In a polarized society where us vs. them is the norm, the true rebel is willing to “lend a hand” to the other side

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

It was strange seeing something so normal.

On our flatscreens, big and small, there appeared a new commander in chief, acting, speaking, thinking in a way that was once called “presidential.”

He stood at the podium, delivering the inaugural address thoughtfully, intentionally as if he respected the office — and the listeners, whoever they were, wherever they were listening, however they voted.

It was as if he actually had a speech.

He struck words together like so many different types of rocks in hopes that, on a cold Wednesday in January, he might find the right combination to catch a…

Paris is racing to rebuild a cathedral that wasn’t really there in the first place

Photo by Nivenn Lanos on Unsplash

On April 15, 2019 — Holy Monday — a fire broke out in Notre-Dame de Paris.

After raging pitilessly for five hours, two-thirds of the most famous cathedral in the world was gone forever including Eugène Viollet-le-Duc’s spire; a 13th century roof — “the forest,” so called for the amount of timber it took to build it; and reliquaries, statuary, and sacred art by the score.

Parisian firefighters, honored with a task at once noble and impossible, managed to save a sizable portion of the primary structure, the Rose windows, the great organ (known as “the voice”), and two iconic…

In the face of crisis, when the temptation to think “every man for himself” is the strongest, we are [still] free to cultivate kindness

“Goodness, together with love, justice and solidarity, are not achieved once and for all; they have to be realized each day.” Pope Francis I, Fratelli Tutti (Photo by Nacho Arteaga on Unsplash)

Say what you will about papal infallibility but one can’t deny the flawless timing of Fratelli Tutti, the latest encyclical from Pope Francis I.

He published it for the faithful, the intellectually and spiritually curious, and “all people of good will” on October 3rd — exactly one month before a presidential election in the United States, when Americans will attempt to decide if we’re serious about this notion of creating “a more perfect union.”

Or whether, after 233 years of trying to improve upon the “perfection” of our English mothership’s model of constitutional monarchy, we would like to try for…

Denying insults of U.S. troops, Trump denies his entire schtick

Andrew Dice Trump:: Trump has insulted every American institution from the U.S. Congress to the court system to the F.B.I. Why do the United States Armed Forces get a pass from the Prince of Put-Down Politics? (Illustration by Rufus.)

N o sitting president in American history has dared to traduce indeed outright smear the men and women in uniform, those sworn to obey him as commander in chief, and to defend our Constitution.

It is the one fruit a president is not supposed to touch; the only one in the garden of norms that surely must neither be deflowered nor devoured.

But, as we have seen since 2016 — and as presidential aides who wish to keep their jobs have attested anonymously — the surest way to get Donald Trump to do something is to tell him that it’s…

Memorials to America’s slave society must go for a simple yet overlooked fact: they are redundant

We Shall Overcome: An image of George Floyd is projected upon the equestrian statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo illustration by Rufus)

History: A Work In Progress

Upon my first visit to France, I was awestruck by everything I saw — the art, the architecture — and, as much if not more, by what I didn’t see: numerous palaces, shrines and monasteries that were razed during different stages of the French Revolution.

In 1871, members of the Paris Commune finished the handiwork started by the Jacobins and sans-culottes 80 years earlier: the Communards burned to the ground the Tuileries Palace, the Hôtel de Ville, and a number of other historical sites and monuments. …

Howell J. Malham Jr.

Founder, GreenHouse::Innovation. Author of “I Have a Strategy (No You Don’t): The Illustrated Guide to Strategy.” @GreatSocialGood

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