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Category Archives: courage

Into the Light of Demanding Justice

Both courage and cowardice showed up in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend. The counter-demonstrators showed up with the courage to stand for their values. The demonstrators hid behind weapons and vicious words to violently reject everything and everyone they stood against. While they did not hide under white robes and masks, I still call this cowardice  Continue Reading »

The Courage to Play

Back in 2013, Bruce Springsteen pulled a request from an audience member at a concert to play Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell.” Which he had never performed before. Which his band had never been prepped for. He hums and strums and struggles to find the right key. The band is looking mystified and frustrated.  Continue Reading »

Becoming an Ally to Indigenous People

This blog is based on Coleen O’Connell’s chapter in Culturally Responsive Teaching and Reflection in Higher Education, edited by Sharlene Voogd Cochrane, Meenakshi Chhabra, Marjorie Jones, and Deborah Spragg.  A Passamaquoddy elder and healer, Fred Pollack, lives in a small house perched on a granite hill overlooking Passamaquoddy Bay where Canada’s Maritime Provinces meet the  Continue Reading »

Something Good to Do Together

“How do you get people to be willing to come together across differences and really connect?” When someone asked me this question recently, something about the way it was asked caught my attention. I suddenly focused on the “willing to come together” part. Much of the focus seems to be on trying to find a  Continue Reading »

Getting by with a little help from my…circles of trust

It’s been a tough month, one of those squeeze points in which life throws a number of curveballs. I can juggle like the best of them and am reasonably adept at managing the difficulties that hit from time to time. It’s hard, though, when they come all at once. Without offering too much information, the  Continue Reading »

Sending Courage Prayers to Bhutan

In the Courage to Lead for Nonprofit Leaders retreat series co-facilitated by Ken Saxon and Kim Stokely in Santa Barbara, California, one of the exercises at the fourth of five retreats is to invite participants to design and create prayer flags. The following morning each participant presents their flag to the entire cohort, and then  Continue Reading »

Finding the Held-Back Place of Goodness in the Broken Hearts of Veterans

Before there were the concepts of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or Moral Injury to describe veterans’ suffering that persisted long after battle, there was the concept of “soldier’s heart,” which dates back to the American Civil War. The place of veterans’ suffering was sought in the heart. The heart is the place of courage (the Latin  Continue Reading »

My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter

The first time I met Caribbean-American poet, Aja Monet, was in a church basement in New York City. We were there to read essays we had written for a book called Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank About Faith. I remember Aja, with her bouncy hair and bright lips, remarking how long it had  Continue Reading »

Welcoming Curiosity

                How curious are you? I like to think of curiosity as a friend to empathy. And, if I go back to the root meaning of the word – the Latin curiosus – I arrive right beside the word care. Curiosity can be a form of compassion. Done  Continue Reading »

On Labyrinths and Better Paths

From my office window today, like most days, I can see the park across the street, birds searching together for food, neighbors walking their dogs. But today I can also see a construction crew pouring a new concrete path in front of Pilgrim Chapel and the parsonage office where I work. The old path was  Continue Reading »