You knock on a door. It takes a minute. Eventually the door opens. A face, lined with age, spreads into a smile. You enter with food. You ask, "Where would you like it?" The dwelling may be tidy, messy, warm or cold. But one thing is always the same: The person inside is elderly, grateful, frail in some way. And almost always alone. This is pretty much the universal experience of Meals on Wheels (or programs like that). I've done them. Perhaps you have, too. They are, at their core, the oldest form of charity. Giving food to those who need it.
Twenty-two years ago, I flipped on the TV and my life changed forever. An old professor of mine, Morrie Schwartz, was on the "Nightline" program, talking to Ted Koppel. About dying. My mouth dropped. Morrie was more than a former teacher. He was closer to a favorite old uncle, a smiling, gentle mentor at Brandeis University in Massachusetts who saw in me a flawed but salvageable young man.
I was starting to write this column when the lights went off. The computer died. The heat stopped working, and the house fell silent. I exhaled and threw my head back. I cursed and stomped around. How long this time? Should we bother to call the service providers? Who wants to sit on hold for an hour? I was annoyed, to be honest. This was a huge inconvenience, I felt, brought on by a massive windstorm, and now everything would be delayed and the simplest things — light for getting dressed, hot water for showers — would have to be adjusted. And then I stopped.
I must admit, a decade ago, I did not think that George W. Bush would teach us something about wisdom. Bush, at the time, was in his seventh year as president. His patriotic glow from 9/11 was waning. His approval ratings were in the low 30s.
By now you may have heard about the teachers and school secretary who gathered last month at a bar in Bangor, Mich. You may have heard about the verbal game they played, known as "MFK," where names are thrown out and participants say whether they'd rather marry, kill or have sex with that person. You may have heard how a six-minute video of their conversation went viral. How it initially was reported that the game involved students' names, even though that was later denied. How incensed parents expressed their ire at a school board meeting.
Maybe it's time to stop inviting sports teams to the White House. It's not a mandate. It's not a law. And when the mere idea of it launches a slew of political statements, it sure doesn't sound like an honor. The New England Patriots, fresh off a Super Bowl win, spent a week partying, parading — and announcing how certain members will not be going to the White House to be congratulated. "I don't feel accepted in the White House," safety Devin McCourty texted to Time. "I don't feel welcome in that house," running back LeGarrette Blount told NFL host Rich Eisen.
I went to visit the Statue of Liberty. I missed the last boat back. As I gazed at the American shoreline, I heard a voice. "So, what do you think?" I turned. Lady Liberty was talking to me. "I think I'm hallucinating," I said. "Don't be shy. I don't often get to speak. It's hard to talk with people crawling up your robe. So what do you think? About the symbol?" "You? I think you're amazing. Inspiring. Incred _" "Not me. The new symbol. The Wall." "Oh."
During inauguration week, when the big theme was how we are going to treat each other, two stories jumped out about how we treat our dogs.
Forget the election. America is split by something far more divisive: those who have Hatchimals and those who don’t. If you don’t know what a Hatchimal is, you are 1)...
I have a question to the “experts” in the media business: Why, after getting this whole election so colossally wrong, after misreading voters, misinterpreting polls, misjudging what people thought and...