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With liberty and justice for all

Proud to be an AmericanThese have been great days to be an American. The Supreme Court made marriage equality the law in all 50 states as well as upholding the Affordable Care Act and fair housing. We also determined as a society that a flag that represents a defense of slavery and resistance to civil rights is not a symbol of pride and has no place outside of history books and museums.

These aren’t just issues of politics. They reach the core of who we are as a country and what principles we uphold and project to the world.

We declare in our founding document that we are all created equal and have inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These words not only drive us Americans to work for a more perfect union, but they inspire the oppressed and suffering around the world. In countries where being gay is punishable by death, where preventable and curable diseases kill millions of impoverished children each year, and where centuries-old conflicts continue to lead to bloodshed, America’s actions of the past few days offer hope.

We have plenty of work to do. Marriage equality doesn’t stop the discrimination LGBT citizens continue to face. Removing symbols of bigotry doesn’t remove the hatred in a racist’s heart. Progress will continue to face passionate resistance. We must continue to move forward — not only for ourselves, but for a world that looks to us an example.

For now, we can celebrate these great steps for justice and equality. My Midwest Republican mom taught me to believe in America the Beautiful. Today, America is more beautiful.

“Something needs to change, and it’s probably me.”

Gratitude and Trust by Paul Williams and Tracey JacksonIf you are in the grips of a drug or alcohol addiction, there are many resources available to help. But what if your self-limiting behavior is less obvious? What if it is an addiction to perfectionism, anger, or martyrdom? For addictions conspicuous and covert, Gratitude and Trust by Paul Williams and Tracey Jackson can help.

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Who are you really?

What is your identity?The question of identity has become a hot topic in the news. The particular issues involve difficult questions about ethnicity and gender. Are we limited to how we are formed biologically? Or can we redefine ourselves to match our self-image? And what do we do if those around us find our redefinition unacceptable? Or are there some identities that are unacceptable for people to have?

We may not deal with the issues facing those in the news, but all of us have to deal with the question of identity in our daily lives.

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What’s better, robots or writers?

Just a bunch of high school kids playing with robots. From a robotics competition at Reseda High School in November 2014.

I read a wonderful speech from Reseda High School‘s 2015 valedictorian who was a member of the school’s award-winning robotics club. This got me thinking: If I went to Reseda today, would I have gotten into robots instead of becoming a writer?

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What a Prius can teach you about change

2015 Prius at dealer

My brother writes about cars in our family. However, I learned a valuable lesson about change from the purchase of a new car — and the reason for buying that car. The hardest part of learning is unlearning what you already know. Change is about letting go of the familiar and embracing something new.

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