Spirituality and religious connection

#TaxTheChurches was trending on Twitter recently. Most of the comments were not balanced assessments of how church donations and government programs influence the world. They were more like what you would expect during an evening of troll karaoke: mockery, anger, and ugliness. Much of this resentment comes from an understandable place. When I hear about… Continue reading Spirituality and religious connection

How the laws we make for ourselves make us miserable

The movie begins five minutes from now, and the theater is 20 minutes away. I’m pacing by the front door. After looking at my watch, I rub my eyes with the palms of my hands. Then I look at my watch again. I call upstairs to my date, “Are you almost ready? It’s time to… Continue reading How the laws we make for ourselves make us miserable

When life is charmed but unsatisfactory

We take the children out for ice cream at Baskin Robbins every once and again. On a couple of occasions, one of the younger kids chose a clown-flavor – something like cotton candy, pink bubblegum, or rainbow sherbet. I tried to convince her that she was making a mistake. “What about Oreo or Rocky Road?… Continue reading When life is charmed but unsatisfactory

Self-reliance versus reliance on others

A group of friends once debated whether we should rely on ourselves or on others. One of them said, “If I don’t look out for myself, no one will. And I want to progress to the point where I am independent.” Then came the rebuttal. “No one on the planet has all the skills required… Continue reading Self-reliance versus reliance on others

What we are losing as a people

During a summer evening in 1948, a woman worked quietly in a paddy near Fukui Japan. She was likely checking that the water levels were adequate for the growing rice. Suddenly, a magnitude seven earthquake shook the muddy ground. According to reports, soldiers witnessed a four-foot-wide fissure open at the woman’s feet. She grasped at… Continue reading What we are losing as a people

For those who are not enough

An author and researcher I respect often says, “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough!”1 What about the times when you are not enough though? What about when you are doing your best at school or work and still failing? Or when you are a less-than-adequate spouse or… Continue reading For those who are not enough

Attributes of an ideal companion

I just returned from a white-water rafting trip in the Appalachian Mountains with my father and brothers. The river was at times swift and treacherous. At others it was slow and scenic but always breezy and cold. Even though we were wearing full-length wetsuits, booties and rain jackets, my younger brother said he had never… Continue reading Attributes of an ideal companion

The hidden key to forgiveness

The purpose of this article is not to convince you to forgive. You already know you should. One Gallup study found that 94% of respondents believed it was important to forgive others, but 85% said they needed outside help to do so.1 So today we will focus on how. Forgiveness on the parkway In Boston,… Continue reading The hidden key to forgiveness

Happiness hierarchies and why they matter

Happiness hierarchies

Why should anyone care what ‘happiness’ is? The word matters because so many of us have elevated it to an exalted state. We all seem to be chasing happiness, sharing it over social media when we have it, and then mourning its loss. If happiness is the whole aim and end of human existence,1 then… Continue reading Happiness hierarchies and why they matter

A fantasy story hidden in the Bible’s Book of Revelation

I told a dramatized version of the Bible’s Book of Revelation (also called the Apocalypse of John) during a large family gathering in Mexico. Children sat on the carpet, adults on the couches and teenagers on the windowsills and floor around me. It can be difficult to make some parts of the scriptures come alive.… Continue reading A fantasy story hidden in the Bible’s Book of Revelation