Henry David Thoreau

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did… (more…)

“Lost Causes”

Individual actions shape the politics of our time. What we see and what we wish to see create a desire to influence our society in a better direction. We cannot choose not to care. Our conscience does not allow indifference; it merely determines the level of involvement we are compelled to give of ourselves. It is easy to be disengaged… (more…)

Voters decide direction of our future

In most things we want to choose our direction. That’s why automobiles have steering wheels, and trains glide on pre-laid tracks and boats have sails that harness the wind. We are not content to just go. We want to have a choice in the direction. That is why we vote. Our nation’s election process gives us the opportunity and responsibility… (more…)

Passivity not good

Sometimes life feels as if it would be easiest if we do just enough to get by; maybe it would be easier to avoid rejection, to hold back and not give our best simply because we might not succeed even if we do try. But by passively seeking our goals, we suffocate hope but not the dream, not the desire,… (more…)

Public Servants

South Dakota State Capitol Building In South Dakota, we are represented by a citizen Legislature that mirrors the diverse communities across the state. Many of those legislators also have ties to the smaller communities they originally came from. Our legislative body is made up of farmers, small-business owners, teachers and individuals from all walks of life who feel they have… (more…)

Move forward through hardships

We are not born with hardened hearts. Unfortunately, it is sometimes an effect of our desire to do more than we are able when we feel overwhelmed and frustrated. The world takes its toll on us all in one fashion or another. Our hearts become callused trying to shield ourselves from the pain and the disappointments around us. Revealing emotion… (more…)

Never surrender

Martin Luther King Jr. epitomizes my idea of an underdog. He wasn’t willing to accept the external status he was born with or the idea that some men are more important than others because of the pigment of their skin. He had faith in the idea of changing a culture through nonviolence. When other leaders promoted violence, he stood firm… (more…)

Finding the light in the darkness

We can learn a lot through our friendships. I grew up Lutheran and, until last year, had been in a Catholic church only once to attend a funeral. I was asked by a Catholic friend to attend the Stations of the Cross. Stations of the Cross is most often observed on Friday evenings during Lent. I found it very moving… (more…)

Despite acts of evil, goodness still endures

Eighteenth century philosopher Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”  Anyone who follows the news can see that there is evil and cruelty in this world. But I believe that average people with good intentions and strong convictions will stand-up for what they believe and sacrifice or endure hardship… (more…)

Interview of my straw bale building construction project