Tag Archive for life

People in Our Lives

We are surrounded by people we touch and we don’t even know we’ve affected their lives, as today’s Thursday Thought quote points out.

Harmful Mermaid’s Tears

Some cosmetics contain plastic microbeads (AKA mermaid’s tears) that end up in our water system and harm wildlife.  Do NOT wash them down the drain.  Tighten the cap and toss unwanted product into the trash to be gobbled up by the landfill.

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[For more easy, money-saving, Earth-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to www.Smashwords.com/books/view/7000 or your favorite e-book seller and download to your computer or e-book device. Totally free, with no strings attached.]

More Speed?

It’s human nature to get impatient when we can’t drive as fast as we want to. Sure, we’d save only a few minutes by going 75, 85, or 90 instead of the posted 65, but, hey, every few minutes counts.

Trouble is, those saved few minutes cost 10,000 people (37,000 over 25 years) a year their lives, plus all the speeding-related injuries. Sure, visibility and road conditions (%$#@!!! potholes and curvy hills) contribute to the problem, but isn’t that more reason to slow down and be safe?

Since the 1990s, states have been increasing speed limits. In addition, our cars have become more sophisticated and safer. Both of these lead to driver over-confidence, pushing the gas pedal even farther down.

If it’s so important to get there a few minutes early, why not leave your house a few minutes earlier? In the larger scheme of things, what is more important–those few minutes or 10,000+ human lives?

Read Speed limit increases are tied to 37,000 deaths over 25 years

I Could Have Lost My Son

I was very shaken. I’ve seen news of mass shootings in various cities. I’ve prayed for the victims and their families and felt a lump in my heart for them. But this was different.  My son and his girlfriend decided at the last minute not to go to the Gilroy Garlic Festival. If they had gone, they would be there when the shooter killed three people, including a 6-year-old, and injured a dozen others. Life is such a precious gift, one we must make an effort to protect from the rampant violence in our country. Each of us must put pressure on our lawmakers to make fair and equitable laws that address issues of mental health, gun safety, responsible gun ownership.  In our own lives, we must confront violence in any form we encounter—bullying, domestic violence, road rage, animal cruelty, taunts on social media—because those things perpetuate the culture of violence that is killing our loved ones and our souls.

I’m Feeling Earthy

April is a very earthy month, with Earth Day (today) and National Arbor Day (Friday the 26th).  PLUS, we’re in the midst of the season of renewed life, Easter.  It’s a marvelous time to think about what we can do for our home, the Earth.  No room in your yard for another tree?  In my area we have Our City Forest—you probably have such an organization in your area, too.  Sign up with them to help with planting projects in your city.  Stroll along the banks of a local river, lake, or pond, carrying tools to pick up trash.  Spend time around your home, building a birdhouse, creating a habitat in that unused corner of the yard, or planting non-thirsty plants.  Take your family to an Earth Day event, or follow up on an eco-activity you learned when attending one.  This month, begin a new habit: at least once a day get out of the house and smell the roses and the fresh air, listen to bird-songs, feel cool clean lake water on your toes, bite into a mouth-pleasing, messy orange, watch cloud-swans glide through clear, blue skies.  Then, determine to keep all these available for future generations.

Easter and Chocolate Bunnies

So, your non-Christian friends, in front of your children, are teasing you about how the chocolate bunnies, chicks, and eggs in your kids’ Easter baskets can’t have anything to do with Christ.  It’s time to explain the symbolism to them. 

In ancient times the rabbit (bunny) symbolized abundant new life, as do baby chicks.  And the egg, an ancient symbol of Spring, opens, releasing the chick, reminding us of Christ’s coming forth from the tomb.  Other indicators of new life are the flowers and baby animals often pictured in Easter settings.  Point out the beauty of God’s creation in the form of these Easter symbols, in the birds in the sky, in a newborn in your friends’ family, in the love given by grandparents, and in your garden, which, like Jesus, died but will be brimming with new life in Spring.  Focus the kids’ attention on the gift the Father gave us and that Jesus came to save for all eternity, the gift that must be honored and cherished in all its forms—life.

Deadly Racism Approved by Supreme Court

There are two types of black people—”regular black folks” and “***gers” was the expressed belief of a juror deciding in favor of the death penalty for Black defendant Keith Tharp. Lower courts wouldn’t handle the hot potato appeals. Then it went to the Supreme Court–and they refused to hear the case, too! So Tharp awaits execution.

We’re supposed to be judged by a fair and impartial jury. If you were____ (insert your race or nationality) on trial for your life, how would you feel about a juror who was obviously and vocally prejudiced against your race or nationality and influencing the other jurors? Would you feel you were being judged fairly and impartially?

Think about that as you read what happened to Tharp, and, consequently, to our justice system. Read The Supreme Court Won’t Hear the Case of an Inmate Sentenced to Death by Racist Juror.

It’s All About YOU

Did you miss it yesterday? World Poetry Day. Yes, it’s an actual declared day, celebrated on March 21 each year. Back in 1999, UNESCO
(the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) started it, with the intent of encouraging people to read, write, publish, and teach poetry throughout the world.

Why?! Poetry is hard to understand and doesn’t relate to me!

Wrong. Poetry tells the stories of our lives–the good time, bad times, inspired moments, deep-in-despair moments–all that makes us human. We see ourselves, whether in a phrase or in the whole poem. In other words, it isn’t a bunch of sing-songy, forced-to-rhyme lines (not true poetry) but statements (rhyming or not) that remind us of our shared human experience.

It’s not too late to celebrate it. In fact, I invite you to download, at no cost (yes, free) my book of poetry, God Sneezed. You can find it at your favorite e-book seller, or just click this link:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=god+sneezed . I’m sure you’ll find something there that reminds you of you.

Stop Dangerous Flare-Ups

You’ve seen them, either in person or on TV–bursts of smoke and flame from oil and gas stacks.  This process of “flaring” burns off wasted…wait for it…METHANE.  Yes, they put hazardous,  health-endangering methane into the air people breathe.

But doesn’t the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management oversee this to protect us?  Yes and no.  Soon possibly mainly no.  Because that Department has proposed weakening what protections currently exist.  Leaving the way open to more flaring, which means more methane into our air to poison it and increase the threat to life.

Read more about this and sign the petition to the Secretary of the Interior to urge him to oppose this proposal.

Help for Stressed-Out Teens

Do you have a teenager who is constantly stressed out about friends, school, and life in general?  A recent study looked at what they call a “growth mindset,” something that teens can learn and practice.  It makes a big difference.

Read about the study at “Can a Change in Mindset Help Teens De-Stress.”