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.

The Benefits Of Civility

Jun 22, 2018

Seated across the table from me was a gentleman whose social and political beliefs were, to say the least, the polar opposite of my own.

I listened quietly as he expounded on a number of issues and bided my time. Typically I have no problem expressing my point of view in these discussions, but this was not a typical situation.

When he sensed my reticence, I joked that -- in the interest of group harmony -- I was suppressing my liberal viewpoint. He laughed, but he understood my reasoning. What was about to take place would be a first for both of us.

It Shouldn't Always Take A Law

Jun 21, 2018

Gun control and pro-life advocates look toward legislation for solutions. Ironically, on the other side of both: Gun rights and pro-choice advocates argue that the state should mind its own business and respect individual rights.

But what is left out is the potential for common ground and hard work.

I imagine we all would like a world where fewer people were killed by gun violence as well as a world with little to no unwanted pregnancies. These are worthy, complicated, and ambitious goals.

A Dream Instilled By Memories

Jun 20, 2018

I suffer from an affliction I call Cabin Dreams.

The roots of my disorder are traceable to childhood. I grew up on the shores of the Kishwaukee River near Kirkland. In the summers, once school was out, my family packed up the Buick and headed north to Wisconsin, to our knotty pine cabin on Blue Spring Lake.

Oh, time at the cabin was exquisite: pancakes for breakfast each morning, one pine drawer for all my belongings, and the lake itself, which seemed to bend summer days to its own shape, with shallow bays and windy points and a middle part deep and fathomless.

What Do We Have To Do?

Jun 19, 2018

In college I raised $52 for cancer. I walked miles in my achy body because I supported cancer research, but also because it was the most relatable cause I could find. Like sickle cell, cancer patients called the hospital their second home.

Everyone cares about something outside of themselves. It’s the definition of humanity. It’s the reason there are advocates who walk miles for a cause. 

Flags And Facts And Falsehoods

Jun 18, 2018

A few weeks ago, I was driving down a residential street in a familiar town here in north central Illinois. Hanging outside one of these houses that lined this street was not one but two Confederate flags.

I went a little further down the same street and noticed another flag on another house, but this one was only half Confederate; the other half displayed the American flag. I was tempted to check the date on my phone to make sure I wasn’t in some time warp, but I didn’t. I knew I was still indeed in May 2018.

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