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Who are we if not each other?

Our worst nightmare as a nation , and as individuals: a world ruled by the hardhearted, where everywhere you turn you’re turned away, or harmed.

Exercising Our Compassion

Recently, I learned about an inmate put to death in Texas despite his victim’s son — yes, his victim’s son — pleading for mercy for this man.

The son said that nothing good would come of the execution — only more pain. He said the inmate’s daughter would lose her father, just as he’d lost his father. He pointed out that during years in prison, the inmate had become a force for good.

These truths…

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What if another’s injury could feel like our own, even if we had never suffered that injury ourselves? What if we could take to heart another’s disappointment or trial?

Sometimes, I magnify my own discomfort in my mind so I can approach another’s suffering.

I turn traffic jams into pesky flies and festering sores. I turn a critical remark into an onslaught from a nearby tribe. I turn a bothersome heat into a crop -parching drought, a rainy day into a monsoon. I turn the longing for personal space into a lifetime of sharing one room with ten people.

In truth, I can’t come close to these experiences when I imagine them, no matter what amount of time I take to try to do that, no matter how strong…

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if your family were as important to me as my own, and my family were as important to you as your family — and everyone in the world felt the same — whom would any of us harm?

Abiding Gladly

Often, in this turnabout world, our children and our parents move from place to place or settle far from home.

As life would have it, our sister, alone in Georgia, could suffer a stroke the same week our father alone in Australia is diagnosed with cancer and must have surgery, the same week our daughter alone in New Mexico is hospitalized following a car accident.

We could find no peace in these situations without the kindness of strangers who abide gladly — and steadfastly — as if our loved ones were their own.

At One With All

In the late 1970s, I was sitting…

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I suffered a left-sided stroke last week while finishing Howling For Our Lives — an ironic coincidence, considering Howling’s focus. Read on and you’ll see right away what I mean.

What if wherever people were confined day after day — for whatever reason — there was time allowed for howling? Nurses or parents or doctors or prison guards would let individuals express their distress without trying to restrain or sedate them.

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I suffered a stroke finishing this post for Medium. For now I can’t walk without keeling to one side. I type using one hand. Mercy on you — caregiver or caregetter — if you struggle. Mercy on all of us . . .

It is easy to be loving when we are wooing and being wooed, when we are sheltered and fed and appreciated. But what about times the car won’t start, and the baby’s thrown up in the backseat, and the dog’s running loose, and our mate wants to love and live with someone else?

How We Know Our True Character

My mother used to say that we reveal our true character by how we behave when we are ill. I would add to that: how we treat someone when we are busy, or feel disappointed or betrayed or threatened or angry or insecure.

All too often, we…

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Days we feel swamped, we sometimes forget there are people counting on us to act on promises we’ve made, within a time frame we ourselves have agreed to.

Typical short-term promises include: “I’ll call you right back,” or “I’ll give you an answer tomorrow,” or “I’ll send it right in,” or “I’ll drop off it off by Thursday,” or . . .

It’s easy to feel annoyed when someone we’ve promised to help reminds us of the project we’ve not completed — or have not completed well.

But wait!.The someone suffers a double whammy. Help hasn’t come and now he or she, by pointing that out, risks the scourge of our ill-will.

Here’s a nightmare many are living: You are suddenly and completely dependent on a caregiver who…

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Wondering, we’re children again. Fresh-eyed. Lifted beyond ourselves. Wowed. We understand there’s more than one way to look at everything.

Remember the wonder of discovering a fish or a bird or a cat hidden in a picture, when you were a child? Or how the drawing of an urn became two faces — and then an urn again — depending on how you were looking at it.

The animals began appearing — the urn began transforming — when you were quiet enough, and open enough, to see with fresh eyes

One obviously stupendous event can spark this understanding. But even the simplest and most invisible connection can.

So can seeing someone or something “suddenly anew” we’ve been familiar with for…

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Who didn’t you (Who didn’t I) listen to today?

In this tender world, if we did nothing but listen well — to strangers, loved ones, co-workers, animal companions . . . our own wise hearts — we’d be comfort and heroes to many, including ourselves.

What follows are personal stories, reminiscences and reflections, listening featured at the heart of them.

When I was a girl, my mother and I broke in on one another while we were speaking. We did this more times than I can remember.

My mother meant no harm. She had her opinions. I had mine. But I was young and no match for her. …

maggie s davis

Celebrating the Wonders and Oneness of All Life in Books/Videos/Service to benefit People and Animals in Need ~ ~

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