Flag vest diplomacy

Rhode Island

Rhode Island: Providence, John Brown's House, near Brown University

November 8, 2016

Rhode Island is tiny. And as many a disappointed fifth grader knows, it's not an island. But it does pack a punch. I've had the chance to visit a few times and to a number of different spots: to its famous rows of Gilded Age-era mansions, to Providence and Brown University, and to Block Island, an actual island build for bike rides.

It's themansions that get me. They've become relics of another time and place in American history, even if the wealth created by their owners continues to provide sustenance to descendants both of the creators and the creators' philanthropic efforts.

America remains a giving place. Luckily, our uber-rich have a long history of generosity, as do those Americans with fewer means. Let's keep up that tradition of selfless giving to the causes that matter to us and deserve our support.