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.

What Makes You Happy?

15 hours ago

I’m in the early stages of crunching data from a study exploring happiness, subjective age, and relationships – both the romantic and platonic kind.

While people in long-term relationships reported being happier than those flying solo through life, don’t assume that a permanent romantic relationship is the key to lifelong happiness. Many people are much happier if they are not in a relationship than if they are. And good friendships are every bit as important as a spouse when it comes to happiness.

Once It's Stuck In Your Head ...

Aug 16, 2017

In 1968, when I was 16 years old, I went to the movie theater on a date to see “The Graduate.” I was mortified by the content of the movie but fell in love with one of the songs.

Because of the movie’s theme, I thought the lyrics of “Are you going to Scarborough Fair?” actually were, “Are you going to start an affair?”

For a while, I held fast to my version because it fit with my idea of what the movie was about. Each time it came on the radio, I would sing along “Are you going to start an affair?” until someone heard me and corrected me.

Another Aspect Of Loving Neighbors

Aug 15, 2017

This whole “love your neighbor” business isn’t as easy as it looks, because it’s easy to hurt people’s feelings -- even easier for our feelings to be hurt. I have heard stories of grudges that go back 50 years.

We fired our neighbor from doing our hay. Putting the whole cutting -- 600 bales worth -- in our barn, or even trying to sell it off the field, has gotten to be too much. As Bruce says, every time we do hay it’s a fiasco. Every time, I remind him, help arrives. This year we found a guy who will do our hay in shares; he gets half and we get half. His guys would put it up.

Government Is Not A Family Business

Aug 14, 2017

Maybe government can be run like a business, but the conclusion emerges that it cannot be run like a family business.

Entrepreneurs like D‎onald Trump run a family business, employing who they want, deciding what they want. They can appear to operate in a kind of vacuum.

Corporate CEOs operate in a context of wider accountability. They answer initially to a board of directors -- and ultimately to shareholders. In contrast to entrepreneurs, CEOs confront more rigid procedures and wider demands for accountability.

Tests Are Not Just Academic

Aug 11, 2017

“Graduation is an exercise.”

That was the clever headline I put over a storyboard I submitted for a photo class in college. My photos showed the daily grind students plod through to reach the holy grail — a college degree.

Looking back, I’d say the biggest obstacle was passing tests. Lots of tests. I remember cramming for tests … and trying to guess what will be asked.

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