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Where is the madness?

Tara Westover wrote the words “everywhere—consciously, compulsively” as she tried to come to terms with her family. “When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies?” she wrote. Westover talks about her family in her amazing book Educated. She grew up in a survivalist family in Idaho.  Even though she had never seen a […]

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An inescapable network of mutuality

“In a real sense, all life is interrelated. All men (and women) are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly,” Martin Luther King once said. We found this quote in Martin Luther King’s book A Gift of Love.

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Sense of interconnection

Elaine Pagels, a professor at Princeton, writes about the death of her 6-1/2-year-old son and her husband in her new book Why Religion? The two deaths happened about 30 years ago, but, only now, she says, is she able to write about them. “You don’t get over tragedies,” she told an audience at Arts & […]

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Becoming

“There is a lot I still don’t know about America, about life, about what the future might bring,” Michelle Obama says in her book Becoming. “But I do know myself. My father, Fraser, taught me to work hard, laugh often and keep my word. “My mother, Marian, showed me how to think for myself and […]

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Do not sit idly by

“We may never change the minds of people who send pipe bombs, but we can stop them from influencing others,” writes Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of Holocaust studies at Emory University, in the November 12, 2018, issue of Time magazine. “This year, at Thanksgiving dinner, when your curmudgeon uncle or successful cousin (not all haters […]

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A peaceful place

Recently my husband, my daughter, my son and I headed for Arkansas with visions of colorful leaves in our head. Alas, we arrived when the leaves were still green—almost all of them, at least. However, we found our cabin on a hill offered a beautiful view of a valley with farms, cows and roosters. We […]

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We need nurturing in return

“The whole male-female thing in this country is very volatile right now,” Glenn Close, the actress, once said. “I think many women are feeling used by men. They invest a lot in a relationship, in nurturing a man emotionally and in his career, but they have their own careers and emotions and they don’t get […]

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It’s we, we, the world

”It’s time for us to realize that we are a part of all the suffering in the world–those who are hungry and starving, all those animals that face extinction,” says Jane Goodall, primatologist and United Nations messenger of peace. “Then, we begin to make the change from ‘I’ to ‘we.’ It’s we, we, the world. […]

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We don’t know anybody

Author Elizabeth Strout says, “I’m so interested in the fact that we really don’t know anybody. We think we know the people close to us, but we don’t. We really don’t.” I’ve decided that Strout is one of my favorite authors, and I just read, both for the second time, her books My Name Is […]

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The skin that protects you

Author Elizabeth Strout, who often writes about how difficult life can be, concludes that love can save you. “This was the skin that protected you from the world—this loving of another person you shared your life with,” Strout says. I’ve decided that Strout is one of my favorite authors, and I just read, both for […]

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