Old Faithful

Apparently, although not visibly, Americans are moving away from religion. The new, new silent majority (well, growing minority) are the irreligious millennials. This seems contrary to everything one can possibly consume through media channels. The common experience of America is that America is driven by religiosity, and that religious freedom is the most important Constitutional Right, next to the Second Amendment—the one about a well regulated militia . In fact, for many religious Americans, the first two amendments to the Constitution are the Constitution, and therefore, America.

But back to religiosity. Religion, as defined as “a particular system of faith and worship”, is on the decline among millennials. The Pew Research Center’s survey focused on Americans’ religious beliefs and practices. Essentially, the numbers suggest polarization along religious lines may be increasing in the United States. Although the percentage of Americans who responded that they are unaffiliated with any religious tradition is growing, those who identify with a religion are becoming more devout. The political implications are apparent.

The disaffection with formal religious institutions among millennials is not the same as lack of spirituality or morality. The survey explored traditional religious practices in association with traditional religious institutions.

I suspect that for those for whom faith in a deity and in an organized religion, the religious institution is a source of community and structure, rules and regulations, charity and ideals. For those for whom faith is not found in religious structures or descriptions, they may still seek a spiritual life (or not), and still seek community and morality, humanitarian causes and social justice, rules and regulations, charity and ideals. But it’s hard to have faith in institutions these days.

That’s what unites these two seemingly disparate (and desperate) states of America: The lack of faith in institutions seems to be pervasive. For some, there is faith in religious institutions and not in government; for others, there is faith (although perhaps dissatisfaction) in governmental and social institutions, and not in religious ones.
Faith is elusive when seeing evidence of the contrary. It’s hard to have faith in a person or institution when one’s belief is seemingly contradicted. Cops killing unarmed suspects, makes it hard to have faith in police. Daily shootings, often seemingly random, makes it hard to have faith in our gun laws. Schools dictated by tests, and colleges bankrupting young adults and families make it hard to have faith in education. People who are so anti-government they are willing to do anything to gain power to obstruct the government, make it hard to have faith in our institutions or in people. Knowing how much it takes to live a middle class life, much less leave a legacy, makes it very difficult to have faith in our economic system, or in our future.

Faith is future oriented, based on our feelings in the present. Ironically, it is history that can provide us the comfort necessary for faith. It is an accurate understanding of the unfolding of history, not as an ideological story, but more of a scientific and evolutionary approach to understanding circumstances and their impacts. It is not a predictor, and differences between historical moments are important to acknowledge. But we have seen religious eras, and progressive eras; chaotic times when violence was rampant and government was flailing. We’ve seen threatening times, and war too many times. And what seems unique now, has parallels.

I have faith in evolution. Sometimes I forget that we can evolve personally, because the evidence is often so contrary to my belief. Likewise, it’s easy to lose faith in our institutions, because we seem so stuck, and we confuse images and stories with knowledge,and we are often unwise. It’s difficult to see evolution, especially when we are overwhelmed by replays of old conflicts  with current unenlightened players. I don’t know the significance of the study on Americans and religion. It’s always evolving. We will continue to evolve. On that, I guess you can count me among the faithful.


You’ve probably read and heard umpteen remembrances of Dr. Oliver Sacks by now, and it’s only a day after his passing. The groundswell of mourning, even among those of us who never saw him in person, is a testament to his gifts. He was not only a scientist and physician of neurology, but passionate and compassionate, eager and humble, healer and patient, patient and restless, a seeker of knowledge and a friend to humanity. He embodied what so many of us wish we could.

Toward the end of his fascinating life, he shared many of his own personal experiences. He expressed his scientific explorations as well as human sensations, and as we got to know his work (about his patients), he began to express his own unusualness. Despite his expertise and stature, his later writings made him all the more human, and relatable. He reminded us that we may not even know that people may experience the world differently in some capacities than we do.

His fascination with so many facets of the natural world, particularly of the brain, was expressed with such enthusiasm and joy that it was contagious. We mourn the loss of such joy and knowledge. The world needs more knowledge and joy, not less.

It was with his sense of joy and pursuit of knowledge that he came to explore neurological conditions, and with his magnificent gift for prose, to express his clinical experiences (and later, his personal experiences) to a lay audience, while educating our hearts and minds. It was not that the extraordinary would seem ordinary, but that we could be introduced to experiences and conditions seemingly far from our own, and feel the humanity and compassion for an other. The bizarre was no longer hidden, but “awakened” for us.

