Cultures

Right vs Wrong vs Different

Right vs Wrong vs Different

An important difference between tourist and traveler is that the former accepts his own civilization without question; not so the traveler, who compares it with the others, and rejects those elements he finds not to his liking. ~Paul Bowles The greatest gift I received from living abroad was learning first hand to distinguish right vs […]

Razing the Walls of Division

Razing the Walls of Division

When we see ourselves only in terms of this or that group, we tend to forget about our wider identify as human beings. ~HH Dalai Lama I grew up bathed in the mantra that being an Olson is being a cut above. It, the mantra, was not quite that eloquent. That actual phrase was, “If […]

Understanding Opens The Heart To Loving

Understanding Opens The Heart To Loving

When you understand, you cannot help but love. And when you love, you naturally act in a way that can relieve the suffering of others. ~Thich Nhat Hanh I see two causes of the fear permeating society and driving hate wedges between all strata of society. The first is people lack compassion for themselves and […]

To See Beauty, See Like a Child

To See Beauty, See Like a Child

Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old. ~Franz Kafka A child has a magical ability to see a person, not their color, not their shape, not their deeds and misdeeds. They see through to the purity of the soul. As […]

The Sorrow of War: A Novel of North Vietnam by Bảo Ninh

The Sorrow of War: A Novel of North Vietnam by Bảo Ninh

Justice may have won, but cruelty, death, and inhuman violence have also won. ~Bảo Ninh, The Sorrow of War: A Novel of North Vietnam I picked up the book, The Sorrow of War: A Novel of North Vietnam, in my ongoing quest to read around the world, to read books not originally published in English, to […]

The Poverty of ISM Thinking

The Poverty of ISM Thinking

Pastoral scene of the gallant South The bulgin’ eyes and the twisted mouth Scent of magnolias sweet and fresh Then the sudden smell of burnin’ flesh ~ Strange Fruit, Billy Holiday I make it a practice to read books outside the mainstream, revolutionary and counter-revolutionary works, ideas seeping from the underground and in the wide […]

Celebrating Differences

Celebrating Differences

It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences. ~ Audre Lorde Imagine, if you will, a life in which we, you, me, everyone, ate only one thing. There were no other options. Every day, every meal, day after day, year after year, we ate […]

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