90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Advice From A Cancer Survivor: Platitudes Don’t Help

Here & Now Guest:

Author Bruce Feiler and his family. (Courtesy Kelly Hike)

Author Bruce Feiler and his family. (Courtesy Kelly Hike)

“You look great,” is one of several clichés we tend to fall back on when speaking to friends and family, who are dealing with severe illnesses. But best-selling author, and cancer survivor, Bruce Feiler says those types of platitudes just aren’t helpful. He recently wrote a column in the New York Times offering advice to people on how people can really help their friends in need.

Feiler says that while “thoughts and prayers” can be comforting, the expression has become tired, and he encourages people to abandon it in favor of something more genuine. As he told Here & Now’s Robin Young, “When all else fails, direct emotion is the most powerful gift you can give a loved one in pain.”


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

Here & Now resident chef and cookbook author Kathy Gunst shares her list of the best cookbooks of the year.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

December 18 Comment

College Counselor: ‘A Deferral Is Not A Denial’

Lisa Micele shares tips for applying to college — especially for students who have been deferred under early decision.

December 18 17 Comments

America’s Political Dynasties

Americans under 38 have only experienced one presidential election that did not involve a Bush or a Clinton.

December 17 2 Comments

Atticus Lish’s ‘Preparation For The Next Life’

The author's debut novel centers on an unlikely romance between an Iraq veteran and a Uyghur from China.

December 17 3 Comments

Diagnosing Ear Infections With Your Smartphone

The CellScope Oto is a clip-on gadget that turns a smartphone into an otoscope — the tool doctors use to check out a patient's eardrum.