The Insanity of Inequality

In 1851, the state of Illinois opened its first hospital for the mentally ill. The state legislature passed a law to protect people from being committed against his or her will. The law required a public hearing before that person was committed. With one exception, a husband could have his wife committed without either a public hearing or her consent. All the law required was “the permission of the asylum superintendent” and one doctor who agreed with the diagnosis. In the summer of 1860, Elizabeth Parsons Ware Packard (1816-1897) was a victim of that law. Such was the insanity of inequality.  Early Life Betsy Parsons Ware was born in Ware, Massachusetts on December 28, 1816, to Lucy Parsons Ware and Reverend Samuel Ware. The oldest of three children, she was the only daughter. She changed her name to Elizabeth as a teenager. Her father, a Calvinist minister, made sure all his children were well-educated. Elizabeth studied French, algebra, and the new classics at the Amherst Female Seminary. She became a teacher. Elizabeth fell ill during the 1835 winter holidays. Doctors treated her with emetics, purges, and bleeding for “brain fever.” But her symptoms (headaches and feeling delirious) continued. Her father […]

Comfort for Your Monday Moaning Blues

Traditionally Monday is the worst day of the week. I get it. I used to moan about Monday. Every. Single. Week. And it never got better. Monday became a thing to dread. Until I remembered some childhood lessons. There is comfort for your Monday moaning blues in these quotes. Revisiting the wisdom in some children’s books might even be a cure. How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live ’em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ’em. A Light In The Attic, Shel Silverstein  Attitude is a Choice I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can. The Little Engine That Could, Watty Piper The story of The Little Engine That Could is about a happy little train carrying toys and food for girls and boys. But the engine breaks down on the wrong side of the mountain. Large, powerful engines pass by and none of them will help. Finally, a little blue engine comes. She’s never gone over the mountain before, but she thinks she can do it. And she does.  Next Monday, listen to your co-workers. How many of them are vocalizing Monday […]

You Are Strong Enough

After all we’ve been through as individuals and a nation, we’re all tired. Even if we have hope, we’re stress fatigued. No matter how tired you are of all that’s happened. You are strong enough. Yes, we have months to go before we have a handle on the pandemic. Longer for economic and racial injustices to be corrected. Even longer to restore some sense of national unity. It’s exhausting. But we are strong. All of us—You are strong enough to get through this. Strength is one of those things you’re supposed to have. You don’t feel that you have it at the time you’re going through it. Joan Didion Problems are not the problem; coping is the problem. Virginia Satir Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength. Arnold Schwarzenegger Being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength. Karamo Brown Strength and compassion are not mutually exclusive. Robert Kiyosaki Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have. Norman Vincent Peale But standing up to […]