1. The ubiquitous use of “they” or “their” referring to a singular antecedent*. This has become the standard way to avoid the formerly ubiquitous (and clumsy) use of “he or she” and “his or her”, in order to be politically correct. For centuries before Women’s Liberation it was considered correct to let the male pronoun represent a member of a group of mixed or unspecified gender, or a single person of unspecified gender.

*Singular antecendents: each (person), everyone, anyone, one, no one, someone, and strangely enough, “each and every (person).”


     Incorrect: “Everyone should bring their own lunch.”

     Acceptable: “Everyone should bring his or her own lunch.”

     Correct: “Everyone should bring his own lunch.”

All of these now sound awkward. There are, of course, work-arounds.


     “Bring your own lunch.”
     “Everyone should bring a lunch.”
     “Those attending  should bring their own  lunches.”
     “Lunch will not be provided.”

Personally, I prefer using a gender-neutral pronoun, such as “e” and “ez.”


     “E should bring ez own lunch.”

I really don’t think this will catch on, however.

2. The use of the apostrophe before the terminal S in plurals.

     “Car’s”, “piano’s”, or even “toe’s” (These are incorrect, even if meant as the possessive form, such as “the car’s windshield” or “the piano’s keys.” An object cannot be said to possess anything.)

     “Dog’s” (This is correct only in the possessive form, such as “the dog’s ear.”)

     “It’s” (This is the worst and most prevalent misuse of the apostrophe. It is only correct when used as a contraction for “it is.” Unlike other possessives, this gender-neutral pronoun forms a possessive only when no apostrophe is used, probably to distinguish it from the contraction.)

Now, I’ll bet that anyone who reads this will begin to notice how many apostrophes are applied incorrectly, even in professionally painted signs, and will try to correct ez own errors.


Is It Just Me?

lil-batLately every time I turn on the TV there is a new movie or series about evil monsters, psychotic serial killers, satanic beings, possessed toys, vampires, zombies, or huge insects created by nuclear radiation. Apparently there is a hungry audience for this sort of thing, and a large percentage of what passes for entertainment on TV and in theaters is currently of the horror genre.

According to psychologists, it is normal for human beings to enjoy being scared, either by such things as Halloween haunted houses, or vicariously by reading or watching horror stories on the screen. Stephen King will never have to worry about money for as long as he lives, since people seem to have an insatiable appetite for the stuff of King’s nightmares.

It is an adrenalin high for some and a catharsis for others, the psychologists say. People see victims hacked to death, eaten alive, attacked by hallucinations, controlled or tortured by demonic beings, but it is not happening to them, and when it is over, they have a sense of having escaped or survived. At least, I guess that is what it is all about. I wouldn’t know.

That’s why I ask, “Is it just me?” Most people I know do like Stephen King’s stories and they do watch horror movies. It’s “fun.” I, on the other hand, have ZERO desire to be scared, terrorized, tortured, controlled, threatened, or haunted, not even VIRTUALLY, and I object to the concept of EVIL resident on earth or anywhere else.

Does anyone out there hear me?

A Rant of My Own

I receive the Medscape weekly newsletter, and sometimes there are commentaries published there. A couple of weeks ago, there was a long rant from a doctor who seemed to want people to know that he was both a dedicated scientist and a writer with an extensive vocabulary. He was writing about what effect, if any, intercessary prayer has on a patient’s physical condition.

The doctor went into great detail to show [his] God as an all-powerful being who created this vast and intricate universe with all its laws governing everything from the most massive sun  to the smallest subatomic particle.  And then he let his opinion be known by stating that such a God who had created all this could not be expected to take notice of a minor change in one person’s functioning. He attributed any improvement in prayed-for patients to psychological factors which may not have been accompanied by any lasting change in physical condition.

I could not let this self-important windbag go unchallenged. I sent my own letter to the editor in reply:

“In regard to commentary by Dr. G, posted ~3/20/07, the writer of this pompous, verbose piece goes to great lengths to make it appear that God, the all-powerful creator of this incredibly vast and complicated universe, must be insulted by our requests that He pay attention to a mere difference in blood flow or a few points in blood pressure. His is the mistake made by most people who learned their theology from established religion: that God is outside and separate from the universe, and therefore separate from humanity, and must be prayed to so that He will change what is happening. Some of us know that God is within the universe and every part of it, down to the tiniest particle; that it came forth from God and since there was nothing else before God, all that exists must be made of God as expressions of God. Therefore, when we pray, we do not ask for intercession; we channel the positive creative energy of God to the person or situation that needs it, in order to restore balance. I don’t know if the practitioners of physical medicine can understand this, but it has been known to work.”

I received a standard note of thanks for my interest and heard nothing further on the subject from anyone.

Using Intuition

On a Friday afternoon in 1980 while I was at work at the Post Office, a young man came to the window asking if we had seen a large brown envelope. He said he was leaving for school the next day and was expecting something important.

I checked the “flat case”; there was nothing. Then he said it was something that could not be bent, and a dim image formed briefly in my memory. I told him that I thought I had seen something like that, and went to check the parcel shelves where it should have been according to his PO Box number. But again there was nothing. The Postmaster told him that we would be looking for it, and the young man walked sadly out of the office.

Suddenly, it was as if someone whispered, “Psst!” and pointed towards the parcel shelf. I immediately turned my head in that direction, saw a thick brown envelope in a stack of packages for someone else, and I pulled it out. It was addressed to the young man and on the front was “Do Not Bend.”I ran out of the office, found him in the lobby, and called to him. He tore open the envelope, found his high school diploma with a wallet-size version, and stood there saying, “Oh, wow!” I felt very happy sharing that moment, and glad that I had immediately responded to the gentle suggestion of my intuition.


