An attack on individualism

I was standing at the train station on a cold morning near my home in the suburbs of Philadelphia. The train to the city was running a few minutes late and I was nervous about the final exam waiting for me in the city at 11 am. The question then came to me, “Are you […]

Why relationships cannot thrive without boundaries

My wife once asked me to help her put some shelves together. It was a Monday night though, and I play volleyball with my friends on Mondays. I heard somewhere that healthy relationships need boundaries and that we need them to keep our sanity. A strong boundary protecting volleyball night seemed like a good idea […]

Unity under siege

In 1916, Ernest Shackleton and his men accomplished a seemingly impossible feat requiring complete unity. Their once proud ship had been smashed by the ice flows around Antarctica, and the tight-knit crew was stranded for months on the ice and later on Elephant Island with little hope of rescue. Shackleton resolved to take five men from his […]

The fragmentation of everything

About 335 million years ago, all the major land masses on earth were combined into a single supercontinent we call Pangaea.1 Then 200 million years ago, they began to break up and drift apart. When humans arrived, they further subdivided the continents into kingdoms, principalities, and tribes. The modern age is one of great ideological […]

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 […]