Thursday, October 31, 2013

trick or treat!

Carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns, telling scary stories, decorating, lighting bonfires, trick or treating, playing pranks, attending costume parties, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, and watching horror movies - just some of the ways people observe Halloween.  What will you be doing?

I've lately heard people say "make sure it's a safe and sane celebration."  Well yeah!  Of course!  That should be the case in ALL we do!  Does it make safe to even consider the opposite?  Let's make this holiday unsafe?  Nope.  It just does not make sense.  Sadly though there are those who have made this an unsafe day and so well all need to keep our eyes and ears open.

Dressing up as you go about your business today can brighten the observance for you and for those you come in contact with.  A simple "Happy Halloween!" greeting is also a nice gesture.
 
Want to help others this day? Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF! Yes, it is normally a planned out program, but you can spend some time explaining what UNICEF is and why it's important and then "seed" the collection with a donation of your own.  The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to save and improve children's lives.  You can find out more about this program at http://www.unicef.org/support/14884.html

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Goodbye to The Hat Lady

San Francisco lost another bit of its magic on Monday when The Hat Lady, Ruth Dewson, was born to eternal life.  The longtime proprietor of Mrs Dewson's Hats had been in declining health for several years forcing her to close her beloved store last spring after nearly four decades. 
 
Former San Francisco Mayor  Willie Brown, Bruce Springsteen, and Samuel L. Jackson are among the famous who wore her hats, but the local ladies who still wear hats to church would shop there too.  Some customers thought she was cranky or even rude (in fact you can still read numerous bad yelp reviews), but Mrs Dewson was always sweet to me.  She would even have a twinkle in her eye.
 
There are good reviews of her old shop and of her, on yelp too.  There are other good things one can say.  Even though I was never a customer, I met her long ago and always enjoyed our chats.  That brilliant smile and the twinkle in her eyes always made my day.  She got things done too.  It was Ruth Dewson who organized the Western Addition Foundation for Girls.  She is credited with starting the Fillmore Jazz Festival.  She always spoke her mind.  At one point she considered a run for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors but concluded it just wasn't for her.
 
It was just a week ago that I saw her near one of my favorite Hayes Valley haunts and near the facility where she had been living.  With an attendant pushing her wheelchair she insisted on stopping after I shouted "Hey Hat Lady."  Her smile was a big as ever and she told me that she was doing better and might be able to leave the facility and live on her own again.  Alas, she got that one wrong.

Goodbye Hat Lady.  Thanks for making a difference!
 
Visitation will be on November 13th from 5-7pm at The Bryant Mortuary, 635 Fulton Street, San Francisco, 
Funeral services will be the following day, November 14th at 11am at
the Jones Memorial United Methodist Church, 1975 Post Street, San Francisco. 
Burial will be in San Joaquin National Cemetery, 32053 W. McCabe Road, Gustine, CA. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

hope

Hope is something that we ALL need. I was thinking about that this morning after hearing on the news that someone had "run out of hope." Saint Paul wrote “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” I like that these three are linked together. We need to have faith that there is enough love in our world that we will always have hope.

In An Essay on Man, Alexander Pope wrote "Hope springs eternal in the human breast." Indeed.

In the lgbt community, there is often a lack of hope.  That was what the news story this morning was about.  That too was what Harvey Milk was talking about in his famous "hope" speech from 1978. Here is a portion of that speech:

"The first gay people we elect must be strong. They must not be content to sit in the back of the bus. They must not be content to accept pablum. They must be above wheeling and dealing. They must be -for the good of all of us - independent, unbought. The anger and the frustrations that some of us feel is because we are misunderstood, and friends can't feel the anger and frustration. They can sense it in us, but they can't feel it. Because a friend has never gone through what is known as coming out. I will never forget what it was like coming out and having nobody to look up toward. I remember the lack of hope - and our friends can't fulfill it.

