by Kelly Jarrett

reflections on thoughtful living

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Let us be healers

I cannot help but think that much of the populist upheaval across this globe of late has at its heart psychological wounds large and small. Some are large, devastating, and in some cases unspeakable wounds. Other wounds come about bit by bit, but have deleterious effects too. Whatever the cause, these wounds matter. The wounds if unattended can grow into other things like fear, hatred, anger, and a desire for vengeance. These wounds compounded over millions of people can have huge implications, like the chaos theory notion of the batting of butterfly wings causing a hurricane. As I step back from momentous events of 2016 (Brexit, Colombia, US Elections), my mind goes to a piece written by David Brooks in the New York Times on emotional healers.

In, A Nation of Healers, David Brooks shares anecdotes about the pain he witnessed as he toured the most economically depressed areas in

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Fancy a cuddle?

I travel quite a bit and I am a people watcher. The combination of these two things has helped me to draw some conclusions about human behavior in the travel context. One such conclusion is that men seem to think they have been given special dispensation to encroach upon their female co-travelers’ space. I have often seen a man crowd into a woman’s space on a plane with a kind of “what-you-going-to-do-about-it" attitude. It’s not that I am trying to roll over on my gender here, but come on guys, really? Who do we think we are that we can invade someone’s space like that. I have probably breeched the invisible borders at some point, but I can say it would have been a brief incursion and completely on accident. All this to say that I believe it is not right to encroach on others’ space, especially whilst in a confined space, no matter the other person’s gender. Glad I got that off

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We the People


We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

I think most US citizens are quite familiar with the first three words of the US constitution’s preamble, “We the People…” But, I have blithely gone about my merry way without really spending a lot of time on the idea that we have delegated the sovereign power of the people to government bodies for specific purposes. We the people are the source of the power. The government works for us. The other side of that coin, however, means that we own the problems of this country.

I have found myself very jaded by the presidential campaign this year. The anger in

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The “One Percent” and the Poor: Redistribution or Revolution?


“In progressive societies the concentration of wealth may reach a point where the strength of number in the many poor rivals the strength of ability in the few rich; then the unstable equilibrium generates a critical situation, which history has diversely met by legislation redistributing wealth or by revolution distributing poverty.”
― Will Durant, The Lessons of History

I read Will Durant’s The Lessons of History recently and it was one of the best books I have read in some time. Perhaps the most interesting part of the book looked at how many times civilizations have grappled with the tension between the elite class and the underprivileged poor. The quote above was the most sobering statement on this struggle since time immemorial. It is my view that we have reached a point where this issue will progressively get more acute. Whether the boiling point is upon us or not, I do

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Another random fashion suggestion

I was very gratified that people found my last fashion suggestion very helpful. Encouraged by that, I have been on the lookout for specialized fashion needs. I am pleased to say I found a tremendous option, from Balenciaga, for someone who is cast in a possible feature film called, “Honey, I swallowed the microwave.”


I hope this is helpful if by chance you need to look like you’ve swallowed a household appliance.

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Seattle. Sun. Translucence.

It is sunny in Seattle. We have had a glorious week of pleasant temperatures and lots of sun, which in a way draws to a close our very dark, wet winter. As most are aware, Seattle is of course famous for its rain and gloomy atmospheric disposition. When the sun comes out we all crowd around windows to marvel and ask each other with amazed looks, “what is it?” We have vague recollections of this glowing orb, but nearing the end of winter it is not right on the tip of our tongues. Traffic accidents pick up because many a driver is taken aback to the point of staring at the strange, bright celestial phenomenon that most of you take for granted. Once I heard a hipster, who apparently made beard growing and [poor] Shakespearean language his “thing,” say “methinks the grey old lady burns, and for what? That the pallid and porcelain-like Northwesterners may leave their dank dungeons of

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Minimalism: An Update

On New Year’s Day I wrote a post on my focus word for the year. My focus word this year is the word minimal. As the end of the first quarter of this year is upon us, I thought it was an opportune time to hold myself accountable on my focus for increased minimalism. By way of background, my goal for increased minimalism was not a ritualistic asceticism, rather a desire to avoid squeezing the most important things out of my life by indulging in or being ruled by what matters least.

This practice, of choosing a focus word for the year, has been very helpful for me. Periodic reviews, like this first quarter review, give me the impetus to reflect and take stock of any progress towards minimalism or not. I think my progress has been mixed to be honest. Old habits die hard. However, one example of something I have undertaken to increase minimalism is a no book buying policy for 2016

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A random fashion option

Just sharing a random fashion option. If you have found it difficult to find clothing that makes you look like a potato with legs, then I have an answer for you. I saw this on Shop It To Me the other day:


I hope that was helpful. I’ll always be on the look out for good stuff.

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In praise of kindness

I think there is a general lack of kindness in the world today. I underscore general because there are acute spikes in kindness. The holidays bring out kindness. Major catastrophes bring out kindness as hearts are opened to the victims. But, the sort of generalized, steady stream of kindness could be much more abundant in my opinion.

The other day in a conversation with my sister, she said something that was a wonderful example of the sort of kindness I am talking about. What she said gave me great joy, and honestly moved me to tears. She won’t ever know how much I appreciated what she said. I bring this instance up for two reasons: (1) I just want to acknowledge that my sister embodies the sort of kindness I am writing about and (2) This sort of simple kindness, if repeated on a daily basis, many times throughout each day, will change the world. When I got home after my

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Bifurcations of humanity: Part II

Closely related to my last post on a bifurcation of humanity on a particular usage of the word “fly,” is the word “dope.” Dope has a few meanings. The one I am interested in is the following from an urban dictionary app I use:

dope - a word that describes something that is extremely cool, such as music, clothes, people, etc.

I have started to hear this usage in more common conversation. Startling. That said, it highlights for me same branching question as “fly”. Once again, I think there is a portion of the population for whom the above use of “dope” is, in fact, dope. However, for the other side of this branch the above usage makes them sound like A dope. As it regards my own self, I say nope to dope. So, in a personal summary, my verdict on “fly” and “dope” is I should abstain.

I found it notable in the the urban dictionary I used that the usage example was lyrics from an

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