TAG: Hear Me Out

The giving trees of the 9/11 Memorial

March 14, 2014By

A cold rain fell on the 9/11 Memorial the morning of Feb. 25. Then a thick fog rolled in, engulfing the New York City skyline in a sea of gray. The dreary weather was a fitting backdrop as visitors perused the names of more than 2,700 people who perished in New York on September 11, 2001. Some of them took pictures.... read more

Looking up

June 17, 2013By

Last month at this time, I was hiking trails along the Mediterranean Sea in Cinque Terre, Italy. With me were 10 strangers from Canada, the U.S., Ireland, Italy and Australia. We made for a diverse group. Among us were a marine biologist, a nurse, a multimillionaire couple and two 70-something sisters. Despite our diversity, we all were united in an... read more

An education

February 22, 2013By

It was lunchtime. My plane was still on the ground in Chicago, where it would stay for a very long time. Suddenly, I had six hours to kill in a Lansing, Mich., hotel restaurant. And there’s only so much you can eat and drink in that span. As I passed hour upon hour working at a small table, the diners... read more

Just say ‘no’ to naysaying to customers

May 18, 2012By

The other day, I went to my usual café for a latte. It was late afternoon, and I really needed a boost. But once I stepped inside, much to my surprise, I saw that in just one day’s time the café had released its entire staff and replaced it with a new one. Not one familiar face greeted me. Uh-oh,... read more

A little give and take

January 1, 2012By

Every day, Alonzo sat on a crate outside Walgreens, cheerfully greeting passersby. His jovial “hi!” rang out like a song as yuppie parents and their children strolled by. Alonzo lived in the men’s shelter up the street from me in Chicago. He donned a worn black cap, jeans and a grungy shirt every day. He was thin as a rail,... read more

More than just a day

November 27, 2011By

Thanksgiving at our house started the same way every year — with our dog, Checkers, sprinting laps throughout the house. We didn’t need to look outside to know Grandma had arrived. Eventually, Checkers would come to a panting halt beside my grandmother in the living room. And there the dog would stay, still as a statue, for the rest of... read more