Archive for personal challenges

Christmas: Being mindful of mental illness

The Christmas season reminds us to be generous. Folks everywhere, religious or not, stock food pantries, collect warm coats and donate to charities. How about those who struggle with mental illness, which is one in five adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Extra kindness can make a difference. So much mental suffering […]

The Perfect Thanksgiving Guest: 12 Tips

The heroes of Thanksgiving are the family cooks. They chop, slice, dice and roast. Like mathematicians, they figure out how to stagger five roasting pans over eight hours using one oven. They make it look so easy, greeting guests with a breezy, “Come on in!” even as they tick off a mental to-do list with […]

Thanksgiving 2019: Dealing with hot button issues. Just don’t

(Photo by Suzette Martinez Standring, Houghton’s Pond, Milton, MA) Thanksgiving celebrates togetherness and family feasting, and perhaps, it also calls for restraint. I am not talking about the groaning buffet and ten desserts.  I am talking about not talking about hot button issues. Live for the greater good and show mercy to the poor cook […]

Extreme Forgiveness: Exemplary or Insane?

(Photo by Tom Fox/Reuters) Extreme forgiveness brings harsh criticism in the face of rulings, verdicts and sentences that appear unfair. For loss of life, the right punishment or exact recompense is never reached.  Therefore, how is forgiveness even possible? Texas police officer Amber Guyger entered an apartment she mistook for her own, and shot and […]

Mercedes: When the person praying looks scary

(Photo of All Hallows Roman Catholic Church, my childhood parish. From San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library. http://www.sfpl.org/sfphotos When all the shouting’s done, humble goodness shines forever.  Temporary power and posturing are empty calories that disappear. But quiet strength continues to nourish decades later.  I remember Mercedes, an old woman whose last name I […]