#WATWB – Hope in a Poet

When day comes we step out of the shade,aflame and unafraidThe new dawn blooms as we free itFor there is always light,if only we’re brave enough to see itIf only we’re brave enough to be it ~Amanda Gorman~ By now, most of you have heard of this young, twenty-two year old poet laureate who spoke so eloquently and intelligently at the U.S. Presidential Inauguration on January 20th. Amanda Gorman is a shining star in the world, a bright light, aRead more

A Change in Leadership

“Let us then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things.” ~Thomas Jefferson~ Today is Inauguration Day in the United States. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take an oath of office as our next President and Vice-President in Washington D.C. This day will look historically different as there will be no crowds on the National Mall, andRead more

#SoCS: Reaching Past the Sky

Some days, some weeks, I simply want to stand in the middle of a forest and scream a primal scream. The kind that lets out all of my frustration and disappointment about what’s going on in America. These past few days have been no exception. Linda G. Hill asked bloggers to write about “sky’s the limit,” and I make note that democracy and freedom allow us to follow our dreams and aspire to higher ground. However, there are those whoRead more

With Freedom’s Light and Voice

My country, ‘ tis of thee,Sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;Land where my fathers died,Land of the pilgrims’ pride,From every mountainside let freedom ring! It is election day in a democratic country. Of all days in the United States, it is one to reflect on our liberty and freedom. Given to us by our forefathers after a hard-fought battle, liberty and freedom of voice, choice, faith and the ability to live our lives in equality is a constitutionalRead more

Indivisible, One Nation

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy (1855-1931). It was originally published in The Youth’s Companion on September 8, 1892. Bellamy had hoped that the pledge would be used by citizens in any country. In its original form it read: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” On Friday, July 3rd, there were fireworks at Mount Rushmore inRead more

Separating Faith and Government

In early November, 2012, prior to the Presidential election,  I left a church I had been attending. Inside the weekly bulletin was a sheet of paper, with both political candidates named, comparing where they stood on certain issues. It was an obvious attempt by the leaders of that church to sway my vote to what they considered the moral “Christian” vote. Excuse me? My political stance is no business of any church. I walked out that Sunday, fuming, never toRead more

Fear and Tribalism

Who among us doesn’t have the fear emotion? Fear of spiders, swimming in the ocean (sharks!), angry clowns, scary movies, speaking to a large group, dark basements, being alone, etc. I have a fear of June bugs, leeches and failure in critical situations. Who among us doesn’t equate ourselves with a tribe? Tribe of artists, philanthropists, religious leaders, doctors, lawyers, athletes, TV enthusiasts (couch potatoes), chocolatiers, sommeliers, etc. I am in the tribe of government employees, as well as theRead more

#WATWB: Circles of Support

For this month’s We are the World Blogfest, I found a circle of good news – not only in a branch of Goodwill Industries, but also in a retired State employee who helps former inmates successfully transition into the community. From our local Fox station: Former Probation Officer Volunteering in Same Circles “They’ve done their sentence and they’re coming back to the community,” says Miller. “They’re needing to re-establish relationships with family, employment, residence, and I think the community volunteersRead more

Fifty-Five Years Later

He had a dream. “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Here we are, fifty-five years later. While there have been advancements in civil rights since Martin Luther King Jr’s famous speech in 1963, our country remains embroiled in the bigotry of non-acceptance. Not by all of its people and I sincerely pray notRead more

A Plea for Redress and Respect

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” ~First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution~ Much has been debated this year regarding freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom to peaceably assemble. From Civil War statues, to the media, to football players,Read more

Wednesday Word of Thanks

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed Proclamation 5187, creating “National Correctional Officers’ Week.” Each year, the first full week in May is recognized as National Correctional Officers and Employees Week, commemorating the contributions of correctional employees who work in jails, prisons, and community corrections across the country. I thanked my co-workers with a white-chocolate raspberry cake (no ice cream) this morning. If you know someone – a friend, family member, neighbor, acquaintance – who works in a correctional setting, pleaseRead more

Where is Peace?

That is a great question. I wish there was a pat answer. I feel peace hiding, trembling, afraid to show its face of late. ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut, and the bombing of a Russian airliner over Egypt, have the world’s humanity on edge – fearful, filled with anxiety, and witness to suffering. From NBCNews.com:  “SAINT-DENIS, France — A woman blew herself up early Wednesday (November 18) as an elite police unit raided an apartment while hunting theRead more