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The first independent woman

Why has Eve taken all the blame for taking a bite out of that fruit in the Garden of Eden? First, Bruce Feiler wants everyone to understand that the fruit was not an apple. Apples are not grown in the part of the world where the stories of the Bible took place. The fruit might [...]

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Have a great life

Kerry Egan, a hospice chaplain, ends her book On Living with the advice she received from one of her dying patients. “Promise me that you’ll have a great life no matter what happens.”

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Happy 91st Birthday

My friend lucky Sandra, who lives in the house behind mine, invited me to her 91st birthday party. As Andy Rooney once said, “I didn’t get old on purpose; it just happened. If you’re lucky, it could happen to you.” I found Andy Rooney’s quote—and more quotes that I will share with you in future [...]

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A selfless heroine

Elizabeth, the student I visit every week at my local elementary school, and I recently spent our time together reading about the new “Beauty and the Beast” movie because Elizabeth went to see the movie and really liked it. We read in the Disney Beauty and the Beast Official Collector’s Edition book that Belle was [...]

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She must have her own

Why do you think it’s good for a mother to have a job? In its March 13, 2017, issue, Time magazine asked Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the Nigerian author, that question, and she answered: “One of my favorite sayings in Igbo translates very loosely to ‘a woman must have her own.’ It’s the idea of a [...]

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Enough women?

“When will there be enough women on the Supreme Court?” a BBC reporter asked Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month on PBS. “When there are nine women,” R.B.G. answered, smiling and explaining that for too many years there were nine men on the court.

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Together we persist

That was the headline on an email message that we received from Wendy Davis, who ran for governor in Texas and lost. Losing an election didn’t stop Wendy from taking action and fighting for the causes she believes in. She was writing to tell us about a nonprofit called Deeds Not Words. Recently, the nonprofit [...]

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My friend Leslie sent me a wonderful t-shirt. The words on the front say: “Nevertheless, she persisted.” What a lot of truth is expressed in those three words. Those words remind me of my grandmother who kept the family farm going in West Texas after her husband died. When the Depression made everything more difficult, [...]

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The habit of excellence

I’m de-cluttering again—and discovering some bits of wisdom in the tons of papers that I have saved. How about a quote from Aristotle? “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit,” Aristotle once said. –Joy

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A thousand unbreakable links

“The pine tree, the leopard, the Platte River and ourselves—we are at risk together,” writes Mary Oliver in her book Upstream. I love Mary Oliver’s poetry, and I must admit that I like her poetry much better than the essays in Upstream. But, this book contains paragraphs that are poetry—and full of wisdom. This poet [...]

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