Thinking Out Loud

Empathy and Sympathy

Professional opera singers have voice coaches and professional baseball players have batting coaches. What they tend to emphasize are the fundamentals, and so it is with practicing good communication. Read More


Many, perhaps most, couples at one time or another, struggle with the division of labor in their household. How does it get decided, who does what? Is it fair? Who is better at what tasks—and what if one person is better at doing most things? What value is given to which tasks? How much time does each devote? I’m sure there are more questions, but that’s plenty to make the point. Read More

Girls or Boys: Who is worse off?

Like many, I’m drawn to reading research and opinions about the state of boys and girls in today’s world and which sex is struggling more. It’s a question I’m not going to answer both because I don’t think it’s a particularly helpful question and because I don’t think it can be answered.

To see the differences clearly, we could make a chart showing the good and bad elements for both girls and boys. For example: More boys have ADHD, more girls have low self-esteem. Boys have higher SAT scores in math, girls have better verbal communication skills. Let’s not take our foot off the feminist accelerator or girls will get marginalized. Let’s not forget the high school drop out rate for boys. . . . To do this thoroughly, we’d need to weight the elements to find out which sex has it worse, but doing that, I’m sure, would devolve into some kind of political warfare. How could it not? Read More

The Whole Picture

Sam’s wife, Beth, made a simple statement, or so she thought. “Let’s put in a walk-in shower.” Sam was immediately sour on the idea. He grimaced and said it wasn’t a good idea. This upset Beth and she responded strongly. “Why are you always so negative when I make a suggestion?” Sam quickly responded, “Because it’s just one more thing I have to deal with.” “But why can’t we just talk about it?” Beth replied. Read More