Pay Attention, Class. . .
The biggest fear of being
K I N D
is someone will
. . .funny,
T H A T
continues to be my
daily prayer. . .
BE KIND WHENEVER POSSIBLE. IT IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE
Who Cares - What Matters
Pay Attention, Class. . .
The biggest fear of being
K I N D
is someone will
. . .funny,
T H A T
continues to be my
daily prayer. . .
BE KIND WHENEVER POSSIBLE. IT IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE
COVID19 pushed me back to books
(not that I have ever given them up)
but I’m way ahead of my yearly quota. . .
I even went back to an old one I read
nearly 45 years ago:
THE LORD OF THE FLIES
In the novel Lord of the Flies, a group of young boys are shipwrecked on an island and eventually turn savagely against each other. The book is a cautionary tale about humanity’s underlying cruelty and the need for civilization to tame our darker impulses—a message that resonates with many people today.
But that’s not what happened to a real-life group of shipwrecked kidsin 1965. Unlike the fictional Lord of the Flies characters, they developed a game plan for survival that was cooperative, fun, and peaceful, resulting in lifelong friendships.
In other words, the boys didn’t turn into devils when left on their own—far from it!
The journalist, Jill Suttie recently wrote about how Dutch historian Rutger Bregman recounts this story in his new book Humankind, arguing against the Lord of the Flies’s unreasonably dim picture of humanity. The key message in Bregman’s book is that humans are basically good, when left to their own devices.
That’s not to say there aren’t characters who will act badly, especially if encouraged (or manipulated) to do so or when under duress. But the vast majority of us are happy to work together cooperatively. This, he writes, is the only possible conclusion to make from the scientific and historical evidence.
And, he argues, it’s something we desperately need to understand if we want to work together toward creating a better society for all; especially during these pandemic times.
Some of the most famous evidence for our pessimistic view of human nature comes from the Stanford Prison Experiment done by Philip Zimbardo in the early 1970s. In this experiment, Zimbardo brought students into a lab and had them act out roles as prisoners and guards. Soon the experiment turned sour, as guards began acting too harshly toward prisoners, and it had to be shut down.
The experimenters concluded that people are sadistic underneath veneers of normalcy and can easily be manipulated to do harm. But Bregman points out that the results came about because the “guards” were encouraged from the start to be harsh toward “prisoners.” By enacting their roles, they thought they were contributing to science—a kind and helpful intent. Also, one student “prisoner” in the experiment, who supposedly “broke down” and had to be removed, confessed to faking his hysteria in order to get back to studying. The whole study and its conclusions were misrepresented.
“What’s fascinating is that most guards in the Stanford Prison Experiment remained hesitant to apply ‘tough tactics’ at all, even under mounting pressure,” writes Bregman. In fact, a later “prison experiment” mounted by the BBC, where guards were not told what to do, had very different results. The guards soon became reluctant to take on their authoritarian roles and became friendly with “prisoners” instead.
Actually, research suggests that people are quite unwilling to harm others—even in war situations—without strong coercion, which explains why leaving people to their own devices would produce different results.
Bregman takes readers through many experiments and events that seem to point to our flawed natures, and debunks them one by one. For example, we learn that the famous story about Kitty Genovese—a woman who was brutally raped and murdered in Queens, New York, while neighbors supposedly did nothing to help—is largely fiction, perpetuated by the New York Times coverage of her death. It turns out that the Times’s claim about 37 heartless bystanders was false, and people did come to her aid, including a neighbor who held her while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.
Still, this story of unconcerned bystanders is retold over and over as proof of human indifference and, like the Stanford Prison Experiment, graces many social psychology textbooks. Therein lies the problem.
The danger in continuing to repeat false conclusions from flawed research is that it feeds a narrative that doesn’t serve us. People hearing these findings start to believe that sadists lurk among us and they can’t trust others, when most of the time they can. It also supports the idea that only through strict social control from on high—dictatorships or police states, for example—can we stop our communities from devolving into chaos. Humankind: A Hopeful History(Little, Brown and Company, 2020, 480 pages)
According to Bregman, it’s important to understand that our true nature is (mostly) good, because it can encourage us to create institutions with less hierarchical structures and less stifling leadership. And these ways of organizing ourselves can have better outcomes.
