A wholesome, traditional Christmas story to warm hearts and minds

A divorced couple and their ex-in-laws sat around a fake Christmas tree in a four-bedroom suburban house gazing at presents like they were boulders wedged in an avalanche chute. A fire crackled bright at the edge of the room. Three children bounced from gift to gift, faces gleaming under the canned lights of a low-hanging ceiling.

“Is it time yet? Are we ready? Pleeease, dad. Pleeease.”

Ben stoked the fire, wiggled his fingers and prepared to fetch the crumpled-up wrapping paper as soon as it came off the presents. Grandma…

On generalizations, uncomfortable conversations, and open-mindedness

(Anna Ismagilova/

America is in a bad way. Politically. Socially. Religiously. Generationally. Economically. Racially. And, yes, dialectically.

In short, we are poor at having honest, intelligent discussions with each other, particularly when it comes to race. Is there any hope that we can neutralize our corrosive tendencies and come together in spirit and tone? Hard to say, though one thing would help: dialectical humility. By “dialectical humility,” I mean, first, a greater awareness of our assumptions, and second, a greater acknowledgment of this fact. …

humorous picture of the trolley problem
(Train and people photos on Unsplash and Pexels. Beer, widget and the like Photoshopped by author.)

Charley takes a drink of beer and twizzles his beard over a maroon bowl of pork green chili. A thought sparks up. Who’s going to be the Keynote Speaker for the 22nd Annual Synergy Conference? What should he present on during his assigned breakout session? Charley feels tension at the prospect of presenting at another conference. He never enjoys conferences. Partly because he never feels like he can be himself. Conferences are tame. Charley’s a little wild.

His eye twitches.

Charley goes to scratch it but forgets he’s wearing glasses. He smudges his lens. Oh well. He doesn’t care about…

Jake Camp

Philosophy professor and author of two novels, Facticity Blues and Banshee and the Sperm Whale (Pski’s Porch Publishing, 2021).

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