Archives for General
I like the smell of smoke. Here in southern California, when that distinct scent wafts through my windows and doors, it usually means that one of my neighbors is grilling on their deck. A few nights ago, though, the smell of smoke just kept getting stronger and stronger.
There was a time when schizophrenia was blamed on bad mothering (“schizophrenogenic mother”), when some believed that racial differences in I.Q. were entirely genetic, and when it was almost unheard of to use studies of twins as a way of understanding profound questions about nature and nurture. All that and more changed significantly, thanks in large part to the career contributions of the brilliant scholar, Irving Gottesman. When he died on June 29, 2016, the mark he made on the fields of psychology and psychiatry merited a lengthy obituary in the New York Times.
[Bella’s intro: There are so many things wrong with the scare story served up to single people about how they will die alone. But that particular threat seems to have some real staying power, so it needs to be challenged over and over again. Someone I have long admired wrote a particularly insightful challenge and gave me permission to share it with you here. She does not want me to use her name, so I’m going to refer to her as ‘Think Again.” Today marks the beginning of Unmarried and Single Americans Week, and this thoughtful essay is a great way to get it started.]
The third full week of September, September 18-24, is National Singles Week (more formally known as Unmarried and Single Americans Week). In some ways, this has been a good year for insightful and enlightening stories about single people. In fact, just yesterday (September 17, 2016), Fusion published “Meet the people who want to be single forever.” Earlier, New York magazine gave us “The new science of single people” and a story in the Huffington Post, “Research says single people – wait for it – live rich, meaningful lives,” was shared on Facebook more than 50,000 times. Over at the TED blog, readers learned about “The price of being single.”
A professor of philosophy looked into the lives of the most influential philosophers in history, and found that many of them had something in common. He sees their commonality as a problem that cries out for a solution.
I wish I could say that it is hard to find examples of singlism – the stereotyping, stigmatizing, and discrimination against single people. Unfortunately, singlism is relentless. It ranges from the subtle to the shocking. And it is often practiced unselfconsciously even by respected intellectuals and ordinary people who pride themselves on being open-minded and totally untainted by prejudice.
When you are away from home – for example, when traveling for work – will you go out on your own? Will you go out to restaurants on your own, go out exploring or to local attractions, or maybe try to meet with others if you know people in the place you are visiting?
I am in awe of Olympic athletes. The commitment they show with their bruising training schedules is impressive. So is their stunning level of skill. On top of all that, the Olympic opportunity occurs just once every four years. The pressure once they get there seems almost unfathomable. The athletes who make it to the Olympics deserve to bask in their moment – especially (but not only) if they make it to the medals podium. The Olympic games, and the medals ceremonies, should be all about the athletes and their amazing achievements. But, of course, they are not. Matrimania – the over-the-top hyping of marriage, coupling, and weddings – is greedy. It saturates society, seeping into every nook and crevice. And now it has spoiled the Olympics, too.
Insights from Guest Blogger Professor Jaclyn Geller