For example, he highlights the home nursing program Buurtzorg, created first in the Netherlands, in which nurses cut out the management and created a cooperative that has been cost-effective and provides better patient care. He mentions city governments in Brazil that enacted public budgeting processes—where citizens had more say in how city funds were spent—that resulted in more health care spending, fewer infant deaths, and more civic engagement. And, he writes, schools that are less punitive and more cooperative, and allow students to be more in charge of their education, help improve students’ intrinsic motivation—one of the most important factors for learning.
The “tragedy of the commons”—the idea that public resources shared by many (like air, water, and land) can be depleted if people use them in a self-interested way—has long been an influential idea in economics. But Bregman points to the work of Elinor Ostrom, the Nobel Prize–winning economist, who studied how people around the world actually manage the commons when left to their own devices. Her research paved the way for understanding that once certain elements are present, people act cooperatively and don’t require social control—a finding that resonateswith many economists today.
This positive view of human nature can inform us about how police should handle crime prevention and prison reform, too, writes Bregman. Too often people believe that getting “tough on crime” and giving harsh prison sentences are what lead to crime reduction. But, Bregman argues, police departments that follow tough-on-crime tactics (like arresting people for minor violations) increase incarceration rates without reducing crime. Meanwhile, prisons that treat their prisoners humanely—by keeping sentences short and focusing on creating a more natural, community-based system inside the walls of the prison—prevent more crime and recidivism and are more cost-effective than those that don’t.
The book is full of other fascinating examples of places and programs being remade based on human goodness and trust. Bregman’s take-home message is that our better nature will win out, if we can only recognize its ubiquity.
That means recognizing the potential for goodness in everyone, even groups of people who look, think, or act differently from us whom we might be prejudiced against. One way to do so, research suggests, is to work on building positive contact across groups—like friendships and cooperative work relationships—that will increase our trust for others.
Bregman lists several other tips at the end of his book that people can use to see the goodness in humanity—things like “When in doubt, trust first,” “Temper your empathy, train your compassion,” and “Avoid the news.” If we take the view that we are born to be good, we can make a society that is fairer and freer for all, he says. That doesn’t take optimism; it just takes paying attention to science and experience.
“To believe that people are hardwired to be kind isn’t sentimental or naïve. On the contrary, it’s courageous and realistic to believe in peace and forgiveness,” he writes.
And this leaves us where. . . ?
that’s better than maybe what we’ve been imagining
with all of the unrest that’s making us feel anything but
r e s t f u l
because the evidence-based data
is kind of letting us know
that there’s some serious
i n h e r e n t
goodness in each of us. . .
S T I L L :
OR DO I. . .
I really like to talk
I use my mouth for a living
and the least of it
is what I do on
SUNDAY MORNINGS. . .
I talk to dozen of people every day
in a hospice setting
in talking with people about
CELEBRATIONS OF LIFE
for their loved ones
who’d like to get married
and want me to be their officiant
to my friends
to my family
to just about everyone I pass
in a store
or at the gas station. . .
if I could only be paid by the
(and I’m not even talking about the texting and emailing)
I like talking
LISTENING THING. . .
I pride myself on my
but I think it’s always worth
c h e c k i n g
DO THAT A LOT
especially when I’m feeling a little
Time Required: At least 10 minutes. Try to make time for this practice at least once per week.
Find a quiet place where you can talk with a conversation partner without interruption or distraction. Invite him or her to share what’s on his or her mind. As he or she does so, try to follow the steps below. You don’t need to cover every step, but the more you do cover, the more effective this practice is likely to be.
P a r a p h r a s e
Once the other person has finished expressing a thought, paraphrase what he or she said to make sure you understand and to show that you are paying attention. Helpful ways to paraphrase include “What I hear you saying is…,” “It sounds like…,” and “If I understand you right….”
