Archive for the ‘Overall’ Category

My 1000 Small Steps – September 20, 2020

Posted on: September 20th, 2020 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

In Memoriam

Ruth Bader Ginsberg

1933-2020

by Kathie England

“She changed the world for American women.”

Those were the words Nina Totenberg, legal affairs correspondent for NPR, used to begin her tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsberg on the morning after her death. Few people have had greater impact on the lives of so many than Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

That Ginsberg’s death fell on the day beginning Rosh Hashanah adds even more poignancy and irony to this holy period that is a time for reflection and introspection. Scott Simon, NPR’s host of Weekend Edition, suggested that the sounding of the Shofar in this troubled year should be a call for fairness and kindness.

One of Ginsberg’s most famous quotes echoes the purpose of My 1000 Small Steps project which I launched following the disastrous presidential election in 2016. Ginsberg said: “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”

As November 3 draws ever closer, I invite readers to look at steps they can take before Election Day. Here are two possibilities: Vote Forward and Vote Save America.

  • Vote Forward (www.votefwd.org) volunteers send heartfelt handwritten letters to low-propensity voters in battleground states encouraging them to participate in our democracy.
  • Vote Save America (www.votesaveamerica.com) offers a variety of opportunities to take action in this year’s election.

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” I hope these words of Ruth Bader Ginsberg inspire you to take steps to fight for the things you care about, the national election on November 3, 2020.

I conclude this month’s post with the eloquent words of John Lewis, another civil rights icon we lost this year:

“The vote is the most powerful non-violent tool we have to preserve our democracy!”

Honor the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and John Lewis. Get involved in whatever way is possible for you to help preserve our democracy!

My 1000 Small Steps – August 20, 2020

Posted on: August 20th, 2020 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

The Vote

by Kathie England

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

These are the words of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

This year marks the 100th commemoration of this amendment. After a long and arduous fight, the 19th Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920 and certified on August 26, 1920.

“Women weren’t given the vote! They took it!” The history of the fight to add this amendment to the Constitution is chronicled in a powerful film titled The Vote which aired on American Experience on Public Television. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/vote/

The 19th Amendment’s Centennial is commemorated by National Archives events that are streaming live throughout August.https://www.archivesfoundation.org/women/?gclid=CjwKCAjwj975BRBUEiwA4whRBx79l8kckcYqwV8ab01sfAmNESrBKiO_OAA7XkotEomDuwb6nY7hDxoCoUYQAvD_BwE

 Few words more eloquently explain the importance of the vote than those by the late John Lewis:

“The vote is the most powerful tool we have to preserve our democracy!”

As November 3 draws close, what steps can we each take to make sure every citizen of the United States uses this most powerful tool to preserve our democracy?

 

My 1000 Small Steps – July 20, 2020

Posted on: July 20th, 2020 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Changing the Narrative

by Kathie England

This month’s post is dedicated to the memory of John Lewis, the civil rights hero who died on July 17, 2020. Few people have more powerfully changed their narrative than John Lewis.

Prior to Lewis’s death, I had already selected the topic for this month, Changing the Narrative. I selected this topic after reading Dare to Lead by Brené Brown, in a coaching class I just completed.

Changing the narrative is an empowering concept. Brown says, “When we own a story and the emotion that fuels it, we get to simultaneously acknowledge that something was hard while taking control of how that hard thing is going to end.” (page 268)

Brown shares how Melinda Gates changed her narrative.

“For the longest time, the story I was making up was, That expert is ignoring me or condescending to me because I’m not Bill.”

“What I now believe is, I know just the right amount: enough to ask good questions, and not so much as to be distracted by minute details.” (page 266)

This story especially resonated with me because I recently read The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates. This is the inspiring journey of a woman truly finding her voice, changing her narrative and the world with the work she and Bill do through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

As I listened to the tributes to John Lewis, a hero who never stopped fighting for his beliefs and living his values, I decided to share some of his words that I hope will inspire all of us, especially during this pandemic year of incredible challenges. And as we draw ever-closer to election day on November 3.

“What did you do?”

“Where do you stand?”

“If not us, who?”

“If not now, when?”

What small step can we each take to change our own narrative? What small step can we take to change the narrative of this nation?