We may be blessed enough to not have such neurological disorders in our lives, or we may recognize that disorders may arise in some other fashion in our lives. We may be caregivers or incapacitated ourselves at some other time. The introduction to that which is so different from our experience thus far, has far reaching implications.

We have seen social changes that were unthinkable two generations ago. What is considered bizarre, changes. How we include and care for those who struggle to function says much about us. Many struggle much more than we may realize. The “bizarre” may be hidden—at least temporarily. Or, the bizarre may burst forth and we must learn to pursue knowledge over fear.

Easier said than done, of course, but Dr. Sacks, gently and brilliantly had us become acquainted with not only neurological disorders and personal distresses, but took us into the world beyond our own. Ultimately, it’s all our world. Nature has so many facets to explore and from which to learn that may, in turn, increase our ability to impact other conditions. The more knowledge we can acquire about the natural world and make connections, the more we can affect positive change.

Dr Oliver Sacks seemed as unique as his case studies, but for many different reasons. Ultimately though, even his case studies and his personal seemingly unconventional experiences, were oh-so- human. Oliver! Consider yourself one of us!

And that’s the precious part. He was a gifted doctor and writer and educator, who relentlessly pursued knowledge and shared his joy and knowledge. He was generous of spirit and through his sharing, connected not just ideas, but souls. I may only wish I had his prodigious gifts of heart and mind—those that seem to separate the extraordinary from the ordinary, but despite those differences, like the differences he wrote about, we’re all facets of nature. Truly extraordinary.

Cowardly Lyin’

RIP Cecil. By now you know about the beloved lion, Cecil, who was lured away from a national park in Zimbabwe so that a dentist from Minnesota, Walter James Palmer, could have an opportunity to hunt Cecil outside the confines of the national park for $50,000.00. I won’t recount the gory details here. Suffice it to say, that while nothing will bring back Cecil the Lion, the public condemnation of Palmer’s big game hunt is forcing consequences that he obviously never imagined. In the face of serious threats, Palmer admitted to killing Cecil, but claimed that he was led to believe that the transaction and the hunt were legal. Whether or not they were legal, they were cowardly. And, at the very least, he’s lying to himself to convince himself that his hunting was justifiable.

Humans lie. Sometimes the lie is small and the consequences are insignificant beyond the immediate saving face. Other times, the lies are great to cover serious acts—perhaps criminal or to save lives. Lying to oneself is more insidious. Humans have tremendous capacities for convincing, and as Stephen Colbert taught us, “truthiness”. We contrive information and situations to suit our beliefs and our stories—even our morals.

We lie when we are afraid. And we tend to feel superior—even brave—when we think we are speaking truth to power. Sometimes, though, people confuse speaking truth to power, with speaking power to truthiness. People may disagree and still speak truthfully. Sadly, we are bombarded with cowardice and lying, in the guise of bully tactics and outrageous attempts to discredit perceived threats to one’s beliefs and/or power.

The current controversy over a “secret” (and edited) video created by abortion foes to discredit (and defund) Planned Parenthood is infuriating and tragic to me. The incredible, intentional distortion used to suggest that Planned Parenthood is a nefarious operation engaged in trafficking fetal body parts for profit, is disturbing not because if it were true it would be horrifying, but because there are those who feel compelled to lie and distort to suit their so-called morals. I have no objection to those who oppose abortion on moral grounds. I may respectfully disagree. I have objections to those who seek to ruin people by suggesting horror through distortion. It is cowardly to lie to make a point. It is also tragic.

Remember when Representative Joe Wilson yelled, “You lie!!” at the President during Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress? It was startling and cringe-worthy, not because there was another important side or other information to consider (there usually is), but because disagreement is not an excuse for distortion, obnoxious behavior, outrageous statements, or lying (much less lying about lying). The assumption that someone who represents other ideas must be lying is small minded. However, when someone speaks and/or acts in a way that includes taking down another to make a point, one wonders about why one might need to distort and/or lie.

Are we so threatened and frightened by everyone else that lying or yelling “You lie!”, (or worse), or intentionally distorting the truth (lying) is all we have? Certainly, demanding the truth is necessary, and the ways in which that can be accomplished can be done with more critical thought and analysis. Our communications revolution has facilitated the ways in which people can be seen and heard, and allows for seemingly endless opportunities for distortion. The instantaneousness that technology provides encourages immediate reactions and responses, and a myriad of platforms to put forth one’s views.

