International Day of the Girl Child

Today, October 11, and every day stand with girls everywhere. The theme for 2018 is, “With her: a skilled girl force.” From the UN Women website, “The 1.1 billion girls of today’s world are challenging the status quo. They’re redefining girlhood and doing so against the odds.”

intl day of girl 2018

Photos: UN women, 2018


Remembering International Women’s Day – The Time is Now

Remembering the women around the world who have toiled long hours, tired or sick, under perilous conditions with little pay to take care of themselves and their families.

May the wage gap be eliminated. May every girl and woman feel and be safe and secure at school, at work, at worship and at home. May every girl or woman who ever heard, “Girls can’t do that,” know they can. The time is now. — Tanya Goodman

Library of Congress Photo of Ella Watson: By Gordon Parks for the Farm Security Administration.



Let us not forget what hate can do

January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Let us not forget what hate can do. To stand around and listen to hateful words and say nothing, or watch hateful actions and do nothing, makes one complicit. Let us not be indifferent to what goes on in the world around us. We are a part of that world. Remember, the one most hurt by hate is the hater.  — Tanya Goodman

“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.”
― Elie WieselThe Night Trilogy: Night, Dawn, the Accident





Interrelatedness of us all

Mulling over the news of the past few days, indeed the past few months, this passage from “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” Dr. Martin Luther King wrote in 1963 comes to mind. He speaks about the “interrelatedness of all communities and states.” I am cognizant of the “interrelatedness” of all people around the world. We are all connected. There is no better or lesser than. We are one. — Tanya Goodman

Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in
Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to
justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment
of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with
the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never
be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds…

Image: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, a project of American Anthropological Association.

Merton on Contemplation … It is that life itself … spiritual wonder

“Contemplation is the highest expression of man’s intellectual and spiritual life. It is that life itself, fully awake, fully active, fully aware that it is alive. It is spiritual wonder. It is spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life, of being.

It is gratitude for life, for awareness and for being. It is a vivid realization of the fact that life and being in us proceed from an invisible, transcendent and infinitely abundant Source.


Contemplation is, above all, awareness of the reality of that Source. It knows the Source, obscurely, inexplicably, but with a certitude that goes both beyond reason and beyond simple faith. For contemplation is a kind of spiritual vision to which both reason and faith aspire, by their very nature, because without it they must always remain incomplete.


Yet contemplation is not vision because it sees “without seeing” and knows “without knowing.” It is a more profound depth of faith, a knowledge too deep to be grasped in images, in words or even in clear concepts. It can be suggested by words, by symbols, but in the very moment of trying to indicate what it knows the contemplative mind takes back what it has said, and denies what it has affirmed. For in contemplation we know by “unknowing.” Or, better, we know beyond all-knowing or “unknowing.”

— Thomas Merton, “New Seeds of Contemplation”


Photo: “Water Droplet on Leaf”