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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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So-called Christians

This is the letter to the editor that I submitted to The Dallas Morning News. It was printed on Wednesday, September 9, 2022, with only a few minor changes: The headline on an article on the front page of the September 2, 2022, issue of your newspaper declared: “Christians sue over HIV drugs.” I am […]

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Weeds are flowers too?!

I have some friends who have political opinions I don’t agree with, friends who can be a bit disagreeable, sometimes a bit cranky or unkind. They aren’t perfect. And, they may not be wonderful. However, once I got to know them and understand their circumstances, I realized that they are interesting, complicated people. They are […]

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Pain and hate

Why do people cling to their hateful ideas? James Baldwin once explained, “I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”

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Just show up

Author Kate Bowler recently did a podcast with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who offered this advice when it comes to showing up for people in difficult times:  Just. Show. Up. 

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Just be “nice”

I never have liked the word “nice.” Somehow, it always seems a bit trite, but the word is packed with a lot of information. That’s why I like this quote by anonymous. “Treat everyone with kindness, even those who are rude to you, not because they are nice but because you are.” –Joy

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Remember kindness

I sometimes have to remind myself that I can be kind to everyone. “Kindness is in our power even when fondness is not,” Henry James once said. –Joy

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Don’t be yourself

I like this quote—a lot. It comes from “anonymous,” and I don’t remember where I found it. “Don’t be yourself. Be someone nicer.” –Joy

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Tolerate fools gladly?!

Be kind.  Be kinder. That’s always a good resolution. And, here’s a timely resolution that I received on a Happy New Year 2022 postcard. “New Year’s resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided they get the jab.” The postcard, of course, is a kindly reminder that we all need to get vaccinated and boosted. –Joy

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Speak to strangers

Carme, a character in Isabel Allende’s book A Long Petal of the Sea, “resolved to speak to strangers, since she had discovered that people like to talk, and it only took a couple of questions to make friends and find out lots of things.” What’s important about this reminder from Carme? Ask questions! And, listen.

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