Lincoln and Winnie the Pooh knew that Winston Churchill was right: Short words are best, and the old words, when short are best of all.

November 19, 2013

Referring to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address as a sound bite might sound blasphemous but in fact it has the hall marks of a well written sound bite: short, sweet, to the point and delivered in just over two minutes.   In just over 2 minutes, Lincoln reiterated the principles of human equality. Lincoln’s carefully crafted address, secondary to other presentations that day, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history and lest it be understated, this is the only speech from that day that we are still reading.

Nov 19 gives you an opportunity to expose your children to exemplary writing and to have a conversation with your children that ponders the question: “Which sound bites from today will be read 150 years from now?” A sound bite can be deep and reflective, although that is not always the case. Too many sound bites of today say little and offer even less to think about.

I think Lincoln must have known what Winnie the Pooh came to know: “It is more fun to talk to someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short easy words like ‘What about lunch?’ ” Lincoln and Winnie knew that Winston Churchill was right: Short words are best, and the old words, when short are best of all.

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: The most important three-minute speech ever delivered.

November 19, 2013

President Lincoln delivered the 272 word Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863 on the battlefield near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” It might sound irreverent to refer to the […]


Play is the work of childhood.

November 7, 2013

A mind at play is the source of our most creative thoughts and overuse of technology can make it difficult for the mind to play. Children need time and space to be—to play, to daydream, to imagine, and to create. Too much data coming in with technology compromises the very activities that allow us to […]


Empathy 101—read a story.

October 31, 2013

It’s hard work growing up and nobody said it was easy to be a good parent. Children need attention, love and guidance to thrive. A child’s emotional intelligence is key to their personal success and happiness. Empathy is one of the most important qualities parents can help their child develop and comes into being with cultivation, […]


Education in China and the United States: How do they compare?

October 24, 2013

I began working in China in 1998 and I just returned from my 18th trip. Reflecting over those many years I realized that certain qualities about education in China stand out. I know how foolish it is to speak in such broad and general terms but I want to share with you what I noticed […]


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