We are each born into a culture, country, and family, with no control over these drastic impacts on our lives. This makes our birth a lottery of mankind.
Improving our lives and the world around us is most effective when we understand what is universal across humans and what is arbitrary by culture. Armed with these insights, we can then make thoughtful decisions about which ways of thinking and doing to keep, which to adopt, and which to let go.
These essays are my insights from my varied work and extensive travel, organized into professional advice, wellbeing insights, travel stories and individual biographies.
First published on Medium, here, with my other mental health perspectives. For a decade I struggled against pain. Chronic, often debilitating pain. I cried the day I bought seat adapters to help me sit; I felt I was crossing from healthy to disabled. The pain upended my life: I was at the top graduate school in my field and couldn’t make it through a work day without sneaking off to a corner to lie on a bench. I couldn’t cook dinner and also clean. I couldn’t drive so had to take jobs near my home, or homes near my job.…