"I can't forget the looks on faces of people who've lost hope. Be they gay, be they seniors, be they blacks looking for an almost-impossible job, be they Latins trying to explain their problems and aspirations in a tongue that's foreign to them. I personally will never forget that people are more important than buildings. I use the word 'I' because I'm proud. I stand here tonight in front of my gay sisters, brothers and friends because I'm proud of you. I think it's time that we have many legislators who are gay and proud of that fact and do not have to remain in the closet. I think that a gay person, up-front, will not walk away from a responsibility and be afraid of being tossed out of office. After Dade County, I walked among the angry and the frustrated night after night and I looked at their faces. And in San Francisco, three days before Gay Pride Day, a person was killed just because he was gay. And that night, I walked among the sad and the frustrated at City Hall in San Francisco and later that night as they lit candles on Castro Street and stood in silence, reaching out for some symbolic thing that would give them hope. These were strong people, whose faces I knew from the shop, the streets, meetings and people who I never saw before but I knew. They were strong, but even they needed hope.

"And the young gay people in the Altoona, Pennsylvanias and the Richmond, Minnesotas who are coming out and hear Anita Bryant on television and her story. The only thing they have to look forward to is hope. And you have to give them hope. Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come to if the pressures at home are too great. Hope that all will be all right. Without hope, not only gays, but the blacks, the seniors, the handicapped, the us'es, the us'es will give up. And if you help elect to the central committee and other offices, more gay people, that gives a green light to all who feel disenfranchised, a green light to move forward. It means hope to a nation that has given up, because if a gay person makes it, the doors are open to everyone.

"So if there is a message I have to give, it is that I've found one overriding thing about my personal election, it's the fact that if a gay person can be elected, it's a green light. And you and you and you, you have to give people hope."

Milk was right of course.  You have to give people hope.  It is my dream that someday that will be a reality, and I truly believe that we CAN make it happen.  John Lennon believed the same thing - “You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will live as one.”

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Zen Folktale

I didn't write this one.  (Gosh!  I've quoted several "author unknown" tales here over the years).  This is a good story though, so I hope you'll read on.

A huge, rough samurai once went to see a little monk, hoping to acquire the secrets of the universe.

"Monk," he said, in a voice accustomed to instant obedience. "teach me about heaven and hell."

The little monk looked up at the mighty warrior in silence. Then, after a moment, he said to the samurai with utter disdain, "Teach YOU about heaven and hell? I couldn't teach you about anything. You're dirty. You smell. Your blade is rusty. you're a disgrace, an embarrassment to the samurai class. Get out of my sight at once. I can't stand you!"

The samurai was furious. He began to shake all over from the anger that raced through him. A red flush spread over his face; he was speechless with rage. Quickly, menacingly, he pulled out his sword and raised it above his head, preparing to slay the monk.

"That's hell." said the little monk quietly.

The samurai was overwhelmed. Stunned. The compassion and surrender of this little man who had offered his life to give this teaching about hell! He slowly lowered his sword, filled with gratitude, and for reasons he could not explain his heart became suddenly peaceful.

"And that's heaven," said the monk softly.

Friday, October 25, 2013

It's about YOU

Okay so this blog is NOT about me. Well who is it about then?

Good question.

I guess the easiest way to answer is to say it is about YOU.

No I don't mean you, the one person reading these words at the moment. I mean ALL of YOU. Every single person in the world, including me. (Yeah you got me - in that sense it IS about me. New name? Maybe I should call this it's not ONLY about me).

Anyway, the important thing is this is about making a difference in the world of ours, and that is something we all can do! We all have roles to play - every single one of us! So, it's about US!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Marriage is about love

When I began writing this blog a few years ago, same-sex marriages were only legally permitted in five countries and on US state (Massachusetts).  A lot has happened since then!  A LOT!

Same-sex marriage is legally recognized nationwide in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Uruguay.  Gay marriages can be performed in parts of the United States now besides Massachusetts. Right now, 38% of the US population – issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples.

Fourteen states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington), allow same-sex marriage, plus the District of Columbia, eight counties in New Mexico and eight Native American tribal jurisdictions.  It is expected that Hawaii will be added to that list very soon.

With all that good news, it is important to note that so much of the world and so much of this country still discriminates.  Marriage is about love, not gender and it needs to become available to ALL who wish to marry!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sail away

The weather here in San Francisco has been incredible these last few weeks.  It's easy to close our eyes and get caught up in a vision of sailing to a storybook land of opportunity.   Our live are actually filled with opportunities. We don't always see them, but they are there. Sometimes we just have to relax and open our eyes and our hearts. The journey we are on differs from person to person of course but we all have opportunities. There is no need to give up.

Sometimes when telling my stories here, a quote comes to mind and I have one today that seems appropriate.  The great essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said "We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities."

