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.

Opportunities Beyond The Routine

Sep 26, 2017
Guy Stephens/WNIJ

By now most classroom routines are established. There is a lot to be said for routine. It brings comfort and an understanding of what is to come.

Often we live within the confines of routine, not making the effort to think outside the box -- simply slogging through. When imagination goes dormant, our worlds shrink. But when engaged, imagination paves new roads. Carl Sagan said that “imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were.” It is a powerful tool that helps us create and dream.

We Must Want To End Poverty

Sep 25, 2017

In a recent meeting of individuals who coordinate evening meals for Hope Haven, DeKalb County’s homeless shelter, we were told they are in need of 60 to 70 meals every night.

I was 11 years old in 1964 when President Lyndon Johnson declared a “War on Poverty.” Twenty-two years later Comic Relief was launched to end homelessness. 

More In A Degree Than Just A Job

Sep 22, 2017

A friend is doing well without a university degree. She wonders, “Am I missing anything?”

We should address the cost of higher education. Let’s respect academic and vocational choices alike. Our economy and democracy need both.

But if you’re going to pursue a traditional degree with substantial "gen ed" requirements, be open to its potential beyond job training.

Students ask: “How will I use my degree in life?” Outside the essential financial concern, asking how an experience will be “used” suggests one need only hop on the right conveyer belt.

Doing Good Feels Good, Too!

Sep 21, 2017

It’s said that no good deed goes unpunished. Good deeds done for the wrong reasons can yield unexpected, unpleasant consequences.

Most all of us have had that moment of realization when something intended to go “oh, so right” has gone “oh, so wrong” and left us wondering how things had derailed so quickly!

A recent Swiss study indicated that performing acts of altruism causes some interesting neurochemical changes in the brain. In fact, doing good for others stimulates the same part of the brain that is connected to contentment.

What Will Happen To Our Farmland?

Sep 20, 2017

Is DeKalb County destined for the same fate as DuPage County and much of Kane County? Will our leaders be lured by additional tax revenue resulting in suburban sprawl consuming our land and way of life?

We need to view the top soil left by the glaciers in the same way people view the Great Lakes. A natural resource worthy of legal protection. Only a few other patches of earth match the fertile ground that covers DeKalb County. If we act now, we can ensure the farm land will be here for future generations.

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