As the story in the Torah goes, before the sacrifice of his son Isaac, we hear Abraham tell God “Hineini,” translated as “Here I am.” We hear it again when Jacob reaches out to his father Isaac and in Moses’s response at the burning bush. In all cases, they are present.
When it comes to disability advocacy, the significance of this three-word answer – “Here I am” – is, to me, that in order to be a good advocate, you need to be there. Show that you are here, in the moment, present and ready.
Woody Allen once said that 80% of life is showing up. “Being there” is one of the...Read More
After dawn but before sunrise, when the birds begin to sing in harmony, I pick up my small Moleskine notebook to write prayers. The 192-page, black hardcover notebook is lined, and on the last page of the notebook, I keep a running list of ideas for future psalms, prayers, and meditations.
Some mornings, an idea for a prayer will simply arrive. Other mornings, I scan the list of yet-unwritten prayers for inspiration. Some mornings, I write two, three, or more pieces. Other mornings, my voice of prayer is silent, waiting for an internal shift of the spirit.
The first light...Read More
“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity, there is beauty and there is strength.” - Maya Angelou
Young children continuously explore and experience the world around them, learning and growing daily. The early years are critical for child development; 90-95% of a child’s brain has developed by the time she is 5 years old. As the parent of a four-month-old, I see this every day. Although my daughter is still an infant, I am amazed by how much she’s able to do – and how her growth and development are constantly enhanced.
Children learn by...Read More
After an 18-month battle with prostate cancer, my 11-year-old cocker spaniel, Teddy, died last September. Immediately before he was euthanized, my wife and I recited a prayer that I wrote. We placed our hands on his head as if he was our child, and tears flowed freely as we read the prayer.
The grief I have experienced since then is real, and some days my heart feels more broken than others. I have seen Teddy in my dreams, disappointed when I awake because I know I won’t ever again hold him or hear his collar jingle. Sometimes, his memory alone isn’t enough to comfort me.