Building your core takes more than sit-ups (wisdom from Suzi)

When I was in DC a couple weeks ago, I had a conversation with Suzi, a former boss of mine at FHI. Suzi is regularly full of wisdom, and she did not disappoint during our conversation over pizza at Comet.*

First, Suzi stressed the importance of reinventing the wheel. I’ve turned that over some, and find it to be a pretty sharp insight. If a local homeless shelter is a dump run by entrenched politicos, then a young person might be better off starting over rather than trying to resurrect that corpse. If a computer operating system begins to grey, maybe it’s time for a smarter one. If you’re clanking around on spokes – or now, on a material that is contributing to global warming – maybe somebody should be reinventing that wheel.

Second, Suzi emphasized the importance of building up one’s core – not physically, but spiritually. We had been discussing the possibility of my heading to graduate school before the decade’s end, and Suzi said, “Mark, one thing I’ve found is that it is not people’s education or experience that determine how they act – it’s who they are, at their core, that determines that.” Maybe it’s time for me to do some more core building. Like any good nerd, my first step in that process will be some background reading.

Thanks for listening,



*Really fun, family-oriented place with bad pizza.

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