Find more information about commentaries in the NEPR FAQ. Email submissions to our commentary editor at

Ways to Connect

Walking A Mile In A Client's Shoes

Jul 15, 2019
People walking down a street.
Christopher Holland / Creative Commons /

There's a woman I've worked with who never stops moving. She might visit the program office in the morning for a few minutes. Then she’s out the door, two or three shopping bags full of belongings on her arm.

Cara McDonough wonders how to add something as monumental as solving climate change to her otherwise pretty mundane to-do list.
StockSnap/27574images /

We need to sign up for summer camp! I forgot to send that permission slip! Increasing drought means global unrest and potential war! We're out of laundry detergent!

Nurse logs like this one in a red wood forest near Mendocino, California, provide nutrients for life on the forest floor.
Tema Kaiser Silk / NEPR

Walking in a forest on a gusty day, I see lots of dead wood — branches snapping off trees, trees snapping in two — and I think of how productive these trees are. 

Pickled herring, among other food.
Blondinrikard Fröberg / Creative Commons /

Improbably, one of the triggers that brings my father to mind is herring. 

Some words in Latin.
Kevin Wong / Creative Commons /

I was called one morning to substitute for a Latin teacher. I never studied Latin, so I was grateful she left me thorough lesson plans for the day.