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Do You Hear ME?

Do You Hear ME?

“I hear you, and I understand that is your point of view.”

Those words do not mean, “You are right,” nor do they mean, “You are wrong.” They mean, “I hear you and can appreciate that you feel that way.” Sounds simple – so why do so many of us find it impossible to say them? 

How does it feel to be heard? When someone looks you in the eye, really listens to you, and hears what you have to say, it is a gift.  When was the last time you received such a gift?  When is the last time you fully gave the gift of your presence?

So often the opinions or beliefs we hold true in our lives spring from experiences we don’t even remember.  Was it something that happened to me in childhood, or the way I saw my parents react to a crisis, or was it an idea or a philosophy I adopted just to fit in, that molded my opinions or beliefs? 

I was a senior in high school when desegregation became law. In our...

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Generosity as Legacy

Image Above: Laure Carmichael at her 100th birthday party at Haven Hospice

Leland Kaiser said it well: “Great compassion and unconditional love can change the world; they are the only things that can”.  I’d like to share with you the stories of two people whose donations of time, influence and money, along with great compassion and unconditional love, changed our community and left a legacy.

Retired bank teller Laura Carmichael had no children; widowed at 65, she was know for her legendary thank you notes, she clipped out the photos of brides in the newspaper and mailed them to the newlyweds, she drove the same Buick for nearly 20 years, and sent a crisp $1 dollar bill to every child chosen as “Student of the Month” at the local elementary schools. Generosity was in her bones.

Laura lived near the local hospital where she volunteered and was on their board of directors and on the hospice board where I was Executive Director. When we began...

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