Simone Biles

I Have the Weight of the World on My Shoulders

Simone Biles arrived in Tokyo as the biggest name in the Olympic Games. She is now not only the biggest name, but has generated the most headlines and has the brightest spotlight focused on her and her decisions to withdraw from gymnastics competitions she was favored and expected to win. “I have the weight of…
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The Unknowability of Other People’s Pain

Two different families in the same small town experienced tragic and shocking deaths by suicide of a family member they dearly loved, within a short time from one another. Both deaths made headlines in the local papers, causing their families to suffer more pain beyond the losses due to the salacious nature of the stories…
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You Sound Like A Broken Record

By all external factors, the evening was an Instagram-worthy snapshot.  There was a heart-stopping sunrise in the distance. Kids were playing our national pastime in front of us, their parents cheering them loudly while maintaining appropriate social distance. Sitting beside my wife, we watched one of our children’s countless sporting events this spring. In between…
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Why I Chose Listening over Counseling

When we describe our compassionate listening work, we often get the comment, “Oh, so it’s counseling;” we then reply “No, it’s not exactly counseling”. What exactly then is the difference between listening and counseling? The dictionary definition of counseling is “the provision of assistance and guidance in resolving personal, social, or psychological problems and difficulties,…
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An Ever-Flowing Stream

Shortly after 3:30 Central Time, on the afternoon of April 20, breaking news came out of Minneapolis, Minnesota: police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted on all three charges against him in the murder of George Floyd — second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.  I was working at home that day, as I have…
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Someone (for Front-Line Nurses) To Tell It To

“To be a nurse, you really have to care about people,” explained Iowa nurse Whitney Neville. When an ICU is packed with COVID-19 patients, most of whom are likely to die, she laments: “to protect yourself, you just shut down. You get to the point when you realize that you’ve become a machine. There are…
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Loving Boldly Heals Our Lives

“We love what you are doing”, they wrote to us when they sent their check.  “Your message needs to spread across our community like wildfire … Keep fighting the good fight.  We stand beside you in awe because of your bravery …  Love boldly.” When we opened the mail at our office that day five…
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We had to relisten to several parts of the conversation many times. It was so rich, so full of nuance, and contained so much wisdom. We knew we had to write about it before winter was over here in Pennsylvania, where we live. This rich conversation appeared on the On Being podcast hosted by Krista…
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The Light that is Hope in Grief

The Light that is Hope. The Light that is Healing. The Light that is Love.

We all want and need to be heard, to know that others listen and care. We crave intimacy. We are in a constant search for validation and for our voices to find resonance with the lives of others. Those words are in our first book, Someone To Tell It to: Sharing Life’s Journey. We wrote…
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Tom's bookshelf

The Dreaded Bad Day

You can be helped to look at the world and see a different perspective.  Where some people see a half-empty cup, you can see it as half-full.  Perhaps people will be moved to see that there are very, very, very many people in the world today who will not have had the kind of breakfast…
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