Today’s Thursday Thought quote tests our intelligence.
“You must always be willing to truly consider evidence that contradicts your beliefs, and admit the possibility that you may be WRONG. Intelligence isn’t knowing everything; it’s the ability to challenge everything you know.” — Unknown
We often condone cruelty to animals without even realizing it. Consider some of the dead metaphors we use, that is, expressions we use so often that eventually we no longer think about their origin or literal meaning. If we actually pictured the phrases in our minds, how comfortable would we be using them?
Here are some examples:
“Didn’t have a dog in that fight” and “Dog-eat-dog world” (legitimizing bloody dog fights and setting one dog on another)
“Kill two birds with one stone” (most likely sling-shot hunting of birds, for sport or “fun”)
“Cat’s out of the bag” (practice of putting cats or kittens into bags for drowning)
“A real cat fight” (joking description of two women fighting)
“Bull pen” (cramped space where bulls are held just before being released to be part of a bull fight that ends up with the death of the animal)
Maybe these are just words. On the other hand, maybe our unthinking words reflect our acceptance of the unacceptable–animal cruelty.
Here’s an American term we hear often, “Chairman of the Board.” How did this odd term come to land in our language?
Go back to the 1700s, when life and household furnishings were simple. There you’ll usually find people eating their meal on a long, wide, low board that they folded down from the wall. People sat around it on the floor while the Dad, who was head of household, acted as the “chair man,” sitting at the end in the only chair. Of course, if an important person came to dinner, he (yes, usually a “he”) was given the honor of being the “chair man.” That’s how today the High Pooba of a company is called the “chairman” or “Chairman of the Board.” (If you doubt it, visualize the shape of the common board-room conference table and where the Chairman suits.)
Another reason why sexism in the corporate world is slow to die?
As we begin Hanukkah and approach Christmas and all the other religious celebrations this month, it seems appropriate to foster peace. It’s time to move our society away from hatred and intolerance that leads to the violence that’s destroying our human family. We can do it, one act at a time. Don’t spread rumors and lies, either in conversation or in social media. Check facts from reputable, unbiased sources before passing them on. If what you hear perpetuates racial stereotypes or is an obvious attack on an ethnic, national, sexual, religious, or even political group, be suspicious of its source and intent, and refuse to pass it on. If you’re part of a conversation that includes any of that, interject something positive or challenge the “facts,” and walk away. A good rule of thumb is that if you get a bad feeling in your gut about something you’re hearing or reading, it could very well be a reminder for you not to tolerate it.
Happy whatever holiday you’re celebrating. Peace on Earth to all.
This time of year we’re in a giving mood. Along with a nagging thought that we might be scammed. There’s a person outside your grocery store asking for donations to a charity you’ve never heard about. But it SOUNDS so worthy, and the person LOOKS so honest. Still, you wonder. Or there’s a homeless person who looks so hungry, but are they for real? Then there’s the kid at your door collecting for a charity his group is supporting as a school project or selling overpriced candy (that you won’t/shouldn’t eat) so their team can go to national competition.
Your heart goes out to all of these people, but you don’t want to be scammed. How can you be sure your money goes to support people that really DO need it? Simple. Every time your heart speaks, ask your mind how much you would give if you were certain that this was a valid cause. Put that amount in a jar. After you’ve done this awhile, give that money to a charity you’re comfortable with. No amount is too small, so make your contribution often. That way, you satisfy your heart and mind, and you make someone’s life a little easier.
The last third of December is brim-full of religious holidays–in addition to those coming earlier in the month. Dec. 20, at sundown, sees the start of the Jewish Hanukkah (restoration of the temple in Jerusalem). On Dec. 21 Zoroastrians celebrate Yalda (winter solstice), while on Dec. 22 Wiccans celebrate Yule, or Yuletide (also the winter solstice). On Dec. 25 Christians observe Christmas (birth of Christ). Dec. 26 finds the Zoroastrians commemorating the death of their prophet Zarathushtra (AKA Zoroaster) and African-Americans and pan-Africans begin Kwanzaa (celebrating family, community, culture, and faith).
So, please forgive me if I wish “happy holidays” to anyone whose religion (or lack thereof) I don’t know. And, because my readers come from all over and are part of a rainbow of cultures, I say to you all:
No, not by burning it. Sign up to refuse junk mail. For financial mail, go to https://www.optoutprescreen.com; for catalogs go to https://www.catalogchoice.org. Meanwhile, recycle it and newspapers. Each mature tree this saves will consume thirteen pounds of carbon dioxide per year. And the energy saved by recycling a single ton of paper can heat a home for six months.
[For more easy, money-saving, Eco-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/7000, choose a format, and download to your computer or e-book device. For a description of the book go toMy Free Books).
Tomorrow (12/10) is U.N. Human Rights Day. The aim is for us to think about and act on improving the human rights of all people worldwide. That’s a tall order. But we can start with the people around us. Those attacked for their ethnicity or religious beliefs. Adults and children living with abuse. The homeless. The addicted. Prisoners. We begin by adjusting our attitude toward them, leaving behind the feeling that they are somehow to blame, abandoning the “us/them” stance that places them at a lower level, with less dignity and fewer rights that we have. In short, remembering that they are actual human beings. Maybe, after we take thoughtful stock of ourselves, we don’t need this attitude adjustment — although most of us do to some extent–we know someone who does. Then it’s our responsibility to act, to speak up when we’re in the presence of the destruction of human dignity. It’s up to each of us, individually and together, to stand up for the rights even of strangers. Every day should be Human Rights Day!