“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…

“Though whether I shall ever ‘create’ is something I can’t really tell.
But I do believe that it is possible to create, even without ever writing a word or painting a picture,
by simply molding one’s inner life. And that too is a deed.”
— Etty Hillesum

It must be 30 years ago, but I still remember it with so much clarity. The shyest student in the undergraduate class at American University where I first started teaching, had been coming into his own and by the end of the semester asked this question: “Had I learned anything since college?” It…

“It is a highly speculative asset, and I think
people should beware, it can be extremely volatile.”
— Janet Yellen

Today, just a dozen years after its introduction, about 14% of Americans own cryptocurrency, with the value worldwide at about $2.4 trillion — or twice that of all U.S. currency in circulation. Yet how many of us fully understand the concept or the risks, let alone the jargon? Dogecoin, for example, is still trading well below the levels it hit just before Elon Musk appeared on Saturday Night Live and called it a “hustle.” The value of Bitcoin is almost…

Photo by Chris Harrison, modified for LEVICK

“What makes Superman a hero is not that he has power, but that he
has the wisdom and the maturity to use the power wisely.”

–Christopher Reeve

“Great Scott!” Although it didn’t make it into many of the movies, this was a favorite exclamation of Superman (spoiler alert, AKA, Clark Kent) on radio and television from the 1940s through the 1960s. It seemed our superhero, despite all his powers, had the endless ability to be surprised.

We all know Superman came from the planet Krypton, but where did “Great Scott” come from? The…

“The truth springs from arguments among friends.”

–David Hume

Long before the nascent democracies represented by the Corsican Republic in 1755, America’s Declaration of Independence in 1776 or the French Revolution in 1789, pirates — those sailors so grossly caricatured by the movies — practiced an early form of democracy. It dated all the way back to the 1650s. Pirates were the first to practice a form of universal suffrage in the election of captains — every sailor, including former slaves and indentured servants — got a vote, and there are multiple examples of female pirate captains.

They created Pirate…

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind but now I see.”

— John Newton

In an age of instant judgment, declining appreciation for due process, no apparent statute of limitations, and little forgiveness, I keep being reminded of people who grew and changed. It is, after all, the purpose of life. Otherwise, wouldn’t we all come back as Hindu-worshiped cows on our first pass with no need for lessons on this earthly plane? As M. Scott Peck wrote, “We are all broken,” working to constantly…

“Our private sector must stop taking cues from the Outrage-Industrial Complex…From election law to environmentalism to radical social agendas to the Second Amendment, parts of the private sector keep dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government.”

- Senator Mitch McConnell (R- KY)

The gauntlet has been thrown.

How do companies maximize shareholder value while minimizing brand risk at a time when a generation demands that brands stand for something while at the same time GOP leaders just announced that “woke” companies are the issue they can win on in 2022. How do we lead?

Brand neutrality is dead. Since…

Richard Levick

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

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