December Guest Blogger Submission Open

December’s theme is: The Impossible Holiday;  Deadline: December 7, 2012

As you know, I tried a Guest Blogger feature back in October. I had only one submission for a three-month term and I needed to think about how to make this feature work both for my readers and for myself. So here’s what I came up with: I’ll announce a theme and accept submissions from potential guest bloggers through the first seven days of each month. I will post the top five submissions at varying times through the month. Selected contributors will be able to have a brief bio and a link on a static page on S & I. You need not be a professional writer to participate! My goal is to highlight different perspectives and to provide a small forum for creative thought. Interested? Read the guidelines:

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Guest Blogger: Mike McLaren – ‘I Wish I Knew’

Of the bazillion things I don’t know, I do know ten things that I think about more than several times a day that I don’t know about people.

I wish I knew all the ways that cause people to feel afraid. Fear, I think, initiates all other harmful emotions in people. Harmful emotions become translated into hurtful actions. If I knew all the ways people feel fear, maybe I could set their fears to rest, which might help people to stop doing hurtful things.

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You Can Agree with Me, Or You Can Be Wrong

Yesterday I posted a meme on my Facebook profile that led to a mini-conversation with a friend of mine—a person I care for and respect immensely even though we have drastically different political opinions. The conversation was around whether someone has to agree or be labeled or stay silent. I think this is an important dialogue because I believe that people on both sides of the political coin feel like “the other side” feels this way. I also think that this feeling is largely to blame for many of the challenges we face in today’s society.

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A Note on Founder’s Syndrome

This is a time of major change in my life. I am changing jobs—going from one full-time job in the social service field to a couple of part-time jobs in education. I have left the board of an organization that I co-founded with a few friends. My youngest living child has started high school. My oldest is starting college. Transitions like these are similar to walking a tightrope over a chasm with spikes at the bottom.

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Hey Lady, What’s with the Cane?

Over the weekend, I did some light traveling to visit family. While it used to be pretty common for me to make an 8 or even a 12 hour drive, my body now can’t handle much more than a few hours. As a result, we’ve taken to staying at hotels for anything more than a quick trip to Portland or the coast. This trip was a good reminder of why disability awareness is still a huge need in the U.S.

We’d prepaid and after the clerk looked up our reservation, she says, “Would you like a room on the first floor since you have the cane?”

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