Temple Bells, Frustrations

The Temptations and Frustrations of Unemployment

I’ve been on the job hunt for 14 months. I’ve had nothing to do on most days for the last 6 months. Everything I imagined I might do or be has failed to materialize. It’s hard to describe the slow decay of the mind and body that unemployment foments. I have tried to keep busy, […]

Loneliness

A Deep Loneliness

There is a deep loneliness that is always with me. It wants to be talked about, and then scolds me for indulging its desire. It assures me that I am a fraud, even as it provokes me to prove myself. The loneliness is always there, always hurting me. Its loyalty a perverse reminder of what […]

Vote

Why Your Vote Matters (Even When You Lose)

There is an idea nearly as old as voting that hangs in the backs of the minds of democratic participants: My vote doesn’t matter. The feeling is underscored in contemporary America by the dominance of billionaires, media conglomerates, powerful special interest groups, and local and federal governments who seem more interested in maintaining power than […]

Vulnerability

How To Practice Vulnerability

Vulnerability often connotes weakness in the US and other western cultures. Nonetheless, vulnerability is one of the most powerful and transformative postures we can take. In a culture that champions competition, choosing a posture of vulnerability can be difficult. There is so much emphasis on establishing an unimpeachable reputation, a veneer of power and knowledge, […]

Good

What is Legal Versus What is Good

When I hear people refer to the importance of the “rule of law”, I am usually suspicious. I am suspicious of what is being given the illusion of goodness under the cover of legality. In the U.S., much pride is taken on being a country of rules where we strive to apply the law evenly, consistently, […]

Social Justice?

Academics Versus Activists in Social Justice

The old divide between doers and thinkers is a tired one. When I decided to pursue my PhD, I felt from some of my old activist friends a sense that I had abandoned the cause. At the same time, my pursuit of social justice seemed to make many of my academic colleagues uncomfortable. It seemed […]