What Will You Choose?

We all struggle with discovering who we are and what we want to be when we grow up. Usually as children what we want to be is defined by a profession. When I was three I proclaimed that I was going to be a veterinarian. I don’t recall giving any thought to what kind of human I wanted to be.

Now, in my fifties there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about what kind of human I want to be. How I am in the world is just as important as what I do. Maybe now, even more important. I look out at the world and in this twenty-four-hour news cycle and on-demand frenzy, I see so many horrible things happening. I worry about how these images and words are impacting developing minds. I worry about it tremendously. Yet, I  am hesitant to discuss this with others. I don’t want to impose upon others. People have the right to their opinions and to voice their opinions, however they wish. But with rights come consequences. I can choose to use my power of speech for good or a can use it to degrade and to harm. Either way I choose, my actions will have consequences. Those consequences may be immediate or felt decades later.

Somehow it seems we have come to believe that disagreeing with one another is bad. We have fallen into the trap of believing that a different view-point is wrong and has no worth. At worst we make harsh judgements about those that believe differently from us. Yet, if we all thought the same wHand with marker writing: Whats Your Choice?ay, we would not have innovation. I do not know how we can have a healthy discourse when we hold these beliefs. How can we ever solve the problems that our world is facing if we cannot talk, disagree, respectfully hear each other’s point of view, and combine all of our knowledge?

Sometimes I think we forget that words are powerful. They shape minds, shape beliefs, connect us or separate us. Each of us has the power to impact change just by minding our words. Each moment of every day the choices we choose impact not only us but those around us. We can choose connection over disconnection. We can choose kindness over hurt. We can choose respect over hate. The power is in the choice and it is for each of us to mindfully make. What will you choose?

Goodbye, Sid

A few months ago I said goodbye to my best friend, my soulmate, and the most beautiful soul I have ever known. We were together for 11 years. 11 years is too short of a time but his 11 years were hard years. He battled one illness after another. 100_1811Yet, no one knew because he was so brave and gracious. I will never forget the way he looked into my eyes, gave me kitty kisses, held my hand with his paw, and slept with his check pressed next to mine. He gave so much more than he received. Because of him I am a better person- kinder, gentler, more inclined to spend hours in silence with someone I love, and to sit and enjoy moments. He touched me in ways I cannot describe. He is buried deeply within my heart now and forever. I hope now he is pain free. I do not know where souls go once they are freed from a body but I hope his goes to the most beautiful place imaginable and that he is surrounded by love. That’s what he was, pure love, in the package of a furry, black and white cat.