When appropriate, ask questions to encourage the other person to elaborate on his or her thoughts and feelings. Avoid jumping to conclusions about what the other person means. Instead, ask questions to clarify his or her meaning, such as, “When you say_____, do you mean_____?”
If the other person voices negative feelings, strive to validate these feelings rather than questioning or defending against them. For example, if the speaker expresses frustration, try to consider why he or she feels that way, regardless of whether you think that feeling is justified or whether you would feel that way yourself were you in his or her position. You might respond, “I can sense that you’re feeling frustrated,” and even “I can understand how that situation could cause frustration.”
Use engaged body language
Show that you are engaged and interested by making eye contact, nodding, facing the other person, and maintaining an open and relaxed body posture. Avoid attending to distractions in your environment or checking your phone. Be mindful of your facial expressions: Avoid expressions that might communicate disapproval or disgust.
Your goal is to understand the other person’s perspective and accept it for what it is, even if you disagree with it. Try not to interrupt with counter-arguments or mentally prepare a rebuttal while the other person is speaking.
Avoid giving advice
Problem-solving is likely to be more effective after both conversation partners understand one another’s perspective and feel heard. Moving too quickly into advice-giving can be counterproductive.
After the other person has had a chance to speak and you have engaged in the active listening steps above, ask if it’s okay for you to share your perspective. When sharing your perspective, express yourself as clearly as possible using “I” statements (e.g., “I feel overwhelmed when you don’t help out around the house”). It may also be helpful, when relevant, to express empathy for the other person’s perspective (e.g., “I know you’ve been very busy lately and don’t mean to leave me hanging…”).
Often we’ll listen to a conversation partner without really hearing him or her. In the process, we miss opportunities to connect with that person—and even risk making him or her feel neglected, disrespected, and resentful.
This exercise helps you express active interest in what the other person has to say and make him or her feel heard—a way to foster empathy and connection. This technique is especially well-suited for difficult conversations (such as arguments with a spouse) and for expressing support. Research suggests that using this technique can help others feel more understood and improve relationship satisfaction.
Active listening helps listeners better understand others’ perspectives and helps speakers feel more understood and less threatened. This technique can prevent miscommunication and spare hurt feelings on both sides. By improving communication and preventing arguments from escalating, active listening can make relationships more enduring and satisfying. Practicing active listening with someone close to you can also help you listen better when interacting with other people in your life, such as students, co-workers, or roommates.
Weger, H., Castle Bell, G., Minei, E. M., & Robinson, M. C. (2014). The relative effectiveness of active listening in initial interactions. International Journal of Listening, 28(1), 13-31.
Participants had brief conversations (about their biggest disappointment with their university) with someone trained to engage in active listening, someone who gave them advice, or someone who gave simple acknowledgments of their point of view. Participants who received active listening reported feeling more understood at the end of the conversation.
Instructions adapted from: Markman, H., Stanley, S., & Blumberg, S.L. (1994). Fighting for your marriage. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
Active Listening involves approaching a conversation with a genuine desire to understand the other person’s feelings and perspective, without judgment or defensiveness. When you engage in Active Listening, you tune into what your conversation partner is communicating with their words and body language. How well do you feel and understand what others are feeling? Take the Empathy quiz (at Greater Good in Action) to find out.
take a few moments to
no one will be judging you
no one will share your answers
no one will make you feel embarrassed
B U T
you just may find
that what I know
what I know I know
what I’d bet my life that I know
I don’t always ACT like I know at all
W H I C H
is why I like to do a check up
from the EARS UP
I’d like to know that when I tell you,
“YEAH, I HEAR YA”
I really do
and I’m inviting you as
A CARING CATALYST
to do the same. . .
Do you hear me?
