Perspectives

Did you miss an essay from your favorite "Perspectives" writer? Want to hear it again? Scroll down to find a complete archive of our "Perspectives" essays. You'll find the most recent at the top.

To find out more about each writer, click on his or her name at the bottom of each entry.

If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, compose a piece that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 230 to 250 words, as counted by Microsoft Word -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu. Be sure to put "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Northern Public Radio invites you to comment on or respond to any Perspective in the comments section at the bottom of each article, in keeping with our Discussion Policy.

An App To Share 'Those' Tidbits

14 hours ago

State guides to historic markers will tell you that “on this site a battle was won” and “on this site an invention was first tested.” These are all sites of public history.

But there is also personal history, which William Wordsworth celebrated as “those nameless, unremembered acts of love that form the best part of a good man’s life.” Nearly all of us have benefited from these acts of love: a word of wise encouragement that stuck with us, or a little life lesson we’ve never forgotten. 

Weighing Numbers Against Priorities

Jul 20, 2017

Donald Trump won the presidency, at least in part, because he pledged to bring back coal jobs. He promised to end what he called his predecessor’s war on coal and signed an executive order in March ordering agencies to review or rescind many Obama-era environmental regulations.

But a recent Columbia University study finds that these regulations aren’t the cause of most of the lost coal jobs. What is are clean renewable energy, cleaner sources like natural gas, automation, and a drop in international demand.

Superheroes Close To Home

Jul 19, 2017
NIU

Superheroes are everywhere right now. Wonder Woman and Spider-Man Homecoming are drawing huge crowds to theaters around the country. Dozens of popular TV shows chronicle the exploits of various superheroes.

Why are we so fascinated with superheroes? A superhero is defined as a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers or an exceptionally skillful or successful person. In these challenging times, having a superhero to resolve political, economic, and social problems does sound pretty appealing.

Finding A Way Past 'Busy-Ness'

Jul 18, 2017

Last week, my daughter Julia and I caught fireflies. Magical little beings, fireflies communicate with bioluminescence.

It’s easy to learn why they glow. But, I’m not interested. Their enchanting lights shine for Julia and me to chase. We giggle catching them and smile releasing them. Our backyard becomes a magical oasis from the world.

It’s not always possible to play: I’m busy! Yet I looked at my calendar last week and felt lost. All my commitments had ended. No longer did they dictate every moment -- and I wasn’t sure what to do.

Who Are Your Neighbors?

Jul 17, 2017

One cold November morning, I watched from our kitchen as tractor after tractor drove up our driveway. Pick-up trucks pulling wagons followed. About 12 neighboring farmers were coming to harvest our corn, because my father was ill and could not work in the fields that fall.

My father did not ask for their help. The neighbors knew about his health problems, and they just organized the rescue harvest on their own. Without their caring, our crop -- and our income for the entire year -- would have been lost.

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