If You’re Looking to Strengthen Your Family, This Message Is For You.
“This edition of The Sunday Paper is dedicated to strengthening our families, to sharing more love in our families, to accepting our families and all those in it, and to caring for our common home.”
Family has always been the most important part of my life. It’s what brings me joy. It’s what gives me strength. It’s what gives me purpose. And, yes, it’s what gives me an identity.
I grew up in a family that emphasized the importance of putting family first. I grew up hearing about family values, family lore, and family expectations (of which there were many). In fact, as a child, I often felt like my family was way more important than any one individual—this one included.
Like any individual in a big family, I have struggled at times to find my own identity within the larger whole. It’s why I chose journalism over politics. It’s why I decided to live on the west coast over the east coast. (Just to name a couple of examples.) That said, I wouldn’t trade the family I grew up in for any other. And, the family I created with Arnold is my proudest achievement (by the way, it’s his 70th birthday today—happy birthday!).
Families are living, breathing entities. They change. They evolve. They need to be nurtured and cared for like any other living, breathing entity. To that end, I’m always interested in learning from others as to how they keep their families strong. I’m always interested in how strong families manage change and how they tell their story.
I’ve learned over time that you have to communicate and you have to listen. You also might find yourself having to validate a story in a family that might not necessarily be the same as yours. And, perhaps most importantly, you have to show up for your family in order to be in it.
To that end, after a lot of thought and prayer, I’m taking the month of August away from my work here at The Sunday Paper, away from my work at Architects of Change, away from my work at the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, and away from my NBC reporting. I want to step off the hamster wheel that I’ve created for myself because I feel a strong need within me to do so. I have a yearning—a strong desire—to be in community with my family.
I’ve never stepped off like this before (only when I had my babies). But, I want to go back east and visit my brothers and my sisters-in-law. I want to hang with my cousins. I want to be with my kids (really be with them). I want to take my youngest son back to college and move him into his fraternity house (God help me). I know I’m blessed to be able to step back, but I know that if I don’t do this for me, no one else will either.
So, I’m going in for some spiritual maintenance this coming month, and so is The Sunday Paper. My team will spend the next month thinking about how we can continue to grow this product and find new ways to inspire and ignite your heart and mind in the fall. If you have any thoughts in your downtime this summer about what you’d like to see from us moving forward, I encourage you to write to us and share them.
This next month, I want to listen up, lighten up, and show up. To that end, this edition of The Sunday Paper is dedicated to strengthening our families, to sharing more love in our families, to accepting our families and all those in it, and to caring for our common home—the earth. I hope the news and views that we share with you here today take you above the noise, which is what we’re always trying to do.
Happy Summer! We’ll see you after Labor Day.
Want to receive Maria’s essay and other inspirational content in your inbox each week? Sign up to receive Maria’s Sunday Paper newsletter.
NEWS AND VIEWS ABOVE THE NOISE
QUESTIONS TO ASK IF YOU WANT TO DEEPEN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
Architect of Change Sharon Salzberg, a world-renowned meditation teacher, joined me on Friday for an Architects of Change Live Conversation and shared her advice on the questions we can ask, and the steps we can take within, to deepen our love and kindness with those we care about most—including ourselves.
WANT TO STRENGTHEN YOUR FAMILY VALUES? TRY THIS.
Architect of Change Sean Covey, a motivational speaker and the author of the bestselling book The 7 Habits of Happy Kids, explains how writing a “family mission statement” can help strengthen your family’s purpose, goals and standards.
AL GORE’S THREE TIPS FOR CARING FOR OUR COMMON HOME
If you care about our common humanity, then Former Vice President and Architect of Change Al Gore says you must do what you can to help save our planet. I sat down with him Thursday for an Architects of Change Live conversation about his new film, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, and how we can work together to solve the climate crisis.
NEWS TO IGNITE YOUR FAMILY’S DINNER TABLE CONVERSATION
Great minds don’t always think alike. Architects of Change Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg were at odds with each other this week over whether artificial intelligence (using technology and machines to perform human tasks) can help, or harm, us in the future. Zuckerberg is a big proponent of advancing AI technology, but Musk warns that it could be more dangerous than we realize. I myself have struggled to understand AI and its implications, but here’s what we do know: it’s powerful, and it’s coming. What’s your take?
IF YOU’RE A FOOTBALL FAN, THIS STORY IS FOR YOU.
Architects of Change in the world of neuroscience came out this week with a groundbreaking new report that found that the neurodegenerative disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) was found in 99% of deceased football players’ brains. As a mom and as an advocate for Alzheimer’s and brain health, this story was a wake-up call for me. All of us – football fans or not – must band together and call for more to be done to protect these players’ brains.
ARCHITECTS OF CHANGE OF THE WEEK:
ROB AND REECE SCHEER: “EXTENDING A HAND TO THE MOST VULNERABLE AMONG US IS A PRIVILEGE.”
Architects of Change of the Week Rob and Reece Scheer are two amazing fathers who have made it their mission to give foster children a sense of dignity and security. The story of their family, and the story of how they are working to provide comfort and care to foster children everywhere, will motivate you to deepen your definition of what family really means.
INSPIRATION FOR THE WEEK AHEAD
SHOP FOR YOUR MIND
“My First Coloring Book Is On Sale Now!”
I’m so excited that Color Your Mind” is now a national bestseller! If you know someone with Alzheimer’s or another brain-related challenge, or if you know someone who is a caregiver, I hope you’ll consider gifting them with a copy. It’s designed with love.
“We Want to Make Our Kids Proud. We Want to Give Back.”
The women of Rivet Revolution have also been touched by Alzheimer’s. Through their passion for jewelry-making, they are using their work to ignite conversations and raise awareness. These “WAM Revolution Bands” benefit women-based research.