Dodging puddles: Things we avoid

As a college freshman, there was one essay we had to read in composition class that made an indelible impression on me that lingers still: George Orwell’s “Hanging,” with its vivid irony in observing the curious behavior of an about to be executed criminal in Burma, where Orwell had served in the British imperial police for six years years.  The narrator takes no part, except … Continue reading Dodging puddles: Things we avoid

How fear erodes love

Like many of you, I follow the news, only to come away frequently dismayed. For all our pretense to rationality, people often seem governed more by passion than reason.  History strikes me as repeated scenarios of human excess, or what Freud astutely called manifestations of the Id, or pleasure principle. I like to think of this inchoate anomaly as the Child within. There are pretty … Continue reading How fear erodes love

What if: Reducing chronic worry

We worry about a great many things:  How will my interview go? What will people think of me?  Will I pass the test?  How will I pay this bill?  Will I get the loan?  Do I have cancer?  When worry becomes chronic, it can be debilitating, souring our relationships, triggering illness, and fostering pessimism. Worrying is always an exercise in control.  It prospers because it … Continue reading What if: Reducing chronic worry