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Steven Kalas


History deserves honest retelling

I've just returned from my youngest son's Rite of Passage, something his brothers also went through at his age. It's a curriculum I've developed — teachings, rituals and ceremonies — for turning boys into men.

You have got to laugh or cry

Like any veteran flier of Southwest Airlines, I was ready. Exactly 24 hours before my flight, I checked in. If you tarry a moment longer, you'll be condemned to the dreaded "C" group, mooing last onto a plane with only middle seats left in the back where you get to cuddle with the forearms and shoulders of strangers for a couple of hours and then lose a day and a half trying to exit the airplane.

Friendship can continue after love ends

My son has a friend. Every evidence points to a sincere, mutual, warm and caring friendship. They stay in touch. They support each other. They are informed about the other's comings and goings, the ups and downs of dating, their respective journeys of education and vocation.

Hero or abuser? Neither

Baltimore Mom becomes icon of our collective frustration regarding permissive and absent parents. She is a prototypical mother in whom terror, outrage and shame collide.

Mothers help sons by setting boundaries for themselves

Let’s talk about mothers and sons. We live in a world absent shared symbols, ceremonies and rituals for rites of passage into manhood. In the premodern world, these rites were universal and effective. Every culture, every tribe made overt the vital and necessary steps from puberty to manhood. Today, this journey is left largely to the clinical observations of psychology.

People with disabilities deserve empathy, not shock

I know a published novelist. She is my friend. She is brilliant. A birth accident left her with cerebral palsy. Her speech is difficult to understand. Although she can ambulate, her gait is awkward. The motor skills of her arms and hands are functional, but impaired. But, cognitively, she’s perfect. She is a perfectly normal human being trapped in a disabled body.