It’s Never too Late for This

From Outlook by the Bay, summer 2011 By Terry Portis I am never quite sure how to respond when someone tells me, “The time for that has passed me by.” If I agree, is that insulting, questioning the person’s abilities? If I disagree, am I questioning whether or not a person knows their own life? Usually, I just sort of nod, but not too enthusiastically. The truth is that sometimes people give up too soon and too easily. Dreams and ideals that flourished in our 20s are crushed by the next 30 or 40 years of working too hard and … Continue reading It’s Never too Late for This

Understanding the Psychology of the Kiss-Up/Kick-Down Leader

In the field of organizational psychology, this type of leader was first recognized in the 1950’s. You may find yourself working for or with this type of person, and yet no one else in authority seems to recognize it. The KU/KD person is very charming and perhaps adored by those who are friends or equal-status colleagues. They go out of their way to compliment their peers or those they view as in higher positions. However, if you are a person who is seen as inferior or who has a lower position in a company or organization, watch out! You will … Continue reading Understanding the Psychology of the Kiss-Up/Kick-Down Leader


It is an old cliche, but one I have thought about recently: “Problems will make you bitter, or make you better.” Some of the people I have been most impressed by in my life have been people who have gone through unimaginable hardship and yet seem to be an inspiration to people around them. This is not to say they do not have bad days, have not cried out to God in the middle of the night, or have not wished that they did not have to deal with significant difficulties in their lives. One person who comes to mind … Continue reading Bitter

What is “work” really, and which career should you choose?

I was listening to a talk given by Tim Keller called “Work.” He made a lot of great points, but one stuck with me. In the past, people did work for the sake of the work, the work itself was its own reward. In our society, people work so they can have money (or status), in order to do something else, which is really what they want to do. When I talk to students about career planning, I ask them to imagine a dream scenario. A wealthy businessman has agreed to give you an annual salary of $500,000 per year … Continue reading What is “work” really, and which career should you choose?

Yo Mama

Like many people, I subscribe to a wide array of feeds from various discussion boards and blogs related to history, technology, theology and education. I have really been struck lately at how the message board conversations or blog comments often deteriorate into using profanities or basically saying what was said in elementary school “well, yo’ mama.” I guess the alternative would be for the person to say, “Honestly, my ability to form a coherent opinion and articulate it is so limited I will have to defer to you on this one.” Or, perhaps we would like to read, at least … Continue reading Yo Mama