Why you should avoid lame cut-and-paste campaigning

You are passionate about an issue. You inspire and organize others who are likewise passionate. To spark change, you need to persuade someone else—an individual or a group of people—to see things your way. What do you next? If you confuse “like-minded” with “carbon copy,” you may make the mistake of committing cut-and-paste activism. That’s […]

Confessions of a sports trivia nut: recalling my surreal Sports Jeopardy! experience

The question: “What is the most surreal experience I have ever experienced?” The answer: Competing in May 2015 on Sports Jeopardy!, an offshoot of the immensely successful Jeopardy! television game show. Of course, in the inside-out world of the program, the art is coming up with the question to an answer that is already, if […]

Our daily shopping choices: a super-simple way to boost local economy amid COVID-19 era

During this COVID-19 era, any trip through the commercial corridors of Oak Park, Illinois—my community along the western border of Chicago—has revealed its potential as a post-apocalyptic movie set. But here in my town—and wherever you are, within your community—there is a simple mathematical principle that empowers us to revise the script: shop locally, as […]

The power of greater expectations–including when the media lets you down

How do you respond when someone is unaccountable or otherwise fails to meet expectations? Many years ago, a mentor offered me wise words on how to handle these situations. His counsel went something like this: “If you want to yell at them, or give them a piece of your mind, or tell them how they […]

Epic math gaffe by Brian Williams & Mara Gay highlights great need for improved numeracy

When it comes to mindless journalistic blunders, there are brain cramps and then there are lobotomies. Example of a brain cramp: the time in the late-1990s when, as a newspaper reporter, I referred to a high school student as “Dustin Hoffman.” He shared a first name with the famous actor, but not the last name, […]

On heels of outrageous outburst, local newspaper nails it: ‘Setting the bar higher’

Above two letters in today’s print edition of the Wednesday Journal of Oak Park and River Forest was a most apt banner: “Setting the bar higher.” One letter was written by Oak Park Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb, in which he apologized for Trustee Arti Walker-Peddakotla’s slanderous public attack last week of a resident in the moments […]

In the wake of Kobe Bryant’s death, basketball game is refuge

Kobe Bryant’s shocking death yesterday hit me on an unexpected level. When my son broke the news to me, my heart sank. Horrible, sad, tragic…what are the words? There are no words; there are too many words. It was a moment that smacked me up-side my entire being, soul and body. I realize I am […]