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After a long hiatus…

Illustration1

I am back! New articles and posts will be up shortly.

In the meantime I would like to share some of my artwork. This is a watercolor miniature done in monochrome.

see you soon!

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2013 in awesome, good news, Happiness

 

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The News is Killing You

I had a reply on a forum I belong to today. The poster stated that she believed that most people are, “self-aggrandizing, greedy pompous twits”. Sometimes I agree with that… and it frustrates me to no end how stupid people can be sometimes, and yes, selfish and greedy. But that too is a matter of perspective. There are very many people who are not like that. There are a lot of people who are doing a ton of good in the world… there are bright and giving and innovative people… lots of them.

I didn’t know that for the longest time, and I despaired.

I can only relate my own experience but a few years back I read something on positive thinking (ya ya I know.. a lot of it is woo – but stick with me) because of depression… and it suggested something interesting. It suggested that one stop consuming ‘news’, especially television but also newspapers, and engaging in gossip (commiseration in particular). It said that people need reasons to bond and one of the easiest ways is to bond in shared misery, as well bonding in joint criticism. It stated that these were the basis of most media news these days but that it was a false way to bond, and build community in the long run. I thought about it, a lot.

It was a challenge to stop watching TV altogether. (And radio news and newspapers as well)

I did… for over a year.

Then it suggested seeking out the good reports, finding the news that is about the good people do, people to look up to – role models if you will. So I did (the internet makes it much easier than before) and what I found startled me. No, not Mother Teresa… but hundreds of stories of regular people doing awesome shit. Teenagers, kids, stay-at-home moms, entrepreneurs, seniors… sometimes little things like grass-roots fund-raising to build a community center in the arctic, or teenagers starting a gay/straight alliance club at their high school, or people cleaning up a neighborhood, or visiting seniors and the handicapped, or cat rescue. Sometimes bigger things like KIVA -small loans made to small business owners all over the world, or political lobbying, or stopping some big corporation from ruining another wetland, or creating a community garden, creating a co-operative, or taking family volunteer vacations to help dig a well in Africa… or even writing blogs that inform us normal average folks about issues and stirring up activism. The creativity and philanthropy I actually found was staggering – much more than any large organization does. I think many more people would contribute this way if the truth were known. It is not uncommon and people have tons of power to make changes, and there are people doing it. There are lots of them.

I came to the conclusion that most of the news we get is woefully unbalanced and biased. It’s NOT THE TRUTH, about people or events, at all. It’s easy to see the world as cold and selfish and greedy when 99% of the reports we get are about the bad guys, and the disasters, and ‘doom and gloom’ forecasts, and the greedy and the fear-mongers propaganda. It disenfranchises people and makes us all feel helpless and powerless – it creates a dependent victim mentality, it separates and divides, and it is BULLSHIT.

It’s all bullshit, on every level; local, national and global.

But like anything worthwhile – finding the good stuff takes effort. Choosing to pick up the damn spoon and feed ourselves, instead of passively accepting what is given us takes effort.

I still avoid the news… to a point. I still watch very little TV, and I never listen to radio news. And guess what? I’m no longer depressed… and I have much more hope for the world than I did before (and way less anxiety and contempt for mankind) and to this day I actively seek out the good stuff – because it’s real and it’s big, and that’s the world I want to be a part of.

These are some good things I follow:

http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/

http://www.globalgoodnews.com/  (I don’t follow the Maharishi – but the links to good stories in inspiring)

http://positivenews.org.uk/

http://www.good.is/people-are-awesome

http://www.kiva.org/

http://listverse.com/2011/01/27/10-great-philanthropists-who-are-kids/

What do you do to find out what people are really doing? How do you stay positive in the avalanche of negativity that is our modern media?

Do you believe people are intrinsically good?

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2012 in awesome, Fear, giving, good news, Happiness, positive, stupid

 

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Random Awesomeness

The law is a wierd thing and I usually get depressed when I hear about the sentences handed out these days.

Every once in a while though, this kind of awesome justice happens.

