In the spring of 2019, I was finishing up the semester when I discovered I had cancer. While I had taught 50 years at the time, I did not want to have my teaching career end at that time. As I progressed through the cancer treatment, I realized that my days of in-class teaching were over, but I could still teach online. I continued to teach throughout my treatment (2 surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy).
As I went through a regimen of chemotherapy, I started writing reflections that I called What Matters. At first, I wrote these as personal therapy with no attention of sharing these with others. I got a lot of ideas from being able to work one-on-one with thousands of students as their mentor, the lessons they taught me and the lessons I helped them learn. But then the COVID-19 pandemic shut down America, and I decided that my reflections might be useful to others during the unprecedented times we were going through. I sent the messages weekly to alumni and posted them on my personal LinkedIn. The responses were great and exceeded my expectations of what it means to live a purposeful life.
This website provides an archive of those messages, other message series I’ve written (see list below), as well as guidance on how these messages might be used by individuals, by organizations, by relationship groups (e.g. churches, civic clubs).
If you click here, you will find a series of messages I call Blue Highways. These are stories of ordinary people living purposeful lives. Each story has a theme that explores personal virtues and values. I believe there is much we can learn from removing ourselves from the meaningless drama that we invite into our lives and reflecting on lessons we can learn from living simpler lives. I hope you will join the Blue Highways Journey as it unfolds each week.
Click a topic below to browse our messages.