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A gift for others

“The greatest gift you will ever give is your honest self,” Fred Rogers once said.

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A gift to yourself

“Forgiveness. It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself,” Maya Angelou once said. “Forgive everybody.”

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A party marooned by a shipwreck

Families—all families—are complicated and rarely perfectly behaved. As Jono explains in Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union: “It never takes longer than a few minutes, when they get together, for everyone to revert to the state of nature, like a party marooned by a shipwreck. That’s what a family is.”

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Friends and families

I bought a small pottery dish inscribed with these words for my friend’s birthday present: “Friends are the families we choose.” While I was fishing for my credit card, the woman behind the counter announced, “That’s what I tell my next-door neighbor.” And, then, she told me about last Thanksgiving. Her son wanted to do […]

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Talk less. Listen more.

Todd Davis reminds us of the importance of listening in his book Get Better—15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work. “One of the most profound gifts you can give another human being is your sincere understanding,” he writes. “To do so requires clearing away your mental clutter, suspending (at least temporarily) your agenda […]

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What does love look like?

Matt de La Pena wrote a children’s book titled Love. He wants his child to know there is more to the world than the divisiveness he sees every time he turns on the television, he told The Dallas Morning News in an interview for its January 21, 2018, issue. Every page shows visual examples of […]

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I am wealthy

On Valentine’s Day, I will be thankful for my husband—and my children—and for my big circle of friends and family. “I am wealthy in my friends,” Shakespeare once wrote. And, I am wealthy because I count many of my family members as friends, too. And, many of my friends are like family! –Joy

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What a privilege

“When you arise in the morning, think what a privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” What a great quote from Marcus Aurelius. Valentine’s Day is coming. It’s time to show how much you love your family and friends.

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Minor problems

It’s a family tradition. When the four of us visit Eureka Springs, we check into our cabin in the afternoon, visit a favorite restaurant—and then stop at the grocery store for supplies. Stopping at the grocery store always takes longer than expected. I pick out the mustard for sandwiches, but Jay puts it back and […]

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The Three Ts

Dana Suskind lists the three Ts for interacting with a child in her book Thirty Million Words—tune in, talk more and take turns. I think her three Ts apply to successful interaction with children and adults. Here is Suskind’s brief explanation. “In order for the necessary serve-and-return of conversational interaction to be successful, there has […]

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