What I learned this week, December 11, 2021

Chico y Chica de la Playa, sculptor: Victor Salmones, McCasland Sunken Garden, Dallas Arboretum

5 questions to ask when you need help finding your purpose

Mark Twain once said the two greatest days in a person’s life are the day they’re born and the day they discover why. Deep? Definitely. But let’s be honest: the first day is a somewhat passive experience. The second day, however, can feel like a lot of pressure. While some of us can quickly identify our purpose (in our careers, or otherwise), others may struggle to answer the question “Why am I here?”

Karma, Do-Ho Suh, 2011. Korea, Brushed Steel with Stone Base, The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

Why Do Toxic People Get Promoted? For the Same Reason Humble People Do: Political Skill

Good workplace politics skills can help employees with toxic personalities rise to the top of an organization’s structure. There’s danger in that: Capable and valuable employees leave organizations because of bosses, or corporate fraud and accountancy scandals result in bankruptcies.

Something In front of Braindead Brewing Deep Ellum Dallas, Texas

The internet is tricking our brains

Researchers are finding that the intersection of Google, smartphones and our memories is starting to mess with how we judge our own abilities.

City life damages mental health in ways we’re just starting to understand

Urban dwellers are particularly at risk from the impacts of air pollution and other hazards on mental health.


The theme is “Western civilization at the crossroads.” Far be it from me to doubt that the West is on the precipice of something enormous. But “crossroads” implies a map. Do we have one? Is a piece of paper showing the way forward—whether predictive or hopeful—even possible?

From two years ago – Natchez Paddlewheel, New Orleans

Under The Surface

Last year, in our escape from lockdown Colorado, we visited a riverboat museum near Kansas City, and that was….. bizarre.

Downtown Square, McKinney, Texas

Parents of the social media generation are not OK

Last September, just a few weeks into the school year, Sabine Polak got a call from the guidance counselor. Her 14-year-old daughter was struggling with depression and had contemplated suicide.