Our nation is in need of re-focus on cooperation, social responsibility, compassion and empathy. We need to return to what unites us.  We need to celebrate our strengths through diversity. We need to remember the value and worth of every single human being. Developing empathy is our challenge. What is our common good?

“Many animals survive not by eliminating each other or keeping everything for themselves, but by cooperation and sharing.”  Franz De Wall

Hopefully we are evolving from a time when only the intellectual is celebrated and emotions are dismissed as “touchy-feely.” We need to remember “we are hardwired or connection”, Breńe Brown. We are desperate to care about each other. As mammals we survive by bonding. When we are deprived of physical and emotional caring, we die. Time with family, friends and loved ones brings us health and happiness. In times of real tragedy (9/11) we forget what divides us.

We can be a fighting group of animals.  A charismatic leader’s ability to create outside threats, stoke our fear and pit us against each other is both historically and currently, a reality. We have potential for violence and hatred. We also have great potential for cooperation, mutual caring and compassion. Neuroscience tells us that we are programmed to be empathetic. It is an automatic response. Only psychopaths are immune to the empathy response. The feeling of attachment is part of our limbic system, the feeling brain. The feeling brain connects us to family, friends and caring for others. 

To be empathetic, we need to understand the impact of our behavior on others.  “Empathy is part of our evolution.“ Dewall. We build our empathy by getting to know people, by getting closer to other’s lives and stories, by becoming familiar with their background and history. We all must take action by supporting the dignity of every human being.

You can do hard things

Our journey through life is renewed every day.  We all begin anew.  We are all immigrants traveling to a new land of experience every day.

My journey has me in a new land of significant spinal pain, daily therapy and medical intervention.  I dance with fear on a regular basis.  I am aware that fear minimizes my creativity and positive action.  I now must move beyond fear.  I am committed to move into hope and action. 

I can do hard things.  

I have been courageous in the past and I will be courageous again.  I will take action.  When we avoid hardship, we lose an opportunity to grow strength and be resilient.  I am aware that I do not seek out hardship however, I am grateful for what I have learned.  I have learned to be kind to myself and others. I have learned to be compassionate and empathic.  I have learned to be understanding.  I am currently learning to be patient with myself and others.

I can do hard things.

I am also trying to take action through the pain and hardship.  I can do what I can do.  If I can not sit, I can lie down and stretch.  If I can not walk, I can swim.  If I cannot stand in one place, I can move slowly.  I must take action.  I can read, I can write, I can spell, I can listen, I can feel and I can think.  I can be a resource for others.  I can share my life experiences.  I can help others in any way possible.  When my physical skills are limited, I can take action with my emotional, mental, soul, and spiritual skills.

I can do hard things and you can do hard things.


"It is not a matter of thinking a great deal but of loving a great deal, 
so do whatever arouses you most to love." - St. Terea of Avila

I believe in a presence, a Higher Power, an unconditional loving God.  I believe this unconditional loving presence knows me and loves me, just the way I am.  I can love when I am in the light and I am loved when I am in the shadow.

We are all worthy of this Divine love.

"Isn't it amazing that we are all made in God's image, and yet there is so much diversity among his people." - Archbishop Desmond Tutu


"It's the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief.  And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen." - Muhammad Ali

In some mysterious way which we are not aware of, through some process which does not explicitly reveal itself, life enters us and with this life comes an irresistible impulse to create.

We all have gifts and talents that are unique to each of us.  Affirmation, affirming our life.  
Affirming our gifts and talents takes deliberate practice.