Her love of words is a private passion – one she would rather not share. In the house of her childhood though everything had to be shared. If she tried to hold anything back, they would search and find the hidden places. Her written words, discovered, read were just the source of more pain and punishment. This was why she loved poetry. They did not always understand it so they left it alone.

I knew that I wanted to follow their example and become a teacher who would help students become self-directed learners.

For most people, what is so painful about reading is that you read something and you don’t have anybody to share it with. In part what the book club opens up is that people can read a book and then have someone else to talk about it with. Then they see that a book can lead to the pleasure of conversation, that the solitary act of reading can actually be a part of the path to communion and community.

The crisis facing men is not the crisis of masculinity, it is the crisis of patriarchal masculinity. Until we make this distinction clear, men will continue to fear that any critique of patriarchy represents a threat.

In the late fifties and sixties, our nation had not yet become a place where the poor would be regarded solely with contempt. In the growing up years of my life, my siblings and I were constantly told that it was a sin to place ourselves above others. We were taught that material possessions told you nothing about the inner life of another human being, whether they were a loving, a person of courage and integrity. We were told to look past material trappings and find the person inside.

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