For World Gratitude Day Try To See The Good In Life

From the Chicago Tribune op-ed

As an experiment, social psychologist Paul Piff once invited people to play Monopoly, then he rigged the game. He selected two players, but one was given twice as much cash to start the game and received twice as much cash each time he passed Go. The lucky player rolled two dice on each turn, the opponent rolled one.

At the end, when the winners were asked to explain their success, they would describe their talent for the game and the clever strategies they had used. “Almost nobody attributed their success to the initial flip of a coin that got them into their position of privilege,” Piff reported. Continue reading

A Paycheck is No Substitute for Thanks

From the Boston Globe op-ed page  9.5.2015

THE ORIGINS of Labor Day are slightly hazy, but the US Department of Labor points to one of the likely originators as Peter McGuire, a union leader in the 1880s who wanted to honor workers “who from rude nature . . . carved all the grandeur we behold.”

On Monday we will continue to celebrate the grandeur of work. But isn’t it time to do something about the rudeness? Fair pay is important, but we also need to change to a culture where people are appreciated. Continue reading

My Strangely Amazing Year of Living Gratefully

from The Daily Beast

At a dinner party in a sprawling apartment on Park Avenue, I brought up the topic of gratitude—and everyone looked down at their plates in embarrassment.

Had I brought up Caitlyn Jenner, sex slavery, or women menstruating through their eyeballs, nobody would have finched. But gratitude? Not in polite company, dear.

I had just spent a year living gratefully and writing about it in my new book The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking On The Bright Side Can Transform Your Life.

I am neither sappy nor spiritual, and while I eat kale and quinoa, I’m not new age-y. I don’t Continue reading

The Best Time To Travel With Your Kids

from Conde Nast Traveler, May 2015

Starting your kids’ wanderlust early is beneficial for everyone in your family. 

My sons still talk about the family trip we took down the Salmon River in Idaho one summer. The scenery was gorgeous and the rapids were rough—and the guide let my oldest, Zach, negotiate one wild pass alone in a rubber canoe. He was 7 at the time. His little brother Matt, then 5, paddled excitedly along with my husband. Were they too young for that adventure? Absolutely not. Continue reading

3 Reasons Don Draper Should Be Grateful

DON DRAPERfrom Huffington Post
Watching the latest episode of Mad Men, it occurred to me that Don Draper may be our modern-day Aristotle. Like the great philosopher who preceded him by a couple of millennia, he is trying to figure out how to feel fulfilled. And he understands the challenge.

“What is happiness? It’s a moment before you need more happiness,” he said a couple of seasons ago. Continue reading

Forget Flowers: Here’s What We All Want For V-Day

When we first got married, I told my husband I wanted to celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 15th, when flowers and chocolates went on sale. Maybe you can’t put a price on love, but $39.95 for a dozen stems seemed too high. Why pay jacked up prices when we could have our own romantic day anytime we chose?

My husband immediately got in the spirit, and every year since then, he’s brought me the nicest roses discounts can buy. Love always seems lovelier to me at half-price the next day. Continue reading

Powerhouse Performances of 2014

Bradley Cooper appeared on Broadway this year half-naked. Neil Patrick Harris wore fishnets and high heels. Hugh Jackman mystified in wading boots. All were terrific, and it was a thrill to watch big stars give powerful, knockout performances that didn’t depend on their names or fame. They proved themselves as serious, hard-working actors. Continue reading