A friend made an interesting post on Facebook last week. She was responding to the tone-deaf Pepsi ad that offended millions of people. She posted “Hoping beyond imagination that I'm not an insensitive white woman – that would break my spirit completely.” Her posts got me thinking about white privilege and the journey of denial, resistance, acceptance and understanding confronting many Americans, especially since the word “resist” has become such an icon in the American English lexicon.
An Open Thanksgiving Letter to President Obama: I wish we could have this discussion face to face, like your famous “beer summit,” but instead I hope this open communication may do some good for our country, or to use your phrase, be a “teachable moment.” [if you're on a mobile device click on the photo above to read more.]
Last week—no, the last many months—have been difficult for me. I've sat down many times to write about what this presidential election means for America. But I don't write about politics. I write about words, mind, spirituality and the human condition, so I struggled with how to... [if you're on a smart phone, click on the photo above to read more.]
The Five Stages of Grief have become an almost sacred tenet of modern psychiatry. The Five Stages have helped people deal with the death of a loved one, their own death, and have led to more compassionate treatment of the terminally ill. But what if the Five Stages are incomplete? What if there is a sixth (and even seventh) stage that modern psychiatry has missed? If you're on a mobile device, click on the photo above to learn more.
The first thing I’d tell aspiring writers: don’t mess with the mystery. Don’t listen to teachers who try too hard to explain, don’t read books that give in-depth advice on sentence structure and word choice. You’ll just end up writing like everyone else. Listen to your own voice. Be a visionary. Take chances. Jump off cliffs. Land with a splat. Fail. Pick yourself up again like Wily Coyote after being flattened by the falling anvil…
Another mass shooting, another round of searching for answers. How could someone do this? Why only in America? The debate has come down to a two-sided choice: the death toll is the result of lax gun regulation. Or the real culprit isn’t guns, but mental illness. What if both sides are wrong? What if the shootings are a result of something much larger?
"Spirituality" has become a popular buzzword in our modern lexicon, as more and more people describe themselves as spiritual, but not religious. In a survey by LifeWay Christian Resources in 2010 of 1,200 18- to 29-year-olds, 72% said they're "really more spiritual than religious." It used to be that if you weren't religious, then you were an atheist, or maybe an agnostic, but a new category—spirituality—has given people a third, very viable and interesting option. So what does it mean to be spiritual?
On the occasion of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd share one of the most popular chapters from my book, Passage to Nirvana. It's a short chapter; doesn't take more than a minute to read. It's almost more of a prose poem. The chapter is about both the word and the reality, and is titled simply, “Love.”
Art is beautiful, fighting is ugly. Artists create. Fighters destroy. Artists make paintings and songs and dances that bring joy to our hearts. Fighters make blood and pain that damages our bodies and brains. Permanently. Using the word “artist” to describe a figher is an insult to artists everywhere, and demeaning to the word “artist.”
How does our worldview change as we age? I pondered that question this week as the news broke that HarperCollins would be publishing a new book by Harper Lee, the author of *To Kill a Mockingbird.* The story interested me for several reasons: first the fact that it was such a huge story; as a writer I'm always gratified to see the general public get so passionate about books. The top trending tweets for several days had the keywords "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Harper Lee."
I am, unfortunately, an expert on memory. I am not a doctor, or a researcher, but a traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivor. And like many people who suffer a traumatic brain injury, my memory was severely affected by the damage to my brain.
I woke up this morning pondering the question: “What does it mean to be super?” Today is the day of the big game, the Super Bowl, which is really more than a big football game. It is a cultural ritual, a national holiday of sorts, a ceremony and celebration of all that is American: big, brash, bold and, well, super.
Superman was, after all, the invention of an American mind, as is super-sized food portions (MacDonalds), and supermodels...