Robotham articles

Paris Redux

By Tom Robotham During a recent trip to Paris, as I noted last month in this space, I was reminded of Woody Allen’s observation that no single work of art can ever compare with a great city—for in great cities, “every street…is its own special art form.” Since then, I’ve been reminded that encountering such

The American People

By Tom Robotham I have a lot of pet peeves. But if I had to pick one that stands out above all others, it would be the abuse of the phrase “the American people.” You know what I’m talking about: The tendency of politicians to proclaim that “the American people want” this or that, “believe”

The Music of Democracy

By Tom Robotham   It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… ~ Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.   The day after the Women’s March on Washington, a man I know was asked by a mutual friend why he’d gone. “For my daughter,” he said. Fair enough. I went

Cultivating Empathy

By Tom Robotham   Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant? ~ Henry David Thoreau   Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about empathy. We tend to regard it as a quality that some people have and others don’t. But it seems to me

Life Out of Balance

By Tom Robotham One night a few weeks ago, while I was scrolling through Facebook, a meme on a friend’s page caught my eye. At the top, printed over a photograph of a forest, were the words, “This is an antidepressant.” At the bottom, over a photo of some pharmaceuticals, were the words, “This is

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