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UR Here: How fear divides us

The United States’ stark political divide has many of us shaking our heads in bewilderment and frustration. What is at the root of our seemingly insurmountable differences? Perhaps the wedge that divides us is as fundamental — and viscerally powerful — as fear. […]

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UR Here: Finding the nativity in your own community

Whether one believes in the literal or religious truth of the Christmas story or not, it remains a powerful and influential tale, obviously for Christians, but even for many non-Christians. Over the years, as the Yuletide celebration commences, I have often discovered new ideas in this simple yet profound tale. This year, the story of the nativity has helped me understand something about what is important for community. […]

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UR Here: Creating community through communal creation of meaning

“Meet me by the Buddha statue.” If you’re from the Iowa City area, quite a lot of you would know our rendezvous point immediately if I said this to you. “Meet me by the Brain.” If you’re a University of Iowa student and I said this to you, you’d know where to go.

The Buddha and the Brain are two relatively new public sculptures in the Iowa City community, now well-known enough that they’ve become landmarks with even a tradition or two attached to them. Funny thing is, the Buddha and the Brain are actually not those things at all — and yet they are. […]

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UR Here: Is home where the heart is?

One of the failures of adults, and even schools, is quashing the creativity of children. Too often, we tell them they’re not good at something — singing, drawing, writing and so forth. That leads to abandonment of natural joys that should be part of all of our lives. Something similar often happens with our relationship […]

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UR Here: Rethinking the comfort zone

We often live by notions and aphorisms, sometimes perhaps more than we should. The greatest danger comes when guiding concepts become clichés, yet we still depend on them for understanding and direction. A number of times recently, I have run across the old saw that we should “get out of our comfort zone,” which has […]

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