Live life to its fullest.  Seize your opportunities!  Enjoy your voyage.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A 50/50 Update

Go Inspire Go had this crazy idea to bring the stories of 50 people in 50 states to life in one really inspiring journey but it would take time and money.  We talked about it several times here back in May.  I was excited then.  I'm even more excited now!
 
After a pretty incredible fundraising effort, GiG's chief inspirator Toan Lam set out with the help of volunteers, to begin making those videos.  It may seem like a long time, but these things take time.  I've been in touch with Toan a little and know that they have already captured a few stories - still many more to record.  This is so worth waiting for though.  The stories they have already presented have all really touched me.  People have gotten more involved as a result of the videos.  It is truly heartwarming.  I have to admit that Toan is the most inspiring person I have ever met.  He makes me want to be a better person.
 
Slowly we will begin seeing these 50/50 stories.  I really don't know details.  I do know that you should be watching because this will be moving.  Of that I am certain.  Find out more about Go Inspire Go too.  Check out their website at http://goinspirego.com/ - those incredible 50/50 stories begin in just a few weeks.  They launch on Tuesday, November 19th.

Monday, October 21, 2013

this just in . . .

A few updates for you this morning.  I sometimes for get to go back and tell you how things turn out, so here is a little about several things since we last mentioned them here.

The Rainbow Honor Walk, celebrating the heroes and heroines of the LGBT community, which we wrote about a couple of times here, is going ahead with the installation of the initial plaques. In the online fundraiser for them, $5,600 was raised!

Eric I. Lu of the Jubilee Project is walking to raise funds down in Tustin, CA for the Alzheimer's Association and so far has raised $500. This is in addition to the wonderful video they made which in it first two weeks on youtube has had 16,000 views! Wow! Haven't seen it yet? Just click HERE. Also, if you want to support Eric in Saturday's walk-a-thon, click HERE.
 
Last Sunday I wrote here about the San Francisco LGBT Center.  An interesting thing happened - more people read that entry in the first 24 hours than anything I have written here before!
 
Oh and news of one more fundraiser that I have written about here - my friend Jason Villalobos is doing AIDS LifeCycle once again and has set a HUGE goal:  $10,000.  He will get there but only if everyone helps out.  So far Jason has raised $340.  His fundraising page is HERE.
 
Curious about something I wrote about a long time ago and how it might be doing now?  Ask and I'll try to find out.  Have a suggestion about someone or something you think we should talk about?  Let me hear from you about that too! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

how would you like a cow?

How would you like a cow?  That's probably not a question you have ever been asked, but I'll tell you why I brought it up. There is an organization called Heifer International, with a mission to work with communities to end poverty hunger and to care for the Earth.  It's a great group and many look to them at the end of the year when they do holiday gift-giving.

I'm sure you are familiar with the proverb that says "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." That's how Heifer International works.  Instead of giving a glass or a jug of milk, you give a whole cow! The first female calf born of that cow is given to another family, thus extending the original gift even more. Pretty wonderful huh?

There are more than just cows given and they do have opportunities in a variety of price ranges. You can give a goat or a sheep or a pig for just $120. Rabbits are each $60 and a flock of chicks is only $20. A heifer? Well of course they are available. $500 is the cost, but you can share the cost with others and pay as little as $50.
 
This is one organization I'm sure you will want to know more about.  Go to http://www.heifer.org/ to learn more online.  They have tons of information on your website about how you can get involved and make a difference. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Spirit Day 2013

I began talking here about bullying yesterday and I want to continue today because today was made in response, particularly to the bullying of lgbt teens.  In memory of the many young people who lost their lives to suicide, teenager Brittany McMillan encouraged her friends to wear purple on a day in October - a day that came to be known as Spirit Day. Getting involved is easy.  All you have to do is "go purple" today as we work to create a world in which LGBT teens are celebrated and accepted for who they are.
 
The It Gets Better campaign is also helpful to teens who are troubled about their gender identity or sexual orientation.  Families have disowned their kids and churches have excluded them.  Teasing and bullying and even physical assaults can take their toll on your piece of mind, but the reminder is that it does get better.  Yes, there are jerks in the world, but they are wrong.  ALL people are worthwhile and ALL people are loveable, regardless of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
 
A young gentleman I know made a powerful video a few years ago that speaks to that.  Tears come to my eyes whenever I watch this, but Emmanuel Romero speaks the truth.   Click HERE to see his message.
 
