I've discovered there are actually two Manhattans. One, the madness and mayhem on the street. Two, the breathtaking view from the top of a Manhattan skyscraper. One just stresses you out. The other "peaces" you out. The perspective from that observation deck is a whole other vibe!
North Dakota's a long way from Wuhan, China. But our friend Wes has been seeing more and more customers wearing masks in the local Walmart. He says he's going to start telling them "to calm down." Thinking of how fear can spook the stock market, he commented, "Then I'm going to thank them for destroying my 401(k)."
Lots of commencement speeches this time of year. Most of them, pretty predictable. "Live up to your potential." "Follow your dreams." "The sky's the limit."
But there has never been a commencement speech like the one at Morehouse College this year. Billionaire businessman Robert Smith set 396 graduates free in one day.
Zero visibility. And I was driving in it.
All I could think of was those disturbing images of 50 vehicles smooshed in some fog-caused pileup. Thankfully, I made it. But it is scary driving when you have no idea what's ahead.
Which pretty much describes how a lot of folks feel about the times we're living in right now. As Bob Dylan said - "the times, they are a changing." We're just not sure where the road's going.
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The streets of Manhattan get pretty crazy. You're bullied by buses, taxis and surging pedestrians. And unhinged by honking horns, screaming sirens, rushing people. Awful, many say.
And then there's the view from the Freedom Tower. Awesome, many say. Above the mess and stress. Amazed by a whole new perspective, a breathtaking view of the island, the harbor, the city.
She must have been scared to death. She wasn’t a public speaker. But that day she’d agreed to speak to 70,000 people in a football stadium in the Northwest. It was the last day of Billy Graham’s Crusade in her city and he had asked her to read a letter she’d received from her son. It was the end of the first Gulf War, and the troops were coming home; except for a relatively few American soldiers who weren’t coming home. Her son was one of them. He died in a helicopter crash on the last day of the war.
I watched on the news as a city became a ghost town. Nearly 100,000 people fled Fort McMurray, Alberta, running a gauntlet of flames all around them.
Firefighters called the wildfire that engulfed the city "a beast." Residents turned refugees called it "apocalyptic" and "hell on earth."
Kobe Bryant decided to set off some fireworks for his final game in the NBA.
Sixty points! Carrying his team to an unlikely - and dramatic - victory. Way to wrap up 20 seasons, with five championship rings!
Kobe Bryant finished well - and went out in a blaze of glory.
But so is my friend Kenny. Not on a basketball court. But in his hospice room.
Spoiler alert. I am not writing about politics.
I can't remember an election where emotions have run this high. And the flood of passion has swamped the pundits. That sometimes carried people where they never should go.
As I watched heartbreaking scenes from last week's terror attacks in Paris, my mind flashed back some 22 years.
The morning after the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, I flew from New York to speak in another city. To my surprise, we were greeted by a TV crew, asking, "How are New Yorkers feeling after this attack?" They came to me first.