Gladys Kravitz

I know I’m dating myself here, but as a kid I watched a show on television about a witch. The main character was always performing magic and her husband was often trying to hide the results.

Who wants the world to know you’ve married a witch?

What kind of societal backlash might rain down for that transgression?

All the while, nosy neighbor Gladys peeped out her curtains from across the street.

I’m sure the show taught many lessons about navigating life, but one that really sticks in memory is that peeping out the curtains was not a trait I aspired to emulate.


This morning I was reading through a letter that Henry James wrote to his friend Grace Norton.

What do you think of these sentiments?

—remember that every life is a special problem which is not yours but another’s, and content yourself with the terrible algebra of your own.

We help each other—even unconsciously, each in our own effort, we lighten the effort of others, we contribute to the sum of success, make it possible for others to live.

Do we serve the world best by maintaining our own house?