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Dr. Michael J. Murphy

Dr. Michael J. Murphy is a poet, philosopher and psychologist. He received the Reilly Memorial Prize for creative writing as an undergraduate, was included in the original multi-million selling Chicken Soup for the Soul, and was awarded National Association of Newspaper Columnists Prize. He has published thousands of newspaper columns and essays relating to human interest and psychological themes.

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Opioid Odyssey

DISCOVERIES OF RECOVERY

OPIOID ODYSSEY shines clarifying light on the largely hidden but surprising truth of our much-discussed “opioid crisis.” Whether it is a cousin, the son or daughter of a colleague, or a close neighbor who has fallen beneath the wave of opioid casualties, after completing OPIOID ODYSSEY you will understand the myriad causes of the crisis as well as the true bases of addiction itself. Most important, you will share the profound and powerful stories of those who have traversed the opioid odyssey to a positive destination.

Mass media ignore those who have fallen into a life of addiction and then, after marshalling their resources, have utilized skilled medical support to sustain a life of success and fulfillment. But such individuals exist, and they are legion, and their moving and revealing stories provide reliable guidance along the path of recovery from opioid use disorder. OPIOID ODYSSEY gives the reader all they need to know about this perplexing social, legal and medical issue, and illuminates a path toward a compassionate as well as pragmatic solution.

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  • The Return of the Serious Man
    June 21, 2021
    The Return of the Serious Man Among the random trivia banging about in my brain is the afternoon many years ago when, as we wer...
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  • WINTER NIGHTS
    May 2, 2021
      (1) It was a grey day; one could get by with light gloves but still a jacket with sweater underneath was better.  Now...
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  • Easter Sunday 2021
    April 4, 2021
    04/04/21 Easter Morning, 2021 What a glorious day to be a human being! Chosen to see upon this earth after so much strugg...
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  • THE CHOICE
    September 18, 2020
    THE CHOICE As a part-time psychotherapist I find myself more and more having deep conversations with “clients” about a very cri...
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  • THE SECRET - IMPLICATIONS OF THE LAW OF ATTRACTION
    July 25, 2020
    The Secret Law of Attraction – Implications Thoughts have consequences; thought is a form of energy and the quality of a thou...
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  • FATHER'S DAY - 2020
    June 27, 2020
    Father’s Day, 2020.  Another time for deep personal inventory.  Here I sit, like so many other fathers alone and unrecognized and ...
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  • THE PANOPTICON PANDEMIC
    June 20, 2020
    Let me give you what may be a new word for you: panopticon. A panopticon is a prison design which places a five-sided tower at the...
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  • Everything to Gain
    June 6, 2020
    Yes, this just may be the moment of drama we Boomers have all been waiting for since Woodstock . People are realizing that a chan...
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  • SATORI - OF THE BATHROOM FLOOR
    May 10, 2020
    I tell people even today it was the best job I ever had, though then I was only 16 and had not had many.  As it turned out it was ...
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  • THE SHORT GOODBYE
    April 23, 2020
      After she got out of the bed she came back to say goodbye. The man was sitting up, his back against the headboard.  The lo...
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  • PRAGUE
    April 19, 2020
    It was when she yelled at him for making noise as he stumbled back to bed after a trip to the bathroom that Jack decided he had ha...
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  • THE COMMODIFICATION PANDEMIC
    April 6, 2020
      While worldwide “folks” are “hunkered down” in an effort to avoid an invisible plague, the main message of all this stuf...
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  • In Case You Had Forgotten
    February 24, 2020
    In case you had forgotten: You can never wander from your destined path. We are here to learn. Period.  
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  • THE OPIOID ODYSSEY
    January 2, 2020
    When we try to understand the opioid crisis, we need first to think about capitalism. It might be the best economic system yet des...
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  • An Angel's Gift
    December 7, 2019
    Be calm, my tired warrior The sun is already well over the horizon Damp leaves soften your steps through the forest And the clang ...
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  • OPIOIDS, BASKETBALL, AND THE HUMAN CONDITION
    September 29, 2019
    On the evening of June 16, 2013, before a screaming packed house witnessing the NBA finals in Miami, Florida, Ray Allen, standing ...