 

My 1000 Small Steps – June 20, 2020

Posted on: June 20th, 2020 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

There Is No Video

by Kathie England

“What If There Were No George Floyd Video?” That’s the title of Nicholas Kristof’s opinion piece in The New York Times on June 6, 2020.

  • “There is no video to show that a black boy born today in Washington, D.C., Missouri, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi or a number of other states has a shorter life expectancy than a boy born in Bangladesh or India.” Nor is there a video to show that a black woman is two and a half times as likely to die in pregnancy as a white woman.
  • “There’s no video to show that black children still are often systematically shunted to second-rate schools and futures, just as they were in the Jim Crow era. About 15 percent of black or Hispanic students attend so-called apartheid schools that are less than 1 percent white.”
  • “There’s no video to show that blacks are dying from the coronavirus at more than twice the rate of whites, or that a result of the recent mass layoffs is that, as of last month, fewer than half of African-American adults now have a job.”

Without a video these statistics are just that, cold statistics. Yet “they represent a kind of invisible, structural racism and violence that perpetuates inequality.”

How much longer are we willing to turn our heads to this reality, inequality?

I can’t suggest one single small step that can change this invisible racism. But what if we each committed to remembering these statistics and the people they represent as vividly as we recall the video of George Floyd’s murder on the streets of Minneapolis?

  • Would that motivate us to make even a small donation to one of the myriad of organizations that are fighting this racism?
  • Would it impact how we vote in November?
  • Would it motivate us to speak up when someone utters a racial slur?
  • Would it motivate us to show up for change?

 

My 1000 Small Steps – May 20, 2020

Posted on: May 20th, 2020 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

One Small Step for Democracy

by Kathie England

This month I created a Vote by Mail project for Oregonians to help raise awareness about the ease of voting by mail in contrast to the experience of Wisconsin voters who risked their lives to vote in their April 7 primary.

First I posted an announcement on Facebook. Then I sent the following email to friends and acquaintances.

“As you drop off you ballot for Oregon’s Primary on May 19, please take a selfie of yourself to show the rest of our country how easy it is to Vote by Mail! Then post your selfie on Facebook or other digital platforms with the text: This what Vote by Mail looks like!

This idea evolved from conversations with friends in reaction to what happened in Wisconsin’s primary election in April. We’ve made it a project and hope you will join us in taking this small step for democracy!

We Oregon voters will mark our May 19 ballots from the comfort of our homes. Ours is one of only 5 states that currently have 100 % vote by mail. It’s convenient. It’s secure. It’s fair and Oregonians have voted this way since 1998.

Let’s spread the word! Snap a selfie of yourself filling out your ballot at home or dropping it in a ballot collection box.

Let’s post and share. Show the country how it should be done.

Click this link for a 2-minute video from the non-profit Vote At Home about the importance of voting from home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fwRfaTvBPo&feature=youtu.be

Thanks for taking this important step!”

With the national election less than six months away, I invite you to share the video link above to encourage other states to make Vote by Mail a reality before November 3, perhaps the most important election day of our lives.

https://www.facebook.com/kathie.england.5

 

My 1000 Small Steps – April 20, 2020

Posted on: April 20th, 2020 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

One Step

by Kathie England

“Do things that make you happy!”

That’s the recommendation of David Rock in a recent webinar titled “Coronavirus: What Science Says Leaders Should Do.”

Rock is the co-founder and CEO of the NeuroLeadership Institute whose goal is to use science to make organizations more human. https://neuroleadership.com/

The guiding hypothesis of the NeuroLeadership Institute is that “organizational performance can be significantly improved, and the brain can show us how. By following the science, it is possible to develop significantly more effective talent strategies, and drive behavior change across the globe, at a fraction of the usual cost — and in weeks, not years.”

In the webinar Rock offered five adaptive strategies for individuals during this pandemic:

  • Social distancing
  • Great hygiene
  • Build the immune system
  • Get critical supplies
  • Stay informed (get information from reliable sources and limit frequency of accessing these sources to 1-2 times a day)

Building your immune system includes sufficient sleep, exercise, and nutrition. And, do things each day that make you happy. That step actually helps build our immune system!

