Why I’m Here

Why I’m Here
by Jacqueline Berger


Because my mother was on a date

with a man in the band, and my father,

thinking she was alone, asked her to dance.

And because, years earlier, my father

dug a foxhole but his buddy

sick with the flu, asked him for it, so he dug

another for himself. In the night

the first hole was shelled.

I’m here because my mother was twenty-seven



It’s right to praise the random,

the tiny god of probability that brought us here,

to praise not meaning, but feeling, the still-warm

sky at dusk, the light that lingers and the night

that when it comes is gentle.


Why I’m Here” by Jacqueline Berger, from The Gift That Arrives Broken. © Autumn House Press, 2010. (buy now)

Clever Solution to a Corrupt Choice

Pebble Problem

A merchant owed a large sum of money to a lender. The old, ugly moneylender fancied the merchant’s beautiful daughter. He proposed that he would forget the debt if he could marry the merchant’s daughter. The merchant and his daughter were horrified.

The moneylender suggested that they let providence decide the matter. He told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty bag. The girl would pick a pebble from the bag. If she picked the black pebble she would have to marry the moneylender and the debt would be forgotten. If she picked the white pebble, she need not marry him and the debt would be forgotten. If she refused to pick a pebble the merchant would have to go to jail.

The moneylender bent over and picked up two pebbles. The sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. The girl immediately agreed to the contest despite her father’s protests.

Why did she agree?

On first impression it would seem there were only three possibilities:

  1. She refuses to take a pebble, sending her father to debtors prison.
  2. She shows that there were two black pebbles exposing the cheating moneylender but leaving the her father in debt.
  3. She picks a black pebble and sacrifices herself for her father’s freedom.

Before you read the answer, below, try to solve this problem yourself.


It pays to trust your employees



Study indicates that employees who are trusted by managers do better work and are more loyal to their employer.

Journal of Management



A Closer Look at Trust Between Managers and Subordinates: Understanding the Effects of Both Trusting and Being Trusted on Subordinate Outcomes

The authors propose that trust in the subordinate has unique consequences beyond trust in the manager. Furthermore, they propose joint effects of trust such that subordinate behavior and intentions are most favorable when there is high mutual trust. Findings reveal unique (more…)

This is love

Louis Armstrong
Years ago, when I was new to being coached, I experienced a fundamental attribute of transformational coaching. I was completing a fantastic call with my coach, Mary Arzt. I had done a lot of venting and whining. I had seen some new possibilities. I, ultimately, had gotten clear and excited about the steps I would take into my future. A fantastic coaching call. I thanked my coach for the generosity of her listening and the power of her insight.

At which point, everything had been said and there was nothing left to say. The coach let the silence continue and we sort of basked in that rare space of nothing to do and no place to go: just perfect. At some point, my ego started to second-guess the just completed conversation. My ego realized that I had revealed (more…)

A Special Gift

Holiday Garland




We know it’s just another day
that comes around each year.
But something special happens then
that makes this time so dear.


We smile at others as they pass
a child’s eyes wide with wonder
The wreaths and holly hanging everywhere
might e’en take time to ponder.


The time does come but once a year
bringing happiness and joy.
The season is for (more…)

Your Brain on Music

Daniel J. Levitin

Singing and dancing have been shown to modulate brain chemistry, specifically levels of dopamine, the “feel good” neurotransmitter. Our species uses music and dance to express various feelings: love, joy, comfort, ceremony, knowledge and friendship. And each one is distinct and widely recognized within cultures. Love songs cause us to move slowly and fluidly, for example, while songs of joy inspire us to dance in a full-body aerobic way.

–Daniel J. Levitin
Professor of psychology and music
McGill University


This Is Your Brain on Music:

The Science of a Human Obsession.