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The Slice: Our capacity to care endures in any language

Mon., April 7, 2014

So I’m in an elevator in a Spokane medical/health care building one recent afternoon.

The other passengers are three women who seem to work there.

One notes that it is nearly time to call it a day. Another says she still has one more thing on her schedule.

She’s asked about that and answers, “The Language of Caring.”

I infer that it’s some sort of training session or seminar.

One of the other women offers condolences. And the woman on her way to that session says it’s not too bad and besides, it’s the last day.

Now don’t misunderstand. No one was being truly cynical. They were just talking the way normal people talk at work.

I would bet you a dollar that all three are good at their jobs and are sincerely committed to excellence – especially the one on the way to the training. There was something in her eyes. I would trust her to take care of someone in my family.

Still, it seemed sort of amusing to overhear gentle grousing about something called “The Language of Caring.”

It made me wish I had an opportunity to use that expression in the course of a work day.

“Hey Paul, we’re going to lunch. Want to come?”

“I’d love to, but I’ve got that blasted Language of Caring session.”

OK, your turn.

A finish-this-sentence answer: “Don’t come cryin’ to me when…there are no more marmots to play with because of this darn climate change thing or condo developments along the river banks drive them out of their natural habitat.” – Laura Parker

Slice answers: Faye Gallagher said investing my upcoming $5 income tax refund on daffodils for my wife would undoubtedly prove to be an excellent investment. (Of course, it’s her refund, too. So perhaps she could buy me flowers.)

Ted Redman suggested I pour my $5 into 1/37,325th of a share of Berkshire-Hathaway Class A stock.

And Jeanette Lantz didn’t really have an idea about how to use my refund, but she did one-up me by noting that last year her refund was $1.

Today’s Slice question: How many businesses you patronize have been broken into in the middle of the night?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Is your cat a free speech activist?

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