What Values Do You and Your Community Live By?

Do you take the values you live by for granted? Do you ever discuss them? Or do you assume that you and the people you associate with agree? And who is your community, anyway?  Your family? Your neighbors? Your clubs or special interest groups? Your living community? In all likelihood, you have several communities. And the values that determine the way the people in each group function may be different from one of them to another. But I've come to think that we don't … [Read more...]

Avoiding Frustration: Scheduling a Meeting for a Large Group of People

I've been working on scheduling a meeting of a diverse group of a dozen people. It's my Condo Board and I'm the secretary. Super High Frustration The scheduling process of pinning down a meeting time for these 12 people has been super frustrating. I've been reminded how subtle things can make a huge difference. I must confess that for a while my frustration was so high that I just about resigned my thankless task thinking to myself, "If no one cares enough to respond, … [Read more...]

Fighting Trump’s Tyranny: Eye Contact and Small Talk

Shortly after the election of Donald Trump, I felt a compelling urge ... even a need ... to be visible with my disapproval of the outcome of the election. I created prototypes of black armbands and my husband and I wore them for a while. But they didn't have the reaction I had anticipated. In fact, most people simply ignored them. From Armbands to Buttons... The next effort was to create buttons. With the help of a friend, we designed a logo and I had 500 buttons … [Read more...]

The Pussyhat: Knitting a Grass Roots Political Action Movement

Washington DC, January 21, 2017 Did you notice all the pink "pussyhats" in the photos of the Womens Marches this past weekend? They were hard to miss. The Pussyhat Project inspired thousands of women.  Me included. I dusted off my rusty knitting skills that had been dormant for at least 20 years and I made two pussyhats, one for me and one for my friend Karen.  My knitting inspired my daughters. Rya made pussy hats for four friends.  And Carla made one for her 7 year … [Read more...]

Lean in Softly

Have you ever listened to someone in order to gather evidence that what he or she is saying is wrong? Have you ever felt yourself lying in wait until the person phrases something in a way that you can grab and throw back, killing what might have been a fragile thought trying to become better formed? That kind of listening is geared to winning rather than connecting. People often use words and ideas to build walls of confrontation.  We harden our hearts and build walls … [Read more...]

My Silent Decry of “Idiot” Chased Her Away From the Table

In the heat of the political season, I'm finding it difficult to talk with people who don't share my views. Even as I try to frame a comment or question in a non-judgmental way, my brain quietly inserts "You idiot" at the end of each sentence. For example, I found myself sitting across the table from a woman who supported Trump. We were both staying at the same Inn in Denver and six or seven of the guests were having breakfast around a big communal table. The subject … [Read more...]

Should You Be Flattered or Outraged by Unwanted Advances?

The tape of Donald Trump and Billy Bush talking about groping women unlocked a flood of memories for me. Memories I had stashed into a dustheap of unwelcome thoughts. But this past weekend, they started rising up. These are stories from the time I was a college freshman and through the following decades. Here are just a few that come to mind. Unwanted Sexual Advances Take a Toll There was the college student at Princeton who invited me to visit for the football game and … [Read more...]

IMPORTANT! It’s Time to STOP Undermining Hillary Clinton

I'm scared. I'm truly scared that Donald Trump might become the next president of our country. I've been listening to what people are saying, and I find that even my liberal friends and associates have been brainwashed to undermine Hillary Clinton. They criticize her even though they plan to vote for her. The Time is Now It's time that those of us who believe in experience and commitment and passion for a country that celebrates inclusion gather ourselves together … [Read more...]

A Sobering Life Lesson: Don’t Wait Til It’s Too Late

When my daughters were in their teens, they made big sign and hung it in the kitchen.  It said: I have found that the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want to do and then advise them to do it. Turns out, that's a rather famous quotation from our 33rd president, Harry S. Truman. Given that our kids were in their teens and doing things we would rather they didn't, it was a bit of a stretch to take their sign seriously. But that idea … [Read more...]

How Perfect is Too Perfect?

Over the last several weeks, I've been making "screencasts" for the new course I've developed for Capital Campaign Masters. That's the process by which you create slides and then record your voice over the slide show. The result is a little movie. You can write out a script and read it as you record. Or you can just watch the slides and ad-lib. To my ear, reading a script sounds a bit stilted. (I really don't know how Gwen Ifill sounds so very real, even though I'm … [Read more...]