Category: The Serious Stuff


ALL OF US

I recently came across this clever little meme that talks about who is a true American that has given us the right to vote, freedom of speech, freedom to demonstrate, freedom of the press.

 

“It’s the Veteran, not the reporter,
who has given us the freedom of the press.
It’s the Veteran, not the poet,
who has given us the freedom of speech.
It’s the Veteran, not the community organizer,
who gives us the freedom to demonstrate.
It’s the Military who salutes the flag,
who serves beneath the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protester to burn the flag.”

 

I have news for whoever wrote this.

You’re wrong because it takes all of us to make sure those rights exist and stay in place.

By excluding the community organizer, you exclude the people who call us to arms, to try to right the wrongs of the community as we see it. Community organizers are not just demonstrating in the streets, they are recruiting people to their cause – be it the army, the alt-right, the women’s march, or their house of worship. And whose words are they using?

They use the words of the poets, the dreamers, those who can speak eloquently about the things the rest of us believe but can’t put into words. Thomas Jefferson and Alexander  were incredible writers who put into words the things that our burgeoning nation wanted and dreamed of. Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence that still stirs our souls over two hundred years later. Hamilton wrote various portions of the Constitution and went on to write the majority of the Federalist Papers that define and explain the Constitution even further. Where would we be without the writers of the Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America, or I’m Proud to be an American?

By excluding the voter, you exclude the people  who do the hardest part of this nation. They go to the ballot box and make their voice heard. Sometimes your side wins, sometimes your side loses. Other nations fight for this right. Other nations have election day ruined by those factions who throw acid or shoot at voters. That doesn’t happen here. And let’s work to make sure that never does happen.

You want to prop up the military as the only fighters of freedom. And a part of me understands. But the other part says that’s not going to happen because the military isn’t the only one doing the heavy lifting of democracy. The work belongs to all of us – the poet, the organizer, the artist, the voter, the journalist, the mother and father, the every day joe and josephine, the soldier.

Someone has to inspire, someone has to gather us together, someone has to create the images and flags, someone has to write about it, someone has to work with the children, someone has to do the everyday work of the nation, someone has to protect it. We are in this together despite looking and being different in so many way.

DEMOCRACY REQUIRES ALL OF US!

 

So Together

So Together
by Kadir Nelson

The only question left is what are you doing to protect our democracy?

 

 

 

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The Day of the Fire

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

Normally, I am happy to talk about the ridiculous or action packed movies that take us away from the normal daily routines.

In fact, I had planned to watch I, Tonya Saturday night so I could write about it. I was looking forward to the downtime after driving my sons to the various work or activity commitments, and helping my daughter get ready for prom.

Fire 180421But at some point on Saturday afternoon, something was not right. We could see smoke on the east end of town. Slowly it seemed fire trucks were coming, one by one sirens began screaming. The smoke smelled acrid like when plastic burns.

The apartment building next to the post office was aflame, even at the late point that I walked to the site. It was obvious that the building just to the south had been damaged by the fire although I could not tell just how much had been done. However, firemen were on the balcony of the south building sending a high-powered stream of water onto the last vestiges of flames on the very front of the north building. On the back of the building there were at least three other streams working to dampen the flames.

Fire 1804212As I looked into the building, I could see the roof was gone. It looked as if the second floor was giving way as well. I heard one firefighter say that the main fire was in the middle of the building and it would be several hours before it would all be out. The firemen’s effort would go on through the night as Momence Fire Department came with their light truck.

Looking at all of the trucks, you could see the names of the various communities that came to help our small town: Pembroke, Kankakee, Beecher, Sauk Village, Richton Park, Matteson. I assume there were others but I did not those trucks. Some were used to block off streets so that a snake of hoses could be used to bring more water to the scene. Eventually, water would be drawn from Cote Lake to combat the fire in the later stages.

Several families have lost their home and belongings. I heard that a fund is being started at the National Bank of St. Anne to help these families. Chris Sutherland sponsored a clothing and toiletries drive this past Monday.

What I didn’t take pictures of was the groups of people watching the fire, including a girl in her lovely peach-colored gown for prom. Her friends came in their party dresses to be their for their friend who is watching her home go up in flames. It was too intimate, too personal. It was enough that I was there seeing their pain; no one wants that broad-casted to the world. 

