Monday, March 19, 2018

Sunrise Sunset

Isn't this a glorious vision?  Wait a moment though - in this picture, are we looking at a sunrise or a sunset?  Can you tell the difference?  Is one more beautiful than the other?  Does it make you think of the time you watched the sun come up with the person you love?
There are those who prefer the rising of the sun in the morning.  It signals a fresh start; a brand new day.  Most of us when we see it are just waking up and are rested and refreshed after a night's sleep.
Some people prefer to look at the sun as it sets.  The day is finished and now, as the sun goes down, a time of rest is approaching.  We have done what we set out to do and there will be another opportunity to do more wonderful things tomorrow.
However we look at the sun though, one thing is certain.  It is beautiful.  Take a moment and just reflect on this picture.  There is beauty all around us.  Take a moment and enjoy some of that too.  In fact, start looking at all the beauty that surrounds you, and I guarantee in will change your day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Stephen Hawking made us think

"In a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?"  Stephen Hawking asked us that question twelve years ago.  He followed up by saying "I don't know the answer. That is why I asked the question, to get people to think about it, and to be aware of the dangers we now face."

That is one of the things I will always remember about this remarkable man - he made us think.  He did it despite the obstacles that were present in his own life.  In 1963 he was given two years to live, when he contracted motor neurone disease.  Not only did he prove the doctors wrong, but he went on proving things for the next fifty five years.  His discoveries, his books, and certainly his awards, would be too numerous to list here, but we can certainly say his life was full.

I wonder how many people went into science because of him.  "It surprises me how disinterested we are today about things like physics, space, the universe and philosophy of our existence, our purpose, our final destination," Hawking said.  "Its a crazy world out there. Be curious."  He certainly inspired me.

The famous theoretical physicist who appeared on The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory, passed away early this morning.  All day long I expect that people will be singing his praises.  I've said before that heroes are not all the same, and Stephen Hawking most certainly was not what you might expect, but he was a hero.  Now, he's with the stars.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Be the reason

Have you ever walked down the street early in the morning and had someone smile and say hello to you? It actually used to be quite common. It still happens here and there, but mostly in smaller communities. I don't know about you, but that kind of friendliness can really make my day. Their smile becomes my smile!

Of course there are many reasons to be happy. The barista who serves my coffee, remembering exactly how I like it from my previous visits, and who hands it to me with a smile. His smile, becomes my smile! The same thing happens when I am crossing the street and a driver waits to let me go ahead with a wave and a smile. I think you know where this is going. Her smile becomes my smile!

Being nice is always a good thing. Sharing the joys of life not only makes others happy, but can help to keep you happy. It's like a circle. Happy people don't have to put a lot of effort into it. It just comes naturally. Some of us have to think about it a little more. Whatever the case though, be happy, and share it. Be the reason someone smiles today!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Don't bury your head

Some people just might claim that the ostrich is the most imitated in all the animal kingdom.  I'm sure you know people who bury their heads in the sand - perhaps not literally, but certainly figuratively.  "Let me close my eyes to all the bad things and pretend they aren't even happening." Of course that doesn't accomplish a thing!  It does absolutely nothing! Bad things still exist, even when you refuse to look at them.  When you turn on the tv news or pick up your local newspaper, you will see negative stories galore.

Now I don't usually write about what NOT to do, because I have always preferred the more positive side of things.  So instead of suggesting that we not bury our heads in the sand, let me suggest instead that we go through life with our eyes wide open doing the best we can and looking for chances along the way to make change and to do good.  Yes there is a lot of bad, but instead of moaning and groaning about it, let's think of ideas that will make a difference.

We all have the power to make change.  Sometimes it might not seem like it, but even small things can make a difference.  I was reminded the other day about the power of a simple smile.  It feels good to contribute.  It really does.  Burying your head only makes us feel bad in the end.  I much prefer the good!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Stand up for animals

Abusing an animal is one of the most horrible things I can think of. An animal cannot call the police. An animal cannot send an email. An animal cannot contact a doctor when they are injured. Animals are among the most vulnerable, and yet they are taken advantage of at an alarming rate.

Neglect and abandonment are the most common forms of companion animal abuse in the United States. According to the Humane Society of the United States, the shocking number of cruelty cases reported every day in the media is only a small part of the picture. Most cases of animal abuse are never reported, and most animal suffering goes unrecognized and unabated.

This is one of those things that CAN be solved though. This is a people problem. People can stop being cruel. Of course that is the simple answer. The bigger answer is that we all have to care and we all have to get involved and do our part. At the top of the list: do not tolerate any cruelty to animals!

Know who to contact in your area if you witness or suspect animal abuse. (Your police department is always a good place to start). Teach children how to treat animals and to respect them as living creatures too. The earlier the better. Let kids know that it is NOT okay to abuse an animal EVER.

If you have animals of your own, take care of them. If you don't want putties or kittens, be sure to spay or neuter your animals or don't let them spend time with other animals while they are outside.

Support the local shelter or humane society and get to know the work they are involved in. Donate also, if your are able, to your local shelters, pet abuse organizations or the ASPCA.

Animal abuse and neglect can be ended if only we all just care.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

how much?

How much do you want to make out of your life?  No, not how much money.  I'm asking if you have any sort of aspirations.  We weren't just born to pay bills and then die.
Are you someone who always wants to do better?  Do you find yourself reaching for the stars?  Is there a limit?  Do you keep going just because you want things better for yourself, or do you have high expectations for your family, friends, and even your community?  How much achievement is enough?  Should we keep reinventing ourselves?
What gives you joy?  What brings you pleasure?  Do you want more and more of these things?  How much more?  Oh my!  For me there really is no limit.  Every day presents new opportunities and I want to take advantage of each and every one.  I hope that you keep wanting new experiences in your life too.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Heroes at the Games

The XXIII Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea have come to a close.  Did you watch?  Were you impressed?  Inspired?  Did you see any heroes at the Games?

What I think is a hero and what you think is a hero, might not be the same thing, but folks do tend to look up to sports figures for a variety of reasons.  Over the years I have certainly been impressed by the great skill of the participants.  Not just anybody wins a medal after all.  At this Olympics though it wasn't just about the competition.  I was impressed by a number of people for other reasons.

Openly gay Olympic athletes is something new and being the first can take courage.  Network television captured a celebratory kiss between an athlete and his boyfriend - yes, HIS boyfriend.  There was a lot of talk about that moment because it wasn't the usual Olympic moment, but there wasn't a lot of negative talk.  Perhaps a sign that the world is becoming more progressive.  Someday being a gay Olympian will be no big deal.

There were other participants who stood up and spoke the truth.  We take note of that.  Good only comes when good people stand up and make a difference.  You don't need to earn a medal for that.  Sometimes you just have to be your true self.