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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.”

Close Call Could've Changed History

Mar 17, 2017

I love counter-factuals. Lately I ran across a real doozy of a counter-factual.

In 1852 Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire was elected president of the United States and was due to be sworn in on March 4, 1853. But before he was, he and his family were involved in a tragic train accident. The choo-choo jumped the rails and threw both President-Elect Pierce and his wife and small son off the train. Pierce and the soon-to-be First Lady were unharmed, but their son Bennie was killed. A train axle missed the Pierces but crushed Bennie.

Re-Examining Slavery With A Different Word

Mar 16, 2017

Enslaved person - the term is used now in museums all over the South. On a recent trip, we read and heard about the enslaved people in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia. At first, I was confused about what it meant, though it soon became obvious that the term is a new way of referring to the slaves. The word "slave" has become an adjective, "enslaved," to describe an actual human being.