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Articles written by Dr. John Campbell

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How Nadia Murad Turned Trauma Into Hope

You may have heard brief reports about the plight of the Yazidis and Christian groups in Iraq when Islamic State fighters raided their villages. Nadia Murad was one of the many women and children who were captured and enslaved by Isis. But her story...

 

The Journey Inward: Can Redemption, Restoration Be Part Of Prison System?

The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world, surpassing China, North Korea and Russia. In 2008 the United States had around 24.7 percent of the world’s 9.8 million prisoners but only 4.4 percent of the world’s pop...

 

A Way Of Understanding The 'Go Back Home' Chant

Sitting around the potbelly stove at Hemby Bridge Country Store a group of men, some chewing tobacco, others leaning in their cane back chairs, would offer homespun opinions, often humorous, about the news of the day. Solve the problems of the...

 

Reflections On The Biden, Harris Dialogue

The Biden-Harris dispute in the first Democratic debate is old news by now. Or is it? Didn’t that moment represent something bigger about our country and ourselves? Surely, that was a stunning moment. Kamala Harris, Senator from California and...

 

The Journey Inward: What We Can Learn About Fear-Based Anxiety

A writer in the book, “Courage to Change,” caught my attention with this quote: “I will take time to clear my mind of unnecessary, hurried thoughts. There seems to be a limited amount of space in my mind until I do. But when I clear this...

 

The Journey Inward: The Story Of A Woman Ahead Of Her Time

Caroline Weldon. Ever heard of her? I hadn’t either until I saw the movie, “Woman Walks Ahead.” The title is taken from a name given to her by the Lakota tribes of the Dakotas. After watching the movie, I wanted to find out more about Weldon....

 

The Journey Inward: Why You Can Have Pain, But No Suffering

Several years ago, my son and I experienced severe turbulence on a flight back from Florida. He was only 10 at the time and as the plane was rocking back and forth, he asked me: “Will the plane crash?” His question is common when people on airpla...

 

The Journey Inward: Reminiscing About My Southern Background

By Dr. John Campbell My wife says that I am a connoisseur of “Cracker Barrel” restaurants. “Is there a Cracker Barrel you haven’t tried?” she asks. The food is not like home-made, but their menu is southern. Mind you, I have eaten at some o...

 

The Journey Inward: Recalling The Story Of Two Unlikely Friends

Tony was a Yankee from Pennsylvania. Don was a Southerner from Florida. Tony was white and prejudiced. Don was black and refined. Tony “Lip” Vallelonga was Italian; lived in the Bronx. His family was racist, often making derogatory comments about...

 

The Journey Inward: Why Did Jesus On The Cross Feel Forsaken?

And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark...

 

The Journey Inward: Jesus Gave A Surprising Response To Pilate

The trial of Jesus is one of the most dramatic episodes in the entire Bible. The scene is set, thusly. After he is questioned by the chief priests and legal scholars, he appears before the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate. Incited by the...

 

The Journey Inward: Is There A Downside To Labeling Individuals?

A woman posed a question to Dr. Maurizio Fava, editor-in-chief of “Mind, Mood, Memory” of Massachusetts General Hospital: “Ever since my daughter was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I’ve become aware how often people casually use terms like...

 

The Journey Inward: Reflections On Being A Wounded Healer

Oyster stew! Oh, how I hated oyster stew. On an occasional Friday night couples came over to our house to indulge in stew and afterwards play poker and gin rummy. Before being segregated to our rooms to make way for important “adult” activity,...

 

The Journey Inward: What Made George Washington A Great Leader?

(This column is written in recognition of President’s Day.) One of the earliest books I read in elementary school was about George Washington. Of course, I remember the time young George chopped down his father’s cherry tree and when confronted...

 

The Journey Inward: Reviewing James Baldwin's Artistry Of Truth

The year is 1948; the location is New Jersey. A 24-year-old black man from Harlem enters a restaurant designated for whites, goes to the bar for a drink; the waitress says there is no service for blacks. The young man throws a glass of water at her,...

 

The Journey Inward: Is Loneliness A Gateway To Growth?

“Are You Lonesome Tonight?” Elvis Presley asks, “Is your heart filled with pain, shall I come back again? Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?” Elvis is tugging at the heartstrings of a lover. Picking up Elvis’s refrain, are you...

 

The Journey Inward – It's Not Easy To Get Off The Worry Train

By Dr. John Campbell All aboard! You walk down the aisle and take your seat. You have just boarded the “worry train.” The train pulls out of the station and there you are, destination unknown. That’s the way with worry isn’t it? Away you go....

 

The Journey Inward: Separating Jesus From His Jewish Background

When she was 7, a friend on her school bus said to her, “you killed our Lord.” “I did not.” “Yes, you did,” the girl insisted. “Our priest said so.” Amy-Jill Levine’s friend had been taught that the Jews were responsible for the...

 

The Journey Inward: Christmas And The Birthing Creativity Of God

Christmas represents the birthing creativity of God, the Great Spirit. We honor not only the birth of Jesus as a specific event but the pervasive movement of creative energy from the earliest inception of the world until now. Indeed, birthing is...

 

The Journey Inward: When Is Guilt A Form Of Crazy Making?

By Dr. John Campbell Ever left a worship service feeling worse than when you walked in? Randy and Vickie felt that way. On the way home from church, they were feeling down about the sermon. Pastor Glenn’s topic that day was, “Whatever became of...

 

The Journey Inward: Is There A Resurrection Message In The 'Shape Of Water?'

The Academy Award’s best picture of the year, “The Shape of Water,” is a fascinating movie. I thought it a fairy tale at first, but on closer reflection I believe there are resurrection themes in the movie. “The Shape of Water” follows a...

 

The Journey Inward: The Integrity Of A Most Unorthodox Physician

Speaking of unorthodox, look up Patch Adams on YouTube or the internet. There you will see a man with a thick handle-bar mustache, long hair in a ponytail with one side dyed, and colorful clown-like shirts and ties. Appearance is not the only...

 

The Journey Inward: Why Is Meditation So Challenging For Us?

Confession: I am a mentally challenged meditator. No, I don’t suffer from a disability, except when it comes to meditation (I am not including memory loss: for example, where are my glasses?). In the morning I set aside 30 minutes to focus on my...

 

The Journey Inward: The Challenges Of Healing My Inner Bigot

Oh boy, did I feel ashamed. In front of my liberal work peers I told a joke with the “N” word. They just stared at me. As the only Southerner in a group of Midwesterners, I just wanted to go through the floor. Sure enough, not long afterward our...

 

The Journey Inward: What's The Story Of Samson And Delilah About Anyway?

By Dr. John Campbell Are you old enough to remember drive-in movies? You know, the kind where you pulled your car into a vacant slot, rolled down your window, reached for the speaker and placed it on your car window. A whole family could settle back...

 

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