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Blessings

Photo: Annie Leibovitz, Vogue, October 2018

“A decade and a half after the shootdown, I had more blessings than I could count. I had a seat in the greatest deliberative body on earth, the U.S. Senate. I had good health, peace of mind, and a couple of kickass titanium legs. And I had my husband, who’d seen me through everything it took to make it this far, and two beautiful girls.” —Tammy Duckworth, Every Day is a Gift

“Donors like to feel like they’re getting special inside information. Tammy didn’t do that. She said the same thing in front of the donors as she said to the press and the voters. That’s just who she is.” —Jon Carson, Senator Tammy Duckworth on the Attack That Took Her Legs—And Having a Baby at 50

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Cairns

“Paying attention attunes us to wonder. We look around us and are astonished at the complexity of a leaf, the gymnastics of a squirrel, the grandeur of an approaching thunderstorm. We notice a delicate, yet strong spiderweb glistening with dewdrops. We discover a maple tree in spring, dripping icicles of sweet sap, and we taste and take the very essence of tree inside of us.”

Pouring maple taffy onto a baking sheet coated with snow to cool it.
Image: Canva | Making maple taffy in the snow.

“Later, we stand under the stars, marveling at the Milky Way galaxy, splattered like raindrops across the dark windshield of the universe.”

“Each discovery is another “cairn” that tells us we are moving in the right direction.”

Stacking rock cairns are placed by hikers as path markers as way-finders.
Image: Canva | Stacking rock cairns as path markers and way-finders.

“With these observations of “ordinary” wonder comes awe, swiftly followed by gratitude. Our perspective shifts. Our glass moves from half empty to half full.”

—Cindy Crosby, Chasing Dragonflies

Genetic Engineering

Genetic Engineering

“The geneticist Bentley Glass, in his address on becoming president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1970, argued that the ethical problem was not that people would embrace these new technologies but that they might reject them. “The right that must become paramount is the right of every child to be born with a sound physical and mental constitution,” he said. “No parents will have the right to burden society with a malformed or mentally incompetent child.” —The Code Breaker

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