Trent Gilliss, Online Editor

This photo [see here] by Marc Asnin has intrigued me for years now, long before I began this gig at SOF. The sheer density and composition of the image feels almost painterly, and I think that’s why I enjoy it so much — not to mention the wealth of characters. The scene is also a reminder that this boy from NoDak (short hand for North Dakota) must constantly seek out new worlds of thinking and ways of living and discussing.

This crowded room of Lubavitcher men in the heart of Brooklyn are fully engaged and attentive to the words of their leader, the late Rabbi Schneerson. I see them listening to him with the utmost reverence, but as discerning believers who are not passive, but questioning and challenging. What a different world than the prairie Catholic one I grew up in!

I think about this photo every so often when I start resigning myself to another place — particularly today during our staff meeting. I reminded myself to tune in, listen to my colleagues respectfully, engage, and then remind myself of Edward Tufte's (the guru of information design) call to action, “If you don't fight for your content, who will.”

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