Aug 30 / Simcha

Gauzy Slogans Without the Steel

Open, N.Y. / © 2011 The New York Times Co.

In today’s New York Times editorial (Falser Words Were Never Spoken), Professor Brian Morton*, director of the graduate program in fiction at Sarah Lawrence College, tells us we can’t have it all.  We are misled, he claims, by the “shiny, fabulous, gorgeous makeover” of the teachings of our  great thinkers, a makeover that strips their wisdom of its subtlety and  complexity, leaving us with only illusion and fantasy.  Three examples:

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Aug 28 / Simcha

TOO Sensitive to Your Partner’s Needs??

While couples frequently complain that their partners aren’t sensitive to their needs, I have observed many dissatisfied individuals presenting as OVER-sensitive to the other’s needs and feelings.  Wanting to avoid hurting or “devastating” the other, they  avoid confrontation altogether. In the most sensitive of areas – the sexual realm – couples will live together for decades, so enmeshed in one another’s feelings and in their need to maintain emotional stability, that what needs to be said is never said.  And so, naturally, nothing changes.

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Aug 27 / Simcha

Well-Travelled Yet Nought Hath Seen

In this delightful poem, English poet John Kenyon* (1783-1856) mocks the pretentious and complacent 19th-century British traveler who avoids mixing with the local populations, learns little that touches or changes him, then returns home to pontificate on (and brag about) what he has observed from the comfort of his train car.  Kenyon reminds us that if we fail to open ourselves emotionally to that which we encounter as we drift around the bay that is our life, we risk becoming like the well-travelled oyster who — “shut within
 his sulky shell, he nought hath seen.”

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Aug 24 / Simcha

Sex Education for NY State Teens

The new sex education requirement for all students in public middle and high schools is “long overdue,”  writes the The New York Times (August 10, 2011).  The sex education push is part of an initiative by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to address the needs of young people in minority neighborhoods, where blacks and Latinos are most affected by the consequences of early sexual behavior and unprotected sex.

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Aug 23 / Simcha

Do Love and Sex Belong Together?

According to Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá,  authors of Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality (2010), and a psychologist and practicing psychiatrist, respectively, men and women aren’t meant to be in lifelong monogamous unions. In their attempt to explain the high divorce rates in the western world, they argue that monogamy is in direct confrontation with the evolved reality of our species.

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Aug 19 / Simcha

A Poem about Transformation

The following beautiful poem captures the moment many of us have known when we dare to look at ourselves in the mirror, in search of our authentic self and our authentic voice.  On that day, writes poetry critic Roger Housden  (Ten Poems to Change Your life), “you simply know that you cannot continue to play by the rules you have accepted for years.” On that day you embark on a journey in which a new self, no longer controlled by the past, can mature and blossom.

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