Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Cultural Appropriation...

This dude ROCKS for multiple reasons.  He is witty, intelligent, and well-spoken...and he makes some excellent point in his video regarding racism or lack thereof and how to distinguish so that we can recognize one another without being told we are stealing from each other or otherwise bashed for our genuine interests in the "other..." after all, it's a big world out there...our natural human curiosity has to have some purpose if not to expand our minds.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Practice what you preach...

In my speed-walking glory I nearly missed the opportunity to help someone today. I stopped myself from flying around a mother and her three children at the top of a 3 story flight of stairs when I realized she stopped abruptly with her carriage and looked around for help...or an elevator.  Muscles to the rescue!  I asked if she could use some help.  A few men and women paused on the stair, having walked past already, to make sure I could handle it and then they moved on.

Mom handed her backpack to the oldest child who happily took on the responsibility and she urged them to follow behind as we lifted and carried her youngest down about 50 steps to the lower level.  Victory was ours.  It felt great to take a minute and help out today.  My speed walk was even more enjoyable as I continued onward and I even found myself laughing and communicating with fellow commuters as we had a near collision in the tunnel.

It was a great reminder:  little things that might not be daunting to you could seem an impossible task to someone else...do what you can, when you can, wherever you can!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Change for a twenty

To the girl on the bus:

It was beyond kind of you to not only offer change to the girl who got on and asked for change for her twenty, but to give it to her and tell her not to worry about it.  The girl took it and sad thank you ecstatically, proceeding to say how much you made her day because she lost her wallet yesterday with her bus pass.

So many lessons here:

Ask and you shall receive.  Be kind to strangers.  Treat others as you would like to be treated.

The list goes on!  Thanks for being a positive example for all of the people who witnessed your kindness today.  You rock!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Don't wait for Friday...

Wired to respect, to help, to love...

Thank you to our bodies...which, despite the bad in the world, are wired to connect with the good...to help in times of trouble, to be high off the ability to assist others and to share in times of both joy and sorrow.  Yay humans!  (I just wish it didn't cut off so we could hear more about it)! - I Am (2010)

We can do better...BE THE CHANGE!

Yes, yes, and YES.  She nails it.  
We can do better.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Peru: Shedding Light

The South America country of Peru is electric...really!

The government has invested millions of dollars and not on their politics, or government officials and not on their major political donors, but instead on "the poorest of the poor."

"Why?" might you ask...well, the government cares about the health and safety of their people, they care about the health and safety of their environment, and they care so much that they were willing to invest in their people AND their environment by buying and installing, at no cost, photovoltaic panels to harness the solar energy that is so prevalent on this planet to produce much-needed energy for the country's underprivileged.  Not only do they need electricity to power their lives, but their current fuel comes from oil/gas which is ├╝ber-harmful to human health and respiration.

The author challenges developed countries to take a stand like this, for the environment and for citizens...asking why CAN'T this be the norm?

Human Facial DNA

It appears (literally and figuratively) that one commonality we have as a human race is the diversity of our facial DNA!  Think about that for a second...

We are similar because our DNA is extremely diversified when it comes to our facial features, making our faces much more distinct from others.  Studies have found that since before the age of the modern man, it is quite probable that our DNA has been tilted in support of the definition of individuals based on the details of the head and face.  Through evolution, traits that would threaten the life of the individual either died out or changed.  Traits that were not negative, allowed for greater diversity in combination with all of the features of the face.  This makes it easier for us to recognize one another as we are completely unique, but it's also really fascinating to know that it's a human trait to have highly-complex facial makeup DNA.

Humans.  Individuals.  Cool.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Don't ask...DO tell!

Love, War & Humanity

I, personally, LOVE the story of and the poem from the Iraqi doctor near the end.

Thank you Lt. Choi, for reminding us that honor comes before all else, and that integrity and honesty are not just about ourselves or selfishness, but about others and our respect and relationships with others.  Thank you for the reminder that through every challenge, we learn something new, and that with the bad, always comes good.  There is always humanity.

Friday, September 12, 2014


"So how's this for karma?! I stop at the wine store to pick up a bottle of Pinot Noir for dinner...wine store is closed so I leave empty handed but I find a credit card on the ground outside. I pick it up, search Facebook and find the women who it belongs to. She comes over to pick it up and brings me a bottle of Pinot Noir as a thank you! So after all that I ended up with exactly what I needed!"

