People often think psychiatrists are paid to give advice, purveyors of pointers if you will. Not necessarily so. I was trained in assessing, diagnosing, treating and so on. If wise counsel was what you were seeking, you may have been better off with a well-crafted Dear Abby letter than spending an hour with me.

I raise this today because there are people close to me who are navigating very difficult situations just now. So difficult that it’s hard to know what to say or do, especially from such a distance. I’m no advice guru, so thankfully there are others to turn to when the seas get a bit rough.

I’m a sucker for stories of hope and perseverance and triumph over adversity, so here’s Alice—a Czech pianist, former music teacher and, at 108, the oldest living holocaust survivor. She attributes her survival during her darkest days to her son (who was with her in the camp), her love of music and her optimism. She remains committed to her half-full philosophy. So, to those in my life who are struggling (you know who you are), I hope this helps. I think there’s something in here for all of us.