C O M P A S S I O N
never leaves with clean hands. . .
and the only time
OUT OF THE BOX
isn’t so great
is when it’s a
s a n d b o x
. . .just how much sand
is still in your sandbox
or has it all
l i t e r a l l y
been thrown away. . . ?
is upside down
and off its axis
seemingly with no hope of
r i g h t i n g
everyone seems to be grabbing for anything
that even remotely looks like
T H E I R S
JUST WEARING A MASK
will get you labeled
and that’ll negate you
in blink-of-the-eye-quickness. . .
CASE IN POINT:
(from two acquaintances in a Facebook Discussion)
This shouldn’t be a political post, but offending people appears almost as easy as blinking these days and seems to happen with a near similar frequency.
Today I met with my neurologist via zoom. We discussed the current condition of my health and the reality that heat is a destructive force in my life. Overheating complicates my already fragile central nervous system and causes frequent pseudo exacerbations and tailspins that are difficult to describe. I won’t bore you with the details, but the Dr. told me that I can’t risk going out and being near people who aren’t wearing masks in these ongoing days of Covid. If I were to get a fever, it would be “very, very bad” for me, let’s just leave it at that.
Now I don’t know each of your views pertaining to mask wearing and, honestly, I marvel at its political ties, though I know that I shouldn’t be surprised. I’m just trying to send a reminder that some of us aren’t in a position to ponder the political angles, we are just trying to keep our heads above water and would like to not be permanently confined to our homes, where it sometimes ironically seems that we might drown for lack of oxygen.
I encourage you to think of adorning a mask as if it were an empathy enhancer, regardless of any other benefits it may or may not have.
Stay healthy, friends. One day we will hug again
I think what is interesting about this conversation is that your highly trained doctor says to wear one, but my highly trained doctor says not too. It is what makes this part of the mask conversation so hard. I too, am considered extremely immune compromised but my doctor does not believe they protect us and in fact believes they are harming us more and providing an environment for more virus to grow. I work as an essential employee, have not been sick, wear mask in limited capacity and have stayed healthy. Many doctors believe that this is why we are seeing virus transmission go up in areas that are mandating it. Also on the flip side of this, my mother, who is asthmatic and my uncle who has COPD, cant wear them without getting deathly sick. It is a unique conversation to each individual, their unique situation and their health care providers feelings on it. It should not be mandated by any government entity for that reason. I respect what your doctor is telling you for you, but it can’t be something that is mandated for everyone. We do not know each person’s unique situation which why judgement to wear or not wear should be something we as individuals should not be passing and should be an individuals decision to do or not to do based on these specific factors. What could save your life, might take my mom’s life. This is a very real thing we need to see in the true light for what it is. It does mean that many people like you can’t be out in the general population right now, but it should not mean everyone has to wear a mask because of that. If you wear one and stay socially distant, you will stay safe. I am sorry that the health factors make life more difficult for you during this time
Wendy – Thanks for a thoughtful reply. I am of the opinion that some of your examples are the exception to the rule, but none the less, thanks for addressing the argument rather than attacking the individual. Tip of the cap to you.
Playing in the sandbox without getting
G R I T T Y
is not just possible or plausible
Sand in the box
is never the problem
It’s always the sand
the seemingly unremovable sand
on the hands
between the toes
in the shorts
in the eyes
that causes the
in the sandbox
has its place(S)
in the eyes
is never one of them
Sand in the box
is never the problem
as much as
s a n d
out of the box
We are way past the time
of playing nice
. . .it’s now time
The COVID-19 Pandemic
has brought many different changes
to the entire world
and out of all of the signs and symptoms
that have been identified in actually having this dreaded virus
I’m not so sure that
isn’t one of the
o n e s. . .
On July 12, Kelly Preston
the Co-star in
FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME
after a courageous two year battle of breast cancer. . .
In 1999 she joined Kevin Costner
in making this movie
. . .NO, NO,
it wasn’t up for any awards or honors
and it might have long been forgotten by this time
if she hadn’t recently died and it started being shown again on
HBO and other cable outlets
to honor her;
the premise of the film
is kind of flimsy
in that Kevin Costner’s character of
a so-so pitcher
throws the game of his life,
against the famed Yankees
FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME
and what should have been the greatest night of his life
w a s n ‘ t
because he painfully discovered
it wasn’t a
B U T
RELATIONSHIPS THAT HEAL US
. . .hence,
which begs the
somewhat evasive question of the Soul:
What’s a celebration with no one to share it?
