Sometimes you set out on an adventure simply looking for beauty, but end up finding something much more profound and powerful. That’s exactly what happened to me during a recent trip to Cambodia.
2019 may well turn out be one of the hottest years on record. Unfortunately, the coming years could be even worse.
PARKLAND, Fla. On Feb. 14, 2018, Joaquin Oliver, 17, brought flowers to school for his girlfriend. His father had driven him to buy them the night before, and in the morning, Joaquin awoke, made sure to shower (it was Valentines Day, as he pointed out to his parents), then grabbed his backpack, the flowers and a card. His father drove him to school, and as soon as Joaquin had a chance, he gave them to his girlfriend.
What wisdom would be worth sharing with a group of aspiring journalists? Recently, I was invited to address the graduating class of the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, where some of the best digital journalists in the United States have studied.
If I were to suggest two books to read this year, they would be “Brief Answers to the Big Questions,” by the renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking, who died in 2018, and “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,” by the historian Yuval Noah Harari. Both present lucid insights into what might happen after we die and the stories we tell ourselves to explain why we die.
Someone once asked Oprah Winfrey, the inspirational businesswoman, journalist and actor, this question during an interview: “What do you know for sure?” It caught her off guard, she has said, and she hesitated, not knowing how to respond.
“Look, Ramos,” the woman said to me. She’d recognized me as the guy from TV as we waited for an elevator, and she had something to get off her chest. “I don’t watch the news anymore because all they do is talk about Donald Trump. I’m sick and tired of it. Please change the subject.”
I saw them die right before my eyes: four prawns, twisting over a hot iron griddle.
“I was abused when I was in school,” Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean journalist, told me in a recent interview.
At what point did we become desensitized to the shocking news that the bodies of three murdered students had been dissolved in acid? When did we stop searching for the 43 missing college students from Ayotzinapa, Mexico, who disappeared after being kidnapped? When did it become normal for more than 100,000 people to lose their lives to violence in a six-year presidential term?