Monday, February 27, 2017

Gazing or doing

We can sit quietly, gazing up at the stars, or we can get involved and do something. WE can bring about change, but we have to want it. In the past month we have seen way too many examples of hate, and we have seen so many die. Is that the way it's supposed to be? Do we go through our life worrying about being shot or who we are going to shoot? (Take notice of how guns are involved in almost all of these horrible situations, and yet there are still those who say everyone has a right to own a gun - don't limit our freedom).
 
Racism is alive in the USA, but we have the power to end it.  We can end the anti-gay hate too.  In fact, we can see all hate done away with.  I've seen some wonderful signs of people working together in the past few days, but as the various killing fade from memory, I am afraid that we will see that working together, come to an end.  Folks this needs to be fixed now.  Not one more life should be lost.  Don't just trot out your concern when there is a terrible tragedy.  Gay people deserve equal treatment.  Black lives matter.  Guns kill.  These thing must be on our minds, and we must fix our brokenness.  Again, we have the power.  Every single one of us can make a difference. 
 
Are you afraid?  I can understand that.  When you see people being shot, that can be a very scary thing.  (I have a lot to say about fear, but will save that for tomorrow).  Watching and doing nothing, does not make a problem go away though.  Reach outside your comfort zone and you'll discover superpowers that you never knew you had.  Let's all stop gazing, and start doing!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

What do you think?

My thoughts and the ideas I put forth each day in this space, are not the only concepts out there. Yes, I make suggestions on how we might all help make this a better world, but are my ideas any good? Are there better ways? Your sentiments are worth hearing too, even if we might not agree with them.


I have said this before, and will likely say it many more times, but even though this blog is NOT about me, it is written by me, and therefore is heavy laden with my opinion. What about yours though? You much have thoughts on the subjects I post here. Do you agree with me or disagree? Let's hear YOUR opinion too!


Right under the last line I write each day it says "blogged by Michael Fullam at time." Right next to that you will see a place where you can comment. I'd really love to hear your opinion. I'm sure many people would like to look at the thoughts of others as well.


So, after all these years, you pretty much know what I think about a LOT of things. You have read countless suggestions from me and I've told you about good deeds and folks I consider inspirations to me. Now, take a moment or two and tell me what YOU think!

Friday, February 17, 2017

This July

This summer will be the thirtieth time there has been an AIDS Walk San Francisco. Since that first one, similar events have sprung up all across the US and Canada. The goal is the same of course, the see and end to HIV/AIDS and the San Francisco event is dear to me because I lost so many friends there to AIDS. I've walked 24 years and just signed up for my 25th! I know this blog is not about me, and I usually don't get personal, but this fight is important and it IS personal. I hope it will become personal for you too.


There is still stigma to fight. There is still educating that needs to be done. We still need to give assistance to many who live with HIV. Of course the big thing is that we need to find a cure! I urge you to participate, either by donating to support my walk or my registering to walk yourself, or by sharing this information with others. (Or you can do all of those things too)! Click HERE to become one of my sponsors. Any amount helps! You are also welcome to walk with me at the San Francisco event in July.


AIDS was first clinically observed in 1981 in the United States. (Remember when you lost so many friends back in the early 80s)? Things have gotten better since then, but we cannot stop until AIDS is a thing of the past - until nobody is living with HIV and we only find AIDS in our history books. I'll be doing a number of things, particularly this July. I do hope to see many of you with me!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

White House ban

With everyone talking about the President and his advisors and cabinet, I was asked why I had not written a single thing on the subject. Had I imposed some sort of White House ban here? Absolutely not. There purpose of this blog has always been a positive and uplifting one. I write here about folks who are doing good things for others and who are changing the world for the better. I write about hometown heroes and offer suggestions about how all of us can give back to society. There theme of this blog would therefore seem to be at odds with the current state of the White House.

We have had Presidents whom I have praised. We have had events at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue that has made me very proud. I am not seeing that spirit there these days, and I prefer to write about positive things instead of moaning about the negative. I know there are some who disagree with this, but perhaps this would be a good time for folks to actually start working together.

