Kind of the Same

Some flavors—like apple and banana and cilantro—pervade and overpower anything and everything they’re mixed with. Other flavors are more subtle but just as delicious. It’s kind of the same with people.

Stupid Stuff

Don’t do stupid stuff. Own and apologize for the stupid stuff you’ve done. Don’t use the stupid stuff you’ve already done to justify doing more stupid stuff. Don’t use the stupid stuff that others have done to justify doing more stupid stuff. Don’t judge others by the stupid stuff they’ve done, because you’ve done equally…

Notice

Notice how the older people in your life tend to go silent as they age. Not because they have nothing to say. But because they no longer live simply to be heard.

Must Begin

Love must begin with respect. Two people cannot move forward merely tolerating each other’s differences and looking down on each other as ignorant idiots who can’t see past the noses on your faces. No relationship can survive that. Neither can a country. There must be mutual respect for the genuine value that others bring to…

Can’t Know

We can’t know young people or assess their potential by looking at their grades or by sizing up their music or clothing or what they do on Friday nights. We can’t predict their futures by looking at their pasts. We can’t tell their motives by looking at their friends. We can’t pick out who will…

Bigger Picture

It isn’t unusual for “well-behaved” toddlers to grow up arrogant, narcissistic, and convinced that the world revolves around them. They’re hard to teach. As adults, they fail to see their negative, self-centered tendencies because they were never acknowledged and dealt with. Their deeper issues are overlooked or conveniently ignored, and they’re told how “good” they…

Anniversary

My husband and I are staring down our 30th anniversary. Things we’ve learned… Listen more than you speak. Give more than you take. Smile more than you frown. Manage thoughts and expectations (mostly your own). Recognize the value in each other and speak of it often to others. Acknowledge the probability that others are giving…

Mothers

There’s a saying that I think is largely true for many of us—that you’re only ever as happy as your least happy child. I believe there’s another corollary—that children are only ever as happy as their mother or, as the case may be, the one who plays the maternal role in their lives. They can…

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…