Forty years ago, when I was fresh out of college and not sure what to do with myself, my father gave me some advice. I had job applications out to what seemed like every newspaper in Southern California. Waiting tables, atrociously, in a Mexican restaurant was not my dream job. I was temporarily living in my dad's condo. I needed a mission beyond slinging the No. 4 combo and margaritas. I can still hear his words today, challenging and sympathetic.
"Go do something. Even if it's wrong."
It was a concept much in keeping with Dad's general "never complain, never explain" worldview.
I took his advice. That day I collected my waiter's tips from a...