Humans have always lied. Now, though, they can distort images and audio, or even just distort the truth for all to consume constantly. They can spew hate on global platforms heard and/or seen instantly and repeatedly. Even worse, it seems like so many will buy into lies, or at least into “truthiness”.

People often lie when they feel threatened or have a distorted sense of power and value. When they seek to bring down another, they are cowards. Cowardly lyin’, no matter how creative the lies or distortions, sustains negativity and can’t create positive change.
There will always be threatening people and ideas. Some will seek veracity, truth and compassion through truth. Others will seek power without compassion and distort the truth. They are cowardly lyin’.

American Express

The recent story of Rachel Dolezal, the (now former) President of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, being outed as white is fascinating and sad to me. She has been accused of posing as a black woman which, given her heretofore leadership position at the NAACP, makes her quite controversial.Dolezal’s choice to identify as a black woman had journalists investigating her family for some revelations. Her racial heritage was exposed, which called into question cultural experiences and expressions, and what constitutes valid expression of identity.

As this story exploded over the weekend and continues to unfold, many are more disturbed by her being a fraud, than by her choice of identity. Still, many find her identity choice rather curious, and further evidence of white privilege.

I find the issue fascinating as it brings to the forefront the cultural constructs we have for race, while pretending that it’s merely biological and physical. Moreover, it relates to how we have been stuck in tribalism. Even the word tribe conjures up traditional societies, often with biological origins and/or ethnic ties that have been distinguished from other political/socio-economic entities. Modern nation states consider themselves beyond the tribal wars of earlier eras or distant locales, but the tribal instinct seems to be universal and eternal.

If we are to truly evolve, we have to look at our own tribalism. Even when we identify with a particular ethnic group, or regional culture, we may inadvertently clutch in such a way that reinforces our identity by clinging inwardly and asserting that belonging is not a choice. It’s ethnic and historic, and one’s actions are not as significant as one’s biological and historical roots. Membership has it’s privileges: Others are excluded, and possibly ridiculed or disparaged (or worse). Sometimes, the identification with the particular ethnic group or tribe is more important than anything.

Except it isn’t. We’ve seen Balkan wars in Europe; tribal wars in Africa; Sunni and Shia in the Middle East; genocide, ethnic cleansing, segregation, and separate subcultures across modern democratic societies that have become increasingly insular, despite social diversity and acceptance of differences in an ever more diverse and globalized world.

There is still a lot of insider-ness by those who descended from those of outsider status. The MOT (Member of the Tribe) conversations among Jewish people is often nothing more than acknowledging someone’s Jewish heritage, but the very existence of the acronym MOT is troubling to me. I understand the reflex toward tribalism and identifying with a group or sub-culture. Ultimately, though, the inherent exclusion that comes with that identification is what triggers negative reactions regardless of tribe or social or ethnic group.

Americans pride themselves on self-expression. We profess individual freedom and the right to express oneself, but we rarely face our own tribalism, and the ways in which that gets expressed.

Different histories of repression and privilege seem intrinsic to our identifications.Physical features certainly provide the most obvious characteristics to link to a lineage and history and culture. We profess not to judge individuals based on their physical features, but we quickly identify individuals with a group.

Our politics is so tribal. Our institutions claim to be at least legally beyond tribal, but usually exist with sub-cultures and divisions. We may self segregate (or be forced to segregate due to historical policies that ensured certain divisions even if they are no longer legally mandated). Americans are not comfortable looking at the realities of our own tribalism and the ways in which we exclude and degrade—regardless of status. We understand our history of racism, but we are still clinging to group identities that we claim supports our own expression.

So the story of Rachel Dolezal is fascinating and sad to me. Her story raises so many questions about American expression of tribalism and individual choice and circumstance, as well as the convoluted situation of race that we are currently struggling with so profoundly. Perhaps her story, which is unique as it pertains to her specific life and family, is also one that highlights our American tribalism. Our American expression of freedom is always diminished when we retreat to our tribal instincts.

Mom Genes

Mother— defined by a concept and/or conception.

Culturally, we have inherited concepts of Mother, that have often been confused with biology. Women have inherited mothering traits that are largely determined by our cultural DNA (supported by biological DNA). We tend to think that biology is supported by culture, but that is certainly not always the case.