I first learned about David Rock in the early days of my training as a coach. I have read three of his books – Quiet Leadership, Your Brain at Work, and Coaching with the Brain in Mind.

Here is the link to his webinar:

https://hub.neuroleadership.com/coronavirus-leadership-mar2020?utm_campaign=Coronavirus%20Webinar%20w%2F%20David%20Rock%20-%20March%202020&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=84718831&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_O0cjEaRoj9c9OV2Ks5MxkTF7e3IGHYaEE1CEYpXefNq-UvjhCqpTyKCHYX4fpv3cCudNfebU75Njnq6enVKIYsxuFZg&_hsmi=84718831

What can you do today that will make you happy?

My 1000 Small Steps – March 20, 2020

Posted on: March 20th, 2020 by Kathie England | Time for Success 1 Comment

Five Big Steps

by Kathie England

Inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s newest book, Tightrope, I step boldly away from proposing small steps this month. Instead, I share five big steps they suggest to regain America.

High-quality early childhood programs

Kristof and WuDunn believe this may be the single best thing we could do in the United States to help at-risk children. They cite findings from the National Academies of Sciences, Medicine and Engineering 2019 report that “each year child poverty costs Americans about $1 trillion in crime, education and welfare costs and related expenses. It is estimated that child poverty could be cut by more than half in ten years with a series of steps costing about one-tenth as much, $100 billion a year, while also creating jobs.”

For families living under the poverty level, childcare now consumes almost one-third of family income.

Universal high-school graduation

In the U.S. one child in seven doesn’t graduate from high school on time (including one-fourth of black students). These dropouts rarely have much of a future. This number is in sharp contrast to graduation rates in Japan, Russia, Ireland, and Finland where the drop-out rate is less than 3 percent. Offering apprenticeship programs, vocational training, career academies, and other similar efforts would increase the odds that students who stick with high school will be able to find a job at the end.

Universal health coverage

This idea was first proposed by President Harry Truman seven decades ago. Universal access to affordable healthcare would prevent millions of Americans from slipping through the myriad of cracks discussed in Tightrope, including impaired national competitiveness, reduced life expectancy, and the individual heartbreak described by Kristof and WuDunn, not only in Yamhill County, Oregon where Kristof grew up but throughout the United States.

Elimination of unwanted pregnancies

“Teenage pregnancy is a major precursor of poverty.” Ample evidence shows that free access to long-acting reversible contraceptives and other types of contraceptives can reduce unwanted pregnancies. A $1 dollar investment in this type of program reaps $7 in savings. It dramatically improves the odds of teenage girls graduating from high school. It also means fewer abortions.

A monthly child allowance

“Research shows that a government payment of about $250 a month to each household with a child would give poorer children a better start in life.” This type of allowance has been successful in Canada, Australia, and nearly every European county. This allowance would virtually eliminate children living in extreme poverty in the United States.

Last month I urged readers to sponsor a child through Save the Children. The five-year-old girl I sponsored lives in South Carolina where nearly 25% of the state’s children live at or below the poverty line. 40% live in extreme poverty in the communities where Save the Children works.

Once again I invite you to take a small step by sponsoring a child through Save the Children.

https://savethechildren.org

I end this month’s post with a quote from James Baldwin. This quote opened that last chapter in Tightrope titled “America Regained.”

“I know what I am asking is impossible. But in our time, as in every time, the impossible is the least that one can demand.”

James Baldwin

My 1000 Small Steps – February 20, 2020

Posted on: February 20th, 2020 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Tightrope

by Kathie England

Tightrope, the title of the newest book by Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, is the metaphor describing the life of America’s working class for whom one misstep is frequently a catastrophe. “Stagnant wages, weak education, bad decisions and a lack of healthcare force millions of Americans into a precarious balancing act that many of them fail to master.”

Speaking in Portland, Oregon earlier this month they posed three questions often heard as they researched their book:

  • Isn’t this crisis really about personal responsibility?
  • Isn’t this situation really hopeless?
  • Why should I care?

With vivid examples, many of them drawn from Yamhill, Oregon where Nick grew up, Kristof and WuDunn offer an alternate view. If America is to remain vital, it must empower all its people.