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  • AI IS AN OXYMORON
    May 16, 2019
    An oxymoron is a term or figure of speech in which one element appears to contradict the other. All current or former hippies have...
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  • Enough
    February 6, 2019
    Sometimes now I think that I am evolving into a misanthrope, a crank. Perhaps it is too much living alone, perhaps the lack of hav...
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  • BEFRIENDING THE WITNESSER
    December 27, 2018
    I remember, decades ago, when, as a child with a severe speech impediment I carefully observed the face of my listener as I strugg...
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  • WITNESS THE WITNESSER
    November 16, 2018
    The eye, gazing out, cannot turn upon itself. And yet, this impossible task, to witness oneself in the act of seeing, is essential...
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  • Further Ruminations on Oneness and Difference
    October 28, 2018
    It is likely that every moment in history appears to be the very time when humanity’s choices will determine continued evolution o...
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  • WHAT PASSES THROUGH
    September 3, 2018
    They say that the heirs of the gods pass over these hills And wiling through the trees and over the grasses and bush Take in what ...
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  • WHAT I LEARNED FROM BEING A STUTTERER
    July 30, 2018
    However apocryphal, I remember being told the that I learned to read before I could talk. That story was supported by a second one...
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  • LIBERATION IDENTIFICATION
    July 8, 2018
    From the perspective of liberation the questions, if not the answers, become clearer. Most importantly, one learns not to ask ques...
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  • SUDDENLY THE ANSWER
    June 14, 2018
    So, this morning while meditating I once again asked myself the classic spiritual questions: Who am I? And, Why am I here? I have...
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  • ONTOLOGICAL FARMING
    April 26, 2018
    As I learn a little more each day how to “be”, I understand again that the ultimate destiny for each of us is to love. What does i...
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  • THE BOOMERS'S PARTING GIFT
    April 19, 2018
    I’m back. Watching and being stimulated by another YouTube video with Thomas Campbell. Slowly getting the foundation of the My Big...
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  • THE FUNDAMENTAL STRUCTURE OF EXISTENCE - IN STEPS
    April 10, 2018
    1) What does it mean to be a human being? To have the capacity for DETACHMENT – to not (necessarily) be governed by base urges or ...
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  • TO MY FIRST TRUE VALENTINE
    February 15, 2018
    I have to admit It is strange to have a Valentine To barely discern the oval curve of your face In the dim light of morning And fe...
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  • ENERGY, COMING AND GOING
    January 17, 2018
    This morning while sitting in meditation my half-closed eyes suddenly fell upon a glimmer of light from a nearby pool of water as ...
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  • SURRENDER
    December 1, 2017
    So today, a middling overcast day in the middle of July, the sea ripples white and gray in the near distance and the trees and bus...
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  • THE CLEAR MIRROR
    May 25, 2017
    This morning’s understanding while meditating: The purpose of meditation is to strive to establish absolute clarity in reflecting ...
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  • MY SAD PRAYER FOR ALL SENTIENT BEINGS
    April 28, 2017
      Again I find myself Standing in Arjuna’s chariot Caught between the total commitment to God And the precious lure of id...
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  • EASTER GREETING
    April 17, 2017
    We are such ephemeral, transient, divergent creatures Worrying about eating, health insurance, body odor While within us a radiant...
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  • The Sabbatical
    March 10, 2017
    03-10-17 Hard to believe it is March already in my great self-funded sabbatical. Nonetheless the snow is wafting down outside the ...
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  • AUTUMN
    February 13, 2017
    It takes a lifetime to learn to feel at home On this Earth; to know that the storms and sudden buffeting winds The tremors of the ...
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  • IT'S A RIOT
    January 31, 2017
      When police arrived to break up a recent, loud student party at the University of New Hampshire they were not greeted with...
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  • MAKE SPACE FOR SPIRIT
    January 6, 2017
    Just the other day a psychiatrist friend of mine and I were talking about the roots of the drug crisis in America – you know, the ...
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  • ENTER THE NOW
    December 27, 2016
    So now as I inch my way toward closing at least the northern part of my great Vermont adventure, and advance toward the challenge ...
