Thinking First

Over the past week, I have noticed an increase of vitriolic posts across social media. This makes my heart ache. Our world is filled with so much pain, so much suffering, I find it impossible to understand why people feel the need to add more of the same on social media.   My mother told me (more than once!) that if I didn't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.  I have tried to practice this throughout my life.  (I have not perfected it in any shape or form, but I try.)  What I have learned over the years is to try and stop before I say or write something I will later regret or that might hurt others. I think mindfully about how the words I am using will sound and what meaning they may convey.  Often, I rewrite something using words that are not as inflammatory or vicious.  I have also learned not to ever write for publication when I am full of anger. I may put down in words my feelings, but I don't share what I have written. I let it sit and defuse, if yo

When the Heart Is Down

  When you teach English to adult immigrants and refugees, you quickly realize that we are all connected with the same hopes and desires regardless of culture, religion, race, or gender. When you hear about the joys of your students, you celebrate with them. Likewise, when you hear of their sadness, you mourn with them. My "heart is down and my soul is heavy" with all the pain and suffering in the world. I have dear students from all over the world with families suffering because of earthquakes, storms, fires, war, and madness.  I pray constantly that good will conquer evil. I preach the Golden Rule faithfully. I KNOW that Love IS the answer. I also know that fear feeds evil in a way akin to how steroids feed a body but make the mind mad.  As difficult as it is, we must continue to care for one see the beauty inside each person we come in contact with during our days. We must not fall prey to hate. Like a vampire bite, hate produces more hate, and the cycle becom