Our cultural DNA still has us favoring Mom as the primary caregiver and nurturer. However, cultural norms are changing for men and women allowing biology to not be destiny, and enabling new configurations of family (and work) life. Still, our cultural DNA insists on a concept of Mother as primary caregiver and nurturer that has endured various sociological tweaks and scientific breakthroughs.

The biological necessities of motherhood are rather short lived, compared to the cultural ones. Of course, that is because children take so darn long to grow up (biologically and culturally). So, Mother, as a concept, may commence with knowledge of conception, but it lingers long after (or beyond) any physical imperatives. Our cultural DNA ensures that Mother is not only a physical event and a psychological necessity, but also a cultural idea.

Not an ideal, but an idea. There have always been adoptive parents and wet nurses, and ways around non-biological mothering. In recent decades, in vitro fertilization, and various hormone treatments, surrogacy, and other heretofore unimaginable methods have expanded the possibilities for motherhood. (and for TLC shows). We have an idea (and an ideal) of Mother, but when it comes to kids, our culture seems to be very non-maternal, and very unsupportive of mothers, especially struggling mothers.

The current concept of Mother dovetails on earlier cultural concepts of the long suffering but ever loving nurturer, nowadays schlepping all day every day. Always frazzled, running late, eating on the go, texting or skyping to stay connected. Dinner is an ideal. Basic nutrition is not so basic; nor is it convenient or affordable. It’s a luxury. Schools are stressors for kids and (mostly) Moms. Mothers are preoccupied with keeping their children occupied–for their safety; for scheduling around work; for building the kids’ resumes. There is little down time and, like the adult world, busyness is equated with productivity and worth. In our culture today, if Mom is busy, she’s doing it right. Mothers’ Day in 2015 means a day with answered texts and probably a call, and an opportunity to not schlep.

As a culture, we consider the nurturers and caregivers the least worthy of respect. Oh, there’s lip service, but not policy or compensation. We outsource caregiving and devalue it– at home, school, hospital, assisted living. The primary cultural concept of Mother as caregiver and nurturer–that which describes our Mom Genes– is in fact devalued in our cultural reality. Like an appendix, we are left with Mothers’ Day.

Perhaps starting with this Mothers’ Day, you can contribute to work/programs/organizations that make a difference to mothers and children. What can you do beyond Mothers’ Day? Consider how well those Mom Genes fit. Maybe it’s time for alterations.  Here’s to a Happy Mothers’ Day (and many more)!


The Gray Matter–The matter of 25 year old Freddy Gray’s death from a severed spine after being in police custody last week, has inspired peaceful protest for police reform, as well as outrageous violence, rioting, looting and arson. Gray was arrested by Baltimore Police 2 weeks ago. What exactly happened after he was taken into police custody is unclear, or at least unanswered to the public. The issue of police brutality has been painted in black and white, and the recent high profile cases of deaths occurring at the hands of police officers has much of the public outraged by excessive violence from the police.

The police departments have suggested that these tragedies have occurred within the confines of the law, and that violent suspects,or suspects near violence, have caused the police reactions. Kill or be killed. Is it just the rogue cop or two (in each precinct)? It’s got to be more than that.

Those who say that they understand the rage underneath the current violence in Baltimore because there are no longer decent jobs due to globalization, must be younger than I (and/or unaware of history). I was born and raised in B’more, and lived there until I was 17. Baltimore always seemed deeply segregated to me. Racially, economically, ethnically…..and there was a terribly impoverished inner city long before globalization. I moved from Baltimore in 1981. It was always an extremely dangerous (and sad) place to me, despite its other charms. There are beautiful areas, historic, cultural, quirky, and also the hideous stuff that provided the stories for “The Wire” and “Homicide”.

It is easy to lump all the recent police brutality incidents together; all these racially charged incidents together; impoverished areas with high crime rates together. There are indeed similarities and patterns.There also seems to be an unwillingness to acknowledge the entrenched tragedies on all sides: thugs who are cops and thugs who are not cops; an entrenched system of economic failure and a culture of violence; lack of vision; lack of hope; lack of change; lack of leadership; lack of decent homes, schools, or jobs; not being more.

