“Man Plans, and God Laughs”

“Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht” is an old Yiddish adage meaning, “Man Plans, and God Laughs.” Despite our most careful planning, the Road of Life is unpredictable. We might have driving and destination strategies but scenic new vistas might beckon us or unforeseen roadblocks can deter us. Our best-laid plans in life can be upended […]

“Blues in the Night”

      Who among us hasn’t experienced “blues in the night?” In periods of sadness or despair, we might find ourselves lying in bed unable to sleep, or awakened in the night or too early in the cold gray dawn.       We are a resilient species but when we’re faced with severe setbacks, tragedy or trauma, we can […]

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 […]