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Showing posts from September, 2008

The line dividing good and evil

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? Alexander Solzhenitsyn My first job out of college over 30 years ago was as a counselor in a residential program for chemically addicted teenagers. I had lived an extremely sheltered life as a "good girl" and trained to be a teacher. When I graduated, there were no teaching jobs available. This one came along, so I took it. I didn't have to wait very long to learn I was in way over my head. The kids in the program lived there for 6 months. During the first few weeks, we didn't see their families at all. After that, they joined us once a week for family therapy groups. I still remember one young man in the program who told me his story during those first few weeks. The abuse

Writing while black

From The Field Negro this week, we learn the story of Fatimah Ali, a writer with the Philadelphia Daily News. On September 2nd, Ms. Ali wrote a column titled We need Obama, not 4 more years of George Bush . In it she laid out the case that McCain and the Republicans will continue to deepen the divide between the haves and the have-nots in this country. AMERICA is on the brink of a long, harsh and bitterly cold winter, with a looming recession that the GOP won't even admit to. The policies of the current White House have brutalized our economy, yet the wealthiest think that everything is fine. Rich Republicans just don't understand that millions are suffering. But many of their working class do, and they're beginning to abandon their own party. After laying out the different economic focus of each candidate running for President, she says this. If McCain wins, look for a full-fledged race and class war, fueled by a deflated and depressed country, soaring crime, home

The next layer

One of the things I value most in life is onoing growth and learning. I don't know if its genetic or learned, but there's nothing that I dislike more than stasis. This leads me to an almost knee-jerk reaction to conventional wisdom. There are certainly times that convention proves to be wise, but I almost always need to ask questions and learn why. Over the course of my life, that has led to a kind of slow burn rebellion rather than the burst that I've seen so often when young people reject the status quo and/or authority. Perhaps I never had the courage to just outright rebel, but I think its also linked to not wanting to let go without really understanding where I'm heading as an alternative. Questions that are easily solved or answered don't interest me that much. But when understanding or learning is more like peeling back the layers of an onion a little bit at a time...that's when I tend to get truly engaged. A few years ago a friend of mine went to Russ