Spread your own messages too.  Wearing purple is a good first step - a visible sign that there are supporters, but we really need to do more.  Spread the word that we are ALL loveable.  Spread the word that bullying has no place anywhere.  Together we really can make a difference!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

taking on the bullies



How many lives have been cut short due to bullying?  We don't need to know a number, because ANY life lost is too many!  Bullying should have no place in our schools or in our churches or in the lives of our kids.  We need to take on the bullies and put an end to their evil.
 
Tomorrow may will be wearing purple as the third annual Spirit Day takes place and again brings awareness to bullying.  Wearing purple is a wonderful sign of solidarity, but wee need to do much more.  We need to stand up and speak out.  We don't always see it, but bullying is very widespread.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in 2011, 20% of students in grades 9–12 experienced bullying.  Don't be surprised if you never heard anything from your own children.  Bullying often goes unreported.
 
Speak out means we need to convince our kids that it is important for them to report these things to us.  As adults, we need to tackle bullying head-on and let the bullies know that such behavior is not tolerated.  We need to stand up to the bullies.  We cannot tolerate such behavior and we cannot sit silent when our children are taking their own lives when they cannot bear the bullying any longer.

Spirit Day, which is tomorrow, is one way we can stand up and speak out all together.  People are urged to wear the color purple as a sign of solidarity.  (Purple is the "spirit" color on the rainbow flag).  We aim to create a world in which teenagers, especially lgbt teens,  are celebrated and accepted for who they are. Wearing the color is only part of it.  We need to become more involved and we need to speak up!
 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

At lunch today

At lunch today, see what you can do to brighten someone else's day.  It might seem odd for me to zoom in on lunchtime, but we should start somewhere, right?
 
Do you eat at home alone?  Consider inviting someone over to join you at mealtime.  Another alternative to that would be to go out somewhere, but still invite a friend.  You don't necessarily need to volunteer to pick up the check.  Just giving someone company can brighten their day - and yours!
 
If you normally go for take-out, think about buying an extra meal (a simple sandwich for example) and then handing it to a homeless person on the street.  Standing in line at a fast food place?  Pay for the person behind you too.  (Since you don't know what they are ordering, approximate the cost or just casually ask them).
 
Having lunch at work without going out can be a bigger challenge.  If a coworker approaches the microwave at the same moment you do, insist that they use it first.  If you have fresh fruit, cookies, crackers, or anything easily shared, offer some to a coworker.
 
These are just a few examples.  I'm sure if you think about it you can come up with many more ways to brighten people's day at lunchtime.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Center

Living in San Francisco, I of course know of The San Francisco LGBT Center on Market Street (at Octavia).  I've actually been inside many times.  Yesterday though was different.  Yesterday was eye-opening.  I learned more about The Center in just a few hours than I had in its past ten years of existence.
 
Before yesterday, I thought of The Center as a venue; a place where lgbt events might be held.  I had assumed that the place was run mostly by volunteers with a couple of staff people coordinating their efforts.  I really had not thought much more about it.  In the past couple of years, I have realized that there is a board of directors and that a couple of my personal friends even serve on that board.  Yesterday, it was high time I found out more!
 
Find out I did!  There are a number of programs there that seem to really be making a huge difference in the lives of our lgbt community and yes, there are volunteers, but also a dedicated professional staff, led by Executive Director Rebecca Rolfe, to make these programs happen.  Economic development programs at The Center assist LGBT jobseekers in finding safe and secure employment and also help LGBT-run businesses flourish and grow.  Programs for Children, Youth and Family and be found there as well.  Health and Wellness programs focus not only on HIV/AIDS, but also things like general health access and sexual abuse or domestic abuse as it relates to lgbt people.  Wellness Days there feature certified professionals offering services such as nutritional counseling, massage, acupuncture; and even hypnotherapy.
 
Oh, it is a venue too.  So much happens there every week.  In addition to what I already have mentioned, twelve-step programs meet there.  Community groups rent space for special events.  There is also KidSpace for infants, toddlers, and youngsters just beginning school. There are even things for the older members of the lgbt community to participate in.
 
