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Archive for June, 2012

This post is part of a series on making your Place a Turning Place. I’m working off two assumptions. One: that everyone ends up at dead ends in life. Two: we don’t want to stay there. I’m exploring what it takes to turn life’s ending places into turning places—places we can turn to new beginnings. I invite you to comment, disagree, ask questions, etc.

Forgiveness is the final form of love. (Reinhold Niebuhr)

The man sat in my office and spun a tale of deceit, lies, and evil underhanded actions. And they were all true. His in-laws had done terrible, miserable things to him and his wife. I was appalled. Then he asked the question:

“So, what do we do?”

Part of me wanted to say, “Go find a lawyer and get a restraining order.”

But I knew the truth. And so I told it to him: “Forgive them.”

His next question came from frustration. “Why?”

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This post is part of a series on making your Place a Turning Place. I’m working off two assumptions. One: that everyone ends up at dead ends in life. Two: we don’t want to stay there. I’m exploring what it takes to turn life’s ending places into turning places—places we can turn to new beginnings. I invite you to comment, disagree, ask questions, etc.

Among times there is a time that turns a corner and everything this side of it is new. Times do not go backward.                              ~ Perelandra, C.S. Lewis

One of the commercials from my childhood that I still remember is the Calgon commercial. Remember that one? Some stressed out woman is having a terrible day and finally escapes to her bathroom, crying out, “Calgon, take me away . . .” The next scene is of her enjoying a wonderfully relaxing Calgon bubble bath. (Don’t remember? Too young to remember? Just click here for a look at the 1970’s commercial terribleness.)

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When I was in Boy Scouts there was a weekend campout where we had sessions on becoming a better leader. The only reason I remember that is because one of the leaders cursed in his presentation. At the time (mid-1980’s) that was absolutely unheard of. He said, “Never assume.” He stopped to write ASSUME on a chalkboard. He continued, “When you assume it makes an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me.’” As he spoke he broke the word ‘assume’ into ASS U ME. I’ve always remembered that and have tried not to assume much in life.

But today, I’m going to break that rule and make a couple of assumptions. About you.

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I read a while back that the average college-educated American reads two books a year. Think about that for a second. Two books. What were your two? My personal opinion is that what we take in has a great influence on who we become. (you eat junk, you end up with diabetes; you read junk, your mind goes to junk). If all we take in is a steady stream of the Kardashians and tmz.com, then we will attain to that level of consciousness and conversation. So, make sure you’re reading your two books this year.

I have always loved reading and I’ve taken advantage of my time away to read broadly from books suggested by some of you. Some books I’ve liked; others I’ve loved; some I’ve endured. I’ve included a link to Amazon.com for each of the books so you can find out more about them (or order them if you’d like).

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“Who wants to go to the end of the road?”

My grandfather, Pawsy, asked the question to my brother, sister, and I when I was maybe 9 or 10 years old. We were sitting on his porch in Buras, Louisiana as we often did when we visited. We would sit in the heat, watching the cars go by, swatting mosquitos and listening to his stories of growing up on the bayou–stories he told over and over, but never seemed to get old. He always seemed to have one of his Keep Moving cigars (rarely lit; usually just chewed) in one hand and a can of Schlitz beer in the other.

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Six years ago I shut down a blog I had labored at for several years. Though I enjoyed it (at moments), eventually job and family responsibilities overwhelmed my interest in the blog and after months of non-posting guilt I put the blog out of its misery.

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I saw this story on the news this morning and was amazed at the tenacity and commitment of this teenager. Paralyzed at 14, he decided that he would walk across the stage for his high school graduation. With effort and help, he absolutely did it. Wow. Check it out.

Graduation Walk

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