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Mistakes

“Once I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.” That quote is on an embroidered plaque that my niece Alicia made. The message reminds me that I’m not wrong if I learn something from whatever I did. Perfection is not required! –Joy

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Speak with certainty

When you have an opinion, don’t say “I think” or “I feel,” advises Connie Schultz, a Pulitizer-Prize winning columnist and professional in residence at Kent State University school of journalism. “Those throwaway phrases…telegraph uncertainty and give others permission to ignore us.” Be confident. Say what you mean—with certainty.

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Tall within

This is my favorite Sojourner Truth quote: “I felt so tall within.” Sojourner Truth was tall—six feet tall, and she also was confident and courageous. She was tall within. Sojourner Truth was born a slave and sold from her parents when she was nine years old. Even though she never learned to read or write, […]

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Life’s light

“I will not allow my life’s light to be determined by the darkness around me,” Sojourner Truth once said. Sojourner Truth was born a slave and sold from her parents when she was nine years old. Even though she never learned to read or write, she dictated her autobiography. She traveled for many years as […]

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Nothing to prove

“There is nothing to prove and nothing to protect,” says Richard Rohr, the Franciscan priest and author. “I am who I am and it’s enough.”

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Black and white?

“The dualistic mind presumes that if you criticize something, you don’t love it,” says Richard Rohr, the Franciscan priest and author. “Wise people, like prophets, would say the opposite.”

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Her role model

Karen Uhlenbeck, a University of Texas at Austin professor emeritus, recently was named the first woman to win the highest prize in mathematics—the Abel Prize. Who was her role model? “Looking back now, I realize that I was very lucky. I was in the forefront of a generation of women who actually could get real […]

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Recognize your rights

“Women, wake up; the tocsin of reason sounds throughout the universe; recognize your rights,” wrote Olympe de Gouges in her Declaration of the Rights of Woman and Citizen, which was published in 1791 in France. Two years after she wrote her declaration, de Gouges was arrested, condemned to death for her views and sent to […]

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Something particular and real

Mary Oliver, who died last month, wrote “often of mortality, but with a spirit of gratitude and completion,” her obituary stressed. The poet once wrote: When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder If I have made of my life something particular and real. I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full […]

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Legions of half-truths

“Our minds are constantly being invaded by legions of half-truths, prejudices and false facts,” Martin Luther King Jr. said. “One of the great needs of mankind (and womankind) is to be lifted above the morass of false propaganda.” We need to think, King emphasized. We need “a tough mind and a tender heart.” We found […]

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