Category Archives: Stories

Volunteering recognition from 1993

on February 16, 2024 in Education, Habits, Stories

I’ve been writing about volunteering. Then last month I found this certificate for distinguished service in college in 1993 cleaning out my father’s basement and had to share the story behind it. A church near Columbia on 114th Street and Broadway served a soup kitchen. I volunteered there every Friday. I just went on my own. Partly I consider activities like it as civic duty. Also I find it rewarding.[…] Keep reading →

Following up yesterday’s post: “Whom would you call a minority in this picture?”

on February 10, 2024 in Stories, Tips

I wanted to follow up yesterday’s post. It missed some of the more important experiences and lessons of spending so many years as a minority, or at least not in the majority. Since starting college at Columbia and mostly living in Manhattan, I’ve spent a lot of time with well-educated liberals. I’ve found them full of preconceptions about me, generally based on my skin color and sex. People who know[…] Keep reading →

More depth on Robert Carter III

on January 18, 2024 in Freedom, Leadership, Stories

I’ve written about Robert Carter III a bunch here. He figures in my book a lot, as someone who could have remained corrupted by slavery, as everyone around him did in Virginia after the American Revolution, but he freed his slaves. Thomas Jefferson didn’t, despite his brilliant words on freedom. Sustainability today is overloaded with Jeffersons: people who talk big on sustainability but act the opposite, undermining their credibility and[…] Keep reading →

Some of my trash from the 1970s and 1980s

on January 13, 2024 in Stories, Visualization

I haven’t filled a load of trash in my apartment since 2019. This week I cleaned out my stuff from my father’s basement. It turns out he put stuff there after I went to college. He didn’t tell me and I forgot about it. I wish I’d known about it between then and now, but didn’t. I’m saving some and giving some away through Craigslist (putting it back in circulation,[…] Keep reading →

Cultural Exchange Without Flying: My dinner at the Trump International Golf Club at Bedminster

on December 4, 2023 in Stories

I value learning from people who think differently. A lot of people seem to value cultural exchange. Probably the most different place from the United States I’ve visited is North Korea, twice. I grew up equating flying with travel and the only way to explore other cultures. Now that I’ve stopped flying, I see how I had made myself dependent and ignorant by a practice (flying) that is destroying cultures,[…] Keep reading →

My deep-sea sailing trip, part 3: the cliffs of Newport, Rhode Island

on September 27, 2023 in Stories, Visualization

Following up my last two posts, on my recent sailing lesson, we ended up in Newport, Rhode Island. The others wanted to go to a boat show held there that week. Our skipper/teacher had hosted a booth there for years, though not this year. I was open to going but didn’t want to do something big and commercial that much. One of the other crew members told me about Newport’s[…] Keep reading →

My first deep-sea sailing lesson

on September 25, 2023 in Education, Stories

Long-term readers know I took sailing lessons after extending my year avoiding flying to more and more years, even before realizing I’d never fly again (also before Greta got a ride across the Atlantic, which somehow no one has offered me yet, though I’ve worked at it for years). My Sailing 101 lessons were in New York harbor, which I followed up by joining a club that allowed me to[…] Keep reading →

Sign up for my weekly newsletter