ELENA'S NEWSLETTER

2020 No. 12

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By the time the next Newsletter goes out, the voting will be finished. Then we wait.

Whatever the outcome, we’ve learned a lot during this seemingly endless election process (the longest of any country in the world, so long that it obstructs the work of our elected officials).

We’ve learned that there are a lot of people in this country who do not exercise logic or acknowledge facts. Why is that? Is it our failing educational system which no longer teaches children the basics of reasoning or logic? Is it that many of our citizens live in an insular world in which confirmation bias is the norm, something that is perhaps not noticed or acknowledged or, worse, something that is enjoyed knowingly and flaunted? How do we solve this problem?

We’ve also learned that there are a lot of home-grown and home-based terrorists in our country, previously unnoticed by most of us, who relish creating chaos, threatening violence and killing our own citizens. Why is that? Is it because we simply have been unaware for so long that this is a growing problem? Is it that these people do not see meaning or possibilities in their lives? That recruiters have become more sophisticated? It is as though we have not tended our garden, and the weeds have taken over before we noticed them. How do we fix this?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. But I do know that many of us—the majority of us—are intelligent, reasoning, logical people who (on a good day) want the best for all of us. And that might be part of the answer. For too long that majority has remained silent, perhaps attempting to be polite and accepting and decent, while certain selfish or deluded individuals and groups have become very loud. We must continue to speak up and out, through our words and our actions.

What I’ve seen more than anything in the past year is a tremendous American spirit, the majority of us pulling together, protecting our fellow citizens by wearing masks and distancing, taking care of each other, working hard to get the facts out about the candidates, working tirelessly to get everyone to vote, and succeeding. (The voting turnout is simply extraordinary so far!) Maybe it is the human spirit, rather than just an American one, that is arising. But we have democracy here, and that allows us to express ourselves, and to do great things. Let’s make sure that that democracy continues.
If you missed the last Newsletter, view it here:
Newsletter 2020 No. 11
VOTING. We're almost there! By the time I write the next Newsletter, the most important election of our lifetime will be over. Whatever you do, VOTE! All the info you need is here: VOTE! and Better Know a Ballot. Early voting begins in NYC today; find your early voting polling place here: Early Voting Site NYC.

If you're voting by mail-in ballot:
- Make sure you use BOTH envelopes, and follow all instructions (sign, date, witness).
- I just received a letter that was mailed from an adjacent zip code a few blocks way—two weeks ago. If you haven't mailed your ballot yet, consider early voting, which is relatively safe due to distancing and mask-wearing requirements. Or drop your ballot in an authorized ballot box or at an early voting poll site.

If you're voting at the polls:
- Vote early if you can. (Shorter lines! Safer!)
- Your early voting location might be different from your usual place (mine is), so verify on pages above.
- Bring photo ID.
- Political statements (hats, tees) are not allowed.
- If polls close while you’re in line to vote, don’t leave. They have to let you vote.
- Bring books, water etc. You might have a long wait. Don't give up! Preserving democracy is worth a few hours of your time, right?
- Problems at the polls? Call the Election Protection Hotline:
1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683).
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PROFESSIONALS—If you've been wanting forever to write that book, or long to paint, or would love to get back to playing an instrument, but can't see how to fit it in with your challenging career, or have other issues in the way ... I can help! I'm offering a SPECIAL on a trial package of Creativity Coaching at a super low COVID price till the end of the year! You just might find it improves other aspects of your life as an added bonus. If you want to know more about me and my work, click here and here.
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TECH TIPS: Free apps! There are a number of lesser-known free apps that can make our lives so much easier. Here are just a few:
  • Image editing: IrfanView. This quick and easy image editor has much of the function of Adobe Elements without the hefty price tag. It’s been around for decades and is bug-free.
  • Audio file editing: Audacity. Easy-to-use open-source software.
  • File conversion: Convertio. Converts pretty much anything.
  • Pdf editing: ILovePdf. Merge/split pdfs, extract/delete/move pages.
  • Mailing service: MailPoet (it’s a WordPress plugin rather than app, but I couldn’t help myself). Awesome product: easy to set up and use, easy to format, easy-to-understand statistics, and results that look more professional than that of MailChimp. Premium version is free for fewer than 1K subscribers.
Let me know if these are helpful and please do share any apps you're crazy about with me at egreco@elenagreo.com.
Connect! Drop me a line at egreco@elenagreco.com with questions or comments or just to say hi. Let me know what's happening in your corner of the world!
If you're seeing this Newsletter on social media or the web
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INSPIRATION

OVER THE RAINBOW

Profound gratitude, sympathies and hope to Mr. Jarrett.
(photo © Henry Leutwyler)
Listen to the sublime >
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FUN

WHAT'S YOUR CHRONOTYPE?

If you're a night owl like me, you're not alone. Take the test half way down to learn how just how late you might be!
Read full article >
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HUMAN INTEREST

AN OCEAN SEPARATED THEM. A SURFBOARD CONNECTED THEM.

An incredible, multi-layered story—and some terrific writing from Greg Bishop.
Read more >
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