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Peter Block
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Peter Block is an author and citizen of Cincinnati, Ohio. He is a partner in Designed Learning, a training company that offers workshops designed to build the skills outlined in his books. He is the author of Flawless Consulting, Stewardship, The Answer to How Is Yes, Community: The Structure of Belonging, and most recently The Abundant Community, with John McKnight. Peter serves on the boards of Elementz, an urban arts center, and LivePerson, a provider of online engagement solutions. His work is in the restoration of communities and creating systems that restore our humanity.

Entries by Peter Block

Not the Visitation You Asked For

(1) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 4:50 PM

At 5:30 a.m. EST on Dec. 16, 2014 the Vatican held a press conference reporting on the findings and conclusions of a four-year Apostolic Visitation conducted regarding American nuns. The investigation was complete two years ago. This process called into question the fidelity and faith of almost 50,000 women religious...

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The Joke That Isn't Funny: Campaign 2012

(1) Comments | Posted February 2, 2012 | 4:39 PM

Today's version of a primary election campaign would be a joke if it were not such a nightmare.

We have the two leading candidates running against the government. Their marketing strategists have decided that their best chance of winning is to ride a real or imagined wave of contempt that...

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How to Teach Children to Lose by Winning

(7) Comments | Posted December 8, 2011 | 1:04 PM

In his brilliant book No Contest: The Case against Competition, author Alfie Kohn defines competition as the process by which for me to win, you must lose.

Our children's lives are filled with the competitive experience. Most of their activities called "sports" are pedagogies in competition. Although we...

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The Fall of JoePa and a Return to Common Sense

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2011 | 2:40 PM

By Peter Block


On November 9, Joe Paterno, legendary football coach of Penn State, got fired. His boss, the president of Penn State, also got fired. The reason they got fired was that eleven years ago, when they were told that their well-known defensive coach was allegedly caught...

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The Economy Is in Our Hands, We Just Don't Know It

(0) Comments | Posted November 8, 2011 | 12:15 PM

By Peter Block

If you believe the news, the future of the economy is in the hands of President Obama, Chairman Bernanke of the Federal Reserve, Prime Minister Cameron in Britain, Italian and Greek debt, the G5, BRIC, and everyone else but us. The lead storyline is that until they...

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How to Reduce the National Debt by $30 Trillion

(6) Comments | Posted October 27, 2011 | 12:41 PM

By John McKnight

Anthropologists remind us that the manifestations of a community's culture are its food, language, arts and faith. These are the ways that have interwoven through time so that a community knows how to survive in its place.

Because cultural ways are historic and vital, they are very...

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Is There Too Much Parenting?

(4) Comments | Posted September 23, 2011 | 1:11 PM

We want to open a conversation about parenting. Not about what is good or bad parenting, but rather about the idea that today's obsession about parenting has gone too far.

Our qualifications for this discussion are a bit thin. Most of our research is limited to having participated in...

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Why Families Fall Apart

(33) Comments | Posted September 1, 2011 | 2:58 PM

One day, when John's mother was in her 70s, she told him a story about how things had changed in her small town since she was a girl. She said:

When I was a girl, things were very different. When we were feeling ill, my grandmother knew what would cure...
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Gluing Communities Back Together

(0) Comments | Posted June 25, 2011 | 1:27 PM

Most of us belong to lots of different kinds of clubs, groups and associations. Each is held together by a common gift, skill, interest or passion. Choirs are associations that magnify the gifts of people who sing well. Sports teams collect people together with certain athletic skills. The American Legion...

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How Can We Restore the Function to 'Dysfunctional' Families?

(0) Comments | Posted May 24, 2011 | 5:00 PM

We now use the term "dysfunctional family" for a reason. With the evolution of consumer society, the family has lost much of its use or function. What the family used to do has been outsourced to educators, human services, fast food restaurants, governments and shopping malls. That is what is...

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Have We Forgotten the Meaning of Neighborliness?

(10) Comments | Posted May 10, 2011 | 2:40 PM

By John McKnight

I was born in 1931 during the Great Depression. We lived in a working class neighborhood in Cincinnati with many country people who had migrated from the hills of Kentucky and Tennessee. Lots of men in my neighborhood were out of work. Many hadn't had a job...

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The Bin Laden Effect: In Praise of Our Government

(3) Comments | Posted May 4, 2011 | 7:18 PM

By Peter Block

The death of Osama bin Laden completes a painful chapter in our history. The reaction of many is celebration. Some will use this occasion to warn of more fear to come. I, however, would like to take hold of this moment for gratitude -- gratitude for our...

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A Future for Journalism? The Story of What's Working

(1) Comments | Posted April 25, 2011 | 7:50 PM

By Peter Block

Most of what you read about the field of journalism is grim. Journalists now rank below lawyers as being trusted in the eyes of the public. Print news and TV channels are in a steep revenue decline. We are told that the younger generation gets their news...

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The Real Solution to the Health Care Debate? Connectedness

(10) Comments | Posted April 8, 2011 | 7:35 PM

The current health care debate is a conversation that is not going to make us any healthier. It is the wrong conversation. To begin with, it is not about health care; it is really a polarized discussion about the economics of disease care. It is mostly focused on medical systems...

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Digitalman: Faster Than a Speeding Byte

(1) Comments | Posted March 30, 2011 | 12:34 PM

By Peter Block

In 1938 the world was in a depression, war was breaking out in Europe and Al Capone, the gangster, ruled at home. Tough times. In the same year there emerged two comic book superheroes, Superman and Batman. They were instantly popular, and one way to understand...

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After Mother Nature

(0) Comments | Posted March 22, 2011 | 12:31 PM

The news of the earthquake in Japan can only remind us again of how fragile life is. We try to build safety into our lives; we acquire, submit to security when we travel, surround ourselves with gates and huddle with like-minded people. Yet tragedy and heartache are going to find...

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Are We Raising Care-Less Children?

(136) Comments | Posted March 16, 2011 | 9:47 AM

A powerful community depends upon its members' willingness to step outside themselves and stand in the shoes of their neighbors. A name for this ability is "empathy." It is the essential bridge that changes the person next door from a resident into a neighbor. Without empathy, we would have neither...

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A Neighborhood Has a Job to Do

(1) Comments | Posted February 28, 2011 | 2:36 AM

Many of our leaders and even some of our neighbors think that strong local neighborhoods are "nice," a luxury if you have the spare time, but not really essential. There is growing evidence that strong neighborhoods and communities are not just good to have, but are necessary, especially in difficult...

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The Nervous American Empire or Raise Your Hands Over Your Head and Don't Move

(3) Comments | Posted February 16, 2011 | 12:25 PM

It will soon be ten years since 9/11 and the effects are still with us. One of the obvious ones is the U.S. military's adventures in the rest of the world. Just as important, we keep expanding our militarism towards ourselves as citizens. If you need proof of this, take...

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Why Our Children Will Be Better Off Than We Are -- In Ways That Matter

(12) Comments | Posted February 11, 2011 | 2:28 PM

Everyone wants their kids to be happy. No one wants their children to be worse off than them. So it becomes news when the Pew Research Center reports that the number of Americans who believe that their children will be better off than they are is in decline....

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