My beloved daughter Ashley is labeled "developmentally delayed."  When she was first diagnosed over 34 years ago at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the label was "severely, profoundly retarded."  Ashley has the physical abilities of a 2 month old infant.  She looks to me to be about 10 years old.  She can not speak.  She can not consciously move her body.  She is tube fed.  She is either in her "pink" wheelchair or in her bed.  She averages 4 seizures a day.  That is a good day.

Ashley is my role model.  She is pure, innocent, she has no defenses.  She can not say no, don't do that to me.  She can not raise her arm to protect herself.  She can love.  She can emulate love like an angel.  She is a gift from God.  One of my favorite things to do is pray and meditate with Ashley.  I find peace in her unconditionally loving presence.

It is because Ashley is so challenged and vulnerable, I have learned to openly share my challenges and vulnerability.  I reveal my own imperfections and share my frailties without shame.

Ashley draws people to her.  They approach with curiosity, gentleness, genuine caring and affection.  She has an innate wisdom that emanates from her as a loving, welcoming spiritual presence.  Her life has been a life of loving and being loved.

Ashley may be delayed developmentally but she is advanced spiritually.  
I find deep peace seeing the world through her innocent eyes.

The Right Thing is Kind, Respectful and Empowering

I truly believe that most human beings want to do the right thing.  I believe the right thing is kind, respectful and empowering.  We need to believe in each other's good.  We need to practice acts of kindness and gratitude.  Our wealth is in the spiritual.  Our spiritual wealth is unlimited.  It has no bounds.

The goodness of life, our spiritual wealth, belongs to everyone.  The goodness of life is inclusionary.  No one is left out.  The more good we give, the more good we receive.  We are all part of the whole.  We are all connected to the infinite.  Let our interactions be conscious of this Divine union.  Let us practice unity consciousness until it is manifested in our daily lives. 

Kindness is not a luxury, it is a necessity

Practicing kindness is good for our psychology and good for our physiology.  Practicing kindness is good for the recipient and good for the giver.

Dr. David Hamilton shows in his research that human beings are hard wired to be kind, and our physical bodies are at their peak of health when we practice kindness.  It has been repeatedly proven that our bodies respond to, and need kindness.

"Being kind actually changes the internal biochemistry of your body." - Dr. David Hamilton

Kindness increases our positivity and leads to better physical health and inward happiness.  

Our survival as human beings has historically and continually been dependent upon the kindness of others.  Human beings survive because we are kind and because we show kindness.  Kindness is a matter of common sense.  By practicing kindness, we ensure our benefit and the benefit of our loved ones and community.  Our health and happiness is inherently connected to the health and happiness of others.  

Cruelty and violence make the news headlines because they are the exception.  The world evolves because we take care of each other.  Compassion after natural tragedies proves life goes on precisely because we are kind to each other.

Kindness is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

What qualities of God do you possess?

Jesus taught the truth of love and forgiveness.  He also taught that we are intimately connected to Divinity.  God is always with us.

Each of us are a gift from God.  Let us reflect the qualities of Jesus, who is one of the great teachers of humanity.  What God given qualities that Jesus possessed do you also possess; love, forgiveness, belief, truth, trust, empathy, compassion, healing, passion, courage?  Where do you feel most connected?

We are all expressions of Divinity.  As we let our highest self shine through, others will feel our compassion, forgiveness and kindness. 

Love will be our legacy.

When we recognize the qualities in God that we admire, we recognize our own qualities or our potential.


Forgiveness is the fragrance of the violet which still clings to the heel that crushed it.
- George Roemisch

Forgiveness is one of the essential human social, emotional skills.  In my experience, it includes humility and acceptance of my very human frailties.  I am aware of my ability to make a mistake and I need to remember that those who have hurt me, are also human, and make mistakes.  

As I learn and practice forgiveness, I offer understanding and freedom to those that have injured me and I offer freedom to myself.

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.
- Lewis B. Smedes

Forgiveness sets us free to accept the situation that happened, to let go of past hurt and anger.  Forgiveness sets us free to focus on our future, our dreams and our passions.

I pray that my behavior is consistent with my core values of love, compassion, empathy and integrity.  I want to continue to live my life on purpose, serving God and the children and educators of our schools.  I want to continue bringing down walls and building bridges.