When You Go Alone, You Lose: Lois Gibbs, the Mother of Superfund

Polite people get poisoned. ~Lois Gibbs Average people and the average community can change the world. You can do it just based on common sense, determination, persistence and patience. ~Lois Gibbs She was just a mom, really. A homemaker with a high school diploma, taking care of her two children in a working-class neighborhood in … Continue reading When You Go Alone, You Lose: Lois Gibbs, the Mother of Superfund

Transforming Tragedy Into Action: Candace Lightner

Over time, my efforts helped incite others to action. You kick a few pebbles, you turn a few stones, and eventually you have an avalanche. ~Candace Lightner In 1980, a grief-stricken mother sat down at her kitchen table and picked up her telephone. Just days before, her 13-year-old daughter had been killed by a drunk … Continue reading Transforming Tragedy Into Action: Candace Lightner

On A New Year, Soccer Mom Seditionists, and Renewed Focus

Cheers to a new year and another chance to get it right. ~Oprah The next few weeks promise to be busy. We're starting a new year (thank God), and there will be reflections to have and resolutions to make. (More on that below.) But before I introduce a month-long series of what I hope will … Continue reading On A New Year, Soccer Mom Seditionists, and Renewed Focus

On Hope, Reality, and the Danger of “Hopium”

False hope can lead to intemperate choices and flawed decision making. True hope takes into account the real threats that exist and seeks to navigate the best path around them. ~Jerome Groopman Hope itself is always genuine. It's only what it's placed in that can prove to be false. ~Karen Maitland Hope is not passive. … Continue reading On Hope, Reality, and the Danger of “Hopium”

On Taking a Breath and Taking a Beat

Smile, breathe, and go slowly. ~Thich Nhat Hanh Well, friends – today's been a day. Every once in a great while the day gets away from me, and this day involved not just one – but two! – cats at the vet (they're fine... our bank account, not so much) ... and the kiddo's schoolwork ... … Continue reading On Taking a Breath and Taking a Beat

On Perseverance, Gradeschool Math… and Just Doing the Thing.

Persistence can grind an iron beam into a needle. ~Chinese proverb Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination … Continue reading On Perseverance, Gradeschool Math… and Just Doing the Thing.

On Community, Power in Numbers, and How the People Stepped In Where the State Did Not

Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love. ~Mother Teresa It's always good to have your faith in humanity restored. Especially when you live in a red state, like Missouri, that too-often measures its success by how much it "owns the libs." (Read: restricts healthcare, defunds … Continue reading On Community, Power in Numbers, and How the People Stepped In Where the State Did Not

A Note of Thanks in Time for Thanksgiving (And Happy Birthday)

What's stopping you? ~John V. The third week in November is always a reflective one for me. It's Thanksgiving Week, so it's a good time to spend time thinking aboutwhat I'm grateful for. But it also marks another anniversary. On a bright and sunny afternoon five years ago, I sat in a cafe, at a … Continue reading A Note of Thanks in Time for Thanksgiving (And Happy Birthday)

On the Importance of Supporting Every State

We all do better, when we all do better. ~Senator Paul Wellstone We're all on board with the idea that all people matter. Same with the principle that all voters matter. But too often, what that comes down to in practice is "all voters matter but especially all voters in certain swing states that determine … Continue reading On the Importance of Supporting Every State

On Time, November 9th, and the Woman in the Purple Suit

Don't think of it as losing an election. Think of it as gaining a wakeup call. ~Jon Lovett "[T]o all of the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams." ~Hillary Rodham … Continue reading On Time, November 9th, and the Woman in the Purple Suit