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Keeping Our Eyes On The Road…

We bought a new… well “pre-owned” car this morning.

It’s not blue, like the one you see here. Ours is silver.

It’s a 2008 Subaru Impreza 2.5i with All Wheel Drive ~ in mint condition.

We had invaluable help…

We couldn’t have accomplished this without the expertise and enthusiasm of one of our dearest, closest friends who loves nothing more than “looking for, looking at and test driving cars,” as he said.

“The fact that I can indulge this guilty pleasure and help dear friends at the same time is a bonus.”

We’re the richest, luckiest people in the world with such friends. And we’re very excited as this car is exactly what we wanted and needed.

Now, we’re closing this chapter in our lives…

This is how we manage, Marty and I. We have short memories and we don’t dwell on the negatives ~ instead, we stay in the present, focus forward on the future and on the positives of our relationship.

We work on living in the present and learning from each other ~ listening  more…

Especially me.

Thank you for all your comments. Marty was touched by your words.

Now, we’re staying in the present and facing forward. That’s our modus operandi. There will be other challenges, for sure. What is life if not a series of mountains to climb ~ or at best, hills. Who says life is fair? But with each challenge, we grow closer. And we’ve had our share.

That said, on to another much more pressing issue…

If you have not yet read it, I want to draw your attention to one of the featured posts on Psych Central this week by Dr. Ronald Pies, a regular contributor to World of Psychology, as well as to The New York Times and many other academic psychiatric journals. He is a prolific writer and well-published on many subjects and in several genres.

Here is his biographical profile. It barely scratches the surface…

Ronald Pies MD is a psychiatrist affiliated with Tufts University School of Medicine and SUNY Upstate Medical University. He is Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Psychiatric Times and author of Everything Has Two Handles: The Stoic’s Guide to the Art of Living, Becoming a Mensch, and his latest book, The Judaic Foundations of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Dr. Pies’s full disclosure information may be found at

I urge you to read his essay titled The Arizona Shootings: A Recurrent American Tragedy and also to read the comments ~ 17 thus far. Dr. Pies writes as “a concerned citizen,” he says. He and I have been acquainted for several years, as writers and investigators in the realm of mental and emotional health and well-being. Such complexities. So many questions. Nothing is simple. Nothing is black and white. I am always inspired by his wisdom, intellect, insights, perspective and particularly his candour. Among psychiatrists, the breadth of his knowledge, his honesty, integrity and openness are rare, indeed.

Dr. Pies reminds me of my own psychiatrist, Dr. Bob…

They are, as it happens, very similar in their approach to psychotherapy, though Dr. Pies is now concentrating more on his writing than on his clinical practice, though he continues to teach.

I am using a chapter from one of his latest books, Becoming a Mensch, in my course this term. It discusses, Respecting Others and Ourselves ~ a subject difficult to find discussed with the grace, balance and empathy that underlines all of Dr. Pies writing. I know my students will find his work compelling. He is a true polymath. I have read his volumes of poetry, short stories and several other of his books. All, I keep on my bedside table because, quite frankly, they help calm me down and sleep soundly and peacefully ~ more than any drug.

We spoke, this week, at the height of my latest little chaos…

Nothing in my life compares to the national angst, stress, furor, confusion and sadness provoked by the Arizona shootings ~ we spoke on the telephone for about a half an hour. We share an overwhelming feeling of awe, I sense, at how much we do not know. (Though trust me, Dr. Pies’ knowledge far outstrips mine in every conceivable way.)

We’re both parched for answers to questions that seem unanswerable, right now. We’re both anxious about how much we want to learn. He says this feeling is a sign of true wisdom. This sense I have increasingly that the more I learn the less I know. It’s mind-bloggling.

And trust me, I am not wise. I never feel wise. Especially when there is so much more I want to learn, to read, to discover. Never enough time. Our conversation ended with President Barack Obama’s televised speech on Wednesday night.

Reading Dr. Pies essay may help you to process your own feelings of confusion, disorientation, fear…

If, for no other other reason, reading Dr. Pies essay may help you to process and view the Arizona shootings and other disturbing acts of violence more thoughtfully, offering, perhaps more insight and a broader context. It may also inspire, as it did in the comments, more questions that cry out for answers and consideration. Several crucial questions about the link between mental disorders and violence are discussed in the essay and again in the comments. These questions haunt me, as you will see.

In general, his beautifully written and researched essay ~ note all its references ~ offers one of the most balanced analysis I have read on this “recurrent American tragedy.” It prompted a number of very complex questions from you, questions not often broached in the mainstream media. They should be.

Dr. Pies addresses many of them, stressing the desperate need for more education of the media, the academy, the general population, everyone ~ you and I ~ rather than the fast and frequently irrational, unfair, biased, emotional, knee-jerk and angry reactions you see and read in the media.

We all must take responsibility for knowing more, learning more, listening more, breaking down our own negative stereotypes, opening our minds to new ideas, changing our minds and engaging in a dialogue that is thoughtful, reflective, pensive and compassionate.

Me, too. I have so much to learn. You help me so much and I thank you for constantly sharing your wisdom with us, here.

Keeping Our Eyes On The Road…

Sandy Naiman

Sandy Naiman is a Toronto freelance journalist.

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APA Reference
Naiman, S. (2011). Keeping Our Eyes On The Road…. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 26, 2020, from


Last updated: 16 Jan 2011
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