A world of new days

After a while, giving space to what is real, we shy away from comments which are prefaced with “in the old days” or “in a more perfect world” or “in easier times.”  However, we exist in a world of new days; the world has been wrapped in centuries of imperfection and a general uneasiness lying at the core of human nature. 

During a lifetime, there are moments in time that shape and impact our lives. These moments can be a short-term occurrence or a long-term period of time. Regardless the length and intensity of the events, they can impact us in ways we might immediately recognize. Subsequently, there is a need to understand history and its impact on the individual as well as the collective who lived through the event. At the time, I didn’t understand why she did it, but over 30 years ago, I noticed my grandma Olga (my mother’s mother) taking paper plates out of the garbage, cleaning them off, and storing them in a plastic bag. She didn’t know I had seen her do this, and she seemed to wait until others were not present when she did it. Grandma Olga didn’t talk about it, didn’t make a deal out of it and seemed to be a secretive task. I didn’t understand why she would do such a thing, was wondering why she didn’t understand the purpose of paper plates and was cynical about why a person would do such a thing.

On identity

A poll released in February found that 7.2% of U.S. adults identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual in 2022, a new record high according to Statista, a company that synthesizes poll results.  Generation Z was included in the poll, and results showed that 19.7% of Gen Z (those born between 1997-2004) – nearly 1 in 5 – identify as LGBT. 

The wheels go 'round

In 1924, the Ford Motor Company boasted it had manufactured nearly 70% of the automobiles produced in the U.S.; two years later, General Motors Corporation’s Chevrolet had become a competitor. When the looming Great Depression became a reality, a few years later, both manufacturers of “horsepower minus the horse” were seriously harmed by the sudden poverty which spread rapidly throughout the world. 

Authentic leadership

Authentic leadership means the leader is being true to their own values as well as the values of the organization. In being true to themselves and the organization, there must be a strong alignment between what the leader values and what the organization values. In order to make this alignment a possibility, there must be a clear identification of the values of each and a clear communication of those values.

Minnesota snow masochists

Fellow Minnesotan: What are we thinking?  It is cold here, and it snows like this in April. And also, it sometimes snows in May – just ask everybody who I engaged in small talk with Sunday. They seem to remember a year when they were kids when it snowed 8 feet on a Sunday in mid-May, and they had to walk barefoot for 2 miles uphill to and from school.

That cold-hearted, discouraging, unfair attitude of grownups can often be summed up in four little words – “Laugh today; cry tomorrow” – a philosophy so easy to say and yet so hard to understand. 

Hindsight is 20/20

When making decisions where the end results are less predictable, there is a bit of uncertainty through the process that is taken into account and provides the opportunity to evaluate the results of the decision and to be able to move forward after review. 

Hard work

I agree with Foley Public Schools Superintendent Paul Neubauer’s column last week, in which he contended that difficult things are often avoided in today’s society. In my mind, that …

Through snow, mud and uncertainty, we crept into April, wondering if spring is just a myth, a promise not kept or maybe, especially this year, a new kind of winter: an offshoot with slightly longer …

Multitasking is a myth

In the past 20 years or so, the term multitasking has become a popular way to describe doing several tasks simultaneously. This has become somewhat of a legend as people take pride in their …

BEP intern spotlight: Ngango

Benton Economic Partnership Inc. is pleased to announce the onboarding of Johanna Isaro Ngango as an intern for the remainder of 2023. Isaro Ngango is an international student at St. Cloud State …

Traffic stop safety

There they are. The red and blue flashing lights illuminating your rear-view mirror confirm the vehicle behind you is a police car. Worse yet, when you pull over, the police car pulls over with you. Your stress level climbs as you reflect on your recent driving conduct, wondering what it was that caught the officer’s attention. 

Connotations, denotations

My friend, Patty, and I were having a conversation Sunday about an incident that happened in the school district he teaches in. A white student posted a video on social media where he used a racially …

Say, ‘Cheese’

One old-time fashion practiced by people in all the civilized world is a blessing for us if we have an interest in knowing more about long-past lives in our immediate region. The development of …

Conspiracy brain

Although it may seem as if most conspiracy-minded people are of the right-wing political orientation – or maybe that is just my anecdotal bias – there is little data to contend that …

A war of culture

Our feet became tangled, we fell down the steps, we swallowed food too quickly, we messed up a spelling test, our hands nearly froze, and someone scolded us, “Let that be a lesson for …

The pen is mightier than the sword

From Homer’s “The Odyssey” to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” from the Bible to Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “The Brothers of …

A taxing history

Taxes. The subject of taxation, at every level and for whatever purpose, is the source of more misinformation and disinformation than any other element connected to all forms of …

Making a decision

There is a process to go through when making decisions, and depending on the type of decision, there may be a variety of timelines acceptable to the decision. Regardless of the type, there are …

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