The links are suuuuper random this week. And maybe that's OK, in a week of hurricanes and earthquakes and 9/11 memories and more more more. Give to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance or the organization of your choice. Write a letter. Reach out to a neighbor. Read. And yes, laugh. Onward:
Those 8 words:
I have to tell you I am scared.
Love it. As the article says, "Vulnerability is an underrated leadership skill." Indeed.
The other day I asked if there was a difference between mom jokes and dad jokes. No conclusions reached, but there is some silly, funny stuff here. Nothing particularly high minded, just enjoy:
This is similarly silly, but I'm sharing it because my disdain for NYT columnist David Brooks is so legendary that several friends sent me a link to this product. (It's all in good fun, folks.)
I just finished Roxane Gay's Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, which was beautiful and painful to read. This blog covers similar territory, in short form.
"We studied the works of Sandra Cisneros, Pam Munoz Ryan, and Gary Soto, with the intertwined Spanish language and Latino culture — so fluent and deep in the memories of my kids that I saw light in their eyes I had never seen before."
Empathy, empathy, empathy. It's just that easy and just that hard.
Speaking of empathy:
About 150 members of anti-facist groups — also known as antifa or black bloc protesters — also were there, marching in formation with covered faces. Then a couple of people from the right-wing did show up.
That's when Al Letson, host of the investigative radio program and podcast Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, saw one right-wing man fall to the ground, and some left-wing antifa protesters beating him.
Letson jumped on top of the guy to protect him, because, he says, he didn't want anyone to get hurt.
"And you know, in retrospect, it doesn't matter if he doesn't see my humanity, what matters to me is that I see his. What he thinks about me and all of that... my humanity is not dependent upon that."
Some years ago, I went to a conference in Charleston. During a free moment, I strolled down to an old marketplace where I browsed the shops — all of which, it seemed, specialized in Confederate memorabilia. In search of a small gift for my son, I wandered among stacks of toy rifles, piles of Confederate belt buckles, and displays of battle flag bumper-stickers. At some point my eye caught a large framed lithograph of Robert E. Lee and the officers of the Army of Northern Virginia entitled “Lee and His Generals.” Inspecting it, I saw that something — or rather, someone — was missing. I was looking for a tiny, bearded, Major General, a divisional commander who was with Lee at Appomattox and who shared in the decision to surrender that April day in 1865. I was looking for General William Mahone of Virginia, and I did not find him because he was not there.
A native Virginian, a railroad magnate, a slaveholder, and an ardent secessionist, Mahone served in the Confederate army throughout the war. He was one of the Army of Northern Virginia’s most able commanders, distinguishing himself particularly in the summer of 1864 at the Battle of the Crater outside Petersburg. After the war, Robert E. Lee recalled that, when contemplating a successor, he thought that Mahone “had developed the highest qualities for organization and command.”
How did such a high-ranking Confederate commander wind up missing in action in a Charleston gift shop? Not, I think, by accident.
Read more about this fascinating figure, and what his lack of prominence among the statues of the confederacy might say about the motivations behind their existence.
More silliness... BUT the friendship between these two gives me a giddy sort of hope for humanity.
This week's Fight Back with Beauty story. If I'd written the headline, I would have put "swords into ploughshares" in there somewhere. Here's a Facebook post about it:
A top 10 list to close out a top 10 list. Thank you Jan Edmiston.
Be late for that next meeting if it means helping a stranger in trouble. I love this story about the bus driver – risking his own job – who ensured a little girl wouldn’t be late for her first day of school.