Year: 2020

Map by John Snow showing cholera deaths in relation to public water sources

Correction + Protection

I’m not yet ready to go back to our theme of finding our True Selves. This post is a continuation of the last one,  there will be another one along these lines next Sunday, and then we’ll ‘return to our regularly scheduled programming already in progress.’ Correction After last week’s post, when I was falling …

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Wallstreet, 1929 market crash

Calm in the Waves

Because of things that are swirling—coronavirus and financial markets—I want to interrupt our series on finding our True Selves and go elsewhere. We learned in US history class that when the stock market crashed in 1929, some people killed themselves. We heard stories of stockbrokers jumping from office windows. My great-grandfather was one of those …

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Eleanor Roosevelt portrait


We last left off on our path of finding our True Selves with Jealousy. This week is about a nobler emotion: Admiration. Part One: Make a list of people you admire. My list includes people like Eleanor Roosevelt and Maya Lin, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. Make your Admire list. Part Two: Make …

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Green plant with spikes


Last fall, when a friend said, “I’m in love,” I was happy for her. Recently, another friend—let’s call her Ellen—told me that our friend and her new love have moved in together. The news made me happy. I am glad for this joy in my friend’s life. She raised two boys, mostly on her own, …

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bathers on a beach with nuclear reactors in the background


Now that you have detected in the present in support of finding your True Self, it’s time to go back in time. Archeologists excavate artifacts and study them. We will do the same. To the extent that you are able, find things from your past that meant something to you. Sometimes, due to life circumstances, …

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Detective Work

In support of our goal of uncovering and discovering our True Selves, we’re starting a series of eight explorations that are intended to be enjoyable, not onerous. Treat them as if you were seeking a hidden treasure. You may want to grab a notepad or a tablet—a place for you to capture your findings so …

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Boxes of the Something

Finding Our True Selves

There were two top vote-getters in our survey of possible topics for this blog. “Finding our true selves” was one of them and is where we’re going next. I used to believe that we have One True Self that we must find in order to live our best life. I used to believe that if …

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The Mercantile Library, Cincinnati OH, reading room

Ode to a Library

In 1835, forty-five young, white men wanted to better themselves. They were not professionals, they were clerks to professionals and merchants. The men knew they could improve themselves more quickly and to a greater degree if they did it together. Their solution was to found a library, the Young Men’s Mercantile Library Association. The original …

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Kindergarten class photo

Photo Critique

When an adult negatively critiques the portrait of a child in their care, it is never about the child, or what the child looks like in the photograph. It is always about the adult. As I write this, I am not thinking of what my mother said to me. Unfortunately, I am thinking of what …

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Jule Kucera, portrait, 2013


Even though I said this post would be about a library, there is something more on my mind: photographs. In particular: portraits, otherwise known as headshots. For most of my life, I have not liked to have my picture taken. This aversion might have started in second grade, when for the class picture I put …

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