“A Day at the Field” (8 Minute Read)

This post features a bonus chapter written while I was working at a school for orphans in Kenya. It’s one of my favorites but I decided not to include it in The Definition of Success. Hope you enjoy!

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Are You Race-centrist?: 6 Minute Read

Race-centrists spend 90%+ of their time with people of their own race. Consequently, they see things exclusively from this perspective. My curiosity about this concept pushed me to admit that I am a permanent, recovering, race-centrist. Much to my surprise, I found that admitting my race-centrism, like admitting to being an alcoholic, is the first step to change and a happier, healthier, and better life.

Here are 3 obstacles I face every day as a recovering race-centrist, and the reasons they are worth fighting against…

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3 Things People with Intellectual Disabilities Know about Success that You Don’t: 8 Minute Read

It’s one thing to dash in to help the disabled for a week and leave. it’s quite another to live a life of constant contact—even though I know now that precisely is the medicine my soul needs— because it reminds me daily how based on my definition of success it is I, and not they, who am intellectually disabled.

Here are three things the intellectually disabled taught me about success...

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Can the Elderly and Students Save Each Other’s Lives?: 10 Minute Read

“I don’t really like old people,” I told Sores, a Turkish born Kurd, 28 year old communications student, who receives free rent in exchange for serving, living, and participating in community events at Humanitas, an intergenerational co-living community with 160 elderly residents and 6 students in Deventer, Holland.  “I mean, it’s not their fault,” I continued. “It’s mine. The only older people I’ve ever spent time around is my grandparents. And I tend to not like people who are unfamiliar to me...”

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My Secret Life of Prostitution: 9 Minute Read

“When I look into the eyes of a prostitute I only see myself,” I told Phillip. “I’m selling myself for a price,” I continued. “Whether I sell my body in a brothel or in a job I work purely to fit societal norms, it’s still prostitution at some level.”

“Not long ago I kept noticing that when I walked by junkies and prostitutes I got this gross feeling,” Phillip said. “I didn’t like it. So, during my lunch breaks at work instead of eating with my colleagues I decided to have lunch with a junkie or a prostitute. It was nice. And it was different for them and for me. When I listened to their stories, where they came from and how they got here, about life plans gone wrong or abuse in their families, I realized...

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A Happier, Healthier, and Cheaper Way To Live: 8 Minute Read

I’ve been co-living for most of my adult life. After living with missionaries in Kenya, I moved into the Star Gospel Mission, then I did it when I was the “garage ginger” and lived with one of my now best friends who I met on Craigslist, and then when I lived in the Landay’s room above their garage. After a breakup at the end of 2012 somebody told me I needed to grow up and get my own place so that people could see me “nesting.” I did. I got a nice condo on Daniel Island and bought new furniture and learned to cook. But I think I scared people a little when I made them dinner at my place and told them how much I loved living at the Star Gospel Mission and how I wanted to move back.

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Living with Ivy League Entrepreneurs: 3 Minute Read

For the last few months and several more I am living with 16 Ivy League aspiring entrepreneurs in Brooklyn. I sleep on the top bunk in a three bedroom house. The bathroom needs cleaning. We're low on paper towels.

Chad is the founder. He's a 20 year old Cornell student that's developed an impressive business model in 10 months. Bradley is in his mid 20's. The company he started is at one of the world's best incubators. He works with billion dollar family funds who want to invest in cryptocurrency. He graduated from Columbia, where Chelsea is in public policy school. She interns at UNICEF.

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Chapter Nine: Borrowing from Dollar Bill: 13 Minute Read

Why do I keep Jesus away? Is it because he's a criminal? But if I want to be close to him wouldn’t I also want a prison in my neighborhood so I could visit him more conveniently? Is it because he’s uneducated? But which is better, learning a degree for a job or forgiveness for the soul? Or is it because he’s poor and needy? But wouldn’t I give up a higher real estate value to be able to live closer to Jesus?

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Start Here: 3 Minute Read 

“Why would you live homeless for a year?”

Because I dream of a world that redefines success as a life of purpose.

We all want purpose. We all want to get up in the morning motivated and free from worry. We all want to know we’re making a difference in the world. We all want to give and receive love. We all want the conviction that says, I don’t care, I’m doing this, even if it kills me.

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Hiking With a Crap Sandwich and Three Pairs of Underwear: 6 Minute Read

Lately I've started calling God “jerk” and names that rhyme with “bass roll.” Why? Because my past year tastes like a crap sandwich. Here's a quick summary:

1) My two closest family male relationships both had strokes

2) I left the company I started seven years ago

3) I moved from the city I’ve called home 30 plus years

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