Walls Within and Walls Without

Why are people so passionate about walls? In an age of airplanes, drones, mass media, and the internet, physical walls are obsolete in the face of terrorists and opposing ideas. But walls abound, between nations, between neighbors, and within our own selves. As a child, I grew up learning that emotions weren’t allowed. “Quit crying, …

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The Myth of Helplessness

Whether facing a hurricane and flood, wildfire, volcano, loss of a job, or flat tire, we all have moments when we feel helpless. But I maintain we aren’t as helpless as we think. Often our cultural stereotypes are to blame. I’ve met countless men working away from home who are clueless when it comes to …

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Never Again

“Never again.” Loaded with nuance, I have a hard time with these words. I first encountered them as a slogan in 1977, while visiting Masada in Israel. Masada is the mountain site of one of King Herod’s palace complexes, better known these days as the site where Israelite resistance fighters had taken refuge from the …

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Requiem for a Dream

The American Dream is dead. That’s what we’re hearing, from blue-collar workers to university professors to immigration lawyers. Is it really? Certainly, it’s become harder to immigrate to this country. And it’s also become harder to achieve home-ownership, living debt free and retiring comfortably. And the news constantly bombards us with pictures of angry, disenfranchised …

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Patriotism, Posturing and Coercion

‘Tis the season for flag waving, and with all the discussion in the news about patriots and “un-patriots” (I prefer non-patriot), this is a good time to reflect on what patriotism is – and what it isn’t. Most agree that someone who has served honorably in the military is a patriot. Those willing to die …

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Walls

Walls come in various shapes, sizes and types. And even though creatures such as termites and bees also use them in making their hives, walls have become a defining element for humankind. Archaeologists get all excited when they find walls at a dig. Why? Because they indicate an element of permanence. Instead of roaming with …

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