Friday, August 18, 2017

It's NOT about sashimi

You are correct if you think this blog is NOT about me. Oh and today, it's NOT about sashimi. (Did I get your attention though)? Actually I just wanted to remind you that your comments are certainly welcome here every day. You might even give me some ideas of people or events to share with everyone. Oh and I have two blogs (yeah I suppose a bit of self-promotion would be about me, but thought you might not know).


Five days a week I write something here about making a difference in the world. I've been writing these now for nine years. Last fall I also began a daily blog about kindness that you can find HERE. Those entries are short and hopefully inspiring - often I quote others.  Read them both.  Comment on both.  Share them with your friends.

What could be better than a nice plate of salmon sashimi?  Why hearing from dear readers of course!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Fifty

Walking down an unfamiliar street in Buffalo, New York many years ago, it suddenly began to rain. It wasn't a light shower but rather a cold and pounding downpour. I wasn't wearing an overcoat and had no umbrella, so I was soaked almost immediately. My usual sunny mood had turned to quite the opposite, but all that was about to change.

Hurrying up the sidewalk with water pouring off of me, I looked down and there in front of me was a fifty dollar bill! Oh my! Now the rain didn't seem so bad. If it hadn't been raining, surely that money would have blown away. I put it in my pocket and continued on my way.

Later when I mentioned my good luck to a friend, he said "But it isn't yours. Did you even try to find the rightful owner?"

This wasn't a wallet or an identifiable piece of property. It was US currency that someone had likely dropped without knowing, but since I didn't witness it, how could I possibly find the person it belonged to?

I'm telling you this story today to solicit your thoughts. Was I wrong to keep it? Was that a dishonest act? What would YOU have done?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

For him it makes a difference

Another one of those "internet parables" came my way the other day, and although you may have heard it, this one again is worth sharing. Like others I have shared here in the past, I have no idea who the author is.

It seems an old man was going for a walk one day when he noticed a little boy feeding a thin, shaggy looking dog with bits of bread. He went up to the boy and asked him why he was sharing his bread with the dog.

The little boy answered, "Because he has nothing. No home, no family, and if I don’t feed him he will die."

"But there are homeless dogs everywhere," the old man replied. "Your efforts don’t really make a difference."

The little boy looked at the dog and stroked him. "For him, for this little dog, it makes all the difference in the world."

I wish I knew who wrote this because they get it so amazingly right. Did you ever hold back from donating money or food or anything else because you could only spare a small amount and thought it wouldn't make a difference? If we all fed those homeless dogs - if we all fed those homeless people, it would make such a difference. I'm thinking we just might wipe out homelessness!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Jeff Adachi is a hero


Jeff Adachi is a hero. He is indeed making a difference in this world. There. I said it upfront in case you don't want to read this all the way through, but I can tell you more.

Adachi, the elected Public Defender for San Francisco County, oversees an office with over 150 staff, including 100 lawyers. He's not just the manager though. You will just as likely see him in the courtroom, fighting for his client. I just read that he has tried over 100 jury trials. He does what every attorney should do, but what so many don't. He looks out for those he represents. 
 
There's also Jeff Adachi the film maker. Check out The Slanted Screen, You Don't Know Jack: The Jack Soo Story, and America Needs a Racial Facial to find out what I mean.  This would especially be a good week to check out that last one, an eight minute film about race in this country.  (The other ones are noteworthy too, dealing with the underrepresentation of Asian actors in the US film industry).

Adachi is an annual participant in the LGBT Pride Parade in San Francisco and a huge group from his office usually accompanies him.  You'll also see him on the evening news, speaking out whenever there is a local injustice, and raising his voice to see that justice prevails.

I could easily go on and on about how this man has made a difference in the lives of many, as an attorney, a film producer, and an activist, but trust me - Jeff Adachi is a hero.  Our world could use more folks like him!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Disgusted by the hatred

This was not a weekend to be proud of.  On Friday night, things began with a large group of white men carrying torches though the University of Virginia  campus in what they called a “pro-white” demonstration, protesting plans to remove a statue of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee. It quickly spiraled into violence Saturday morning and at least three lives were lost.  Many voiced opinions over the weekend, but none have condemned the hatred as strongly as Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.

