Everywhere you turn, people are talking about–and attempting cross off items from–bucket lists. Only a few people are talking about “generativity”–a term introduced by psychologist Erik Erikson, who described it as an active concern for the next generation and a need to leave something of value for people who will live on after we die. But I feel there is a strong connection between the two. The idea of generativity suggests that it might be a good idea to have a bucket list for future generations–not just for ourselves. These too can offer adventure, challenges and fun by making a long-lasting contribution that helps people and the planet.
By Ben Ehrenreich
ON THE EVENING of Thursday, November 8 , Anas and Ismail al-Atrash closed up their family’s shoe store in the central West Bank city of Jericho. Before leaving for their home in Hebron, about an hour’s drive south, the brothers called their mother. “She asked me to buy tomatoes and lemons and oranges and cucumbers and potatoes,” recalled Ismail, squeezed between his parents in the sitting room of their three-story house in the Hebron neighborhood of Abu Sneineh. Ismail’s hair was neatly gelled, but his cheeks were unshaven, his eyelids heavy. An uncle sat sprawled across an adjacent sofa, fingering a length of wooden prayer beads.
By Stacy Mitchell and Fred Clements
Small business looms large in American political rhetoric. From the campaign trail to the floor of the U.S. House and Senate, members of Congress love to evoke the diner and dry cleaner, the neighborhood grocer and local hardware store. Ensuring the well-being of Main Street, we might easily assume, is one of their central policy aims.
The legislative track record tells another story. It is one in which the interests of big corporations are dominant, and many laws and regulations seem designed to bend the marketplace in their favor and put small, independent businesses at a competitive disadvantage.
By Nora Gallagher
I ignored the blur in my right eye. About two weeks later, I figured I had time, so I made an appointment with Dr. Lowe, my ophthalmologist, for December 1.
By Brad Lichtenstein
The commons describes a social practice that unleashes people’s capacity to create things together and take their lives and livelihood into their own hands. It is a social form that has long lived in the shadows of our market culture, but which is now on the rise.
A poem by Maureen N. McLane
Maureen N. McLane’s poem “For You” appeared in the April 27, 2015 issue of The New Yorker. A two-time BMC alum, she is the author of three books of poetry, including 2014 National Book Award finalist This Blue (FSG, 2014). Her book My Poets (FSG, 2012), a hybrid of memoir and criticism, was a finalist for the National Critics Circle Award for autobiography. She teaches at New York University and loves the Adirondacks—Blue Mountain Center in particular.
By Sarah Ladipo Manyika
Earlier this year I decided to read Joe Brainard’s cult classic, I Remember. The book had long intrigued me for I had heard that it was widely taught in creative writing courses and was a favorite of many authors, including several well-known authors whose work I admire. I was immediately drawn to Brainard’s style, each line starting with the words “I remember.” As I read it, I found myself jotting down remembrances of my own, complementing Brainard’s memories of America with my memories of Nigeria.