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  • THE TERRORISTS LESSON
    December 20, 2016
      As the sudden and cataclysmic events of September 11 still ripple around Afganistan, the Far and Middle East, Russian Geor...
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  • I AWAIT
    November 15, 2016
    I await Open, playing the nothing more Seeking only service To receive and present That which is manifest in me This openness is h...
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  • THE SECRET OF THE MEAT LOAF
    October 16, 2016
    I have an unfortunate affliction, very serious, and very specific in nature. I have no other illness, but this one can be quite a ...
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  • I WALKED THERE
    October 6, 2016
    I walked there, and I can walk back Through the woods along the path I came, trundling forward my presence In search of unity, of ...
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  • THE POWERFUL VICTIM
    September 20, 2016
    On a recent night I had a dream. At first I seemed to have the perspective of an omniscient observer, hanging over a room occupie...
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  • THE PRECARIOUSLY BALANCED BUDDHA
    September 2, 2016
    Today while again walking the mountain I was moved to ruminate upon Buddhism and its focus on the futility and hopelessness of exp...
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  • THE MEANING OF THE MAILMAN
    August 26, 2016
        My father was a mailman. A long, lean man when young, he walked his routes in good time. Back in those days, just after the w...
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  • AM I NOT?
    August 12, 2016
    Was I not put here to enact all that has been placed within me? To present to the eyes of God some slim aspect that has not yet b...
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  • THE FAMILY MATRIX
    July 28, 2016
    In this Matrix-mad day, when the battle for truth, honesty, and the nature of reality is fought is daily fought by fifteen year ol...
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  • The Writing Class
    July 11, 2016
    (1) The old building stood on a large lot just outside the center of the city; with money from stimulus grants renovations were un...
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  • THE HARDEST THING TO TALK ABOUT
    June 11, 2016
    Experts say you should talk to your kids about sex, about drugs, about driving like you’re being chased by the Terminator when you...
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  • THREE SHRINKS GO TO THE MOVIES
    May 30, 2016
    It was too good an opportunity for us to pass up: Three shrinks, a Muslim, a Jew, and a Christian, all simultaneously motivated to...
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  • TO LARA, THE FORMER OWNER OF THIS HOME
    May 20, 2016
    First of all, Greetings To you and to all who contributed to your being Your forbears and facilitators and purveyors Aunts and gra...
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  • A QUESTION OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS
    May 14, 2016
    All around the darkness is light The darkness is surrounded by light Around the darkness is light Surrounding the darkness is l...
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  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME
    May 7, 2016
    So on my 64th birthday I find myself continuing the eternal transition, still performing the tasks of the young sustaining dis...
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  • BAD NEWS/GOOD NEWS
    May 3, 2016
    She was seventy one years old, had never had a physical in her life, and ten minutes into the examination the nurse practitioner k...
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  • PRAGUE
    April 19, 2016
    It was when she yelled at him for making noise when he stumbled back to bed after a trip to the bathroom that Bob decided he had h...
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  • GRAVY
    April 16, 2016
    And giving the speech at a writer’s workshop to an awed audience after I publish the great book and let them know that in writing ...
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  • THE END THAT IS THE BEGINNING
    April 9, 2016
    I have long had the bad habit of reading in bed until I become drowsy; then I click off the light and slip into slumber.  This pra...
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  • GRAVY
    April 9, 2016
     And giving the speech at a writer’s workshop to an awed audience after I publish the great book and let them know that in writing...
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  • MY TREATISE ON EXISTENTIALISM
    April 4, 2016
    I am alone. At least, I must accept that. There were times when I had friends, spouses, children. All are gone, having slipped thr...
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  • WHAT I LEARNED FROM ERNEST
    April 2, 2016
    Like many others before and since I learned How to be both big and small from Ernest. And many have noted How very well he kn...
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  • PARABOLA
    March 27, 2016
    As your eyes settle on these words, and you turn the last blank page at the beginning of this book, a part of your consciousness h...
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  • FIVE MINUTES OF MEDITATION
    March 19, 2016
    FIVE MINUTES OF MINUTES OF MEDITATION I BREATH IN THROUGH THE CHAKRA OUTSIDE THE TREE OF LIFE REACHES FOR THE INFINITE I THINK ...
