Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Presidential Attributes Re-visited

The Mystery within...
I have been looking back over my past three plus years of blogs for common threads. I hope to eventually weave them together to tell a more coherent story of the lessons I find in everyday living.  In my March 2, 2015 blog titled, Presidential Attributes, I listed the human qualities I want our next president to have.  I am still okay with what I identified, and the facts I cite from “The Body Keeps the Score—Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” by Bessel van der Kolk M.D. 

In that March 2, 2015 post I also cite “The Neighborhood Project—Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time” by the Evolutionary Biologist and Anthropologist David Sloan Wilson.  I then listed all of the “What if…” ending questions for those eight posts from October 28 – December 16, 2013.  Seeing those questions one after another made me uneasy until I understood why.  I decided all my “What if…” questions, in all of my posts, should end with “…more often.”  “More often” leaves room for mistakes.  Mistakes and failures lead us to keep on questioning to help us figure out what will improve our cities, country and ourselves one person at a time. 

“What if we learned from our mistakes on how to progress as humans—more often?”

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


The Mystery within...
The violence and unrest in America’s cities, around the world, and the divisiveness within our country’s politics have me wondering about our progress toward compassion, mercy, and forgiveness—how we come to love one another.  Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation meditations this week reflect on the Spirituality of Imperfection.  His opening meditation ends with “We are all saved by pure grace, no exceptions. We must never live in such a way that grace is not needed hour by hour.”

I am quite aware that I have played a part in some of today’s unrest.  My husband and I purchased a lot in Milwaukee in the 1960’s to build our first home and paid a premium for it because it was within walking distance to the elementary school.   When our children were old enough, we wanted them to be able walk to school.  In the early 1970’s, when it became apparent that our very young children could be bused across town, we moved to the suburbs where they could still walk to school.  I have come to understand that our moving contributed to some of the monumental problems Milwaukee’s current residents face.  There is some grace in that understanding for I am sometimes overwhelmed with compassion for those who struggle for life’s basic needs.  It has also led me to want to welcome diverse people to my community where their children can walk to school.    

What if it is our own imperfections that lead us to accept and love one another?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Only Questions

The Mystery within...
Last weeks blog Celebrating? closed with “What if we could all be overwhelmed with the need for restorative justice?”  That was posted before the added tragedy of the shooting deaths of five police officers in Dallas and more injured.  That question seems even more critical now.  Some other “What if…” questions from previous posts also seem appropriate. 

6/9/14 Searching “What if we all embraced the fact that what we have in common is our differences?”

4/7/14 Indigenous Wisdom “What if there were no dominant cultures and we valued others’ gifts?  What if we each thought about the gifts we bring to the universe and what help we need to grow?”

9/2/13 Deep Gratitude "What if we all thought about how intricately we are connected in this web of life and see that equal opportunity and adequate resources for everyone would benefit us all?  What if we each asked to be shown ways to contribute toward that end? 

“What if we each knew we play a part in the answers to overwhelming tragedy?” 

Monday, July 4, 2016


The Mystery within...
I just started reading Ta-Nehisi Coates, a black man’s memoir titled “Between the World and Me.”  His words are so vivid in describing the pain black bodies have endured, and are still subjected to, they made the fireworks and celebrating that has gone on all weekend feel hollow. The shadow of our country’s beginning also looms large for me tonight.  Empathy and compassion are painfully humbling gifts from this knowing. The need for restorative justice for native and black Americans overwhelms me.

What if we could all be overwhelmed with the need for restorative justice?