To the countless Americans who are unemployed, I have this to say to you. Do not lose hope. You are our hope. In you lies the promise of our future. And as long as your gifts and talents are not being employed for the betterment of our civil society then the promise of our future is lost.
In this view, our selves are far more extensive than we've been led to believe. They extend beyond our own bodies to include what we think of as other selves and the world. We live in the minds of others, and they in ours.
Because untold suffering has been licensed by presumed superiority, my nominee for the most important takeaway from the 20th century is the hard-won realization that applying the superior/inferior distinction to persons or peoples is specious.
The word "self" carries strong connotations of autonomy, individuality, and self-sufficiency. It's as if it were chosen to mask our interdependence. It's hardly an exaggeration to say that in buying into this notion of selfhood, humankind got off on the wrong foot.
If science and religion cooperate to uphold and extend dignity, and left and right remove the inequities that thwart fair competition, we can build a global society that's as close to heaven as we need.
Our challenge is to get out of the 1972 mindset, and create a system of care for the present and beyond that offers a range of financial options to protect individuals and families from having to spend all of their assets to pay for long-term care needs.
Many insist that man's predatory practices are undiminished and ineradicable. But an opposing trend is becoming visible. While admitting that "the arc of the moral universe is long," Martin Luther King Jr. believed that "it bends toward justice."
What people really want in relationships is dignity, not domination. While it's not hard to understand why people who have suffered oppression might fantasize taking a turn at domination, to actually do so is to over-reach.
The sorry performance of the 112th Congress brought the perception of this once-esteemed body to what is probably an all-time low. If the 113th replicates the behavior of the 112th, Congress' prestige will be driven so far underground that it will never again be resurrected.
There are enough real-life struggles of poverty, illness, abuse, so that we need each other in order to create supportive, nurturing communities, not invest in violence or commit ourselves to combative ways of relating.
When Grandma Mollie finally decided to get home-care, she found a caregiver in her community to assist her with certain tasks. In a few weeks, she fired the caregiver, after accusing her of misplacing and then stealing her eyeglasses. She found someone new.
I lost my mother about eight months ago, but she will be 99 in early February. This is the result of dementia. The woman she was is gone. The mother I knew can be reached neither by her conscious awareness nor by all my wishing that I could penetrate her darkening mind.
Even if gay marriage were legalized, discrimination outlawed and all the freedoms of one enjoyed by all, our problems would linger. To truly win, we must win the right way. We need to set a good example for gay youth, and we need to display the dignity our enemies deny us.
I have seen many Senators come and go and I have no doubt that if elected Elizabeth Warren would be the conscience of the Senate. Because she speaks for the best in you -- and me -- and Massachusetts -- and America.