Caring

How Can We Serve Others?

June 26, 2020

Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash

“….we often serve others best simply by honoring what we care about most. ‘To find our calling,’ wrote theologian Frederick Buechner, ‘is to find the intersection between our own deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger.’”
–Sarah Juniper Rabkin, What I Learned at Bug Camp

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Shedding Shells

June 19, 2020

Photo by Javardh on Unsplash

“Perhaps middle age is, or should be, a period of shedding shells; the shell of ambition, the shell of material accumulations and possessions, the shell of the ego. Perhaps one can shed at this stage in life as one sheds in beach-living; one’s pride, one’s false ambitions, one’s mask, one’s armor. Was that armor not put on to protect one from the competitive world? If one ceases to compete, does one not need it? Perhaps one can at last in middle age, if not earlier, be completely oneself. And what a liberation that would be!
—Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From the Sea

Free is one of my words of the year. So far, 2020 has been stripping away my “shells.” I’m feeling raw, but this quote from Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s beautiful Gift From the Sea is encouraging me to see the freedom that can follow that process.

Adrienne Rich

How Are You Feeling? [Check One]

June 12, 2020

Photo by Jakob Søby on Unsplash

“It’s exhilarating to be alive in a time of awakening consciousness; it can also be confusing, disorienting, and painful.”
—Adrienne Rich

Emotions are running high, and we may all need to take some time to check in with our feelings. If it helps, write out your thoughts, or talk to a trusted confidante. My journal is getting a workout these days. The world is frightening and sorrowful right now—but I truly believe good will come out of all the turmoil. Wishing you a healthy, peaceful, and happy weekend!

anti-racism

Time to Listen Link Love

June 05, 2020


It feels inappropriate, to say the least, to write about the things I was planning to write about this week—simple pleasures, everyday adventures, my summer fun list and summer reading list. The protests taking place all over the United States, and the world, have filled my mind and heart to bursting, made me appropriately uncomfortable, forcing me to think about concepts and experiences of which I’ve been largely oblivious.

It shouldn’t have taken multiple publicized deaths and nationwide protests to wake me up to what life is like for people of color in this country. It’s time to examine my own biases and beliefs and how they’ve been influenced by the culture I’ve grown up in, as well as educate myself about underlying structural racism.

Since I’m still at the beginning of my learning—where I should be listening rather than speaking—I thought I’d share a few links to material written by people who have eloquently and usefully examined this topic, as well as links to a few anti-racism resources I’m exploring. I hope they prove helpful to you. (And please share in the comments any resources you’ve found helpful.)

“For those of you who are tired of reading about racism, I’m tired of black and brown bodies being killed by it. I’m tired of watching some white people be more upset by those who are protesting racism as opposed to the racism itself. Being numb is characterizing what happened to Floyd, Cooper, Ahmaud Arbery (who was hunted, shot and killed by two white men while jogging), as unfortunate, disconnected anomalies. Feeling is understanding they are not disconnected at all but, rather, the reason why James Baldwin once said ‘to be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.’”

With Liberty and Justice for All. In this thoughtful piece, Gretchen Rubin shares part of a speech John F. Kennedy gave on June 11, 1963 after the Alabama National Guard had to enforce a court order requiring the desegregation of the University of Alabama. Here’s a part of the quoted speech:

“I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened….

“The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated. If an American, because his skin is dark…cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content...[to] stand in his place? Who among us would then be content with the counsels of patience and delay? …

“Now the time has come for this Nation to fulfill its promise.”

I ask myself, as Rubin does at the end of her post, “How can I, in my own life, live up to my country's highest ideals?”
 
Jen Louden suggests in “White People, Please Don’t Give In to Despair,” that we “Start from wonder and love and steady effort. ‘I wonder how I can learn today? I wonder who I can help today?’ Don’t make it about what you haven’t done cause that’s making it about you. ​Make it about now.” She continues, ‘Stop believing the Hollywood version of change you see in movies. That’s not how real change has ever happened or ever will. Real change happens because of millions of small acts by millions of people. What you do matters! Start today.’”







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