• Civility and manners,  Kindness quotes,  Photo stories,  Politics

    The hard part

    “A part of kindness consists in loving some people more than they deserve.” —Joseph Joubert It’s so easy to be kind to like-minded friends and others who are nice to us. Yet the true 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 views. Along those lines, today’s photo shows my new lawn sign. I think the message is a breath of fresh air in today’s vicious political climate. Regardless of what’s on the ballot or who’s running for office, the sign reminds us that kindness is a bipartisan choice we can…

  • Photo stories,  Politics

    The right to feel safe?

    “I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible; to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise.” ~Dawna Markova I have tickets to an annual art fair I’ve been looking forward to all year. But for the first time ever, I’m ambivalent about making the trip. The Fourth of July shooting in Highland Park — along with other recent episodes of gun violence — has made me uneasy about attending any sort of large outdoor public event.…

  • Photo stories,  Politics,  Reputation

    What is integrity?

    “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” ~C.S. Lewis There’s so much turmoil and corruption in the world, which partly explains why I’ve been obsessed with the word integrity. What does it really mean — and does anyone really care anymore? 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. Integrity isn’t always easy or comfortable. Every day, I search for examples of it in politics, in my community, and among my friends and family. People…

  • Personal growth,  Photo stories,  Politics,  Reputation

    Walking our talk

     “The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.” ~Paulo Coelho Few things annoy me more than being judged, vilified, or bullied by a hypocrite. How often do you encounter folks who preach a rigid set of morals and values — yet their lives exemplify something else entirely? Just for starters, there’s the parent who drinks too much but punishes his underage kids for doing the same. And how about those political pundits who condemn the lifestyles of others while hiding a few dancing skeletons in their own closets? If you’re hoping to earn trust or influence others, remember that your life is telegraphing its own message every…