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  • THE FALCON'S GAZE
    March 17, 2016
    I usually read the newspaper in the evening but this day I read it in the morning and by 7:30 AM I was so stirred up I needed to b...
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  • ADVANCED FATHERING STRATEGIES: LESSON 1
    March 16, 2016
    It was not until I sat down in my brand-new pickup truck, complete with bed-liner and stainless-steel tie-downs and genuine Dodge ...
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  • THIS IS IT
    March 14, 2016
    As I was weaving through the traffic on the superhighway, dashing home after a long day spent rushing between hospitals, doing my ...
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  • FIVE MINUTES OF MEDITATION
    March 10, 2016
    FIVE MINUTES OF MINUTES OF MEDITATION I BREATH IN THROUGH THE CHAKRA OUTSIDE THE TREE OF LIFE REACHES FOR THE INFINITE I THINK ...
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  • TRAIL'S EVENING WALK UPON LOSING LOVE
    March 8, 2016
    Trail’s Evening Walk Upon Losing Love Mere yards above far yonder mountains The golden sun gives little warmth to the winter path...
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  • THE RIVER
    February 29, 2016
    Long ago, it’s true, I learned to be other than who I am I thought maybe it would help Others if not myself, if I spared them The ...
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  • VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES AND CYBERDREAMS
    February 29, 2016
    TO CYBERSLEEP, PERCHANCE TO CYBERDREAM Prudently turning away his eyes, my younger son thrust the bulky magazine toward me. Point...
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  • THE MYSTERIOUS MEN OF EARTH-2
    February 29, 2016
    THE MYSTERIOUS MEN OF EARTH-2 The ad for the new futuristic TV series Earth 2 said all you need to know about the present status ...
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  • THE ANGEL IS IN THE DETAILS
    February 29, 2016
    Michael J. Murphy, Ed.D.   THE ANGEL IS IN THE DETAILS   When police arrived to break up a recent, loud student part...
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  • LIGHTS IN THE SKY
    February 16, 2016
    Working in a prison, you wonder about truth.  Would an inmate’s story, if told from someone else’s perspective, sound completely d...
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  • IT IS NOW
    February 15, 2016
    To understand and accept the harmonious integration of everything It is now To accept that love is on its way in its time and is...
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  • MY HEART CRIES OUT
    February 8, 2016
    My heart cries out into the void Where all echo is consumed by space And rising and falling is the same A speck of light in the w...
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  • THE ECLIPSE
    February 8, 2016
    Okay. So it wasn't the last one The universe has reasons beyond our ken It was a matter, that damp day, Of vulnerability, patche...
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  • I GRIEVE FOR REALITIES UNCREATED
    February 8, 2016
    In the early morning As darkness still looms under the windowshades And, now old, I lie covered against the cold air I grieve for ...
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  • DREAMING
    February 8, 2016
    I have to stop dreaming Pretending that what might be is Following ethereal paths that lead To other ethereal paths. The leaves ar...
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  • LATELY MY LOVE LIFE HAS CHANGED
    February 8, 2016
    Lately my love life has changed From imagining conversations with women who have rejected me To imagining conversations with women...
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  • I SAID WHAT I SAID
    February 8, 2016
    From the book to the bedtable to the floor Her card slid – the one that in her simple hand Wished me well in my journey, which for...
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  • LET US NOT THINK
    February 8, 2016
    Let us not think about debilitation and death First thing in the morning First, take a long pee And notice the creeping, cracking ...
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  • WHAT DO I WANT?
    February 8, 2016
    What do I want? I want only to relax into the shared experience of now With you Feel your warm breath on my cheek Inhale the scent...
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  • FUDGE
    February 8, 2016
    I fudged a decent life out of the chaos of my childhood “Forged” is too strong a word for what I did raking the damp leaves for gr...
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  • THE WIND
    February 8, 2016
    It is good to stand in a high wind On a hill with a wide view of the world A tall strong being well planted to the earth When the ...
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  • THE COUCH
    February 8, 2016
    It occurred to me just now As I lay on the couch beneath a book Just beginning to drowse That I am a happier man than my father Wh...
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  • The Last Mistake I'll Make
    February 3, 2016
    So when I was out biking with the owner of the local bike shop I let him talk me into participating in the coming race, which his ...
