Preface to Short Essays

Many of these shorter essays were written to my children when they were in college and afterwards.  I found it gratifying that they came to me with their important questions, and I felt an obligation to provide the best answer I could.  I didn’t fully understand the importance of what I was doing until one of my son’s friends was staying with us during a school break.  During an informal discussion, he quoted from an essay I had sent my son.  Only then did I learn that he had been circulating these essays among his friends who had been discussing them together.  Wow, I thought, they actually do listen!  At that point, I felt that sharing them more broadly might be a reasonable thing to do.