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Friday, October 10, 2014

Healing Words

Cheesy as it may be, more than a few times I've been truly moved by words on a poster or bumper sticker. For example: "Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity they think of you."

Spotting those words on a large poster behind a desk recently I felt compelled to engage the woman sitting there in a brief conversation. When was the last time words inspired you to initiate a conversation with a stranger? What were the words that moved you?

I had two thoughts prior to speaking to that woman. In the hopelessly naive vein - If she embodies the words on her poster even 20% of the time, she is making the world a better place. In the practical arena - I much prefer interacting with someone like her, however superficially, vs. someone who publicly displays a hateful or divisive sentiment on a poster or bumper sticker.


  1. I went to a small town performance of Tom Paxton a few years back, and wish I had taken a minute to talk with him. His songs and lyrics have inspired me and influenced my life. I guess beyond words - I felt completely unable to express it on the fly. Opportunity lost.

    In our area it seems that so many posters and stickers express intolerance, greed or hate, that even the occasional "Bark less, wag more!" is refreshing!

    1. Hey Jim; Your comments are often so spot-on. And even if you didn't tell Tom Paxton about the positive impact his words have had on you, there will be other opportunities to tell other people, right? Also, I almost used an example of a divisive slogan to make my point in the post but decided that would just be perpetrating the hate so I left out the ugly words.

  2. A couple weeks ago, my daughters participated in the Princeton Kids' Marathon. The four of them started together, but at some point, Martha broke apart and ran ahead. The race would finish with a track lap and a stride under a balloon tent. As I stood at the finish line, watching one after another of the children cross, I wondered what happened to my other three girls along the course. I heard the announcer say, "Let's cheer on the final runners as they enter the track area!" The applause began, and there was your Rebecca and her sister Anna, carrying the youngest Bernadette. All three were complete smiles and laughter, happy to be where they were, having a great time just finishing. Now, as I prepare to run the Trenton Half Marathon this Saturday, and I am bombarded with their information in my inbox, I repeatedly see the quote that is part of their campaign, " A dead last finish is greater than did not finish, which trumps did not start." d.

    1. d; Great slogan for that half-marathon!! And thanks for the wonderful story about your girls; I sincerely wish I could see more of those smiles and even a hint of laughter at Rebecca's guitar lessons. But...I'll take the cute little grin and be very grateful for it.