Coming to America

When I look in the mirror, I see an American immigrant. And yet, how can that be?

I am a white male, I hold an advanced college degree, I speak fluent English, I am 55 years old.

Aren’t immigrants people of color? Don’t they only speak foreign languages? Aren’t they younger and less educated? Those are the stereotypes.

Statue of Liberty

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Playing the Race Card

What exactly is race, and why is it such an issue in our culture today?

According to Merriam-Webster, race is a category of humankind that shares certain distinctive physical traits. But if we are all part of humankind, why have our distinctive physical traits become so significant? Why do we treat people differently, based solely on the way they look?

Jax and Reddy haircut picture

Jax and Reddy are five year olds. Jax asked his mother to shave his head like his friend Reddy. That way he could trick their teacher because she would not be able to tell them apart.

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Climbing My Family Tree, Part 25

Immigrants John Spear & Catherine Kelly Spear, Robert Spear; John McLean & Martha Smythe; Richard Lamb & Elizabeth Lamb, Agnes Lamb

How’s about yee? I have uncovered me some Irish roots in the old family tree!

The Spear Family, the McLean family, and the Lamb Family all hailed from Northern Ireland. John Spear (my eight times great-grandfather), his wife, Catherine Kelly Spear, and their youngest son, Robert Spear, immigrated from Londonderry soon after the siege of that town in 1689. Continue reading

Black or White Thinking

Much ado has been made of late regarding red states and blue states, red politicians, and blue politicians. Many theorists would attribute the current social climate in the United States to this phenomenon. I disagree.

From my viewpoint, our struggle is not that we are divided red and blue, but that we tend to view most everything surrounding us as Black or White.

Black and White Butterfly

{Author’s note: In this post, “Black or White” is a metaphor for seeing people and events as “all good,” or “pure evil,” with no gray area in-between. The term is not intended as a comment on race.}  Continue reading

Believe in Best Intentions

When you give people the benefit of the doubt, and you assume they come to you with the best of intentions, your reward will be a healthier mental attitude and improved interactions with others.

Don’t believe me? Try it for a week and see for yourself! Here is what I have found:

Dig a hole cartoon

Most people try to do what they believe is best, given the level of knowledge that they have. Admittedly, things can get difficult when a person’s knowledge is limited, or significantly differs from my own. Such situations require patience and understanding. Continue reading

Bystanders, Innocent or Otherwise

What should I have done? What should I do next time? I need your advice!

On the way to work one morning this week I stopped at the service station down the road for coffee, as is my habit. When I went to the counter to pay, there was one customer in front of me. Although it was warm outside, he wore a long jacket over thick pants, and it looked as though he might have slept in his clothes. On the counter was a single can of beer. It was 6:45 AM.

Innocent Bystander

I was just three steps behind, but that was far enough I could not hear the initial conversation between the customer and the cashier…but then their voices grew louder.  Continue reading