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Confetti kindness

I bought “Happy Clips for Chips” from Natural Life because I liked the words decorating one of them: “Throw kindness around like confetti!” –Joy

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The manly Mr. Rogers

Mr. Rogers showed us what it means to be a neighbor—and also what it means to be a man, writes David Roark in the June 17, 2018, issue of The Dallas Morning News. “Explicitly and implicitly, we’ve indoctrinated males to be tough, harsh and domineering, to avoid emotions and, in turn, to dominate, demean and […]

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Fred Rogers believed everyone “has inherent dignity,” writes Alissa Wilkinson on Vox. The new documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” succeeds, Wilkinson says, “on the radically subversive and obvious notions we learned when we were children: that being nice is not a weakness, that speaking with care is a thing we do simply because we […]

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The celebrity version of yourself

Too often we fear revealing ourselves as flawed, writes Ana Marie Cox in the June 13, 2018, issue of The Dallas Morning News. We create a gap between the “celebrity version” of ourselves and the version we prefer to keep hidden. That’s why we often are so generous to others. “When we see that messy, […]

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100 years of suffrage

In 1918, 100 years ago, the United Kingdom granted property-owning British women the right to vote. It took another decade before the women in that country had the same voting rights as men. Thousands of British women celebrated earlier this month with parades and banners. They remembered the controversial, sometimes militant, suffragettes who went on […]

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Miss America in an evening gown

“As long as Miss America requires contestants to look good in an evening gown while strutting in high-heeled shoes, it’s unlikely women in the United States will achieve gender equity,” wrote Catherine Cuellar in an article in the June 11, 2018, issue of The Dallas Morning News. “But from the composition of corporate boards to […]

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Miss America without her swimsuit

The Miss America pageant is scrapping the swimsuit competition, according to an article in the June, 6, 2018, issue of The Dallas Morning News. “We are not going to judge you on your outward appearance,” explained Gretchen Carson, chairwoman of the Miss America Organization. Instead, the organization will focus on women’s talents, intelligence and ideas. […]

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A new book club

I helped organize my book club—The Easy Readers—more than 30 years ago. This summer I’m joining a new book club. It’s a Girl Scout book club—the 3 Cs Mother/Daughter Book Club. The three Cs refer to the Girl Scout mission—“Building girls of courage, confidence and character.” Along with the second and third graders in the […]

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A party marooned by a shipwreck

Families—all families—are complicated and rarely perfectly behaved. As Jono explains in Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union: “It never takes longer than a few minutes, when they get together, for everyone to revert to the state of nature, like a party marooned by a shipwreck. That’s what a family is.”

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Friends and families

I bought a small pottery dish inscribed with these words for my friend’s birthday present: “Friends are the families we choose.” While I was fishing for my credit card, the woman behind the counter announced, “That’s what I tell my next-door neighbor.” And, then, she told me about last Thanksgiving. Her son wanted to do […]

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