We are all connected (even if we don’t know it yet.)

On August 12, 2004, the Northeast power grid collapsed. After the lights came back on, the first question everyone asked was “why did this happen?” Hindsight now provides a reasonable answer: the decision, or more accurately, the indecision of an Ohio power plant operator to stay connected to the grid after his plant failed instead…

news road less traveled

The News Road Less Traveled

  It is an oft-elusive yet elegant and paradoxical quality of human existence: We crave connection with others while simultaneously reveling in our fierce independence. Journalism historian Mitchell Stephens brilliantly describes this basic human need,the desire to ask and also to answer, “What’s new?” as a “hunger for awareness. ”More than specific information on specific events, the…

introducing the newsphere

  I first started writing news when I was a junior at Mother Seton Regional High School for girls in Clark, New Jersey. I was the editorial page editor of the Setonnaire and more than the mild celebrity, I enjoyed seeing my words in print and having a public place to think out loud and create news—that singularly powerful blend of events, ideas, thoughts, information, and yes, hopes and dreams, too. I was constantly in awe—and still am—of my friends, the visual thinkers: the cartoonists who cleverly and quickly sketched their ideas and powerfully captured the essence of an idea.…

Facts Exist But We Create Our Own Reality

Facts do exist. They can be denied, contested, and disputed, but they do exist. What’s playing out in the newsphere now is a battle for dominance of one set of facts over another: it’s a fact that facts exist!!! The denial of facts has been used politically to advance political agendas in the US, UK, and many other countries to help construct a preferred reality. In the U.S., President Trump successfully uses  ‘fake news,’  and ‘alternative facts,’ to design a parallel universe where he’s not ‘lying’ but instead is actually communicating what he wants to be true.   Rigorous fact-checking and…

Would MLK Buy A Ram Truck?

It’s a beautiful paradox that what we really need to open our minds is to use points of tension and conflict to see beyond our own often limited belief systems and ideally envision a new possibility. This may have been the lofty, spiritual goal of the marketing department at Fiat Chrysler when they created this 2018 Superbowl ad,  but I seriously doubt it.  My guess is that they were looking to demonstrate social responsibility and to promote the Ram brand. The 1:07 minute ad features a voice over of Martin Luther King’s “Drum Major Instinct” speech, which MLK delivered precisely 50…

This is what love, and life, look like…

I was surprised by the quiet beauty of Georgetown, Colorado, a small, historic mountain town close to I-70, the main route to the state’s ski resorts. A new blanket of snow had just fallen transforming the charming hamlet into a winter wonderland–the stuff of storybooks. To ensure that we were sufficiently wowed by the scenic beauty,  a friendly cowboy reminded us that “it didn’t look like this yesterday. There was no snow until this morning.” So I boarded the Colorado version of the Polar Express, sat down on a lavish cushion, and embarked on Georgetown’s Loop Railroad for Santa’s North…

Teilhard’s Wisdom For Living An Inspired Life

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” This is among the most beloved and widely circulated quotations from the Jesuit scholar, mystic, and philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Most of us have it backwards! We think we have to surrender our humanity to be spiritual, and so we begin the lifelong quest to satiate our inner soul-sickness while the solution is breathtakingly simple—live your day-to-day life well. “We must add one stitch, no matter how small it be, to the magnificent tapestry of life;” Well, I’m trying to do that,…

Are you an intellectual?

If you answered “no,” I ask you to reconsider. At his commencement address to newly-graduated doctoral students at the University of Florida, National Book Award Winner and History Professor Ibram X Kendi asks us to look at intelligence differently. If you have a desire to know, if you’re open-minded, if you have a tremendous capacity to change your mind, if you are self-reflective and self-critical, and above all, if you’re always willing to face reality, then you’re an intellectual, according to Kendi. At his December 16, 2016 address to the University of Florida’s newly-minted Ph.Ds., Kendi challenges traditional notions of…

How To Navigate The Newsphere

We long for connection, a hunger for awareness of the other. We are evolving through our connections with each other, which are becoming more complex, powerful and sophisticated. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin defined this as the noosphere, the glue that binds us together in a cosmic sense. It is an integral consciousness—the understanding that the human is the “axis and arrow of evolution.” This web of connections is a source of often untapped energy. It is how we grow and change both individually and collectively. Technology helps us grow this global network of complex connections in dynamic and powerful ways.…