COMMENTARY: Working to Teach Character Together

When I talk to parents and teachers about the role of schools in teaching character someone usually points out that character development is and should be the primary concern of parents. Who can argue with that? Many of the attitudes and habits that make up character are learned at home. But they’re learned elsewhere as well — on the school …

COMMENTARY: The Power of Kindness

I’ve mentioned before that, despite my great admiration for people who are instinctively and consistently kind, kindness does not come naturally to me. Yet the older I get, the more I agree with Abraham Heschel, who said, “When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.” Henry James was more emphatic when …

COMMENTARY: Making the Best of Family Relationships

For most of us, there’s something both wonderful and worrisome about large family gatherings. On the good side, we often can experience real pleasure in spending time with relatives with whom we have so many common memories. What’s more, being with parents, siblings, and cousins who have known us since childhood often helps us see ourselves