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

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

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

Pushing your beliefs

While walking with two of my daughters in Northeast Portland, a man hurried past us with long strides and flapping dreadlocks. He was yelling into his phone. “…If he tries to tell you what God wants, that is the height of blasphemy! No one should tell you what to believe! I’m so tired of…” And… Continue reading Pushing your beliefs

Taking advantage of meekness

Have you ever glanced in your rearview mirror on the freeway and found it filled by a tailgater? Maybe driving an oversized truck, shaking his fist at you, weaving back and forth and flashing his lights– all to get you to move out of his way? How would you respond to someone acting like this?… Continue reading Taking advantage of meekness