They shared stunning statistics from research by Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution. For people who graduate from high school, get a full-time job, and marry before having children, only 2 percent live in poverty. Of those who do none of those three things, 79 percent live in poverty.

Kristof and WuDunn acknowledge that many individuals do make irresponsible choices, yet the results are also caused by the collective irresponsibility of society. They propose three solutions that could dramatically impact the lives of working class Americans:

  • Early childhood education
  • Drug rehabilitation
  • Job creation

How does this conversation fit with My 1000 Small Steps?

Each of their books ends with “Ten Steps You Can Take in the Next Ten Minutes to Make a Difference.” Here is one of the ten steps from Tightrope: sponsor a child in the United States through Save the Childrenhttps://savethechildren.org. On this website you can click the link about sponsoring children in the U.S.

I just sponsored a five-year-old girl. Will you accept this challenge and do the same?

 

My 1000 Small Steps – January 20, 2020

Posted on: January 20th, 2020 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Three Minutes a Day

by Kathie England

On this fourth anniversary of launching My 1000 Small Steps journey, I share the perspective of Richard Davidson, the Founder of the Center for Healthy Minds based at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Davidson’s work has demonstrated the neuroplasticity of the human brain – a cause for hope.

The goal of My 1000 Small Steps journey is to prevent the results of the presidential election on November 3, 2020 from leaving so many of us with the same feelings of disbelief, despair, and doom we experienced on the morning after the 2016 presidential election.

It is ironic that this anniversary of my first post on January 20, 2017 coincides with the week that the impeachment trial of the president begins in the Senate.

This month’s post was inspired by Davidson’s October 2019 TEDx Talk in San Francisco where he explains how three minutes a day can begin to help each of us create a healthier mind. He begins by identifying four challenges facing society today: distraction, loneliness, depression, and low-life purpose. Each of these challenges affects our well-being. (I wonder how these challenges facing so many people in this country impacted the results of the 2016 election.)

Emphasizing the power of neuroplasticity, Davidson’s work has identified four pillars of a healthy mind: awareness/attention, connection, insight, and purpose. He explains that it is possible with just three minutes a day to begin to establish daily habits that nourish our minds.

I invite you to step into this realm of possibility by watching Davidson’s recent TEDx Talk.

https://www.ted.com/talks/richard_j_davidson_how_mindfulness_changes_the_emotional_life_of_our_brains_jan_2019?utm_campaign=3b359861f4-Jan2020_TEDx1D&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Center+Members&utm_term=0_4a32dc39b4-3b359861f4-9744669

You can even begin your own practice of developing a healthier mind by downloading this app: https://tryhealthyminds.org/ That small step will nourish your mind and change our world.

“Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

My 1000 Small Steps – December 20, 2019

Posted on: December 20th, 2019 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

How Do We Want to Live?

by Kathie England

Throughout this year I have continued to find inspiration and solace in the On Being podcast by Krista Tippett. This podcast (www.OnBeing.org) explores what it means to be human. It asks: How do we want to live? Who will we be to each other?

The On Being podcast has inspired me to translate the Prayer of St. Francis, the Prayer of Peace, into a loving kindness meditation with the goal that this meditation is more inclusive and might connect with individuals of diverse beliefs and cultures.

For the past two years I have shared the Prayer of St. Francis in its original form as my December post. I share my new version with the hope that it will provide perspective – on the past year and the year ahead as we begin the third decade of this century.

I hope the monthly posts of My 1000 Small Steps have offered examples of small steps we can consider to answer those questions asked by the On Being podcast: How do we want to live? Who will we be to each other?

May this Loving Kindness Meditation inspire us to what is possible!

Make me an instrument of peace.

  • Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
  • Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
  • Where there is discord, let me bring union.
  • Where there is error, let me bring truth.
  • Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
  • Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
  • Where there is darkness, let me ,bring light.
  • Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.

May I not seek as much to be consoled, as to console.

May I seek not as much to be understood, as to understand.

May I seek not as much to be loved, as to love.

May it be in giving that I learn to receive.

May it be in pardoning that I allow myself to be pardoned.

May I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be at peace.

May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be at peace.

May we embrace this message to help us find the courage to take many small steps in 2020!