Against Caring

People who insist on backing their cars into parking spaces drive me nuts. On any given day, when I’m circling around the YMCA parking lot, I have to wait while some guy in a pickup the size of a Panzer tank backs into his spot. At that point, I remark to my wife something like, … Continue reading Against Caring

Business and the Moral Life

One of the great benefits of having a daughter in college is getting to see her assigned readings—and then indulging myself in those that capture my interest. It’s like a dividend payment for all those tuition checks we wrote. In the last three years of my daughter’s studies, I’ve been turned on to the works … Continue reading Business and the Moral Life

15 Things I Learned When I Sold My Business

In June 2006, 15 years after founding content marketing agency Redspring Communications, I sold the business to McMurry, Inc. A few months after the deal was consummated and the integration largely complete, CEO Chris McMurry asked me to share with our combined staff what I learned from the experience. The  presentation I developed was titled … Continue reading 15 Things I Learned When I Sold My Business

Immigrant Caravans and Homegrown Shooters

Perhaps the most ironic moment in President Trump’s recent State of the Union address was when he introduced relatives of Gerald and Sharon David. The Davids, Trump explained, were murdered in their Reno, Nevada-home by a Salvadoran man in the country illegally. Watching the whole thing unfold felt like taking part in an act of … Continue reading Immigrant Caravans and Homegrown Shooters

A Not-So-Elusive Joy

A lot's being written about how to find happiness these days. Perhaps that's because happiness feels more elusive than ever. There are mornings when I wake up in a bad mood and can only attribute my foul disposition to an expectation the world will greet me with a contemptuous glare. I'm far from alone in … Continue reading A Not-So-Elusive Joy

The Energy Business

For a couple of years in the mid-1980s I tried my hand at being a stockbroker. The job didn’t line up with my background as an English major, but the bull market at the time attracted me with its promise of fat commission checks. To build my book of business, I sometimes joined one of … Continue reading The Energy Business

The Most Expensive Cat Ever—And Why That’s Okay

  Periodically, my friends ask me to tell one particularly embarrassing story—usually when the wine is flowing and they want a good laugh. I figure I’ll share it here: Doing so both exposes me as a bleeding-heart animal lover and states a very serious moral position. About 13 years ago, our 20-year-old rescue cat, Phoebe, … Continue reading The Most Expensive Cat Ever—And Why That’s Okay

Gillette’s Awkward Moment in the Pulpit

It was inevitable that a brand built on a vision of American masculinity would weigh into the #MeToo debate. Gillette's "toxic masculinity" ad is a glossy, if preachy, effort to assert the company's moral position on a topic that has swept like wildfire through social media and our culture at large. Gillette's painfully awkward moment reminds … Continue reading Gillette’s Awkward Moment in the Pulpit

A Nation of Unreliable Narrators

This morning, NPR aired an interview with author Adam Benforado, an expert on how “camera-perspective bias” can misrepresent a broader reality or context. He was speaking about the now-infamous showdown between the Covington Catholic students and Native American activist Nathan Phillips at the Lincoln Memorial. In his discussion, Benforado introduced the concept of “cultural cognition,” … Continue reading A Nation of Unreliable Narrators

MLK Day 2019

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day made for some interesting media watching today—particularly on Twitter where the hashtag #MLKDay provided some memorable moments. Celebrities and politicians, apparently, like to tweet pictures of Rev. King along with his most inspirational quotes. Many of their tweets feel de rigueur, though, as if not marking the occasion would land … Continue reading MLK Day 2019