I was a “problem gambler” in my 20s, playing the fruit machines (one-armed bandits) in the West End of London, day in and day out. On the occasional time when I managed to leave victorious over the odds, the glow of victory was short-lived.
Britain’s government under Prime Minister Theresa May has decided that state-regulated gambling may be out of control. One sign: Personal losses from gambling rose 12 percent in 2015.
Why does “#prayfor” have such staying power? This begs the further question of what prayer is, and whether it can truly lead to help and healing. Many people around the world, including me, have found that indeed it can.
A popular hashtag on Twitter these days starts with #prayfor, followed by the place of a major tragedy, such as #prayforAleppo or #prayforOrlando. In the United States, major media have begun to take note of the high number of prayer services held in religious institutions, especially after such tragedies.
I am so inspired by the account of the Nigerian woman photographing her people’s strength and joy, encouraging them to rise above hopelessness, to uphold their dignity, and to help one another (see editorial on facing page). No matter how difficult our circumstances may be, we can turn away from hopelessness to something greater and more powerful.
Nigeria’s war on the jihadist group Boko Haram is largely succeeding, bringing a relative calm to the country’s devastated northeast. Since 2009, the insurgents have killed more people than the Islamic State has in the Middle East.
“That’s unjust!” That was how I reacted when I learned that my school was going to charge me for damage I hadn’t caused. Many of us have no doubt felt aggrieved in this way or felt compassion toward others being treated unfairly.
This past fall, one of South Africa’s most popular figures, Thuli Madonsela, ended her term as Public Prosecutor after seven years of taking on powerful figures—including President Jacob Zuma—for corruption. Her popularity stems in large part from a widespread hope in post-apartheid South Africa to not only give all citizens a democratic say in determining the laws but also to treat all people equally before the law, especially those in high office.
Several times a week I play tennis with a woman who by her own admission is 86. On a regular basis she beats the rest of us including those half her age.
Last year the Japanese cosmetics maker Pola hired a woman over one hundred years old. The company already employs thousands of workers in their 80s and 90s.