The phone rang. It was Jayvee Vallejera, the editor of the Saipan Tribune. “I’ve talked it over with the publisher, and we like your ideas, David. But we want you to be a little more controversial.”
“No way, Jayvee.” I proposed to write this weekly column because I wanted to make the world a better place. Pick up a newspaper on any given day and you find catastrophe, tragedy, corruption, crime and other anxiety provoking news. I wanted to share news or knowledge that might make someone h
I think Jayvee was reluctant, but he agreed, and the weekly column, Better Living was born in November 2004. This book is a collection of the favorite columns from those first few years.
I live on an island in the South Pacific – a place of romantic idealizations. An island is a paradise, but it is also a highly compressed universe. Everything is close together. The depth of the island’s beauty is obvious as you gaze into her eyes, but so too is the piece of spinach stuck between her teeth. They are both unavoidable. How you respond to the spinach is what defines your experience. And this holds true not just on an island, but anywhere.
The columns that I’ve chosen for this book are the ones that people enjoyed the most – the ones that people would stop me in the grocery store to say, “I loved your column this week.” Rather than try to organize them by topic, I’ve left them in the order they were written. I haven’t attempted to provide any context or explanation, trusting that the ideas are universal, and that you can get a sense of what must have been going on in the community to merit the ink.
As I approached the end of the first year of writing these columns, the Northern
Once in a while, someone wonders what makes me write on such a broad range of topics. Well, I’m a doctor, so I suppose it’s natural for me to write about health and medicine. I’m a Bahá’í, which leads me to spend some time each day consciously thinking about self-improvement, peace, civilization and the things that relate to the planet’s spiritual and social organization. The themes are on my mind, and they leak out onto the page. The rest of the stuff – the silly stuff – is just evidence of the futility of keeping the inner goofball contained.