Category Archives: Wonder Women

14 Reasons I Admire Hillary Rodham Clinton Even More after the Election


  1. She broke a glass ceiling. Since our country’s founding, there have been more than 115 male candidates running on the top of a major party ticket in a Presidential race and one woman — Hillary.
  1. She won the popular vote. As of Dec. 4, Hillary Clinton has received 2,012,331 votes more than the President-elect and her popular vote victory continues to grow.  That is more votes than any white male Presidential candidate has ever received – including the President-elect.


  1. She embodied grace under pressure. Secretary Clinton delivered an amazingly gracious, positive, and composed concession speech less than 24 hours after watching what has clearly been one of the biggest dreams of her lifetime slip away — a second time.
  1. Taking the high road. When called names, bullied and threatened by her opponent, she maintained her composure and modeled strong, “specific, direct and non-punishing” response methods for women and men everywhere.
  1. She set a healing example. The day after her unexpected defeat she walked in the woods to seek solace – no derisive tweets, just a “thank you” on
  1. Standing up for the people. When the U.S. FBI director opened an investigation related to emails just 11 days before the election, she did not call him names, threaten or blame him.  Instead, she urged the agency to provide the American people with more information as soon as possible.  Two days before the election, the FBI Director announced that nothing in the newly discovered emails changed his conclusion that Clinton should face no charges.


  1. “Women’s rights are human rights.” A champion of women’s rights at home and around the world and a working mother, Secretary Clinton advanced an agenda that included pay equity and family medical leave in an attempt to build a more just and family-friendly society.
  1. Inclusivity was a hallmark of her campaign.  Rather than running a lean, mean campaign organization, she invited many to take part in her run for office.
  1. She clearly stated her pro-choice position. A long-time supporter of choice for women, Secretary Clinton clearly and unapologetically offered details on her pro-choice position on this controversial, often litmus test, issue.
  1. She apologized and took responsibility for the email server use. Rather than blaming her opponents, staff members, outsiders, the media or investigating agencies, she apologized to the American people.
  1. She called out “the good” in Americans. Secretary Clinton ran a campaign that focused on the strength of Americans – on our inherent goodness – as well as the ways we could improve.    
  1. Her language was respectful and persuasive. Secretary Clinton disagreed heartily with most of her opponent’s positions, yet she remained civil; choosing to communicate in a respectful, measured manner rather than to resort to demeaning, degrading, insulting words, tweets and epithets.
  1. She prepared tirelessly for the Presidency. A First Lady on the state and national level, a senator, and a Secretary of State with what is likely the most impressive resume of any Presidential candidate in history, Hillary Rodham Clinton was ready, qualified and fit to be President of the United States.
  1. She stretched and she remained true to her values. She strove to connect authentically with voters even more than in her previous Presidential campaign and she continued to advance an agenda that valued all people in our society – the wealthy and successful, the most vulnerable and marginalized, and everyone in between.     

For all of these reasons and more, I am sorry that it appears unlikely that we will have the opportunity to see her in action in the Oval Office.  Thank you, Secretary Clinton, for running a valiant race.

The Magic of Creating

hands play

Lindy Stockton, owner of The Collage Care in Evanston, thinks the idea of having a shop has been with her forever. “My sister Ruth and I are both makers. We talked about it a lot.”

Lindy, who opened the shop officially on Sept. 26 after a soft opening in July, didn’t just want a space where she could create. “I needed a place where my kindreds could come — particularly those who don’t think of themselves as creative. The Collage Cafe provides a space where we can create and share those stories.”

