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Man prays for George Floyd

How Sweet the Sound

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me… Andrea Jenkins, Vice Chair of the Minneapolis, Minnesota, City Council, began her remarks singing those words today in a press conference as she addressed the racial tensions and violence that were fomented by the death of George Floyd, an African American man, on…
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Holocaust Diary of Philip Mechanicus

The Lost Diaries of War

Tuesday, Jan. 25, 1944 A transport of a thousand people left for Auschwitz in a howling storm and pouring rain. In animal wagons, yet again. The majority was from the S barracks: 590 people. The rest, young men of the Aliyah, old men from the hospital and 31 young, nameless children from the orphanage whose…
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What is Joy

So, What is Joy?

Lately, we’ve been re-reading a favorite book of ours: The Book of Joy. A perfect book for this imperfect time, it accounts the week — which took place five years ago this month — during which His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu spent time together talking about the concept of joy. We’ve…
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holy week

This is Not a Week…

She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Suddenly, a man was down on the pavement, being beaten by others waiting in the same line for their turn to go into the store. She’s still haunted by his cries for mercy, for them to stop their savage pummeling of him: “I’m not Chinese. I’m Vietnamese. I’M…
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Hard Wired for Connection

Hard-Wired for Connection

Their cars and trucks and jeeps line the perimeter of the small parking lot next to the church on the corner. They gather at the same times each week lately, in this season of physical distancing. Before, they always met in the church basement to talk about their alcohol addictions, a common life fact they…
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Isaac Stern playing the violin

In Times of Trouble

When the sirens in Tel Aviv, Israel, wailed shortly before 7 o’clock one evening in February 1991, maestro Zubin Mehta was conducting the Israeli Philharmonic with renowned violinist Isaac Stern at the Jerusalem Theater. Another scud missile attack from Iraq, one of many during the first Gulf war, was underway. The audience was asked to…
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Michael and Tom - Amidst the Unrest

Amidst the Unrest, One Thing Remains the Same (Part 2)

The following is a story we shared in our second book, Someone To Tell It To: Moved With Compassion called “The Cure for Loneliness.” “She had more courage in the face of death than I had in the face of life.” —A man who lost his wife to multiple myeloma “The greatest disease in the…
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Michael and Tom - Amidst the Unrest

Amidst the Unrest, One Thing Remains the Same (Part 1)

In the matter of a few weeks, much has changed. Words and phrases such as “shutdown,” “lock-down,” “social distancing,” “pandemic,” and “outbreak,” among others, have become part of the common vernacular. Most of these words and phrases are inherently negative in nature, evoking feelings straight out of a Dean Koontz suspense novel, one in which…
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Regrets - Make people feel loved today

Regrets

On March 15th, political and cultural commentator David Brooks — who also writes for The New York Times — appeared on Meet the Press, NBC’s weekly Sunday morning public affairs program. As with every program right now, the show’s main topic of dialogue was the current coronavirus crisis. During the course of the program, what…
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Reassurance in the Age of Coronavirus

Reassurance in the Age of Coronavirus

Her phone’s quiet ding signaled an incoming text message. She picked up her phone and read the message, then gasped in disbelief. “One of our customers just left a check at the counter for $1,000, to be split between myself and three of my coworkers. He said that he wanted to help us out in…
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