Well. . . ?
What puts the tear in your eye
WHO HELPS DRY IT?
Are you in need of a Commercial Break. . .
We all seem to be scrambling for
(not of our TV’s)
of our lives
that’ll not fast forward us through the Commercial
to get back to our regular program
S T O P
The Regular Scheduled Program
to literally give us a much needed
b r e a k
and show us
not what we need to buy
b u t
WHAT WE NEED TO HAVE
(and no, it’s not a Dodge Ram Truck)
After all of the
C L O C K S
have Ticked their
T O C K S
what we need is more than a program
or a commercial can promise or give
but just the same
the seeds to our fertile fields
can be found there
in the middle of both
EIGHTH DAY. . .
. . .so before your HOUR GLASS
c o n s i d e r
maybe not so much how you’d spend your
E I G H T H DAY
as how you’d
Just don’t put that in
and Plant it
. . .Harvest it
and take it to
for the Farmer in all of us
. . .it just could be
The Commercial Break
needed from this
I know. . .
I know what you’re thinking
N O W
and every 25th of every month
when I proclaim
(usually with a Christmas scene)
MERRY PRACTICE CHRISTMAS
(usually with how many more days until Christmas)
which usually elicits this resounding response:
But wait. . .
CHRISTMAS IN JULY
wasn’t my idea
so much as me picking up the
and making sure it flies
U N F U R L I N G L Y
before you. . .
Werther, an 1892 French opera with libretto by Édouard Blau, Paul Milliet, and Georges Hartmann, had an English translation published in 1894 by Elizabeth Beall Ginty. In the story, a group of children rehearses a Christmas song in July, to which a character responds: “When you sing Christmas in July, you rush the season.” It is a translation of the French: “vous chantez Noël en juillet… c’est s’y prendre à l’avance.” This opera is based on Goethe‘s The Sorrows of Young Werther. Christmas features in the book, but July does not.
In 1935, the National Recreation Association’s journal Recreation described what a Christmas in July was like at a girl’s camp, writing that “all mystery and wonder surround this annual event.”
The term, if not the exact concept, was given national attention with the release of the Hollywood movie comedy Christmas in Julyin 1940, written and directed by Preston Sturges. In the story, a man is fooled into believing he has won $25,000 in an advertising slogan contest. He buys presents for family, friends, and neighbors, and proposes marriage to his girlfriend.
In 1942, the Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. celebrated Christmas in July with carols and the sermon “Christmas Presents in July”. They repeated it in 1943, with a Christmas tree covered with donations. The pastor explained that the special service was patterned after a program held each summer at his former church in Philadelphia, when the congregation would present Christmas gifts early to give ample time for their distribution to missions worldwide. It became an annual event, and in 1945, the service began to be broadcast over local radio.
The U.S. Post Office and U.S. Army and Navy officials, in conjunction with the American advertising and greeting card industries, threw a Christmas in July luncheon in New York in 1944 to promote an early Christmas mailing campaign for service men overseas during World War II. The luncheon was repeated in 1945.
American advertisers began using Christmas in July themes in print for summertime sales as early as 1950. In the United States, it is more often used as a marketing tool than an actual holiday. Television stations may choose to re-run Christmas specials, and many stores have Christmas in July sales. Some individuals choose to celebrate Christmas in July themselves, typically as an intentionally transparent excuse to have a party. This is in part because most bargainers tend to sell Christmas goods around July to make room for next year’s inventory. (from Wikipedia)
I KNOW. . .
TOO MUCH INFORMATION, Right. . . ?
