Ride a New York City subway and, most likely, you’re bound to be touched by guilt.
Touched by a stranger’s whisper for spare change, you try best to spare a touch of change from the misery, though all the while trying not to touch the hand. After all, the stranger’s hand is filthy; the sidelong glance is accusatory.
A few days ago, I found myself running late for an appointment. And true to form, I kept on running to the subway station.
As fate would have it, just as my hand touched the railing to head downstairs, I locked eyes with a homeless fella standing to my right. …
A few years back, my roommate Christophe — now at Harvard — invited me to join him at a birthday party.
Within seconds of setting foot in the spacious apartment on Columbia’s campus, it became apparent the room was filled with neuroscience grad students. That is, aside from me and one other fella named Wu.
“Hey Wu,” said Christophe, “this is my roommate, Genius!”
Wu flashed a toothy smile while extending for a handshake. “So Christophe tells me you’re a real-life genius, huh?”
I shrugged. After all, Wu’s snarl suggested he wasn’t buying the claim with my money. I would later come to discover that Wu was on the verge of getting his doctorate in computer science at NYU. …
Everything we do in life is for a reason. And so, quite naturally, for ages humans have wondered: For what reason do I exist?
Some men chase women, some women chase money, some of both chase vodka with the soft drink of choice, yet every such chase leads to the same pot at the end of the rainbow: happiness.
“Happiness,” said Aristotle, “is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”
Armed with the above insight into the very reason for our existence, does not common-sense suggest it would be wise to inquire with the very man widely considered the smartest person in history? …
This morning I got a phone call from my favorite person on all the world’s stage: Grandma!
Per usual, we spent about the first 5 minutes or so skipping together down memory lane, recalling Christmas past. And just as The Ghost of Christmas Past is said to have visited Scrooge, thus igniting his transformation in the process, Grandma played an oldie I hadn’t heard in years.
“Santa Claus is a Black man,” the little girl sang in the background. “Santa Claus is a Black man. And he’s handsome . . . like my daddy too!”
I held the phone to my chest and closed my eyes for a second. I simply wanted to Be, you know, fully embrace the moment. After all, Grandma is now 90, so I wanted to savor that precious moment with her. …
Last night while riding the subway, I heard a voice in just above a whisper say, “Ahem, excuse me, fellas, can you guys please spare some change?”
My buddy Josh — seated to my left — as if he were the ventriloquist and I the wooden dummy, spoke on my behalf: “Sorry, dude, we don’t carry around change.”
Given that I’ve long heard Karma was moody, I did my best to stay on her good side. “Here ya go,” I said while handing over the crinkly dollar-bill.
Josh hissed. “Now why’d you do that?”
I offered a shoulder shrug.
“I mean,” Josh continued, “if that bum can say ‘excuse me, can I have some change,’ he sure as hell can say: ‘Welcome to McDonald’s . . . can I help you?’…
Back in college, I had a female friend who routinely turned into Houdini. Like clockwork, in the middle of a meal — she’d always abruptly excuse herself. Abracadabra!
Of course, given that I’m forever spurred by the curiosity that killed the cat and the catechism alike, I just had to let the cat out of the bag. And so, one evening, I turned into a Ninja and trailed her to the restroom.
Initially, I heard nothing aside from the running faucet water. I leaned in with my ear grazing the door. …
A year or so ago, one of my dear friends — now manager — Goddess invited me out. It was Fashion Week in the city so nice they had to name it twice.
She wanted to introduce me to an investor. Apparently, he was on the verge of launching a new product and needed a few decent writers to contribute content to the website.
“Count me in!” I said.
Now — I must confess — I’m a bit of a hermit. Goddess, on the other hand, is somewhat of a Manhattan socialite. …
A few days ago my buddy, Sean Kernan, as only he could — thought outside of the box. And then, he invited me to join him on the outside looking in view.
“Hey,” Sean said, “since your last article on how to think like Jeff Bezos was so popular, why not write one on Ev, too?”
My blank expression suggested he needed to fill in the blank.
Sean continued. “Dude, you didn’t know, Ev is known as ‘the LeBron James of Online Publishing’?”
I gulped. Sean had me at hello! After all, as did LeBron a decade ago famously say, “I’m going to take my talents to South Beach,” a few months ago it was Sean who suggested I take my talents to Medium. …
During a Q&A session of the Satellite 2020 conference, Elon Musk — the college dropout who ditched Stanford to roll the dice on his first start-up — was asked to share a few thoughts on how to make college more affordable.
Though I expected an answer long and sour, Musk kept it short and sweet:
“You don’t need college to learn stuff!”
Musk then noted that given we live in the Information Age — knowledge is essentially free.
Unlike the Dark Ages when Encyclopedists had to all but smuggle information as if they were bootlegging for Al Capone, Millennials, and Gen Zers live in an age where info is but a click away. …
A week or so ago, I had a chance to catch up with my old roommate. Christophe no longer takes his daily bite from the Big Apple. Instead, he’s now living in Boston as a “Harvard Man.”
Ever one to tease, I joked: “Ahem, too bad a Princeton alum is on pace to become the first trillionaire in history!”
Christophe chuckled. “Ahh, Bezos! Yes, yes. I’d sure like to spend a day roaming that guy’s mind.”
Without blinking I fired back, “But you can.”
Christophe’s blank expression suggested I needed to fill in the blank.
“So far as all forms of thinking must be logical to qualify as reasonable,” I continued, “it must be the case, then, the logical form that Bezos’ line of thinking takes must be accessible.” …