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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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Violence against women

Women still face a number of challenges today, emphasized Judy Norsigian, an author and editor of all nine editions of Our Bodies, Ourselves, in a recent presentation at Southern Methodist University. Norsigian listed three challenges: • The increasing sexualization of women and girls • Violence against women, including the trafficking of women • Threats to […]

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In an instant

“Life changes in the instant,” writes Joan Dideon at the beginning of her book about the year after her husband died–The Year of Magical Thinking. “The ordinary instant.” Thankfully, my husband is alive. But, the book made me think of the day when my mother died and the day when my father died. “Life changes […]

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The one who contributes nothing

Remember the middle-school project? In her book Short Stories by Jesus, Amy-Jill Levine talks about the middle-school student who doesn’t do his–or it could be “her,” of course–share of the project. Everyone else works hard, but he doesn’t do anything. “And what if he didn’t care at all? What if he depended on us, even […]

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Architect, designer and decorator

Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter was the chief architect and decorator for the Fred Harvey Company from 1902 to 1948. In the Grand Canyon, she created a number of showcases—the Desert View Watchtower, the Bright Angel Lodge and the Lookout Studio. Colter left her mark on the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe when she helped […]

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What life is about

“Harmony, balance, rhythm,” said George Pocock, who designed the racing shell for the University of Washington men’s crew team’s 1936 Olympic victory. “There you have it. That’s what life is all about.” We read about Pocock in Daniel James Brown’s book The Boys in the Boat.

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Personalization, pervasiveness, permanence

Psychologist Martin Seligman found that the three Ps can stunt recovery after the death of someone you love, the loss of a job or any other catastrophe. • Personalization is the belief that we are at fault. • Pervasiveness is the belief that an event will affect all areas of our life. • Permanence is […]

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Critical thinking?

Sarah Bessey reminded me that critical thinking doesn’t always have to be critical. Bessey is the author of Jesus Feminist. –Joy

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