Lindy Laugh

For her, “creativity is fostering a sense of curiosity.” Lindy says the move from a successful head of change management for a large corporation to a shop-owner who handles “soup to nuts” requires her to learn as she goes. Key for her in this new role is remembering, “it’s just a decision. You can change up the decision. You aren’t married to it.”

shop view left

She’s pleased that 95% of people who walk through the door are enchanted. The relationship starts there, she explains. Her biggest learning as a small business owner is that it’s okay to ask people to help. When she noticed a hesitancy about suggesting her friends host a party at the cafe and invite their friends, she realized she had bumped up against one of her barriers. “Now I tell customers, I’m asking for your help. Tell two friends, groups or networks. She calls this the “tell two” approach.

brushes and sponges

Lindy began rediscovering her artistic, creative soul in a bigger way when a friend and student in a fine arts program mentioned that she was going to go to her studio. Lindy instantly realized she held a self-limiting belief that a person could only have a studio if she was making a living in the fine arts.”


Transitioning from the corporate world to small business ownership takes courage. “I’m fearless,” she smiles. “I’ve always been fearless.” As an afternoon kindergartner, Lindy’s mother instructed her to wait at school and walk home with her brothers. “I got tired of waiting so I walked myself home. I had things to do.”

“Everything we do in life is a choice. Some bring us closer to our goals, some take us farther away. I want this to be a space to explore and discover what’s important to you.”

Step into the shop, follow the cafe on Facebook or visit the website and you’ll notice, Lindy has a penchant for color. “I choose happy. Color and music play a significant role in enlivening the mood. I would hope when you walk in, you feel very happy here.”

You can meet Lindy in person at The Collage Café at 912 Sherman in Evanston or by visiting 

Belonging to the Human Family

Phil Goldsmith moderating Compassionate Immigration Reform Conversation

Phil Goldsmith moderating a 2015 Chicago Wisdom Community Compassionate Immigration Reform Conversation

Last fall, 25 of us gathered in Chicago with Sr. JoAnn Persch and Sr. Pat Murphy, leaders in the Compassionate Immigration Reform movement, to explore the topic of compassion.  This leg of the sisters’ compassion journey started on a snowy January morning in 2007 as they stood outside the Broadview Immigration Staging Center with an immigration lawyer in solidarity with men and women being deported that day.  Nine years later, they can still be found there most Friday mornings standing for justice.

Compassion in Action

Compassion would take them to Springfield, IL where they were instrumental in the introduction of a bill to mandate pastoral care for immigrant detainees.  Skilled collaborators, they understood that the bill’s passage would require support from people of all faiths who believed that pastoral care visitation was a human and religious right of those detained.  And, so the Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants , now a non-profit with more than 200 volunteers, was born.


U.S. flag flying outside Broadview Detention Center

Today, the weekly vigils outside Broadview Detention Facility draw students, teachers, advocates, and religious leaders from around the country.  In Sept. 2015, Sr. JoAnn spoke at a Congressional Briefing on alternatives to detention for immigrants awaiting deportation.  Both Sr. JoAnn and Sr. Pat travel to universities to speak with professors and students about the movement.  The two were featured in the documentary film Band of Sisters

Compassion Barriers and Breakthroughs

I listened as the sisters fielded questions on everything from an outspoken Republican presidential candidate’s position on immigration to how the two remained motivated in the face of slow progress and setbacks.

I was struck by the care and respect they extended to everyone involved in the situation — elected officials, detainees and their families, and the leadership and staff of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  I am inspired by the way they carried dedication to the cause and a genuine desire for progress with faith and civility.

Living the Questions

Surrounded by the current election rhetoric and churning global events,  I continue to live with the questions that arose in me during their conversation:

  • If all humans are our “sisters and brothers,” how are we called to respond?
  • When is my ability to listen, speak and behave compassionately challenged?
  • Am I willing to pray or meditate for “brothers and sisters” with whom I disagree?
  • When and how does it make sense to stand together for a common goal?
  • How do I nurture faith and optimism in myself and others over time?

Gathering organizers Chuck Ruth, Sherry Helmke, Phil Goldsmith, and Marta Nieves (left to right) with Sr. Pat Murphy and Sr. JoAnn Persch

When I’m in Chicago, I do my best to join the Interfaith Vigil on the first Friday of the month.  I watch the sisters as they greet each person or group warmly.  When I grow up, I want to be like them.