On Friday, October 11th, I attended a professional development workshop at the college where I’m employed. The title of the session was “Communication Skills for Collaboration.” Looking back, I don’t think the title gave an apt preview of what the talk would cover. Plus, the title was boring; whereas, the actually workshop was quite interesting. During the early moments of the presentation, the presenter began … Continue reading Repost: A Meditation on Something I Heard the Other Day
I’m getting older. We all are. Of course, as we age, we lose things. For example, because I’m older and injured my knee playing competitive sports when I was a young guy, I can no longer jog without having significant pain afterwards. That sucks, but I’m fine with that limitation and loss. It’s not all bad news though. I’m gaining things too. For example, I … Continue reading Repost: On Dealing with Emotional Extremes
I’ve been thinking a lot about defiance lately. Actually, because I’m very much a contrarian at heart, I’m always thinking about ways to defy. That’s what contrarians do; they defy conventional wisdom (among other things). (By the way, it seems pretty clear that we need a lot more contrarians in the world.) I guess you could also say that I’m part of the resistance against … Continue reading Repost: Napping as an Act of Defiance
I’ve been forgetful lately. I’m talking like, I’ll be in one part of my house, decide that I need something from another room, head to that locale, and as soon as I arrive there, I can no longer recall what I wanted to get. I know this is a near universal human experience because I’ve had numerous friends, once I’ve told them about this tendency … Continue reading Repost: Does Anyone Know Where I Left My Car Keys?
If you haven’t already done so, you might want to have a look at part one. That one was mostly about work. This second piece will be more focused on money; although, work and money really go hand in hand because without the former, the latter is hard to come by. In part one, I mentioned (and linked to) “The Shame that Keeps Us in Our … Continue reading Repost: On Work and Money: Part Two
Earlier this week I read “The Shame that Keeps Us in Our Jobs,” an article by Paul Millerd, one of my LinkedIn contacts. Millerd’s piece, about work, work culture, and money, got me thinking about a whole bunch of topics. This blog is the result of that rumination. I want to begin with something I’ve wondered about throughout my career as a college and university … Continue reading Repost: On Work and Money: Part One
I don’t think this is going to be anything like any of my other blogs. Actually, I’m not for sure what this is going to look like or how it might turn out. That’s why I’m calling it an “experiment.” I will conduct my experiment by asking a series of personal, self-discovery questions and then answering them. Each response will be used to generate another … Continue reading Repost: Experimenting with Self-Discovery in Real Time
Note: A version of this post was published earlier. As America gears up for the 2024 presidential campaign, a variety of Republican contenders, chief among them Ron DeSantis, are doing their absolute best to dethrone the Grand Poohbah, otherwise known as “The Donald,” the man who gives lie to the statement “It can’t happen here.” To achieve this difficult task, these campaigners are going … Continue reading Let’s Talk and Think about Skin Color
Before I get into the body of this piece, I’d like to say that the conflict in Ukraine is especially interesting and tragic because I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Poland during the mid-nineties, not long after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall. I was sent to Rzeczpospolita Polska—I still remember quite a lot of Polish—to … Continue reading Repost: What Vladimir Putin’s War Has Taught Me
Exactly one week ago, on Saturday morning, my wife and I got into the backseat of my father and stepmother’s car, in Georgetown, Texas, pulled out of their garage, and headed eastward, to make the hour-long trip to the small town of Rockdale, Texas, population 5,323. Our goal was to attend a memorial service to commemorate the life of my uncle, a man I’d always … Continue reading A Sad Day, a Happy Day
Life is like a great meandering stroll through a vast wilderness of ever-changing scenery. Such a long tramp is bound to change us, so it’s highly likely we’ll undergo one transformation after another as we travel. I was an only child during the earliest stages of my “journey.” I spent the first few years of my life living in a quiet, rural setting where neighbors … Continue reading Repost: Others
I’ve been writing about happiness recently. This is the third (and final) installment in a series of pieces on this subject. The first installment can be found here and second one, here. While prepping myself to write this, I began to think of analogies. Can happiness be cultivated in the same way a farmer prepares for a good harvest? Think about it; a bumper crop doesn’t just happen … Continue reading Repost: Can Happiness Be Cultivated?
A few days ago, I had a Zoom meeting with Omar, my nephew by marriage. It’s been a while since I last mentioned that I married an Egyptian woman—a truly beautiful person named Azza—a little more than twelve years ago, back when I was living in Cairo, Egypt, and teaching at the American University in Cairo. Omar is Azza’s sister’s son. He’s in his early … Continue reading I Wish You Well, Omar
Dear, Readers, I’m speaking for all Wise & Shine writers when I say that we so appreciate your continued support of this blog. To show how thankful we are, we want to ask you to share a link to your blog or site in the “thoughts” or comments section at the bottom of this page. Please feel free to include a statement about what inspires … Continue reading Sharing is Caring
Most of us are familiar with the old saying, “When it rains, it pours.” I’ve been thinking a lot about that adage recently because there’s been quite a lot of pouring rain in my life over the past few months. A few weeks ago, I wrote about needing to take a leave of absence from writing for this blog after being diagnosed with a degenerative … Continue reading It’s Been Pouring
Hi, all. Wise & Shine is looking for a few new writers. If you’d like to apply to join the team, send samples of your writing via our “Contact” form. Please familiarize yourself with the sort of things our blog publishes before contacting us. We’ll send a set of writing guidelines to those who send examples of their work. We look forward to reading your … Continue reading Want to Write for Wise & Shine?
At the end of last year, this site started a podcast. We came up with a few topics and scheduled conversations, almost entirely among ourselves (those of us who publish our writings on the site). We then recorded those discussions and posted them. We were going at a great clip in the beginning. We managed to publish a new podcast each week. I took it … Continue reading Whatever Happened to the Wise & Shine Podcast?
Dear Wise & Shine Readers: As some of you might have noticed, I’ve been mostly away from the site in recent weeks. I’m writing to let you know that I’ll be taking a leave of absence from the blog. I’m suffering from extreme burnout. Additionally, I was recently diagnosed with an incurable degenerative condition. I won’t die from this illness, but I will become increasingly … Continue reading An Explanation
I’ve been putting off writing this for weeks, maybe months. I’ve been reluctant to admit that I’m going through a tough period right now. For the first time in my life, I’ve been having something similar to a “mid-life crisis,” but that’s not it exactly. I’m not sure there’s a name for what’s been bugging me. You see, even now, I’m beating around the bush. … Continue reading Let Me Get This off My Chest
I’m currently reading The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart, with “Willie” being the great Willie Nelson, musician and songwriter extraordinaire. As you might guess from the title, the book, coauthored by Nelson and Turk Pipkin, elucidates the singer’s philosophy of life, which was strongly influenced by Buddhist and Taoist tenets, and includes lots of autobiographical details. In one of … Continue reading Question of the Day (Inspired by the Red-headed Stranger)