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Here are five things to believe in for a bountiful life in the human community; five life habits that if considered daily, you can’t help enrich your existence.

One: Truly listen. Look in the eyes of others and be in the moment. Wait to speak. Take in the words they offer and savor them before reacting. You might call this “the patience of thought.” You cannot honestly connect with another living thing if you are only considering your own response. Understand your fellow human and you will understand yourself.

Two: Be kind. Consider your fellow human being’s experience, background, personal, and community struggles. Speak softly and with compassion, and do not raise your voice. Kindness is part of every spiritual endeavor. Even if you do not agree or believe in what someone has to say or how they are progressing through their personal life, you must be gentle with your guidance and your thoughts. You cannot walk in their shoes, only your own. We are more alike than we are different.

Three: Be your vision. Don’t strive to be the person you want to be, just be it. The power in being the best you comes through the decision to be that person every single day. It’s not necessarily about dreams or specific goals, but more about a belief in your own vision. Stand up everyday and be the person you admire.

Four: Live with simplicity. Realize that whatever you have is probably enough. Do not permit materialism or consumerism to decide your worth or your pleasure. Savor what is in front of you and do not strive for false satisfaction in more “things” or “opportunities.” Scrub out your cupboard, clean your garage, and clear your mind of clutter. Eliminate what is not needed. Less truly is more.

Five: Embrace something bigger than you. The universe is an enormous, diverse, and rich entity and there are many wonderful mysteries. Find your personal mystery and allow it to enhance your existence—pray to a god, get lost in nature, meditate. Find where you fit into the world and then give yourself up to the beauty of something more powerful than you. It is truly the way to peace.

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David W. Berner is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, author, and professor at Columbia College Chicago.

David's most recent work of fiction, the novel A Well-Respected Man (Strategic Publishing) has been honored with an award from the Society of Midland Authors. His latest memoir, The Consequence of Stars, is available now from Adelaide Books. He writes a regular blog on writing, music, and the arts at and is editor of Writer Shed Stories, a semi-yearly e-book journal of prose.

His first book, Accidental Lessons (Strategic Publishing) was awarded the 2011 Royal Dragonfly Grand Prize for Literature. His second memoir, Any Road Will Take You There (Dream of Things Publishing) won the 2013 Book of the Year Award from the Chicago Writer’s Association for indie nonfiction and was short-listed for the Eric Hoffer Award. His collection of essays— There’s a Hamster in the Dashboard (Dream of Things Publishing)—was released on Father’s Day, June 21, 2015. Windy City Reviews called it “a book to be read and re-read, a return to childhood and growing up with companions that truly mattered.” His memoir, OCTOBER SONG was released in April, 2016 and also has been honored with a Royal Dragonfly Award. This story of a road trip, music, and the passage of time has been called "beautifully authentic."

In 2015, David was named the Writer-in-Residence at the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Home in Oak Park, Illinois and in 2011 was named the Jack Kerouac Writer-in-Residence at the Jack Kerouac Project. He lived and worked in Kerouac’s historic home in Orlando for a period of three months.

You also may have heard his voice regularly on the radio. He’s a reporter and anchor or CBS Radio Network (WBBM, Chicago) and regularly fills in as the morning news anchor on WXRT, Chicago. David also produced audio documentaries for public radio stations.

David grew up outside in Pittsburgh. He calls the Chicago area his home, but loves the Pacific Northwest, Iowa City, and all the remote open spaces. 

For more information, please visit  

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. “Stand up everyday and be the person you admire.” Because deep down everything I was looking for I already was. Thanks, I was in need of older wiser words.

  2. Excellent reminder Brother David. Life is indeed simple. And therein lays it’s power and the power each of us has to truly define and determine our destiny.

    Together we can make a powerful positive difference. Do the simple things simply and consistently. Thank you ~ Kirit Pankhania ☺

  3. Excellent, his thoughts touched my soul! How wonderful from a fellow Chicago individual! He is definitely at peace with himself and feels comfortable in his own skin..a rare breed, you can see it in his face!


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