Archive for February 28, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday: Heart-Felt Purpose

I’m not sure who wrote this, but I really like it and want to pass it on.  Bookmark this blog or save this off for a tough, frustrating day, when you’ll really need this reminder.

Happy (?) Polar Bear Day

Today is International Polar Bear Day, but it’s not a happy day for the animals.  The picture below depicts what is now part of their lives–a mom and her cubs forced to swim long distances because of the melting Arctic ice.  In the process, many cubs die.  This is a tragic result of habitats drastically altered by climate change.


BP 3 Years–& a Trial–Later

Watch the Jodi Arias trial if you want; I’m keeping an eye on the BP Oil Spill (Gulf of Mexico) trial that started yesterday, almost three years after the incident.  Will BP settle, which is the usual route, or go on with the trial?  Will they win (probably not) or pay out a shipload of bucks?  Will they mend their corporate ways?

I’ve read several articles on the topic.  One that brought the situation into focus for me is by “Treehugger,” who does a blog on business and corporate responsibility.  Click on and check it out for yourself.

New Stuff–Please Visit

I just updated my site.  It has a new original poem and new ideas for people with disabilities.  (I discontinued the Rethinking Our Attitudes and Decisions page when I added the blog, which gives me greater opportunity to explore more topics more frequently.)

Please visit and give me your ideas and comments.  Also, if you know anyone who lives with a disability, pass on the site to him or her.



Butterfly 3


Oscar Pistorius’ Handicap

How is Oscar Pistorius “handicapped”?  He must be, because so much was made of it during the Olympics and now, with his arrest.  (He had to receive bail, his lawyers argued, because his prostheses need to be adjusted monthly.)  Yet, I don’t see what it is that he can’t do.  He can run, jump, swim, ski, and engage in other sports.  He can work, date, make lots of money.  He can attract positive attention from women, friends, and  sports-lovers, none of whom see him as being at a disadvantage.  He seems more “able” than “dis-abled” to me.

So, what is his handicap?  It isn’t physical.  Maybe it’s an inability to tell the whole truth or to face up to what he has done.  No, I’m not pre-judging his guilt; I’m just judging his lack of a physical handicap.  And suggesting that the definition of “handicapped” be refined.



Earth-Friendly Tip: Clothes Dryer

Love your clothes dryer.  Clean the lint filter often and the vent (from drum to outdoor outlet) at least twice a year.  This results in 30% less energy used (up to $40 per year!) and guards against dryer fires, which are usually caused by blocked vents.

 Leaf 6

[For more easy, Eco-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to view/7000, choose a format, and download to your computer or e-book device. Or download a free copy from your favorite e-tailer.]



Trees & “5 Broken Cameras”

The film 5 Broken Cameras woke me up.  I’ve had trouble understanding what’s going on in the Left Bank/Gaza region…until seeing this film.  Now I have other questions, mainly how Americans can pick and choose whose human rights violations we’re appalled at and whose we support.

I also learned to research before I buy.  Recently, when a devout Jewish friend passed away, another member of our little group of friends suggested we honor her memory in a traditional way, by planting a tree in Israel. That seemed appropriate, so I chipped in.  Now, however, I understand that our tree will likely be planted on a Palestinian village’s land in preparation for future takeover and building for Israeli settlers. Had I understood the situation, I would have found another way to express my love for my deceased friend.

See the film.



Thoughtful Thursday: Speak Up

Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity.  The grave will supply plenty of time for silence. (Christopher Hitchens)


Draw a Blank–Recall or Lose

For language-lovers and the curious:

If you ever say, “I’m drawing a blank,” your listener understands that you can’t remember something.  Back in the era of Queen Elizabeth I, in the 16th century, when the phrase originated, the person you’re talking to would think you’d lost  out.

To raise money the queen devised a national lottery.  There was a “lot pot” with tickets containing people’s names, and a second one with other tickets, some listing a prize, some blank.  In other words, a person could draw a prize or draw a blank.  How the phrase gravitated toward its current meaning is part of the mystery of ever-changing human language, and proof that, as semanticists say, “Meaning is in the mind of the hearer.”  A good reminder for us always to think before we speak.




Updated Serenity Prayer

I’ve heard it said that the basis of all true religion is believing that “There is a God and I’m not him.”  That’s the spirit of this updating of the well known Serenity Prayer. (Original prayer was by Jim Martin, SJ.)


A New Serenity Prayer

by Jim Manney

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the people I cannot change,
which is pretty much everyone,
since I’m clearly not you, God.
At least not the last time I checked.

And while you’re at it, God,
please give me the courage
to change what I need to change about myself,
which is frankly a lot, since, once again,
I’m not you, which means I’m not perfect.
It’s better for me to focus on changing myself
than to worry about changing other people,
who, as you’ll no doubt remember me saying,
I can’t change anyway.

Finally, give me the wisdom to just shut up
whenever I think that I’m clearly smarter
than everyone else in the room,
that no one knows what they’re talking about except me,
or that I alone have all the answers.

Basically, God,
grant me the wisdom
to remember that I’m
not you.