It kind of puts the
B L A N K
B L I N K
But so too often
is not always
WE LIVE IN A SNOW GLOBE’D WORLD
often turned upside down
U N S E T T L E D
and just when we think we
GET THE MESSAGE
s i l e n t l y
“all is calm, all is bright. . .let heaven and nature sing,
JOY TO THE WORLD
So I don’t know what really
L I G H T S
your tree. . .
but whatever it is
make sure it stays lit in this dark world
and even better. . .
S H A R E D
Maybe I’ve been reading too much of Brené Brown lately;
(and even listening to her podcasts; and I never listen to podcasts)
And it’s not that I feel more vulnerable as much as
I’m more aware of how vulnerable I am
I’ve always been
and at times I’ve had to fight back that very
v u l n e r a b i l i t y
YOU DON’T REALLY THINK I’M VULNERABLE
OR HAVE PROBLEMS
OR HAVE FEARS
OR HAVE MONKEY-MIND THOUGHTS
OR HAVE MULTICOLORED FLAWS THAT DON’T SPARKLE SO GOOD
OR. . .
But I do
COVID’S has changed us all into something we aren’t
or at least something we don’t want to be
Maybe COVID has made us all feel a vulnerability
we’d have rather have not felt
or taken us back to places we thought we’ve long left behind
and deeply, dirtily buried. . .
m a y b e
it’s brought you to a
S E N S E
that just doesn’t
Makes you feel like you don’t
F I T
Sometimes I hear a Siren
late at night
from my early childhood
as it Blared me awake
a Fire that couldn’t be fought
And though not seen or felt
Still consumed me into an
Inferno of Afraidness
That Siren still wakes me
in the middle of my timeless nights
that never illuminate the Dark
so much as swallows it up
in it’s Fiery Blackness
It comes after me to
a home that no longer exists
into a bed where nightmares
House things that have never happened
and incinerates dreams only dreamt to be dreamed
Ohhh so silently
IT LITERALLY GLARED AT ME. . .
The car with
THAT LICENSE PLATE
was right in front of me
at a Red Light
and reading it
BROKE MY HEART. . .
I wanted to honk long before the Light turned
to get the Driver’s attention
or just get out of the car
by pounding on the window
I just sat there
w o n d e r i n g
until the guy behind me
threw his arms up in the air
after honking because the Light had turned GREEN
and he saw my car wasn’t going as fast as my
m i n d
THERE’S A LOT
B R O K E N
and now the
and it’s not just
. . .it’s SHOUTING
that BROKEN-HEART SYNDROME
is very, very real. . .
During the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic have found a significant increase in patients experiencing stress cardiomyopathy, also known as “broken heart syndrome,” which has symptoms similar to a heart attack, according to a new study from the clinic.
“Especially when it comes to the loss of a job and economic stressors, those are things that the COVID pandemic is affecting in many people,” said Dr. Grant Reed. “So it’s not just the virus itself that’s causing illness in patients.”
Heartbreak is a common thread in movies, pop culture, and music but Cleveland Clinic cardiologists are warning patients about the serious effects of a broken heart and the possible connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“No one really expected to be in this situation and the pandemic has put dramatic, unprecedented stressors on our life,” Reed said. “These are patients that are coming in presenting very similar to how patients come in with a heart attack. They have EKG changes consistent with a heart attack and they have chest discomfort.”
Researchers said stress cardiomyopathy happens in response to physical or emotional stress, which causes dysfunction or failure in the heart muscle.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about multiple levels of stress in people’s lives across the country and world. People are not only worried about themselves or their families becoming ill, they are dealing with economic and emotional issues, societal problems and potential loneliness and isolation,” said Ankur Kalra, M.D., a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist in the Sections of Invasive and Interventional Cardiology and Regional Cardiovascular Medicine, who led the study.
Patients with this condition have experienced symptoms similar to a heart attack, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, but usually don’t have acutely blocked coronary arteries.
“The stress can have physical effects on our bodies and our hearts, as evidenced by the increasing diagnoses of stress cardiomyopathy we are experiencing,” said Kalra.
Patients can also experience irregular heartbeat, fainting, low blood pressure and cardiogenic shock, which happens when the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s demand due to stress hormones.
