We chose Maine for our summer vacation this year, in part, due to its high vaccination rates and correspondingly low incidence of COVID-19.

I’ve been trying to move through this pandemic, pretending everything is normal — or at least getting back to normal — when really nothing is. The natural rhythms of life — like the freedom of summer vacation and the excitement of back-to-school — have all been disordered. The ordinary rituals — not just graduations and weddings but handshakes and hugs — have all been disrupted, maybe for good. I’ve written about resilience before, but how can we adapt to change when we don’t know what the new normal actually is? How much uncertainty can a person manage — and for…

This is me, circa 1969.

I moved a lot when I was growing up, roughly every two years, until high school. By the time I was four years old, I was living at 63 Eisenhower Drive in Springetts Manor Apartments in York, PA, at least my third address that I’m aware of. We lived there from about 1970 to 1972, through first grade. This would have probably been my first home since my birth father left and my mother remarried. I remember a lot from that time, but I don’t remember him.

My mother worked at the local radio station. I don’t know exactly what…

Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. with excerpts from the Declaration of Independence in background.

On the morning of July 4th, as I read social media posts from friends and others, my initial impulse was to post my own message. But since the day is now burdened by our fractured and divisive politics, it wasn’t so easy. I spent all day trying to think of what I wanted to say. I came closest to posting these words from Thomas Jefferson:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”[1]

“Sorry, but once all that white privilege permeates the fabric you really can’t get it out.” Source: Airmail, Issue №30, February 8, 2020

Our society confers implicit and explicit privileges upon all sorts of groups — celebrities, athletes, musicians, Bushes and Kennedys. This seems so obvious as to defy argument. But when we get to other groups who would also seem to be privileged in our society, we tend to lose our consensus over what’s obvious. It seems clear to me, for instance, that men are privileged in our society. Men dominate our corporate and political spheres. Men earn more in virtually every field. Men benefit from women maintaining traditional roles in the family. Men’s reproductive rights are not under assault. In North…

Forgive my sentimentality, but it’s that time of year. Graduations. Class reunions. In my family, we have four spring birthdays — and an anniversary. My wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary last year, in quarantine. We had to cancel reservations for a staycation getaway at a hotel downtown. The hotel still hasn’t announced plans to reopen. This year, our 26th quietly came and went.

The thing about our anniversary, and maybe most, is that each year the marker becomes more and more entwined with every other milestone we notch. Our oldest is graduating from college. Our second son…

And why I painted my nails.

As the pandemic appears to ebb — in this country, at least — I’ve been thinking about how this experience has changed us. At the most macro level, we’ve seen the importance of science and public health. We’ve seen the susceptibility of all people and the global economy to an unforeseen and unfamiliar threat. And we’ve seen that our political divisions can actually cost people their lives.

But this experience has clearly affected us very close to home as well. Workers living paycheck to paycheck have never felt more vulnerable. Millions have lost their…

“Passover affirms the great truth that liberty is the inalienable right of every human being.”
— Morris Joseph, Rabbi and Jewish Theologian

Passover is known as the festival of freedom and commemorates the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. The Exodus story celebrates the perseverance and resilience of a people in the face of overwhelming obstacles. Jews retell the story of the Exodus each year to remind themselves that the gift of freedom comes with the sacred responsibility to take care of others.[1]

Jewish activists represented a disproportionate number of white people involved in the civil rights struggle of the 1960s. Here, Bishop James Shannon, Rabbi Abraham Heschel, and Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath protest with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington Cemetery, February 6, 1968. (Charles Del Vecchio/Washington Post/Getty Images)

Despite being a non-believer, I like this story. While it includes its share of…

“He thinks he’s mad now, wait until we win him over.” — Ted Lasso | Photo: Courtesy of Apple TV+

At the age of 32, I learned I was adopted. When I tell people the whole story, they often say, “Oh, well, you weren’t really adopted….” But I was.

I assume every adoption story is somewhat unique, but in my case, my mother left my birth father and remarried another man who then adopted my brother and me when I was just three years old in the context of a secret affair and a messy divorce. …

Teenage campers at Camp Jened from “Crip Camp — A Disability Revolution” streaming on Netflix. Credit: Patti Smolian/Netflix

In ways that are equally ordinary and extraordinary, Crip Camp — A Disability Revolution tells the profoundly and universally human stories of real people with disabilities and their individual and collective struggles to be seen. The film begins in the early 1970s at Camp Jened, a Catskills camp for teenagers with disabilities, and describes the ties of this unpretentious hippie camp and a group of teens to the nascent movement for disability rights.[1]

At this time, teenagers with disabilities still faced a life of discrimination and marginalization — and even institutionalization. What is so moving about this story, as is…

Amanda Gorman recites her poem “The Hill We Climb” at President Joe Biden’s inauguration. Photo: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

When day comes, we ask ourselves where can we find light in this never-ending shade? [1]

The arts took center stage at the presidential inauguration proving yet again how vital the arts are to our civil society. In particular, National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman stole the show with her reading of The Hill We Climb singularly articulating our shared pain and our collective will to rise. Her words resonated deeply with our national conscience. For a moment, we were thinking less about what had become of us and more about the possibilities ahead of us. She let us know…

Beau Everett

Imagining a better world, while trying to make sense of the one we’ve got.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store