Relationships

Radical civility

12 Steps to Radical Civility

It’s time to reintroduce this term: radical civility. By all things holy and otherwise, we need it. Desperately. Immediately. Please. I can’t read one more days’ worth of social media frothing full of half-truths, mostly lies, and the simple unwillingness to listen to one another, lest I go looking for the nearest bridge from which to leap. Not one more day of posting drivel that passes for well-researched argument, for repeating the deluge of argument from the internet without bothering…

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Live long and happy, and think about death

Yesterday I published About Aging Gracefully.  That same morning two things showed up on my social media timeline that together said, “Maybe bullshit was too strong a word.”  That said, “You want to know how to age gracefully?  Here you go.” First up was a November 2015 TED talk that showed up on a friend’s timeline.  In it, Robert Waldinger, the fourth and current director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, reminded me – yes, again – that only one thing determined above all else whether…

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Do You Want to be Happy?

Here’s an easy question, a universal question: Would you like to be happy? Well, duh. Try an experiment with me.  Really.  Like most things in life, this will be more useful if you actually do it as opposed to just thinking about it.  Take a piece of paper, turn it sideways, and make three columns.  I’ll wait while you go get the necessary supplies. First, in the left most column of your paper, write down the first three things that come…

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Wake Up Call

I always wondered what would go through my mind if I was in a plane that was going to crash land. Earlier today I found out, and it really wasn’t what I expected. Go figure. It started out as an uneventful trip just like a thousand other flights I’ve taken. I used the sensation of being pressed into the seat on takeoff to drift off to a brief nap, as is my habit. I was vaguely aware of a sound,…

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Be Careful What You Ask For

If you ask a man to be more open about what he feels, beware the possibility that you might not like what he has to say. I am posting here about an article that appeared this morning on The Good Men Project titled Sex, Marriage, and the Silent Treatment. Whether you are a man or a woman, I encourage you to read it. I also encourage you to read the comments that follow it, along with the voluminous comments that have…

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Making the World Safer for Women

I am tired of being seen as a threat. Tired of being evaluated by women when they look at me to discern whether I am a potential rapist, abuser, or just an average sexist cad. Tired of seeing mistrust in the eyes of mothers when I smile at a child’s happiness or play peekaboo to calm one who is having a hard time being still on the plane. I’m tired of it, I tell you. Just maybe not for the…

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On marriage, writing, and writing about marriage

Sometimes the comments posted to online articles are as important as the article itself. This morning I read a blog post at The Good Men Project titled Marriage is No Fairy Tale. I liked it when I read it, but when I read the comments I saw something I didn’t expect. I saw that readers and writers interact in a way that can be either heartwarming or painful or both at once. I also saw the degree to which we tend…

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