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Gossip!?

Sometimes, when you talk about people, it’s gossip. Sometimes, it’s not gossip, says author Elizabeth Strout. “I have never found anything in this world as interesting as people. I like to talk about them. I like to write about them.” I heard Elizabeth Strout speak at Arts & Letters Live at the Dallas Museum of […]

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Be kind and considerate

Why do people act the way they do? Sometimes the way people act seems complex and confusing. “You have no idea what has happened to that person you just passed on the sidewalk….Extraordinary things happen to people,” says Elizabeth Strout, one of my favorite authors. I heard Elizabeth Strout speak at Arts & Letters Live […]

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Presence is power

Pay attention! I know it’s important, but often I find my mind wandering when I’m talking to a friend or with a group of people. Michelle Huneven in her book Search has a good reminder. ”The most powerful person in any room is the one most fully present. Presence is the source of power,” Huneven […]

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No more secrets

“Secrets work on me like splinters. I like them out.” These words are from a delightful book by Michelle Huneven. It’s called Search, and it’s about a search committee looking for a new minister for a progressive California Universal Unitarian church.

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Peace of the parrot and the chickens

I am returning to Dallas from a visit with my brother James and his wife Jeany. They live on nine acres in Los Lunas, a small town outside Albuquerque. However, their home and the acres that surround it seem worlds away from Dallas. We gather eggs from the chickens and cook them for breakfast. We […]

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Friends help

My son Jay has COVID. I think he will be okay, but I am so tired of this pandemic—and I am a bit worried. Recently, I have complained to a couple of very good friends. Friends help! As Eeyore once said, “After all, one can’t complain. I have friends.” Friends are great—especially friends who will […]

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Give someone a hug

As Winnie the Pooh once said, “A hug is always the right size.”

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The whole human family

“The Golden Way is to be friends with the world and to regard the whole human family as one,” Gandhi once said. I found this quote in Lisa Congdon’s book You Will Leave a Trail of Stars. –Joy

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A walk in nature

I love my walks in my neighborhood in Dallas, but I love even more walks in New Mexico. And, I’m in New Mexico visiting my brother—and we are taking walks! As John Muir once said, “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” Or, she seeks, of course! –Joy

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The heart of empathy

What is empathy? Christopher Myers, in his introduction for Home Is Not a Country, offers one answer. “It seems to me,” he says, “that this knowledge—that you could have just as easily been any one of a hundred other people—is at the heart of empathy. It’s the realization that every person you meet, or see […]

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