Roy’s Sunday Letter for January 28, 2024

** Beth made creative and beautiful Valentine cards with a friend yesterday. My marvelous and beautiful Beth has been making Valentines with friends for 35 years. Her passion is a Blessing for me.

Today, I want to reflect on BEING.

On Being Fearful: Yes, there is danger in the shouting, yelling, blaming, and shaming of individuals, groups, and causes. It is natural to be fearful of future elections, decisions about books, our bodies, who is included and who excluded… and yet, we continue to believe in the goodness of our tomorrows, allowing the bad stuff to visit, not stay!

On Being a Neighbor: My 1950 parents showed me the essential rightness of being an active Neighbor to those moving onto our block and neighborhood. I have attempted that same “hello” in different cities, young or old, rental or owner purchase. This approach has sometimes been appreciated and sometimes not. Being a Neighbor means to knock on the door, smile, be present, be aware.

On Being Connected/Disconnected: Today, there are so many devices and platforms. Easy to be connected, to engage family, friends, even the unknown stranger. In the same way, it is so easy to back away, become isolated, disconnected. We get to choose the parts of our daily world that are safe, friendly, or not safe where caution is needed. The hand lowered to lift someone up contributes to the health and safety of us all.

On Being Sorrowful: I feel sorrow and sadness with the use of guns and missiles in the name and pursuit of peace in Israel and Garza. Political votes about additional funding create more opportunities for hate and loss of homes and communities. Sorrow and sadness are the right words for this part of my 2024.

On Being Balanced: Each day there is so much information, news, changes, and shifts coming at us, surrounding us with both risk and comfort. How we find the right Balance is a true part of maintaining our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Balancing it all today, does not guarantee the same level of balance tomorrow. I believe there is comfort in balance, among family and friends who know us, “no matter what.”

On Being Brave: Showing Courage…I know those who have inherited the brave or courage gene. What I know best about being brave and showing courage came from the challenging 1960-70’s. The women and men who helped me understand the right times and right reasons for being brave and having courage. I hope I have contributed the same understanding in my career to younger staff, volunteers, and board members.

Prime Movie Recommendation: The Grand Seduction. The men living in fishing village on the English coast are no longer allowed to cast their nets. Instead, each receives a monthly welfare check. If this village can attract a doctor, a new business will relocate with jobs and a new economy…thus, the seduction. A 2013 movie with colorful characters, good script, and the creative spirit of the desperate for a better tomorrow.

Roy, already with a full note pad for next Sunday!


  1. Maurine on January 28, 2024 at 8:05 am

    I have been the recipient of those special Valentines. They hold a special place in my memory box of love. Thank you for the movie review. I am always looking for something to fill my quiet nights. I think we are all a little fearful because we feel like we have lost control and do not have a voice. My challenge is to listen and refrain from judging because I have not walked in their shoes, something my mother taught me so many years ago. Thanks for your musings, they make me think.

    • Roy Bowen on January 28, 2024 at 8:25 am

      Always welcoming and appreciated words back my way.
      We all seem to live in memory time, real time of now, and peaking over the edge at our tomorrows to come.
      Your mind and spirit are alive and well. Roy

  2. Frank Long on January 28, 2024 at 8:41 am

    On Being. I’m reading your Sunday letter as I watch and listen to the life and long career of Charles Osgood. An excellent example of a balanced human. Loved his show then and this review of his life as journalist, musician, humorist, patriot. I am impressed with him, and so impressed with you, Dear Roy at your perspective on life. Love you.

    • Roy Bowen on January 28, 2024 at 9:45 am

      I did see part of the dedicated morning to a good man, a poet, piano player with wisdom and humanness.
      Charley was one of those who raised me up, modeled decency….one of the best, one of the last.
      Thus also are you dear friend……and Harry too. Roy

    • Roy Bowen on February 4, 2024 at 8:46 am

      My quick scan of Comments looks like I did not respond to you on Charles Osgood.
      His easy tone, movement, playing, and poems always encouraging, nudging me onward, saying “I am with you.”
      We all need/want that person in our lives forever.
      Regretfully Charles memory or You Tube will have to fill that role.
      Always respecting your words……perhaps we make each other better with Charles nudging us on. Roy

  3. Richard McBride on January 28, 2024 at 9:16 am

    Roy, I just taught a January Term course On Being Helpful which explored what genuine help looks like. My main take-away after spending 15 mornings (9-12) with 22 students is that this college generation cares deeply for the welfare of their fellows and the larger society, but they are puzzled by the rancor and bitterness that seems to have overtaken our society. Some want to escape into Entertainment. But most in my class want to listen, respect and engage, (in one classic example) providing someone in need with a blanket so that their own body heat can keep them warm – that is, creating a partnership so that those in need rediscover their own capacities and strength.

    • Roy Bowen on January 28, 2024 at 9:51 am

      What a great opportunity to model behavior, caring, and connection to the best of all of us
      I am guiding (not leading) room of black elders in the telling of stories. Ages for most high 70’s, one 88, and one 99.
      Each has a chair and table place in the room…. not kids in a circle on the floor.
      Each special. Each with life and family sharing’s. We listen and learn together.
      Good for you for bring who you are to the front of the room. Well done indeed. Roy

  4. mike davis on January 28, 2024 at 10:00 am

    Very well done Roy.. your thoughts on being.. a home run this am… happy Sunday

    • Roy Bowen on January 28, 2024 at 11:44 am

      we pull each other onward, maybe even upward.
      you do the same in your friend and peer network.
      we continue together…..Roy

  5. Linda M on January 28, 2024 at 2:50 pm

    Each morning I get a “Note from the Universe”. I thought this one fit well on our Sunday musings together.

    Perception Management for Very Advanced Souls

    The next time someone upsets you, think, “Thanks for pointing out that I’ve begun depending on your approval. Time I lose the expectations.”

    And the next time someone doesn’t take your view into account, think, “That’s okay, I was once like that.”

    And if someone steals from you, think, “It was nothing, my supply is the Universe.”

    Or lies to you, think, “I’m sorry you feel that need.”

    Violates you, “All for my growth and glory.”

    Is rude to you, “Cheer up, dear soul, it’ll be okay.”

    Judges you, “Thanks for sharing your truth.”

    Drives by you like a bat out of hell, “Be careful, my friend. You’re loved.”

    And the next time someone greets you with a smile, smile back, like you’re sharing a secret.

    The Universe

    • Roy Bowen on January 29, 2024 at 9:03 am

      one of my favoite songs is on my phone: Your Are A Seeker, Dolly Parton
      Linda, you are indeed a seeker, a gatherer, a bringer together of both thought and adventure.
      Continue to seek…continue to be your true and good self….Roy on Monday

  6. Peter D. Kleven on January 29, 2024 at 12:20 pm

    Roy, as always thank you for being and “YO

  7. Peter D. Kleven on January 29, 2024 at 12:52 pm

    Roy, as always thank you for being you. This week has been most thought provoking. Took time this week to commune with mother earth/nature. A place to find PEACE. To reflect and to take in the Beauty of the earth and to connect with it from the beginning to now. The gentle warmth of the winter sun engulfing the earth. Visiting the past and present. You and Beth have been a beautiful thread in that woven fabrick. Again, thank you.

    • Roy Bowen on January 29, 2024 at 2:30 pm

      You are doing and being at the right time, right reasons.
      Stay present in these moments as best possible…..2/20 it is…..Roy

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