Nope, no toddlers here.

Round the Block

One of these days I’m going to add a little linky-loo in my sidebar to showcase interesting finds on the web. But for now, I’m just going to throw them here, every so often.

1. This was a great little piece by Elizabeth Scalia about receiving a “good”, either a compliment or a sincere effort from someone else. She goes on to talk about those class-less members of the crowd who booed President Bush yesterday (he didn’t seem to care), but I like the point she makes in the first paragraph:

If you cannot be gracious when someone — even someone you do not like — wishes you well, you won’t get much of that. If you cannot appreciate an effort someone makes, even if they’ve fallen short or you wish they had not bothered at all, you can bet no further efforts will be made on your behalf. If you cannot receive a compliment without making people uncomfortable about it, well…you won’t receive them for long.

That reminded me of something that happened a few years ago (that I had forgotten about): I offered a compliment to someone and their response was: I know. I figured that first time was a fluke but after the second compliment on another occasion, with a similar response, that was it for me. If they already know how great they are, they don’t need me to remind them! (HT: Danielle)

2. Over at National Review, Tony Woodlief writes about the pre-Inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial, a star-studded event full of folks who can more or less present the words, but never think or write those words themselves:

Yet there was a time when scientists and thinkers were among the household list that today is entitled: Celebrities. There was a time when speeches were given by people who could write them, and further, could deliver them with greater force than the pale, this-is-how-we-talk-on-the-Academy-Awards-stage style of Judd, Jackson, et al. And surely the age of great speeches isn’t over, as witnessed by the performance of the most gifted speaker on Sunday’s stage, Mr. Obama himself. Might there not have been room, then, amidst all the glamour, for an Irving, a Goia, and perhaps—God forbid, given sensitivities about speakers who affirm the validity of the entire Bible—the booming voice of a pastor?

3. I enjoyed this Savage Chickens cartoon, mostly because we’ve been talking about James Bond around here lately. Last night at dinner, Ethan had a question for Paul. “If James Bond is such a manly man,” he asked, “how come he’s always just hanging around girls.”

We hope he continues this line of thinking for several (10) more years.

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Imagine the Potential

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Hail to the Chief

This is one of my favorite pictures from our trip to D.C. this summer. I’m posting it, of course, in honor of the Inauguration Ceremony, which I watched for hours and hours today. It was one of those kind of magical days where it was actually snowing here in Georgia (though, sadly, barely sticking) and Henry took a nice long nap and in the midst of a calming, quiet day I was able to sit back and watch a lot of the activities.

I wrote about my feelings on the Inauguration over at Faith and Family, so if you really want to hear all about them, head over there. For now, all I’ve got left to say is that we are praying for our new president. He is our leader, and I want to see him succeed in the same ways so many Americans do. While I didn’t vote for him, and don’t agree with him on some key issues, I know there is so much good that can happen in the midst of new leadership.

In light of the historic significance of the day, I’ve been thinking a lot about racism and skin color and maybe, for me, what that means down here in the South. One day (maybe soon, maybe not) I’m going to write about my experience growing up with biracial siblings.

Two of my siblings are adopted; my adopted brother has very dark skin (he’s biracial but looks black) and because of this, I’ve had a tiny peek into some of the racism that blacks in the South experience. Things can be pretty divided down here; I don’t know if that’s the case everywhere else. I realize things are divided everywhere (not just blacks and whites) but that it’s a particularly strong distinction around here a lot of the time.

For now, I do recognize the significance of today, and still go away with the joy of knowing that in our country, if you are willing to work hard, and use your intellect (and not try to just win the lottery or American Idol to go places) — if you do those things, you really can be anything you want to be. What a great place to live.

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