What difference can a story make?

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I sent my friend, Rozy, in Nairobi $200. She was able to enroll in college.

$200 = college

I sent my friend Collins in Kenya $15. He sent me a note that he’d be able to eat for the month and focus on his studies.

$15 = a month of food

I’ve spent the last two years working on a book project (Where Am I Giving?) researching how to responsibly give our time, talent, and money to make the largest impact. Our donations can save and improve lives, so we should make them wisely. Sometimes when we donate to effective causes in places like Kenya our gift can make 100 times the impact as it can in the United…

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Give the gift of loving-kindness this Valentine’s Day

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I hate cards. It’s okay getting them, but I don’t like buying them. It seems so impersonal and as a writer, I feel like it’s just lazy.

The comedian Jim Gaffigan has a bit where he shops for a card: “I guess that is something I’d say. I guess I’ll sign here.” And then he hands the card to his loved one: “See what that other person wrote about how I feel about you.”

See, seems kind of dumb.

Maybe I’m too focused on the giving of the card and not what the most important part is: the shopping for the card. In those moments of shoebox greetings and Hallmark hell, you stop and think about someone you care about….

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Is awareness a burden or the key to happiness?

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“Don’t F@ck with chocolate. I don’t want to know.”

That was a friend’s reaction when I told him I was researching the book that would become WHERE AM I EATING?, a book in which I traveled around the world to meet farmers who produce chocolate, bananas, coffee, lobster, and apple juice.

The cocoa farmers I met in West Africa lived in poverty. A worker on a cocoa farm was enslaved. Child labor. Environmental degradation. Economic impacts of a changing climate. There were plenty of issues to be aware of.

So…did this awareness ruin chocolate for me?

Nope. Quite the opposite. Now that I know more about chocolate, how it’s produced, where it comes from, and brands that concern themselves with the well-being…

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On Prom Night I was a Lucky Immoral Idiot

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In high school I drove a black Firebird. It was a ‘93 Trans-Am, the first year for the curvaceous f-body, with a 275-horse-powered LT1 engine. The same engine the Corvette had. It wasmy dream car then and now. The license plate read: BATMBLE.

Batmobile. I’d be lying if it ended with the license plate. I had Batman floor mats. I had the soundtrack to the first Batman movie, the one with Michael Keaton, in the CD player. I loved blaring it on fall nights, leaves swirling where the Batmobile had been.

“You want to get nuts,” Bruce Wayne said to the Joker’s henchmen in the movie. “Come on let’s get nuts.”

I occasionally got nuts in the Batmobile….

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On Climate Change: Finding Hope in the Lack of Hope

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I went for a three-mile run down my Indiana country road yesterday on December 31st, 2018. It was 60-degrees. That’s not okay normal. It’s a terrifying new normal to which I still can’t adjust. Even though I knew the temperature, I still dressed for a December run.

I ran past a field of unharvested corn, each stalk broken or bent, sewed but not reaped.

I was hot and wished I had worn shorts…in December…in Indiana…while running outside.

The realities of our changing climate are no different than they were a few months ago, but humanity’s understanding of them has made the prognosis even more dire.

We’re now aware that the world is in worse shape than we thought it was.

The

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