As a mother, I’ve learned that it’s possible to hear and acknowledge the pain of more than one person at a time, but each must be heard and acknowledged individually. To stand with one is not to ignore another. Every story of suffering is unique, as is every story of kindness and generosity. I reject…

One Up

Years ago I learned in a law school mediation class that people desire more than anything else to be heard. It is a prerequisite to negotiation that leads to outcomes recognized as mutually beneficial, even when both give something up. It’s a prerequisite to healing. Hearing isn’t about exchanging stories. It’s not one-upping with tales…

On Us

We don’t get out of this life with a list of excuses or a long list of people to blame. In the end, it’s on us to care enough. To love enough. To recognize the value that came our way, whether or not we embraced it. To acknowledge the long list of people who invested…

Reunited

The piano, a family heirloom, was my parents’ first piece of furniture. I grew up swinging my legs on that bench. The cello was part of my father’s vast collection of instruments. In the afternoons after school, I would huff on a flute or saxophone, strum a guitar or banjo, and saw on my little…

Don’t Assume

If someone rejects your view or opinion, it’s worth trying to understand why. That requires listening and examining it from the outside. Don’t assume that rejection equates to misunderstanding. They may see a bigger picture than you do, or at least see something you miss.

Among Friends

If you never hear anything but affirmation and assent, you may be surrounding yourself with all the wrong people. It’s not always a sign that you’re among friends.

A Cat’s Purr

I find it both fascinating and daunting how hard it is to measure or place a value on prevention. But there’s a young family of a Detroit bus driver who understands its value and who wishes others had as well. It doesn’t take numbers or degrees to comprehend. Perhaps the things with the greatest value…

Too Much

To some you’re too young to know. Too old to understand. Too experienced to be innocent. Too innocent to have half a clue. Too educated to be in touch. Too uneducated to comprehend the complexities. Too old to be young. Too young to be old. Too left to be right. Too right to care. Too…

Freedom

No one can take away our freedom to do good. To be good. To pass good on to others. Governments can’t. Pandemics can’t. The media can’t. Facebook and Twitter can’t. Even in a jail cell we still have that freedom. Sometimes we forget how free we really are to make that choice.

Be One

Never begrudge the ups and downs, the goods and bads, the in-betweens. The best present in life is someone who stays. Those who don’t have one can be one. 💞 “Friendship is a sheltering tree.” ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Between Snores

Mark and I slept curled up together on a single-sized bench bed in my mother’s hospital room last night. We were up and down quite a bit with her in the night and fell into a deep sleep by morning when things finally settled down. Between snores, he murmured, “You know what this means, right?”…

The Circus

Life isn’t passing you by. The circus is passing you by. Don’t join the circus.