It is no secret that politics in the U.S. has recently been polarized to the point of paralysis, although we seem to be making some small progress at last toward needed compromise. We are in a new era, and yet we are stuck back in the politics of the twentieth century. A creative approach to […]
In keeping with this month’s theme of a new vocabulary for the new millenium, I am continuing to examine our most common assumptions about what it means to be dependent and what it means to be independent. In two previous blogs, I explored these terms in relation to politics and in relation to economics. I also delved some […]
In my last blog, I wrote about Americans’ preoccupation with independence, exploring exactly what this most beloved word in our national vocabulary really means. I tried to look at some realities behind the political rhetoric of both parties.
In this blog, I am examining some attitudes we have about independence in our personal lives. Two phrases pop […]
During February, I began examining some words and catchphrases that have come to define our culture today. I suggested that we need to look more closely at the implications of some of them and at all the ways they shape our attitudes and our relationships with each other. Since February was Valentine’s month, I mainly looked at words that relate to […]
Most of us know that language constantly evolves. New technology creates new words. New products and new advertising slogans also add words as well as catch phrases to our everyday conversation. More significantly, much of our core vocabulary changes to accommodate shifting cultural attitudes.
Slang changes from one generation to the next, which widens the generation gap. During my father’s World War II era, the phrase […]
Christmas is a time when we believe in miracles. We believe that all the people of the world are capable of extending good will to each other and that peace on earth is possible. The Christmas carols, many Christmas movies, and the original Christmas story itself repeat those words of “sounding joy.” But in reality, […]
In a previous blog I elaborated on how stubbornness can be holy. But for most of us post-sixties Americans, stubbornness comes easily. We are all about demanding our rights and rejecting authority. People of faith have often led the way in demanding justice for oppressed members of society, but even religious movements often become more about being […]
Ordinarily, we think of stubbornness as a bad trait. But when the cause is a good one, stubbornness can be a good quality, even a holy quality. Think of the Salem witch trials. When accused of witchcraft, John Proctor refused to confess, even though it would have saved his life. In an effort to force […]
Since before Clarence Darrow’s legal victory in the Scopes trial during the 1920’s, the scientific theory of evolution has been an emotionally charged issue for Americans. During my childhood in the 1950’s, thirty years after the courts had ruled that public schools could teach the theory of evolution in science classes, the battle was nevertheless still […]
The most distinguishing characteristic of the Christian religion is forgiveness. Christianity shares with Buddhism an emphasis on detachment from materialism and worldly concerns. Both religions emphasize meditation, which for Christians usually takes the form of contemplating the scriptures and praying. Both religions emphasize compassion.
Christianity shares the same Old Testament scriptures with Islam and Judaism. All […]