Yesterday I learned that this is indeed a busy space and that donations and volunteers do indeed help keep things moving.  There are so many levels for everyone to participate on that I am certain to be telling you more as I learn more and experience more myself.  In the meantime, you can find a ton of information about The Center at http://www.sfcenter.org/

Friday, October 11, 2013

I could really use a wish right now

You no doubt have heard of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the wonderful wishes they have granted for children with life-threatening medical conditions.  There have been a number of kids who have had San Francisco themed wishes. 
 
An 18-year-old who had been battling lymphoma wanted to meet Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants a few years back. Not only did Timmy hang out with the young fan, he pitched a winning game and made a wish come true. 
 
Next month there will be a much more elaborate wish realized here in San Francisco.  A little five-year-old boy from Tulelake in Northern California has been fighting leukemia.  His wish though is to fight crime and that's pretty much what he will do when San Francisco turns into Gotham City for a day.  San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee will present the youngster with a key to the city in a special ceremony at City Hall after a day of crime fighting that will include the Joker, the Riddler, and Penguin.  Thousands of people have already signed up to participate in various ways.  This really sounds exciting.
 
Want to participate too?  Click HERE for more information or to donate or signup.  There are so many more heart-warming stories on the Make-A-Wish national homepage at http://wish.org/

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Living life to the fullest

I noticed in an obituary the other day that the deceased person they were writing about was said to have lived life to the fullest.  What exactly does that mean though?

There are those who let life pass them by.  They really don't enjoy the day to day wonders.  Many years ago when I worked in radio, I used to say "Smell the flowers along the way.  They're only here for a very short while and they need a lot of love to grow."  In other words, enjoy life - live it to its fullest potential!

Ernest Hemingway asked “Don't you ever get the feeling that all your life is going by and you're not taking advantage of it?"  What a great question!  Just think about it for a moment.

Take advantage of all the good around you.  Smell the flowers indeed, but do so much more. Enjoy family and friends.  Do good.  Appreciate beauty in its many forms.  Take risks. As Auntie Mame taught us, we should "Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!"

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

making that Rainbow Walk happen

Back on September 13, nearly a month ago, I told you that San Francisco is preparing to install a Rainbow Honor Walk that recognizes LGBT notables. The individual plaques cost money of course and there will later be associated cost of upkeep.  Initially a lot (including installation labor) is being donated, but those plaques are the main cost.  A fundraising campaign has been underway with a $5,000 goal. I said, why not make it $10,000? We can do it! We really can! Now we are down to the wire. The fundraiser ends in about 48 hours. We can still do it.
 
Let people know about our past.  Help honor the lgbt greats who have paved the way for us.  Click HERE to donate.

These are the first 20 Honorees:
Jane Addams (1860-1935)
James Baldwin (1924-1987)
George Choy (1960-1993)
Federico GarcĂ­a Lorca (1898-1936)
Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997)
Keith Haring (1958-1990)
Harry Hay (1912-2002)
Sylvester James (1947-1988)
Christine Jorgensen (1926-1989)
Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)
Del Martin (1921-2008)
Yukio Mishima (1925-1970)
Bayard Rustin (1912-1987)
Randy Shilts (1951-1994)
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946)
Alan Turing (1912-1954)
Tom Waddell (1937-1987)
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
Tennessee Williams (1911-1983)
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

There's room for a lot more plaques. The Rainbow Honor Walk is going to have plaques on both sides of Market street from Castro to Gough Streets. This is such an exciting project and I do hope you can help!  EVERY donation is important.  Give a dollar or a hundred dollars!  Click HERE to go to the secure fundraising page.  Thanks for your help!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

some days the fingers don't work

Carpal tunnel syndrome (a condition in which there is excessive pressure on the median nerve) can cause great pain to someone who types a lot.  I might have a touch of that.  I'm also recovering from an infection on my left pinky.  Somehow this morning the combination doesn't make for a good start for this writing. 
 
There have been days when I have thought how much more personal this might be if I said it all via video conference or a simple audio clip.  Writing though is easier to deal with  - you can print in out and carry it with you.  Still, how much am I giving you if my fingers are sore and don't want to touch the keys?
 
Ah!  I get it!  Even if it doesn't feel like a good morning for typing, I still have at least shared something!

