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A Lesson Learned on Bias

Many years ago in Switzerland I had a voice student named Catherine. Catherine taught me something I’ve never forgotten, although it will take me a lifetime to fully put it into practice. A little background: as you may know, Switzerland is composed of three main regions. By far the largest is the German-speaking area in […]

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What You Can’t Know About Your Country Until You Leave It

My wife and I took a brief road trip last weekend. I like road trips except for one thing: I get so sleepy behind the wheel. Enter the audio book. This time we chose a book that had been mentioned by a good friend. Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight takes place in Southern Rhodesia […]

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How to Turn a Vacation into a Pilgrimage

What comes to mind when you hear the word “pilgrimage”? Trekking your way over rugged terrain to reach a shrine? Traveling thousands of miles to meet up with thousands of other pilgrims at a particular time of year? Perhaps. But what if any time you stepped out of your zone of familiarity could become a spiritual experience? […]

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“There’s a whole world out there…”

A couple of weeks ago I was interviewing a dear Indian-American couple named Pravin and Fiona. They have been living in the US for a number of years, have two sons born here, and are themselves on the path toward US citizenship. (You can find that interview here.) One simple thing that struck me is something […]

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Starbucks’ Most Audacious (and Craziest?) Move Yet

There is a reason so many of the coffee terms at Starbucks and other coffee shops sound Italian. They are. Except that some of them are misused. We’ll get to that in a minute, but the big news is that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has decided to circle back to the city where he first had […]

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“Nunchi”: The Art of Anticipating

The Far East is known for being extremely hospitable. But there is a concept in Korea that goes beyond hospitality. It’s called nunchi. Nunchi is anticipating not only someone’s needs, such as expecting you to be thirsty when you come in from a long trip, or having the sugar within arm’s reach when you need […]

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How to Avoid the Pendulum

Are you a swinger? As I mentioned in my last post, we are often prompted to react in unsavory ways when adversity, fear, or disappointment hits. Yes, cynicism is often the result after so many disappointments and so much disillusionment. But another human syndrome I’ve observed over the years is the pendulum swing. When a […]

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