Who I Am is Not What I Am: The Curse of Performance-Based Identity

Most of us harbor a self-critic in the Amygdala of our brain. It operates on a continuum ranging from selective and reserved to vocal and harsh. While a modicum of self-criticism is necessary and probably desirable, too many of us take it to the extreme. The genesis often occurs in childhood when we get theContinue reading “Who I Am is Not What I Am: The Curse of Performance-Based Identity”

Take Nothing for Granted. It’s Great to Be Alive.

“Take nothing for granted. It’s great to be alive.” I’ve heard those words uttered by Chicago disk jockey Lin Brehmer dozens of times. The phrase has been his mantra for years. And, every time I’d hear it I’d tell myself he’s absolutely right. We have all taken so much for granted every day of ourContinue reading “Take Nothing for Granted. It’s Great to Be Alive.”

God Doesn’t Play the Blame Game.

Why is it that so many of us look to assign blame when the shit hits the fan? Everything has to be somebody’s fault: our boss, our parents, our sibling, our spouse, the yahoo down the street, politicians, the media, God. Tragedy is part of life. It happens every day. Sometimes there’s an obvious villainContinue reading “God Doesn’t Play the Blame Game.”

The Gift of Tim Green’s Grace

Tim Green played for the NFL Atlanta Falcons for 8 seasons. I met Tim Green in 1982. He was a freshman football player at Syracuse University. I was a young TV sportscaster covering his ascent to stardom. We became friends. This past weekend, 37 years later, Tim’s number 72 was retired and raised to the raftersContinue reading “The Gift of Tim Green’s Grace”

Ready, Set, Go. A 64-year-old’s First Day of Grad School.

The author poses on the campus of Northeastern Illinois University. It’s incredibly difficult to fathom, but I’m just seven months away from my 65th birthday. Holy shit! Some of my same-aged friends are at this very moment planning for imminent retirements. Others have already stepped away from their respective vocational rat races. But not me.Continue reading “Ready, Set, Go. A 64-year-old’s First Day of Grad School.”

Happy Father’s Day Asshole

Have you gone shopping for a Father’s Day card? If so, you’ve undoubtedly seen dozens of greetings that state, in essence, I am who I am today because of you, Dad. The verse inside may use words like love, acceptance, guidance, caring, kindness, role model, and hero. But, what if one of those sentiments isn’tContinue reading “Happy Father’s Day Asshole”

It’s Not Your Fault

The 1997 movie Good Will Hunting is one of my favorite films for a number of reasons. Each of the main characters is deeply flawed, lonely, fearful, and trying desperately to mask the pain that envelops them. Among the numerous powerful and poignant scenes in the film is a breakthrough moment in the relationship betweenContinue reading “It’s Not Your Fault”

Holier than Thou: The Scourge of Religious Hypocrisy

I am sick to death of religious hypocrisy. It’s a widespread, ever-burgeoning malady that infects our relationships, communities, institutions, politics, and even our families. I first experienced this ungodly paradox while attending a parochial elementary school in the Midwest. A cadre of old ladies, mostly widows I assume, were regulars at daily Mass. And withoutContinue reading “Holier than Thou: The Scourge of Religious Hypocrisy”

The Agony of Making Decisions

“Don’t be afraid of change. You may lose something good, but you may gain something better.” Unknown Making a life-changing decision is seldom simple. It’s not as stark as choosing between black and white. Our palette is usually somewhere on a spectrum in a myriad of gray. There are rarely win-win solutions. That’s a myth.Continue reading “The Agony of Making Decisions”

Media Makeover: When News was News and Facts were Facts

Did you read, watch, or listen to news coverage of the release of the redacted Mueller report on April 18? If you did, the precise details of what you heard, saw, and/or read depended in large part on the TV network, newspaper, digital publication, or radio station you chose. If you watched Fox News, you wereContinue reading “Media Makeover: When News was News and Facts were Facts”