The Art of Transcendence Over the Years, Part IV

A meaningful life is made up of more than a string of transportive moments, with dead space in between.

How and Why They Make Us Laugh

Even in the darkest depths, while he was a prisoner in Auschwitz, psychiatrist Viktor Frankl gave himself and a depressed colleague a homework assignment to think of a funny story every day.

The Art of Transcendence Over the Years, Part III

Our relationships become even more precious to us as we get older, even with our pets.

The Art of Transcendence Over the Years, Part II

Experiencing “the purest beauty” can be a transporting experience, taking us to another, lovelier, place even if all we’re doing is sitting in a park.

The Art of Transcendence Over the Years, Part I

There are as many ways of experiencing transcendence as there are people. It can be a religious experience of feeling close to God, or a non-religious but spiritual feeling of connectedness to other people, nature, or the universe, or it can refer to a secular experience of rising above a difficult situation. Sometimes, age can help us be more open to transcendence.

Scenes from Across the Ages

My seventeen year old son came home from school and announced to me, “My social studies teacher is really old.”

The House That's on Fire

You know, doc, he says, firemen make the best cooks.

What a Father Learned From His Adult Daughter

Everybody wants to know: What’s it like to write a book with your daughter?

The Savvy Reader's Guide to Science

The average person has more access than ever to cutting edge scientific research. But the downside is that with more information also comes more responsibility—and confusion—especially as research keeps reversing itself (eggs are bad for you, no, good for you, no…)

Tell Us Who You Are

After embarking on a whirlwind tour of six colleges in six days with my 11th grade son, I diagnosed myself with a new psychiatric condition —CAMP, or College Application Meshugas Psychosis.

Today's Smile: Extraordinary Beauty in Ordinary Life

Beauty on the street, on the screen and in the moon

Today's Smile: Something Cold and Something Cool

Two different kinds of cool for a cold January day.

Today's Smile: A Couple of Jokes

A couple of jokes for the end of the week.

Today's Smile: A Special Music Video

A homemade music video that inspired one person.

Today's Smile: Sometimes, Smiles Are Contagious

Smiles and laughter can be discovered suddenly.

Today's Smile: 10 Inspiring Quotes

Just a few words, that can have long-term impact.

Today's Smile: More Actual Headlines

Unfortunately phrased headlines.

Today's Smile c/o #Twitter

Laughter in 140 characters or less.

Today's Smile: The Special Love of Animals

Animals sometimes make the best people.

Today's Smile: More Children’s Books

More children's books that will never be published.

Today's Smile: Children’s Books

Sometimes life requires a darker sense of humor.

Today's Smile: Man and Meaning

The interaction between man’s creativity and the beauty of nature.

A Smile a Day (for One Month)

One smile, laugh, or thing of beauty for one month.

Today's Smile: Newspaper Headlines

My Smile a Day series continues with these funny newspaper headlines.

A Smile a Day

Today is the day to help all my friends—flesh and virtual—who need a smile to get through the day.

Cancer Envy

“Olga,” I said to my neighbor with tears in my eyes, “I have—breast cancer.” “So, who doesn’t?!” she said with a wink.

The Wisdom of 50 Years

In honor of my birthday, I choose to impart wisdom gleaned from 50 years of joy, suffering, and everything in between.

50 Years Already?

Now, even Oprah wants younger readers—like 20 years younger— according to the New York Times. And here I am, having the bad taste to turn 50 in just a few days, wondering who will want me as a reader. I guess I should be feeling pretty bad about getting older. I don’t.

New Ideas About Aging Are Really Old

Mr. S, a writer in his nineties, was asked to appear in court. His sons believed he was no longer competent to handle his estate.

The Transformation From Doctor to Patient

On Wednesday, June 28, 2006, I go from being someone who doesn't constantly wonder about when I am going to die to someone who does.