Never change for someone else. Just don’t.

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“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is one of the oldest cliches in the book.

I don’t know what this book is, who wrote it, and where to find it — but if I did, that tired old maxim would be there.

It’s wrong.

You can teach an old dog new tricks, but it has to be under a special set of circumstances. Namely, putting him around a kitten.

First a story.

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. They’re wrong. You can — just put him around a kitten.

It was a Friday morning. I was working from my bed. “Working” is not accurate. I was cradled in…

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You can always tell when you weren’t meant to hear something.

You feel like a Navajo Code Talker intercepting a message during World War II. There’s a certain lilt in the speaker’s voice when they’re in the middle of a conversation that your ears weren’t supposed to hear. Almost like they started speaking and suddenly realized, “oh damn, so-and-so is listening” and they had to adjust the last second.

I was with two of my best friends from high school, both married. Friend A’s wife said: “Hey Friend B, we’re going to ______ so see if (Friend B’s wife’s name)…

The voice inside your head is just jealous of your happiness.

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When what the last time you said something nice to yourself? Can’t remember can you? You’re not alone.

It is estimated that more than 16 million Americans suffer from major depression. Keyword: “major.” So it doesn’t include a bad case of the blues or the latent ennui that haunts us throughout our days. People who suffer from everyday sadness and malaise number into the multiple millions.

Depression doesn’t come in a “one-size-fits-all” package, but it’s safe to say a lot of melancholy manifests itself in self-loathing. …

Yes, all lives matter — but only if black lives do too.

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“Save the rain forest” does not mean other ecosystems don’t matter.

“Save the whales” does not mean other cetaceans don’t matter.

“Save the rhino” does not mean other mammals don’t matter.

“Protect abused children” does not mean we shouldn’t protect all kids.

“Happy Birthday, Bob” does not mean we don’t care about any one else’s birthday except for Bob’s.

You get the point. Intuitively you understand this. Saying “Black Lives Matter” doesn’t contradict or invalidate “All Lives Matter.” Far from it. In fact, it affirms it. …

I know because I’ve done all of these things before — and still do today.

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It should be easy to recognize the “big” things we need to get over (it’s the actually getting over them that’s the hard part.) You can find these “big” things all over the internet, usually with headlines like: “Top 10 Habits That Are Holding You Back in Life.” It’s your typical toxic behaviors that damage your self-esteem and relationships. Stuff like:

  • Clinging to relationship with an ex- after a breakup.
  • Holding onto grudges with close friends and family.
  • Engaging in reckless and/or dangerous behavior.
  • Hating…

The ultimate life hack.

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If you’re anything like me, you have probably spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about your legacy. A buddy even made the comment one time that I’m not living my life, I’m writing my autobiography. I know I’m not alone. When did we care so much about our legacies, anyway?

For me, it was probably high school.

Yep, high school.

I started becoming over-analytical about the things I said, the stuff I did, the classes I took, even how I spent my free time. Seriously.

Can’t waste time watching that movie — it’s not on…

Love is simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

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Life is a journey where you relearn the things you were born knowing how to do — but which experience has “taught” you to forget along the way.

Case in point: love.

You knew how to love when you were just an infant. Look at a baby’s smile when she sees her mother or father. That’s the purest love there is. Nobody taught her that.

Then life happens. Human nature kicks in. Experience confirms and rewards our worst impulses and we think this is the way it is supposed to be…

We take for granted that COVID-19 “changes everything” — what if it doesn’t?

Photo by Leah Kelley from Pexels
Photo by Leah Kelley from Pexels
Photo by Leah Kelley from Pexels

“Every generation thinks there’s will be the last,” as the old-saying goes. People take a strange comfort thinking the end is nigh, especially when they get a front row seat to the show.

Human beings take the worst for granted. It’s what we do.

It’s not a political or religious thing, it’s a human being thing. What keeps you up at night, the threat you believe will lead to our species’ mutually assured destruction, depends on your deep set beliefs. Climate change? Nuclear disaster? Terrorism? TikTok? …

manu mangalassery

So far as I can tell, the internet in 2020 can be roughly divided into the following four categories:

  • COVID-19 related click-bait— 46.5%
  • Cute animal videos — 36.5%
  • Relationship advice — 13.5%
  • Meaningful national news and world affairs — 3.5%

OK, so maybe my stats are a little off, but I think it’s fairly sound.

Whether it’s 13.5% (my made-up figure), 1.35%, or whatever, a big chunk of the internet consists of relationship advice. So much of our precious time is spent consulting the world’s foremost relationship expert — Dr. …

Does the legendary Ad Man’s “10 Tips For Writers” still make the grade?

“Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals.” — David Ogilvy Credit: Wikimedia

In an industry where “creativity” is associated with mad-lib agency names and quirky office culture, David Ogilvy has always stood out.

Here was a man who was as smooth, dry and urbane as a glass of fine scotch. Who famously preached: “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.” Whose grace and panache makes him more a rebel today than he was in 1967.

I was hooked and have been since I was a student.

Like the Master, I wore nice clothes to work in a creative department…

Hunter Howe Cates

Principal/Writer of Author of “Oklahoma’s Atticus.” Visit

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