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Can’t we calmly agree to disagree?

You can disagree without being disagreeable. This has always been one of my firm beliefs, and it’s something I’ve always tried to live by. It breaks my heart that it’s a practice that seems to be getting less and less common every day – and in everyday matters, not just hot-button topics like religion and politics. Still, we’ve had more than our fair share lately of evidence in that last category. That’s why an experience I had last week was so refreshing and reassuring. It [...]

By |November 18th, 2016|Columns, Respect, Values|0 Comments

An airport experience shows a lack of courtesy

My husband and I were returning from an out-of-state trip. Our flight home was late Sunday night, after a long and busy day. As we approached our gate at the airport, we found just one seat open in a row of seven seats. Gentleman that he is, my husband motioned for me to sit down. I did, and as I looked around, I could feel my temperature rising. It wasn’t from the weather, but the fact that three of the seven seats were occupied not [...]

By |July 29th, 2016|Columns, Family, Respect, Travel, Values|0 Comments

It’s the children who will rescue us – from ourselves

I’m going to get the “Full Disclosure” business out of the way right up front.  Since my husband and I grew up in the Chicago area and still have family ties there, it’s Chicago sports teams that we cheer for. Also, I’m not a super-sports-fan to begin with. I enjoy watching the games with family and friends, but it’s the social aspect, not the sport itself, that I’m most interested in. All of this is to explain that even though I – like so many [...]

By |January 22nd, 2016|Accountability, Columns, Respect, Values|0 Comments

Don’t just tolerate – celebrate!

Before last Sunday, I had never been to Lake Elmo. I also had never been to a Lutheran church service. Later in the day, back at home in my own church, I was chatting briefly with one of the deacons about the religious, racial, and cultural differences many of us can find not only in our communities, but among our friends and even within our own extended families. “Our differences shouldn’t just be tolerated,” he said. “They should be celebrated.” His words were music to [...]

By |August 21st, 2015|Columns, Faith, Music/Singing, Respect, Uganda, Values|2 Comments

All fired up from an inspiring dream

This is going to sound like something I totally made up, but I swear I’m telling it exactly as it happened – in a dream I had a few nights ago. It was early morning, actually, because my alarm went off and woke me up before it was finished. But that was good, because it kept the dream fresh and vivid enough for me to write it all down before it drifted away. In the dream, I was attending a meeting of a women’s networking [...]

By |July 24th, 2015|Columns, Respect, Values|0 Comments

Cameras and courtesy provide common language

“Un…deux…trois.” English translation: “Say cheese.” That was the context, anyway, one afternoon last week as I stood near the waterfront, smiling and waiting for the woman with the camera to snap the shutter. I was in Barcelona, Spain, at the Mediterranean port where Christopher Columbus launched his journey to the new world. The location was both scenic and historic, and many of the people in the area were tourists taking pictures. I saw a young couple who were taking turns taking photos of each other, [...]

By |October 24th, 2014|Columns, Respect, Travel|0 Comments

Pillowcase Dresses and Washable Silk Can Change Lives and Attitudes

They are ladies I haven’t even met in person, or that I’ve known for only a short time. Yet they are doing something very special for people who are very special to me. And that makes them saints and heroes in my book. Late last year, a friend of mine told me about dresses that her sister makes out of pillowcases, and she asked if I would be interested in taking some of them with me on my next trip to Uganda. I immediately accepted [...]

By |June 27th, 2014|Columns, Making a Difference, Respect, Uganda, Values|0 Comments

A good deed feeds the heart and soul

I was in Hopkins last week getting some service done on my car. The dealership where I bought the car and where I used to get my service work done went out of business not long ago, so I only recently started going to the place in Hopkins. Whenever I take my car in for service, I usually pack enough work to do – reading, writing, and whatever I can fit into a tote bag – and just wait there while the work is being [...]

By |October 4th, 2013|Columns, Respect, Values|0 Comments

A sense of purpose will launch your dreams

Note: For ten weeks, I am using the Dream Coaching® program to work on my dream of finishing and publishing a book about my trip to Uganda, and I am reporting on my progress in my weekly column. As always, my column is posted on my blog every Friday. To read the series from the beginning, start with the introductory post, dated May 3, 2013. The third session of the Dream Coaching program is the one in which people’s hidden traits and talents really start [...]

Putting an End to Disasters and Diseases

It’s kind of ironic. We’re finally past all the end-of-the-world predictions and fears that had to do with the Mayan calendar, and now we’re hit with this flu epidemic. I haven’t heard any predictions that the flu is going to wipe out civilization as we know it, but I’ve read enough novels and watched enough disaster movies – where a medical research project goes awry, or a virulent strain of something-or-other gets out into the general public – that I’ve at least considered a “What [...]

By |January 18th, 2013|Accountability, Columns, Health and Well-being, Respect|0 Comments