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Self-creation

Tara Westover grew up in a survivalist family in Idaho.  Even though she had never seen a doctor and had never sat in a classroom when she started college, she earned a Ph.D. from Cambridge in 2014. Westover came to believe “that the ability to evaluate many ideas, many histories, many points of view, was […]

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Good-bye, Mary Oliver

Some of my favorite quotes come from Mary Oliver, who died earlier this month. And, my favorite quotes must be the favorites of many others because a quick search online found three of my favorites at the top of a list of the poet’s quotes. “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with […]

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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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True peace

Peace “as the world commonly understands it comes when the summer sky is clean and the sun shines in scintillating beauty, when the pocketbook is full, when the mind and body are free of ache and pain,” Martin Luther King Jr. said. But, true peace, he added, “is a calmness of soul amid terror of […]

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Radiant hope

We must avoid both “superficial optimism” and “crippling pessimism,” Martin Luther King Jr. emphasized. Instead, we need “a radiant hope,” he wrote in his book A Gift of Love.

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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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A choice

“I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health,” Voltaire once said.

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The noblest gift

Too much food, too many things on my to-do list, too many very special activities. This is the most delightful season. But sometimes it seems that there is too much delight all at once. Euripides reminds us: “Moderation, the noblest gift of Heaven.” And, I remind myself that I can pick and choose from the […]

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A wife like a dog

As a young woman, Pope Joan, a ninth-century woman who disguised herself as a man and rose to become the only female to serve as pope, decided never to get married. One reason was the words she heard when a friend got married, explains Donna Woolfolk Cross in her historical novel Pope Joan. The priest […]

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Goodbye October

What a wonderful month I had. I visited my brother James and his wife Jeany in Los Lunas, New Mexico. I helped Jeany make salsa with tomatoes, green peppers and onions from her garden one sunny afternoon. And, I woke up at 4:30 one morning to join 40,000 other people at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. […]

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