In a time when incivility, rudeness, extremism, intolerance, and self-righteousness dominate in the media and on the street, David Brooks pleas for equipoise (“In Praise of Equipoise,” The New York Times, September 1, 2017). Huh? Equipoise? What’s that? Equal poise across situations. The concept appears to have originated in the East. Something like Buddhist non-attachment. … Continue reading Equipoise, or The Art of Acceptance
Yale University’s Levin Professor of History Timothy Snyder has written a manifesto for democracy titled On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (New York: Tim Duggan Books, 2017). This little volume (128 pages, 6” x 4.5”) packs a wallop. Although he never names anyone as his focal tyrant wannabe, the reader knows that this … Continue reading Tyranny Prevention
All politicians have weaknesses, but having a strong team compensates for them. German-born political scientist Hans Morgenthau (1904-1980), advisor to U. S. presidents and professor at the University of Chicago and City University of New York, is known for his theory of political realism. Something he wrote back in the 1970s offers insight into the … Continue reading Politics is a Team Sport
“Get off my back—I can’t fly when you are weighing me down!” Such is the lament of the underling suffering from micromanagement—the uninvited incursion by a manager into the how to’s and wherefores of a subordinate’s day. Just last week a client asked me, “How do I get her off my back? I’ve about had … Continue reading Managing Micromanagers
One can be born to be a 7-foot NBA center, but one cannot be made into one. Or? Look at the Dutch, who have an unusually tall population and who also are known for their unusually heavy consumption of calcium (milk, cheese, and their kin). Clearly most human behavior has a largely genetic component, but … Continue reading Leaders Can Be Made, If Not Born
An Imam, a Rabbi, and a Ronin were sitting on the bimah. Their host asked each to comment on this question: What is the line between religion and politics? In a country that officially embraces the separation of church and state, the audience of mostly Jews and Christians at Temple Beth El in Charlotte, North … Continue reading How Do Religion and Politics Mix?
In 1729, Jonathan Swift brought attention to the plight of Ireland’s starving poor by ironically suggesting the children be fattened and served up to the rich. My modest proposal today employs no irony. Rather, I address a serious issue by suggesting a small, effortless, non-resource-consuming, incremental change. The serious issue: Carbon emissions. The suggestion: Cut … Continue reading A Modest Proposal