Maria’s Sunday Paper: Honor Those You Love. Start Today.
As I stood in the back of my church on Palm Sunday, I found myself thinking a lot. Actually, I came into church already thinking, as I had just spent an afternoon with a friend who was struggling with cancer.
A year ago, my friend was the picture of health—laughing, debating issues of the day, and planning her future like the rest of us. She is my age, and like my friend Nancy whom I wrote about last week, there is no future left to dream about for her, either. So instead, we reminisced about the past.
The past made us laugh. It was filled with adventures and possibilities. Dreams and opportunities. I called her on my way home and said, “Thank you for today. There’s nothing like an old friendship.” “So true,” she replied.
They say that youth is wasted on the young. So is our health. So, whether you’re young or old, I encourage you to value your friendships. Value your health. (I hope you’ll register and join me in June for Move for Minds 2018.) Value the moments you have now to let someone know that you care about them.
Last Sunday, after writing about the passing of my extraordinary friend Nancy, I watched as all of the tributes and news articles about her poured in. They extolled her brilliance, her political savviness, her loyalty. For sure, she would have been taken aback—probably even shocked—by how she was being viewed and by how she was being written about.
She would have been floored that Gov. Jerry Brown, for whom she worked these past seven years, had the California flag flown at half-mast in her honor. She would have also been floored to learn that a condolence book with her picture in it was placed in the California State Capitol building.
I thought about all of this in church last week, as I listened to readings about how Jesus himself was viewed while he was alive. He was betrayed by his closest friends, ridiculed in the streets, and crucified on the cross.
I bet that he, too, would be surprised by his enduring legacy. What is that, I thought? Why do people in life rarely see themselves as others see them? Why are they rarely recognized for their powerful legacies while they are still alive? Why are they rarely told how much they are truly loved?
This Tuesday, a book will hit the shelves about my mother. It’s called “Eunice: the Kennedy Who Changed the World.” (I wish it would have been called “Eunice: the Woman who Changed the World,” but I get it. We’ll share an excerpt from the book with you in next week’s Sunday Paper.)
I love the book, as it has allowed my mom to come to life. It chronicles her amazing work on behalf of people with intellectual disabilities. It shows her political wit and savviness. It demonstrates her relentless drive, her ambition to change the world on behalf of others, and her personal struggle to be seen in a family that prioritized the men.
She, too, would be shocked that an entire book was coming out about her, with a picture of her alone on the cover. She always thought it was the men in her family that got the books and created the legacies.
I think that’s backwards, don’t you? Why should someone be praised in death, but hammered in life? Why should someone grace the cover of a book in death, but never be cool, hip, or young enough to grace a magazine cover in real life?
Why does someone have to die to come alive? It’s worth thinking about, I think.
The fact is, in our own small ways, each of us can honor people we love who are alive today. We can give them the gift of telling them what we admire about them and why we bow down to their living legacies.
If we see them running themselves ragged or risking their health, we can take them aside and tell them in a loving way that we care about them and their health and remind them that who they are is enough. My daughter actually did this with me last week and it touched me deeply.
In this season of Passover, and on this Easter Sunday as many celebrate a risen Christ, may we each celebrate the attributes in our selves and others that we love.
Do you feel like you are enough? Has someone told you lately that you are enough, just because you are you? I hope so, because you are enough. We are enough.
Enough. Last weekend, marchers yelled “enough! enough!” at rallies across this land. I echo that sentiment, but it is also the quest to “be enough” in life that drives so many of us.
May we let someone know today that they are enough. Do it now, while they’re alive. Make a call. Ask someone out to lunch. Invite them to your gathering. That makes our lives worth rising for.
As my friend Joan Chittister, once said, (and this is a quote I use in my book “I’ve Been Thinking…”): the moment someone recognizes that they are “a person with rights and responsibilities who is respected and recognized, the resurrection of the world begins.”
When we each realize that truth in ourselves, the resurrection of the world will truly begin. It will be the resurrection of ourselves and others.
That’s what I’ve been thinking about this week. What about you?
“I‘ve Been Thinking… Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life”: The NY Times-bestselling book. On Sale Now!
WHAT OTHERS HAVE BEEN THINKING
I’ve been thinking about the individuals featured below and how their views on the world rise above the noise…
KATHIE LEE GIFFORD TOURS THE HOLY LAND TO EXPLORE THE HEART OF SCRIPTURE
Someone who is leaving a lasting legacy in this life is my dear friend Kathie Lee Gifford. On this Easter Sunday, I’m sharing a passage from her new book “The Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi,” which chronicles her personal journey to the land of Israel to discover a deeper understanding of the Bible’s ancient text. In this excerpt, she recounts the moment her late husband, Frank, had his spiritual awakening.
LEADING HEALTH AND FITNESS EXPERTS TEACH US HOW TO EAT, EXERCISE AND SLEEP FOR BETTER BRAIN HEALTHOGNITIVE HEALTH
Last week, I was honored to sit down for an engaging conversation on brain health with Architects of Change Lisa Mosconi, Ph.D., fitness expert Anja Garcia, wellness expert Kelly LeVeque and sleep expert Dr. Ruth Benca. We gathered to kick off registration for The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement’s 2018 Move For Minds campaign, in partnership with Equinox (Register now!). These leading experts shared their insights into what we can do today to make sure our brains stay healthy for tomorrow.
HILLARY CLINTON’S FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR SHARES HER LESSONS ON HOW WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP CAN SUCCEED
I love that Architect of Change Jennifer Palmieri, former White House Director of Communications and Director of Communications for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, has turned the campaign loss into a positive reflection. In her new book “Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World”, she uses the lessons she’s learned to create a forward-thinking framework of inspirational and practical advice for women in all professions. In this excerpt, she tells us to “embrace our battle scars.”
