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Solid ground

Qian Julie Wang, author of Beautiful Country, came to the United States in 1994 when she was seven years old. She often went to school hungry and was put in special education classes because she didn’t speak English. Eventually, she graduated from Yale Law School. Her mother was a professor who taught math and computer […]

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The perfect affirmative-action baby

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor says that she is “a product of affirmative action. I am the perfect affirmative action baby. I am Puerto Rican, born and raised in the south Bronx. My test scores were not comparable to my colleagues at Princeton and Yale. Not so far off so that I wasn’t able to […]

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Trust and fear

In the early 1970s, surveys showed that about half of the people in this country believed most people were trustworthy. By 2020, the number had fallen to less than one-third. And, many people who don’t trust others fear them. However, fear has to be justified by the circumstances, says Geoffrey Corn, chair of criminal law […]

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A single drop

Manal Al-Sharif was put in prison in Saudi Arabia when she dared to drive in 2011. It was seven years later, in 2018, when women finally were allowed to drive in the country. As Manal Al-Sharif says in her book Daring to Drive, “The rain begins with a single drop.”

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Don’t be afraid

“Don’t be afraid,” says Naguib Mahfouz. “Fear won’t prevent death; it prevents life.” I found this quote in Manal Al-Sharif’s book Daring to Drive. –Joy

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Keep swimming–and keep singing

My friend whose husband has brain cancer visited me. What can we do when something bad happens? Sometimes you can take action to find a solution, but sometimes there is no solution. These words are from a poem from How Beautiful the Beloved by Gregory Orr.  One of the best kinds of friends are friends […]

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What do you need to be happy? In his book, Endurance, Alfred Lansing writes about Earnest Shackleton and his 28-man crew, who were stranded in an island of ice in the Antarctica for 17 months in 1914 and 1915. With little food—and without cell phones! Lansing remarks about Dr. Alexander Macklin’s “good humor.” Dr. Macklin […]

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One year of war

February 24, 2023, marks one year of war for Ukraine’s people. One year ago, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned Russia that the consequences would be “an abundance of pain, filth, blood and death….War is a huge calamity. This calamity carries a huge cost—in every meaning of this world.” Say a prayer for the people of […]

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Sometimes, it is difficult to know what to believe. We hope Sojourner Truth was right when she said, “Truth is powerful and it prevails.”

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My neighbor took a photo of a bobcat one morning recently—at the house across the street from ours. Yikes! We overreacted—and worried about our dog Jack—and all of the smaller dogs and the cats in the neighborhood. Disaster! However, my friend Mary, a retired biologist, didn’t panic. “How exciting,” she said. “Not very many people […]

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