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Make small talk

In his book On Tyranny, Timothy Snyder lists “make eye contact and small talk” as one of his ”20 lessons from the 20th century.” “This is not just polite,” Snyder explains. “It is part of being a citizen and responsible member of society. It is also a way to stay in touch with your surroundings, […]

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Tell the truth

To abandon facts is to abandon freedom,” says Timothy Snyder, a Yale historian and the author of the book On Tyranny. “If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the […]

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Christmas is a state of mind

Here is a quote I have always liked. “Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” I always thought the words came from Charles Dickens, but I just checked. Those words came […]

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Christmas trees

Our Christmas tree is decorated. We have a decoration that Jerry and I bought at a Christmas store in Michigan only one or two years after we married. And, Christmas balls that we bought the first year we were married. But, the best decorations are the ones that our children made throughout the years. This […]

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Christmas flowers

We have a vase of red and white flowers on the kitchen table, and a lovely poinsettia in the entry hall. Flowers are lovely any time of the year, especially at Christmas and especially poinsettias. “Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful. They are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul,” Luther Burbank […]

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Little things bring peace

Christmas lights in my yard, Christmas cards almost ready to be mailed, a Christmas tree ready to be decorated. Christmas is many small things that bring joy, and also many big things—like hope and love—and all of them bring peace. “Little things seem like nothing, but they give peace, like those meadow flowers that individually […]

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All shall be well

It’s December. I made fudge, and, since I won’t be seeing my children this holiday season, I am mailing them fudge. It is December—a season of hope and love and joy—even during a pandemic. “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well,” Julian of Norwich once […]

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Thankful for friends

This year, especially, I am thankful for my friends. I am thankful for my friends who call me on the phone, friends who send me text messages and my friend who shows up in my front yard for an in-person chat. As William James once said, “It is your friends who make your world.” –Joy

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Hope is light

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness,” Desmond Tutu once said.

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Inner peace

“Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace,” the Dalai Lama once said. Hold tight to your inner peace during the next stressful, exciting, crazy week.

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