Cousin 1 says he believes the guilt his Catholic family taught him was important for his emotional development. Cousin 2 disagrees. She says that same family’s teachings about guilt did nothing to enhance her inner voice for right and wrong. Interesting discussion. But, when I get caught eavesdropping, they toss the debate in my lap.
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My friend says, with an ever-so-slight thread of defensiveness in his voice, “There’s a reason for all divorces. It’s fault that’s much harder to determine. I refuse to accept that fault is always split equally.”
I see the film “Philomena” and I am deeply moved. So much so that I go home and spend several hours researching the true story of Philomena Lee. I’m able to sort history from the inevitable artistic license modern filmmakers cannot not indulge.
A brief history (of the historically brief, as it turns out) of Asking Human Matters …
I’m confused. Off balance. Like I always am whenever someone plays “There’s a Fire in the Barn!”
The following reader comment is a response to my Jan. 12 column: reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/parents-always-botch-some-aspect-child-rearing.
I’m trying to enjoy my burrito supreme from Taco Bell while watching the back of Colin Kaepernick’s jersey as he runs away from Green Bay Packers toward another back-breaking first down. This effort in contradiction makes me irritable, and my fit of pique spills out to my Aussie shepherd, Kelly the Wonder Dog.
When someone is in therapy, should the therapist have an agenda or a curriculum after determining what the patient’s issue is/issues are? It seems that talking about what’s on the patient’s mind each week will only lead to a bunch of disjointed sessions and won’t lead to resolution of the underlying issue. Who should be in the driver’s seat during therapy? Who should determine the direction of the discussion? The patient or the therapist?
Last Sunday’s column told a story the moral of which was essentially this: Never underestimate the power you have as a mother or father rearing a child. Whatever power you think you have, I promise you that the child’s view of you is bigger and more powerful than that!
In my post-divorce dating career (two years), I’ve met at least three women (well-educated and in their 40s) who are still bearing significant open wounds caused in childhood by their fathers (just my opinion, but it seems pretty clear). It makes me think several things: 1. the incredible influence and power that parents have over their kid’s entire lives; 2. why are these educated, high-functioning people still carrying these wounds at this point in their lives? 3. what wounds am I walking around with from childhood? 4. what wounds am I inflicting on my kids? 5. most important, how can I help my kids overcome these inevitable wounds so their adulthoods won’t have very much anguish?
This father just got his butt metaphorically kicked from here to Shanghai by his adult daughter. She just flat crawled him. A strafing run.
I read this on a blog from Dr. Robert Glover:
My mother is a Christmas juggernaut. You can follow. You can assist. But otherwise, get out of the way or you’ll be run over by joy.
I’m sitting in the darkened room, illuminated only by the glowing lights of a Christmas tree. My Christmas tree. It’s peaceful. And provocative. It soothes me … and evokes melancholy. But, as odd as it might seem, I actually treasure the melancholy. Christmas is joyful but wistful, too. Hopeful but filled with poignant longing.
Last Sunday I wrote a column I hoped would pay appropriate tribute to a great man, Nelson Mandela. He is an inspiration to me. To all of us.
My mom was a reader of your column. She even wrote to you a number of years back.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Really appreciate your column of Dec. 4 (tinyurl.com/m4sjxoj) … up until the final line, where respect is associated with having high expectations of others. If you respect them, you will have no expectations of them. Respect isn’t about imposing or judging. Those things are the opposite of respect. Respect is about honoring, listening, being open to who the person is right now. Expectations are a form of soft cruelty. They limit the person’s right to wake up as any form of person they choose. They chain a person to other peoples’ “expectations.” True respect is a form of love, of appreciation.
He’s 19. A college guy. He is always on the cutting edge of the music emerging from his generation. I hardly ever talk to him but what he’ll say, “Listen to this.” And I like that. He’s one of the few people I trust to keep me appraised of emerging musical trends, given that I no longer trust commercial radio to keep me appraised.
I wanted to compliment you on today’s article (tinyurl.com/kgryauc). I especially liked Tony Gaskins’ quote: “You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop and what behavior you reinforce.”
As a writer, you spend your life hoping for the next pithy aphorism to spill out of your fingertips and onto the keyboard. The great one-liner that punches you in the face. Clear, concise, and colorful. But such literary gems don’t exactly parade two abreast through every paragraph. When they happen, it’s like magic. You more give thanks than take credit.
What an interesting array of letters I received in response to last Sunday’s column about the tragic death of Jeremiah …
I’m looking at a photo of me, age 6, and two childhood friends. In the picture, I am lying on the floor, watching television, head hanging from the far left edge of a pillow. That’s because I’m sharing the pillow with my two friends, Mokey and Coco.
I recently engaged a reader’s question about the on-and-off controversy over the NFL name Redskins. P.T., a friend of both the reader (A.K.) and myself, responded. His letter, greatly edited for space, follows in bold face, with my rejoinders …
In the eerie glow of my laptop, sitting in a cheap hotel in Green Bay, Wis., I pull up the file containing my last will and testament. It’s addressed to my beloved and to my children, whose duty shall be to execute it, should I encounter the Proverbial Bus.