• Communication,  Health & wellbeing,  relationships

    Love and struggle

    “Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It’s an active noun, like ‘struggle.'”~Fred Rogers Relationships are always evolving — and that applies to friendship as well as romance. In the early stages, we tend to idealize our partner or best friends. But who on earth can live up to our highest expectations at all times? The longer we know someone, and the more we grow, the more likely we’ll encounter obstacles, conflict, or disappointment. As Fred Rogers suggests in today’s quote, “struggle” is an active part of love. The strength of any relationship depends on how we deal with it. ~CL Photo: Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park by Cindy La…

  • Civility and manners,  Communication,  Health & wellbeing,  social skills

    Listening skills

    “One of the benchmarks of great communicators is their ability to listen — not just to what’s being said, but to what’s not being said as well. They listen between the lines.” ~ Laurie Buchanan, author I’ve always been interested in how communication works — or doesn’t work — in our daily lives. Good listening skills are as essential to healthy relationships as good talk. Thankfully, I’m married to a guy who’s an outstanding, empathetic listener. (That’s him in the background of the photo above.) More often than not, however, I notice that other people are so focused on what they want to say next that they aren’t really listening to…

  • Civility and manners,  Communication,  Events & news,  Photo stories

    When silence is golden

    “Tune out the cheap shots people take at you. Don’t waste words on people who deserve your silence. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is nothing at all.” ~Angel Chernoff Often called “too sensitive,” I used to be devastated by criticism of any kind. Thanks to my freelance writing career, I’ve learned that constructive criticism — and even rejection — can lead to growth and improvement if I’m willing to push my ego aside. You don’t have to try freelance writing to learn resilience. Life gives us plenty of opportunities to grow thicker skin. Then again, we need to spot the difference between constructive criticism and “cheap shots,”…

  • Communication,  Friendship and relationship advice,  Photo stories,  relationships

    Make a note of it

    “In this era of email and voice mail and all those things that I didn’t grow up with, a plain old paper letter takes on amazing intimacy.” ~Elizabeth Kostova Who doesn’t love getting a card or letter in the mail? Paper correspondence conveys a depth of sincerity and meaning that online communication can’t match. Texting or emailing can be done on the fly. But it takes extra care and effort to select a card or stationery, write a message, address and stamp the envelope, and get it to a mail box. A couple of my favorite neighbors and I have been snail-mailing all-occasion cards and notes to each other for…

  • Communication,  Personal growth,  Photo stories

    How connected are we, really?

    “We live in a technological universe in which we are always communicating. And yet we have sacrificed conversation for mere connection.” ~Sherry Turkle Words have tremendous power. As social media users learned early in the game, our words can unite — and our words can alienate. Today’s quote is another favorite in my “communication collection.” Sherry Turkle, a social science and technology professor at MIT, reminds us that online connection doesn’t offer the same emotional health benefits as in-person communication. Here, she hints at the danger of spending more time online than we spend developing deeper relationships with others. ~CL If you missed it earlier, here’s a link to a…