Acceptance and Approval
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“As much as we thirst for approval, we dread condemnation.”

– Hans Selye, Canadian endocrinologist noted for his work on stress


I had exactly 75 cents to spend – a week’s allowance. I checked the pocket of my jeans again to ensure the quarters were still there. I was 12 years old, standing outside the Corner Café – the hub of activity (if you exclude the lumberyard) in the small town where I went to school. This was my declaration of independence. I was striking off on my own – buying my own lunch. I did, however, need a letter from my mother to allow me off the school grounds.

The café was family run. “Mrs. B” was the best cook in the county (or so I thought). No one made better fries with gravy – that...

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