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Experience October/November 2023

From the Experience Chair: The Best of Besties

Seth D Kramer


  • Transition to Digital Format: "Experience" magazine, now exclusively digital, assures readers it will maintain its familiar content in this new format, with a focus on the theme of friendship for this issue.
  • Addressing Loneliness Crisis: The magazine acknowledges the prevalent crisis of loneliness in the United States and highlights the Surgeon General's call to rebuild connections through prioritizing friendships.
  • Diverse Perspectives on Friendship: The issue delves into various facets of friendship, from the development of meaningful relationships through shared interests to the challenges of navigating differences in today's polarized world. Additionally, the magazine introduces a new feature, the Playlist, and encourages reader participation.
From the Experience Chair: The Best of Besties H. Kim

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By way of introduction, my name is Seth Kramer, and I’m the chair of Experience’s editorial board. Starting with this issue, this quarterly magazine will be produced only in digital form. Although we’re new to this format, we’ll still provide the content you look forward to reading each issue.

The theme for this issue of Experience—friendship—couldn’t be more timely.

Currently, our county is suffering from a crisis of loneliness. As Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy writes in The New York Times, “At any moment, about one out of every two Americans is experiencing measurable levels of loneliness.” And as Murthy points out, this crisis permeates our society, affecting all economic classes and ages, including seniors.

However, one possible remedy to this crisis, according to Murthy, is to “rebuild our connection to one another.” In other words, put a priority on friends.

The Spectrum of Friendship

This issue covers friendship from all angles. Stanley Jaskiewicz explores how the smallest acts of kindness or a shared interest can develop into a meaningful relationship. And Joe Weeg addresses a common problem facing many retired attorneys: making friends in your new retired life, when your lawyering days are in the past.

Doug Church writes about the joys of seamlessly reconnecting with his fourth-grade classmates, and Gary Fry reminisces about a friend since the seventh grade who shared with him the beauty of being part of a culture and a community.

Meaningful friendships can happen at any stage in life. Michael Blechman writes about how being in the right places at the right times and the valuable friendships made contributed to his success as an international lawyer.

Kevin McGoff writes about his mentors, some of whom became friends as they helped him from childhood and throughout his career as an attorney. Norm Tabler writes about his unrequited—perhaps it’s not unrequited?— friendship with NPR’s Nina Totenberg. And don’t miss Stephen Terrell’s reminder to appreciate the beauty of our friends in the animal kingdom.

One of the most challenging parts of friendship, especially today in today’s polarized political world, is navigating the passionate differences that often arise. James Gray Robinson lays out some very practical techniques to use when these conflicts arise in an insightful and helpful read.

Finally, we have our new feature, the Playlist, which we’ll run each month featuring songs on the issue’s theme. This month, Doug Church and Jerry Todaro have compiled an intriguing list tied to friendship. Be sure to send us your suggestions for the friendship playlist by emailing them to [email protected]. Watch the next issue of Voice of Experience, the monthly electronic newsletter of the Senior Lawyers Division, for additions suggested by you, our friends and readers.

I hope you enjoy this issue. Share it with a colleague or acquaintance—you just might make a friend.