Gary David Goldberg, creator of Family Ties and Spin City was interviewed in Reader’s Digest April 2008. When asked if there was anything he might have done differently in his career, he responded with wisdom that I think we could all follow:

Early on, if you were in my way, I was willing to eliminate you. Now I don’t want to beat anyone at anything. The guy you beat has a family, he goes home – there are ripple effects. I’m aware that things can be over in a minute. I value my relationships. I feel blessed.

In the end, it really is about the relationships we foster and the “ripple effects” of our action. Both are within our control. That’s worth remembering when we feel beaten down and tempted to use our sharp elbows to work our way back up.


In the movie Powder, there’s a beautiful exchange between the popular and sensitive girl and the albino teenager when she notices the neighbors’ stares and says, “you must feel like you have two heads, the way everybody looks at you around here, huh?”

His initial response describes a strategy I try to use when I’m moderating. “Have you ever listened to people from the inside?”

But in the next two lines he describes a deeper form of listening:

“Listen so close you can hear their thoughts, and all their memories? Hear them think from places they don’t even know they think from?”

The movie may be a sci-fi, fantasy and Jeremy Reed (Powder) may have paranormal abilities, but think what would happen if we listened to each other’s thoughts and memories, sensitive to the how those memories affect the places others think from, even places they don’t know themselves. Am I crazy to think this could be a huge step toward understanding and perhaps even peace?

I’m still in the middle of the film, but I don’t that peace is not one of its big themes and I’ll be bawling before it’s over. Still, I’m ever hopeful!