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Archive for the ‘important stuff’ Category

All is well

Aaaah. My sister’s eye surgery, though painful, is over. She is fine and very grateful for all good thoughts, prayers, and light sent her way. Thanks.

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One of my sisters is having eye surgery tomorrow at 12:15 Eastern time.  It’s not a huge procedure, but it’s scary and could be painful.  If you feel like it, send beams of white healing light to wrap all around her.  That’s my plan.  What is our good energy for if not to spread all around to our fellow beings?

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First of all, I’m going to recommend Army of Women again.  They want one million women to sign up to help with breast cancer research.  Recommend it to your friends, and if you’re a woman, sign up!

Next, I’m sure I’ve mentioned Sustainable Dave’s site, 365 Days of Trash.  He is a person who puts sustainability into practice in a big way.  If we all did this, the world would be a better place.  If you have a blog reader (which I recommend highly), add it to your list.  

And third, we have a bench outside our kitchen window where Buster jumps up and barks to be let in.  Here he is on the other side of the screen.

Neglected dog

Neglected dog

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My mother forwarded an email to me from the Ocean Conservancy about the International Coastal Cleanup on September 19.  They’re calling for volunteers everywhere to clean up the world’s oceans and waterways.  Those italics in the last sentence are mine.  

My first thought when I read the email was “Hmm, maybe I should go visit back east in September so I can be part of it.”  My second thought was how silly that was.  Creeks, streams, rivers, lakes all feed into the oceans.  A cigarette butt or discarded diaper on the bank of the Kansas River less than a mile from my house is quite likely to wind up in the Gulf of Mexico.  So even though we don’t see the end result, we see the beginning.

Every teeny piece of plastic manufactured, used, and discarded ends up somewhere.  If it gets in the water, it can end up very far from its starting point.  Everything.  The dental floss container.  The blister pack packaging over the dental floss container that sticks it to the cardboard.  The pricetag on the hook where the dental floss hangs in the grocery store.  

Last year 42 people in Kansas participated in the cleanup, collecting 1,310 pounds of trash. Maybe we can get more people realizing that Kansas trash doesn’t disappear into the earth.  I’ll do some picking up on September 19, and before, and after.  Thanks, Mom.

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War and peace

The other night at dinner with friends we discussed movies.  A and I had recently seen the two-part movie Che, and our friends wanted to know what we thought of it.  I found it interesting, but I do not like watching images of war.  The discussion turned to the value of watching war, on TV and in movies.  Our friend K, who grew up in war, believes that everyone should watch it, know about it, never forget it, so that it can be eradicated.  I can’t fully agree.  When I read too many books about war, or see too much on TV or in movies, I lose hope.  Despair overwhelms me and I begin to believe nothing can be done. 

If people experiencing constant war were the answer to an end to war, it would be gone now.

I know about it.  I hate it.  I pray daily for an end to war on the planet.  If I become immersed in images of war there is no benefit to me or anyone else.

This is not true for everyone.  There are so many things wrong in our world that each of us has to choose the issues we feel are paramount and focus on those.  Not everyone chooses the same issues.

Last fall I had a conversation with a family member who was unhappy that I was not volunteering for the candidates I supported.  She believes that everyone must participate actively in the democratic process.  When I told her I was much more interested in the health of the planet, the eradication of plastic as a disposable item, and radical change in our consumer society, she was surprised.  Those issues are not particularly on her radar. She doesn’t think about the plastic packaging she buys and throws away, or the imminent disappearance of energy resources, or the waste we are all guilty of.  To me that personal responsibility is much more important than doing fundraising and voter canvassing for a candidate. 

So my issues are not the elimination of war, or electing the right person, or reproductive rights, or even civil rights.  The most important things to me are taking responsibility for myself as a citizen of the planet and being compassionate to the people and animals around me.  (Oh, I’m sure I’ll think of more soon.)

I’m not sure this makes my thinking clear about images of war, but it’s a start.

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Optimism

I’ve been sitting here at my desk thinking “Life is sure good.” Then I started picking that idea apart.  Why is it so good?  Last year stunk in a variety of ways.  The economy went into the toilet, I was quite sick most of the year, the world continues to lay waste to our resources, China seems to be taking over our country, and so on.

But look, on the flip side, we elected an excellent president, people seem to be getting the picture about not wasting what we have, I’m feeling considerably healthier, A and I are happily married, B is a terrific son turning into an adult I completely enjoy, I have many people in my life of whom I am extremely fond, our dog is good, and I could go on and on.

In the big picture, sure, life is not so good.  However, even in the big picture it appears that people survive horrible events and have done so over and over again in the history of mankind.  The Great Depression was tremendously difficult, and people died from hunger and cold and sorrow, but most survived and grew. The worst things happen to humans, and yet we go on.  

So I still think life is good, and I’m happy to be an optimist.  Is that statement redundant?

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I recently bought a SanDisk 2GB SD card for my Palm so that I could listen to books and longish podcasts.  I got it at Office Depot.  It was packaged in a cardboard sandwich with only a small plastic cover over the card itself. The company made note of it on the package:  “Now packaged with less plastic”.

This makes me very happy. I sent them a thank you email.

Furthermore, the whole sandwich was contained in a reusable see-through plastic box, which was removed at the checkout counter.  I think this is also swell, because it makes it easier for the manufacturer to use less packaging.  Office Depot gets a thank you too.

We need to encourage corporations to do the right thing.

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