An overlooked emotion

October 13th, 2011

There’s one emotion that gets a bad rap.

Before I tell you what it is, I’d like to share with you an experience from my junior year in high school. I wasn’t the most popular guy in my high school class, but I was industrious. When it came time to run for junior class president, only two people ran. “Why,” you might ask, “were so few people interested in leading a class of 232 kids at my public high school?”

Times up! Read the rest of this entry »

Attempting to solve the unsolvable

September 4th, 2011

Do you ever ask yourself seemingly unanswerable questions? Sure you do. We all do!

“Why do bad things happen to good people?”

“What is the purpose of life?”

And so on…

Sometimes such questions are personal to us, and the lack of an answer can be quite frustrating, especially if we’ve been struggling to find a satisfactory answer for a long time. Read the rest of this entry »

Amnesia

August 3rd, 2011

Memories… Most of us have them. They can be pleasant, unpleasant, or downright disturbing. Sometimes we would like to forget certain ones, but we can’t.

I’ve recently completed a fascinating novel by new author S.J. Watson – “Before I Go to Sleep” – about a woman who can store memories for only one day, knowing that each deep sleep will wipe out all the events of her life. Every day she wakes up with amnesia. Read the rest of this entry »

Sifting for Gold

June 24th, 2011

“I already do that,” my wife says.

I just shook my head in disbelief, feeling somewhat guilty for being jealous of her good fortune on one hand, and grateful for it on another. After all, who wouldn’t want their loved ones to be content with their lot in life? I certainly do!

“Do what?” you might ask. Read the rest of this entry »

“This too shall pass”

May 28th, 2011

Two people I know have shared with me their experience of losing a loved one to suicide… both within the past 24 hours!

… which made me think of my pregnant patient Karen (named changed to protect her privacy).

Karen learned months ago that her unborn baby would be born with severe birth defects, specifically, missing limbs due to a condition known as amniotic bands. Basically, the sac that holds the pregnancy ruptures early on, creating numerous strips of twine-like bands that can wrap around various limbs – fingers, toes, hands, and feet – causing some of them to be destroyed. Read the rest of this entry »

Sorry Chicago, maybe next year

April 30th, 2011

The Chicago marathon will have to wait another year for me. Before I tell you why, I am reminded of a once-popular story pertaining to a famed Los Angeles Dodger’s pitcher of yesteryear.

Sandy Koufax was known as one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history. To American Jews, he was known for something else: voluntarily skipping Game One of the 1965 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Minnesota Twins to attend all-day worship services in Minneapolis, in observance of the Yom Kippur holiday. The Dodgers lost that game but won the series, with Koufax winning the award for Most Valuable Player.

When I was a kid, even the most secular Jews thought it unthinkable to skip observance of Yom Kippur, the solemn Day of Atonement when Jews ask God and individuals for forgiveness for transgressions committed over the past year. Nowadays, as society as a whole has witnessed a loosening, and in many cases an abandonment of once-sacred traditions, a Koufax-like decision to forgo a monumental sporting event might well seem anachronistic, peculiar, or even a betrayal to some zealots of sport. Read the rest of this entry »

The Journey or the Destination?

April 8th, 2011

Back in college, for one of my philosophy classes (in which I majored), I wrote a paper entitled something along the lines of “Happiness: Is it the Journey or the Destination?” The conclusion I arrived at in the paper (which I still have sitting in a box in my basement!) is that it is indeed within the journey where most of our sense of meaning and fulfillment resides, as opposed to the destination. Too bad that in the ensuing years, I too often forgot this vital message for myself. Read the rest of this entry »

In the End…

February 22nd, 2011

Today’s local newspaper featured a touching story of a 44-year-old woman with terminal cancer, who was reunited with her elderly Honduran mother for one last time before she dies. It seems that for quite some time, the mother could not obtain a visa to travel to the U.S. to bid farewell to her beloved daughter. Only through the timely intervention of numerous others was the mother finally able to travel here.

At the heart of the story was gratitude… the gratitude this dying woman felt to be in the presence of her mother one last time. All she wanted in her last days, above all else, was to spend time with her mother. Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Jackson’s favorite song

February 16th, 2011

Michael Jackson’s favorite song…

Not “Billy Jean.” Not “Beat It.” Not “Thriller.” Read the rest of this entry »

Excerpt from “Tap Into Your Inner Wisdom”

February 11th, 2011

I’ll never forget the first time I heard about atoms. I was in grade school when I learned that atoms were the tiniest particles that got together to form the building blocks for everything we see – chairs, lamps, trees, my own body – and even some things that we can’t see, such as gases. Though I knew I didn’t stand a chance of ever actually seeing one of these atoms, I accepted the fact of their existence in the world.

Later on in science class, I learned what atoms are made of: a central component called a nucleus, and an outer part that contains electrons which swirl around the nucleus. As an adult, I became intrigued with the rest of the atom, namely the empty space within them. The fact of the matter is, over 99.9% of an atom is empty space. Since you and I are made up of atoms, we are almost entirely composed of… nothing! Read the rest of this entry »