I recently saw this article via Facebook, “What This Dad Did On His Daughter’s Last Day Of School Defines Good Parenting“. It highlights a father who walked his daughter to school on her first day in kindergarten and her last day as a graduating senior in high school. The article talks about how important it is for fathers to “be there” for their kids and how this father is the definition of good parenting.
I recently said goodbye to a few dear friends.
They weren’t people. They weren’t even animate objects. They were a pair of gardening gloves and a rain jacket. Continue reading
Before and since my trip to Pakistan in January 2017 I’ve been reading a lot about that part of the world and about Islam. Both Pakistan and Islam were known to me, of course, but I hadn’t spent any time trying to study them or understand them past beyond what I would see in the US media.
I never planned out my readings in these subjects with any academic or scientific rigor. I was first guided by what I felt I needed to know before going to Karachi and Lahore. Since returning, I have been guided by what interests me and what might answer the questions that had accumulated for me from my trip. The books I’ve read have also been guided by the recommendations of friends both in and outside Pakistan. I am very grateful for their help!
Since returning from Pakistan, my readings continued about that country but eventually moved outside those borders and into Afghanistan and India. As I continued to read, my interests were also leading me further backwards in time and to other places connected via Islam.
For example, I recently finished “Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today’s World” by Karen Armstrong. This book has started to help me understand not only the history of Christian crusading but also the possible roots of the “Middle East Crisis” in Israel and Palestine.
Within minutes after finishing this book I picked up “The Devil’s Horsemen: The Mongol Invasion of Europe” by James Chambers. Much of the history I’ve read of the Pakistan region has included mentions of the Mongol invaders. While my current book centers on Europe it’ll hopefully be the start of a “deeper dive” of future reading about the Mongols who played an important role in Asian and world history.
Also on my list is “The Pashtun Question: The Unresolved Key to the Future of Pakistan and Afghanistan” by Abubakar Siddique. This book will be a return to my Pakistan reading roots and I hope will give me some historical background on this tribe.
I was not brought up in a religious household. Both of my parents were raised in Presbyterian homes but Mom and Dad decided to not raise their kids (me and my older sister) n this way, opting to let us choose our paths when we were old enough to make that choice for ourselves. I’ve chosen to not take a religious path though I was curious in my 20s to attend Quaker and Unitarian Universalist meetings, both considered progressive and non Christo-centric.
In the back of my mind, I knew my curiosity about religion would get to me and I would pick up a bible or some interpretive text that help me understand the stories and teachings of the bible since in my experience as an American I have been nearly constantly surrounded by Christian references in culture.
A co-worker of mine, Mike Hannahan, recently launched a blog called “Living in the Era of Trump” which has become a great source of information for me about the world since Donald Trump became president.
(If you think the title is about The Godfather then you’d best change course and find something else to browse!)
Last weekend I joined my daughter, her girl scout troop, and 10 other troops from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut for a sleepover at the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut. There were approximately 100 girls and about 50 parents (4 of whom were dads).
Today is April Fool’s day. A day of pranks and jokes.
However this is real this morning.