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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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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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A Creative Journey

What happens when you put 15 creatives in the same plane, train, bus, or automobile for almost two weeks, where they are not just sightseeing but being asked to reflect, observe, and create? My wife Becky and I have just finished conducting the first ever tour where our company, World to the Wise, partnered with […]

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Esperanza en Colombia

I find it more than a little strange that there seems to be so little press coverage — or interest — in what is happening among our neighbors to the south. If Secretary of State John Kerry hadn’t been in attendance, chances are the signing of a momentous peace accord in Colombia would have gone even […]

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What Is Patriotism?

I’m reading David Livermore‘s excellent book, Cultural Intelligence, where he encourages the reader to develop his or her “CQ” (culture quotient) “to engage our multicultural world”. You may have heard me refer to Livermore before, and you certainly will again. My wife and I are developing and co-teaching a brand new high school course called […]

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“There’s a whole world out there…”

A couple of weeks ago I was interviewing a dear Indian-American couple named Pravin and Fiona. They have been living in the US for a number of years, have two sons born here, and are themselves on the path toward US citizenship. (You can find that interview here.) One simple thing that struck me is something […]

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There Ain’t No Good Guys

I’ve been reminded so often of the 70’s Dave Mason song called “We Just Disagree”. In an already polarized culture, most of us are tempted to think in terms of good guys and bad guys. Another terrorist attack — that’s clearly a bad guy. Which, of course, makes us the good guys. My favorite candidate […]

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Living on the Edge of the Inside

I heard a friend of mine yesterday reference one of my favorite columnists/commentators, David Brooks, on an article I had missed. Brooks calls it “At the Edge of Inside,” borrowing from Fr. Richard Rohr, a Franciscan monk and writer. And then I came across this quote from Seth Godin, whom I quoted just last week. […]

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