The violence following the protests and funeral for Freddy Gray yesterday were disturbing and sad, but sadly, not unfamiliar nor unexpected. We wanted B’more to BE MORE. We want all of our communities to BE MORE for all of us. We want our police to BE MORE for all of us. We want our elected officials to BE MORE for all of us. We want our schools and medical facilities to BE MORE for all of us.

Maybe the takeaway from B’More is just that. Be More than your circumstances. Be More than your fears. Be More than your anger. Be More than your habits. Be More than your desires. Be More than you’ve been, or than you might have been. Be more for all of us.

Bubbling Crude

Today is the 5th anniversary of the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, affecting the beaches and wetlands from Texas to Florida. The deadly accident on the Deepwater Horizon rig killed eleven workers when it exploded, and gushed oil for nearly 3 months uncontrolled. This environmental disaster has been our nation’s worst to date, affecting lives and livelihoods and wildlife across the region.

The spill’s impacts remain to this day.

Today is also the 16th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting– a devastating event that we thought was an anomaly. In the 16 years since, we’ve seen countless shootings–and several mass shootings–of innocents (and innocence). Those who gush about their right to protect themselves are quick to deny the consequences of gun culture and violence, and any sort of responsibility for ensuring freedom for those who are unlucky enough to be in the path of a disturbed individual (or two).

When madness bubbles over, and we lack sophistication in our abilities to de-escalate, we are left with the crude culture of violence and abuse, limiting lives long after the initial explosion,polluting our environment.

Those tragic anniversaries of devastation linger not only because they were utterly horrific and wake-up calls, but even more tragically, because they continue to devastate,  and remain unresolved and likely to happen again at any moment.

Policies (and certainly politics) related to guns and the environment have not changed significantly; nor has the culture at large changed with regard to environmental or gun regulation. Regulation is still considered by many to be an infringement upon freedom, rather than the standards for health and safety for all. And while our health care system has been fought over, those afflicted by mental illness are still too often not able to obtain necessary treatment. The effects are not only individual. Individual health affects public health. The ways in which we treat our ailments, individually and societally, still seem crude.

I’m not one to ascribe significance to a date that has had terrible tragedies. As we move through history, there will be more events (good and bad) occurring on the same date. Sometimes there is significance, and often it is crude. I seem to recall that the reason April 20th was selected as the date for the massacre at Columbine High School was because it was Hitler’s birthday.

Hate bubbles to the service in each generation, but how we deal with hate and indifference, as well as greed and ignorance, each crude states, can be (and must be) challenged anew.

The 2016 race has officially begun, but I feel like it’s still the bubbling crude. It’s as though we are coated in greed, indifference, hate and violence–stuck in the gulf. We have become a more crude culture, and we’ve seen the deleterious effects when it bubbles to the surface.

We have a lot more cleaning up to do. Maybe, remembering the flammability of that bubbling crude will inspire more alternative energies going forward.

It Is What It Isn’t

It isn’t bigotry; it’s freedom of religion. It isn’t mass murder; it’s Depression. It isn’t diplomacy; it’s appeasement.

It isn’t rape; it’s drunken sex. It isn’t obstruction; it’s Democracy. It isn’t murder; it’s self defense. It isn’t spying; it’s security. It isn’t union busting; it’s the right to work. It isn’t about public health; it’s about private choice.

It seems like we actually spend our lives on what something or someone isn’t. We have a tradition of distinguishing ourselves from others by emphasizing other-ness. Even with our history of civil rights and feminism, expanding rights for all sorts of people once excluded, the current zeitgeist is not one of inclusion and expansion. Critical thinking has largely been distorted into oppositional thinking.

Say it isn’t so!

We’ve shifted from what it is to what it isn’t, as we’ve been bombarded with challenges to our assumptions:

It’s a slam-dunk! (for which we are paying unimagined consequences in the Middle East).

It’s a no brainer!

It’s a sure thing!

It’s a 10!

It’s a boy!

It’s complicated.

The truth is, it is complicated. There are different views and facets and understandings and expressions of much of life. Concepts of gender, of life, of liberty, of religion, and so many constructs that were historically entrenched….are still evolving. It doesn’t feel like evolution when we seem so mired, and it is easy to feel despair.

It is what it is. The sigh of stalemate. We don’t hear “c’est la vie”  any more. We say “it is what it is”, like pop zen masters (or Winnie the Pooh). When we don’t know what else we can do, we can acknowledge that it is what it is. Move on.

