Difficult people are often not our real problem

How do you deal with difficult people? First, you take a deep look inside yourself and make sure you’re not a hypocrite. I found that I am. For example, in arguments, I am thinking about my next words. I never fully listen. The brain is a wonderful tool. The neocortex wants to process those words, to comprehend them, but I rarely give it a chance. Conversations often escalate when I don’t slow down to listen. Simple dialogues begin to boom; frustrations bloom. I’m reactive. I’m easily offended. My problems occur… Read More

The How of Happiness

“Everyone has an opinion about happiness,” Harvard University professor of psychology Daniel Gilbert wrote, “and unfortunately, many of them write books.” There’s no shortage of literature willing to help us wrestle for our happiness. All of culture is doing its best to help us achieve a more positive life. Cliches dilute our days. Walk into any craft store, and you’ll find an assortment of throw pillows offering their sage advice. Some of the most common messages include, “Happiness is not a destination. It is a way of life,” “Just think… Read More

Stuck in Rumination

I’ve done a lot of not-so-smart things. I broke my car windshield once, with my foot. The music blared, the coeds approached, I found myself on the roof dancing and in need of a grand exit. So, I attempted to hop off over the hood. Ankle hits the windshield. Glass breaks. There you have it. Even as I write this out, I’m overthinking whether I should or not. What will you think of me? (That’s an easy answer). Why was I so stupid? (Again, easy). No one else does ridiculous… Read More

Peru´s Bomberos 

Volunteer firefighters risk their lives, expecting nothing in return. In Peru, almost every crew receives no funding from the government. They fight fires. They respond to head on collisions. They worry about the lives in their communities. Often, they wonder if their equipment will fail them. They press on. “I’m doing my patriotic duty, you know?” Kenny Flores, a volunteer firefighter in Lima, Peru told NPR’s podcast Radio Ambulante, “It’s a way … for us, to try and make the country better.” His first helmet was from the 1980s. All… Read More

Travel Lessons

Alpacas are incredible, but I miss the cows. Spanish architecture built on top of Incan stone is a wonder, but I miss the open fields. For as long as I’ve known my wife, Savannah, and I are were moving to Cusco, Peru, I couldn’t wait to leave Texas. I craved newness: language, culture, sport, everything. Now I long for what I left. Woody Allen put it best when he said, “When I am in New York, I want to be in Europe, and when I am in Europe, I want… Read More