Have our Pipe Dreams gone up in smoke?

During my college days, between playing Hearts, going to the movies and actually studying for exams I spent many late nights hanging around with classmates taking seriously our generation’s philosophical role as “tomorrow’s leaders.” We had been taught that we had a moral duty to create a better future, that it was our responsibility to... Read more »

Speaking out against racism and extremism on Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day 2018. It serves as a reminder that if lessons from the past are forgotten an ascendant far-right waits in the wings to resurrect the horror. That’s why the subject matter of these weekly posts has veered to politics and activism urging us elderly couch potatoes to make our voices heard,... Read more »

I have a slice of avocado toast and see America in 2080

It was a typical article from the New York Times Sunday magazine section, an esoteric essay about the popularity of avocados grown in Mexico. But I nearly fell off my chair when I read it. What stunned me was the reference to more than 1.7 billion pounds of Haas avocados imported into the United States... Read more »
ChicagoNow Video

I recognize limitations of being a mentor and swallow a disappointment

Last week I wrote about the rewards of being a mentor to a young man or woman. There are pitfalls as well, do’s and don’ts that keep the relationship appropriate to the objective of helping your young charge become successful in life. It’s not all Kumbaya. Don, a case history. I was the Professional Advisor... Read more »

I’ve seen the future and it surprised the cynicism out of me

Over the past three days I escorted a group of teens from the Duluth, Minnesota area around our city. They were visiting under the auspices of the TRIO Program, an educational initiative started fifty years ago by the Johnson administration to level the playing field for high school kids from low-income communities. We visited college... Read more »

Meditation for emotional ache

I’m remarkably stoic when it comes to physical pain. Two Tylenols with the morning coffee and I’ve got the perennial backache under control and followed along with my seven magical minutes of the Qi Gong for Beginners exercise video. It’s the emotional ache that can challenge me if I let the sadness poke its way... Read more »

Stop pursuing wealth, it can only make a person into a twisted being…” Steven Jobs

The excerpt from the last words of Steven Jobs makes it unequivocally clear, money can’t buy happiness. Yet recently my therapist wife forwarded me an article reporting that eighty percent of Millennials listed getting rich as their major life-goal. Fifty percent added, becoming famous as their other aspiration. She couldn’t imagine the depth of disillusionment... Read more »

If you are old enough to remember Eugene V. Debs, you should

All of us on Social Security and Medicare should take up the cause and join in the battle against Ageism because the struggle has implications that extend beyond the movement’s support of the right to work. It’s about the right to live without fear of being cast aside like an obsolete Brownie camera. The so-called... Read more »

My life is enhanced by the convivial restaurant manager, a custodian at O’Hare and an inspiring Lyft driver

Some jokes about growing old coax a laugh and then a cough. Question: “What is the best thing about growing old?” Answer: “No peer pressure.” It’s funny, until the back story slams home. The guffaw turns into a sigh as you accept the sad reminder that more and more names showing up on the obituary... Read more »

Time for the Silent Generation to speak out and make itself heard

The founder of the country’s largest small-loans network is being interviewed after being indicted for defrauding thousands of desperate customers out of four hundred million dollars. The interviewer from the Netflix series, “Dirty Money,” asks Scott Tucker, the CEO of Payday Loans, “Are you a moral man?” Scott thinks for a long moment, then answers,... Read more »