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  • The Disappearing Father
    May 21, 2013
    It was last week that it finally got through my thick skull that something in our society has changed. There has been a fundamenta...
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  • The Strange Paths to Change
    May 21, 2013
    Among the varied categories of moral change, the jailhouse conversion may be the best known. A man who finds himself behind bars (...
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  • The Secret Cause of Youth Gangs
    May 21, 2013
    The nationally known FBI expert on youth gangs, doing a presentation at my workplace, talked about Crips and Bloods and hand signa...
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  • Doing the Small Things Right
    May 21, 2013
    There are some people who need to spend some time behind bars to gain a bit of wisdom, or, as Steve Miller put it so succinctly as...
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  • The Real Wisdom of the Galdiator
    May 21, 2013
    A most fortunate, and serendipitous, event of my life was seeing a Hollywood epic about an Italian who dispassionately chops his f...
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  • Hairdresser Lessons
    May 21, 2013
    I needed some advice about parenting the other day so I went to my most reliable source - the woman who cuts my hair. Now, if I w...
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  • The Most Terrible Divorce
    May 21, 2013
    Divorce is a terrible thing, and the most terrible divorce of all is your own. Oh, I know, many healthy post divorcees will trump...
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  • There's Got to Be a (Good) Lesson There Somewhere
    May 21, 2013
    It’s gotten to the point where even my adolescent children tell me to buck up, to put on a happy face even if I’m all busted up in...
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  • Divorce Dreams
    May 21, 2013
    Perhaps you have wondered about the night life of a middle aged divorced man. Here it is. He rolls over, in an empty house or apa...
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  • A Man's Home is Not His Castle
    May 21, 2013
    I recently ran into an old friend not seen for years and we fell into doing what guys do in these modern times; exchanging tales o...
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  • Marital Jihad
    May 21, 2013
    A few short months ago, I visited New York City with my family. We laughed and clapped at the circus, watched enrapt at a Broadway...
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  • Men Who Love Too Much
    May 21, 2013
    You know the drill; right after the new associate is hired your marriage partner begins spending late nights at the office, first ...
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  • Blowing Up the Nuclear Family
    May 21, 2013
    One of the hardest kernels to come out of the recently collated national census data is the fact that now less than one in four Am...
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  • The Complexity of Second Chances
    May 21, 2013
    Anyone who has read or seen Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove knows something about the complicated nature of second chances. The sto...
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  • Divorce as Struggle and Avoidance
    May 21, 2013
    People have been begging me not to write about divorce. But I can’t help it. My fingers dance over the keys, reflexively typing ou...
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  • Gender Battles Latest Update
    May 21, 2013
    I recently came across a review in the Atlantic magazine of two timely books; The Bitch in the House, authored by a prominent New ...
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  • The Kids Down Under
    May 21, 2013
    When carrying out my obligatory post-graduate European wanderings decades ago one thing I ran into a lot was Australians. These Au...
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  • Publish the Cartoons
    May 21, 2013
    Cartoons? What Cartoons? By now even peace-mongering, Volvo-driving suburban Massachusetts residents are aware that Muslims world...
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  • A World Without Limits
    May 21, 2013
    It was the kind of encounter with an adolescent that has become all too common. The child, upset about family problems or perhaps ...
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  • Step in Another Direction to Eliminate Domestic Violence
    May 21, 2013
    A recent Friday found me motoring along I-93; then, benefit of the marvelous MapQuest, north through small towns and hills crimson...
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  • The Greatest Show on Earth
    May 21, 2013
    I saw them there, in the back of the cupboard, hidden behind all the others as I hurriedly rummaged for a cup for my morning coffe...
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  • Stop Making too Much Sense
    May 21, 2013
    Earlier this month, in quick succession, two older men in the Boston area shot strangers with whom they had been involved in traff...
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  • Teen Terrorists
    May 21, 2013
    Though Cho Seung-Hui was not a teenager, he sure acted like one. Neuroscientists have made much of the relatively late myelinizat...
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  • Child America
    May 21, 2013
    A majority of Americans wax wroth, economists have long noted, when informed of the financial excesses of Big Government in Washin...
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