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A Piece of My Mind
August 17, 2021

Ninety-six Paces of Privilege

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Washington School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Seattle
JAMA. 2021;326(7):611-612. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.10645

I have a relationship with the sidewalk in front of my home—“my” sidewalk. It has been a source of comfort for my family since we relocated from Townhouse Row years ago. During the early years, its radiant heat tempered the stress of pacing to calm an unsettled baby. In the years since, its buffer has encouraged me to respond boldly to my child’s search for independence: “Sure, you can go play outside, but don’t go past the sidewalk!” It demarcates the safety of home, distinguishing it from “not home,” where more caution is required: “Stop at the sidewalk and look both ways,” after all. During the upheaval of 2020, my sidewalk unexpectedly also became my teacher.

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