• Civility and manners,  Kindness quotes,  Politics

    The challenge

    “A part of kindness consists in loving some people more than they deserve.” —Joseph Joubert It’s so easy to be nice to like-minded friends and others who are kind to us. Yet the real test of our character is how we treat the folks who aren’t members of our fan club — especially those who hurt us or disagree with our viewpoints. I purchased the lawn sign in this photo because the message seemed like a breath of fresh air in our country’s contemptuous political climate. And I’m sorry to admit that, in the privacy of my home, I’ve said some nasty, judgmental things about others whose opinions differ from…

  • Happiness,  Health & wellbeing,  Politics

    Elements of surprise

    “Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise.” ~Alice Walker Earlier this month, everyone in my part of Michigan was convinced that spring had arrived early. We were amazed at bright yellow daffodils and forsythia bushes blooming — so early in March! — and even spotted people wearing shorts and sandals outside. But the weather took another turn, and we awoke this morning to fresh snow blanketing the landscape. Today’s quote is from Alice Walker’s poem, “Expect Nothing.” In it, Walker reminds us that keeping our expectations in check is the key to staying happy or content. Life is bound to surprise us. Sometimes those surprises will delight and amaze us, and…

  • Books change lives,  Holidays,  Politics

    Celebrating freedom

    “Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt, that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” ~Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own Wishing you a safe and happy Independence Day with time to reflect on all the rights, privileges, and freedoms you cherish and never take for granted. What freedoms do you value most? ~CL

  • Inspirational quotes,  Lifelong learning,  Politics,  Quotes about authenticity

    What is real … and what isn’t?

    “As you follow your own way of integrity, the effect on everyone and everything around you may be greater than you imagine.” ~Martha Beck, The Way of Integrity What’s the difference between fact and fiction? Does anyone care anymore? Today’s photo is a still life showing real fruit mixed with ceramic fruit. If you viewed it quickly on your cell phone, maybe you didn’t notice the difference between the fake and the real — unless you looked carefully. Along these lines, I’ve been following a couple of news stories having to do with the concept of fake news versus facts. The problem — even when you take the politics out of…

  • Politics,  Reputation

    What is integrity?

    “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” ~C.S. Lewis With so much turmoil unfolding in our country lately, I’ve been thinking about the word integrity. Growing up, I was taught to believe that integrity was an essential quality to expect in leaders of business and government. Integrity was also something to consider (without compromise) when choosing my friends and life partner. So what does integrity really mean? Here’s how Merriam-Webster defines it: 1 : firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility. 2 : an unimpaired condition : soundness. 3 : the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness.…