How Can We Grow Our Capacity to Love?

By Hannah P I have always been a peacemaker, eager to please. Even today, if you asked me to pick up a leaf on the sidewalk I'd bend over and grab it; only after doing so would I stop to ask why. Trusting others came naturally, but as I easily lived and loved I found many times that trusting people, loving people, and letting people love me ended in heartbreak and sadness. In high school I developed a motto that "everyone leaves" and built a wall around my heart where I hid my emotions and...
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What is the Meaning of Life?

By Jay V One day I was sitting on a glider swing under a huge Linden Tree. I was in high school struggling with thoughts, of who I was and what was I to do with my life. I was watching a pair of birds flying to and fro and feeding their young in a nest above me. I was down; I had few friends, found school difficult, and was wondering what the purpose of life was. As I watched the birds above me I wondered why wasn’t I like them? They seemed to have a great life: no troubles, no school, and...
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Who Am I?

By Inna B I was born in Russia and immigrated to the United States with my mother at age fourteen. I never had had to explicitly ponder my identity before, but suddenly one was assigned to me when I started high school in a small rural town in Florida. I was “that Russian girl,” “that foreign girl,” or “the girl with the funny accent.” My name was mispronounced in all ways possible. My personality or other qualities seemed to matter less than this new identity. Everything I did or said could ...
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Finding Happiness

By Lori F. I think if you asked a hundred random people to tell you what they really want out of life, the vast majority of them would say they want happiness. It’s a hot topic these days, generating a lot of research, a lot of books and articles, a lot of opinions. Google can produce nearly 100 million links on the secret to happiness in a third of a second. Happiness: A Choice Contrary to many loud messages from popular culture, and despite what our instincts might tell us, happiness isn’t d...
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What Did My Departed Loved One Teach Me?

By Patricia P The phone rang early that morning in our Japanese hotel room. My husband said a few words to the caller and then handed the phone to me. Who could be calling so early? Who could be calling at all? We were halfway between our temporary home in Asia and our permanent home in the US, on our way to a wedding, and our first reunion with Dad in almost five years.  And then the phone conversation filtered in to my confused brain, “Your father has died.” My father died? That can’t be...
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What Is True Happiness?

By Kody B. At the beginning of my sophomore year of high school I was at the stage in my life where all I wanted to do was to be seen, be cool, and be popular.  All I cared about is what people thought of me, how they reacted when I was around, and what people said about me. I was living what I thought was the “high life.” I had everything I wanted: friends, a great social life, and good grades. But was I really happy?  By my senior year I had some doubts.   I began to realize that this ki...
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