THINKING ABOUT PURSUING YOUR DREAM CAREER? AUTHOR MIKE LEWIS TELLS US ‘WHEN TO JUMP’
I am a huge cheerleader for people who boldly chase their dreams, which is why I wanted to share Architect of Change Mike Lewis‘ story with you. At the age of 24, Mike left his prestigious corporate job to pursue his dream of becoming a professional squash player. He went on to write “When to Jump,” an inspirational book that explores the “jump curve,” the four phases you need to examine in order to pursue your dream career.
FATHER GREG BOYLE PROVIDES FORMER GANG MEMBERS WITH JOBS, HOPE AND A BRIGHT FUTURE
I’ve always admired the tireless work of Father Gregory Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries, which is why we honor him as our Architect of Change of the Week. Tired of “burying kids too often,” Father Greg, as he is affectionately called, founded Homeboy Industries to provide training and support to former gang members and previously incarcerated men and women.
Like Pope Francis, who celebrated Holy Thursday by washing the feet of 12 Italian inmates as part of his Easter ritual, Father Greg believes in giving hope to these individuals and helping them redirect their lives and become contributing members of society.
NEWS ABOVE THE NOISE
I’ve been thinking… these news stories will inform and inspire you.
1. The Pope Supports Young People Who Speak Out Against Gun Violence: I love that the Pope stood in solidarity with the March for Our Lives youth. During his Palm Sunday address at St. Peters Square in Rome, he said, “Dear young people, you have it in you to shout.”
2. Fox News Host Apologizes For Mocking Parkland Student: After advertisers threatened to boycott her show, Fox News host Laura Ingraham apologized to Stoneman Douglas student David Hogg this week for mocking his college admission rejections. Ingraham said she was apologizing “in the spirit of Holy Week.” May we all stand up against cyberbullying and mocking others.
3. Record Numbers of Women Are Running For Office: This is so great to hear. During this mid-term cycle, a record number of women are running for political office, with the most recent elections taking place in Illinois and Texas. Here’s how they’re doing.
4. Research Suggests We Need to Be Kinder to Ourselves: I’ve been touting this all along. According to this Washington Post piece, numerous studies have shown that self-compassion is important for mental and emotional well-being.
5. Here’s Why Loneliness Can Hurt Your Heart: We often state in the Sunday Paper that connection to community is integral to good health and happiness. A new study, published Monday in the journal Heart, looked at social isolation and loneliness and revealed that people who are socially isolated or lonely are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
6. Jewish Leaders Invite D.C. Council Member Who Made Anti-Semitic Remarks to Passover Seders: Kindness always overrules hate. Instead of demanding the resignation of D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr. for suggesting that Jewish financiers control the weather and government, Jewish leaders across the nation’s capital have, instead, invited him to attend Passover seders for healthy dialogue.
7. 50 Kids With Down Syndrome Perform Karaoke Carpool With Their Moms: I love that this sweet video has gone viral worldwide. In recognition of World Down Syndrome Day, proud moms and their kids sing along to Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years.”
INSPIRING SPEECHES FROM LEADERS AMONG US
Attorney-Activist Reminds Young Girls That It’s OK to Be Imperfect: Architect of Change Reshma Saujani is the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. In this inspiring Ted Talk, she notes that today’s society raises girls to be perfect, while raising boys to be brave. To truly innovate, she says, we cannot leave behind half of our population. “I need each of you to tell every young woman you know to be comfortable with imperfection.”
FOR YOUR WEEKEND VIEWING
I’ve been thinking you might enjoy these films…
“The Heart of Nuba”: I’m so proud of this film that I executive produced, which premieres in New York on April 6 and in select cities nationally on April 13. The film follows the story of American doctor Tom Catena, who has devoted his entire life to serving the forgotten people of the war-torn Nuba Mountains of Sudan. Dr. Tom Catena’s work is truly inspiring, and I’m honored that director Ken Carlson and I were awarded the Catholics in Media Associaton’s first-ever Social Justice Award for the film last month. Watch the trailer above.
“Midnight Sun”: I’ve been thinking…who doesn’t love a great love story? My son Patrick Schwarzenegger stars in this romantic tearjerker about a teenage girl suffering from a rare genetic condition who falls for her childhood crush. This sweet story illustrates how love really can conquer all. Go see it this weekend, and watch the trailer above.
“Take Your Pills”: I’ve been thinking about the Adderall epidemic. I hope you watch this film that explores the abuse of drugs like Adderall in America. Executive produced by myself and my daughter, Christina Schwarzenegger. “Take Your Pills” is now streaming on Netflix. Watch the trailer above.
On this Easter Sunday, I wanted to share a message of peace with this powerful Prayer of Saint Francis, which is one of my favorites and is featured in my new book “I’ve Been Thinking…” It reminds us to look for light, hope and joy, even in the darkness of despair.
INSPIRATION FOR THE WEEK AHEAD
JOIN US FOR MOVE FOR MINDS 2018!
I’ve been thinking… you might want to join us for Move for Minds 2018! This initiative of my nonprofit, The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, returns this June to Equinox Sports Clubs across America. Join me in person at these events as we work to make a difference in the fight to wipe out Alzheimer’s.
JOIN US IN CONVERSATION THIS WEEK
JOIN US ON THE “I’VE BEEN THINKING…” TOUR
SHOP OUR STORE: SEE OUR COLLECTION
Get Empowered. Pass It Forward.
We’re so excited to announce that we’ve added a few new items to our shop! Check out our stylish apparel to fight Alzheimer’s, created in partnership with Art With a Purpose. You can also order our newest product, the “Maria” candle – the same scent used in her office and home. Visit the shop on MariaShriver.com to learn more.