Brave New World

Brave New World

By Tom Robotham When I was in Oxford, England last summer, I stumbled upon a pub named “Old Tom.” How could I resist? Inside it was as pleasant as any pub could be: small but not cramped; a well-crafted but unpretentious bar; a few tables, and a few smiling people....
Cultivating Empathy

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...
Life Out of Balance

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...
Remembering Joe Porfert

Remembering Joe Porfert

By Tom Robotham   I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel. I focus on the pain, the only thing that’s real. The needle tears a hole, the old familiar sting. Try to kill it all away, but I remember everything. ~ Trent Reznor.   In the summer of 2014,...
Let Freedom Ring

Let Freedom Ring

By Tom Robotham   On September 3, The New York Times published an article about renewed efforts in China to instill patriotism into the hearts and minds of its school children. “Sparkling red stars and bloody tales of military sacrifice accompanied 200 million...
Moment of Reckoning

Moment of Reckoning

By Tom Robotham   On July 25, as the Democratic National Convention was getting underway, news broke that an armed man in the Larchmont section of Norfolk had barricaded himself inside his house after police came to question him on suspicion of vandalism. In a...