Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

Five Star Friday's 189th Edition Is Brought to You By Theodor Adorno

This week's Five Star Friday is brought to you by an explanation of privilege that won't freak you out, the gift of really listening, the truth about living with an eating disorder and the hope therein, fighting against shame, the power of grief to open you up, the complexity of independence in a little boy, struggle with faith and theology and seven-year-old girl, learning to be simply happy, personal revolution, and

Theodor Adorno

:

Adorno-Horkheimer.JPG
For a man who no longer has a homeland, writing becomes a place to live.
— Theodor Adorno

This is the second Five Star Friday this week. After a couple of weeks' hiatus, I thought it only proper, so

check out this week's first edition

, too, if you're up for even more of the good stuff.

Happy Friday!

"

Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is

" from

Whatever

:

I've been thinking of a way to explain to straight white men how life works for them, without invoking the dreaded word "privilege," to which they react like vampires being fed a garlic tart at high noon. It's not that the word "privilege" is incorrect, it's that it's not their word. When confronted with "privilege," they fiddle with the word itself, and haul out the dictionaries and find every possible way to talk about the word but not any of the things the word signifies.
So, the challenge: how to get across the ideas bound up in the word "privilege," in a way that your average straight white man will get, without freaking out about it?

"

Wide Open

" from

She Loves You

:

As I left the trail for the pothole ridden parking lot, and climbed into my waiting car, I felt heavy with grief, but free of hopelessness. Sad but not bottomless-pit-sad. I realized that my heart is broken, but it's also been cracked wide open. While this makes me endlessly more vulnerable to pain, it also makes me more open to new things, too. New possibilities for ways to carve out this second life of mine. New empathy for others, new appreciation for the small things in life. New depth of spirit and softness of heart.

"

How to Listen

" from

Bindu Wiles

:

We have so much power in the simple things in life, like listening.
Like being present for someone else in the way we like someone to be present for us.
Give what you want to receive. Give what you already have received.
Look with gentleness at what sort of listener you are and see if you can up your game a notch.

"

I Want To Tell Her That It Does Get Better

" by

Sellabit Mum

at

Just.Be.Enough.

:

...through all of the pain that is living with an eating disorder your entire life, I do want her to know that there is so much joy and hers is a life worth living. I want to tell her to throw away her jeans and look at all of the beauty she is missing while she is staring in the mirror.

"

Four-Two

" from

Sweetney

:

Shame is sort of magical in that way. It convinces its victim – the shamee – that the assault being perpetrated on their self esteem by the shamer is actually warranted. That’s why it’s so powerful, and why adults use it constantly, in small, subtle ways, as a tool to manipulate both children and other adults alike. Shame reduces, diminishes, dismisses, disarms. And played out over a long enough time frame, it makes you absolutely, 100% certain that you are not now, and may never be, beautiful, smart, and successful, no matter what your parents say. It's a tape re-playing in your head – a chorus of a hundred voices from decades past who told you you were unworthy, bad, shameful. My tape begins with my second grade teacher. Or at least that's where my memory hit 'record.'

"

About a Boy

" from

Girl's Gone Child

:

"Leave me alone."
"I hate to be alone."
I am the same way so I leave and come back and leave and come back and leave and come back. I tell him I will always leave and come back and leave and come back and leave and come back.

"

Dinner Table Theology and Why I Am the Worst

" from

A Deeper Story

:

I sometimes wonder if I am theologically sound enough to have these conversations with my child. I sometimes wonder if I'm making this all harder than it has to be. I sometimes wonder if I'm just projecting too much of my angst in struggling against the doctrine in which I was raised and I wonder if I should just dig up a tract. The Roman Road for Kids or something like that.

"

How to Live Well

" from

zenhabits

:

I'm not a rich man, nor do I fly around the world and drink champagne with famous people in exotic locales, nor do I own a sports car or SUV or a yacht.
And yet, I'm very happy.
Much happier than seven years ago when I ate fried foods and sweets all time time and felt unhealthy and overweight, when I watched television and was out of shape, when I shopped a lot and was in debt, when I worked a job that paid fairly well and had no time for myself or my loved ones.
How have I accomplished this? With small tricks. The truth is, you don't need a lot to live well — you just need the right mindset.

"

On Stilts and Fire and Walking Through It and On Them

" from

LaurieWrites

:

It's a lot simpler when you stop insisting it's so complicated.
And what's the worry? That I'll starve now? I have been starving for a long, long time. There are other ways to be broke. There are other ways to die. I didn't want the way it was happening to me to be the final story, for me.

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I've Crossed Giving a TED Talk Off My Life List

Me Being Really Creepy