I’m Not That Famous

I built new shutters for my house last year. My old ones were vinyl shutters with fake louvres, purchased from a hardware store.  (“Vinyl” sounds better than “plastic.”) I bought lumber and built new ones.   I painted them black.  The new shutters attach two boards, and feature a diamond shape in the middle. Very cute, you must […]

Great Leaders Feel Deserving

Many potential leaders never reach greatness because they feel they lack a mandate to lead. Consider the case of Babur. Babur ascended the throne of Fergana in in what is now Uzbekistan.   It was 1494, when Spain was claiming Caribbean islands, and Babur was only 12 years old.   At age 14 he led […]

Stay Off Santa’s Naughty List

In my country, people practice a pretend belief in Santa Claus.  This mythical person delivers gifts to well-behaved children.  Naughty children, in theory, receive nothing.   The definition of good vs. bad is fuzzy.  It is subjectively determined by parents in each household.   In practice, however, poor children receive less, regardless of behavior.  Bounteous […]

Blogging takes me more time

When I was 12 years old, I had been taking piano lessons for six years.  I was still playing at an early intermediate level.  My parents, finally wearied of nagging me to practice each day.  They allowed me to quit.  “He must have other strengths,” they said. Why did I make no progress?  Many years […]

Can YOU change the world?

Did a teacher ever make you feel ashamed?  Did anyone ever tell you to “just get motivated,” so you could learn faster, or pay attention better? Stephen Spielberg was a lazy student. At least that’s what his teachers thought.  In reality, he had dyslexia. He took two years longer than his peers to learn to […]