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Author: Pardeep Kaleka

Pardeep Kaleka: Letting go of a familiar friend by giving up our Fear for Lent

“And we will open our hands to the feast without shame. And we will turn toward each other without fear. And we will give up our appetite for despair. And we will taste and know of delight.” – Jan Richardson, “And the Table will be Wide” Fear can be an incredibly helpful emotion; however, fear can also serve as the primal root of disconnection. This is because our feelings can at the same time be healthy and yet be manipulated by both ourselves and others. Fear, especially when it is combined with trauma, can cause us to overestimate threats...

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Pardeep Kaleka: Engaging in “Artistic Absence” means that simply cutting off toxic people is not enough

“If I cut you off, chances are you handed me the scissors.” – Social Media Meme Our existence begins and ends with relationships. From a very young age we navigate the complexities of connection with our families, friends, associates, and ourselves. It can be understood that if our life was a book then only a few people would remain for a significant portion of that written journey. As the new year approached, I found myself reflecting on this truth as people shared their New Year’s resolution to cut out the toxic people in their lives. This made me reflect...

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Beyond a political Thunderdome: Our feelings are being weaponized against us

“This is the truth of it. Fighting leads to killing, and killing gets to warring, and that was damn near the death of us all … Now, when men get to fighting, it happens here, and it finishes here! Two men enter, one man leaves.” – Dr. Dealgood, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome Reflecting on the most recent presidential debate which saw two candidates engage in one of the ugliest back and forth dialogues in recent history, I wondered to myself; why was it that the American public was left to feel so low following this particular exchange? Even the...

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Pardeep Kaleka: Interfaith service kicks off 2020 DNC with celebration of unity and hope

Democrats came together ahead of the 2020 Democratic National Convention for an interfaith service, where they celebrated our nation’s collective strength, diversity, and humanity, and prepared to unite around Joe Biden’s vision for a kinder and stronger country. The August 16 service was be led by religious leaders and performers from Milwaukee and all across the nation, representing the unique backgrounds and communities that together will help Joe Biden restore the soul of America. “The world will see what Joe Biden’s America will look like: a nation united, not divided, by our differences,” said Josh Dickson, National Faith Engagement...

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Pardeep Kaleka: The loss of George Floyd should make us more reverent

“His name was George Floyd. He was 46. His life matters and his family deserves justice. There was no empathy or humanity in his death. This was not an anomaly. We hear the echo of the words of Eric Garner. We relive the pain of the death of Black Wisconsinites like Dontre Hamilton, Ernest Lacy, and Sylville Smith. Frustration and anger about systemic injustices are always justified. Folks in Wisconsin should be able to protest peacefully and to report on these events without the fear of being unsafe or arrested. And if you’re exercising that right, please wear your...

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Pardeep Kaleka: When a diverse community gathers in fellowship on the spiritual toll of gun violence

Oftentimes I find myself reflecting on two things; choices and solutions. If the issues that we face are solvable then why don’t we solve them? Because society exists in the poisoned tree of division, apathy, deflection, denial, and inaction. On Thursday, October 10, our city engaged in the “On the Table MKE” discussions sponsored by The Greater Milwaukee Foundation. Our conversations took place at the Milwaukee Asian Market and explored the theme of “The Spiritual Toll of Gun Violence.” Gathered was a collective of advocates, elected officials, faith leaders, survivors, and concerned citizens. The group of sixty included a...

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