Would Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" Resonate In the Bah-Humbug of Christmas Present?

One of my favorite themes is the idea that being jaded, cynical, and angry is not strength. On the contrary, maintaining your idealism and kindness in a sometimes harsh world is true strength. We are all creating our collective reality with our words and visions, so why not create beautiful art? Why create ugliness and pain with our movies and books? There's no value in art and entertainment that celebrates pain, unless you want more pain. In 2010, I asked the question of whether Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" would be published today, or whether it would be considered overly sentimental and naive in an age of dystopian vampire fiction. This piece was published in the Christian Science Monitor, just before Christmas 2010, and I was very proud of it. 

view this essay at csmonitor.com

All My Cat Needed to Know He Learned at Harvard

 

One theme in my writing is the idea that we've taken the enlightenment way too far, in western culture, and we've gotten too far away from intuition, mythology, and magic. I have nothing against science and reason, of course, but it seems that - nowadays - you can't even make the claim that "smiling at people" is a good thing without backing it up with a scientific research study. Just about every article in every newspaper and website always seems to reference a scientific study within the first two paragraphs, as if these studies were the arbiters of truth. We are worshiping at the altar of 'science' and 'facts' and 'reason' as we become increasingly ignorant of the deeper realities of mysticism and consciousness that actually create the facts of life. Everything is consciousness, and consciousness informs reality. This is a light-hearted essay that explores different approaches to happiness - and how common sense is sometimes lacking in university education - a place where the enlightenment and the over-developed collective mind reigns supreme amidst the faculty lounges and esoteric dissertations.

read this essay here

Slide and the Family Bone

 

This is just a fun piece about the unbridled energies and joys of adolescence - playing the trombone in the middle school marching band, and trying to practice this unwieldy horse of an instrument - much to the chagrin of two golden retrievers who would have been perfectly happy never to have heard me play this loud and offensive instrument. 

read this story here

An Essay on Doing What You Love

Below is a link to an essay of mine that appeared in the Wall Street Journal as an Op-Ed piece in May of 2013. The title that was chosen by the WSJ was unfortunately blunt and didn't reflect what I believe was a more nuanced message in the actual essay. Even so, I wrote this piece eight years ago, when I was feeling a bit more pessimistic about life, and since then, my thinking on this topic has changed considerably. I would never have written this essay today. With a little more perspective and life experience, I absolutely believe that we owe it to ourselves to follow our passions and "do what we love." Steve Jobs was right, as he said in his famous Stanford commencement speech in 2005: "And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become." I didn't know it then, but I really know it now - he's right. 

view this essay at wsj.com