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by Juan Sepulveda Yesterday, I visited a popular retailer to pick up a few items. After paying for my selections, I realized that I had a rather long drive home and should visit the restroom before leaving. I didn't want to bring my items into the restroom, so I approached one of the employees behind a cash register and asked "may I leave this here while I go to the restroom?" With an unpleasant tone, his reply was "Ok, but I am not responsible if someone takes something from it". I wasn't about to engage in a discussion with this...

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Courtesy is Society's Grease by Michael Nunes What makes for a civilized society? How do societies keep from tearing themselves apart, considering their complex mix of competing interests and opinions? Societies and philosophers have contemplated similar questions for millennia. Some societies resort to fear, societies in which it may be fatal to challenge the status quo. Others use a rigorous ideological homogeneity in which peer pressure and the norms of society govern people's actions. "Social constructs are necessary to keep the wheels of society moving" In large, heterogeneous societies, with a rich mix of religious, ideological and social ideas, other...

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The Summer I Became a Man by Kimanzi Constable Losing everything broke him and taught him what’s truly important in life. I had to grow up pretty quickly. At 17, I was kicked out of my home. I was a teenager who should have been thinking about hanging out with my buddies, but instead, I was worried about where I would sleep at night. I tried to be responsible and go to high school while working three jobs. It became too much to handle Algebra, crazy coworkers and the uncertainty of my living situation. When something had to give, it...

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She Said Yes One Summer Night by Juan Sepúlveda Just thinking about it today, eight years later, makes me a little nervous. I clearly remember knowing that I would "pop the question", but I couldn't make up my mind of how or where. However, one thing that was not uncertain was the date. The symbolic use of dates is something important to me. Whenever possible, I try to choose a significant date when making big decisions in my life. Which date had I chosen? you may think. Well, I had selected the triple lucky seven as the date to finally...

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The Courage to be Courteous by Juan Sepúlveda When I was a young boy, I remember how my father seemed to be very effective at communicating with people, even when the topic was not pleasant. When he encountered someone who tried to take advantage of him or when someone was being unfair to someone else, he had the ability to diffuse the situation without having to resort to violence. However, that doesn’t mean that his words were weak, he was able to express himself courageously without compromising courtesy. Today, I have two children of my own and I want to...

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