Some Thoughts on Teen Pregnancy

"If you were giving a talk on teen pregnancy to a conservative, faith-based group who cares, what messages would you want to convey?" A couple of years ago I asked this question of someone in our family planning division at work. I was serious. I wanted her perspective. She did not hesitate. "I would tell … Continue reading Some Thoughts on Teen Pregnancy

From Privilege to Responsibility

"There was a darker side to high tea I would only confront much later. This pleasure that so delighted me as a little girl was a survival of Pakistan’s colonial past. The “British Raj” era, or the era of British rule, lasted for almost 100 years. It included the entire Indian subcontinent. Pakistan was born … Continue reading From Privilege to Responsibility

The Echo Chamber of Social Media

I have been caught in the echo chamber of social media for a long time, but the last few months it has become significantly worse. All around me people rise up, whether on Twitter, Facebook or comments, letting everyone know their strongly held opinions. But nothing is original. Everyone is echoing everyone else. As is usually the case, there are two sides and … Continue reading The Echo Chamber of Social Media

Really?

  Toddler falls over railing at zoo into gorilla area. Gorilla killed to save toddler. Public outcry from impulse culture addicts. Parent crucified by public opinion. Have to delete all social media, go into hiding. Told they are the ones who should have been killed. Meanwhile,in Syria: NOTE: Quote from Kay Bruner in The Curious … Continue reading Really?

Stop Dismissing Millennials

Last week, my husband and I had dinner with some friends. We ate fish tacos, caught up on each other's lives and laughed until we couldn't breathe. Our friends are a lot younger than us. They are millennials - that group of people who are analyzed, written about, and talked about.  And I realize that I need … Continue reading Stop Dismissing Millennials

Beware: the Language of Heaven is Hell for the Passenger

While living in the Middle East, we would often quote Islamic scholars and proclaim that we were "learning the language that we'll all speak in Heaven." We were not joking. With its rich phrases and flow, Arabic is a beautiful language. After five minutes in a taxi in an Arabic speaking country, the beautiful sound of Oum Kalthoum's voice will … Continue reading Beware: the Language of Heaven is Hell for the Passenger

After the Outrage

The outrage that echoed loudly through social media the last few weeks has left us for a time.  It is now old and uninteresting, sort of like leftover turkey that sits, covered in plastic, in the refrigerator a week after Thanksgiving. No one cares anymore, and so we gladly throw away the carcass. We are ready … Continue reading After the Outrage

Light Shines in the Darkness 

I woke up early to a grey sky and soft summer rain falling. I could hear water on the pavement sloshing as cars went by. All was peaceful inside, and then I made the mistake of looking at the news. From harvesting babies to refugees trapped at sea,I saw a world of evil and horror. … Continue reading Light Shines in the Darkness 

For my Friend and the Kids he’s Raising

I sit in a row of cubicles toward the front of a large building in downtown Boston. One of my cubicle mates is a man from Malawi that I'll call Paul. He is a handsome, intelligent man and we have become good friends in the past few years. Today he asked me if I had … Continue reading For my Friend and the Kids he’s Raising

A Ten-Dollar Coupon and My Poverty of Soul

The ten-dollar coupon had grown hot in my hand. Literally. I was clutching it tightly. I was doing something I have never done: Arriving at Macy's at seven in the morning, at the ready for the Big.Sale. Truth is - I had only just realized Macy's was having a Big.Sale. The coupon and the sale … Continue reading A Ten-Dollar Coupon and My Poverty of Soul

What’s Wrong With Halloween?

Maybe it's that I'm sick of the sexy nurse costumes, completely demeaning my profession.  Maybe it's that I think making a "sexy Olaf" costume, sexualizing a little snowman from the movie Frozen is despicable. Or perhaps it's that Halloween is a six billion dollar, yes - six billion dollar - industry.  But what really pushed … Continue reading What’s Wrong With Halloween?

About Mother’s Day – aka Holidays Out of Control

Of all the negative traits of capitalism, the co-opting of holidays is one of the most insidious and destructive to our bank accounts and our relationships.  It's almost mother's day - and what was started in the United States during Civil War days to bring honor to a mother deeply loved by her daughter has become … Continue reading About Mother’s Day – aka Holidays Out of Control

If Sarah Palin Were in Charge

I am grateful for Robynn's voice on Communicating Across Boundaries, whether on Friday or another day. Today she reacts to something we both found deeply offensive. We know there are varying opinions on these things. Please feel free to use the comment section to voice your thoughts, keeping our guidelines of communication and respect for … Continue reading If Sarah Palin Were in Charge

How a ‘Civilized’ Society Honors St. Patrick

In celebration of St. Patrick's Day residents of South Boston called police because they were tired of those 'celebrating' the day peeing in their yards. Yes. This is the St. Patrick's Day of the 21st century; a day known for green and partying. Start as early as you are allowed, go as late as you … Continue reading How a ‘Civilized’ Society Honors St. Patrick

Ten Things You Can Do on Friday (Instead of Going Shopping)

For those who live in the United States, it's that time of the year again -- that time where one day we gather, thankful for all that has been given us, basking in the warmth of family, friends, and food. And the next, we beat down our fellow-man, mobbing our way into stores to earnestly … Continue reading Ten Things You Can Do on Friday (Instead of Going Shopping)

The Security Blanket of Busy

Yesterday I shared a picture on Facebook that garnered a number of responses, and it got me thinking about our addiction to busy. It works something like this: You run into someone and the conversation goes this way: Hi! I haven't seen you in a long time! How have you been?" "Oh, so busy! Life … Continue reading The Security Blanket of Busy

Rich Westerners & Muffin Monday

Welcome to Monday! Today I'm sending you to Djibouti Jones to read a challenging article called "When Rich Westerners Don't Know They are Being Rich Westerners". This is something I've wrestled with, sometimes through emails with Rachel of Djibouti Jones. She has articulated well the problem and struggle and will continue the conversation next Monday. … Continue reading Rich Westerners & Muffin Monday

Coffee or Quarters?

It's Boston hot.* With high humidity even mid-eighties feels uncomfortable. As it goes to the high eighties you're dripping. Give me the dry heat of Phoenix and 122 degrees any day. Really. With the beginning of summer the visible homeless population has increased ten-fold. On my three-minute walk from subway to office I pass by … Continue reading Coffee or Quarters?