• Dale Carnegie,  Fatherhood,  Holidays,  Photo stories

    Father’s Day

    “I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.” ~Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum I credit my passion for inspirational quotes to my father. He was the sort of guy who saved his favorite college textbooks. The Dialogues of Plato sat front and center on Dad’s bookshelf, for instance, and sometimes he reread underlined passages from it. I’ve kept this treasure in my own library ever since he died in 1992, and I love reading his student notes in the margins. Dad appreciated the humanities as much as he enjoyed…

  • Holidays,  Photo stories

    Memorial Day

    “Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt There’s an important difference between Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. On Veteran’s Day we honor those who served in our U.S. military. On Memorial Day we remember those who died while fighting for our country. No matter what you’re doing with your long weekend, think about the men and women who sacrificed their lives for the privileges we enjoy today — beginning with the American Revolutionary War. I’m reminded of another favorite line from novelist Cynthia Ozick that goes something like this: “We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”…

  • Christmas,  Essays,  Holidays,  Inspirational quotes

    Keeping the light

     “Instead of fighting the darkness, you bring the light.” ~Eckhart Tolle Several of our neighbors have taken down their outdoor holiday lights. Some packed them up and put them in storage on New Year’s Day, following some obscure law that requires us to hunker down in darkness as soon as last year’s calendar hits the recycle bin. Blocks of homes that once displayed a dazzling array of colorful lights have gone dark again — as if the carnival suddenly packed up and left town. In my view, neighborhoods and shopping districts aglow with holiday lights are, pardon the pun, one of the highlights of winter — a season that doesn’t…

  • Columns & essays,  Holidays

    Happy New Year!

    “Kindness, kindness, kindness. I want to make a New Year’s prayer, not a resolution. I’m praying for courage.” ~Susan Sontag Here’s to 2022! Let’s make it The Year of Compassion and Kindness. Right now, that sounds like a tall order, but if we can find even the smallest ways to practice humanity every day, I believe the sufferings of this world will be easier to bear. To borrow from today’s Susan Sontag quote, my prayer is that 2022 will be a year of mending broken fences, healing broken souls, resolving our anger, remembering the needs of others, and finding peaceful solutions to our conflicts. Yes, that will take tremendous courage. Along…

  • Christmas,  Holidays,  Oakland Press columns,  Where I'm published

    My holiday essay in The Oakland Press

    “As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time, all through the year.” ~David Grayson Peace on earth, goodwill to all. Lately I’ve been wishing these winter holiday sentiments weren’t limited to specific dates on the calendar. Last month, for instance, we counted our blessings before slicing the Thanksgiving turkey, but resumed the habit of complaining about everything from corrupt politics to football teams as soon as the good china was cleared from the table….To read the rest of my new holiday essay, click here. 

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