#UpbeatAuthors: Tolerance & Stereotypes

My children attended an “inner city” high school I don’t think they ever thought of it in that light, though, unless the media made a big deal about school performance. They’re both proud alumni. They were active in band, chorus, drama, National Art Honor Society. Both got into good colleges with no problems. There were advanced placement classes available–maybe not as many as in some of the wealthier suburban districts, but some.

They attended religious education with students from some of those wealthier suburban districts and were stunned when they were asked, “Aren’t you afraid? Don’t your school mates come to school with weapons?”

“Where did they come up with that?” X-Chromo asked.

Stereotype. Inner-city school with minority students = danger.

I was working in local TV at the time and was part of a committee that decided which Public Service Announcements (PSA) would air on our station.  This was not long after Columbine. There had been a few other school shootings. One organization sent us a PSA deploring gun violence. The problem with the spot was that all the “students” with guns were black. The assistant news director–who happened to be a black man–and I both immediately vetoed the spot. For the same reason. The people who put the spot together used stereotypes to scare people, when in fact every school shooting at that point had been done by white kids.   After vetoing the spot, I went on to list a bunch of local situations in schools that had all been perpetrated by white students.

I am glad my children grew up in a multi-cultural environment. Their friends are of many races, colors, religious backgrounds, and sexual orientations. They’ve moved beyond tolerance and even past acceptance, to normal.



What I Need to Write

There are certain things I need around me when I’m writing.

I’m not talking about scented candles or mood music. I’m talking about other things that I must have when I’m seriously at work.

I need an insulated cup for my cold drink. This one is the one I use on writing retreats.

I need a box of tissues. I don’t know why, but I need a box of tissues everywhere. I’ve started bringing my own on writing retreats.

Lip balm. Again, I have lip balm in all of my purses, computer bags, my desk at home and my desk at day job. I never have to buy it because my sister is always winning it at golf tournaments and passing it on to me. I will confess, though, I tossed the pumpkin spice flavored one. I really gave it fair shot. It was revolting.

Hand cream.  Rubbing hand cream into my fingers also massages them, a must after a long day of typing.

And finally:

A small chunk of labradorite. This was given to me by a witch, who was rubbing it. She handed it to me and said, “You need this. It likes being rubbed.”  Deep within the gray, there is turquoise and gold, some of which you can see in the photo.. Labradorite it supposed to help with creativity. Also, some studies suggest that rubbing a stone will release calming endorphins into the body. All I know is that rubbing it between my thumb and forefinger helps me think.


#UpbeatAuthors:Happy Constitution Day


We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence* promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

(*yes, the word is misspelled in the original, hand-written version.)

This is tolerance.

First Amendment (Bill of Rights)

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 redress of grievances.

This helps define tolerance.

Tolerance is a key to the American vision, which is why it is part of the Constitution.


The Secret About The Secret

Several years ago, this book took the US by storm.

Someone gifted me a copy, but I have not read it.

A friend did read it, and subscribed to the theories. She explained to me how it works, which sounded a lot like Abraham and the Law of Attraction: if you believe something wholly and completely, it will come to pass.

My take?

If that were true, no babies would ever go to bed hungry.

#UpbeatAuthors: Tolerance

I recently had a chance to speak to a person I see only once a year. Spence* is a great guy. He always asks after my son, whom he’d met years ago when Y-Chromo was a child. Spence got married since I’d last seen him. He’s been with Ronald* for ten years, and they finally tied the knot. Spence was practically giddy when he introduced his husband to those of us who see him only in August. I’m very happy for them.

Just because their lifestyle isn’t my lifestyle doesn’t make them wrong or me right. If I judged people because they are different than me, I would miss out on having a lot of wonderful people in my life.

*names changed