Plures in uno


There’s a poem by Afro-American writer Pat Parker that has become a staple of diversity classes. It’s called “For the White Person Who Wants to be My Friend” and here’s the way it starts:

The first thing you do is to forget i’m Black

Second, you must never forget that i’m Black

This is, of course, a paradox, a contradiction impossible to fulfill.

It is also, of course, absolutely correct.

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The power of proactive thinking


What is the one thing that you love about your community? If you could wave a magic wand tomorrow, what is the one thing that you would change? So begins the discussion at one of many “visioning workshops” I have facilitated in a community near you over the past few years. Whether it’s a river town located along the banks of the Delaware, or a mountain community nestled in the foothills of the Catskill high peaks, the themes that emerge are eerily similar.

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Cold showers and Benjamin Braddock

There is a washer and dryer on the first floor of my apartment. But, unfortunately, a few months ago the dryer stopped working.

I refused to take my clothes to the laundromat. So my dirty clothes and I have waited patiently for the repairman to come.

When the repair company cancelled for the fourth time, I regretfully stuffed my laundry into plastic bags. With the help of my girlfriend, Lauren, I summoned all of my courage and some of my strength and lugged the 65 pounds of laundry out of my room, down two flights of stairs, past the lonely dryer and out the door.

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