Bill Miles

This I Believe New England: Tolerance

Oct 11, 2017
Scott Indermaur

September 11, 2001.  The intense, dramatic images are seared into our collective memory.  Several years later, a proposal to build an Islamic mosque and cultural center on the World Trade Center site ignited a national controversy that has smoldered ever since. Today there are plans to build a 43-story luxury condominium instead.  As we hear in this encore essay by Bill Miles, what has become known as 9/11 has produced a complicated legacy of ideological and political challenges and, most importantly, continues to teach us profoundly important lessons about tolerance.  

 

This I Believe Rhode Island: Trust

Sep 6, 2016

Trust is an essential element in the human species.  We depend on trust for our very survival.  An infant cannot survive without being able to trust her nurturing parent.  Marriages that lack trust hit a dead end.  Handshakes that seal a business deal assume genuine trust, which sometimes springs from a leap of faith.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Trust your instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.” Bill Miles reflects on the most basic form of trust that connects human beings and other creatures.    

 

The kindness of strangers.  How wonderful it is when, out of the pure goodness of their hearts, complete strangers step in to rescue us in moments of peril.  When it occurs, unvarnished altruism is remarkable.  Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” Bill Miles is here to tell us what it’s like to be on the receiving end of truly extraordinary kindness.

 

Bill Miles, a resident of Seekonk, Massachusetts, is a professor of political science at Northeastern University.  One month before getting his scars in Ouagadougou, his new book on postcolonial legacies, Scars of Partition, was released by the University of Nebraska Press.