Fire 1804213All of us know that this could be us; a simple malfunction could take away everything. A friend of mine lost her mother when there was an unknown gas leak in their basement. The mother turned on her vacuum cleaner and the house blew up. It was accidental and not the fault of anyone. For my friend, the loss was great.

I know many people are feeling their loss. But I also believe it will get better. Help will come in all directions. That is best thing about a small town; when the unbelievable happens people rally around you.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Ever since the election in 2016, I have been angry.

Some people might say I have always been an angry soul but now I am on the edge of going off at all times.

I want to scream and yell all of the time. I want to eat birthday cake and all the bad things I shouldn’t eat all of the time. I completely understood Tina Fey’s rant a few months ago after Charlottesville.

Everyday our President or our majority party congress does or says or tweets something that makes me want to scream, loudly.

angry-womanTaxes, sexual harassment, North Korea, Russia, healthcare, racial agitation, nazi sympathies, anti-woman sentiments, anti-middle class sentiments are just a few topics that push me over the edge.

Our president and his supporters creep me out. All they seem to do is hate, hate, HATE!

They hate Mexicans, Muslims, women, blacks, immigrants, gays. Transgenders, journalists, anyone different.

They can’t stand the fact that they might not be in power and they turn their sights on anyone who can take that power away from them. Intelligentsia, the press, the scientists are all evil.

They think their guns are going to be taken away, that a wall will protect us, that the earth is not warming and climate change is a big fat lie. That women are more evil than cats. that stories or videos on what they have said or done is all fake news.

Worse yet, all of the things that 45 decided were not true have become true in his head again.

Arrogant businessmanThis is what happens when a business man becomes a governmental leader who does not understand how government works. Businessmen expect to snap their fingers and the changes they want will happen. But it doesn’t work that way as my own governor is finding out. You actually have to work with people, write things out, make sure they are legal, sit through committee meetings.

So these guys are trying to force the world back to something that is great for them and they don’t care if it doesn’t work for the remaining 95% of the country. They turn off their phones and refuse to meet with constituents, the people who voted for them. Who cares about small businesses and the middle class – you know them as the people who buy your products. But after this bill passes and taxes lose all of the deductions for the middle class, life won’t be the same. You can take off your expenses for that jet but not your healthcare costs, state taxes, and real estate and student loan interest.

Who cares about seniors? Or veterans or the disabled? Meals on Wheels simply is “just not showing results” according to Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s budget chief.

While I call my representatives in Washington, it is like singing to the choir. I do it now for the tallies so they can go back and say “see, my constituents hate this!” On the other hand, my state rep still thinks bump stocks are not worthy to fight about. Shooting up a grade school and music concert and a church is simply not enough reason to make consistent gun laws across the country

I understand why people are going off. I won’t be surprised if senators find themselves in front of angry constituents during the next round of town hall visits. I wouldn’t be surprised if their local offices are egged, tp’ed, or blown up. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they all have armed guards paid for by tax money.

People are angry, fighting mad. They know that around the corner or at the next family gathering is a Trump supporter gloating at all of the winning that is not happening. And on days that another indictment or guilty plea comes out, I feel like we can throw it all right back in their faces even though we shouldn’t.

While I try to keep my cool, I find myself not listening to the news. I have a steady stream of audio books to get me through when the classical station refuses to come in. I’m working on scarves to put on our church’s mitten tree. I am eating more (dark) chocolate and bread. (love white bread but avoiding it like the plague). I am also trying to work out more and drink a little extra alcohol to take the edge off.

Ice cream gallonNow that the tax bill nightmare has come true, Congress is moving on to net neutrality and social security.

I might need to move on to a gallon of ice cream to get through those issues.

What are you doing to relieve the stress of the Trump administration?

The Wait is Over

When Trump was first elected, people said wait it out. They said to give him a chance.

Then he began tweeting about Saturday Night Live and vote numbers and Happy New Years greetings to his enemies

womes-march-chicagoBy the time he was about to be inaugurated, I knew from his behavior and cabinet choices what he said during the election was true.

So I chose to march on the 21st. Did it proudly and didn’t throw it in people’s faces.

I hear people call the marchers lazy, “why don’t they go to work?” I had support from several friends who couldn’t go because they were working.

I saw women post the reaction about why they are proud that they didn’t march. They can’t believe others would because we have so many rights and women in other countries don’t. But what they refused to understand is that our marching was not only for our rights in this country but women around the world. Even women in the Antarctic marched. Womens’ Rights are Human Rights.

