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Showing posts from January, 2017

On Being an American

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Photo Credit: Google Public Domain Photo
Ten years ago, when I began this blog, I explained that as a writer and educator words had power - the power to heal, the power to raise up and the power to destroy. Over the past year or more, the rhetoric that has been loosed in this country has become increasingly hateful, damaging and destructive. The power behind the words used in the press, in politics and in every day life comes from the privilege of being American. Yet, many of the same people claiming to be "true" Americans have never read the two documents this country is based on, nor do they know the men who wrote the words that we live by.

The Declaration of Independence is a work of fearless resistance by a committee of five Founding Fathers - Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, John Adams and Robert R. Livingston. Thomas Jefferson is considered the architect of this document. A talented writer, Jefferson was influence, like all writers, by the words of oth…

Women's March

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Public Domain through Google images:https://goo.gl/images/fBtskB I was asked why I am attending the Sister March in Greenfield today, the day of the Women's March on Washington.  Why????
I am marching to honor all the fearless and fierce women who came before me.  Women from my own family who survived the tyranny of hate in countries far from here. Women from my own family that survived poverty and pain.   Women from my own family who stood for suffrage, so that I might vote.   Women in my own family who climbed Martin's mountain hand in hand with other Women - Women of color - so that their children and their children's children could live together in freedom and equality.  I am marching for my daughters and my granchildren because we are still not totally free and equality is still not found everywhere.
I march for all the Women around the world that have been abused, oppressed, hated and tormented.  The Women of the world for whom fear becomes their closest friend.  The Wo…

Social Media and PTSD

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A friend just posted a request on Facebook that I feel is worth discussing.  He asked that people refrain from posting horrific pictures of abuse, war and other horrors because these images as well as words used in the discriptions can trigger serious symptoms in people who have suffered from PTSD.
I agree.  Why do we need to, for lack of a better word, terrorize others with such images or abusive, hateful language?  To be honest, I have blocked people who constantly show such horror on social media.  
My belief is we reap what we sow.  Therefore, let's sow seeds of love, understanding and acceptance.  
My dear, dear teacher/writer friend, Maryam Dilakian Passley wrote on her blog what she called the, Resistance Anthem.  I would like to share it with you all:
May everything I write this year be an act of rebellion. 

May my pen draw its ink from an ocean rising in fierce waves of collective resistance. 

May these waves come crashing down on everything and anything that threatens peace an…

My One Word for the New Year - Fearless

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Lighting the Path (c) 2016 Linda M. Rhinehart Neas
In the wee hours of this New Year, I was struggling to find My One Wordfor 2017. In the past, the word for the year jumped out at me long before the old year ended. This year...nothing.  Then, this morning, as I searched for my word, there it was on the first site I opened - Fearless!
Fearless -  to be without fear; bold or brave; intrepid.Easier said than done! How am I going to do this?  After all, the idea of My One Word is to find an adjective that you can meditate on, in order to personify it in your own life. Me, fearless??  Yikes!
So, I immediately began to meditate on this word. Who do I see as fearless? What makes them that way? What is a fearless act? 
I typed in fearless women, into Google. And, there she was. One of my all-time heroines, Rosa Parks. What made her fearless? She had had enough of being pushed aside because of her race. She was tired and wanted to keep her seat on the bus. She knew she could be arrested, or worse…