Researchers have admitted the causes of stress cardiomyopathy are not fully understood.
Between March 1 and April 30, cardiologists looked at 258 patients with heart symptoms coming into Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Akron General. Researchers compared them with four control groups and found a “significant increase” in patients diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, reaching 7.8% compared with pre-pandemic incidence of 1.7%, the release states.
All patients diagnosed with stress cardiomyopathy tested negative for COVID-19. Those with the condition since the COVID-19 outbreak had a longer hospital stay compared to those pre-pandemic. Doctors said patients with stress cardiomyopathy patients generally recover in a matter of days or weeks, although the condition can occasionally cause major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events.
“For those who feel overwhelmed by stress, it’s important to reach out to your healthcare provider. Exercise, meditation and connecting with family and friends, while maintaining physical distance and safety measures, can also help relieve anxiety,” said Grant Reed, director of Cleveland Clinic’s STEMI program and senior author for the study.
Reed said a number of factors can cause heart function to deteriorate, which include loneliness, financial stress, or overwhelming feelings of uncertainty brought on by stay-at-home orders.
“You have to recognize when you need to seek help and say, ‘Okay I need to take a step back.’ Maybe disconnect from social media and not read so much because that can stress us all out,” Reed said.
Researchers noted that additional research is needed in this area, especially if this trend in cases is present in other regions of the country. . .
But it still begs the legitimate, honest, lopsided
Q U E S T I O N
WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT IT. . .
WHAT’S THE CURE. . .
Could it be as simple
as readily accessible
literally at the end of our arms
Maybe it’s time to battle the urge
that took me to task
afternoon at the Red Light
. . .Maybe a little more
W A N D E R I N G
(toward the Brokenness)
w o n d e r i n g
(away with my idling ‘what if’ing’ daydream)
Maybe a little more
and a lot less of
It just may be the kind of vaccine that’s needed to eradicate
A BROKEN HEART
(A REAL THING)
and it can come
from none other than
A Compassionate Caring
Y O U
(A REAL THING)
M U S I C
at it’s best will do much more than just
make your foot tap
or your head, bob. . .
it’ll literally make your
H E A R T B E A T
d i f f e r e n t l y
. . .and not just for a while–
for an e v e r. . .
I love the simpleness and yet significances of JJ Heller’s music
For years J J’s timeless love song,
“THE BOAT SONG”
has been played at weddings and funerals in slideshows.
I loved this quirky, homemade video featuring
many pairs of found objects to match her lyrics
but like most songs I’m not so sure we get the
message in the message:
WE BELONG TOGETHER
It’s not just about finding the love of your life
It’s not just about being silly and funny for someone
It’s not just about love and truly
BEING IN IT
. . .Oh it is about relationships. . .
BELONGING. . .
B E L O N G I N G
I love the quote from Mother Teresa
(now Saint Teresa of Calcutta)
where she said the biggest threat to us and our world was that people don’t feel as though they BELONG. . .
“IF WE HAVE NO PEACE,” she said, “IT IS BECAUSE WE HAVE FORGOTTEN THAT WE BELONG TO EACH OTHER.”
We’ve all felt it before, haven’t we:
DO I BELONG
WHERE DO I BELONG ?
It hits us at our heart level
It’s more real than typed or spoken word
It’s more desperate than our next breath or heartbeat. . .
B E L O N G I N G
We want to
o f t e n
again and again
for an ever. . .
and here’s the best part:
WE HAVE THE POWER
to not only include others
but to actually make them feel
Each of us gets to decide whether we want to name-call, gaslight, sow fear or whether we really want to elevate, empower, life others up
I N C L U D E
Let our Caring Catalyst Message be:
YOU ARE WELCOME
We are all vulnerable
We are all human
WE ALL BELONG TOGETHER. . .
See. . .
I told you it was more than just a love song
. . .this is a pure
A HUMAN UNIFER
(and none too soon)
. . .put the
P E P
S T E P