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Too educated, too strong

In 1979, Wangari Maathai’s husband filed for divorce. He was quoted as saying that he wanted a divorce because his wife was “too educated, too strong, too successful, too stubborn and too hard to control.” It was Wangari Maathai who started the Green Belt Movement in Kenya. That movement has planted more than 50 million […]

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Educate all of the girls

Wangari Maathai was born in Kenya in 1940—when girls were not supposed to be educated. Fortunately, her father decided to send her to boarding school when she was 11. Four years later, she started high school. It was a big deal for a girl in Kenya, and the local shoemaker made Wangari her first pair […]

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Keep singing

My friends and I joke that we are going to solve all of the world’s problems. Of course, we aren’t going to solve all of the world’s problems. We are people, however, who think and talk, and communicating with each other helps us clarify what we think. We talk because we haven’t given up on […]

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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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My Texas peach

It’s summer in Texas, and we’re all complaining about the weather. However, this morning I ate yogurt with a delicious Texas peach. It was a splendid meal! I agree with Arlene Francis, “Life is the best party I’ve ever been invited to.” –Joy

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What TV can do for you

I agree with Groucho Marx, who once said: “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book. –Joy

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A sustainable world

According to one estimate, more than 3 trillion trees live on earth. But, every year about 15 million trees are cut down, reports Jennifer Swanson in her book Environmental Activist Wangari Maathai. “We owe it to ourselves and to the next generation to conserve the environment so that we can leave our children a sustainable […]

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Seeds of peace

Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, started the Green Belt Movement in Kenya. Women in this movement have planted more than 50 million trees. “People are fighting over water, over food,” Wangari Maathai once said. “We plant the seeds of peace.” I found this quote in Jeanette Winter’s book Wangari’s Trees […]

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Take a break

Give yourself permission to relax, rest, do fewer projects, take a break, advises Lisa Congdon in her book You Will Leave a Trail of Stars. “You have “permission to take an intermission.” –Joy

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