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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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A gift for others

“The greatest gift you will ever give is your honest self,” Fred Rogers once said.

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A gift to yourself

“Forgiveness. It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself,” Maya Angelou once said. “Forgive everybody.”

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A party marooned by a shipwreck

Families—all families—are complicated and rarely perfectly behaved. As Jono explains in Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union: “It never takes longer than a few minutes, when they get together, for everyone to revert to the state of nature, like a party marooned by a shipwreck. That’s what a family is.”

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Friends and families

I bought a small pottery dish inscribed with these words for my friend’s birthday present: “Friends are the families we choose.” While I was fishing for my credit card, the woman behind the counter announced, “That’s what I tell my next-door neighbor.” And, then, she told me about last Thanksgiving. Her son wanted to do […]

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