In 1787, so the story goes, a Russian named Grigory Potemkin erected a portable, fake village in order to impress the visiting Empress Catherine II.
Thus the phrase “Potemkin village” has come into our lexicon to describe anything literal or figurative that is constructed in order to deceive others into thinking that the situation is better than it really is.
My favorite Christmas movie is "A Christmas Story," which tells the story of Ralphie Parker, a nine-year-old boy and his desire to receive an official Red Ryder carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and a sundial for Christmas.
The problem that Ralphie faces is all of the adults in his life are against him receiving the gun as a Christmas present because, as they say, "he'll shoot his eye out."
Last Father’s Day I received a gift from my wife and children more precious than I can describe. Without my knowledge, they had repurposed some wood from my late father’s workshop and built a kneeling bench, or prie-dieu, for my study at home.
Words like privilege, entitlement and equal access have suddenly taken on enormous significance in our culture. Until recently, I viewed myself as very egalitarian. But on board a recent commercial flight, I learned something disturbing about myself: Maybe I’m not as committed to equality as I thought I was.