Martin Luther & King Jr.

Michael King Jr. Day is celebrated in the U.S. every third Monday in January  —  no, wait, that’s not right.  It actually is Martin Luther King Jr. Day,  isn’t?  But it might have been Michael  King Jr. Day had his father not earlier changed his own name and that of his son.  We all know about the black Baptist preacher who became known world-wide for his leadership of the American civil rights movement in the 1960s, and who was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968, but how many know about the name change and the reason for it? Continue reading “Martin Luther & King Jr.”

Understanding tragedy

Today’s blog does not come from reading any one book but rather from many news reports summarized in a Wikipedia article on the tragic case of Joshua Boyle.  To that reading I add my studies and on-the-job training in working with people who have serious mental health issues.

Joshua Boyle and his wife Caitlan Coleman were kidnapped by a Taliban group while backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012.  They endured a horrible captivity until rescued by Continue reading “Understanding tragedy”

Fiddler on the pagoda

I was reading in The Smithsonian Magazine that the stage play Fiddler on the Roof has remained very popular in Japan since its introduction there fifty years ago, with hundreds of productions of it.  The article tells of Joe Stein, who wrote the text of the musical, saying that a Japanese producer asked “how Americans could understand a story that was so Japanese!”  That initially produced a smile with me, but actually, I had Continue reading “Fiddler on the pagoda”

If you are spoken against

I was going to just enjoy the upcoming Christmas rather quietly and I still will.  But I happened to come across a book that I ended up reading in just three short sittings, not my usual speed, I assure you.  It’s about Foster Beck.  You may not know him but let me tell you why, after already having published some Christmas-themed pieces, I interrupted my holiday preparations with writing this short article as well. Continue reading “If you are spoken against”

Protection of slaves — or a rubber duckie?

I see it over and over again, that life is not best when all is straightforwardly simple and positive, but rather it improves when difficulty and confusion somehow find a way to good outcomes.  Things are rarely straightforward in real life. Continue reading “Protection of slaves — or a rubber duckie?”

The largest man-made explosion….

This is being posted at 9:05 a.m. on the sixth of December, the day and time that the world’s largest man-made explosion devastated a city, exactly one-hundred years ago.  It was a catastrophic disaster on the lines of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but nearly three decades before nuclear bombs destroyed even more in those two places.  Besides having Continue reading “The largest man-made explosion….”

The perils of Christmas

Christmas can be funny.   The cashier in the store gave me the dirtiest, judgmental look, as if to say, “What kind of father are you?!”  It was the day after Christmas and she had just asked my two small children, “And was Santa good to you?”  To which the kids truthfully replied, “We didn’t get anything from Santa.”  They, or I, could have gone into Continue reading “The perils of Christmas”