Have you ever encouraged someone to embrace technology and then regretted it?
Me, I’m starting to lament encouraging my mom to up her game. Look, she’s 80, and as smart and energetic as anyone half her age. But let’s face it, if you never even cared to know how to use a TV remote, chances are today’s tech is way over your head.
It all started with the iPad, one of the two devices my mom uses (the other one being her cell phone).
Hers was one of the first versions released, way way back when Obama was in the middle of his first term. …
Suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the “size” of human suffering is absolutely relative. Viktor Frankl
What years of your life are best etched in your memory?
For me, it’s my teenage years, and I suspect it’s the same for a good many people.
Perhaps it’s because the brain area reserved for memories is still relatively empty and impressionable in youth, or because more drastic stuff and first-time events happen over the first two decades of life — you know, like realizing your parents don’t know everything, learning to ride a bike, making your first friend, getting through puberty, and being left out. …
Diego, and so many other people who are loving and vulnerable like him, attract and bring out the tender side of human nature. That’s one of their huge contributions to the world.
Have you noticed I’ve been absent lately? Not replying to messages or publishing? Always rushed?
Well, it’s because my son’s 27th birthday consumed me for a while there.
I attribute Diego’s fixation on birthdays (and Disney, dates, movies, animals, countries…) to his autism — but who knows right?
The runup to this particular birthday started 364 days ago, on January 14, 2020 to be exact, the day after Diego’s 26th birthday. …
Parenting brings such joy sometimes the euphoria makes you want to explode into a million sparkles. Other times, though, the pain’s so great you’d like the whole world to collapse into a dark hole.
You suffer for your child. I’m not talking about him not fulfilling your dreams, not even the basic dream that they are “normal”. My oldest son’s developmental disability, for instance, caused me untold pain.
He didn’t mind — I mean, not more than you’d mind being hopeless at backgammon or cross-country skiing. …
All that matters is now.
Sometimes you know a scene you’re beholding will be etched in memory. I knew it yesterday as I watched my 80-year-old dad sitting at the kitchen table grating a big block of Parmigiano Reggiano on the finest side of a 4-sided grater, as every Italian knows parmesan cheese ought to be grated.
Meanwhile, my mom was six feet away at the stove minding the cylinder-shaped tortiglioni my dad so loves, and that, sometimes, Whole Foods carries.
They were totally in the moment, sharing the experience of preparing a good meal as if it were the only thing that mattered. Because it was the one thing that mattered.
More on my parents:
* The Honest Ponderer helps deep thinkers make the world a better place.
Daniel Pink is the author of several New York Times bestselling books on behavior, creativity, and business, including To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others.
If you’ve watched his MasterClass on “Sales and Persuasion” then you also know Pink is a wonderful teacher, communicator, and yes, persuader. The first thing he persuaded me of is this.
If you’re like me and never considered yourself a salesperson, this MasterClass will show you that you’re wrong. You are a seller — we all are. …
My Venezuelan PTSD instantly surfaced yesterday when I beheld what was going on in Washington.
Here’s what happened in DC: an attempted coup. Thankfully, an attempt carried out by a mob of citizens, not by a military man, as was the case in Venezuela in 1992.
Not that the intention was any different. But no military involvement meant that the deaths in DC were in the single digits, as opposed to somewhere between 100 and 200 in Venezuela.
As I watched the TV screen, my mind traveled back to 1992. There I was, standing on the terrace of my Caracas home as I first heard and then saw the supersonic fighter jets zoom across the sky, all the while thinking, foolishly, “I hope I don’t have to cancel my wedding!” …
Dear Paul Rudd, Vin Diesel, Ann Hathaway, Daniel Glover, Scarlett Johansson, Denzel Washington, Dwayne Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Brad Pitt, Emma Watson, Matt Damon, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Anniston, Dennis Quaid, Mark Wahlberg, Spike Lee, Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, and all actors and actresses who’ve been in Harry Potter, Fast and the Furious, Bourne, Jumanji, Hangover and any superhero movie (whether DC or Marvel), or who’ve voiced Disney movie characters,
Diego, my 26-year-old autistic son would flip if you would be part of his virtual birthday this January 13.
You gotta understand. You wouldn’t only be giving a sublimely generous gift to Diego, you’d be cementing his undying affection for you. …
Dear commercial airline pilot,
You have one phobic passenger on board. Guess what her phobia is? Fear of flying.
Fear so intense Dani, the passenger in question, takes a full dose of clonazepam half an hour before boarding. She also pins a medal of the Virgin Mary to her pants and prays the rosary twice during the flight, for a total of 100 Hail Mary’s.
Dani starts praying just when the plane speeds up for takeoff. She prays the second rosary during the approach and landing, which is when half of aviation fatalities happen, or so she’s read.
The clonazepam she began taking after a flight to Colombia. Just when the plane was about to touch down in Bogota, the engine revved up mightily as the plane climbed back up and circled around before actually landing. …
Did you know we’ve had 27 leap seconds since 1972?
What is the farthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet?
Did you know that the Earth’s shaped as an oblate spheroid?
How are new planets discovered?
These are a few of the fascinating facts and questions you’ll learn about in astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Masterclass Scientific Thinking and Communication.
Beyond such facts and questions, however, deGrasse’s class is primarily about human thought. Specifically, its focus is on the vital role of scientific thinking on human progress, sound decision-making, and perspective-taking.
“The cosmic perspective undoes this urge to feel special but it undoes it in a way that rebuilds it better than it was before.” …