Category Archives: Change

Nocebo No more

Everybody knows about placebos and the placebo effect. If you think the little pill will help you, it often does—even when there’s no medicine in it.  But I’d never heard of a nocebo, until last week when it showed up in my email box. “Nocebo” was my word for the day. “A substance producing harmful…

The Coming of Justice

On March 7, 1965, 600 civil rights marchers left Selma, Alabama for Montgomery. Governor George Wallace called the march a threat to public safety and vowed to do all in is power to prevent this rabble from marching all the way to his office in Montgomery. When the 600 came to the Edmund Pettis Bridge,…

God is Not Urgent

I was asked to speak to a group this week on New Year’s Resolutions, and I decided instead to speak on new priorities. I don’t care much for resolutions, since they are mostly attempts to arm-wrestle small problems into submission without having to look plainly at one’s life. As soon as I focused on priorities…

This Year I Will . . .

The human being is capable of great idealism  . . .  and great delusion, as these resolutions humorously attest. Resolution #1 2010: I will try to be a better husband to Marge. 2011: I will not leave Marge. 2012: I will try for a reconciliation with Marge. 2013: I will try to be a better…

Christmas After Newtown

I lit a fire in the hearth this morning and turned on the lights of the bare Christmas tree. It was six a.m., cold outside with a grey morning light. Nine days before Christmas Eve. Twenty little children have been killed in their classrooms, festooned with holiday decorations and happily cluttered with Christmas crafts. I…