Political

Compassion for the Holidays

Read Time: 4 min.

It’s been a tense year, to say the least. Political polarization is at an all-time high and people on both sides are angry. Many people don’t just disagree with the other side’s views anymore; they think the other side’s views—and the people who hold them—are abhorrent. It can be hard enough to navigate political differences with strangers and acquaintances. But what are we supposed to do when the...

Integrity and Freedom from Judgement

Read Time: 4 min.

As I’m writing this, the hearings on the newest Supreme Court judge have just finished. I purposely did not watch them… it was too much for me. Lately, I have been overwhelmed with the feeling that I’m waiting for a dream sequence to end; that I’ll wake up to a world where leaders don’t mock abuse victims, where honesty and integrity are still valuable, where character and courtesy mean something....

If you’re not first, you’re last.

Read Time: 4 min.

Before we jump right in, I have a confession to make. Prior to 2016, I paid just about as much attention to football as I did to politics – ahem – almost none. In my mind, both American pastimes were just fuzzy activities that existed in my periphery as I fumbled my way through life as a twentysomething (I’m sure many of you can relate). Whenever I got together with “the guys” to watch...

The Art of Becoming Politically Mature

Read Time: 4 min.

The political landscape has changed. And I’m not just talking about the results of another election. I mean that the attitude and atmosphere surrounding politics in our country has shifted dramatically. Growing up, I dreamed of pursuing a career in politics. It was the age of The West Wing, when being a part of the American government was something prestigious, a great way to serve our country and...

The Palpable Tension of Race Between Us

Read Time: 3 min.

It’s a rainy day in San Francisco. The kind of rainy day when grey clouds blanket the world and her emotions. Umbrellas, rain jackets, and storefront awnings hide faces. The fog tangibly separates us. And we are connected only by our collective reflections on our individuality. I step out of the SF Museum of Modern Art, where I hadn’t made it past the top floor and it’s dramatic, diverse depiction...

Sympathy for Conspiracy Theorists

Read Time: 3 min.

I asked my phone to define “conspiracy theory” and it said, “What conspiracy? There’s no conspiracy. Who told you that?” Actually, it told me that a conspiracy theory is “a belief that some covert but influential organization is responsible for a circumstance or event.” I have a confession to make. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I have sympathy for co...

Call Me Old-Fashioned

Read Time: 3 min.

Call me old-fashioned, but I think technology is a little overrated. Yes, we can have pretty much anything we want delivered to us without even putting on pants. Yes, we don’t have to go through the hassle of making real friends when we can easily connect with people online. Yes, we don’t even need to know where we’re going before we get in the car. But just because we have unlimited power at our ...

Combatting Hate with Simple Relationships

Read Time: 3 min.

For Dawud and the Muslim American Society’s mosque in Katy, Texas, it all started with pig races. Soon after the group purchased land in the Houston suburb in 2006, their neighbor, Craig Baker, began hosting pig races and selling tickets to his friends and members of the public. In time, some 300 spectators showed up every Friday evening corresponding precisely with the jummah prayers—the holiest ...

Immigration and Identity

Read Time: 3 min.

Who are you? What do you do? Where are you from? These are all questions of identity. How you answer these questions is the bedrock for how you see yourself, how you make decisions, and ultimately how you interact with the world. I’m a daughter. I’m a mother. I work in a non-profit. I’m from a rural community. I’m American. In my circles, in my community, those are acceptable answers to the questi...

Looking Back at Islam & the West

Read Time: 4 min.

In our post-9/11 world, the relationship between the “West” and “Islam” is often misunderstood. Perceived contrasts and persistent stereotypes often have nothing to do with reality, and tensions continue to increase in our polarized world. As these biases against, and fear of, others becomes deeper ingrained, it is more important than ever to take a look at our shared past to consider how we might...

Knowing Our History Without Repeating It

Read Time: 3 min.

The release of the video of the tasing and arrest of NBA player Sterling Brown –over a parking violation. The Black Lives Matter movement. A decision by National Football League owners to mandate that their players on the field stand for the singing of the national anthem. We’d like to believe we have left slavery and its legacy behind. But I wonder, as I read these stories, how far behind we have...

Stereotypes & Perspective-Taking

Read Time: 3 min.

When people look at me, they generally don’t wonder if I’m a criminal. I’ve never had a security guard follow me around a store afraid I might steal something. I’ve never had a police officer mistake my cell phone for a gun. If I were on trial for a crime, I would be less likely to be convicted and, if I were convicted, I would probably get a lighter sentence. As a white woman from the suburbs, I’...