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The Happiest Nation on Earth

The country of Denmark has topped the World Happiness Report every year except one since 2012. While we could debate about what kinds of definitions and metrics are used to measure something as intangible as happiness, it is nonetheless a noteworthy distinction. So what makes Danes so happy? This is one of several questions we put […]

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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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Explaining Christmas

I’ve found myself wondering of late what someone from a relatively unchristianized country might think of the American celebration of Christmas. The dialogue might sound something like this: “Well, see, it’s like this. The two most important people at Christmas time are Santa Claus and baby Jesus. Which one is more important depends on who […]

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A Day in the Life of the Jungle

We didn’t really know what to expect. We had been following an organization called “l’Auberge des migrants” on Facebook for several weeks. It is a UK-based nonprofit that mobilizes volunteers — largely from the UK, but from other countries as well, including a few Americans — to sort clothes, cook and deliver meals, teach English […]

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Following the Stories to Berlin

If you’ve been following us the last few weeks, you know we had quite an eye-opening and moving time in Athens, Greece, where thousands of refugees are suspended in a sort of no man’s land, hoping for a life where their own lives are not threatened. Most of them have lost friends or family members in […]

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Pickpockets and Perspective

It happened to me. Again. I was planning on keeping this latest incident to myself. Part of it was embarrassment, which really means pride. I should have seen it coming. I’m a seasoned traveler. I just published a podcast episode on being a wise traveler, for crying out loud. The first time was in Lima, Peru, […]

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The Fiddler Is Still on the Roof

While browsing through hundreds of photos on a computer at home, looking for a good photo of my mother for Mothers’ Day, I came across this photo of myself as Tevye in Lifesong Theatre Group‘s production of Fiddler on the Roof. The next morning, I turned on NPR in the car and got in on […]

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The time has come! Announcing the World to the Wise podcast, designed to inform, enlighten, inspire, and stretch the borders of your thinking. In a sense, this podcast has been percolating in me for a long time. They say a blogger is supposed to stick to one theme — at least initially — and become […]

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“We Will Sing of You” – the Family Saga

My oldest son told me a story that I had to pass on to you: He was talking to a colleague at work who is a veteran of either the navy or the Marines, he’s not sure which. We’ll call him Sam. At one time Sam was stationed in Iceland, where they would partner from time […]

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Let the Countdown Begin!

In exactly one month from today, we launch the World to the Wise podcast! I’m looking forward to it for so many reasons. It will give me a chance to connect in a more personal way with friends, readers, and subscribers around the world. And that’s the exciting part — you can listen from practically […]

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