THE SEAMLESS vision of life, as the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin once noted, is the only way to ensure individual dignity. We are only as strong as the weakest links in our human chain, so the way we treat the young, the sick and the elderly is the truest bellwether of our evolution as a compassionate society.
Christine Flowers: I do have a bone to pick with those who believe that we are, in fact, an island in this beautiful country and that we can isolate ourselves by whatever means necessary from the rest of the world with hyperbole, bad science and flawed public-health policies.
BACK IN THE mid-1960s, my aunt's husband did what a lot of other husbands (and wives) did with spouses who no longer filled their wish lists: traded her in for a younger model. Given the fact that my aunt was not even 30 at the time, you could rightly say that her eventual ex was a bit picky. In fact, given the age of the shiny new model he ended up choosing, Uncle "Johnny" was dangerously close to being known as "Uncle Holmesburg."
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about getting older. I'm not yet old, at least not by the standards of a society that has been so profoundly influenced by the Boomers, my generation. We have refused to succumb to the biological certainty of decay and decline, and have pulled pop culture along with us.
I MAKE NO secret of the fact that I'm (an imperfect) Catholic. That makes for interesting conversations with strangers who know me only by what I've written, particularly former Catholics who still can't believe I go to Mass. So many of them wonder why I don't speak out against the horrible scourge of child abuse that became one of the preferred media obsessions over the past decade and a half.
I DID NOT have a Dickensian childhood. I had more than enough to eat, unlike orphaned Oliver Twist. I had the love and attention that was denied to poor little David Copperfield. I was not forced to scavenge in graveyards, like Pip from Great Expectations. All in all, it was much more Brady Bunch than Bleak House.
See Christine Flowers on Channel 6's "Inside Story" Sunday at 11:30 a.m.