We Are Each Someone’s 8 Year Old Boy

This is not written in anger as much as passion and concern. Well. Maybe anger. Sincerity. Yes, I think that’s it.

I started the morning with the news that an 8 yr old boy was killed yesterday, April 15, 2013, at the Boston Marathon, due to an explosion. I further read of the tragedy to the rest of his family. Of course, my thoughts were of sadness and sympathy for the mother and father. Continue reading
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“Never Forget”

Today is the 11th anniversary of 9/11. A Tuesday. Bright, sunny, cloudless. A clean slate on which to write our future. Will it be one of anger and justification. Or of love and peace.

9/11. We must “never forget”, people say. Indeed. But we must be cognizant in our “not forgetting” to know what it is we are remembering not to forget.

We MUST learn to be more tender to each other. More forgiving. More inclusive. Looking beyond the face of despair, fear and anger and choose instead to see peace, kindness, and strength.  Those traits that should be duplicated and worn as badges, allowing them to emit a glow of positive energy that begets positive energy.

You are loved. As everyone should be loved. And we should learn to accept that generosity, because it is indeed, a generous gift.

If we are here, we matter. It matters that we share that love and work for a brighter future.

Social Justice is Not Charity

“When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.” ~Mother Teresa 

The simplest thing would be to take Mother Teresa’s words at face value. That she was speaking of food – meat, vegetables and fruit.

I believe she was speaking of justice. Not of giving people charity, which offers people what we want them to have and what we think they need, in a sense our leftovers; but to give everyone a place at the table. An opportunity to feed themselves. Continue reading

Where Many Paths and Errands Meet

The Road goes ever on and on
    Down from the door where it began. 
Now far ahead the Road has gone
    And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
    Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
    And whither then? I cannot say. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien                                    
 

Sitting here with the rays of sunlight equally supplying warmth and brightness to my day as I gaze out the window on a field carpeted with the growth of continuing life. The sun providing patches of shade in collaboration with the trees.

My son fashioned a swing that hangs in a nearby tree for Ella to enjoy. I push her as her little legs dangle, her toes often pointing toward the earth while her face alternately looks at me and the sky above. Intermittently letting out a giggle. “Agin. Agin,” she commands. And again and again I push her. Relishing in the shared moment of simplicity.  Continue reading

101 Razones para

“It is through simple moments we are refreshed”

I hadn’t been to this particular city for quite some time and was a bit apprehensive. I was in New York City to accept the WhyHunger 2012 Harry Chapin Self-Reliance award on behalf of my organization.   As I prepared to disembark from the airtrain connecting JFK to my link to the subway, I made a  request of my mother, who resides on another plane of our existence. Continue reading

A, B and O

“The heart has reasons that the mind cannot understand” ~ Blaise Pascal

I made lunch and as I cut off the first slice of bread, I was taken back to my childhood. My mother forbade us to cut the bread and make off with the heel as soon as it was out of the oven. Her claim was it would ruin the rest of the loaf for other people’s enjoyment.  Continue reading

Anger Is A Cover Story

(I wrote this some time ago and never published it, thinking it was not the right time. Now, following a shooting at a church in Maryland, the time it seems, is at hand.)

It has been ten days since a gunman, Frank Smith, held hostages at Verso Paper in Jay, Maine. By all accounts, he had an “anger” problem. The media reported whatever they could snatch to make a story, much of which was inaccurate, but hey, they were first with inaccuracy.

I am bothered by the incompleteness of the story. The only media follow-up being the hostages were released and the gunman surrendered. Simple. Of course, had anyone been physically injured I’m sure it would have been covered differently. Violence sells. Tragedy, in general, sells.  Continue reading

Consistently Inconsistent

“A woman’s life can really be a succession of lives, each revolving around some emotionally compelling situation or challenge, and each marked off by some intense experience.” ~ Wallis Simpson

Yes, and hence seemingly “consistently inconsistent”.  “But I thought you said yesterday…” is sometimes spoken in my presence. “A woman’s right to change her mind” is a right I exercise.  Continue reading

Guess How Much I Love You!

Do small things with great Love, ordinary things with extraordinary Love
~Mother Teresa

A few weeks ago a long time friend called just to tell me she appreciates me. That was it. “I appreciate YOU.”  It happened on a day that was especially tough and I was feeling especially unappreciated. Those words, at that moment, meant more to me than all the cards and flowers the world could offer.

This week marked the passing of another Valentine Day. It isn’t my favorite holiday. My husband and I have the same conversation every year. He shows me he loves me through the year. I don’t need one particular day. I know this is unusual. And I understand when people say “it is a day that at least reminds us to love”, but it reminds too many they are not loved.  Continue reading

Gifting Dignity – Part Three

You are what you think. You are what you go for. You are what you do. ~ Rev. Bob Richards

I mentioned in a former post that funds, after my father’s passing, were scarcer than hen’s teeth. But I never thought I was disadvantaged. I knew many had more than I. Attending public school has a way of making that glaringly clear. I was also aware of many more who had less; that also was clear from school; integrating with the community; and the many opportunities my mother had us take to share even what little we had. There’s always someone richer. There’s always someone poorer. My mom, like many mothers, gave up much for herself so that I could have more. But she also had me do without what I wanted in favor of what I really needed that I might learn the difference. Perhaps that is how I learned to “take what you need and leave the rest for someone else”.  No matter how little you have, there is always enough to share. Promoting quality, not quantity. First lessons of social justice. Learning dignity. Continue reading