People want these marchers to shut up and go home. Back in October, there was a New York Post article that came out to say stop posting political stuff on Facebook and Twitter. Yeah, that’s not happening. Especially as 45 keeps at it. (I am not calling the orange one by his name, only his number).

So when 45 issues an illegal Executive Order, such as the Muslim Ban, I am speaking out. Bannon and co. think if they only talk about Islam as a political movement then it won’t be a religion, and any orders about the Islamic people are constitutional. That’s as silly as Paleonistas stating beans aren’t a real food.

When uninformed and uninterested persons are being nominated for cabinet positions, I am speaking out by calling my senators ad nauseum. I am calling my representative to make sure they get the tally mark for my opinion. (When calling your rep or senator state your name, your zip code, and your issue. Leave the reasons why out, just say the basics.)

Let me make something clear to 45, Bannon, Sessons, Pence, Gorsuch, the Alt Right, and their followers. All those people you hate are living beings. They are out of the closet, out of the apron, out of the plantation. None of us are going back. NONE. OF.US.

We like working so that we can provide for our families. We like being able to live wherever we want. We like being able to have health care and the medications we need covered by that health insurance. We like being able to pray in our churches, in our synagogues, in our mosques. We like not having to go to church if we don’t feel like it.

diverse-colorful-happy-peopleWhat we want is to be able to live and work and worship as we see fit. And, just like you, we do not want to be judged for the things that are none of your business – our religion, who we sleep with, the color of our skin. We want to walk in this world knowing we are not going to get shot, get raped, get bullied, -and have all the blame dropped at our feet – just because we are there.

What we want is the feeling you have everyday. And what you need to understand is that you will lose nothing in letting that happen. You might gain something. In words paraphrased from “Hamilton,” the world is wide enough for all of us.

All of us.

Keep Wearing the Hat

So this past weekend, we put on our hats. We marched in our cities, and big towns, and small towns, and on a boat. We held all sorts of signs letting people know that women’s rights are human rights.

But the days following has seen plenty of blow back.

“Why are these women marching?”

“I have plenty of rights.”

“Those hats look stupid, take them off.”

“After marching, the ladies were home in time to make supper.”

“Why don’t they just give the money it cost to go to the march to a charity?”

Don’t get discouraged. Saturday was a great and terrible day. I was amazed by all who showed up to protest, to make our voices heard. But I was saddened that we still need to do this, tell people that women have rights and deserve rights. Women is our country do not deserve to be beaten by significant others. Women in other countries deserve to move freely, go to school, and receive proper medical care.

However, if you are reading all of the stories and some fighting within march participants, don’t give up. This is only the beginning and the start can be rough. Now is the time when we congeal and find our collective voice.  An article in USA today gives some ideas on what to do next.

I like this because we need to have a direction for our anger and frustration. We need to be focused. So let me add my list to what we can do until the next march in April.

  1. pussy-hatContinue to wear the hat. Yes, it is awkward and not in your usual color.                                                                                                                   So what!                                                                                                                Someone made that hat for you. It may not have taken a lot of time on their part but wear it with pride. Until you put away winter stuff, wear your hat wherever you go. Bring it our again in the fall. You are sending a signal to others who wanted to go and couldn’t. You are that safe person they can talk to. And when the haters come to yell at you, don’t yell back, don’t swear at them. Tell them you believe what you believe and move on.
  2. Put your senators and representative on speed dial on your cell phone. Call them daily or weekly, especially when an issue you cherish is on the line.
  3. volunteer-graphicPick an issue and work for it. Maybe it is Standing Rock or Planned Parenthood or Immigration Rights. Find one that speaks to your interests and passions. Then do the hard part and give them money and/or your time – every month.
  4. Build your community. Volunteer at a food pantry or mentor program or youth program. Be a coach or a helper for the Girl Scouts or tutor school children or help seniors in your neighborhood. It can be something short and sweet or a longer commitment but do something that makes you feel better about where you live. Grab some friends to join you in this endeavor.
  5. Help get people out for the vote. If you know someone who is not registered but wants to vote, take them to get the paperwork completed. If someone you know had issues with their registration, help them get it sorted now so they can vote in upcoming primaries. Voters need to develop a pattern of voting and by taking care of that now, those votes will matter more next time.  Imagine if each of us helped one person to have the right to vote.
  6. iPhone crass

    Picture by Crass

    Plan one day a week to be totally offline. No social media, no phone games, no texting or e-mail (maybe just reduce this last one to the most important stuff.) Use this time to relax, sleep late, walk the dog, or clean your home.

