Wonderful to see new blossoms coming out daily.
At the local ice cream store in Los Altos
The Story Arc of Our Lives
Inspired by an article I read, I put together what I call “The Story Arc of My Life.” In his Stanford commencement address, Steve Jobs urged people to “connect the dots of your life.” These are the dots of my life. Looking back, I see how they shaped the direction of my life. What are yours?
My Story Arc
Star of the 1st grade play, The Owl
Slow reading group
Kicked out of Boy Scouts three times
Working on cars
VP Berkeley High School / President of Corinthians
Yell leader in college
Liking college and academic work
Building a treehouse
Lying about losing my virginity
Working in Public Health / VD department
Meeting Bob Dreher and Bob Suczek at SFSate
Medical School / autopsy assistant / Kaiser ER
SF State Drag Racing Seminar / Don Garlits
Dissertation research – getting PhD
Sax lessons: Dena Pappas – Let ‘er Rip
Group Living: 20 Idlewood, Kentfiled
College teaching, SF State, etc.
Mary McGlynn – human sexuality
Corporate – teaching public speaking / interviewing David Packard
Starting / running PowerSpeaking
President National Speakers Association (SF)
Decision to become a parent / Katy
Speaking to the Big Dogs
Retirement / making and losing money / 7 shows / 5 books
Starting a men’s group / BHS Zoom group
Preparing for death
Robert Reich Improved 30 Million Lives
OK, let’s say we are on our deathbed. A bright light comes through the window and God says, “So Rick, how do you justify your 84 years on this planet? Did you make a difference?” I say, “God you don’t exist, so I must be having a fever dream as I am dying.” God: “Rick shut up. I’m here whether you believe in me or not. Answer the damn question.”
Now, if I were Robert Reich, I’d have a great answer. Here is what happened. In one of his televised lectures to his class at U.C. Berkeley, Reich addressed the question, “Who should get public assistance?” In 1993 with both houses with Republican majorities, when Reich worked for Bill Clinton as secretary of labor, he began lobbying for minimum wage increase. Some interest in Congress, but huge resistance by the restaurant lobby. The fear is that if a restaurant (for example), raised workers’ wages, it would hurt the business cycle because employers would hire fewer workers.
Reich drew on the results of a study that compared two markets: one lower minimum wage and one higher. Using data from this study, he persuaded members of house and senate that increasing the minimum wage improves the business cycle, not harms it.
The minimum wage increase that was passed improved the lives of 30 million people. Reich said it was the highlight of his year. I should say. Could any of us on our deathbed claim such an achievement? I hope so. Hooray for social science research. Hooray for Robert Reich. To learn more about Reich’s work, you can sign up for his daily email and weekly lectures. To see the study he used: David Card and Alan Krueger (1992).
“The place to put our faith is in human conversation. This is all we have to work with.”
– Sam Harris
“Put the chairs in a circle.”
– Rick Gilbert