The Importance of Friendship

We. All. Need. Good. Friends. The songs “You’ve Got a Friend” by Carol King, Barbra Streisand’s “People…who need people,” and Joe Cocker’s “With a little help from my friends,” express the critical roles good friends play our lives. Like many of you, some of my oldest close friends have been an important part of my […]

What Is This Thing Called Love?

“What is this Thing called Love?” We are familiar with its essence, emotional stirrings and ecstasy, but defining love often removes its magic. Not that we haven’t tried: The theme of love has filled volumes of poetry and prose, operas, plays and films, art, music and even architecture. We’ve all had those “in love” feelings […]

We Are/Were All Immigrants

Xenophobia, or “fear of strangers,” is still rearing its ugly head in this country. We hear nasty anti-immigrant sentiments expressed, particularly disturbing when voiced by some political candidates. I find this sad and disappointing, but it is especially remarkable given that the vast majority of us are descendants of immigrants, either recent or long past. […]

The Sounds of Rudeness

Nasty comments produce an unpleasant noise which disturbs our social atmosphere and is grating on our moods. Expressions of hate induce fear in their targets, and engender unease in others. This nastiness appeals to the darker parts of people’s natures, and serves as a model of behavior for our youth. There’s a real danger that […]

Happiness?

What is this feeling called “happiness” which most people seem to want, and many crave above all else? The United States has the concept of happiness enshrined in its Declaration of Independence, where the “pursuit of happiness” is equated with “life” and “liberty” as “inalienable rights.” By designating happiness as an overriding right, it is […]

Mike Made People Smile

          My late father Mike was born and raised in a dangerous and depriving world. His early life was marked by abject suffering and privation, with bitter poverty, persecution and pogroms. Worse still, the Nazis and other haters of Jews killed many of his family members.         Mike was […]

We Are/Were All Immigrants

Xenophobia, or “fear of strangers,” is still rearing its ugly head in this country. We hear nasty anti-immigrant sentiments expressed, particularly disturbing when voiced by some political candidates. I find this sad and disappointing, but it is especially remarkable given that the vast majority of us are descendants of immigrants, either recent or long past. […]

Why Keep Up With The Kardashians (and Others)?

So many people avidly follow the outrageous behaviors of quixotic celebrities like Hollywood starlets, the Kardashians, Basketball Wives, Jersey Shore, Duck Dynasty, The Bachelor, Real Husbands, or Real Housewives of wherever. They are accorded adulation and envy by millions of followers, while they’re reviled by many others who point to this idolatry as example of […]