Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper: Where There Is Anger, There Is Hope
“The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.” — Jane Addams
I know many of you are waking up feeling enraged, angry, frustrated and disillusioned this morning. Meanwhile, others of you feel this process ended fairly and are probably just relieved that all this Supreme Court drama is over.
In fact, I heard some say yesterday, “I’m glad this is over. It’s time to move on.”
Yes, the news cycle will move on. It always does.
But, I believe the soul of our country is forever altered. So are the souls of all those people who shared their stories. Who confronted long, buried and painful memories. Who testified and spoke up. Even for those who stayed silent, I imagine their souls are also forever changed.
These past two weeks have been dramatic, emotional, thought-provoking, hopeful and hopeless all at once. We have witnessed great courage and great bravery. We have witnessed bad temperament and bad taste. We have witnessed politics at its best and at its worst.
But since we are here to move forward, I’d venture to say that some really positive things are going to come out of all of this in the next few weeks. I think more people than ever are going to vote in the mid-term elections. I really do. I think people have witnessed a Congressional body that doesn’t reflect their life experiences and they realize that the only way to change that is to vote or run for office themselves.
Speaking of running, there are more women running for office this year than ever before. Many will win. Their life experiences, their interests and their voices will change the direction of our country. As a citizen, I am grateful to them for jumping into the fray and performing a civic duty.
There are also many inspiring men running this year. Men who have spoken up and spoken out in a respectful, elegant and intelligent way. Their demeanor and their vision for our country also make me feel hopeful.
Yes, I have hope. I have hope that men have heard the scores of women who have bravely told their stories in recent weeks and over the past year. I believe those stories have landed and that, in turn, they will foster different kinds of relationships between the sexes. I believe the communication that will come out of all of this will move us toward relationships that are built on respect, not fear, and that they will lead to shared understanding and shared power.
I am also inspired by the many people in our country who aren’t running for office, but who are still out there working on the frontlines trying to change America for the better. We try to feature as many of them as possible in The Sunday Paper each week.
These individuals may work far away from the halls of Congress, but their work of citizenship has an impact on our democracy. They are the soul of our country and they are doing soul-changing work. I see it each and every day.
There’s so much that we can all be doing to move humanity forward. There are millions of Americans living alone. There are millions suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. There are millions working paycheck to paycheck. We have a whole country and world out there that need our help. Our founding mothers and fathers expected so much of themselves, and so should we.
So, don’t despair. Take heart. People are awake. They are conscious. They are energized. They are thinking about their civic duties, and so am I. Some are even furious, but believe me, that can also be a good thing.
I know that in the past when I’ve been furious, I’ve actually gotten a lot of stuff done. When I’m furious, I’m focused and I’m really clear. My temperament is solid and I become more relentless and determined than ever. That’s because my goal is clear and I believe that it’s attainable.
I know that there are many furious, frustrated people out there, but let’s not forget that our democracy was founded by such people. And, our democracy will be sustained by those who make it their mission to step up and make sure that our divisive present is re-shaped into a united future.
That will be up to all of us. That’s what civic duty is all about.
Dear God, don’t let hope despair. Help us all to recognize that there is work to be done. Help us all to believe in the promise and possibilities that lie before us. Amen.
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WHAT OTHERS HAVE BEEN THINKING
The Architects of Change below will inspire you and make you think.
Author Anne Lamott Helps Us Rediscover the Hope Buried Within Each of Us
This book is the perfect antidote to the anger and division we are experiencing right now. In “Almost Everything: Notes on Hope,” best-selling author Anne Lamott offers profound insight into finding the hope and wisdom that’s buried within us all.
There Is Hope That We Can Heal the Divide Between the Sexes
Sexual harassment is one of today’s most hot-button issues. As a result, tensions have run high among the sexes. But in this piece, contributed by our partners at The Good Men Project, there is hope in healing the divide.
Dr. Helen Riess Explores How We All Can Expand Our Capacity For Empathy
In her ground-breaking new book “The Empathy Effect: 7 Neuroscience-Based Keys for Transforming the Way We Live, Love, Work, Connect Across Differences,” Architect of Change Dr. Helen Riess offers tools for building your capacity to create authentic emotional connection with others in any situation
Bob Goff Helps Kids Find Hope and Love in Their Daily Lives
Sunday Paper columnist Bob Goff has authored a delightful children’s version of his best-selling book “Love Does” called “Love Does For Kids,” which will be released Oct. 23rd. It’s a wonderful read that brings his inspirational stories of faith to a level all kids can glean from.
Activist DeRay Mckesson Tells Us Where He Finds Hope in Today’s Divided Society
I had an enlightening conversation with Architect of Change DeRay McKesson, author of the new book “On The Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope.” A former educator and renowned activist, DeRay reveals his hope for a new liberation movement.
