Understand others. Understand yourself.

When Things Started to Bother Me

Posted on 12/16/2014

I began to bother when things started to bother me. I was sitting in philosophy class one semester a few years ago and began to see the world as a place filled with so many problems that I grew up unaware of. I was completely blind to so many systems and structures that effect our human experience. The human experience that I had little control over, profoundly impacted my perceptions and perpetuated my lack of understanding, just, as I assume, it does for everyone.

Why Not to Bother

Posted on 12/05/2014

In his essay, “Why Bother,” author Michael Pollan wrestles with the factors that motivate us to take action. He shares his sense of despair after watching Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth when considering the “disproportion between the magnitude of the problem Gore had described and the puniness of what he was asking us to do about it.” In this case, the question “why bother?” seems rhetorical since it can be hard to find motivation if you have little hope of having an impact.

Fatalism is Not an Option

Posted on 12/04/2014

As many know, there have been protests nationwide voiceing outrage at a grand jury's decsision not to indict the New York Police Department officer who choked Eric Garner to death.  Garner was Black, the officer was white, and this non-indictment came a week after the decision of a grand jury in Missouri not to indict Darren Wilson, the white officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an 18 year-old who had been unarmed.

Closure I Didn't Think I Needed

Posted on 11/24/2014

I was not planning on attending my grandfather’s memorial service. My paternal grandparents live in California. I live in Wisconsin. The service was scheduled in between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a busy time for a Hillel professional.  A trip west wasn’t really in the cards. But, Grandma made the decision: she wanted everyone there. And so I went to California in September.

The Divided Life and the Heart of Democracy

Posted on 11/12/2014

In his latest book, Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit, educator and author Parker Palmer talks about the ways in which our feelings of dividendess, and sense of integrity, can impact the ways in which we represent others, and the ways in which we choose our own representatives.  In the video below, he begins to delve into some of those questio

One Voice In A Generation

Posted on 11/02/2014

I spent the last eight months vying for arguably one of the most important elected representative positions in the country. It is an experience best described as the longest job interview ever. I understood what that position was, I understood what I would represent if elected. More importantly I understood who I would represent. The mayor of Toronto represents everyone who lives in Toronto, it is a clear group of people.