The Upside to Being Upside Down (Student Loans)

How much is a memory worth? No one made me take out more student loans than I needed for college and I had no illusion about whether or not there would be consequences down the road when I had to pay them back with interest, no matter how low the rates. There is a part…

Of Ancestors and Angels: Happy Chinese New Year

If we approach new ideas, experiences, and people with a mind open to similarities instead of closed to differences, we may find that there are more similarities than differences and that the differences actually add value to, instead of diminishing, our lives. When my wife, a Cambodian-Chinese-American, and I were first married, I resisted all…

If You Don’t Change, Your Situation Will

If you are looking for an excuse to not show up, perhaps you are in the wrong line of work. There was a guy who worked at the coffee shop I used to manage who was there before I took over. He had some personal issues that I was sympathetic about, but the store needed…

Start with a Mission

Regardless of how well they adhered to it or lived up to its promise, the corporate coffee company I worked for for many years had a clearly defined mission and it was a mission that I found inspiring. They wanted to put people before coffee and both of those before profit. The idea was that…

As Our Environment Changes (So Do We)

A strange thing happened when my wife and I visited Cambodia, her home country, a few years back. People there were surprised to find that I could speak (some) Khmer, the Cambodian language, but that was to be expected. I do not exactly look Cambodian, after all. What was strange was that people were shocked…