This Week, We Shine a Light on … The Mother Pac, feminist Oregon mothers who envision a better state with strong, pro-equity and pro-family public policies
Architects of Change of the Week: This week we recognize the organizers of The Mother Pac.
How They’re Moving Humanity Forward: The Mother Pac hopes to build a strong political voice for the mothers of Oregon and to elect more pro-equity and pro-family decision-makers. By pooling their resources, they hope to get involved in races across the state, educate candidates about the economic issues impacting mothers and families, and to elect key pro-family candidates who will champion the strong, family-friendly public policies that Oregon families need.
NEWS ABOVE THE NOISE…
1. 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Congolese Doctor Denis Mukwege and Yazidi Activist Nadia Murad: Very exciting and deserving news announced this week in the midst of the latest political turmoil. The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize went to Dr. Denis Mukwege, who has treated thousands of women in a country once called the rape capital of the world, and Nadia Murad, who became a bold, dignified voice for women who survived sexual violence by ISIS. and
2. This Biting New PSA Uses Reverse Psychology to Motivate Young People to Vote: A provocative new campaign features Baby Boomers explaining why they’d prefer it if young people didn’t vote, reminding them that they’re the ones who should be calling the shots.
3. Suffering from PTSD, Democrat Jason Kander Withdraws From Kansas City Mayoral Race: Kander’s actions should remind us all about the devastating effects of PTSD and that focusing on personal healing should be a priority. Kander, a war veteran, dropped out of the Kansas City mayoral race this week, stating that he needed to focus on healing from post-traumatic stress disorder.
4. BBC Website Offers Music-Based Lifeline for Those Suffering From Dementia: Music can have many benefits for people living with dementia, which is why the new BBC Music Memories website was created. Now caregivers can create playlists specifically for their loved ones to help trigger fond memories.
5. Why We Must Treat Mental and Bodily Health the Same: I wanted to share this Washington Post op-ed piece written by my cousin Patrick J. Kennedy and former First Lady Roslyn Carter. They reveal why it’s so important that mental health care receives the same insurance coverage as physical health care. It’s a matter of human rights.
6. New Study Suggests that People Like You More Than You Think: So many of us doubt the positive impression we make on people, but a new study published in the journal Psychological Science says that people often underestimate how much another person likes them after they meet for the first time.
8. How the Testimony of Christine Blasey Ford Changed America: Dr. Ford’s testimony did, in fact, have a lasting impact on our nation’s history. This stirring cover of the latest Time Magazine reminds us of that.
BOOKS I’VE BEEN READING
“Almost Everything: Notes on Hope” by Anne Lamott: In this insightful and often-humorous book, Lamott asks readers to locate the hope and wisdom that are buried within each of us, while also offering ways for us to move forward. The book will be released Oct. 16.
“The Empathy Effect” by Dr. Helen Riess: A leading researcher on empathy, Dr. Riess has created a breakthrough training curriculum that is now used internationally in many different realms. Drawing from her successful program, she presents tools for building your capacity to create an authentic emotional connection with others in any situation. The book will be released Nov. 27.
“Love Does For Kids” by Bob Goff: In his follow-up book to “Love Does,” Bob Goff shares some of his family’s family’s wild adventures while teaching kids about faith and God. The book will be released Oct. 23rd.
“On the Other Side of Freedom” by DeRay Mckesson: An internationally recognized civil rights activist, DeRay McKesson offers his thoughts on resistance, justice, and freedom as well as an intimate portrait of a liberation movement.
“Maverick and Me” Board Book Edition by Katherine Schwarzenegger: As a proud mom, I’m excited to announce that my daughter Katherine’s children’s book “Maverick and Me” was released this week in a board book edition. It makes the perfect gift for any child (and animal lover) in your life. I love this book, I love its message and, of course, I love her. Get it on and
RECIPES TO SHARE FOR YOUR SUNDAY DINNER
We thought this mind and body healthy South African Red Lentil Soup would be a great addition to your Sunday dinner menu. It’s from my dear friend Cristina Ferrare’s new book “Food for Thought: Recipes for Ultimate Mind and Body Health,” being released Dec. 4th. It’s delicious and great for those chilly winter nights!
We hope you’ll keep sending along photos of your family dinners. E-mail us here and we’ll share them in upcoming editions of The Sunday Paper.
Inspired by a recent Sunday Paper in which I wrote about finding your voice, Sunday Paper Ambassador Lizette Brockland wrote this moving poem to share with us this morning. Lizette reminds us that we all have fears, but in time, we can also find the courage to use our voices.
SOMETHING TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND
Meet the ‘Super Agers,’ Seniors With Excellent Brain Health:
This week on TODAY, I met with a group of senior citizens deemed “super agers,” who have avoided many diseases of old age and maintained incredible brain power. They’ve agreed to eventually donate their brains to help researchers better understand the mysteries of growing old.
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