Community outreach

This Week’s Note of Truth!

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Reality isn’t always kind, but unconditional love is one of the most generous gifts we can give someone.

This Week’s Note of Truth!

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Put on your big boy and big girl pants and let truth be your mantra.

I Am SO Angry Right Now!

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Those close to our household have taken great measures to be safe in this age of Covid-19. The household with which we have had most contact over the past several months is that of our youngest daughter and her husband, with their son, and as of September 9th, their daughter.

The plan was to add our granddaughter to our current care day schedule, once a week, but now that Covid stats in our state are so ridiculously high – as is the case in too many states in the “United” States – our two households have decided to curtail all further contact for the time being.

This decision was made, not because our personal households have faltered, but because too many households have failed all around us, making avoidance of the virus more problematic. No one enjoys the inconvenience, but because some have rebelled against the inconvenience, we are no closer to containing the virus.

Had civilization as a whole been less selfish, we wouldn’t be dealing with this upsurge in cases…we would be adjusting to a new normal that is FAR better than the ongoing abnormal we are currently experiencing.

I am so f*cking angry right now. As a result of the selfishness of far too many people, my household is currently being robbed of a healthy relationship with the newest addition to our family. Please understand me when I say, I know we are not the only individuals affected by a pandemic that hasn’t been handled correctly from the get-go. My husband and I are healthy and we want for nothing. Millions have been affected far worse than has my household with our seemingly minor personal issue.

But I beg of you, please, to allow me this mini-pity party while I mourn this inconvenient loss.

This Week’s Note of Truth!

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Our most valuable resource – spread the word!

This Week’s Note of Truth!

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There’s an old hymn about not hiding your light…This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let us let the truth shine in all we do.

I Am Ignorant

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At twenty-one years of age, I was a newlywed living on the eastern side of Washington State.

In 1974 I had married my high-school sweetheart who was enrolled in the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program at a local Washington university. I met my then-husband in high school while living in Honolulu, Hawaii where my family moved in 1965.

It was a beautiful, spring day when my husband and I walked hand-in-hand through the streets of the eastern Washington city looking for a restaurant where we could have a weekend lunch date. We approached a corner, my husband pushed the WALK button so we could cross the street, and when it flashed green we proceeded to walk across the street.

A woman approached us from the other direction on the crosswalk, pointed her finger at us, and yelled,

Thou shalt not mix with other races! You are an abomination!

I am white, my former husband, Chinese.

My happily married, joyful self was astounded at the hatred and intolerant attitude thrust our way. We had never encountered such vehemence when living in Hawaii as a young couple, so please understand how hurt and shocked I was. I was so taken aback, the first words that came out of my mouth were, “F*ck you!” My twenty-one-year-old self stood up for herself and her marriage partner in the quickest way she knew how.

As of this writing, in all my sixty-seven years of life, that is the only me-directed racism I have ever experienced. But that is not the case for people of color.

  • I have never been pulled over for driving while being white.
  • I’ve never been asked to prove that I belong in the neighborhood in which I was walking or riding my bike.
  • To my knowledge, I have never been followed through a department store by a store employee or store security personnel while shopping as a white woman.
  • Again, to my knowledge, I have never been turned down for a job for which I was highly qualified because of the color of my skin.

My current husband of twenty years and I have three daughters between us. My daughter is a beautiful mixture of Caucasian and Chinese, my husband’s daughters are Caucasian. While our girls were growing up, we instructed them on how to be safe when out and about; we helped them recognize dangerous, every-day situations they should try to avoid but we’ve never had to have “the talk” that so many parents have had to have with their non-white children, especially their sons.

  • If asked, show law enforcement your hands and ask permission to get something from your vehicle’s glovebox.
  • Don’t wear your hood out on the street and don’t put your hands in your pockets.
  • If you get stopped, don’t run.
  • And by God, please, please, just get home alive.

