The Birch and the Oak
I’m not a firefighter. A much better man, whose name I share, was for 40 years in the city of New Bedford. He put his life on the line for his city, his friends and, most of all his family. I think of him everyday, and how he always told me he was proud of who I am. This shirt reminds me just how proud I was to call him my grandfather. This one’s for Joseph E. “Jim” Arruda. I called him Papa.

I’m not a firefighter. A much better man, whose name I share, was for 40 years in the city of New Bedford. He put his life on the line for his city, his friends and, most of all his family. I think of him everyday, and how he always told me he was proud of who I am. This shirt reminds me just how proud I was to call him my grandfather. This one’s for Joseph E. “Jim” Arruda. I called him Papa.

Found this one at Davis Playground in Fall River with the boy. Been carrying it around for days. Thinking about planting it. From tiny #acorns, great #oaks grow.

Found this one at Davis Playground in Fall River with the boy. Been carrying it around for days. Thinking about planting it. From tiny #acorns, great #oaks grow.

Empathy.

I love actually being able to hold a conversation with someone who has a different opinion or worldview than me. It restores my faith in people. People in America rarely seem to want to hear an opinion which differs from their own, particularly when it comes to politics and religion. I feel that listening to, and trying to understand another’s view is the only way to develop empathy for them. Empathy is key to progress. Many of us, even so-called “progressives”, fail to have empathy for those who hold an opposing viewpoint. We feel we are being attacked. The media feeds it. There’s always a “war” on this or that. Trivial arguments turn into big talking points where nothing ever gets resolved. Nobody will ever meet in the middle. Very few people are willing to make concessions or admit that maybe they’re mistaken. My point is this: listen to one another. Try to understand why other people feel so differently than you on the same topic. Accept that, even if you can’t come to an agreement with your adversary, it’s okay to have a different opinion, as long as that opinion is informed and based in reality. People are allowed to be wrong and it is not always your job to correct them. Likewise, we need to accept that, sometimes, other people are right, even if it is hard to swallow. Once you accept that viewpoint as valid, you understand something about the people who hold it, thereby broadening your own knowledge of and your respect for others. Empathy is key to progress.

Happy Holidays From DNB, Inc.constantcontact.com
Decem­ber 2012Hol­i­day Shop­ping in DNB by Sally Spoon­erI have been writ­ing newslet­ter arti­cles long enough to know that not too many peo­ple are going to spend Christ­mas dol­lars in down­town New Bed­ford just because I say…

Happy Holidays From DNB, Inc.
constantcontact.com

Decem­ber 2012

Hol­i­day Shop­ping in DNB
by Sally Spoon­er

I have been writ­ing newslet­ter arti­cles long enough to know that not too many peo­ple are going to spend Christ­mas dol­lars in down­town New Bed­ford just because I say…

Just woke up at Market Basket. #family (at Market Basket)

Just woke up at Market Basket. #family (at Market Basket)

imperfectwriting:

I went to the mall, and a little girl called me a terrorist. 

My name is Ela.  I am seventeen years old.  I am not Muslim, but my friend told me about her friend being discriminated against for wearing a hijab.  So I decided to see the discrimination firsthand to get a better understanding of what Muslim women go through. 

My friend and I pinned scarves around our heads, and then we went to the mall.  Normally, vendors try to get us to buy things and ask us to sample a snack.  Clerks usually ask us if we need help, tell us about sales, and smile at us.  Not today.  People, including vendors, clerks, and other shoppers, wouldn’t look at us.  They didn’t talk to us.  They acted like we didn’t exist.  They didn’t want to be caught staring at us, so they didn’t look at all. 

And then, in one store, a girl (who looked about four years old) asked her mom if my friend and I were terrorists.  She wasn’t trying to be mean or anything.  I don’t even think she could have grasped the idea of prejudice.  However, her mother’s response is one I can never forgive or forget.  The mother hushed her child, glared at me, and then took her daughter by the hand and led her out of the store. 

All that because I put a scarf on my head.  Just like that, a mother taught her little girl that being Muslim was evil.  It didn’t matter that I was a nice person.  All that mattered was that I looked different.  That little girl may grow up and teach her children the same thing. 

This experiment gave me a huge wakeup call.  It lasted for only a few hours, so I can’t even begin to imagine how much prejudice Muslim girls go through every day.  It reminded me of something that many people know but rarely remember: the women in hijabs are people, just like all those women out there who aren’t Muslim. 

People of Tumblr, please help me spread this message.  Treat Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans, Taoists, etc., exactly the way you want to be treated, regardless of what they’re wearing or not wearing, no exceptions.  Reblog this.  Tell your friends.  I don’t know that the world will ever totally wipe out prejudice, but we can try, one blog at a time.  

thedailyshow:

“We’re women. We don’t like it when people argue on television.” - Samantha Bee http://on.cc.com/RItOLB

thedailyshow:

“We’re women. We don’t like it when people argue on television.” - Samantha Bee http://on.cc.com/RItOLB

Collecting geological samples. #sticksandstones, man. What #fall is all about. #fall2012  (Taken with Instagram at UMass Dartmouth CVPA)

Collecting geological samples. #sticksandstones, man. What #fall is all about. #fall2012 (Taken with Instagram at UMass Dartmouth CVPA)

Exploring the uncharted territories of #UMD. #fall #fall2012 (Taken with Instagram at UMass Dartmouth CVPA)

Exploring the uncharted territories of #UMD. #fall #fall2012 (Taken with Instagram at UMass Dartmouth CVPA)