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March 12, 2017
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I'VE BEEN THINKING

This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about care. The word. The concept. The act of it.

Care was something that was front and center in our political discourse this week. The Republicans put forth their new healthcare proposal (a.k.a. Trumpcare) on Monday and spent the week debating it. Meanwhile, the Democrats (like my cousin Congressman Joe Kennedy III) took to the floor to fight for retaining the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare).

Care was also front and center of my mind on Wednesday, International Women’s Day. I got to thinking about all of the millions of women whose lives are devoted to caregiving — whether that’s because it’s their profession, or simply because it's who they are and what they do.

I also thought about care on a personal level this week. I had a small surgery on Monday that made me dependent on the care of others. My children cared for me, first and foremost. Then there were the doctors and nurses who I didn’t even know, but who stepped up to care for me and care about me during my time of need.

All of this got me thinking about what care means to me in the most practical of terms. How do I define care? What do I care about personally, professionally and politically? How do I show that I care? How do I know someone cares about me, or will care for me? Can a political leader really make you feel cared for? Can your boss? Should he or she even have to care about you?

I think so. I think care is one of the most valuable and important principles for a healthy family and for a healthy country.

I think this is a good time for all of us to think about what care means to us. Many see care as soft, but it's anything but. Care is a tough, muscular concept. It takes courage to care. It takes passion to stand up for someone or something that you believe in and care about.

Illustration by Julie Paschkis

This week, I had the chance to speak with a few Architects of Change who have put care front and center in their lives. I was so moved by their caring and so inspired by their work. Their caring has literally changed lives and they are worthy of being honored here in The Sunday Paper. (I hope you will also be touched by their stories, which you will find below.)

I myself am trying to build a more conscious, caring, compassionate and connected world, and I’m trying to do that while also not caring too much about what others think about me and how I live my life.

We must each balance our own idea of care with the world's cold sharp judgments that stop the tender-hearted among us from stepping forward. Remember, those who judge you don't know you, nor do they care about who you really are. If we want to find our passion and our purpose, we have to care about something deeply, and yet not care about what other people say about what we’re doing. So, care for yourself. Care for others. But don't care too much what others think or say. Get that right and you can change the world.

My mother used to always say to me, “If you have your health, you have everything.” I would add that if you have someone who truly cares for you and about you, then you have something money can never buy. You have the whole wide world.
 



 
In recognition of Women's History Month, we here at The Sunday Paper want to use this space throughout March to honor incredible women who are using their voices, their hearts and their minds to Move Humanity Forward.

This week, we honor Katie Meyler and Caitlin Crosby as our Architects of Change of the Week. These two young women have made the concept of caring for others their life's work. I had the chance to meet both this week and was inspired by their incredible courage. Without question, these women have committed themselves to creating a more conscious, caring and compassionate world.

 
Katie Meyler went to Liberia for a paid religious internship after college and never looked back. She is the founder of More Than Me Academy, a tuition-free K-6 school that provides education and basic services to the area's most vulnerable girls. Katie made a commitment to the girls of this war-torn nation after discovering that many were trading sex work for clean water. Ten years later, Katie has devoted her life to improving Liberia's educational system and has given young women there the chance for a hopeful future. Her dedication to staying even throughout the Ebola crisis earned her the title of 2014 Time Person of the Year.

"Caring is hard. It's strong. It's refusing to take no for an answer. It's making things happen in our world." — Katie

 
WATCH: MARIA'S INTERVIEW WITH KATIE MEYLER
Caitlin Crosby was touring the U.S. as a musician when an old hotel key inspired her to change the world. Caitlin founded the jewelry line The Giving Keys, a "pay it forward company" that employs those transitioning out of homeless and makes necklaces, earrings, bracelets and keychains out of repurposed keys. Each Giving Key is engraved with an inspiring word, and when the wearer encounters someone in need of that message, he or she is encouraged to give it away. 
 
"Really good ideas come from genuinely caring about humans." — Caitlin
 
WATCH: MARIA'S INTERVIEW WITH CAITLIN CROSBY

KATHERINE'S WOMEN TO WATCH 

  Two Sisters Motivated By Their Mom's Cancer Survival

As part of her series "Real Women Doing Real Things," my daughter Katherine recently interviewed two female entrepreneurs whose business was inspired by their mom, a breast cancer survivor.

Carolyn and Adelene Tan started Sophia Rose Intimates after realizing that there were few beautiful bras on the market for women who've had mastectomies or reconstructive surgery. They started the Sophia Rose line to create lingerie that caters to all.
READ: KATHERINE'S Q&A WITH CAROLYN AND ADELENE TAN
If you have suggestions for a young woman Katherine should feature, write to her or tag her on social media using #RWDRT.