I have an educated knowledge and keen awareness of the issue but I lack sufficient experience to truly understand the challenges faced by many people of color. I am ignorant in the sense that other than that one incident forty-six years ago, I have not been personally hurt – emotionally or physically – in the manner in which so many have been, and still are.

I understand the sentiment, All Lives Matter, but Brené Brown offers the following in her book, Braving the Wilderness – The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone:

I believe Black Lives Matter is a movement to rehumanize black citizens. All lives matter, but not all lives need to be pulled back into moral inclusion…the humanity wasn’t stripped from all lives the way it was stripped from the lives of black citizens.

It is my hope that one day soon, we will all get it right. The general public learns more each and every time an incident of racism makes it to the news, but shouldn’t we have learned something more by now, given the number of horrid headline incidents that have occurred nationwide?

We all can do better. 

I will do better. 

This Week’s Note of Truth!

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I have to believe that we all can handle the truth to get us through the toughest of times.

This Week’s Note of Truth!

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Truth is truth. It always has been, and it always will be.

We are all a part of something big

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A quote from the book Love is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times by Bishop Michael Curry & Sara Grace

There was once a wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. All was well and the wave was enjoying himself. He was just enjoying the wind and the ride, until one day he noticed what was happening to the other waves in front of him. They were crashing against the shore.

“My God, this is terrible,” the wave said. “Look what’s going to happen to me!”

Then another wave came along who asked, “Why do you look sad?” The first wave says, “You don’t understand! We’re all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn’t it terrible?”

The other wave’s response: “No, you don’t understand. You’re not a wave, you’re part of the ocean.”

Everything we do has an effect on the rest of the world. Never think what you have to offer is of no use to someone else. We are all in this together; our combined acts of kindness and community efforts are genuinely worthwhile.

We are all a part of something big.

 

This Week’s Note of Truth!

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Choose the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

This Week’s Good News!

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A mum in the UK devised an ingenious way for her toddlers to still be able to play with the next-door neighbors’ toddlers. Check out this story!

This Week’s Good News!

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The domesticated animals among us want to help out too! Check out this story to see how the Dog-tor took care of frontline workers!

The Surge of Knowing Everything About Everyone

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Many of us have too much time on our hands; some of us use it wisely; some of us, recklessly.

I won’t go on and on in this post, I merely want to point out that we can’t possibly know all we need to know about a person without spending time with them, listening to them, and learning the life story that brought them to this very moment in history. Yet in social media comments*, I see judgments and declarations being made about people whom the commenter can’t possibly know well enough – or at all – to make such statements. A formerly buff man suffering from Covid-19, posts before and after photos of his decimated body and commenters declare the reason he looks so different is that he hasn’t been able to take his steroids for weeks. JUDGMENT MADE WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE OF THE PERSON INVOLVED. A story about a frantic mother looking for her child who wandered away from home is castigated by a stranger on social media who declares the mother probably had something to do with the child’s disappearance. DECLARATION POSTED FOR ALL TO SEE WITHOUT INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES OR THE PEOPLE INVOLVED. 

Bullying on the internet has been around for quite some time and it is always unfair and ugly. With so much time on our hands and with such uncertainty filling everyone’s days, why add to the stress and fear by publicly berating perfect strangers by entering unfounded and unfair statements? Can’t we instead treat others in the way we also want to be treated? Imagine you are one of the individuals in the above stories, already devastated and at the lowest time in his/her life, and being berated and demeaned by callous and hurtful comments?

We can’t possibly know all we need to know about strangers to make intelligent statements about them.

And even if we did know enough, why post such harmful ugliness for all to see?

 

*I make a point of not scrolling through comments on posts – but when coming across an article of interest, several comments are always visible.

This Week’s Good News!

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For this week’s story, you don’t even need to click on an attached story, such as I provide each week. Instead, my good news has to do with something that happened to me.

