Enrich Your Relationships With Technology

By Guest Author
Amy Williams

Child with Apple iPad
In the last few years, technology has made it easier than ever before for families to stay connected, no matter how far apart they travel. While there are many benefits available, there are also a few problems you’ll need to stay on the lookout for — and we’ll be covering both of these topics today.

Use Technology to Improve Your Connections With Your Family

Does connecting with other people through technology really help you to feel more social and connected? According to research done by the University of California, Berkeley, the answer is “Yes, to a certain point”. Though they cautioned that trying to have too much of an online presence was often depressing, it was measurably helpful as long as people found a balance between having too few friends and having too many of them. Read More

Need Some Help in Understanding the World?

These maps and charts give us new perspectives of our world.

The earth at night.jpg
By NASA Earth Observatory – NASA Earth Observatory, Public Domain, Link

Sometimes (okay, lots of times) I feel overwhelmed with all the facts and opinions that fly at me from television, the Internet, newspapers, and the radio.

Setting aside the complexity of troubles in the Middle East (which can make anyone’s head spin) it is hard for me to discern how all this information fits together, and what it has to do with my corner of the world. Read More

I Am Not Charlie Hebdo, Are You?

A recent tragedy provokes different reactions.

20111102 Incendie Charlie Hebdo Paris XXe 05.jpg
By Pierre-Yves Beaudouin / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Millions of words and thousands of cartoons will comment on the attack on the French satirical newspaper. From my perspective, some of the best (so far) were penned by David Brooks of the New York Times who wrote an op-ed piece called “I Am Not Charlie Hebdo.”

Like him, I would not have drawn the offensive cartoons — although I defend the right of the magazine to publish them without being killed. I hope you, too, would not engage in the sort of deliberately offensive humor that the newspaper specializes in.

Nevertheless, This Event Can Become a Teachable Moment

Let’s look at two perspectives. First, that of David Brooks:
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An Invitation to a Left and Right Dialogue

September 15, 2014
 What do you do when you find out that
your assumptions about someone were wrong?

Balloon Festival

A few years ago, a man I’ll call “Max” read a poem I had written for Support4Change and asked if he could use it on his website. This began a friendship in which we talked about ways I might support his work with people who have learning disabilities like dyslexia, and how he might promote my work on repairing relationships.

I took a trip to Houston to meet him and, while our collaboration didn’t get off the ground, I liked him and wanted to keep up the friendship. He comes from a very well-known family and I wanted to learn more about them.

Then one day about two years ago, I happened on a website with information about him and discovered, to my dismay, that he held extreme right-wing political views, including support of the Tea Party and secession of Texas from the union. I couldn’t believe it. How did I miss seeing that his views were extremely different than mine?

Unfortunately, I lost touch with him after that because I was busy writing a book, focusing on my health, moving to a retirement community, and dealing with the death of my husband. He was busy building his organization and learning how to be a new father.

Then, three weeks ago, I found the opportunity to begin a dialogue when he sent me an invitation to participate in a special guided tour of England. While I can’t go on that tour, this gave me the chance to write him about assumptions I have about him that aren’t true.

Read More

Doing Something Half-assed is Better Than Not At All

July 14, 2014
 A life lived only by the well, or a life worth living?

Kitchen Table Wisdom by Rachel Naomi Remen, MD — one of the earliest pioneers in the mind/body health field — includes a short chapter titled “Life is For the Well.”

Here she tells about one of her patients who had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and spent several years seeking help for her symptoms. She would go from doctor of doctor “obsessed with the minutest details of her physical problems, which she tracked in a daily journal.” She thought she had to be without symptoms to enjoy life to go the theater, to have children, to love.

It seemed to her that life could only be lived by the well.
Read More