At times unintended courage bubbles up empowering us in ways we never dreamed. We think: “Did I say that? Did I do that? How was I able?”
It is possible to triumph over tragedy and build lives that refuse to give in to heartache and loss.
Faith and humor are the most cherished of traveling companions.
For most of us, life is more conquest than victory. More story than glory. Life is about squandering ourselves for a good and godly purpose. Mostly it’s about stoking the fire.”
Never let anyone tell you that prayers can’t be felt or that hugs don’t help. I have been encircled by thousands, and they are the only thing that makes these hours bearable.
While I still ponder the mysteries of God, I do not for a moment doubt His purpose or His love.
We remain: heirs of a legacy; bearers of the dream. On this night, I pledge to you—rather, let us pledge to each other—we will never let the fire go out. (On the occasion of her husband’s election to the U.S. Senate following the plane crash that took the life of her husband, son and staffer, three weeks earlier. November 2000.)
If the members of my audience go away seeing their duty more clearly and loving their country more dearly, then I have succeeded.”
It is my hope that those who write of such things in years to come will say: Missouri’s first woman to serve in the United States Senate—though she did not serve us long—she served us well. (Upon the occasion of her election loss in November, 2002)
Each of us has the power to change whatever we touch, if only for a moment in time … and perhaps forever.
the human spirit can be rekindled from acts of courage by ordinary people.
I have discovered a wonderful career opportunity as an Encourager. The work is fascinating, but it has required me to brush up on my awareness and sensitivity. In my new role I get to point out to my kids, grandkids, friends, public servants, store clerks, and total strangers, something they have done right. This sometimes takes effort, but I am improving.”
I feel some kinship with this untamed force that lunges onto the beach, then retreats to familiar waters to gather strength. There is a lesson to be learned from the waves as they pound the shore with such self-abandon: Life is not always about success; it’s more about mighty endeavor.”
I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard my father say: “It’s no use crying over spilt milk.” It was a recognition that bad and unpreventable things happen in life, but you don’t get discouraged or give up. No matter what happens, you pick yourself up and keep going.”
I met a woman recently whose motto was: “Life is too short to dance with ugly people.” What an amusing reminder that we should surround ourselves with life-enhancing people. Don’t hang out with those who drag you down or make you feel sad.”
I was taught to believe that all our wounds and woes come with blessings attached; that uncovering the blessing is part of the healing. In my search, I found solace in some enduring and irrefutable truths, such as the old Cornish proverb I use as the title of this book— The Tide Alway Comes Back.”
Questioning not only illuminates, it liberates, which is why a totalitarian government resists informing its people. A democracy on the other hand, cannot survive without an informed and participating citizenry ready to question conventional thinking.”
Our core of certitude houses the values and beliefs that we want to hold on to for later use. All that we have found to be true and valuable is lodged there ready to guide us. Once that core is fixed we can accomplish the extraordinary and endure the unimaginable. Without it we are condemned to muddle through life without a point of reference.”
Put worry and fear behind you and reach out for what’s ahead. “Press on,” St. Paul declared (Katherine Hepburn’s advice was to “plow on,” but you get the idea.) Don’t fret over your feelings. Trust what you know to be true, not what you feel to be true.”
Like a patch of weeds, doubt grows along the edges of faith, trying to push through any cracks that might appear. Daily—sometimes hourly—we decide whether faith or doubt will be allowed to take root in our lives.”
Some of my friends question a deity, who sits on a cloud and hurls down thunderbolts and tsunamis in his spare time. You know, the guy with the long beard, who’s always peering over your should, wagging a divine finger at your misdeeds. Erasing those images is actually a good first step. In doing so they are growing closer to God than they think.”
There is an ancient Jewish teaching known as tikkun olam. It means repairing the world—that is, taking responsibility for correcting the damage done by people to each other, as well as to the planet. I like to think that if we can mend a moment in time, perhaps we can mend a millennium. At least, we must try. ”
I am convinced that something happens to us in the passionate pursuit of a goal. We are transformed. We are made better by the attempt.”
Stand up for a worthy idea, act to improve the lot of others, defy injustice. All of us have some of Martin Luther King, Jr., in us. His work is now our work…and there is still much to be done.”
On the occasion of my 77th birthday, I am taking a more fanciful course, giving advice and writing absurdities—a pursuit that Dr. Seuss advocated because it “wakes up brain cells.”
In describing my life span, some cultures would say I have made 77 rotations around the sun. I like that; the travel feature appeals to me.”
Hire a personal trainer or sign up for a seniors’ exercise class. It won’t cure arthritis, but it give you some place to complain besides at home.”
Thanksgiving is such a complex holiday. That’s why we observe it just once a year and follow up with a nap and football game.”
Nothing says ‘senioritis’ like a woman’s eyeglasses resting upon her bosom, vying for space with her ‘Sarah Palin 2012’ button or getting entangled in her necklace that features the birthstones of her eight grandchildren.
The toughest negotiators are not to be found in corporate board rooms or political back rooms, but under our own roofs. It is those pint-size tyrants—our children—who know how to stick it to us and when.”
A real pet should be able to acknowledge you presence …. I expect some serious tail wagging, hand licking, or at least a loving gaze from anything I provide room and board.”
When my kids stop by my condo, I often have a list of ‘honey-dos” for them. Typically, LAs (Live Aloners) accumulate such lists for the hale and hearty who visit. It makes them feel welcome.”
Just as you begin to roll out a pie crust, mix a meatloaf, or grease the motor, the phone will ring, your nose will itch, or a small child will bleed.”
No matter how many pairs of reading glasses you buy, eventually they will all gather like conventioneers in one room.”
Leaves fall, so do children, stock markets, vases, and arches.”
The chances that your tickets are for seats adjacent to an icy air conditioning outlet, next to the megawatt speaker system, or behind the woman with the tall hair increases with the price of the ticket or the significance of the event.”