  7. Lastly, plan one day a week to have fun. You can do this on the same day you go offline. Plan a visit with friends. Take in a meal or go to a museum or the library or a long walk in a state park. Throw a pot luck game night. You need to do this to re-charge and take care of yourself. After all, if you spend all your time being earnest, you become of bit dull and overbearing to your friends.

I know some of you are frustrated. I know some of you are feeling disheartened. Maybe this list is overwhelming. Start with baby steps by starting with the hat. Every week add one of the steps until you have all of them. Soon, you will know that you are doing something – a lot of somethings – to improve your immediate world and the bigger issues.

Just remember to be kind, to make your message without swearing, without profanity, without sexual innuendo. We don’t need to be violent or destroy property.  We are doing something infinitely much scarier.

We are speaking up, together.

dont-be-silent

Transitioning

It is finally the week of the inauguration.

Despite my fears of the Trump administration – Muslim Registry, loss of health insurance, decreased rights for women, decreased rights for the LGBT community, loss of first amendment rights for the press and citizens – it is a weekend to be filled with pomp, circumstance, and speeches. The parades and balls will be incredible.

melaniaAs this week has come closer, I began to realize how sorry I felt for Melania.

She did not run for this office. She tends to be a private person and does not live in the spotlight. I am guessing the various pictorial spreads of their penthouse was a real intrusion.

However, at this time the real invasion is about to start. Maybe Melania thought the press was everywhere she went before. But now, oh, it is going to be 1000 times worse. Every dress, every outfit, every decision she makes in the East Wing is going to be scrutinized. Granted, the first six months will be easier because she is staying in New York City with Barron.

After that, she can expect criticism for the simplest of decisions, be it how she decorates the family quarters or any trips she takes or how she talks of her choice social issue. Staffing issues will be leaked and god forbid her husband steps into whatever fray there may be on Twitter. No one will let her forget past mistakes or photo shoots.

I say this because I have seen the comment pages on any article about Melania. There are those who praise her for being a class act and those who bring up the nude photos every chance they get. I have heard her called some vile names that may or may not be true. It’s not cool, not right, not classy no matter which side of the aisle you sit. But this is what we do to first ladies, right?

michelle-vera-wangMichelle Obama has been called some awful names and imagined to be a man. Her fight on childhood obesity has been vilified. Her dress choices have been scorned. Doesn’t matter that she went to an Ivy League university and law school. Or that she held a very prestigious position before going to the White House. This happened with other first ladies, including Pat Nixon, Nancy Reagan, and Hillary Clinton.

Soon enough, Trump’s years will be over and we can look forward to the weekly headlines in the scandal rags about how Melania is filing for divorce. Just like they do for every presidential couple at the end of their term, including both sets of Bush presidents.

Wait, I saw that last week on the side of my Facebook feed.

Good luck, Melania. You’re going to need it.

Facts are Friends

There are times in our life that being right really matters.

My husband and I have this conversation often as another inane argument over some minor details rolls on until we are both yelling at each other.

It ends with me yelling “Is it more important to be right or do right?”

By that I mean sometimes it is important to give up arguing to prove you’re right when it doesn’t matter. Such as when your batty aunt insist the dinner plates are red when they are clearly blue. Just agree with her and keep her happy.

Sometimes, though, it does matter, and then being right and doing right is one and the same.

For instance, it is constantly coming up on my facebook feed that Trump won the popular vote as well as the electoral college. According to a false Google report Trump gained 62.9 while Hillary won 62.2. It’s usually followed by ‘Suck it up, cupcake. Your candidate lost. Big Time.’

You Trump fans want it to be true, I know. But this is one time where you’re not.  And it is a sad day when you have to lie about something that can so easily be fact checked. It took me all of five minutes as I went to a progressive site and choose to go to a more conservative site to have a second source.

The actual numbers run  at 62.4 million votes for Hillary and 61.2 million votes for Donald. That is according to The Nation, a progressive magazine who used The Cook Political Report as their source. Cook chooses to be non-partisan. And in case you think I am telling a fibber, it turns out that The National Review also thinks Hillary won the popular vote while losing the electoral college.  The National Review is one of those conservative bastions. (An expert stated on 11/20/16 that Hillary may have gotten nearly 2 Million more votes.)