On Saturday morning, Governor McAuliffe declared a State of Emergency saying in part "It is now clear that public safety cannot be safeguarded without additional powers, and that the mostly out-of-state protesters have come to Virginia to endanger our citizens and property. I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours. The actions I have taken are intended to assist local government and restore public safety."

On social media there were some who made jokes.  Seriously.  How can hatred and prejudice be funny?  Some leaders made statements, but didn't condemn the hate and the violence.  There were Confederate and Nazi flags and salutes and there were even supportive messages from the Ku Klux Klan.  Terry McAuliffe was quick to condemn all of the violence and hatred.  "You pretend that you are patriots, but you are anything but a patriot," McAuliffe said, with Charlottesville's mayor and police chief beside him.  "We are stronger than you," he added, speaking to white nationalists.  "You have made our commonwealth stronger. You will not succeed. There is no place for you here."

The Democratic Governor would be heard from several times over the weekend.  There were counter protests as well.  There was a lot of anti-hate comments on social media, but will that translate into action?  It is clear that a huge racism problem exists.  Will the haters be driven away though or will everyone just forget about it in a day or so?  Governor McAuliffe said he was "disgusted by the hatred."  Shouldn't we all be disgusted?


"You are not patriots," Governor McAuliffe said at his press conference. "You came here today to hurt people and that is not patriotic.  My message is clear.  We are stronger than you. You will not succeed. There is no place for you here and there is no place for you in America."  Governor McAuliffe should inspire us all - there should never be a place for hatred in America.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Change the World

Listening to Eric Clapton sing Change the World, I find myself thinking of all the many things I would love to do. Clapton's song is really a love song, but it's from the motion picture Phenomenon and the film was about someone who indeed changed the world.

A couple of wonderful scenes from the movie stick in my mind. In on of them, the lead character George Malley asks his love interest Lace Pennamin, "Hey, would you, uh, love me for the rest of my life?" Her response: "No, I'm gonna love you for the rest of mine." In another scene, George is trying to comfort the two small children of Lace, who have just learned that he is dying. George uses an apple as a metaphor, saying that no matter what, an apple will rot and die if thrown on the ground, but if you were to take a bite out of it, the apple would become a part of you, and you would carry it with you forever. I really love that way of looking at it. He is essentially saying that he will therefore live forever.

From a Clapton song to a major film, there are different ways of looking at leaving a piece of yourself behind - of changing the world.  If we all do something that becomes a part of others, we will in a sense, live forever.  Of course we don't try to do good or change the world, just so we will have immortality.  We do it to benefit our families and our friends and other loved ones.  We all can change the world!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

One man's trash

Something that one person considers to be worthless just might be considered valuable by someone else.  I think the old saying is that one man's trash is another man's treasure.  You might also look at it as always seeing something positive, even in something as seemingly worthless as garbage.
 
I know people who always see the positive.  I try to be like that myself.  I would much rather enjoy the everyday experiences and rejoice in the hidden beauty that is so often missed than to spend unnecessary time and money going for the lavish expensive things that so many covet but which all too often are really over rated.
 
There is so much good - everywhere.  All we have to do is open our eyes and our minds.  Now, I'm not saying we should wallow in dirt and filth, but we can appreciate the less extravagant.  We can also do something about the filth and make it so that everyone might enjoy it!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Gentle on my mind

The incredible singer, songwriter, musician, tv host, and actor, Glen Campbell died yesterday morning at memory care facility in Nashville.  We will remember him for "Gentle on My Mind," "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman," "Galveston," "Rhinestone Cowboy," "Southern Nights," and many other hit songs.  We will of course remember "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour" on television, along with his many other tv appearances and his film roles in "True Grit" and "Norwood."  To say that Glen Campbell brought joy to people for many years, would be an understatement. 

Campbell is forever been known for his final years as well.  It was inn June of 2011 that he announced that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.  At a time when most people would want privacy, especially celebrities, Campbell let the world have a glimpse of this disease and how it was effecting him.  We also heard reports from friends and family members and listened to him perform one more time.  Campbell's courage in revealing his illness brought more attention to Alzheimer's.

Please go to http://alz.org/ to learn more about the disease and what is being done.  This is an organization that Glen Campbell supported.  A donation in his honor would certainly be appropriate.

