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A Living History

Smithsonian museum

Is a museum made for the extinct? Or for those trying not to end up that way? We often think of museums as preserving antiquities—a memory, a tribute to those who have gone before. And it is true that if we don’t give importance to the things of the past, …

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Bridge Over Troubled Waters

bridge

Often in our lives we must cross over “troubled waters” and need a bridge to get us there. At two defining moments during my youth, my metaphorical bridge was also a real one: the Paradise Island Bridge in the Bahamas. As I was researching background for my story, exploring my …

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Enduring Memories That Sustain

memories that sustain

Two childhood memories remind me how we use our personal stories to live the best lives possible. The first of these memories is of a soccer game when I was nine or ten years old. It was a hot summer day in Haiti, around five or six in the afternoon, …

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Keeping in Touch: Childhood Memories and the Recall System

childhood memories

Keeping in Touch With Our Roots: Using the Memory Recall System to Retain Childhood Memories At times we have all felt the need to keep certain memories alive, but for various reasons, conscious or unconscious, we do not want to write them down. Our autobiographical memory allows us to keep these …

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Before Twelve

I am grateful for the way my medical training has allowed me to develop a deeper understanding of the human experience. In a certain sense, it has given me tools that I have been able to use in my own search to figure out where I belong and how to …

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Cultural Roots and the Pursuit of Happiness

Cultural Heritage

We would all like to be more financially stable, to be healthier, to have better relationships with people we enjoy being around and who also love being around us. One of the most important steps we can take to achieve this happiness is maintaining our cultural heritage. Keeping our historical …

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A Deeper Connection

Once I began writing down my memories, I could finally relive them in my mind. Yet there was always a distance that separated me from a deeper understanding of what had made me and where I belonged. Even as I wrote, I felt a nagging need to reconnect with my …

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My Reason to Write

haiti earthquake

Several months after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, I called up J/P HRO, a relief organization founded by Sean Penn following the disaster. I wanted to volunteer to serve as a primary care physician (Haiti did not have an infrastructure for neuropsychiatry, my specialty), and I spent ten days volunteering in …

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Building a Community of Friends

Building a Community of Friends

From my own life and my professional work, I know that childhood memories and experiences are central to who we are today. The future may be uncertain, but insight into our heritage will help us better understand how to deal with the present and move into the future. We all …

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Why Did I Decide to Write This Story?

Why I Decided to Write This Story

For twenty years, it was as if I forgot who I was and where I came from. I was trapped in the midst of a whole new culture and language—and everything else that went with moving to a foreign land. I had no time for introspection. Any questions I had …

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