We don’t seem to be moving on by what it isn’t. It isn’t right. It isn’t safe. It isn’t about you (or me). It isn’t working.

So many articles are written to sound as though previously held notions were naive, or misguided, or wrong. It’s as though some people think they sound smarter by debunking anything we’ve known prior to now. It seems as though everything you thought was true isn’t. It is what it isn’t. Aside from being able to eat butter and drink coffee now, this new moment of deconstruction requires critical thinking, not just being critical.  Some previously held ideas and constructs that seemed to be true and even natural deserve to be queried. But, not everything must be turned inside out or dismantled.  In fact, there seems to be a dearth of common sense and wisdom, much less decent behavior. And there is certainly a lack of common good.

So how do we move beyond it is what it isn’t? Acknowledge that it is what it is, but doesn’t always have to be this way or simply the mirror opposite (that way). Movement happens between (and/or beyond) those points–where there is space to move. We know there is a better way, isn’t there?


Lots and lots going on this week

suggesting who we are

and what we seek

and whether these moments

are indeed unique.


Bohener’s gift to the GOP

was a powerful speech

by PM Bibi.

Then another gift,

courtesy of Hilary.


Homeland Security is secure

at least until September.

The month when we feel most unsure

if we’ve endured the worst

or must prepare for more (war?).


It seems as though we most desire

basic heroes and villains,

whose masks hide the quagmire

we find ourselves in,

when we neglect what we truly require.


Lots of stories, and the story of lots

This week, the whole megillah.

Heroes and villains and twists of plots

Is Iran still Persia?

My stomach’s in knots.


As the season of Carnival gives way to Lent,

regardless of one’s tradition,

perhaps we’ll find that in the present

we can draw lots

of new possibilities with a shift of intent.

Speech Pathology

While away visiting family and friends, I was not away from the horror of the terror that enveloped Paris. I may have been some 5,600 + miles from Paris, but I could be in the same zone of interest, despite the difference in time zones. I could converse via email with a cousin in Paris, and watch cable news and read analyses on my ipad, and post my sympathies.

Our extraordinary abilities to communicate through fiber optics, cables and signals anywhere, anytime, has transformed civilization in terms of immediate access, but what makes our civilization civilized is our capacity for consideration and compassion. Our advancement in technologies have allowed for an unprecedented flow of communication and movement, which has enabled expressions of hope as well as of hate .

Lately, the pathologies that have distorted and infected our lives with hate have manifested in abuse and violence in carefully orchestrated attacks upon innocents. The hostage takers at the kosher market in Paris spoke fluent French, yet did not speak the same language as their French hostages. The terrorists’ nihilism and dehumanization, was uttered using the same vocalized sounds and words that other French nationals would be familiar with, but there was no connection.

Some have argued that while there is absolutely no justification for violence or abuse, there must be social causes for such disaffection that would enable so many to seek a dangerous and violent path and wage war against Western Civilization. In essence, these people are looking for the pathologies in modern democratic societies that might explain the pathology of terrorism. Freedom, and lately our free speech, whether in the form of a silly comedy movie, or political cartoons, has been threatened with silencing. This is speech pathology!

Often, in cases of medical speech disorders, there is an auditory component. In order to learn language and speak effectively, one must have clear and accurate perception, as well as the structures and strength to create clearly understood speech. Too often, when toddlers are not articulating adequately, there is a hearing deficit. The relationship between being able to hear and speak is inextricable. Even without hearing, there is a capacity for language and communication. Sign language is every bit as expressive, and depends upon perception.

Those who don’t want to hear are seeking to silence the rest of us.This cultural speech pathology has affected those whose perception has them seek to destroy rather than to construct. The speech pathology that we have been witnessing has been so painful because our capacity for communication is so closely intertwined with our humanity and our culture. The pathology of repression and hate, expressed through abuse and violence must always be countered. There is certainly a deficit of hearing and a surfeit of misperception when such pathologies of repression and hate cause those to silence speech and fear freedom.

As I was en route to the airport to head home yesterday, I saw a sign for the “Museum of Tolerance”. I was struck by the idea of exhibiting tolerance. The thought that tolerance as a relic–something housed in a museum– was disturbing. Of course, using historical events as examples of tolerance (and intolerance) are powerful displays of human capacities (and pathologies). Then again, exhibiting tolerance is what we need to do in our daily lives. It’s a sort of speech therapy for the speech and hearing pathologies that have been so threatening.