Listening Well and the Cause of Happiness—What my God Children Taught me

My godchildren inspire me. They ask questions, alter my perspective and in exchange I get a youthful perspective. Some parents, surly know the feeling. The godchildren that inspired this writing are 14 and 15 years old. Their persistence forced me to think—to improve my grasp of “Listening Well” and “Causing Happiness.”

Listening Well

During the Thanksgiving holiday, amidst my godchildren’s question barrage, I was asked, “What would you do if you found one million dollars?”

My reply, “I’d try to give it back to who ever lost it.”

“No, I mean what if no one was around. You just found it,” replied my godson.

Confidently, I replied, “Well, no one loses a million dollars, and doesn’t look for the money. So, I’d help them find it.”

My goddaughter, better explaining her brother’s question, jumped in, “No! No, he means, noooooobody is looking for the money. You find a million dollars. What do you do with it?” Continue reading “Listening Well and the Cause of Happiness—What my God Children Taught me”

Aleph – A Discussion of What we should do in the present

I recently read Aleph by Paulo Coelho.  My first book by Paulo.  And the book was quite impressive.   His storytelling is excellent, his style intriguing, and best of all, the stories make you think of your own life.  More of what’s needed in the world, I think.  For me, I post blogs, to clear my thinking.  This post, then, is a statement to the ability of Paulo’s writing to encourage me to think.   Several discussion topics are suggested at the end of the book—a feature more authors should consider—one of which captured my attention while reading.  Paulo wrote:

“We human beings have enormous difficulty in focusing on the present; we’re always thinking about what we did, about how we could have done it better, about the consequences of our actions, and about why we didn’t act as we should have.  Or else we think about the future, about what we’re going to do tomorrow, what precautions we should take, what dangers await us around the next corner, how to avoid what we don’t want and how to get what we have always dreamed of.”

Continue reading “Aleph – A Discussion of What we should do in the present”

The Parenting Challenge – A Review

All Joy and No Fun – New York Magazine

After reading the New York magazine article “All Joy and No Fun, Why parents hate parenting.” I reflected and gave some thought to two core concerns:

  1. What’s the root responsibility of parenting that upsets people?
  2. What is the underlying premise of Jennifer Senior, who wrote the article?

These two questions struck me as central to the piece, because, well, quite frankly, I never thought parenting should be fun. Continue reading “The Parenting Challenge – A Review”

Stress – It Doesn’t Have To Be

Robert Sapolsky discusses physiological effects of stress

So we do it to ourselves: Stress the manifestation of idle time with intelligence. I love the line where professor Sapolsky says, “Primates are super smart and organized just enough to devote their free time to being miserable to each other and stressing each other out”. So there you have it, an educated explanation of why haters exist.

Indeed the realization of what stress does to you, should be enough to make people slow down and reassess why we do what we do. We all seem to believe that money does not buy happiness, but we rarely act on it. A book by Richard J. Leider and David A. Shapiro entitled repacking your bags – lighten your load for the rest of our life is a nice complement to the arguments professor Sapolsky discusses. In different ways, both support the notion that chasing a dream defined by your relative position to others is just disastrous. Continue reading “Stress – It Doesn’t Have To Be”