00 a Present is the gift

An Everyday Gift

YESTERDAY is history. TOMORROW is a mystery. TODAY is a gift. That’s why it’s called the PRESENT. LEARN from the past. PLAN for the future. LIVE in today.



Now is a time to be resolute, but wise. We must focus on our vulnerabilities, not our fears. Our solutions must be as intelligent, not instinctive. This is not a time for partisan advantage-seeking, it is a time to come together without concern for who gets the credit or blame. We must respond boldly and fearlessly, but not foolishly. Many …

COMMENTARY: Sharpen Your Ax

Ben was a new lumberjack who swung his ax with great power. He could fell a tree in 20 strokes, and in the first few days he produced twice as much lumber as anyone else. By week’s end, he was working even harder, but his lead was dwindling. One friend told him he had to swing harder. Another said he …

00 a my past

Are You Present?

Don’t look so hard at my past. I don’t live there anymore.

COMMENTARY: What I’ve Learned: The Perspective From 13-Year-Olds

A few years ago I got a note from Sam Rangel, an eighth-grade teacher in Corona, California. He distributed some of my commentaries on “What I’ve Learned” to his students and asked them to write down what they’d learned over the past year or in their lives. Here’s the world of growing wisdom from the 13-year-old perspective: * I’ve learned …

00 a Know who you are

The First Step

“The most important reason to know who you are is that it’s the first step in becoming who you should be.” – Michael Josephson


You Have It All Within You

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman

Maintaining Humanity in the Face of Inhumanity

“The world will not get safer until it gets softer, yet the more dangerous the world becomes the more fear and prejudice make people harder. The responses to unspeakable violence must not be a demand to do whatever it takes to be safe because there is no real safety in such methods. Somehow we have to learn to live with …

COMMENTARY: Clichés and Milestones

One of the things I hate most about clichés is that whenever I experience milestone experiences, I have to admit they are true. There’s nothing unique or original about my feelings except that they are mine. So, when I witnessed my daughter Samara turn 18, my mind and heart flooded with trite and corny thoughts and emotions: “Where did the …

00 a learning - what and who

Six Honest Serving Men

I keep six honest serving men, they taught me all I knew; their names are What, and Why, and When, and How, and Where, and Who.” – Rudyard Kipling


If I Had To Do It Again…

“If had my child to raise all over again, I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later; finger-paint more, and point the finger less. I would do less correcting and more connecting. I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes. I’d take more hikes and fly more kites. I would run through more fields and gaze …


Where are Your Values?

“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” – Roy Disney


Fathers and Sons

“One of the greatest tragedies of life is that father and sons can love each other deeply without ever getting to know each other.” – Michael Josephson


Winding Roads

“The path of least resistance is what makes rivers run crooked.” – Elbert Hubbard


Your Character & Reputation

“The decisions you make every day shape both your character (who you really are) and your reputation (what people think of you). Choose wisely because what you do and what you become is your legacy to all you love.” – Michael Josephson

COMMENTARY: Middle School Commencement

When I was asked to deliver the commencement address at my nephew Jaren’s middle school graduation, I worried more than normal. After all, 14- and 15-year-olds are especially tough. First, they’re subject to torrential hormonal surges that can generate vast mood and personality swings. They can be wonderfully agreeable and fun to be with one moment, then sullen and argumentative the …


Alone vs. Lonely

I don’t have to be lonely just because I am alone. I am in the company of thousands of good memories of people I’ve known and know, places I’ve been, things I’ve done and the feelings of joy, gratitude and pride that are still a part of me.


Here are 5 Profound Rules to Help Teens Survive and Thrive

BE YOURSELF. Mindless conformity is a prison; express yourself authentically. Don’t be afraid to stand out, but don’t go to extremes just to be different. DON’T EXPECT TOO MUCH OR SETTLE FOR TOO LITTLE. Don’t expect anyone else to make you happy and don’t allow others to treat you badly. Hang out with people who bring out the best in you. …

COMMENTARY: Wisdom in 20 Words or Fewer: Part One

Since my children were small, I launched their day with the invocation to “be good, have fun and learn.” I hope they remember that mantra, but when my daughter Samara began her independent life as a college freshman 3,000 miles away, I thought a more detailed set of maxims was needed. So I assembled a collection of concise (20 words or fewer) …


Looking Forward Through the Past

Your childhood is in the past so it consists of no more than the moments and feelings we remember. There were delights and disappointments, fun and frustration, success and shortfalls. It is much easier to look forward to the future when we do so from the vantage point of positivity about the past. Push out bad memories with good ones …


Republican or Democrat, Liberal or Conservative… We are ALL Americans

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” – Abraham Lincoln Whatever side of the aisle you are on, please revere and protect our American heritage and the core values that have made us great and strong.

COMMENTARY: The Commencement Curse

Millions of teenagers across the land are about to leave the womb of high school for a world full of new freedoms and responsibilities. Although many have been waiting for this event for a long time, eager to get on with their lives as liberated adults, the thought of leaving behind friends and familiar places can be scary. The transition …


Hold On Tight

“Hold on to the people and things that really matter. Let most of the other stuff go.” – Michael Josephson

COMMENTARY: We Expect More of Adults

Although 11-year-old Mark wasn’t much of an athlete, his dad urged him to play youth baseball. Mark liked to play, but he was hurt by the remarks of teammates and spectators whenever he struck out or dropped a ball. Just before the fourth game of the season, Mark told his dad he didn’t want to go. “I’m no good,” he …



“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, ‘I’m possible!’” – Audrey Hepburn


In Tribute

“Don’t count the days, make the days’ count.” – Attributed to Mohammad Ali


A Glimmer of Home or an Oncoming Train?

“At our lowest moments, we don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel; we only see more tunnel. This is when we must summon the courage to reject despair and surrender and call upon our inner reserves. Together, faith and determination will ignite a spark transformed by a puff of hope into a flame bright enough to show …


Get To Know the People Around You

“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.