A man pulls his car over to the side of a road to provide assistance to another man whose vehicle has a flat tire. The response is common. Most of us know the frustration of a stalled car. Sharing a feeling with someone is called compassion. Sympathy, on the other hand, is a guess.
I’m at an age when my young friends begin to worry about me. They note with puzzlement that I decline their invitations to see a play, a movie or go to the symphony. Am I depressed? Am I ill? The answer is “none of the above.” I’m old. I eschew the hurly-burly of street bu
In the dark days of winter, I admit there are occasions when curling up like a sow bug to stare at my navel seems to be the best response to the world. For two days, for example, my computer was on the fritz. When it eventually beamed back at me with renewed life, the news headlines s
I may have told this story before, but while in public office and after a day of fierce debate on social policy, I stepped down from my dais and stormed into my office with a staff member following in my wake. My voice as dripping with incredulity as I turned to complain to that you
Less than 3 months ago I lost a dear friend to lung cancer. To think of it still feels like being stabbed through the heart with a rusty knife. I’d known him since he was a boy of seventeen, had watched him grow, marry and have a family. Yet throughout those years I never knew he
One day last week, PBS Newshour aired a segment about MRI imagining. Scientists are experimenting with it to “read” our thoughts. The invasion sounded creepier than what Edward Snowden envisioned when he warned that companies and governments are invading our emails. What raised my
Shakespeare often threw his characters into the green world of the forest. After stumbling through acres of trees, they eventually discovered their inner selves. Midsummer Night’s Dream is an obvious example, but the king in King Lear, after being pummeled by a storm, also gains
One of my favorite Shakespearian lines comes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream when Puck says to his Lord, “What fools these mortals be.” (Act iii, Scene 2.) He spoke at a time before psychiatry existed, and no one had coined the term cognitive dissonance disorder.
I’m a fan of J. K. Rawling’s and hope to see her newest fantastic beasts film soon. Still, when I stop to consider, we humans are fantastic beasts, too. Artificial Intelligence (AI) won’t be a threat to us in the near future, if ever. The reason is we harbor my
I saw no mystery in it. When I was a child of 5 or 6, I made perfume by gathering sweet-smelling flowers, roses, daphne, and honeysuckle, and dropped them into a bowl of cold water. Next, I crushed them with a wooden spoon and after a few minutes, I had perfume for my moth