Politics

  • 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.…

  • Civility and manners,  Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Musuem,  Politics

    Herd mentality

    “Sheep only need a single flock, but people need two: One to belong to and make them feel comfortable, and another to blame all of society’s problems on.”  ~James Rozoff When I was a kid, my parents often discussed politics and watched talk shows featuring guests with opposing viewpoints. They subscribed to (and read) both local and national newspapers. The three of us enjoyed rehashing important issues around the dinner table, giving me an opportunity to learn what I thought and valued during those discussions. I was encouraged to develop my own opinions — even if they didn’t mirror those of my parents. Herd mentality was not encouraged. My folks…

  • 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…