 

and I smile…

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2012 in awesome, Happiness, humour, Ignorance

 

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Friday Link Love

  • November 1st, 1952 — The First Thermonuclear Bomb Test — Marshall Islands
    Britannica.com has some intense history for us to contemplate. Science is a marvelous thing, and I love it. I don’t always love the way it’s applied and I hope we find the moral intelligence to temper our technological advances. This was a sad day in history for earth, let us not forget that responsibility is the price of progress.
  • Pamela over at Angry Black Bitch has interesting and perceptive things to say about race-baiting and friendship.
  • Chris is one of my favorite people. Here he talks about what freedom means to him. I’ve learned a lot from Chris.
  • Kittehs!!
 
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Posted by on November 2, 2012 in Fear, History, Nuclear, Responsibility, Science

 

I Hate Stupid People

No, not people who have a lower than average IQ—who are unable to grasp certain ideas—for them I have nothing but compassion. It’s willful ignorance I hate. It’s lazy thinking and unexamined beliefs and swallowing misinformation and emotional reactions without investigation and careful consideration.

There’s no excuse for it, not in this day of public education and access to information via libraries and the internet. Not here in the West.

Ignorance, the root and the stem of every evil.
Plato (427 BC – 347 BC)

I am shocked daily by the level of ignorance I see and read. I am angered by the drivel that passes for news. I am confused that the same people who use cell phones and computers don’t have even a rudimentary understanding of science. I am bewildered by supposedly intelligent people believing in things that are absurd. I am disheartened by the lack of logic and reasoning power in a large proportion of the population. I am taken aback by attitudes based on superstition and magical thinking. I am disgusted by the lack of historical knowledge or even basic skepticism in people. I am enraged that people abuse ‘political correctness’ to shut down legitimate criticism of their stupid ideas.

I am freaked out by the lack of functional literacy. I am terrified of people voting and otherwise making important social choices when it’s obvious they haven’t got a clue what they’re doing… and they don’t seem to have the desire to investigate the facts for themselves, but rely on others (usually loud charismatics who have an agenda) to think for them.

I am pissed that people prefer lies, misinformation, myths, propaganda and urban legends, or even unverified (and sometimes ridiculous and hateful) positions because it’s easier than thinking for themselves.

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968), Strength to Love, 1963

Self-imposed ignorance is dangerous and irresponsible, and there is no excuse for it.

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Fear, Ignorance, stupid

 

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The (almost) Effortless Way to Increase Your Happiness

Print out one inspirational message or quote a week and place where you can see it, read daily.

When you do something for a good friend or family member, whether that’s listening, empathizing, or helping them out, STOP! Ask yourself, “Do I do this for myself?” If you don’t, START. Be your own best friend.

Self-esteem and confidence doesn’t come from other people, words or even positive thinking, it comes from trying new things, from mastery and stretching ourselves. Try something new at least once a month, especially if it scares you, makes you uncomfortable or you find yourself making excuses why you can’t.

Pay attention to how people make you feel. Take a moment and really feel what it’s like to be around someone. Spend more time with people who energize you and less with those who don’t.

Write a short gratitude list once a week. Appreciate what you do have in your life.

Write a list of the qualities you have that you like. Add to it as they come to you. Never censor things you are proud of.

Stop watching the news. Most news is negative and sensational. It gives a skewed view of the world, increasing depression and feelings of powerlessness. If you must follow some news take it in a format you can easily pick and choose from, like a newspaper or online news source. Balance out negative reports with positive ones. There are a lot of good things happening all over the world but regular news doesn’t cover them. Seek them out.

Adopt a cause. Commit to doing something that helps others. Whether that is an hour at the local food bank, writing a letter to the editor on a social issue or donating the stuff you don’t need—do something regularly.

Spend some time with nature. Really pay attention to the green growing things or the local wildlife. Get outside at least once a week, or start a garden!

The very best way to help others is to take good care of yourself. Give yourself permission to take care of you and you will have much more to give to your loved ones and the world.

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2012 in Happiness, Personal Growth, Success

 

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Technical difficulties

I’ve come up against the dreaded technical issues. WordPress is fine – it’s having your children use your computer that isn’t.

Will be back very soon.

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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