Archive for January, 2014
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of Gulab Singh, a devoted family man and a fellow usher at the Self-Realization Fellowship Temple in Encinitas, California. I loved serving with Gulab. He was a model of sincerity, devotion and generosity of spirit.
Today, Gulab’s extended family gathered on the Temple patio in front of the tree that they had (more…)
Novelist George Saunders’ stirring address at The College of Arts and Sciences’ undergraduate convocation ceremony on Saturday, May 11, 2013, at Syracuse University, where he is a professor of English, quickly went viral, and deservedly so.
Saunders, author of The New York Times bestseller, Tenth of December, implored his audience to prioritize kindness over self-interest, delivering his message with candor, authenticity and humor.
The speech proved to be so popular that an expanded version will soon be published in book form. Without further ado, here is Saunders’ speech:
CONVOCATION SPEECH AT SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY
Down through the ages, a traditional form has evolved for this type of speech, which is: Some old fart, his best years behind him, who, over the course of his life, has made a series of dreadful mistakes (that would be me), gives heartfelt advice to a group of shining, energetic young people, with all of their best years ahead of them (that would be you).
And I intend to (more…)
Ah, how precious and fragile is each and every day. The simplicity and innate joy of this Billy Collins poem calls to mind the story that my friend, Leslye, told me about her niece. Leslye said the little girl woke up, walked to the window, looked out, and gasped, “It’s a brand new day!”
Indeed it is, ripe with beauty and sweetness that is yours for the taking.
by Billy Collins
Each one is a gift, no doubt,
mysteriously placed in your waking hand
or set upon your (more…)
I was blessed with a wonderful father and did my best to be the best father I could be as well. So I was especially moved by Holocaust survivor Dr. Robert Fisch‘s tribute to his father in his remarkable book, Fisch Stories: Reflections on Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Here are three excerpts that capture the quiet heroism of the father and the loving devotion of the son.
My father enjoyed everything life could offer: music, food, theater, playing dominoes, and so forth. He and my mother had a shop that sold poultry and game. He was an exceptionally good person, and he helped so many needy people, mostly children in orphanages. In 1944, when he was 53 years old, Hungarian Nazis took him to a Hungarian concentration camp near the German border. A survivor told me that on the way he gave his food away, saying “I (more…)
I was privileged to interview Dr. Robert Fisch about his experiences as a Holocaust survivor. Click here to read his incredible story.
After World War II ended, and after he escaped communist Hungary in 1956, Dr. Fisch consciously chose to live with love and joy as his dearest friends instead of succumbing to hate and bitterness.
Dr. Fisch’s positive approach to life is reflected in his astonishing bravery. Here is an excerpt from his remarkable book, Fisch Stories: Reflections on Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
In my first years of medical school at the University of Budapest, the different political parties pressured students to join. I established the Fisch Party and edited the Fisch Journal, both designed to ridicule the Communists. One spring, at a May Day demonstration, the Communists produced a poster with a cartoon of President Truman with a snake around his neck. When they asked me to carry it, I refused.
“His soldiers liberated me,” I told them. They put the poster on (more…)