convictions post When I traveled to Israel, immigration officials asked if I wanted a landing card stamped instead of a stamp in my passport, as the passport stamp might have made it more difficult to travel in other countries.

A German friend of mine said that, even in growing up after WWII, her experience was that the rest of Europe looked down on her country. Like countless others from the town of Dachau, when she was born, her parents drove to nearby Munich to make sure her birth records showed nothing of Dachau or its Concentration Camp that could follow her in life.

Last month in the U.S., basic civil rights were again called into question when a man was shot and killed, because he and his shooter had different skin colors.

In the U.S. currently, 29 states allow a gay person to be legally fired from employment just for being gay.

Yesterday marks the 75th anniversary of Hitler’s invasion of Poland that sparked WWII.

In our ability to conceive and defend human rights, we’ve come a long way. But how much do we really understand?

We’re a world of communicators, and yet we don’t listen—least of all to anything that we don’t want to hear. Not every problem will be easily solved just by listening. But we don’t typically start a difficult conversation that we already don’t know, from inception, how to finish.

With applied understanding to blot out the petty squabbles, it’s conceivable that we could stand, brother to brother, against the bigger challenges.

The will to build comes from the same internal place as the will to destroy. We all have convictions, which aren’t just guilt sentences handed out, but are beliefs firmly held.

There is so much more to learn, especially from each other. When you break down ice bucket challenges and daily gratitude challenges, what you get is one person’s effort to do something good. Today’s your day.

Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. Her current writing projects, including her daily blog endeavor, #Project365, can be found at