This Week's Prompt

Strikes (5 Stories)

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In 1935 the Roosevelt administration and Congress established that “… employees shall have the right to engage in strikes and other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining…”

In 1980 the Reagan administration defied federal law by forcing striking air-traffic controllers back to work.  Since then strikes and the unions that organize them have been under fire. After 40 years of labor-relations drought,  the unions are coming on strong.

Have you ever walked a labor union picket line?  Have you ever crossed a picket line?  What has your strike experience been like?

Think about Strikes and share forward!
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Upcoming Prompts

Libraries (2 Stories)

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October is National Library Month,  a time to celebrate libraries!

What influence have public libraries, school libraries,  academic libraries,  or specialized libraries had on your life?

How do you think the need for - and the mission of - libraries is changing in the digital age?  What do you think the most important challenges are for libraries today and why?

Think back about Libraries and share forward!
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Talking to Strangers (4 Stories)

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From early in life we are warned not to talk to strangers and “stranger  danger”  may be drilled into our consciousness.  And in today’s political climate it may seem a realistic warning with hate crimes and xenophobia on the rise.

But sometimes you need to approach a stranger,  and sometimes you may simply want to.  Have you done so with either positive or negative consequences?

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Perfection (1 Story)

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Do you think of yourself as a perfectionist always striving to get things exactly right?  Are you frustrated when things go awry,  and impatient with the imperfections of others?

Do you think perfection is actually an obtainable goal?  Or do you think it’s the enemy of the good as singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen says in Anthem:

“Ring the bells that still can ring / Forget your perfect offering. / There is a crack in everything, / That’s how the light gets in.”

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Homelessness (1 Story)

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We’ve stood witness to homelessness all our lives.  In the 1950s we stared at “bums” - alcoholics usually confined to America’s skid rows.  Earlier the Depression and the Dust Bowl rendered whole families homeless.

Today homelessness has become cruelly ubiquitous.  Wealth disparity and income inequality combines with gentrification and untreated mental illness spreading homelessness across class lines and demographics.

How do you interact with the homeless in your world?  Through your car window or with handouts on the street?  Do you work in homeless aid?

Have you or a friend or family member ever been homeless?  And what vision do you have for reducing the scourge of homelessness?

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Past Prompts

Prison (4 Stories)

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Have you or anyone you know ever been in jail, perhaps for a political protest or even a traffic violation. Perhaps someone has done prison time for a longer stint?  If so, what was the crime?

Or have you worked with the incarcerated as a lawyer or in law enforcement,  or as a teacher,  or a health professional,  or as an advocate for prisoners’ rights or reform of the penal system?

Think back about Prison and share forward.


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Floods (6 Stories)

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Floods are one of the most destructive examples of Nature’s power - or of human failure.

Rains, sub-sea earthquakes, and breached dams have brought destruction and death to those in their wake.  Far smaller floods seldom make the news, but also bring personal loss and tragedy to many every year.

Think back about Floods and share forward.
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Marriage (5 Stories)

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Most of us are or have been in a marriage, and certainly all of us have witnessed the marriages of relatives and friends.

Shakespeare famously said, "let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments" What do you think makes a good marriage? Can we ever know what goes on in another couple’s marriage?

The contemporary novelist Rebecca Makkah has said, “You’ll never know anyone’s marriage but your own. And even then you’ll only know half of it.”

Think back about Marriage and share forward.
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Community (6 Stories)

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We gather in communities: families, neighborhoods, states, nations, tribes, subcultures, and communes. Humans are herd-instinct creatures and so we gather. But community is fluid and fragile; it can be improved or harmed from within or without. Despite our herd instincts, some people may choose to live outside the community, or even "off the grid."

How do you experience community? Has your relationship to community changed over time or been altered by people and events? Did love, war, life, death, or Covid change your community and your place in it?  What could community become in the future?

Think back about Community and share forward!
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Retirement (9 Stories)

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Are you retired?  Is your spouse retired or are any of your close friends retired?

If you are,  how did you know when it was time, or was your retirement mandatory?  How has the experience been:  good, bad, or still working it out?

How are you enjoying life now on your own schedule? What are you doing to fill the time?  Do you have too much time on your hands?  By no longer working, do you feel a loss of relevancy or achievement?

Think back about Retirement and share forward!
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