Jim Freedman

Façades and fantasies

Donald J. Trump might have experienced financial or personal failures before and he has explained them away. But he has never been fired before.

How do you know when's it's time to step back, sit down, or go home? When do you know the job is done?

These questions confront almost every working person no matter the field; athletic, corporate, professional, or public (as in politician). Eventually, we all must face our own work mortality - hopefully, long before our actual one.

People work for many reasons: status, power, wealth, community, or simple survival. Most have faced mini-retirements during our careers, some voluntary, some not. It is unusual to find someone who has not been laid off, transferred, fired, or “externally repositioned” during their working life.

But the challenge of facing the big one - when you go home forever - is not something that most do well or are well-prepared for, especially if you have your personal and professional identity so intertwined that you are afraid that you might not know who you are and might be afraid to confront that person you don't know well - you.

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The election is over, but what do we do now?

‘There is no middle ground on which to stand anymore. You are either for or against, with no fraternization permitted. The time when reasonable people could disagree reasonably seems long gone.’

On our most recent walk, my wife and I passed by the house of one of our neighbors, whom we have known for about seven years. We have gotten to know them fairly well over the years, we have met their grown children, and we have had pleasant conversations...

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What Trump could learn, if he were open to the possibility that he might have something to learn

The stark contrast between the leadership style and behavior of one of the greatest U.S. generals and presidents of the 20th century and our current White House resident draws our attention like a car wreck on the highway

In this season of autumnal changes, one can look back and remember some of the most challenging changes in the history of the world and modern South Korea. In September of 1950, 70 years ago, one of the most important events of the Korean conflict took place in Iuncheon...

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Living the slow life

I chose to move to Brattleboro because of its location in Vermont, its relative nearness to Boston, its four-season climate (five, including mud), and the diversity of its people and culture. Having coffee in the morning on my sunrise-facing deck gives me a daily affirmation of my choice. When I first arrived, I read a lot in the local papers about living slow. At first glance, compared to my previous life in urban centers around the world, I thought that...

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A simple lesson in grassroots democracy

While my wife is teaching at a major university in Hangzhou, China, the recent site of the G20 conference, I am spending my time enrolled in the university's intensive Chinese language and culture program. I am the oldest student in my class by a multiple of two, if not three, times the next oldest student. Although we have lived here since September, we are still getting to know our neighborhood, and our neighbors. There are very few Americans around and...

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