Love in an age of disagreement

Dear ones,

For those of us with passionate political and cultural beliefs, it’s a tough time to be on social media.  Do we engage with people whose minds are made up already?  Can we initiate a civil, respectful discussion without getting our blood pressure up?  And most of all, how do we resolve the cognitive dissonance of seeing people we love expressing opinions that seem uninformed or unfair?

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The contentiousness I see on my online feeds has me thinking about unconditional love.

Love without conditions doesn’t mean I love a friend despite their beliefs, or that I love them even though I think they’re wrong, or that I love them aside from our differences.  All of those statements involve a judgment – saying that “I love most parts of you, aside from these flaws that I find unlovable.”

That’s the way we do it as humans.  We draw circles that shut things out.

Can we learn to draw circles that embrace the whole person?  I think that’s the challenge.

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I’m recalling a poem by Edwin Markham (which I also knew as a camp song in my younger years):

He drew a circle that shut me out

Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout

But love and I had the wit to win

We drew a circle that took him in

I’m struggling with this – loving without judgment, without excluding certain aspects of a person that I find “unlovable.”  I don’t know how to do it yet.  But I do know that this is something I should strive for.

I know that parts of me are hard to love, and I treasure those who are able to draw a circle around me anyway.


Winnie and the Professor

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Book review: Modern Romance

Dear friends,

This book provides a fun and interesting examination of how we form relationships in the modern world of texting, online dating, and hookup culture. Aziz uses his trademark humor to compare current dating culture with past practices like arranged marriage or marrying someone from your small hometown circle. Surprisingly well researched too.


I read the physical book, and also listened to the audiobook. The audiobook was especially fun, listening to Aziz “perform” his own writing felt like being at a live stage show.

Recommended if you are interested in a nonfiction book that is light, fun, and relatively short.  Also if you are interested in popular culture, and how new technologies are changing our expectations about love, marriage, sex, and romance.

Happy reading!

Winnie and the Professor

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