Pausing and Seeking to Understand

I have extremely strong feelings regarding customer service responsiveness. Whether I am providing service or receiving it, whether in my personal life or my professional life, my standards are very high. Last fall, a client complained about one of my colleagues not responding to an email. When I spoke with…

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An Extra Moment to Say “Hello”

During the summer of 2019, my cousin married a Parisian woman. The wedding was in Paris and I was fortunate enough to be able to attend. We arrived several days early to be able to spend some time exploring and experiencing Paris. It was a phenomenal week. On the first…

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Being Kind Also Helps You

The Wall Street Journal published a really good piece explaining why being kind helps you, too. As the piece explains, “research links kindness to a wealth of physical and emotional benefits – and it’s an excellent coping skill for the COVID-19 era.” You may not be able to read the…

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It’s Not Enough

Early last summer, I read Ibram X. Kendi’s 2016 book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. It’s an amazing book I highly recommend, and I recommended it in my most recent post, Be an Antiracist. It was in that book that I first heard…

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Be an Antiracist

On August 19, 2015, I published a post about #BlackLivesMatter. In that post, I wrote about the movie Fruitvale Station, the true story about the tragic killing of Oscar Grant, which I had seen in 2013, coincidentally, around the same time I had read the extremely important, highly acclaimed book The…

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Everyone is Valuable

All the talk about essential workers, and the realization that so many of the heroes of this pandemic have been people whose contributions to society were previously taken for granted, reminded me of something my wife told me. Last year she attended a seminar and the presenter held up a…

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Hate the Sin, not the Sinner

We can detest someone's actions without detesting the person. We can hate the sin without hating the sinner. When I think of these words, it reminds me of what Arthur Brooks said about loving your enemies in his book and when I heard him speak, which I wrote about here.…

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Love Beats Contempt

At least once a year, an event in the speaker series at 92Y in Manhattan catches my eye. I’ve seen several of my favorite writers, including Malcom Gladwell (three times) and Michael Lewis. This year, I saw Arthur Brooks in conversation with Simon Sinek. I have become a fan of…

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Giving the Benefit of the Doubt

“Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood” is the fifth of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, one of the all-time, best-selling, personal development books. We often jump to conclusions and make assumptions with incomplete information. When we do that—when we fail to seek to understand someone…

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More Kindness

After I republished my post Kindness & the Common Good in my monthly newsletter, a reader sent me this note I want to share with you: Thank you for this email (newsletter)! I have a constant, inner conversation with myself where I try to be mindful of the point of…

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Kindness & the Common Good

In an op-ed piece in the New York Times, David Brooks wrote about Pope Francis’ New Year’s Eve commentary that the people who have the most influence on society are “normal folks,” and their everyday gestures of kindness make them “artisans of the common good”. The pope used driving, of…

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Respect for Others Will Help You

This is a guest post by Sara Jacobs Growing up, the kinds of respect I was initially taught were not helpful to me later in my life. For example, I was supposed to respect teachers who would hit me, which made it seem like respect was born out of fear.…

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