In the 1970s and ‘80s I worked for the US Postal Service sorting and boxing mail, sometimes driving a city delivery route, and occasionally serving customers at the window. Although I liked handling and delivering the mail, I was never good enough, or fast enough to suit my supervisor. I wished whole-heartedly that I could earn my living doing something that required the talents that I had, rather than finding those talents to be useless as the machine-like worker that the USPS wanted. But I had no other skills, so I felt stuck between longing for what I could not have, and fearing that I might be fired for not meeting productivity standards.

On a particularly depressing morning I was working the incoming letters at my sorting case when I picked up a handful of mail, and my attention was caught by one rubber band among a few others lying in the corner of my tray. While others lay there in the usual oblong or coiled shapes, this one was shaped like a heart. No one else in the office would have noticed this, or thought anything more of it if he had noticed it. But to me, this was a message, sent to let me know that I was loved and that I was not alone with my misery.

I did eventually get to leave the Postal Service, and go back to school for the degree I needed to start a new career. The way was never smooth or without struggle, but from time to time, when I seemed to need reminding, the shape of a heart would appear in some form that seemed to leap out at me. I would find a heart-shaped stone or leaf among others that were randomly-shaped. I would see one or more of them in the grain of a wood cabinet or paneled wall. Sometimes it would be simply drawn on the sidewalk. Each time I would feel the love, believing it to be a message from the spirit wanting to comfort and encourage me.

So, all of these occurrences could easily be explained, though it is very difficult to make a standard Post Office rubber band land and stay in a heart shape (I know because I tried.) Still there could not be construed any intentional handiwork here, human or otherwise. The one occurrence that cannot be explained as mere chance to me was so bizarre that I had to photograph it as proof.

I was sitting in front of my computer at home, eating a bowl of Cheerios with bananas. As I often did, I left a little milk in the bottom of the bowl and set it on the floor for my cat. A minute or two later, I looked down and saw in the bowl a perfect heart where the cat had licked up what it wanted of the milk, surrounded by the remaining milk, and the cat was quietly creeping away to take a nap. I tried to recreate this one and have never been able to do it.


I expect to see more hearts as I need them. They are my special reminder that the loving spirit of my Creator is within me and will never leave me alone.

Healing Oneself by Forgiving

When I was 47 I developed a lump in the left breast. It seemed to occur suddenly, in a matter of days, which, I was told, was not characteristic of cancer. Nevertheless, I worried. Whatever it was, it should not be there. Maybe it would go away. I waited, telling no one. But I didn’t wait too long. A close friend noticed that I seemed “down” about something, and so I told him about the lump and we agreed that I should see my doctor and find out what it was.

Ultrasound showed that it was a fluid-filled cyst, which, the doctor said, might go away by itself in time. But he wanted to aspirate some fluid to see if there were abnormal cells present. This he did, and found in the sample a small amount of blood and a few abnormal cells–no more than he would expect to find in an otherwise healthy person. He said there was no need to remove it unless it was uncomfortable. The cyst did heal slowly , but left some scar tissue which could be felt, and a couple of years later, when I was having another procedure, the doctor also removed what was left of the cyst.

However, a few months after the needle aspiration, the right breast developed a hard lump, just as suddenly, and it was 3 to 4 times larger. This time I was confident that it was a cyst, but I did have an ultrasound done. The main question in my mind was, “Why is this happening?” I wondered what I was doing wrong, and how I could stop doing it. I read the usual things about too much of this or that in the diet and tried to make some changes. But then I heard about the Forgiveness Meditation for healing, and I committed myself to regular sessions every day, understanding that it might take weeks to start getting results.

Every day I stood in my bedroom, and starting with the top of my head, I named every part of my body and stated, “My [body part] forgives every person, thing, or situation that has ever hurt me, whether I remember it or not. I also forgive myself for any and everything I have ever done to hurt another or myself.” This brought a flood of warmth and relief over me. I did not have to think about or relive any moments that I wish had not happened, only know in my heart that I forgave and was forgiven for all of it.

I did this for 2 weeks before I could feel that the large cyst had begun to shrink. At that point, it was about half its original size. After a month of meditating, the cyst was gone. Later mammograms did not even show that it had ever been there. I called my doctor’s office and told the nurse that the cyst was gone, and she expressed great surprise. “What did you do?” she asked. I told her that I had used meditation. She said that she had heard of people doing that, but had never heard of it working before.

At one point, it did come to me why these cysts were occurring (it was a displaced emotional need), and once I realized it––and understood, I knew that it would never happen again. And it has not.

Positive Energy Protection

Can the focussed visualization of positive energy protect the entire coastline of a continent from the devastation of a vicious hurricane? Thousands of people not only believe that it can, but know that it did. I live in Texas and have belonged to a Unity church for more than 20 years. We believe in the power of positive energy.

Several years ago, a dangerous hurricane was headed straight for the southern part of the US east coast. Its projected path would bring it across the southern states, and possibly into eastern Texas, before turning north again.  A small group of us in Unity and similar New Thought churches began to visualize positive energy forming a shield over the entire east coast and pushing the hurricane away. Day after day, the storm continued along its projected path, and as it approached, more people joined in the visualization. We began to hear news reports of thousands of people all along the coastline sending positive energy in focussed, coordinated effort. And the hurricane began to slow down. Just offshore, it almost stopped, began to wobble in its course, and finally made a 90° turn and moved north parallel to the coastline. It wobbled again over the ocean for days. When it made landfall, it had weakened to the force of a severe thunderstorm.