All that once was: Life before and life after COVID-19

Stay home
For eight and a half years I wrote a mostly feel good column in a few small town newspapers. And you know what? I was okay at it. People liked it. They looked forward to it. And so did I. I enjoyed making people’s day. I became adept at finding the good in what felt like the darkest of times. But in the last few years, I couldn’t do it. My life got too dark, and so did ...
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None of us deserve a free jerk pass

free jerk pass
I was already struggling with whether to publish this post, before COVID-19. Now I’m even more unsure. It is so heartening to see the amount of good will that is going around, even among people who normally are at each other’s throats. I wish we could bottle this good will and sprinkle it around whenever people start to get caustic again. Because we will – start to get...
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Love is the only way

Love is the only way
If you feel invisible, I see you and I love you. If you are afraid, remember that courage is not the absence of fear, but standing strong against it. You can do it, and I love you. If you are weary, stay strong. You are doing better than you think. And I love you. If you are lonely, here’s a hug and I love you. If you are sad, here’s a tissue and a warm cup of ...
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People crave community: Narrowing the urban/rural divide

We were neighbors before we were enemies
Growing up in the rural West, I can’t tell you how many times I heard jokes about Californians, “city folks,” and “back East,” as though people who lived in Cali or east of the Mississippi River were basically clueless idiots. Then I moved east. Not all the way to the coast, but far enough to learn that people “across the river” were pretty much just like people on the othe...
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Does UC Berkeley really hate rural America?

Red barn
Okay, guys. We need to have a talk. I’ve discussed this before, and really… It’s so important. You’ve got to stop believing everything the Media tells you. This is the first post in a two-part series on narrowing the urban/rural divide, and just being a responsible, rational citizen in general. Certain news outlets... ...are blowing up over a tweet by a UC...
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The death of grace

Perhaps the most detrimental fallout of an entire generation obsessed with perfection is the death of grace.
As my kids gear up for back to school, I can’t help but wonder how they will look back at their childhoods, the time and place in which they were raised, their family experience, and the impact their culture has on their growing hearts and minds. How did we get here? I can’t pretend to be perfect. I actually tried that for a really long time. It didn’t work. Her...
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Do you have a toxic relationship with your news source?

Do you have a toxic relationships with your news source?
In order to understand the big picture of Redefining Love, we must learn that institutions can be just as toxic as individual relationships. Just as family systems can be rife with dysfunction that developed over generations, so too can larger systems within our society. Entire religions, governments, political parties, corporations, education institutions, and sectors...
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Eliminating snobbery from our lives

Rather than seek to be open minded, a better goal is to dig deep to identify our own bias.
One of the personality traits that I struggle to forgive the most is snobbery, in myself as well as others. I used to live with the illusion that I was immune from this particular sin. (This kind of arrogance is the first sign that you need to get real.) Judgement is the universal sin Back when I bought into the “open-mindedness” myth, I believed that I accepted eve...
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The ‘f’ word has run its course

Once a word gets overused, it becomes boring and loses it's impact.
I’m not sure from what well people are drawing their ‘f’ words. I drained that sucker dry in the 90’s. I elevated the use of the ‘f’ word to new heights of artistry. I could answer yes or no questions with an ‘f’ bomb and my people knew what I meant by my intonation. It was glorious. Do not get the wrong impression. I am not a cool person. Never have I ever been coo...
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Here’s the point

A critical driver of innovation is the capacity to disagree, debate passionately, and explore all sides of an issue without losing respect.
I have tiptoed hesitantly into social media over the years. I have accounts at the big four… Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. I’m most active on Facebook and Instagram. My Pinterest is okay. My Twitter is embarrassing, honestly. I just can’t seem to master brevity. Imagine that. Even on those platforms that I use most frequently I struggle. I know I coul...
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