The other day, I went on what I call my Square Block Walk (SBW). When my husband isn’t feeling like taking a walk or has just come in from working in the yard, I take off on a very fast one-mile trek. When doing so this particular time, I passed by a neighbor (he purchased my husband’s Honda Civic for his daughter a couple years ago.) This neighbor was on his riding lawn mower in his front yard; we waved at each other and I continued on. He turned off his mower and asked me, “Is your husband okay?” I stopped in the street, “My husband?” To which he responded, “Yeah, I’ve seen you walking by yourself a few times, haven’t seen your husband with you, and I was worried.”

I almost started crying. “Thank you very much for asking. He’s fine, but sometimes I take walks by myself. But it’s so kind of you to ask – you noticed something different in my routine and you showed enough interest to ask. That means the world to me.”

I hope my neighbor’s act of kindness towards me improved your day as much as it did mine! 

This Week’s Good News!

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Good deeds abound around the world as proved in this story that focuses on ten such deeds. I know you will enjoy the good news that fills this post.

This Week’s Good News!

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This week’s story focuses on a 99-year-old gentleman who raised over $3 million for hospital workers by doing something all of us simply take for granted. Enjoy!

A community mindset

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The current worldwide crisis appears to have torn us apart instead of drawing us together. This pandemic is not a respecter of persons: people of all political leanings, beliefs, ethnicities, and locations are its victims. A virus that has taken many thousands of innocent lives is at fault and there is no way to spin that news in a positive way. It has been said that a house divided against itself cannot stand – certainly appearing in the Bible and quoted often in such a time as this. When we come across a person who falls down on the sidewalk and is bleeding, we don’t ask them what political party, religion, or belief structure they favor. If a vehicle accident occurs while we’re out on the road, we don’t poll the victims to determine whether they are of the same political leanings or beliefs as ourselves before we call 911. No, we let compassion rule our actions and we step in to meet the need.

My prayer is that we recognize our fellow-citizens’ needs and set aside our differences and judgments for the good of all. Let’s aim to lessen the massively wide and deep divisions that are threatening to permanently separate each other from each other.

Let’s be more we-minded instead of me-minded. Equal compassion in equal measure to one and all.

Please?

This Week’s Good News!

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Here’s another story about surplus food not going to waste. This Ohio stadium  treated their First Responders to a feast!

This Week’s Good News!

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Restaurants are closed; planned events are canceled…what is one to do with all that unused food? Give it away, of course. Check out this heartwarming story.

This Week’s Good News!

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One outcome of imposed social distancing is that many Livestream videos are available, including this one that gives us several delightful opportunities to watch animals be cute!

This Week’s Good News!

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Oh, my. This next story is pure poetry…I’m not kidding! From one country to another, goodness abounds, even in the midst of extraordinary difficulty.

This Week’s Good News!

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Pretty sure we’ve all lived long enough to realize that during difficult and widespread tragic times, the best, and the worst, in human nature surfaces. Well, this being a Good News story, I will of course spotlight the best in human nature, and here it is in this brief story…and I’m not fooling!!!!!

My Beautiful Mother’s Legacy

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Julie Braig on our left; my mother on our right, in beige.

My mother, Patricia Constance Conroy Desonier, left my world far too early: September 24, 1994. She was an extraordinary mother, spouse, grandmother, musician, and activist.

As a member of the Honolulu Chapter of the Catholic Women’s Guild, she and other community-minded women spearheaded a ministry to benefit the homeless on the areas of Oahu most populated by those affected by the inability to maintain a roof over their heads. In this article the many charitable works of the Guild were spotlighted, including the efforts my mother and another member, Julie Braig, completed, centered in Nanakuli, Hawaii.

Kid’s playground dedicated to my mother after her death.

They created an Office of Homeless Ohana (Ohana meaning family) where individuals and family members could set up a mailing address so they could send off applications and resumes to acquire meaningful employment and/or receive mail from other loved ones, have a place to shower, receive meals, and gather as a community; playground equipment was even secured and installed so children could play and live just like those who had a home to return to each day.