Monday, October 7, 2013

a cherished right

I'm not sure how many Americans think about this wonderful cherished right we have - voting.  So many parts of the world do not allow this great choice to be made by the people.  In the early US, women could not vote or run for office.

In 1948 the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 21 stated: "Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures."  This does not mean that voting is widespread all over the world though.
 
In the United States, voting is a right for all adult men and women, yet do most people cast a vote?  According to the Federal Elections Commission, the answer is no.  In 2012 only 53.6% of elegible voters turned out.  The numbers are much worse in years when there is no presidential election, like this year.  Yet there are still important matters on the ballot.

When we talk here about making a difference, here is one simple way we ALL can make a difference!  Register, and then vote!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Did you ever know that you're my hero?

Remember when Bette Midler sang "Did you ever know that you're my hero"?  The song is Wind Beneath My Wings and numerous other artists recorded it, but the point I want to make is regarding its lyrics.  I think it is talking about a friend or relative, someone who is special and whom she considers her hero and her idol. There is nothing wrong with a little hero worship and I think everyone should have someone like she does!
 
A few months before my mother died, I was helping her set up a new telephone lifeline system and, as a backup password, they wanted to know the name of her hero.  Without hesitation Mom said "Dad," meaning her father.  How wonderful that long after he had died, my mother still looked at her father as her hero.
 
I write here often of people we might consider heroes.  Some are well known and some are folks that would only be known within their community.  What is it that make them a hero though and has anyone ever encouraged them to continue that behavior?  One of the things I like about that Bette Midler song is that it seems to be addressed directly to her hero.  How wonderful!  Let that person know what you think of them.  Oh they my blush and even say "aw shucks!" but acknowledging good behavior only encourages more of it, and that certainly can't be a bad thing!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Happiness is a warm puppy

The wonderful Peanuts cartoonist Charles Shultz said “Happiness is a warm puppy.”  That gives you an immediate image.  You can picture it immediately.  What else is happiness though?  What makes you happy?  What do you do to bring happiness to others?
 
Obviously there is not just one answer to my question.  It's going to be a little bit different for each individual.  I really think that being happy is a choice.  We each have the power to bring happiness into our lives and into the lives of others. WE can make it happen!  In fact, Ralph Waldo Emerson makes the same point when he said “For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”

Being angry or being unhappy can and does happen, even when we are trying to be upbeat and cheerful, but my point is that we can change things.  We can turn a bad day into a good one, just by changing our attitude.

So me happy, and while your at it, spread some of that happiness around!
 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Be your own hero

I've talked here before about heroes.  I have asked on occasion who your heroes are and what you think makes a hero.  Having a hero in your life is a good thing, and there is no limit on how many heroes you have.  You can certainly have more than one hero. 
 
Something we don't give much thought to though is what we think of ourselves.  How do we view our own contributions?  Have we done good and courageous things?  Each of us cannot only have heroes and be heroes to others, we can also be our OWN hero!
 
Think about it.  Are you proud of things you have done?  Picture that person you consider a hero in your life.  How do they differ from you or do they differ at all?  If you don't consider yourself a hero, there still is time - go do something heroic!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Breast cancer awareness

Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is organized each year by major breast cancer charities to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those who have been affected by breast cancer, including both victims and families. Breast cancer in men which is rare, is also generally overlooked, and so several male breast cancer advocacy groups have joined together to globally establish the third week of October as "Male Breast Cancer Awareness Week."

So with awareness comes early diagnosis which leads to a better chance of full recovery. How much awareness is there though? Are people getting checked regularly? Is there still self-examination? When was the last time you even thought about breast cancer? Did you know that the first noticeable symptom of breast cancer is typically a lump that feels different from the rest of your breast tissue, and that the vast majority of breast cancer cases are discovered when the woman feels a lump? This is why awareness is such a big thing!

Casual reading on a daily blog is not a good place to get all of your facts. I won't ever pretend that to be the case. Check out the American Cancer Society's website though. Talk to your doctor too.
 
For a good overall look at coping, I'd also recommend a book by former television reporter Betty Rollin called First You Cry. It was 39 years ago that the highly public diagnoses of First Lady Betty Ford and Happy Rockefeller, wife of vice-president-designate Nelson Rockefeller brought breast cancer into the spotlight. Ms Rollin was diagnosed a year later in 1975, but her book still holds up well today. It, and so many things since, are all a part of the awareness.