supermarket cart on aisle

I sensed the clerk at the grocery store wasn’t much up for talking, so I grabbed some bags and started bagging.

Beep beep.

Bag bag.

We got into a rhythm like two strangers picking up instruments on the corner.

No words.

Beep Beep.

Bag bag.

His coworker came by, and I was given the… Read more...

Part of the Solution

2 person holding hands

Another shooting, this time at a university.

The killer is still at large. My daughter, 16, usually the pragmatic one, surprised me with her response to the news coverage.

“How sad your life must be to kill a buncha people.”

This made me think about something I learned i… Read more...