Something my sister Suzie taught me before she died was the restorative power of love. Most (maybe all?) people are marked with emotional wounds and scars that were inflicted upon them at earlier points in their lives. Sometimes the wounds are still open and very painful and cause torment, like a painful sliver in your palm. The self-help industry is booming with books, audiobooks, and live seminars on how to heal these wounds and move into a position of strength. And thousands and thousands of people flock to therapists annually to take a more formal, doctor-patient approach to healing. When Suzie lived with me during the summers late in the last decade, we would sometimes find ourselves having face to face conversations that lasted hours. In these interactions my sister and I were able to give each other a measure of unconditional love and support that healed emotional wounds and upended twisted, irrational, "broken" thinking in ways that traditional talk therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy might have taken years to accomplish. There is incredible power in love - to edify; to restore hope and a sense of security; to move us further along the path of growth. I have been fortunate to connect with others in this way as well - to give and receive love in genuine earnest - and it's nothing short of transformative. I believe that love has this power because the author of love, God, is all powerful, and I believe that if you want to make a difference and transform the world around you, love is the answer. Give yourself to others genuinely in love and watch the magic that unfolds. You can make a difference; you can change lives for the better.
Here’s a story of a lovely lady (spoiler: it’s me) and her pride and how it has led to the discovery of the single greatest board game I have ever played. It’s probably also a good primer for other reviewers on increasing your reach. At GenCon this year, I was perusing the wares of the various booths and my eyes caught a glimpse of two beautiful game boxes. Each had crisp metallic lettering with an old world feel and artwork that radiated European class. I made my way to the booth and waited patiently to speak to to the team manning it as there were many buyers lined up to purchase the games. I didn’t know anything about the games (Brass Birmingham and Brass Lancashire), or the publisher – Roxley Game Laboratory – but I knew I wanted to review one or both of the games. Almost every board game love story I star in in can be summed up this way: I am seduced by the artwork or theme and then I stay for the right mechanics. When the lead rep spoke with me, he gently rejected my request. He