Tell Your Story

A few years ago, Peter Guber wrote this in the Harvard Business Review, “Critical details, data, and analytics are more effectively emotionalized and metabolized by the listener when they’re embedded in a story.” Similarly, Jonathan Gattschall wrote...

Compassion and Determination

There are many personal characteristics by which one might achieve success — courage, perseverance, strength, intelligence, aptitude, even luck. I’d add two more. But first, I want to introduce and modify a notion. The late, legendary Zig Ziglar once wrote: You...

Threads of Life

Since I mentioned the summer of 1964 in a previous post, I offer this one about a more recent encounter prompted by my having read the news item below: WESTBROOK, CONN – The Westbrook Fire Marshall is trying to determine the cause of an early morning fire at 20 Cherry...

Why I Write

Given my joyful duties as Executive Director of LVVS, it seems apropos to share the joyful memories of my first summer in Westbrook. And given the mission of LVVS, it seems apropos that those joyful memories are of discovering the power of language. In the summer of...

Our Connective Roots in Myth

One of the books that’s had the most influence on my life is The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. In it, Campbell incorporates the work of Freud (the collective unconscious) and Jung (archetypes) in tracing the mythological roots that unite us all...

The Fine Art of Doing Nothing

I’m writing this post on Saturday morning. Tomorrow morning, I’ll marry Anne, the most beautiful woman and the finest human being I’ve ever known. For a while this morning, we sat drinking coffee together, talking of our wedding and the trip...

Labors of Love

Outside my office, in space generously donated to us by the Westbrook Public Library, is a conference table. On a recent Friday morning, I was sitting in my office. A tutor and her student were in session at the conference table. Their hushed conversation was...

The Spirits Within Us

Ebenezer Scrooge is one of the most well-know characters in English literature. His surname has become a noun (miser, skinflint, a tightwad, a generally miserable person) and a verb (to withhold, to chince, to horde, to be less then generous). But I don’t find...

Take the First Step

When I speak to students during readings of my books, Martin the Marlin and The One and Only Ben — in groups that often number in the hundreds, from Kindergarten through 8th grade — I get questions so direct they can only come from children. One of the questions I get...

Opportunity is Where You Create It

I recently was invited to an event at which I was one of a number of speakers from the non-profit community. Many of the other speakers decried the diminishment of government funding, saying their constituencies would be harder to serve without that funding. Why? Have...