STORIES TO PUT THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE
 

3 Tips For Conquering Your Biggest Fears 

In the second part of our 30-Day Mind Reboot series, Angie Johnsey shares her advice for how to tackle your deepest fears. Overcoming fear was one of my New Year's resolutions and Angie has been helping me power through them so I can move forward. Angie says that strengthening our beliefs is the key to eliminating worry and uncertainty from our lives.
READ: ANGIE'S 3 TIPS FOR CONQUERING YOUR FEARS
Why Craving Less Is the Key to Having More
HGTV.com star Erin Loechner was Internet famous before the age of 30, but deep down, she felt like her heart was being left behind. That's when she and her husband decided to leave the fast-paced life of LA and move to Indiana, where they began to redefine their life by simpler terms.

This Thursday, I'll sit down with Erin for an Architects of Change conversation about why we should all give ourselves permission to slow down. I invite you to join us in LA or watch on Facebook Live.
READ: AN EXCERPT FROM ERIN'S BOOK "CHASING SLOW'

JOIN US THIS WEEK

 




 

READER'S VOICE: WHAT YOU'VE BEEN THINKING

Since so many of you write thoughtful feedback to us each week, we felt it was worthwhile to start sharing your valuable thoughts and ideas with the rest of The Sunday Paper community. Below, you'll find the reflections of reader Edith Parker. Share your own thoughts with us at info@mariashriver.com and we'll consider sharing them in the weeks' ahead.

CRAVING UNITY
By Edith Parker


Media unifies when it buttresses informed civil discourse. When it strengthens the strong and attracts the willing. When it embraces rules of engagement in society and the political art of compromise in governing. Media is our conscience.

I believe that the power of women to effect change far exceeds what has manifested so far. The Women’s March and the attendance at recent town halls are evidence of renewed force. The Sunday Paper builds on this and unifies by seeking our highest common denominators. 

In my own life, I crave unity. My purpose and sense of urgency ignited after November 8. Consequently, I’ve been shedding activities to concentrate where it matters most. I want my days simpler in the face of fear and confusion, therefore routine and habits are key. My defenses also include meditation, prayer, daily intense exercise, healthy food, fun, improved awareness of who I am, better communication with others, and creative work. I stay close to those I love.

And finally, I cultivate as best I can what Emily Dickinson described:

Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul…

IN HONOR OF AN ARTIST I ADMIRE

Last week, we introduced you to Barbara Kruger, an artist I deeply admire and a woman who has used the power of words to make statements with her art. Barbara is world-renowned for her work and her style has been copied many times over. We discovered that the image we ran last week was an imitation - not one of her original pieces. We genuinely regret the error. As you know, we live in an age where facts are called into question. That's why we as journalists must remain committed to getting things right. 

So, we want to make it up to you and to Barbara by sharing a few images from her immersive installation that asks some of the biggest questions of our time. If you find yourself in Washington D.C., we hope you'll check out "Belief+Doubt" at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
 Barbara Kruger, “Belief+Doubt,” 2012. © Barbara Kruger. Photos: Cathy Carver

A SUNDAY POEM

Poetry helps me put everything in perspective, and this poem by one of my favorite writers, David Whyte, is no exception. David's words are simple, but profound. They remind me that you have to be able to truly see others if you want to care for them. 

You can check out more of David's work on his website.

SELF PORTRAIT
By David Whyte



 It doesn't interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
abandoned.
If you know despair or can see it in others.
I want to know
if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need
to change you. If you can look back
with firm eyes
saying this is where I stand. I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living
falling toward
the center of your longing. I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.


I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even
the gods speak of God.

  

— David Whyte
  from Fire in the Earth
  ©1992 Many Rivers Press

SHOP WITH A PURPOSE
 

GET THE BANDOLIER TODAY!
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(Upon purchase, each bracelet comes with a unique code that allows you to donate to The Women's Alzheimer's Movement.)

A THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK AHEAD
 

AND FINALLY, WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

SHARE YOUR IDEAS WITH THE SUNDAY PAPER TEAM
PASS ALONG THE SUNDAY PAPER
MOVE HUMANITY FORWARD
If You Like What We're Doing, Please Click Here to Forward The Sunday Paper to 10 Friends and Help Us Build a More Conscious, Caring and Compassionate Society.

For More Content that Informs, Inspires and Moves You Forward,  Go to MariaShriver.com.


The Sunday Paper is a product of Shriver Media © 2017. Shriver Media is a For-Benefit Media Enterprise that believes media can be used as a Force for Good in the World. We Ignite Hearts and Minds.
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