Watching my mom do it.

Mom’s Northern New Jersey living room, filled with a few of her friends, my sister, and me, for a gathering sometime during the early aughts.

Discovering “The Man Who Planted Trees”.

Just lucked out one evening during my freshman year in college. This film is a love letter to generosity. I put it on every night as I fall asleep. It’s up on YouTube and embedded below. Thirty minutes that could change your life.

Narrated by Christopher Plummer, it won Best Animated Short Film at the 1987 Oscars.

Attending Cornell Adult University (CAU) all four summers during high school.

Another incredible stroke of luck. One day during the fall of 1981, my mom was looking through a grocery circular at our local Shop Rite. On one of the back pages was a 1/2″-tall advertisement for CAU.

CAU is like my mom’s friendship-fomenting living room, but a few hundred acres bigger.

If you keep your eyes peeled on the right-hand side of the video at 1:23, you can see my mom, singing, in the white hat. More than thirty years on, she still goes every summer.

Growing up in the age of James L. Brooks and Norman Lear.

I spent a lot of time, as a kid in the Seventies, in front of the tube, watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, Taxi, All in the Family, Maude, and Good Times.

It wasn’t until many years later that I realized how much of an impact it had on me to be kept company, daily, by the lovely friendships portrayed on those shows.