Nothing would give me more pleasure than to share stories about a kind and loving US President who is representing all Americans and advocating for social justice and inclusion of every single person from coast to coast. I most certainly will write in this space about such happenings when and if they occur. There is no White House ban, but there is a ban on negativity and if that is all the White House can produce these days, then you won't be hearing much about them here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Joy Joy Joy

There used to be a song that was often sung around the campfire at church camps and other places with a line that went "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy Down in my heart Down in my heart to stay."  I don't know how I got that in my head.  I must have joy in my heart!
 
What brings you joy?  I've asked that question here before, but think about it for a moment once again.  There are tons of answers to the question.  There really isn't a wrong answer.  What brings you joy might not bring me joy.  Does some of your own joy come in the giving too?  So how can a feeling of great pleasure and happiness be felt by those around you?  What can you do to share the joy?  Do you every purposely try to fill others with joy and happiness?
 
For me joy is pretty awesome but like with this blog, it's NOT about me and it's not just about my joy alone.  I really am most joyful when I am surrounded by other joyful people.  Seems pretty obvious what we need to do then.  We need to spread the joy, especially on this Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Empty Blog

If you come here every day expecting to find some little gem, today will likely disappoint you.  The blog entry was not going to even happen, but then I realized that some of you might just think I was being lazy and didn't even touch my keyboard.  So here I am.  It's an empty blog post though.  There is no message.
 
I decided to do this because I'm not really certain I am even reaching anyone.  Are you reading these words?  Are you out there?  Year after year I write here about making a difference in the world, but seldom is there any comment.  The counter says that people click on this site.  The counter can only say that people came here though.  It cannot say if they actually read the message.  It cannot say if they agreed or disagreed with what I wrote.
 
And so I write nothing at all today.  Actually I suppose I am writing something.  Can you make a difference in the content of this blog?  We talk here all the time about changing the world.  Perhaps we should start out smaller.  Perhaps.

Friday, February 3, 2017

speaking with your wallet

As an expression of protest or disfavor with products, services, policies, or organizations, boycotts can accomplish a lot.  Usually the things I write about here are positive ones - suggestions about doing various things that will make a difference.  Sometimes though, simply NOT doing something can make a difference.  Not eating in a certain restaurant or not shopping in certain stores or not buying certain products can speak volumes.
 
A personal boycott might not do much, especially if nobody realizes you are boycotting.  There is always more strength in numbers and it is more helpful when you let it be known that you are protesting a particular policy or program or whatever your reason for the boycott might be.
 
For a long time I refused to go to a certain restaurant where I had been treated very badly.  On principle I of course should not go back there unless there is some kind of apology and amendment of policy, but by personal boycott wasn't making them change - they didn't even know I was boycotting.  When I finally realized this, it became clear that I also needed to communicate the problem that had occurred and to involve others.
 
If I disagree with the actions a company takes, whether they are small or huge, it makes no sense for me to give them my money.  It makes no sense for anyone to give them their money!  This is when we should be speaking with our wallets.  If an organization is anti-gay or anti-women or if it is racist or if it bullies or any number of other things that I disagree with, I boycott.  I urge you to be informed and to let your wallets do the talking too!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Flowerful days

Who can look at a colorful bunch of flowers and not be happy?  There is something very cheery about the image whether it is in a cut floral arrangement or a garden in back of our house or a pretty planting by the side of the street we are walking on.  Flowers are happy images.
 
I'll bet you cannot tell me every place where there is a flower between your home and your workplace.  Can you think where the closest garden is to where you are right now?  How about a florist - do you know where there is one?  Even our parks are places where there are beautiful flowers and plants for us to enjoy.
 
If you are at a reception or at a church service or at a funeral or a wedding, do you notice the flowers that might be around you?  People place them there for a reason.  Flowers brighten up our lives!  Take notice of them and be happy.