Last month the board that oversees the Golden Gate Bridge approved a $76 million funding plan for a suicide-prevention net. In 2013, 46 people jumped to their deaths. There are phones on the bridge’s walkway, encouraging people to call if they are suicidal.
Just a few days ago, the first suicide happened on the new span of the Bay Bridge in California. People were up in arms, wondering why a suicide barrier wasn’t part of that design.
This week making... Read More
Those challenging words are in the title of a new book by Joani and Thom Schultz. Researchers at the Hartford Institute might concur. Here are some of their current stats on religion in America:
Only 40% of Americans say they attend worship services in a given week, but the actual numbers are far worse. Half of the “churchgoing” respondents are lying—the real number is only 20%.
In the three years from 2010 to 2012, half of all churches in America... Read More
A nine-year-old boy asked me if a lot of people read this blog. When I told him the range of low to high, he thought that sounded like a lot. Until my son reminded us all, “Yea, but there’s like seven billion people in the world.”
But I laughed. It’s cute when it comes from kids, who really do say the darndest things.
Do we take straight talk so well, however, when it comes from those close to us who have... Read More
Mulatto. Quadroon. Métis. Mestizo. Creole. Race is without a doubt the most tender subject in U.S. history, and the children born to parents of different races have been called many things. Some of the names are abusive, of course. Some are just earnest attempts to describe. A young man in my congregation with both black and white heritage told his mom that he considers himself a “Halfrican-American.”
Whatever you choose to call them, people with multiracial heritage are on the... Read More
So here’s the deal. I might let an offhand remark slide in person, but once I’m alone, I’ll think back to the conversation, letting it stew, then simmer, then boil. This morning I did it again; I let my thoughts run rampant. The more I created a tense conversation in my imagination, the more constricted my chest became. I was physically reacting to my own weird mental musings. Because it was all in my head, I figured I couldn’t help... Read More
So President Obama needs some money from Congress to deal with the problem of thousands of unsupervised children crossing our southern border. This political struggle is nothing new—in fact, it’s just the latest twist in a tug-of-war over immigration that has been going on in the U.S. for almost two centuries. It is a problem with no solution. As Winston Churchill said, “Some problems cannot be solved; they can only be managed.” Immigration policies and laws go through regular cycles... Read More
A few weeks ago, Matt Lauer stepped in the fray. In an interview with Mary Barra, the new chief executive of General Motors, he asked, “You said in an interview not long ago that your kids said they’re going to hold you accountable for one job and that is being a mom. . . . Given the pressures of this job at General Motors, can you do both well?”
Uh-oh. You are so not allowed to ask that question today—at... Read More
“Thank you for calling ___ Store. One of our associates will be with you in just a moment. This call may be monitored for quality.”
I’m sure you’ve encountered that message from a business you’ve called. Businesses that want to grow know that they need to take care of their customers—service is king. Phone centers need to make a caller feel important and give the caller a good experience with the company and its products. Competitors are waiting.
Another strategy... Read More
Chances are you’ve heard about the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Hobby Lobby case.
If you believe business owners shouldn’t have to pay for specific forms of abortifacient birth control that conflict with their religious beliefs, the ruling is a victory. If you, along with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, believe this ruling will “deny legions of women . . . access to contraceptive coverage,” it was a defeat.
(Just to clarify, you aren’t denied access to contraception if... Read More
On my last two plane flights I was trapped near families that were traveling with very small children. Flying is unpleasant enough these days for grown-ups, and so I am not surprised that a toddler would find the noise, cramped conditions, flight turbulence, and changing cabin air pressure very stressful and would use the ancient response of screaming to demonstrate displeasure. I was trapped. Everyone was trapped. The screeching ricocheted around the narrow walls of our flying tube. I fantasized... Read More