Fayteen and I both are bookworms. At least, we considered ourselves to be bookworms until we read this quote and thought about all of the books that have made a difference in our lives. “People who love reading are often called bookworms, but that’s the wrong way around. It’s not you who worm into a […]

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Phenomenal Woman

Maya Angelou was a Resolute Woman—and a Phenomenal Woman, and I have always liked her poem “Phenomenal Woman.” Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size. But when I start to tell them, They think I’m telling lies. I say, It’s in the reach of […]

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A healthy portion of insanity

I heard Jessical Jackley speak several years ago at a San Antonio Women’s Foundation luncheon and was impressed by her enthusiasm and intelligence. Jackley, a Stanford business school graduate, co-founded, a website that uses microloans to channel millions of dollars to the world’s poor. She is a Resolute Woman—and the author of a new […]

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Be cautious with words

I confided something to a friend, and, then, I wished I hadn’t said what I said. I was reminded of the poem “Words” by Syliva Plath. Axes After whose stroke the wood rings, And the echoes! Echoes traveling Off from the center like horses. –Joy

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Vacations make you happy

Experiences provide more happiness than material goods. That’s why vacations are a good value in terms of happiness-per-dollar spent, says Dr. Amit Kumar, a social psychologist at the University of Chicago, who studies the relationship between money and happiness. One reason is that people have more of a tendency to talk to their friends and […]

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The first diet book

William Banting published one of the first diet books in 1863. Banting suggested a diet based on protein and liquor, says Jessica Lamb-Shapiro in her book Promise Land—My Journey Through America’s Self-Help Culture. You should eat five ounces of meat, fish or kidneys with tea and a little biscuit for breakfast. For lunch, you should […]

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No pat solutions

Fayteen and I agree that there are no simple solutions to life’s complex problems. There are solutions. But, generally, finding them requires time and work. That’s why we like Jessica Lamb-Shapiro’s book Promise Land—My Journey Through America’s Self-Help Culture. Lamb-Shapiro observes: “No pat solutions can resolve, or even address, the complex challenges of life. “Self-help […]

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Better yourself or accept yourself?

“All of us would probably like to be slimmer, smarter, richer, more popular, more successful,” says Jessica Lamb-Shapiro in her book Promise Land—My Journey Through America’s Self-Help Culture. “To what extent should you accept yourself for who you are, and to what extent should you attempt to better yourself?” Fayteen and I think that this […]

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Part rock and part flower petal

Kala Shaima, the wise aunt in Nadia Hashimi’s book, says, “The human spirit…is harder than a rock and more delicate than a flower petal.” The aunt reminds her niece Rahima, “Don’t forget that you are part flower petal and part rock, too.” Shaima’s book is The Pearl That Broke Its Shell.

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Tough and tender

Fayteen and I both have summer birthdays. That’s why we like this quote from Maya Angelou. “Women should be tough, tender, laugh as much as possible—and live long lives. –Joy

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