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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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Let’s get angry

We have good reasons to be angry—abortion, Ukraine, the pandemic, climate change. “Anger is often totally appropriate,” writer Roxane Gay says. “It can be incredibly productive.” I heard Roxane Gay speaking on the PBS evening news. –Joy

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Little bits of good

“Do your little bit of good where you are,” Archbishop Desmon Tutu once said. “It’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” I found this quote in a book called The Way of Peace—Readings for a Harmonious Life compiled by editors Michael Leach, Doris Goodnough and Maria Angelini. –Joy

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What if?

What if you had made a different choice? What if you had taken a different path? What if? In a review of the book Home is Not a Country, Nayantara Dutta writes that the book “felt most memorable because of how it explored this tension between our fascination with the what-ifs, and how they distract […]

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The heart of empathy

What is empathy? Christopher Myers, in his introduction for Home Is Not a Country, offers one answer. “It seems to me,” he says, “that this knowledge—that you could have just as easily been any one of a hundred other people—is at the heart of empathy. It’s the realization that every person you meet, or see […]

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Take a trip

I’m escaping! I am tired of “vegetating in one little corner of the earth.” I am planning trips again—and I hope the crazy COVID numbers stay lower and this pandemic doesn’t interfere with my plans. I agree with Mark Twain, who once said: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our […]

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Trying to try

In her new book Good Enough, Kate Bowler writes, “Trying feels harder than it did before.” “We are trying,” she explains. “Well, we are trying to try….We will have to find enough momentum to reach for a life that is never perfect, but good enough.”

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Be positive!?

Test negative. Be positive. I had my patience tested. I’m negative. I heard both of these lines during a Zoom meeting recently. Since then, I’m determined to be more positive—and more patient. –Joy

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Comic and uplifting

Life is “by turns crushing and restorative, busy and boring, comic and uplifting,” writes Kathryn Schulz, author of Lost & Found: A Memoir.

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What you do

What did you do yesterday? What are you doing today? What do you plan to do tomorrow? “What we do is more important than what we say or what we say we believe,” author and activist bella hooks once said.

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