Thanks for sharing E.G.-good deeds, good karma ;)

It's Friday on the bus...

It's Friday.

It seems that were all running late as a unit.  I saw my bus pass this morning a block before I reached the stop and I pondered "do I run today?"  I could make it (I'd done it before and from a farther distance).  I didn't bother to answer my own question today. I slowed my pace (unusual for me, which you know already if you're familiar with my race walking habit) and moseyed down the street.

Today, I have time.  It's no more time than any other day but sometimes it's good to take a moment (or ten while waiting for the next bus) to recognize the time you have and how you want to use it.  The day is fresh, chilly, and cloudy with a chance of sun bursting through or a downpour...I choose to hope for sun and I have my glasses hanging from my shirt just in case.  I chose to take my time today and unwind.

In doing so I found more open seats and it gave me some strange joy to share in the lateness of the commuters that shared this bus.  A tap on the door as the driver waits at a red light, fumbling for  tickets, distressed hair...this is me almost every day but today...

It's Friday, after all.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Never Forget

On this, the anniversary of a terrible day in American History, let us remember not to forget:

To be thankful EVERY day for what we have:
The loved ones
The rescue workers (that we hopefully never have a need for)
The friends that share in our pain and suffering and also in our joy and triumphs
Food, clothing and a roof over our heads.
A place to call home, wherever that may be.

That the suffering of one day need not last a lifetime; the Phoenix rises from the ashes.

That this tragedy is a microcosm of a global problem...but more importantly, the problem has the potential for change.

On a day when it could be so easy for many to be hateful...choose, instead, to honor those who suffered, who died, who have fought (on both sides of the battle lines), choose to respect yourself and others by loving instead of becoming bitter and cold...choose a little more kindness...a little more love... because we must never forget:
There's always room for a little more love in this world.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Get your butt in shape...no, really!

I started 3 days ago...get to it!

Whether you have to do one every 15 minutes until you finish, or you do them all at once...set a goal and make it happen...You can do it!

Get your butt moving...literally!

5 Simple Rules for Happiness

Do you think you can change the world?

Do you think you can change the world?

This question...

If you asked a child, I guarantee you'd be motivated and inspired and probably even nostalgic when you heard their answers.  Why is that?  Why is it that children have a way to believe that they are incredible creatures with unending superpowers for good?  And more importantly, why are we so surprised when they answer?  Why are we not thinking the same things that they are?

Maybe we are.  Some of us.  Maybe we haven't gotten lost in ourselves or in work or in depression or in money or in fame.  Maybe some of us aren't jaded by bad politics, or the existence of politics, or by warring religions, or by all of the negative in the world.  Maybe we're little kids...we make mistakes and color on the walls (who said that was a mistake?) and we spill our milk and kick shins at the dinner table...but we know what's right.  We ask questions because we want to know "why" there are bad things and we have the most simple answers to fixing the most complex issues.

Where is your inner child?  Is he or she present in your adult life?

The question "Do you think you can change the world?" was part of my English lesson for spanish speakers on volunteering today.  One of the beautiful things is that even though I am teaching adults, because they are new to the language, they have to find the most direct way to say things, much like children do.  And when one has the positive sentiment that these women did and a desire to discuss, you get answers that can bring great joy and fill you with belief that we are all connected and we alll want this great peaceful planet to be healthy and happy for everyone...and I don't think that their answers are that uncommon which is why this blog even exists.

We want to help.  We want to grow and learn and exchange and exist and be successful at it all!  We can make a difference.  And if people all over the world think the same thing, I can't see any reason to deny a growing movement of positive change.

The item that preceded this question was the famous Margaret Mead quote:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has.

This is what my students had to say:

I believe that I can change the world.  Do you?  


My grandmother used to read the book "Go Dog, Go" to us every time we stayed at her house.  We loved it.  This 30 second clip reminds me not only of her, but also to live with the joy of this pup...

Joy is within reach if we focus on our goals (like he does).  It's how we see it, the path we take to it, and what we do with what we have that really allow us to enjoy our successes in these aspects of our lives.  Finally, it's the attitude we demonstrate in our actions that express out gratefulness.

Today, I challenge you to live like Walter.  If you have a goal, work on it.  Find the most direct path and push yourself.  Find joy and let your ears flap in the wind with every progressive step you take!  Let the little things bring you happiness :)