Failing Friendships and Learning to be Kind

Read Time: 4 min.

I’ve heard it said that, even more than their lessons, educators teach who they are as people. Students learn about their teachers’ passions, annoyances, available buttons to push, and amount of care they hold for their pupils—perhaps even more than they learn about their coursework. As a teacher, I have seen this happen. As a former student, I’ve learned that the most important person a student c...

Nice vs Kind

Read Time: 2 min.

One of the many unintended side effects of becoming a parent is that you’re forced to develop a completely new relationship with the English language. I don’t mean that you’ll instantly gain an understanding of homophones, homonyms, and homographs – no such luck. What I mean is that you’ll learn that “sit on the couch” can mean a multitude of different things – ranging from the traditi...

Family Matters

Read Time: 3 min.

Growing up, I had a pretty normal childhood filled with little league games, family vacations, and in sixth grade…divorce. You may not think this last little tidbit is “normal,” but in today’s world, 40-50% of first-time marriages will end in divorce (the odds are greater among second and third marriages). I know this isn’t the most cheerful start to a post, but we’re all adults here. I just...

Can I Respect and Disagree with Grandma?

Read Time: 3 min.

My Grandma is my favorite person on the planet. She is 89 and she lives alone. She never learned to drive because she and my Grandpa lived in Chicago for most of their lives and she could take the bus to do anything she needed in the city. When my mother and her siblings were growing up, my Grandma would take them to baseball games and movies and would sneak beer in for herself. When I was little,...

“I’m Bringing Sexy Back”

Read Time: 3 min.

Like most millennials (and every other human on Earth), I think about sex. A lot. Not in the “constantly-horny-teenager-going-through-puberty” kind of way; it’s more of a “I-feel-like-a-scientist-because-I’m-so-curious-to-know-what-other-people-think-about-this-basic-human-need” kind of thing. Growing up, society tells us that we’re gross, perverted, and should keep our thoughts to ourselves. I do...

Healthy sex—do we know what it is?

Read Time: 5 min.

Sex. It is everywhere, and it is a part of all of us. Having it, not having it, wishing we were having it, never having it done correctly, being addicted to it, even being paid for it. We all are classified by how we identify with one, none, or even multiple genders. It seems to pervade every layer of political discussion and color most interactions to some degree.  Who we are is somewhat defined ...


Read Time: 4 min.

If you’ve gotten the impression that the God Christians follow doesn’t like sex, or that the Bible is a prudish book, is it a surprise to hear that isn’t true? Is it a shock to hear that God celebrates sex? Many Christians themselves are taken aback by the unembarrassed sensuality found in the book called “Song of Solomon,” which is right in the middle of the Bible. As one lover proclaims to his p...

Old Friends, New Friends, and the Lonely Spaces In-Between

Read Time: 4 min.

My family made four cross-country moves before I turned 18. I don’t remember the move from California to Michigan because I was just a toddler. The move from Michigan to Illinois was a mixture of excitement for something new and sadness because I quickly missed my friends of eight years. The next two moves, when I was 11 and 16, turned my already naturally introverted personality into that of a hu...

How to Mentor—Lessons from Eboo Patel

Read Time: 2 min.

Over the past several years, I have had the privilege of grabbing coffee with Eboo Patel. A social entrepreneur based out of Chicago, Eboo is the founder and executive director of one of the fastest growing and most influential non-profits in the world, the Interfaith Youth Core. From time to time, Eboo and I get together to catch up and talk about what is going on in our lives. As we’ve met over ...

Line Leading is Leading Us Astray

Read Time: 3 min.

Life is full of big moments. The moment you find the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, the moment you buy your first house (OK, maybe not in this economy), and even the moment you snag your first job. As important as these moments are, nothing means more than a single moment that comes way before any of us are ready: The first time your teacher chooses you to be the line lea...

“Take a chance on me!”

Read Time: 3 min.

A friend of mine who is in the job market just shared a bit of frustration with me: almost every position that is advertised, he said, is requiring 3-5 years of experience. My friend looked me in the eye and asked, point blank with a bit of despair, “how am I supposed to get any experience if I can’t get hired in the first place?” A good question. My friend’s experience brought back my own memorie...


Read Time: 4 min.

A lot of what Christianity has to say about leadership can be summed up pretty well in one story about Jesus with his followers: A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest am...

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