Four Articles and a Poem

8:28 AM


Weekly, I post four articles that I found significant and a poem accompanied by some comments about what we can learn from them. Our lives are enriched by seeing better. Each week, one article comes from the world of photography, a discipline that is about seeing. Another article comes from the world of technology, hence seeing something of the future. Another article takes up an aspect of our life together, seeing more clearly the other. Another article refers to faith, seeing the unseen. Finally, the weekly post concludes with a poem, because poetry is about seeing words whose arrangement allows us to see anew.

This week, Stephen Colbert's interview with GQ was amazing. That is our first link. Since I drove to Mom and Dad's home in Kansas this week, I will share the work of a photographer documenting a changing Midwestern town. Whether we live in a big or small city, we can make choices about our community, our friends. the third article offers some reflections on friendship in the big city. The last article might inspire some guilt about what you will eventually do with the device where you are reading this. The gates of Dante's Inferno had a sign: "Abandon hope all ye who enter here." Our poem will lead us to "The Gates of Hope."
  1. The Late, Great Stephen Colbert. GQ magazine did a remarkable interview of Stephen Colbert. With an incisive window into his work to create a new show, it is poignant as well. This was the best thing that I read all week. With no further ado, click the link now. The rest of this post will wait.
  2. A Changing Midwest. . . I first noticed Josh Bachman's work on the Xela Daily Photo blog from Guatemala. Currently working on his master's project, he is documenting changes in Milan, MO. Like many places across the Midwest, Milan has attracted a growing Latino community. Bachman's work is worth perusing. Take some time and enjoy his work.
  3. Get Rich With: Your Own Urban Tribe. Mr. Money Mustache is a website written by a thirtysomething who offer excellent, frugal financial advice. The blog often comments on the difference between wants and needs. This article consider how a work-life balance contributes to community life. The author's family lives day-to-day without use of their car, mostly walking within two miles of their home. The web of relationships with their neighbors, the depth of those relationships is appealing in a world where many of us live without knowing our neighbors by name. Mr. Money Mustache recognizes that his quality of life is determined more by his relationships than his toys. If you have not read him before, read the article.
  4. What should we do about electronic waste?The World Economic Forum shares this article written by Privahini Bradoo, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of BlueOak, a start-up aimed at recycling high value metals from e-waste. Afterwards, next time you upgrade whatever device upon which you a reading this, please, recycle.
We conclude with a poem that ran recently in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. The poet, the Reverend Victoria Safford, is Lead Minister at White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church in Mahtomedi, MN.

The Gates of Hope
by Rev. Victoria Safford

Our mission is to plant ourselves at the gates of Hope—
Not the prudent gates of Optimism,
Which are somewhat narrower.
Not the stalwart, boring gates of Common Sense;
Nor the strident gates of Self-Righteousness,
Which creak on shrill and angry hinges
(People cannot hear us there; they cannot pass through)
Nor the cheerful, flimsy garden gate of
“Everything is gonna’ be all right.”
But a different, sometimes lonely place,
The place of truth-telling,
About your own soul first of all and its condition.
The place of resistance and defiance,
The piece of ground from which you see the world
Both as it is and as it could be
As it will be;
The place from which you glimpse not only struggle,
But the joy of the struggle.
And we stand there, beckoning and calling,
Telling people what we are seeing
Asking people what they see.

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