Friendship and relationship advice

  • Friendship and relationship advice,  Generosity,  Kindness quotes

    The art of gifting

    “The act of giving something to others is an art of flowering your heart.” ~ Vinayak There are many different gifting styles and practices, and psychotherapists have some interesting theories on that. Some people get a thrill out of selecting presents for their loved ones, while others prefer not to express affection with material things. A few folks I know discourage gift-giving because they don’t want to feel obligated to reciprocate; others worry that they’ll select the wrong gift. Of course, some don’t have extra cash for gifting in their budget. The most thoughtful presents come from the heart, no strings attached. For instance, a friend of mine is a…

  • Communication,  Friendship and relationship advice,  Health & wellbeing

    What do you take for granted?

    “We never know the worth of water until the well is dry.” ~Thomas Fuller, English historian, 1608 – 1661 The opposite of feeling grateful is taking someone or something for granted. Anything worth keeping needs our time, care, and attention — because nothing we have is truly guaranteed. You might want to try an exercise I’ve used in my journaling classes: Make a list of everything and everyone you value and would hate to lose. For instance, do you maintain and appreciate the items you own at home and rely on daily? Are you grateful to have a job or are you just putting in your time? Do you assume…

  • Civility and manners,  Friendship and relationship advice,  Politics

    Never assume

    “If we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that sometimes our assumptions and preconceived notions are wrong, and therefore, our interpretation of events is incorrect. This causes us to overreact, to take things personally, or to judge people unfairly.” ~Elizabeth Thornton, Scottish author of historical fiction Things aren’t always as they seem. As every great magician knows, audiences interpret everything they see and hear through the filter of their own experience and beliefs. Sometimes they see and hear only what they wish to see and hear. It’s sobering, really, when you consider how easily any situation could be misjudged or misunderstood — or taken personally. For instance, you…

  • Friendship and relationship advice,  Politics

    Does character matter?

    “We live in a culture that teaches us to promote and advertise ourselves and to master the skills required for success, but that gives little encouragement to humility, sympathy, and honest self-confrontation, which are necessary for building character.” ~ David Brooks, The Road to Character  In yesterday’s post, I talked about how I struggled with promoting my work, early in my career. Today’s quote pushes beyond self-promotion and digs much deeper. David Brooks writes a lot about the importance of character. And I can’t help but wonder, given our country’s dubious political climate, if character matters as much to people now. Character matters to me — and it matters a lot.…

  • Creativity and discovery,  Dr. Seuss,  Friendship and relationship advice,  Personal growth,  Photo stories

    You can’t know it all

    “It’s high time you were shown that you don’t really know all there is to be known.” ~Dr. Seuss Like most four-year-olds, our young grandson is an expert on a wide range of topics. Whenever we think we’re sharing something new with him, his typical response is, “I already knew that.” It cracks me up every time. I’m also very familiar with the adult know-it-all. You know the type: When you try to share fresh information or introduce an interesting topic, the know-it-all has already been there, seen it, or done that. You can’t possibly show or tell them anything new. And they’re always on the lookout for opportunities to…