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Showing posts from March, 2014

#nomakeupselfie for Cancer Awareness

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The wave of Facebook selfie pics that started in Britain quickly hit American shores. #nomakeupselfie photos flowed over social news feeds. 
Women tagged their girlfriends to show support for cancer research. But it didn’t take long for the antagonists to complain that it was all useless narcissism—arguing that money will cure cancer, not selfies.





For those selfie haters, the British campaign used text message donations to support Cancer Research UK. Within 48 hours over a million dollars was raised. Here in America, the #nomakeupselfies aren’t about money; it’s baring our faces for the love of others. We care about those who’ve faced a debilitating disease.
The American selfie exhibition reflects a bare-naked truth—we all use some sort of make-up to cover ourselves. Sure, women like cosmetics and clothes, but we all cover ourselves with hopes, goals, and a future filled with our plans and expectations. Cancer strips off the coverings.
Cancer bares our fears. It forces us to face the…

Social Media Word Wars

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Politicians are prime targets for verbal attacks. It’s kind of like the old-fashioned pelting with ripe tomatoes. But thanks to social media, politicians aren’t the only ones getting splattered with those tomato-like verbal attacks. Just post a strong opinion and get ready to duck.
Whatever the hot-button issue—the economy, immigration, climate change, taxing the rich, or helping the poor—if you share your opinions get ready for some zingers. 



Want to really get hammered? Be as rude as Rush Limbaugh or as brash as Bill Maher. Talk about gays being ostracized or Christians who can’t seem to share God’s truth with enough grace. Grandma was right about avoiding a fight—don't talk about religion or politics.



Blogging makes it easy to post opinions, but it’s a battlefield for tomato tossers. An invisible online shield allows caustic remarks to be posted that you wouldn’t dare say in person. Sometimes my desire for the last word gets me riled. And I confess, when I get riled, my aim i…

Let Boys be Boys

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I’ll call him Pete. He was ten and I was a college intern. Being 19, I envisioned making a difference to students with learning disabilities. The teaching staff specialized in helping with a range of issues—Down syndrome, autism, and mental retardation—as they referred to it back then.
Pete was different from the others, and since I was just an intern and didn’t really know what I was doing, the staff assigned me to work with him. Although Pete shared the same facility I could tell he really didn’t belong there. It seemed that his problem was his intolerance to a desk and chair.
Right across the playground was the “real” school as Pete called it. As we worked together on puzzles and flash cards, he told me about life there.
His sister was in fifth grade, and Pete, had he been in the real school, would have been in third grade. During the real school’s recess, he’d stand at the window and point out his old friends as they spun around wildly on the merry-go-round and chased one anoth…

Blackberry Therapy

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In the corner of the garden are three rows of blackberries. The fruit I love, taking care of their thorny canes, not so much. In late winter, with long sleeves, thick gloves, and a sharpened sniper I face the gnarled mess.
My inclination is to walk away, but instead, I begin snipping off last year’s browned and brittle canes. I quickly discern that I’m tardy to the party. New growth is already happily growing over last year’s decaying jumble and rooting itself where it doesn’t belong.




Blackberry therapy is all about cutting off the old while firmly attaching the new to the heavy-duty wire supports. The blackberry patch is a lot like me—complete with brittle, old brambles needing to be pruned off and thorny branches attaching themselves far away from the sturdy vine.



Carefully avoiding the thorns, I affix each haphazard young branch close to the main vine—so it can thrive near its source of nutrients. The fiercely independent blackberries are not easily tamed. Reluctant obedience—jus…