So stop with the nana-nana-boo-boo bits. The woman won the popular vote, just not in the right places to make the electoral votes go in her favor. And we know that liking it is another thing all together. But when you lie about it, it makes the rest of us doubt every word you are saying about anything else.

Same goes with the story about the 11-year-old boy who was beaten-up in school. There is a video attributed to Fox26 in Houston. When I look for collaborating stories, I cannot find any. There is no other video or stories from other area TV Stations or newspapers in the area.

However, the amount of alt-right websites carrying this story has grown since  last week. Worse yet was when I thought I found call letters they started with a W. Any self respecting Texan who knows they are west of the Mississippi River knows that TV and radio stations begin with a “K” and not a “W.”

It is not necessary to make up these stories, as the young woman did in Louisiana regarding having her hajib torn from her head. Sure, you want to make people on the opposite side  look bad. Trust me on this, they don’t need your help. There is the real crime of a Trump voter who got beaten up in Chicago along with an uptick in hate crimes against Jews, Muslims, and others since the election.

Lying about something happening to you by a member of the opposite political party or about the numbers in which your candidate beat the other is not the way to be credible. You want to have something to say, prove your point about your view of things.

Then take my suggestion – use facts whenever possible.

 

 

 

 

What Are You?

It is two days after the election and Donald Trump is now are president.

Let that sink in for a moment. because one of the more interesting trends I am seeing with my Trump-loving friends is shock and surprise that they are being seen as racist, white supremacist, uneducated.

“I am not that,” they are saying. “The evil press is depicting me like that.”

So the question that must be asked is this: If you vote for a candidate, do you hold some of his qualities, all of his qualities, or none?

trump-hillary

If I am to be frank, Trump said some things in this campaign that were truly deplorable.

If you voted for him do you believe what he says, do you believe his statements to be true or do you vote for his promise to make America great again?

Conversely, I voted for Hillary. Does that mean I am corrupt and willing to bend the rules to make them fit for me?

In asking that, I want to make sure I get it. There are times that I have seen Trump supporters be awful. They cold-cocked a black protesters as he was being lead out of the arena. They kick the wheel chair of a boy with cerebral palsy as he was being lead out. They screamed at a Muslim woman as she silently stood, and wore tee-shirts saying ‘Trump that Bitch.’

On the other hand, Hillary called Trump supporters ‘deplorables.’ A Muslim father  of a dead soldier ask Trump what he sacrificed for this country. Various Clinton supporters called Trump unfit for office, citing his inability to control emotions on his twitter account.

All the same, am I and others voters in this country similar to the candidate we vote for – with all of their good and bad traits? Am I a liar with a need to protect my privacy at all costs? Are Trump voters haters to the extreme?

It is tempting to paint the two camps with one paint brush for each. Liars and law-breakers, haters and violent asses.

The problem in all of this is that we are neighbors. There are no distinct areas of only Hillary voters and only Trump voters. We live next to each other and in the same towns.  Can we work to Make America Stronger Together?

Maybe not today or this week. But we are going to have to do it soon. Because the problems we face may not be solved by big government, it might be better to work with each other in our own communities. And to make all that happen, we need to let go of our pre-conceived notions.

Are you willing to try?

workingtogether

 

 

It has been over two weeks since the video of Trump was released to the public.

We heard a reality TV star, the one now running for president, state that he can grab pussy whenever he likes because he is famous and women will let him get away with doing that.

trump-videoBut every time I hear that phrase or hear people defend his words, I get uncontrollably angry.  I know there is someone freaking out and reliving a memory she doesn’t want to remember of someone grabbing her because they had to power and ability to ride over her objections.

I am not sure what is worse, him saying it, even if it was ten years ago, or people defending it.  They say it is boy talk or locker room talk or what men say all of the time when women are not around.

I have heard men blow it off, relegate it to the trash. And then there are other men who state that in their locker rooms, this is not how they talk.

That doesn’t stop Trump, his wife, and other men say it was nothing and this is how men speak.

It leaves me wondering about every man I know. Does he speak this way with other men? Does he realize that participating in this talk upholds rape culture? Does this mean the men I know who quietly condone this talk also quietly condone behavior that is rape?

And then I realize that if they do quietly condone rape, if they never speak out against this type of talk, that I cannot trust them. If this is OK in their eyes when speaking with other men, is it okay to act out on those words? Is discussion about rape normal for all men or most men or only some men?

