Articles written by Mitchell L. Luftig

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A thistle grows in my mind

Hate reminds me of a thistle: once it invades the mind it quickly propagates, showing up everywhere, and choking out other, more wholesome mental states. Once established, hate is difficult to uproot. When I practice daily mindfulness... — Updated 11/21/2023 Full story


Scared to run out of time

When did the choices get so hard with so much more at stake? Life gets mighty precious when there’s less of it to waste. Scared to run out of time. — “Nick of Time,” Bonnie Raitt My wife was waiting in the Pine Marten lift line at Mt. Bac... — Updated 10/3/2023 Full story


We are all storytellers

We may not think of ourselves as storytellers, but each of us has crafted a unique story that reminds us of who we are, our place in the world, and what we can expect from others. To be human is to be both playwright, director, and lead... — Updated 5/4/2023 Full story


Recovering from burnout

When I feel utterly exhausted and every obligation seems overwhelming, I know I’m burned out. According to the Unease Modulation Model formulated by Joseph Apaia, M.D. and others, burnout occurs when we have exhausted our long-term energy r... — Updated 2/21/2023 Full story


How to save a life

Across the U.S., 60 percent of firearm deaths are suicides. In Oregon, 81 percent of firearm deaths are from suicide. More than half of the individuals in Oregon who take their lives use a firearm (with a 10 percent survival rate, firearms... — Updated 10/4/2022 Full story


Inoculating children against conspiracy theories

We are sense-making creatures, trying our best to understand the world we live in. But how do we make sense of mass shootings and gun deaths on the rise, a global pandemic endangering our health, Islamic militants who threaten our way of... — Updated 7/12/2022 Full story


Renew the ban on assault-style weapons

The semiautomatic rifles that have been used in 23 percent of mass shootings in the United States are variations of the AR-15 “assault-style rifle.” According to an NPR report, “In 1963, the U.S. military selected Colt to manufacture the a... — Updated 6/14/2022 Full story


Finding the middle way

According to the Pew Research Center, social trust is a belief in the honesty, integrity, and reliability of others — a “faith in people.” “Levels of social trust, averaged across a country, predict national economic growth as power... — Updated 5/24/2022 Full story


Building social capital to address the threat of wildfire

The pandemic has revealed a growing rift in Sisters Country between those who trust government institutions and view state mandates as necessary to combat COVID-19, and those who generally distrust government and believe mandates only serve... — Updated 4/5/2022 Full story


Sleep and the pandemic

Even before the pandemic, more than 50 million Americans suffered from a sleep disorder, most commonly insomnia — trouble falling or staying asleep, waking early or throughout the night, or poor sleep quality. Since the pandemic... — Updated 3/22/2022 Full story


To mask or not to mask when mandate is lifted

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently introduced an online tool at to help you decide whether to continue to wear a mask in indoor public spaces so that you can reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19.... — Updated 3/8/2022 Full story


The magic elixir

I am going to tell you about a magic elixir that if taken regularly will: 1.?Reduce the buildup of toxins in your brain. 2.?Control inflammation, which may reduce the likelihood of developing certain cancers. 3.?Boost your immune system.... — Updated 3/1/2022 Full story


Evolution and free-rider anxiety

You wish you could be more present in your relationships, to achieve deeper connections, but a nagging worry about what others think of you keeps getting in the way. Evolutionary forces that shaped our ancestors’ brains, enabling them to s... — Updated 11/30/2021 Full story


What unites us...

If we strip away all of our differences, we discover that each of us shares a wish to be happy and content, free from hardship and suffering. How different groups go about achieving this end divides us, but these most fundamental... — Updated 10/19/2021 Full story


Resilient Sisters must be ambidextrous

I was entering Sisters’ Bi-Mart, holding the door open for a young man to enter. When he noticed that everyone else was masked, he grumbled that he would never shop at Bi-Mart again, and left. He is among a minority of Sisters Country r... — Updated 10/12/2021 Full story


Understanding each other

Judging by recent letters to the editor in The Nugget, some residents of Sisters Country who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 are running out of patience with those who resist vaccination and mandates to wear masks in public spaces,... — Updated 8/31/2021 Full story


Pause before sending

The false perception — spread through social media — that the local McDonald’s franchise in Sisters refused to feed hungry wildland firefighters led some in Sisters Country to respond with anger, moral outrage, and a desire to p... — Updated 8/10/2021 Full story


Living with purpose

When we live our lives according to personally meaningful values and goals — especially those that transcend self-interest — happiness usually follows. I love being silly with my granddaughters, following their lead in our play.... — Updated 6/29/2021 Full story


Choosing wisely which seeds to water

Imagine that you are standing in the middle of a tilled garden, watering can in hand, contemplating two types of seeds lying dormant in your soil. One seed, when watered, produces a toxic weed, from whose leaves a mild poison can be... — Updated 5/25/2021 Full story


Happiness and well-being

Since 2005, residents of 153 nations have been asked each year by the Gallup World Poll to imagine their current position on a ladder with steps numbered from zero to 10, where the top represents the best possible life and the bottom the... — Updated 3/2/2021 Full story


Using state mandates to fight the pandemic

Governor Kate Brown of Oregon has relied upon a combination of public education and executive orders to fight the coronavirus pandemic. In contrast, Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota told the Wall Street Journal, December 7, 2020, that:... — Updated 1/19/2021 Full story


Vaccine is critical to ending pandemic

Like everyone else, early in the pandemic I was terrified of the “novel corona virus” as it hopscotched across the U.S. leaving bodies in its wake. The fact that so little was known at that time about how the virus was spread helped to fue... — Updated 12/23/2020 Full story


Bridging our divides

Reading The Nugget’s “Letters to the Editor” I have been struck by the frequency with which people of opposing political viewpoints find it so difficult to disagree without becoming disagreeable. I fear that the increasingly rancorous tone... — Updated 11/24/2020 Full story


Gratitude is critical to well-being

During challenging times it is helpful to remind ourselves that we still have reasons to be grateful. But many of us — even in the best of circumstances — find it difficult to sustain a feeling of gratitude. There are important... — Updated 9/16/2020 Full story


Conditions for happiness exist in your life

In “The Happiness Advantage” Shawn Achor points out that it is a short-sighted individual who postpones their happiness until a particular marker of career success has been achieved, such as a big promotion. Not only does this person mis... — Updated 7/22/2020 Full story


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