Marie’s 75-year-old husband was losing his memory. At first, he forgot small things. But over time, it progressed to larger, more significant memory problems. He became disoriented and would get lost. A trip to the neurologist brought a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Marie and her family were devastated. But Marie had the hardest job. Day in and day out she took care of her husband who became increasingly disabled. Marie was exhausted and depressed. Not only was she losing the husband she loved and knew, her daily responsibilities of coping with his disability were overwhelming. She felt alone... Read More
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As a 65-year-old, I’m no stranger to the distressing world and national news. Goodness knows I’ve lived through a great deal of volcanic change in my lifetime, sad as well as terrifying moments, and several periods of uncertainty. Many of these stick in my head—the day Kennedy was assassinated, Martin Luther King’s murder, the Cuban missile crisis, the years of the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, and numerous new presidents coming into office. I have also witnessed amazing upheaval too—the end of apartheid in South Africa, the fall of the Soviet Union, the tumbling down of the... Read More
I recently read an inspirational book about joy by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It was based on a week-long visit between these two religious figures. Their dialogue stimulated my own thinking about this topic. Here are some of the highlights of the book—well worth considering in our everyday lives.1. “You are a masterpiece in the making"
According to the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu developing the capacity for compassion, generosity, and loving kindness are the basic ingredients for a joyful life. It’s not the pursuit of happiness that brings wellbeing and joy! But... Read More
The turning of the calendar invites reflection about the previous year and contemplation about the year to come. If taken seriously, this is a healthy tradition. It’s useful to look back and reflect on experiences, challenges, successes, and disappointments. What happened in 2016 that was important? What did I do last year that made me feel good about myself? Where did I miss the mark? Was I the person I wanted to be? What were my aspirations for last year? How did I do?
This reflective process, spanning the earth’s circumnavigation of the sun, helps us consider where we are on... Read More
The pollsters mined reams of data before last week’s election—they hoped to predict who would be the next President. In this 21st century, we rely on science and technology to provide us with answers. We carry computers (aka smartphones) in our pants pockets that provide us with instant information about every aspect of our lives and the world around us. Yet, last week’s election results just go to show you—we don’t always know what people will do.
Free will reigns.
I happened to be in London, eating breakfast in a pub, on the day when Great Britain’s Brexit vote was tallied... Read More
In the last several weeks, we have all seen and heard the Donald Trump video. During the second debate, Mr. Trump looked down and said that he hadn’t done any of the things he bragged about in the video. A few days later, women came forward with their stories of sexual assault. It was painful to hear these women describe their experiences.
Some adults wonder—why didn’t these women come forward before the debate? Why were they silent until now?
Many of us remember the Anita Hill testimony on Capitol Hill in 1991 during the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court hearings. Ms. Hill... Read More
Lately, it seems like every week we hear about another suicide bombing, tragedy, or senseless act of violence—Paris, Brussels, Orlando, Turkey, Bangladesh, Baghdad, Minneapolis, Louisiana, and now, Dallas. Scores of innocent lives are lost. It’s hard to grasp what’s happening in our world. It’s even harder to imagine how to stop it.
Sometimes, it appears to be the work of an extremist group, like ISIS, that’s committed to senseless mayhem. Of course, terrorists want to create terror. They hope to disrupt travel, tourism, and commerce. They want to incite fear. In other instances,... Read More
Today, I visited a 3500-year-old ruin on the Island of Santorini in Greece. Around 1500 B.C., a large settlement of ancient people was destroyed in a single moment by one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history. Volcanic ash and mud covered the town until 1967 when Greek archaeologists discovered the site. It was preserved by volcanic ash and mud, much like the Roman city, Pompeii, was preserved by a similar volcanic eruption in 40 A.D.
Archeologists believe that this part of the island was actually first visited over 5000 years ago by an ancient civilization of which... Read More
In the early 1990’s, a middle-aged health psychologist, Ed Noffsinger, Ph.D., developed a serious illness—pulmonary hypertension. For a period of several years he found himself exhausted, lying in bed for days, barely able to breathe. As time wore on, he felt angry, alone, and frightened. His wife was sympathetic, but she was taking care of their three young children and her ill father. She didn’t have much time or attention to listen to Ed’s fears and concerns. Also, he was very frustrated with the health care system. It was hard to get into to see his doctor and when he did, his visits... Read More
In the last 10 years, political ideology in the United States has become highly polarized. The right, center, and left seem to live on different planets. During this decade, the government has frequently ground to a halt. No one is interested in compromise. Republicans and Democrats alike are trenched into their positions. Each side is passionate about why they are right and the other side is wrong. The government has been on the brink of financial default several times. It hasn’t been a pretty picture. At times, it’s become downright ugly.How do partisan politics affect you and I in... Read More