Breisch Blog

The Conceit of the Human Species

Perhaps it is human conceit, our vanity, that most blinds us. I recently heard of a person whose goal is to make a great deal of money so he can give much of it away. Inherent in his view was a stated desire to reduce poverty around the world. But how much of his desire […]

Vanquishing Wisdom; Impairing the Future

“We never knew what we were going to see—what kicks (sneakers) were going to be on sale; what beef (conflict) was going to be cooking; what guads (boys) and shorties (girls) were going to be rocking (wearing)…We did not care if older or richer or Whiter Americans despised our nonstandard dress like our nonstandard Ebonics…Fresh […]

Dear Father LaGoe

In 1968, as a junior at Muskegon Catholic Central High School, the priest I had for religion class changed my life. I discovered yesterday he is ill, so I drafted the following to send to him today. Dear Father LaGoe, Philosopher and educator, Neil Postman once wrote “Children are the living messages we send to […]

Listening with New Ears

“This is usually where the desire to dismiss claims of racial oppression come from—it just doesn’t make sense to you so it cannot be right.”                                                 Ijeoma Oluo in So you want to talk about race I can be justly accused of remaining silent for far too long when words condemning racism should have been […]

Clawing at the Foundations of Racism

Changing the world, it is said, is an inside job. I’ve used this tale before, but it bears repeating. A couple whose son suffers from horrible bouts of anger and fear take him to a Buddhist monk. “Would you,” they ask, “help rid our son of his demons?” The monk pauses and says, “bring your […]

This. Time. Matters.

I have used the phrase “This time matters” frequently in the time of COVID-19. When asked to introduce myself in groups, I say, “I’m Roger Breisch, Speaker Provocateur.” Then, I pause and declare with resolve “This. Time. Matters.” Looking around, I see many nods of recognition and affirmation. But I didn’t realize how much this […]

How Old Are You?

What if the answer was deeper, less objective and more nuanced than a simple recounting of the number of times the earth orbited the sun since the day you arrived? If I asked, instead, how creative you are, I would be confused and disheartened if you answered “5,” “23,” or “99.” Those are meaningless in […]

If That’s True…It Changes Everything!

The increasingly pervasive, oft vicious exchanges that permeate our lives, whether they be in person, in the media, or on social media, can easily overwhelm. Those, on top of trying to survive a global pandemic, make daily life ever more challenging. The human brain is a marvelous, complex and adaptive organ that enables us to […]

Do We Belong?

Does the species Home sapiens belong? Do we have a rightful place among the billions of other species that inhabit the astonishing biosphere in which we find ourselves? Would Mother Nature, Gaia, Pachamama, or whatever name you bestow upon this, our home, be better off without us? I have contemplated these questions for many years […]

The Paradox of Covid-19

“I would steal the stress and abuse from your life in an instant if I could, but I cannot. However, has the chaos you are facing taught you something about the human journey that you can use to help others?” I have asked some version of this question to hundreds of people over the past […]

Can It Be Okay?

The woman on the other end of the call tried desperately to speak through anxiety and a torrent of tears. “Take a deep breath.” I said, “I want to understand what you are facing.” “I’m overwhelmed. I’m confused. My life is falling apart. I tried to call my therapist, but her mailbox is full, so […]

Nudging The World

“I’m done. I can’t take it any longer.” she said. “I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety since I was a child and I simply cannot do it any longer.” I struggled to find words to help, and I told her so. In the midst of our conversation, she told me her psychologist believed every person […]