advice column

A slogan entitled “Passion,” which hangs in my office, states: “Many things will catch your eye. Only a few will catch your heart. Pursue those!” As men and women hurl themselves headlong into life, they are mostly driven by necessity, that which immediately appears to be essential, rather than by passion, which is the birth of one’s purpose for and in life. In fact, Americans have become so unaccustomed to the caring manifested by passion that they often associate passion with irrationality, bigotry, fanaticism or extremism.

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If then, hope is the foundation of passion and purpose, what is hope? The first element is the affirmation that the future is positive and good. For some, this is a difficult aspect of hope. Due to the loss of loved ones to death or estrangement, the future doesn’t look bright. For others, the irremediable consequences of choices or bad experiences make the future gloomy. Yet when we find someone else who needs us and when we recognize how precious life is, hope returns. If there are those who do not value us, there are those who do, or who will, or who can.

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Annie's Mailbox

Dear Annie:

I am married to a man with two children from a previous marriage. They are adults. My husband is 15 years my senior, and he married early the first time, so long story short, his children are only four and six years younger than I am. The problem is with his daughter.

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Annie's Mailbox logo

Dear Annie:

My granddaughter, “Melanie,” thinks that she has a half-sister 24 years younger.

Melanie believes that her father, long divorced from her mother, was asked by his former unattached girlfriend with whom he remained friendly, to “help” her have a child before it becomes biologically too late.

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