February 13, 2018

How many more years will you be alive? What will you do with them? A US government life expectancy calculator gives me 23.6 more years on this earth; another calculator allots a me a more generous 75% chance to live 25.4 additional years. Yet we never really know how much time we have left. I have written about the business executive who at the age of 53 discovered he had 3 months to live (he lived 4 months.) I have also… Read more

February 6, 2018

Think you don’t have time for spiritual practice in your life? Well, Chade-Meng Tan, the former Google “Jolly Good Fellow” (yes, that was his title) begs to differ. He has an exercise that can enhance your sense of happiness and well-being and it takes only 10 seconds. In fact, I’ve done it in 7-8 seconds, so I can guarantee you it won’t take much time out of your busy life. The exercise is called The Joy of Loving-Kindness and its… Read more

January 29, 2018

The essayist and cartoonist Tim Kreider has a great riff on how we seem to pride ourselves on our “busy” lives. Tim points out that while this busyness makes us feel important, there’s also a huge downside to our nonstop activity—it takes away from our ability to be lazy. Now, one man’s lazy is another man’s downtime, and Kreider is no slouch. He’s an accomplished author, who writes and draws at least 5 hours a day before indulging in more leisurely pursuits…. Read more

January 24, 2018

What’s going on these days? When did we lose our sense of simple human decency and respect for other people, regardless of our differences in opinion or politics or ethnicity? I could point a finger at the man in the White House for setting an ugly and divisive tone. But perhaps it was coming to fruition just before then, most notably in online message boards where, under the cover of anonymity, crude and hateful language has been legitimized. It’s got… Read more

January 15, 2018

The rock star Bono of the band U2 is well known for his activism and involvement in social causes. What is a little less know is a near-death moment he had in November 2014 while cycling in Central Park in New York City. Bono was biking at a high-speed when he crashed while trying to avoid another rider. He hit his head on the pavement, was knocked unconscious and woke up in the hospital with no memory of the accident…. Read more

January 9, 2018

The holidays are over and the Christmas decorations are coming down. There are copious amounts of sooty-white snow on the ground and wind chills in the single digits. The sun comes up late and sets early. Spring is a distant 2 ½-month trek away.  On this January day, you may have found that (like me) a dark cloud has settled on your soul. I used to be a competitive 5K runner and can recall having a conversation with a fellow… Read more

January 4, 2018

There’s a message circulating around the Internet from Pope Francis, a recounting of his 2018 New Year’s message to the world. It’s compelling, inspirational—and also fake news. I found this out almost by accident when my wife forwarded a Facebook posting of the Pope Francis sermon from a mutual friend. I thought it was well done and did a Google search to find some background info on it—only to discover the Pope never wrote it. The website Inquirer.net reports that:… Read more

December 28, 2017

If there’s one problem with New Year’s resolutions, it’s that we too often break them. We start the year with the best of intentions to lose weight or get in shape or eat healthier, and we give it our best shot—but the complexities of life get in the way. There’s an inherent problem with resolutions that was pointed out to me by the writer and philosopher Anna Nimm. She writes that making these annual resolutions often becomes a fool’s errand,… Read more

December 20, 2017

It’s Christmas, the time of the year when we engage in cherished family traditions. Baking holiday cookies. Hanging stockings by the fireplace. Checking on Santa’s whereabouts. Unwinding with a snifter of holiday eggnog. Well, in the Rapsas family, we have a unique tradition that started about a decade ago. I am a runner and four or five days a week, in the dim early hours of morning, I jog around town. My path seldom varies. I stay along the roads… Read more

December 15, 2017

Sometimes you can find wisdom in places you don’t expect. It can come from a child who forces you to slow down and look at life from their perspective. Or a heated conversation that causes you to realize not everyone sees life from your point-of-view. Of course, for many of us, our favorite place to find wisdom is in books. And I found a lot of it in a book targeted to writers titled Daily Writing Resilience, 365 Meditations &… Read more

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