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How Kittens and Human Thrive

Scrolling through my Facebook feed one day, three videos caught my eye. In the first, a rescued kitten wasn’t thriving, so the people who’d fostered her placed her with a husky. The two bonded, to the extent that the husky allowed the tiny kitten to suckle. I can’t show you that exact video, because it was an unauthorised compilation and …

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Is Compassion Natural or Nurtured? a #1000Speak post

I am dressing my baby after her vaccinations, feeling relieved we got through it without tears. She looks around, eyes wide, paying attention to the movements in the room. A mother lays her baby on the changing mat next to ours. The baby is wailing loudly. My baby turns her head to look at him. She starts crying too. We …

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60 Mothers Say “So Glad They Told Me”

So often parenting is seen as a competitive sport. If there was a Parenting Olympics, the medals would go to those more skilled in: Bitchiness, Giving Useless Advice, Giving Unwanted Advice, Doling Out Put-Downs (Disguised as Super-Helpful Advice, with an extra medal of extremely clever disguises), Showing Other Parents Why You Do It Right and They Do It Wrong, In …

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I will not look away

When I close my eyes, I see a world where we love each other, where tolerance and respect win out over anger and hatred. I see a world where everyone has enough to eat, where every adult has fulfilling employment and every child has the education they need. I see a world where everyone has a home. When I close …

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How Do You Fight Hate? #1000Speak

She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her. Hate doesn’t have a creed, race or religion, it is poisionous. Brendan Cox, widower of Jo Cox, the Labour MP murdered last Thursday. How do …

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Facing the Pain Head On

Until last Monday, if I thought about Stanford University it was as the venue of the infamous Stanford Prison experiment, in which Professor Philip Zimbardo and his team recruited students to act as “prisoners” and “guards.” The plan was for the experiment to last for two weeks but it ended after just six days because of cruelty by the guards …

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Gifts From the Homeless – a #1000Speak post

Sunday morning, late 2002, York, UK. With my husband and two small children, I stroll through cobbled streets, passing a medieval tower, and a Gothic cathedral. Intricately decorated walls grab our attention, until the children tug our hands. “We want to see the trains!” Our four-year-old stops every now and then to admire pretty things: weeds growing out of ancient …

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What if?

What if? What if we stopped seeing success as material wealth? What would that look like? Would the beggar you passed yesterday be more or less successful than the film or pop star who died this year or last of a drug or alcohol overdose? Would the woman picking tea on the foothills of the Himalayas be more or less …

Where do we go from here?

I strive to write balanced posts whenever I venture into politics. I tiptoe cautiously, aware that kindness comes in all political colours and so does bigotry and self-centredness. I strive to have compassion for all, not just those who see the world through the same political lens that I do. But yesterday, I cried. Our general election results will almost …