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 WikiLeaks Is Telling Us

Mar 15, 2017

It has now been one week since WikiLeaks unloaded thousands of secret CIA documents on the Internet. These documents, which appear to be authentic, explain in excruciating detail the techniques and technologies that the agency has at its disposal for opening up and looking inside virtually any digital device.

So what can we learn from this data-dump? What are its teachable moments? I see at least three things:

A Mother's Hope For Her Son's Ireland Trip

Mar 14, 2017

On Sunday my son embarked on a grand adventure with the DeKalb High School Marching Barbs.  They will tour Ireland, culminating in marching in Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  The band has been preparing for a year and are safely on their way.  We all know they will be great ambassadors from DeKalb and that they will create life-long memories.

As he departed on this voyage, I had many things to tell Nick, so many cautions, bits of advice and directions. Any parent knows I must choose my words wisely with my son. 

Face Heroin Addiction Head-On

Mar 13, 2017

In the second of a two-part Perspective, I finish my thoughts on something about which I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking.

Heroin. It doesn’t matter your age.  Your gender. Your socioeconomic status.  Where you live. Your race. It ruins lives with extreme prejudice while doing so with absolutely no prejudice.

More than 38,000 people died from heroin overdoses in the U.S. in 2016.  In Winnebago County, about two people die each week from heroin use. Each week.

He'll Be A Tough Act To Follow

Mar 10, 2017

In his book The Late Shift, about the battle for the “Tonight Show” on NBC, author Bill Carter wrote about an interesting dilemma David Letterman found himself in.

Letterman wanted to host the “Tonight Show,” but when it came time for Johnny Carson to retire, NBC gave it to Jay Leno. Later, when Leno’s ratings weren’t as strong as they hoped, they offered it to Letterman if he’d wait for Leno’s contract to run out.

A Look At Personal 'Investment'

Mar 9, 2017

A new book by Danish psychologist Svend Brinkman will be hitting U.S. shores next week.

While you’ll probably find it in the “self-help section” at your local bookstore, it’s really a crusade against the dogged pursuit of self-improvement dogma. Titled Stand Firm, its purpose appears to be derailing the self-help movement from its tracks.

Perhaps we shouldn’t just “trust our feelings,” “focus on the positive,” or assume “that we can achieve whatever we set our minds to.”

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