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The United States, built upon principles of equality and pragmatism, champions identities based on what people do --- not upon where they were born. Until recently, in older civilizations, the career question “what are you going to be when you grow up?” sounded strange for its equation of occupation with Being. You already were what you were. 

Your Job Vs. Your Place In The World

Jul 5, 2018

Last month, an old friend reached out to discuss her fear that her husband was suffering from something she called, “Work Separation Anxiety.” Not only did he struggle with committing to take vacation days, he also had trouble taking time away for “life or death” absences such as loved ones’ funerals or his own hospital stay.

My Sister Got It Right

Jul 4, 2018

Five years ago, my sister Dori died suddenly from a stroke. She and I rarely agreed on anything — she was a Cubs fan, I am a Sox fan. In the presidential elections, we usually cancelled out each other’s votes.

However, she once confided in me that she had quit supporting George W. Bush after the Hurricane Katrina debacle. As a lawyer, my sister, when confronted with facts, could come up with some surprising turnabouts.

Sometimes, I wonder what my sister would think about the political scene nowadays. But I think I can make an educated guess, based on her legal career.

Dorothy's Gifts

Jul 3, 2018

It seemed like all my friends were getting married and I was always a bridesmaid. 

I was on my way to graduate school. A family friend, Dorothy Harro gave me two gifts. 

The first was a set of Pfaltzgraff dishes that I still use today. She didn’t want me to feel left out with all these weddings. She said she was proud of me and my independence.

The second was a day trip to go canoeing on Schroon Lake in the Adirondacks. We marveled at how mysterious a black line of rain looked. 

The Declaration That Still Binds Us

Jul 2, 2018

Independence Day approaches. We will celebrate not only our birth as a sovereign nation; we will renew also our commitment to the great social contract proclaimed in the Declaration. We define ourselves by our belief in equality, and our mutual pledge to respect the right to life, to liberty, and to pursue our own happiness.