“Your love is better than ice cream
Better than anything else that I’ve tried
And your love is better than ice cream
Everyone here knows how to fight

And it’s a long way down
It’s a long way down
It’s a long way down to the place
Where we started from.”

– Sarah McLachlan

What are the limits to conscious capitalism? Companies increasingly feel compelled to take political positions, but what are the limits once you engage?

When I first saw the headlines of Ben & Jerry’s weighing in on the occupied West Bank — that they would stop selling…

“Justice is a train that always comes too late.”
–Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Knowledge may be power but too much of it at once can be, well, overpowering. I’ve been a consummate reader since childhood when Catcher in the Rye and Instant Replay captured my imagination and I realized that entire evenings could be lost in books. A decade later I recognized that a career could be built on words.

There are days, however, when, like Honoré de Balzac and his 50 cups of coffee per day, I am over-satiated with information and lose intellectual interest in almost everything — a sharp…

“Our history, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived
but if faced with courage it need not be lived again.”

— Maya Angelou

It’s been 40 years and though I haven’t thought about it in years, I can still see in my mind’s eye the flowered dress she was wearing as she walked into the restaurant. Tanned, with dark hair, it was the moment that bad novelists and B movie scripts include, when time seems to slow down and a halo is backlit to accentuate the beauty and love at first sight.

It was a woman walking from across the…

“Look at the world around you. It may seem like an immovable, implacable place. It is not. With the slightest pushin just the right placeit can be tipped.”

–Malcolm Gladwell

So much of history occurs not with a bang, but a whimper. If we listen closely enough and watch carefully, we can witness it, the moment when the scales tip in the other direction.

With the near-meltdown of the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor — amazingly, 12 days after the release of the anti-nuclear power movie China Syndrome in March 1979, creating one the greatest movie coincidences of all time…

“History … is, indeed, little more than the register of
the crimes, follies, and misfortune of mankind.”

–Edward Gibbon, Author, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

I probably should have known as soon as she said it, but it took a few weeks to register. It was 30 years ago and I had met a lovely woman, and each of the first few dates were wonderful, with endless conversations. What she said — and we were in our 30s by then — is that “I have never suffered emotional heartbreak in my life.” …

‘For all that I admire about Jeff Bezos, I can’t get oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller out of my head’

I’ve been a fan of Amazon since it only sold books. I’ve purchased so many dry goods and household products from the ubiquitous online site over the past two decades that I have often joked that I am the singularity — the reason Amazon was able to eventually go from languishing in the red to luxuriating in the black.

It took over seven years, from its founding the day after Independence Day in 1994 until the fourth quarter of 2001, for it to finally turn a profit. At the time, I found it remarkable and shortsighted that so many financial…

“To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
And to run where the brave dare not go”

The Impossible Dream lyrics by Leigh Mitch & Darion Joseph

Grandma Dot and Grandpa Sam — you would have liked them if you had met them — were our late mother’s parents and they would dote on my sister and I each school holiday after our mother passed at 25. Our Dad would send us off on the old Eastern shuttle from Washington, DC, to New York and we would spend ten days going to theater…

“News is what people want to keep hidden, and everything else is publicity.”
– Bill Moyers

There is a story in the Talmud — though I have heard variations from other religions — which says that while still in utero, a baby is filled with all of the knowledge of the Torah but that just before birth, an angel touches the baby’s lips and all is instantly forgotten. Why? So that in our moments of greatest challenge, we find the wisdom that has been inside of us all along.

In Buddhism, it says that once we find grace, we are…

“We both know what memories can bring
They bring diamonds and rust”

— Joan Baez

The difference, it would seem, between youth and aging is that in youth we look forward and naturally see a boundless horizon and infinite deposits of time. After a certain age, we find ourselves just as naturally looking backwards with frequency, often accompanied by the feeling of “diamonds and rust,” both joy and melancholy. What triggers that feeling is often the gentlest prodding to our senses — a song popular during our first love; the pungent smell of a favorite childhood meal instantly transporting us…

“It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood
A beautiful day for a neighbor.”

Fred Rogers

Sleep is not something I take for granted anymore. I was blessed to fall gently asleep early, but staying asleep cannot be taken for granted anymore. At 3:30 am, the reverse gloaming began with me as its witness. When reading, old time radio and a television documentary failed, I succumbed to the band of the unslept and watched A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

The scene on the New York subway, which actually happened, where Mr. Rogers is recognized in the car by school…

Richard Levick

Richard Levick is Chairman and CEO of @LEVICK, a leading global communications and public affairs firm.

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