Books That Inspire

Are you a reader? If so what genres or authors do you like?

Did you read as a child? Were you read to? Have you read to your own children?

What books have inspired you, and in what ways?

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Fears and Phobias

Many of us have fears or phobias – either legitimate or exaggerated.

Are you afraid of flying, or of dogs or spiders or snakes?

Are you phobic about being in an enclosed space, or in a crowd, or about germs?

Have you ever tried to overcome these issues –  with or without success?

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Pills

From shamanism to science, from plants to placebos,  we humans look beyond our bodies to cure illness, ease psychic pain, or alter reality.  And as we age, we turn more frequently to pharmacies and prescriptions.

What lurks in your medicine chest? Is it empty or overflowing with little plastic bottles? Do you feel secure as you swallow your morning dose, or do you curse your fate? And have you ever followed Jefferson Airplane’s advice to “Feed your head”?

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TV That Inspired Me

Notwithstanding Newton Minow’s classic 1961 skewer of television as “a vast wasteland”,  or Marie Winn’s critique of TV in her 1977 book The Plug-In Drug,  what were two or three shows that provided you inspirational bounty as you grew from adolescence to adulthood,  and why?

Or maybe that televised inspiration hit you a little earlier or later in life and caused you to think about changing direction?

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Acquired Tastes

As a kid, were you told that some of the foods you refused to eat were “acquired tastes?” Later, did you find that you liked them?

Beyond the broccoli on your plate, have you found that you’ve grown to like or even love other once-unsavory slices of life?

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City vs Suburbs

Do you love the city?  Are you energized by the hustle and the bustle,  the rush of the people on the sidewalks,  and the noise of the traffic in the streets and in the shops and restaurants?  Do you like the anonymity of the urban life?

Or do you prefer the relative quietness of life in the suburbs or in small towns with only a screen door between you and your neighbors?

Or does an even more rural lifestyle attract you?

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Mending Fences

From childhood we’ve learned that part of life is losing and misplacing friendships,  and then making efforts to reunite and make amends.

Some friendships break up over disagreements or wrong choices – real or perceived – that are made.  And sometimes life just takes you down different roads until one day you meet again.

Do you remember a friendship lost until the two of you managed to patch things up,  or managed to track each other down after many years,  or across many miles?   Or are you still hoping for that to happen before it’s too late?

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My Real Estate Story

We all have a real estate story — the house you bought for a song or that great rent-controlled apartment with the river view.

Or the fixer-upper that milked you dry, the roof that leaked, or the sink hole in the backyard, the noisy upstairs neighbor you took to court and the landlord or the tenant from Hell.

Or that lucky day you found your dream house!

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Pain

Surely we’ve all had pain in our lives — both physical and mental.

By definition pain is an unpleasant sensory or emotional experience associated with actual or potential damage to one’s bodily or mental health.  And because pain is an individual and completely subjective experience, no two people respond or tolerate it in the same way.

What kind of pain — either physical or emotional — have you endured? Was it alleviated? If so, how?

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Family Relationships

It is said, “Blood is thicker than water.”,  and  “Family first.”

But we’re also told , “You can pick your friends,  but you can’t pick your family.”

Which is it in your family?  Or have you had both loving as well as strained relationships with your parents,  or with your own children?    Or with siblings,  cousins,  aunts,  uncles,  or in-laws?

Have there been estrangements or feuds in your family,  and if so have they been resolved?

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