An Invitation to a Left and Right Dialogue

September 15, 2014
 What do you do when you find out that
your assumptions about someone were wrong?

Balloon Festival

A few years ago, a man I’ll call “Max” read a poem I had written for Support4Change and asked if he could use it on his website. This began a friendship in which we talked about ways I might support his work with people who have learning disabilities like dyslexia, and how he might promote my work on repairing relationships.

I took a trip to Houston to meet him and, while our collaboration didn’t get off the ground, I liked him and wanted to keep up the friendship. He comes from a very well-known family and I wanted to learn more about them.

Then one day about two years ago, I happened on a website with information about him and discovered, to my dismay, that he held extreme right-wing political views, including support of the Tea Party and secession of Texas from the union. I couldn’t believe it. How did I miss seeing that his views were extremely different than mine?

Unfortunately, I lost touch with him after that because I was busy writing a book, focusing on my health, moving to a retirement community, and dealing with the death of my husband. He was busy building his organization and learning how to be a new father.

Then, three weeks ago, I found the opportunity to begin a dialogue when he sent me an invitation to participate in a special guided tour of England. While I can’t go on that tour, this gave me the chance to write him about assumptions I have about him that aren’t true.

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Buildings That Don’t Look Like Buildings

September 11, 2014
 Enjoy a slideshow of unconventional architecture.

 

Chicago Art Institute Modern Wing

Chicago Art Institute Modern Wing

Tomorrow I am going to Chicago for a Road Scholar Program. This is an organization that provides learning experiences around the world for adults who are adventuresome, curious, and want to be life-long learners.

The program I am attending is called “The Art of Empires” at the Art Institute of Chicago. We will be studying how artists respond to the imperial aspirations of great nations. For example, we’ll look at the roles that art and artists played in the civilizations of the ancient world.

Since their first programs that began at five colleges and universities in New Hampshire in 1975, today’s Road Scholar programs include an extraordinary range of topics, formats and locations in every state in the U.S., in 150 countries, and aboard ships and sailing vessels on waterways throughout the world.

So far I’ve attended eight Road Scholar programs, five of which were “intergenerational,” allowing us to experience something different and special with our grandchildren.

A Lighter Touch for Today

While I am getting ready to leave tomorrow for my program, I have scheduled something a little special. I found it recently when I went through some old notes and came across these fifteen buildings that don’t look like buildings.

My favorite is the Kansas City Public Library.

Enjoy!

Questions for You and Your Friends: The Truth

September 8, 2014

 Deepen relationships by asking questions about what truth means to you

Note: If you are new to this feature of the Support4Change Blog, here are some suggestions for exploring questions for yourself and also for your family and friends.

Spiritual empowerment is evidenced in our lives by our willingness to tell ourselves the truth, to listen to the truth when it’s told to us, and to dispense truth as lovingly as possible, when we feel compelled to talk from the heart.

—Christina Baldwin

◊  • ◊  • ◊

Let us accept truth, even when it surprises us and alters our views

—George Sands

◊  • ◊  • ◊

 

Last year I wrote about my friendship with Ivajoy, a friend and colleague, with whom I’ve shared many conversations on a wide variety of topics. In addition to current affairs, we also frequently talked about “truth” and how we become convinced that our interpretation of events is the right one. For example, we explored how we often accept religious concepts as though we don’t need to explore them anymore — because we know they are “right.”

Discover How You View “The” Truth by Asking Yourself These Questions:

  1. Do I believe there is something that can be considered the final, ultimate, never-to-be-questioned-again truth? If so, what is it? How do I know that that is the truth?

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Laugh About Kids and Keep Your Sanity

September 4, 2014
 Laughter helps bridge a generation gap.

Apple Closeup.jpg

I hope you are able to laugh about your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, students, and children in the neighborhood now that they are back in school (at least in the Northern Hemisphere). I would like to think that you were able to laugh about them (and with them) even when they were home and underfoot.

You see, we all need a little bit of humor — maybe a big dollop of humor — when we’re dealing with the younger generation.So when you get a bit frustrated, don’t worry, those young folks will someday be struggling with their own children. When they do, they, like you, can take comfort from the thought that even God’s omnipotence did not extend to His own children.

Here is a story about what happened to God when he brought children into the world.

After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve.  And the first thing he said was “DON’T!”

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Discover the Google Doodles Archive

August 28, 2014
 Take a break and enjoy the creativity of Google Doodles.

Venn Google doodle

I have been having an absolute ball with the archive of Google Doodles. These are the colorful and imaginative logos that make use of the word “Google” and periodically appear on Google’s search page. They are used to celebrate holidays and anniversaries of famous artists, pioneers and scientists who have helped shape history.

So today I’d like to encourage you to visit doodles that have appeared around the world since 1998. The idea for this suggestion began on August 4, when the two “o’s“ in the word Google were made from two circles that were partially overlapped. In the overlapping area there was an arrow. When you clicked on the arrow, two large circles appeared.

On the outside of the orange circle on the left there are five small circles with graphics representing the categories of Mammals, Musical, Transport, Vegetation, and Sea Life. When you clicked on one of those, other circles popped up on the right side of a large yellow circle. These represented Tiny, Has wings, Thrives in Cold, Has a Shell, and Mythical.

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