DJ Mark Twain

Mark Twain once said that there are two days that are most important in a person’s life.  One is the day you were born and the other is the day you figure out why.  One of the greatest honors and privileges of working with college students is that so many of them share with their…

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Car Nostalgia

In looking through old photos recently, I came across one with our car in the background.  The photo brought back a flood of memories of all the good times we had in that car.   Given all the memories we have with our automobiles, it isn’t surprising that cars can seem like family members.  It’s…

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Two News Stories Colliding

two puzzle pieces hands

Two news stories collided recently and the news story that moves our hearts as Americans will decide our future as a society.  One news story centers on the bill being proposed by several Indiana Republican legislators to ban discussion of topics such as racism from the classroom because these legislators deem those topics as potentially…

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The Fish That Didn’t Get Away

fishing rod waters foliage shore

If there is one certainty in fishing, it is that there is no certainty.  This past summer, on the Wisconsin lake I know best, I stumbled onto a new fishing strategy.  Instead of fishing with everyone else from six in the evening until sunset, I began to venture out later,  when the sky was already…

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DJ Humility

man kneeling humble humility thinking kindness words

One of the greatest challenges facing parents in the next decade will be to understand the allure of fanaticism for young people. It wasn’t that long ago that calling someone a fanatic was, if not an insult, at least a warning that such a person was dangerous. For a growing number of people now, to…

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America – A Nation Called To Be Better

During the Vietnam War, the slogan “America: love it or leave it” was popular among people who demanded uncritical devotion to the government and to the war. But uncritical devotion to the government has never been a trait of the American spirit. Americans who have moved this country forward have never been satisfied with America…

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Merton & The New Year

new year 2022 gold

There are certain people who seem to know us, and we them, even though we never met them in person. One of those people for me is the Trappist monk Thomas Merton. Although I’d heard his name, I didn’t read anything written by him until 1975, seven years after his death. But once I read The…

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Christmas 2021

christmas tree graphic snowflakes yellow glow

Christmas brings thoughts of St. Francis. The reverse can also be said, St. Francis brings thoughts of Christmas. If you have a crèche set up in your home, you have St. Francis to thank for that. One of the first, if not the first, crèche scenes was set up by St. Francis in the Italian…

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Democracy Under Fire

Twenty years ago, I spent a summer working on a log cabin in Wisconsin that was built nearly a hundred years ago. My task was to remove the old mortar from between the logs and replace that with new mortar. In a part of one wall, I removed mortar to find old newspapers and magazines…

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justice scales

The attorney defending the three men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery looked back at the people sitting in the courtroom and saw something dangerous. No, he didn’t see someone who threatened violence or disruption. He saw two figures who were scarier to him than that. He saw two Black ministers. Ahmaud Arbery was the twenty-five-year-old Black…

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