A frank look at white privilege

I remember the first time I heard the term “white privilege.” Oh, the African American student who yelled it at me, didn’t use the actual term white privilege, it wasn’t a word that you heard all that much back then, but his point was still the same. It was a chilly spring day, but the …

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A letter to a former teacher: Pulling me back from the ledge

When I was 11, my basketball coach, who wasn’t much older than my teammates and I, walked the sideline of the small town community hall where we played, yelling and throwing his hands up in the air when we made a mistake or he disagreed with the referee's call. A few years later when I …

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Everything’s gonna be alright

The voice on the other end of the call became garbled and faded out. I saw the senior executive's face on the Microsoft Teams call, but I couldn't make out what he said. When he came back on, all I could hear him saying was "what do you think, Brian?" In this crazy COVID-19 world, …

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We’re in this together

When terrorists struck the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Northern Virginia., and a third jet that crashed in a small field in Somerset County on September 11, 2001, first responders, firemen, and police rushed to help the survivors. In the days that followed, we …

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Coronavirus: Relearning good manners

You've heard the message. We've heard it so much over the past three weeks, you can probably repeat it in your sleep: Wash your hands. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. Stay inside if you’re sick. Be kind to others. The medical doctor on TV talked animatedly with her hands to the reporters …

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The thin line between love and hate

The car came up fast behind me on the highway. The driver left little room between us. With a tractor-trailer in front of me in the left lane and slower traffic in the right lane, I was driving as fast as I could and had nowhere to go. One urgent stop, one quick change in …

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When life is crummy, look for the hope

When I was young, I wasn’t very confident. I was the quiet kid who was glued to a book or things that I knew like sports. I preferred hanging out in small groups instead of loud, large ones, so when a kid in my class told me that he wanted to partner with me on …

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First world problems, minor irritations

When I was a kid in elementary school, the lunch lady used to lecture my friends and I about wasting food. She would tell us that little kids in China or some third world country we had never heard of were going to bed with an empty stomach and we were throwing away perfectly good …

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Getting hit over the head to see the brighter side

My friend didn’t actually hit me in the face, but it sure felt like he had. If you had questioned me at the time, you would have had a hard time convincing me that he hadn't. His comments surprised me and knocked me into the next room. We were catching up and he mentioned that …

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