Stereotypical Stereotypes

I was at a symposium last night on Russian-American relations moving from the Obama years into the Trump era. While most of Dr. Mark Katz‘s remarks and the questions asked of him centered on Trump and Putin’s relationship and speculation about what that might look like moving forward, one question was asked that got me thinking […]

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How to Turn a Vacation into a Pilgrimage

What comes to mind when you hear the word “pilgrimage”? Trekking your way over rugged terrain to reach a shrine? Traveling thousands of miles to meet up with thousands of other pilgrims at a particular time of year? Perhaps. But what if any time you stepped out of your zone of familiarity could become a spiritual experience? […]

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Announcing the 2017 World to the Wise Cultural Tour

My wife, Becky, and I started a company around 2010 called World to the Wise. The mission statement of the organization is to promote and foster cultural curiosity by exposing people to other cultures and perspectives. This includes not only telling compelling stories, but taking people to other places! Summer of 2010 saw our first World […]

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Cultivating Curiosity

We are all born curious. Show me a baby who isn’t drawn to shiny objects or who doesn’t believe everything is intended to be put in the mouth. Then the baby becomes a toddler and all of a sudden the entire house has to be childproofed. Everything at eye level is fair game to be […]

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Born Into Exile

Christmas with the family this year was one of the best we’ve ever had. As the patriarch of a gathering of thirteen people, I was filled with joy and gratitude to watch the love flow between my sons, their wives and girlfriend, and their offspring. It probably helped that our Christmas dinner was actually a […]

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Explaining Christmas

I’ve found myself wondering of late what someone from a relatively unchristianized country might think of the American celebration of Christmas. The dialogue might sound something like this: “Well, see, it’s like this. The two most important people at Christmas time are Santa Claus and baby Jesus. Which one is more important depends on who […]

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Book Review: Hillbilly Elegy

In my last post, I mentioned being impacted by J. D. Vance’s powerful and tragic book, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. My wife and I actually read it together — sort of. I read aloud to her while she crocheted — a favorite pastime of ours. Although Vance calls the […]

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Love Thy Other

In his book Cultural Intelligence (a phrase I happen to use quite a bit), David Livermore says the “first step toward becoming culturally intelligent is to become more aware of our own cultural identity.” The last few weeks have shown me — and us — that we in the US don’t know ourselves as well as we […]

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Beyond Sightseeing

In my last two posts I’ve talked about the first ever partnership between World to the Wise cultural tours and Journey Arts Collective, where we took a group of thirteen creatives from the Nashville area to experience some of the magic of Western Europe. Not only did we have the privilege of introducing them to […]

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A Gift from the Past

It seems each time my wife and I take a group to Europe, even though we visit many of the same places each time, there’s always some new surprise that awaits us. Earlier this month, World to the Wise partnered with Journey Arts Collective to take 12 creatives to visit some of the world’s greatest […]

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