All day yesterday, tributes came from performers and others who had worked with Campbell over the years or who had been touched by his talent.  Please feel free to add your own memories in the comments section below.  Also, donations can be made to the Glen Campbell Memorial Fund, by clicking HERE.  Forever he will be gentle on my mind.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Every single penny

Through the year, I personally try to raise money for various causes. I know this blog is NOT about me, but I wanted to share something I often hear.  "I'd give, but I can only spare a few bucks, and that isn't worth it."  Every single penny helps.  Remember, we don't act alone, but together with every other person who is giving.

Just recently I raised money for the 30th AIDS Walk San Francisco and I can't tell you how many people said they wanted to give but just didn't have the fifty dollars it takes.  Some of this is the fault of organizations that suggest certain amounts when asking for donations.  What really should be stressed over and over is that ALL gifts are helpful.

My birthday is later this month, and rather than accept presents, I am asking anyone who wants to give something, to donate to my church.  For folks who might not like the idea of churches, I'm participating in the Light the Night Walk in the fall, and it's not too early to make donations there.  Again, I try to stress to my friends that the smallest of gifts is appreciated just as much as the largest.

If you are out there collecting for a favorite charity, remind people of this.  The idea isn't to make people go broke or to make them feel guilty.  There are some who just might not be able to even spare a dime, but for those who can give, every single penny counts.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Love those health care workers

It was not my plan at all to spend the weekend in hospital, but that's what happened. I won't go into details, because this blog is NOT about me, but I will say I am okay and there is no need to worry. I also want to say that health care workers are incredible!

In the past few days I got to see nurses, aides, technicians, phlebotomists, physicians, and any number of other hospital employees, not only dealing with me, but I could overhear their interactions with other patients.  So much caring!  If the whole world was like the people I have just encountered this weekend, we would never have anything to worry about.

Being a nurse or any health care worker, makes a difference to other people.  Think about the work they do the next time you visit your doctor.  Be sure to say thanks!


Friday, August 4, 2017

Live for something greater

Just what does it mean to live for something greater?  Think about it for a moment.  Are we talking about great accomplishments?  Are we talking about a greater power?  Are we talking about a set of values?  What do you think?
 
I write a lot about hometown heroes and to me, those are the folks who live for something greater.  It might not have been something they thought about or planned, but by their actions or by their words, they made a difference and it was something that endures.
 
Do you want you live to be infancy, school, work, retirement, and then death with no great milestones along the way?  Well most of us don't.  It's human nature to do new things and along the way to become more and more popular and to have more and more friends.  Although we know we cannot live forever, many of us want something we do or say to last beyond our time on this earth.  That's what motivates them to do great things.
 
The motivations can be many.  There need not be just one answer to my above questions.  How about if we all strive to live for something greater!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Still more of my favorite quotes

There are famous quotations that have become a part of our daily lives.  Sometimes we even get confused as to the source - is it from The Bible?  from Shakespeare? I'll bet there is a favorite of yours that I haven't mentioned in the ones I listed these past two days.  Do feel free to share it with us! 

Yesterday I quoted John Lennon and indeed many great sayings come from songwriters.  Think of a favorite lyric and the meaning behind it.  Think about how powerful some song words have been to you.

Encouraging statements are the ones that stick with me the most.  Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt once made a very encouraging statement that is like an anthem to me:  “The purpose of life is to live it."  Indeed.

Perhaps the most encouraging of all statements for me is one from Blessed Paul the Apostle in his letter to the Romans.  Saint Paul said "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  To that I'll simply say, "Amen."

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Some more of my favorite quotes

Once I started this yesterday, a bunch of additional quotations came to mind.  There are really a lot of profound things being said.  Here are some more -

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." –Maya Angelou

"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life." –John Lennon

"The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be." –Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take." –Wayne Gretzky

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover." –Mark Twain
 
More things to think about.  Perhaps some of you will act on these.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Some of my favorite quotes

Sometimes people say things that are so profound, they are quoted over and over again.  These are some of my favorite inspiring thoughts from some folks you may have heard of -

"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." –Benjamin Franklin

"You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try." –Beverly Sills

"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." –Henry Ford

"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value." –Albert Einstein

"It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years." –Abraham Lincoln

"If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough." –Oprah Winfrey
 
A few things to think about today.