Sunday, November 27, 2022

Don’t brag, but be proud

  Today, after winning a big game, it’s common for athletes and fans to chant, “We’re number one,” in a classless display of self-praise that comes off as conceit and disrespectful taunting. I sometimes feel that way about materials praising America. Still, national pride is important. Reminders about the high principles on which this nation was based are essential to keep our idealism alive.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

How to survive annoying relatives this holiday season

  Social allergies are a lot like seasonal allergies. They’re annoying, exhausting, and hard to avoid. They’re also especially common around the holidays. That’s because the holidays put you at a high risk of exposure. Swap the dander and ragweed for your not-so-favorite acquaintances and relatives, and there you have it — a full-blown case of social allergies.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Authentic apology

  “I’m sorry.”

  These are powerful words. Authentic apologies can work like a healing ointment on old wounds, dissolve bitter grudges, and repair damaged relationships. They encourage both parties to let go of toxic emotions like anger and guilt and provide a fresh foundation of mutual respect.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Taking back Thanksgiving!

  I am genuinely elated to report that I have survived another Thanksgiving… or rather what remains of this rapidly deteriorating national holiday. I ate, I watched football, I napped. God ordained back in the Plymouth Rock days that we adhere to this sacred ritual, right? And doing so enables me to show my Turkey Day pride, get my festive gobble-gobble swerve thing on, but mostly just suffer from indigestion as a result of all that sweet, blessed gluttony.

  But increasingly each year, something else is ominously creeping into the view from my yam-tinted glasses, vulgarly tinkling on my Thanksgiving joy and ruthlessly pushing all the pilgrim imagery to the side - its name: Christmas.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Improve the world — be nice!

  Marta was a hard-working single mother.  Last week, at church, her minister urged the congregation to improve the world by doing more to help others. He’s got to be kidding, she thought, I can barely make ends meet and provide my children with basic necessities. Still, she felt guilty – “maybe I should be doing more.” So, on the bus to work she started thinking of things she could do to help others, but she felt sad and defeated by the idea of adding more obligations to her life.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Another reason to exercise every day during the holidays

  Yes, of course, we all know we should exercise every day during the holiday season to help counter the onslaught of excess calories that starts on Thanksgiving and will mercifully end with a New Year’s toast.

  We may even tire of hearing about exercise and weight from family, friends, and the media. But an equally important reason to exercise every day is related to blood pressure, not waistline.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Appreciating appreciation

  There’s a song called “Thank God for Dirty Dishes” that makes the point that if you’re lucky to have enough food to make dirty dishes, you should be grateful.

  So instead of grousing about your property taxes, be thankful you own property. When you have to wait in line at the bank or are stuck in traffic, just be grateful you have money in the bank and a car to drive.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

What the first Thanksgiving dinner actually looked like

  Most Americans probably don’t realize that we have a very limited understanding of the first Thanksgiving, which took place in 1621 in Massachusetts.

  Indeed, few of our present-day traditions resemble what happened almost 400 years ago, and there’s only one original account of the feast.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

American workers feel alienated, helpless and overwhelmed – here’s one way to alleviate their malaise

  First it was the “Great Resignation.” Then it was “nobody wants to work anymore.” Now it’s “quiet quitting.”

  Yet it seems like no one wants to talk about what I see as the root cause of America’s economic malaise – work under contemporary capitalism is fundamentally flawed.

  As a political philosopher studying the effects of contemporary capitalism on the future of work, I believe that the inability to dictate and meaningfully control one’s own working life is the problem.

  Democratizing work is the solution.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Why magical thinking is so widespread – a look at the psychological roots of common superstitions

  Growing up in Greece, I spent my summers at my grandparents’ home in a small coastal village in the region of Chalkidiki. It was warm and sunny, and I passed most of my time playing in the streets with my cousins. But occasionally, the summer storms brought torrential rain. You could see them coming from far away, with black clouds looming over the horizon, lit up by lightning.

  As I rushed home, I was intrigued to see my grandparents prepare for the thunderstorm. Grandma would cover a large mirror on the living room wall with a dark cloth and throw a blanket over the TV. Meanwhile, Grandpa would climb a ladder to remove the light bulb over the patio door. Then they switched off all the lights in the house and waited the storm out.