Wonder: Trying to understand race in America

A good number of my closest friends are black and they have taught me so much about race over the many years we’ve been friends. Despite our very personal and open conversations, I will never know what it’s like to be black in America. Still, I try my best. I want to understand. I care deeply that all people, everywhere have equal opportunities and resources to build a happy, healthy, and productive life.

Race issues are human issues, and we all bear responsibility for them. In the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to further educate myself on the history and state of race and I found the sources below powerful and necessary. I highly recommend them to everyone regardless of your politics, race, or beliefs. As a white person, they were often difficult for me to read and hear. And then I thought of my friends, my neighbors (I live in a predominantly black neighborhood), and the black community in America, and how much they have endured and fought against for far too long. If they have the courage to live these stories, then good god the least I can do is listen and learn.

My President Was Black by Ta-Nehisi Coates

What Donald Trump Doesn’t Know About Black People by Michael Eric Dyson

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah – working my way through this and it’s wonderful!

Loving (movie) by Focus Features

The National Museum of African American History and Culture – I’m going later this week and can’t wait to share my experience with you!

The New York Times‘ Race/Related newsletter

Every Tone a Testimony – 59 tracks of voices in music, oratory, poetry, and prose by historically renowned African American musicians, writers, and activists


Wonder: Give yourself the gift of all your feelings

I talked to a friend yesterday who just isn’t feeling the holidays this year. She’s had a difficult year, and the holidays are proving to be stressful and draining to her already. I listened to her for a long time, and was glad to be there for her. When she looked at me and said, “You know what I mean?”, I said, “Yes. I do. And you don’t have to do the holidays this year. You’re an adult. You can choose.” She burst into tears, not out of sadness but out of relief. She hadn’t thought of the option of opting out. And she felt better. A little lighter.

This is an option open to everyone. Do whatever you need to do to feel lighter. You can feel whatever you want to feel and do whatever you want to do—holidays or no holidays, for every reason or for no reason. And if, like my sweet friend, you need someone to just listen for a while, I’m here. I’m all ears.


Wonder: Turn disappointment into an opportunity for unexpected fun

Whenever something falls through and we get disappointed, it’s easy to let it ruin our day. My friend, Alex, gave me a different way of seeing disappointment. As usual, her very wise words really stuck with me and she delivered them at the exact moment I needed them. She told me that disappointment can be an opportunity to open ourselves up to unexpected fun. With the right mindset, we can turn it around. In about 30 seconds, I was feeling better. This is the power of positive thinking, and the gift of having friends like Alex to help us find our way through difficult moments.


Wonder: Living the phrase “Love is love is love is love is love is love”

This weekend, I saw my dear friends Ken and Tom get married, surrounded by other dear friends and family who love them as much as I do. In a time in our world that is so scary and uncertain, this weekend was a reminder of how much goodness there is in the world. I’m so happy that we could live and support the idea that “Love is love is love is love is love is love” this weekend. So inspiring. Love is everything.

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Wonder: Love is an art

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAOGAAAAJGJmMTg4ZmE3LWQwMjMtNDBhMC1hZGY1LTFmZGFkMzViMGE2Yg“There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” ~Vincent van Gogh

Taking care of people is the most noble work we can do. It takes effort and energy, and I’ve always found it be my favorite work in my personal and professional life. I’m beyond lucky to have so many people from so many areas of my life who mean the world to me. They’re my greatest gifts, and every day I’m grateful for them. They make this whole wild ride of life worthwhile.


This just in: What Andy Rooney learned and shared with us

Andy Rooney
Andy Rooney

I was and still am a big fan of Andy Rooney’s essays. The quintessential curmudgeon, he was honest, funny, and poignant all in the same breath. Here is an essay of his that’s always been one of my favorites.

I’ve Learned

  • I’ve learned … That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.
  • I’ve learned … That when you’re in love, it shows.
  • I’ve learned … That just one person saying to me, “You’ve made my day!” makes my day.
  • I’ve learned … That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.
  • I’ve learned … That being kind is more important than being right.
  • I’ve learned … That you should never say no to a gift from a child.
  • I’ve learned … That I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him in some other way.
  • I’ve learned … That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.
  • I’ve learned … That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.
  • I’ve learned … That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.
  • I’ve learned … That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
  • I’ve learned … That we should be glad God doesn’t give us everything we ask for.
  • I’ve learned … That money doesn’t buy class.
  • I’ve learned … That it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
  • I’ve learned … That under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
  • I’ve learned … That the Lord didn’t do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?
  • I’ve learned … That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
  • I’ve learned … That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
  • I’ve learned … That love, not time, heals all wounds.
  • I’ve learned … That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.
  • I’ve learned … That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.
  • I’ve learned … That there’s nothing sweeter than sleeping with your babies and feeling their breath on your cheeks.
  • I’ve learned … That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.
  • I’ve learned … That life is tough, but I’m tougher.
  • I’ve learned … That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.
  • I’ve learned … That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
  • I’ve learned … That I wish I could have told my dad that I love him one more time before he passed away.
  • I’ve learned … That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.
  • I’ve learned … That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
  • I’ve learned … That I can’t choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.
  • I’ve learned … That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, that you’re hooked for life.
  • I’ve learned … That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.
  • I’ve learned … That it is best to give advice in only two circumstances: when it is requested and when it is a life-threatening situation.
  • I’ve learned … That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.