I don’t know and that scares me. It scares me not just for my own sake but for my daughter and her friends and any woman. Who knew that making America great again meant putting women in their place as sexual objects for men like this?

Trump isn’t talking about what he would like to do or what he wishes he could do to women he finds attractive. He is talking about past action. That he kissed beautiful women, that he grabbed pussy. That he violated a woman’s personal private area.

I could be paranoid or crazy. Except I know I am not. Women know what he meant by that phrase. We know from our daily experiences of guys trying to get a quick feel, or tell us to smile or say hello, or cat-calling vulgarities in our direction that a stranger’s propriety behavior over our bodies is not going away..

It works on our sense of safety, our sense of comfort. When we see our males friends agreeing with that statement of locker room talk, that sense of safety shrinks a little more. It makes me feel scared, it makes me feel like crawling up in a corner and hiding from the world, it makes me mad as hell and not wanting to take it anymore.

I and other women are not your toy, your plaything, your sexual release – especially if permission was not given.

What do these men care? All that Mr. Trump, and men who agree with his ‘locker room talk,’ want to do is grab pussy and to hell with it being permitted.

That’s just not okay. To talk about it like that is not normal because rape is not normal. Grabbing pussy without permission is not normal. When men engage in ‘locker room talk’ and condone it, they condone the behavior that is not normal.

How many times do we have to say this behavior, this speech is not normal?

We say it until people finally understand that rape is never a crime of passion or lust. Rape is a crime of overpowering someone to do your will in the most intimate ways possible.

That is most offensive of all.

 

 

 

 

Have you noticed that lately there have been a lot of posts on Facebook with the suggestion of what this country is missing.

Jesus is the big one. We need more Jesus and more faith in God.meme jesus

 

Other people are wishing for morals and manners.

Meme morals

One of my friends shared a meme that said we need more front porches being utilized by friends and neighbors.Meme porches

My favorite is that we need to help Grandma snap more green beans.

Meme grandma beans

I am sure you are waiting for me to have some snappy come back for all of this. But I am going to keep it simple.

Great! You start.

That’s right. If you have the guts to put this on the wall, then start doing it. No one else will know what you want until you start modeling the behavior. You know that saying from Ghandi about being the change you want to see in the world? The one you have snorted about and said “Yeah, right?” That’s what I am asking you to do.

Oh, there are lots of people out there willing to be jerks, to not hold the door open or push their way to the front of the line when you were clearly there ahead of them. So be their opposite. Hold a door open, say ‘thank you’ and ‘you’re welcome’ when it is deserved. Show people how manners work and chances are they will start to pick something up.

You know that mom who is trying to get around Walmart with the screaming kid right after she gets off of work? Pay attention and you might find that she has told the child he is staying in the cart and cannot run around. Instead of standing with your buds and criticizing her for having a yelling child, support her for being willing to say ‘no’ to the child and stand her ground.

And that one about Jesus being needed in our country? Show people what Christian love is all about and, to paraphrase St. Francis of Assisi, use words if necessary. Be the only bible that others may read and live out the behavior Christ wanted us to model. And then do something bigger, like actually go to church. Once you go to church, start helping with a mission project or with youth group. I promise you will expand your thoughts and your faith. I can’t guarantee there will not be some frustration at times but how you help others will matter.

The same goes with the porch thing. Start hanging out on your porch during good weather days. Ask your friends to join you, sometime. Say hello to neighbors as they pass by on their regular walks. As you work on the flower garden in front of your house, sooner or later some gardener will ask you questions. Join the conversation and be a good neighbor.

Lastly, there is the thing about the green beans. Not everyone likes green beans, not everyone likes to snap green beans. So what. Go to the farmers market, buy a bunch for Sunday dinner, invite the family over, and have the grand kids help you snap the beans. They will hate you for it. Again, so what. Start talking to them while snapping beans about life, about memories, about them. Expand to other veggies when green beans go out of season. Expand to making cookies or pie crust together. Keep talking.

Will any of this instantly make the world a better place? Probably not. But it will make the world around you better. You will know that you taught people how to be polite, how to give to others, and how faith works in your life. You can teach them how to behave in the best possible manner. And you might learn how to cook green beans in a tasty fashion. I prefer saute in butter and thin sliced almonds.

How are you going to make your corner of the world better?