As 2022 comes to an end, I reflect with a grateful heart on this opportunity to connect with you and others through Critical Conversations. In this post, I’d like to share a little about how Critical Conversations came to be what it is, and to thank you – the readers, and the team of guest contributors, editors and technical supporters – who make this post possible. My life is enriched with love and joy by notes and comments from readers, from the courage and insights of guest contributors, and the generosity and talent of my friends who edit and assist in the weekly writing of Critical Conversations. Many blessings in 2023 to each of you!
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Faith, Holidays and Holy Days
Inclusion and freedom mean we all get to decide what we believe. These are important ideas as this time of year is full of many different traditions, beliefs and customs. Today, I’d like to reflect on why faith and my Christian faith are important to me in approaching the year-end holidays and holy days.
Holiday Giving Revisited – What Organizations and Why?
A friend of mine, Joe Muth, is a Catholic priest in Baltimore. His ministry has included serving inner-city Black congregations and a parish that became home to immigrants and refugees from Africa and around the world.
Lessons in Racial Justice: Goals, Strategies and Training
Recently I was given a book, Waging a Good War: A Military History of the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1968. The author, Thomas E Ricks, is described as “the dean of military correspondents.” He has authored numerous books about military wars including First Principles, The Generals and Fiasco. My initial reaction was to pause and wonder if I could enjoy a book that used the lessons of war to describe the civil rights movement. That concern turned out to be ill-founded. I recommend this book because of its many lessons that seem quite relevant to our ongoing efforts to end racial injustice.
More about Love and Loving
The holiday season is a wonderful time to explore how we experience love. Families remind us of the presence of love and where our aspirations to love fall short. This post is a start at sharing some of my ideas and beliefs about love and loving.
Gratitude as a path to love
For me, gratitude is an acquired taste. For many years, my negative thinking blocked my feelings of gratitude; it actually took me years to pay attention to gratitude and its benefits. Thanksgiving is a good time to reflect on the journey to the benefits that can result from greater gratitude.
Racial Justice and the Good/Bad Binary
As part of my engagement in a six-week discussion series on Noticing or Seeing Whiteness, I’m having an incredible opportunity to hone my knowledge and skills about our racial, political, and cultural divides. The experience is strengthening my humility,...
Learning from Wise Friends
A mutual friend, Shelley, frequently refers to Doris as the “sage of Cumberland.” She holds Doris in the highest esteem for the same reason I do. We both met Doris in a Twelve Step meeting and she became a sponsor or guide for each of us in working the Twelve Steps. With Doris, we both felt like we had won the lottery. We couldn’t imagine someone more kind, loving and wise.
Exploring Hispanic Heritage Month
Our neighborhood library helped me pay attention to Hispanic Heritage Month. Without a visit there, I suspect I would have missed this important celebration of our diverse culture. It caused me to wonder why Black History Month appears to get more attention than Hispanic Heritage Month? What am I missing?
Noticing while Walking – The Way of Pilgrims
Four friends, Geraldine and I were feeling the muscle pains from four days of walking the spiritual pilgrimage in Spain known as the Camino de Santiago. It was mid-day and we were all getting hungry and were ready for a lunch break. On previous days, we had found small coffee shops or bakeries along the route where we had lunch and a much-needed rest. Today, there was no sign of such a place. Our map reading leader suggested lunch might be delayed until our next destination, three or more hours further along the path. We shared the little bit of fruit and trail mix we had. I began to get a little grumpy with this prospect, making the muscle pains talk louder.