Building community in a changing world

Monthly Archives: November 2020

November 23, 2020

Being Thankful for Learning From Others

Recently, my wife met an amazing man – who is amazing at storytelling. This 20-minute video is entertaining, as well as educational, about growing up black in America. My wife & I were struck by Avery’s central message – an age-old message really – that sharing our stories is one of the most powerful things we can do to connect. Hopefully we can share those heart-warming stories with our friends & family this Thanksgiving, whether that be in-person or virtual. Gobble, gobble…

November 19, 2020

Reading Someone’s Heart

Recently I heard someone say: “I want you to know that I’m not just listening to your words, I’m reading your heart.” How powerful is that? Poetic for sure. Not only is the person listening – something that we all could become better at – but they are listening so intently that they are discerning how that person is feeling. Now that’s empathy. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes for a moment.

I’m striving to be more empathetic, to move away from my own stories and listen to the stories of others. It’s quite a challenge because our own stories have dominated our landscape for so long. It requires me to constantly check in with myself – to be mindful of where my head is at…

November 9, 2020

“Human life has always been lived on the edge of a precipice.”

As some of my friends wrote me this weekend, there is nothing more compassionate than being there for a friend in need, and nothing more effective at lifting a friend’s spirits. Here’s an excerpt from this NY Times’ opinion piece penned by Phil Clay:

“Human life has always been lived on the edge of a precipice,” wrote C.S. Lewis on the eve of World War II. “If men had postponed the search for knowledge and beauty until they were secure, the search would never have begun.”

“The moments while my children cast magic spells born out of hope and fear, and the moments when my friend spoke to me of the science while I stood at my kitchen sink and softly wept, hearing little more complicated than one friend telling another, “I love you, and I care for you, and I am here for you and those you love.” Each night, after the spells were cast and the conversation was done, I felt more human, and more capable of performing the work ahead of me.”