Perfectly imperfect

I often want everything to be perfect. That’s why I was delighted to find this quote in House Beautiful magazine. “The world needs more celebration of what it is to be perfectly imperfect,” says Christina Tosi, a James Beard award-winning pastry chef in Manhattan. –Joy

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A seat at the table

Women now make up a quarter of the state legislators in the United States. Today, 1,865 or 25.3 percent of the 7,383 state legislators are women. That compares to 344 or 4.5 percent in 1971, according to the spring 2018 issue of Ms. magazine. We’ve made progress, but we still have a long way to […]

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A great adventure

My niece Emma leaves on April 9th for two years in Africa with the Peace Corps. I can’t wait to hear about all of the interesting things she will do and everything she will see and learn. As A.A. Milne once said, “A great adventure is about to begin.” –Joy

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They happened to things

Last week, I saw high-quality reproductions of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of Mona Lisa and models of Leonardo’s flying machine and self-propelled car at an exhibit in Albuquerque. “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them,” Leonardo da Vinci once said. “They […]

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Wanting to belong

Jhumpa Lahiri writes about what it means to be on the outside looking in. “It’s that desperation to want to belong—to not be all these pieces—to be concrete—to be at the same time one thing,” Lahiri told the audience at an Arts & Letters Live presentation in Dallas on January 30. Lahiri was born in […]

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Talk less. Listen more.

Todd Davis reminds us of the importance of listening in his book Get Better—15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work. “One of the most profound gifts you can give another human being is your sincere understanding,” he writes. “To do so requires clearing away your mental clutter, suspending (at least temporarily) your agenda […]

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Be humble

Todd Davis stresses the importance of being humble in his book Get Better—15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work. “Humility is the wisdom needed to accurately assess my strengths and weaknesses,” he writes. “Humility reminds me to be patient with myself and others—and to know that we are all in the process of […]

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Carry your own weather

I’m ready for summer. It has been rainy, cloudy, cool for days. Sometimes I let the weather affect my mood. And, sometimes, I let stormy relationships with the people around me depress me. “Carry your own weather,” advises Todd Davis in his book Get Better—15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work. I have […]

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The system of patriarchy

After 3,000 B.C.E., men engaged in warfare on a grand scale, says Walter Wink in his book The Powers That Be. “Social systems became rigidly hierarchical, authoritarian and patriarchal. Women were deprived of the right both to speak their minds and to control their bodies. “The earliest documented effort to establish basic legal rights for […]

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Ignorance persists

Since the early 1970s, Judy Norsigian has worked as an author and editor of nine editions of Our Bodies, Ourselves to help educate women about sexuality and reproductive health. Today, abstinence education has become pervasive and pockets of ignorance persist, Norsigian recently told an audience at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. On one of her […]

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