The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller
FILE -- Cory Booker speaks to the media after casting his ballot during the Senate primary election in Newark, N.J., Aug. 13, 2013. (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz) FILE -- Cory Booker speaks to the media after casting his ballot during the Senate primary election in Newark, N.J., Aug. 13, 2013. (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)  

Ask Cory Booker

About the author: Cory Booker is a former mayor of Newark who represents New Jersey in the U.S. Senate. He is also an advice columnist published in over 30 newspapers nationwide. If you have a question for Cory Booker, please email him at CoryBooker@DailyCaller.com.

Dear Cory Booker,

I’m a divorced man in his 40s with two amazing sons. The younger one, age 11, is a straight-A student and popular athlete. The older one, however, is a poor student who spends nearly all his time at the computer. I found out recently that he’s also been skipping class, drinking and smoking cigarettes. When I confronted him about his behavior a month ago, he shut down, and has since barely spoken a word to either of his parents.

My ex-wife wants to put him in military school, and while I get where she’s coming from, I worry that an environment like that would smother his creativity. Am I being overprotective, or do we need to make a change before it’s too late?

Sincerely,

Anxious in Anaheim

Dear Anxious,

When I was a boy, I knew an old Imperial Japanese Army deserter who grew the most splendid orchids. He would spend his days walking among the flowers, watering them, caring for them, talking to them. I asked him once why he talked to the orchids. “To give them a reason to sing,” he told me, eyes bright as the rising sun.

In time, he taught me the ancient art of shrub-flattery, but try as I might, I never heard the orchids sing. “Healer,” I said to him, “when the orchids sing, what do they tell you?”

He laughed. “Young Cory,” he said, “the flowers tell me all I need to know about the land. The first essential truth is that Cortez brought a great evil to this continent. The second essential truth is that trade barriers are an impediment to economic growth, and thus must be curtailed.”

Always give your orchids a reason to sing.

Great to hear from you,

Cory Booker

Dear Cory Booker,

My fiancé and I have been engaged now for several years, and although I feel we are still deeply in love, his reluctance to actually pull the trigger on this thing has become almost unbearably frustrating. He’s a fantastic guy (warm, caring, smart) and a great listener. He’s also chronically indecisive — the man can spend 45 minutes picking a tie in the morning before settling on the black one he wears most days. We’ve talked and talked about setting a date, but he always finds a way to continue his dithering. Is it time I delivered an ultimatum, or is it best to just wait him out?

Sincerely,

Conflicted in Chattanooga

Dear Conflicted,

First, you must ponder the snowflake. Think how each is unique, special. But a snowflake, alone, would surely melt. There must be a community of snowflakes, at least a dusting, perhaps a blizzard. Now, imagine these snowflakes on Jamie Dimon’s umbrella. What does Jamie Dimon do? He does not brush them off. Instead, he respects them, and treats each with understanding. He contemplates the snowflakes on his way to East Hampton.

Jamie Dimon walks alone on the beach, asking the snowflakes questions. What is time? What is money? “Let me tell you a story,” he says. He talks of Buddha and private equity. The snowflakes hear him. They shiver. He puts the snowflakes on the sand and turns away, quoting the Tibetan Book of The Dead. That night, I am conceived.

Great to hear from you,

Cory Booker

More Daily Caller advice columns:

Ask a Daily Caller commenter

Ask Chris Matthews

Ask James Clapper

Ask a Drone

Ask Chuck Hagel

Follow Will on Twitter