ruben von higgenbotham

Clearly labeled

Liberals aren’t known for taking responsibility for, well, anything. But ironically, they do love to take responsibility for one thing. Liberals love to put their causes and voting choices on everything they can. Their cars are full of bumper stickers. Their t-shirts carry their slogans. Their yards display signs with their favorite mantras. The one good thing about liberals is that they’re clearly labeled. We know who they are. We know who’s responsible. The latest entry into their symbolism is the vaccine passport. This weekend, my family was invited to a graduation party. On the invitation, it clearly stated…

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If the world were mentally ill

Based on all of the ridiculous emotional and divisive behavior running rampant in the United States right now, I think many are wondering if we’re all suffering not from COVID, but from mass mental illness. The problem is, if most of us were mentally ill, how would we know? What would be the indicators? Who would make the diagnosis, and who would even stop to consider or trust it? Man, this may be worse that I thought…

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Three marriages in one

It’s amazing marriages last as long as they do. Especially for those who have kids. When you first get married, you commit to living with another person and growing with them as you both advance through life. You assume (or hope) that given the foundational elements of your personality and interests, you will grow in relatively the same direction and evolve, together, in a way that may change you both, but not so much that you grow apart. That lasts for a bit, but then you have children. Children fundamentally alter the relationship as they take your attention away…

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What if we just treated everyone well?

Women aren’t treated equally. We have to start treating women better. They’re not inferior to men. They can hold their own in the workforce. They should be paid the same. We have to treat women better. But wait a minute. What about blacks? We have to start treating them equally. Black people are no different than anyone else. We have to stop shooting unarmed black men. We have to stop putting them in jail. We have to treat black people better. But hold on, what about gay people? We have to start treating them as we treat others. Gay…

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Other people’s privilege

A friend of mine, who’s of Middle Eastern descent, has been traveling the country trying to play golf in all 50 states. The sub-story to his mission is that he’s writing a book about diversity and inclusion within the golf community. His premise is that courses are not as inclusive as they could be. As we discussed this, we talked about the concept of “white privilege” and how the golfers he’s seen so far through his travels have been largely all white. His contention is that minorities don’t have as much access or are not welcomed the way whites…

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Hyphenated last names

Hyphenated last names became a thing when feminists determined they were going to remove themselves from the male-dominated last naming convention within marriages and maintain their last name equality by keeping both partner’s last names with a hyphen. But what happens when a feminist marries someone with the same last name? Do they just say it twice, like “Clayton-Clayton?” Or do they just leave it up to people’s imaginations to decide who won the battle? I wouldn’t think so, because most people, being oppressors themselves, would assume it was the male’s “Clayton.” Or, perhaps they would just call it…

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Selling transgender

Marketing isn’t just an advertisement telling you to buy this detergent. Marketing is culture. It’s the stories we hear and the stories we tell. It’s what people are talking about. It’s cultural influencers setting the tone and setting the narrative. If you think there’s no push to sell kids on being transgender, you’re thinking too literally. It’s far more subtle than that. Consider these two examples: It’s 20 years ago. There’s a teenager in the Midwest who doesn’t fit in. He gets picked on at school. He doesn’t have many, or any, friends. He doesn’t like or wear the…

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That dog has the most adorable bark

If you’re going to own a dog, especially in a suburban or urban setting where you live close to others, you have to train them not to bark. It’s simply selfish and thoughtless to think your neighbors aren’t going to notice or mind the constant barking coming from your house when you leave your dogs out. I’m most impressed with those who leave or put their dogs out to bark at 5:30 or 6am in the morning. The entire neighborhood can hear your dog barking, but somehow, you’d think the owner cannot hear what’s going on right outside their…

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Stop making it personal

On my short list of things I wish everyone would consider when they speak is this one: You don’t know what you think you know about anything, when it comes to what motivated another to do or say something. One of the greatest sources of division in our society stems from people thinking they know why another person said or did something. For example, in the world of politics, it is not at all uncommon for a Democrat to tell you that a Republican does this or that, “because they hate blacks/immigrants/gays/women/transgenders/children/etc.” It’s not enough to just say a…

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Knowing more vs knowing

In my charitable work, I spend a lot of time with young adults. One thing I do quite intentionally is challenge them. I challenge their thinking. I challenge what they think the know. I challenge what they’ve heard. I make them justify what they perceive and what they say. When you do this, either one of two good things can come from it: They either realize their perspective has some holes in it, and I give them something new to consider, or they make a good case for their perception, and they walk away with an affirmation that they…

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