Relationships & Family


Do Babies Have a Moral Compass?

Is it possible that some babies are more moral than others? That babies are born with an innate moral inclination? That morality is biologically encoded and not learned over time? The short answers are: yes, apparently so, and let’s not get carried away. The new study which addresses these specific questions should interest anyone with kids, or anyone interested in how we help create a more decent world. After all, the future of our world depends largely on how humane and moral we are or can be. In fact, the study and......

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The Truth About Love

Americans will exchange close to $20 billion worth of flowers, jewelry, candy, stuffed-animals and cards this Valentine’s Day as an expression of romance and love. But Valentine’s Day is actually a double-edged sword. On the surface, we celebrate how committed, secure and passionately in love we are. The very fact of this holiday, and that we feel so much pressure to be romantic, reveals a deeper, more challenging truth. Our love for each other is always far more unstable, unpredictable, and fragile than we’re ready to admit. (For instance, four out of......

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God at the Grammys

In 2012, after much pre-show debate about the wisdom of mixing God with the Grammys, LL Cool J opened the Grammys with a prayer that seared heart and soul as he offered comfort in the face of Whitney Houston’s tragic death the day before. The emotional highlight of this year’s Grammys was also a religious moment. Whether you were one of the 27 million people who watched or not, by now you have surely heard about the group wedding in which 34 couples gay and straight and of various ages and ethnicities......

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The Museum of Broken Relationships

Yes, such a museum exists – launched in Zagreb, Croatia. In addition, the exhibits tour cities across the world. Nothing in our lives touches us, engages us, changes us, teaches us, devastates us and enchants us more deeply than our most intimate relationships. So now we have The Museum of Broken Relationships, dedicated to love’s end. The curators exhibit personal mementos donated by people who have broken up with someone, or whose hearts were broken by someone, and the objects are accompanied by descriptions that evoke memories and emotions and tell stories......

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The Art of Finding God in the Details

The devil is in the details. We’ve all heard it said so often. Less frequently heard, the original formulation was that God is in the details. Both are true! How? Why is it details can be sources of sacred insight and wisdom, yet also sources of hellish frustration? How can even the same details be absurd picayune minutiae sometimes, and fascinating particulars at other times? According to some wisdom traditions, details are the very things which we are meant to rise above. And yet, according to others, they are the very things......

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'Friday Night Tykes': How Much Should We Push Our Children?

When the NFL says a broadcast about football is difficult to watch because it is too violent, you know there is a problem. This is what the league said about Esquire Network’s Friday Night Tykes, a reality series following several teams of 8-and 9-year-olds in the Texas Youth Football Association.? The trailer shows ranting coaches and obsessive parents, who are essentially fast-tracking kids to head trauma. I kept thinking: I guess in Texas, as long as you pray, you can play to kill. This network’s portrayal of young boys engaged in grueling......

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The Politics of Pregnancy

Political struggles over pregnancy, the right to terminate it, when life begins, and who gets to make those decisions, are nothing new.? A case unfolding in Texas however, brings those struggles to a new level, one which invites us to ask important questions about the politics of pregnancy, and the value of planning for as good a death as possible. Marlise Munoz was 33 years old when she died on November 26th.? She had been placed on a ventilator in the course of the emergency response to a probable blood clot in......

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What Our Kids Learn From Us

What is great education all about? I don’t simply mean how do we get kids to achieve better grades. I mean, how do we get our children, or anyone else we’d like to have a positive influence on for that matter, to seriously engage in what we deem to be important? How do we effectively transmit our values, our traditions, our sense of what life is all about – you know, the stuff about which we care most – to our children? In fact, even if you don’t have kids or grandkids,......

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Rebuilding Relationships with Estranged Loved Ones

How can we rebuild relationships with loved ones from whom we’ve become estranged?? Let’s face it; if you have family, you almost certainly have relatives who fall into that category. Of course, I know that with some estranged family members, we’re more content to keep them at bay, and feel justified in doing so. (Although, even there, we should at least acknowledge that we do pay a cost for the estrangement.) But here, I’m talking about the breakdowns in relationships we really wish could be repaired. Most of us all have at......

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Does Love Make Us Stupid?

A recent study about people with relatively new significant others has come to the conclusion that being in love essentially makes you stupid – or, rather, less capable of distinguishing relevant from irrelevant information. We’ve all had romances, relationships or other emotional issues distract us from the task at hand. Is that type of preoccupation the equivalent of becoming dumber? Or could it be us getting smarter and re-focusing on our true priorities? According to one researcher, the results of the study prove that if you’re in a relatively new relationship, you’re......

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