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Things have been kind of crazy since the election. More often than not, I'm overcome with anxiety. As I continue to feel unsettled by what's going on around me, I'm reminded of the Danish word "hygge" to help me weather the storm and bring back some peace of mind.

The Oxford Dictionary named hygge as one of their 2016 Words of the Year, defined as, "a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Simply put, it's finding, and reveling in, anything - food, clothing, smells, rituals - that gives you comfort.

A Better President Starts With You

Mar 23, 2017

We moved to Rockford in the summer of 2008; I was hired at Rockford University the same time as our then new president, Robert Head. Shortly thereafter, Barack Obama was elected president. My two boys, both black, had the incredibly unique experience of growing up in a world where both the president of their dad’s University and the president of the United States looked “like them.”

Mahatma's Lessons Relevant Today

Mar 22, 2017

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi's wise words were rooted in living this adage as he led an independence movement in British-ruled India.

Who's The Giant In Your Back Yard?

Mar 21, 2017

I love to go to the Beloit Public Library and pick out books with my daughter Iris. It’s especially fun to find books that I had read as a child. One book I remembered loving, but couldn’t find in the library, is called Backyard Giant.

I recently ordered a used copy on the Internet. Backyard Giant, as I recalled it over the space of 40 years, was a book from the perspective of wild animals like a rabbit, a squirrel and a blue jay. Each page revealed just the shadow of a menacing giant and yet another animal fleeing in fear.

Concentration Camp Visit Gives Sobering Perspective

Mar 20, 2017

I have a small whiteboard in my office, and in the upper right hand corner, written in tiny letters is “Dachau” as a reminder during those times when I need to tune up my own perspective.

And I’ll quickly admit those tune ups have to happen more than I’d like.

“Dachau” is written on my board because I had the awful privilege of visiting this Nazi concentration camp outside of Munich in March 2016. And yes, you heard right, I said “privilege.”