My family lived 30 miles away from where this shelter existed, and my mother’s abilities were limited because of severe rheumatoid arthritis that plagued her since she was a teenager, but my mother and Julie made the trip week in and week out to help those who needed someone in their corner during a rough time in their lives. My mother taught me many things about charity and living a full life. Here are a few of her maxims:

  • Don’t assume everyone lives as comfortably as you do. Life can change in an instant;
  • Give of yourself in any way you can;
  • When in physical pain, just remember: you can be active and hurt a bit more, or you can stay at home and do nothing and still hurt, nonetheless.

Thank you, Mom, for being such an influence on my life, my family’s life, and the lives of so many who never met you. I love you, and I miss you terribly.

Social Media in the time of Covid-19

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On my area’s Next Door app, a person, now working from home (Angry Neighbor) lambasted his next-door neighbor for having a new roof put on (Roofing Neighbor) because of all the noise that disrupted the Angry Neighbor’s workday. Without even checking with Roofing Neighbor, he concluded the roofing work was not necessary, was not of an emergent need, and therefore Roofing Neighbor was ruining everyone’s work-from-home experience out of utter rudeness and with ill-intent.

Roofing Neighbor responded by saying the work was being done because of leaks that were disrupting family life and causing an unsafe environment for their family of five. It was indeed an emergent, rather than an elective, roof repair.

Angry Neighbor and Roofing Neighbor went back and forth and back and forth while those following the stream excoriated Angry Neighbor for being such an )&*?+^$%^&#% to the tune of 47 comments by the end of the day. I happened to notice that Angry Neighbor and Roofing Neighbor had stopped commenting way before that time so they had obviously removed themselves from the fray.

The next day, there were 137 comments, none from Angry and Roofing Neighbor, but comments nonetheless from uninvolved people still ticked off at Angry Neighbor’s rudeness in bashing his next-door neighbor.

What is this all about?

It’s about fragile psyches angered and worried about the state of our country and our world in the time of Covid-19. Sure, such social media harassing and bullying has been going on for quite some time now, but I have to believe it has worsened because of how vulnerable all of us feel.

A dog backed into a corner lashes out at perceived threats.

We are all backed in a corner right now with no proven safe way out. Most of us are doing our part in trying to contain a menace that threatens our very existence and that of our loved ones, but thus far, no relief is on the immediate horizon. We are petrified, and instead of treating each other with kid gloves, some of us are kicking others when they are down, a practice that need not happen. Instead…

As a human race, we must choose between:

  • the violence of adults, and the smiles of children;
  • the ugliness of hate, and the will to oppose it;
  • inflicting suffering and humiliation on our fellow man, and offering him the solidarity and hope he deserves for naught.

Even in darkness, it is possible to create light and encourage compassion. Every moment of our life is essential; every gesture is essential. Our role in life is to give an offering to each other. – Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Elie Wiesel

 

This Week’s Good News!

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Generation Z could teach all the rest of the existing generations a thing or two. Like in this story that makes inclusion the norm. My heart is full of good vibes with this delightful good news story.

This Week’s Good News!

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Leave it to Reno, Nevada to figure out how to use dance to benefit those with cognitive impairment. This story spotlights a wonderful dance club that is making a grand impact on the lives of those with dementia and their loved ones.

This Week’s Good News!

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You can’t take it with you, that’s for sure, but this 105-year-old Seattle woman took it to a whole new level. She lived a simple life and ended up with $10 million left unspent…she found a wonderful use for every last dollar. Such a wonderful story.

This Week’s Good News!

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This heartwarming story out of the UK shows the generosity of a gentleman who noticed something amiss, did something about it and absolutely made someone’s day. Check it out.

This Week’s Good News!

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This delightful story out of Oregon shows the lengths a grandparent will go to spend time with his grandchildren and make their school days just a bit brighter. I know you’ll enjoy the wonderful connection he has with his young ones.

This Week’s Good News!

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A five-year-old in San Diego, CA was concerned about school lunch debt incurred by those households not able to keep up with their children’s lunch expenses. Wait until you see how she set out to rectify this ongoing problem that occurs in so many school districts. What a great story to start February’s weekly good news!