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Hobby writer & book lover with passion for study & desire to share discoveries — Retired SAS programmer — Member of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Social stigma happens when we unjustly treat people based on characteristics they can’t control: race, gender, age, or sexual orientation. It also happens based on what is much harder and maybe impossible to change: employment status, body size and vaccination reservation.

Social shaming, on the other hand, is for what others want us to change, for what they believe is possible or even easy to change. It is for what we have valid and strong reasons not to change.

It’s “politically incorrect” to stigmatize those who are different. But these rules disintegrate when we believe the other one can change…

Here in Canada, where most people are still masking, our numbers are considerably lower than they’ve been since our first lock-down. Once the authorities forever lift the masking mandate, those who remain unvaccinated will continue wearing a mask. Quebec is in the process of introducing a vaccine passport, but Ontario won’t be going that route, at least not yet. How people respond to vaccination is not “political” the way it is in the U.S. Canadians who chose to vaccinate have much less anger toward those who are hesitant, compared to U.S. residents.

I’m amazed and delighted that so many took…

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I’m celebrating my first anniversary on Medium. August was my 12th month on the platform and it was the first month I ever made more than $3.00 in a month. Because of an article that did very well, I earned over $20.

As a way of celebrating, I’m going to feature 12 writers who followed me in August. I was inspired by an author complaining about Medium’s curation (or lack of it) and thought: what’s stopping any writer from “curating” by featuring other writers? I wrote about this here: Let’s “Curate” One Another

12 Featured Followers

Joined Medium in 2021

Kiran Bala from 🇮🇳 who joined in…

Receving vaccination on left — Unhappy masked face on left
Free From Canva

I’m a trusting person who’s easily influenced about things I don’t understand. When it comes to my Catholic faith, I’m immovable because it goes far beyond a set of beliefs. It’s a lived intimate relationship with Jesus where I’ve experienced transformative healing through the sacraments.

I suffered a lot of needless anxiety during the months prior to Y2K. I believed that what the ‘fringe” groups were saying was entirely possible, maybe even likely. This was long before cancelling, deplatforming, and internet censorship was even a thing. The majority believed everything would continue as normal, and it did. The proof was…

I'm "older". I'm in my 60s and this is the happiest I've EVER been in my life. The daily aches and pains don't diminish this in the least. I know who I am. I know Who I belong to and what I was created for. I've been healed of my past wounds and I'm able to interact with life on a level I never dreamed of in my youth. I'm closer than I've ever been to my final destination and more content than I've ever been to be right where I am.

It’s not the facts or evidence that count, but the directions they drive you to that carries “weight”.

It’s not what you look at that matters. It’s what you see. — Henry David Thoreau

Our Weight Watchers (WW) Zoom workshop ended with this quote. Two people can “look at” the same fact and reach different conclusions based on attitude and experience.

Imagine Anna and Beth, both 60, having lost 15 pounds and only five pounds away from their goal. At weigh-in, each is looking at the same number. Despite having had seven blue dot days, both gained a pound despite expecting to lose at least two pounds because they did well with food, drinking water and exercise. …

By Author — Celebrate Definitive Promises in Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites

I first felt drawn to cover my head at Mass in 2009. Though I hadn’t planned it, the first time I veiled at Mass was on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I was called to and accepted in the Secular Order of Mount Carmel in 2008, so this timing was significant.

Two years later in 2011, I was discerning a call to wear a head covering full time. It was important that I be able to clearly articulate what this practice meant to me. I watched a lot of YouTube videos for ideas on how to tie…

Cambridge Dictionary — Canva Photo by Shannon Fagan

I responded to Tom Kuegler’s article by asking “What stops us from curating each others’ work?” but it was Jimmy Misner Jr.’s reply that got me thinking. Could individual Medium writers “curate” other writers in a Medium article —just not by Medium’s definition or process?

1 — Thematic

I would choose a narrow topic, stoicism for example. The introduction would be two or three sentences about why the reader would benefit from reading the three to five articles listed and linked in the body. For each article, I’d tag the author and state what I found most helpful in one or two sentences…

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During these three months of lockdown, I’ve been struggling with expectations surrounding what I “need” to have in order to write and what it means to have “written” on any given day. One of my barriers is the inner “demand” to have at least one hour of guaranteed uninterrupted time before I’ll even consider sitting to write. If I get interrupted, I completely lose my train of thought. I hate losing my flow once I get it, so I find I refuse to even start. I really miss my afternoons at Tim Hortons. …

I understand this in the context of improvisation on the piano. If it's just intelligence, I understand which chords work with which scales (keys). I know strategies on how to play chords in different ways, how to play bass notes with the left hand while playing chords with the right, and how to play random notes from the scale with the right hand while playing chords with the left.

If my fingers can't do what my brain is imagining, I can't create new melodies. There is no mastery. When it comes to "writing every day", I don't think writing anything…


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