Archive for the ‘help’ Category

a little girl made a great big wish

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

I remember as a child reading some piece of advice that stuck with me.

“Decide what you like in others, what kind of characteristics or qualities you find admirable or worthy, and then become the person you want to be accordingly.”

I made a list, a simple list back then, and decided I would do just that. Many of the things on the list I already was inherently. But some I had to work at. I did. I do. And I continue to revisit this list throughout my life and compare it to who I am at the time. It has become my own measuring stick of success.

I equate success with intangible things like being most of the things on my list, or positively affecting another person’s life. I measure success in quality of love and of laughter and listening. And I think this helps put things in perspective for me. It is only when I start to look to other measuring sticks to gauge my own success that I struggle with distorted self-images.

And I have to admit, that has been my problem for awhile. I have been trying to measure myself against a different standard, a standard I can never reach. So, I am revisiting the list and the girl I once was…who was so very intelligent and wonderful so many years ago, the girl who started the list. And I am going to ask…

What does she think about it all today?

And it is my guess she would still choose love and laughter and listening over dollars and promotions and constant new professional goals. She would choose people over things. She would choose living over accumulating. She would choose a good book over a movie or a TV program any day, any time. She would spend less time focused on all that she had done wrong and more time on what she can do right.

And so should I. So should I!

Be the change…

Monday, June 14th, 2010

It is time we Americans help be the change we voted for with Obama. He said he could not do it alone. It is time we help him. It is time we help ourselves and each other. Your time is precious. My time is precious. We can still give an hour or two a week. You can find local volunteering opportunities here.  Or maybe it is time to really give our time and to get back something far greater than we can imagine by committing to a year or two of full time service in programs like AmeriCorps or PeaceCorps. Long-term service commitments have financial compensation as well, not much but enough, particularly for students. (They even offer scholarships!) But mostly, it will offer you a new lifeview. It will change your life forever.

Or start researching what is needed in your community and figure out how you can help fill that need. Nothing is impossible with motivation and imagination.

I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.
    Albert Schweitzer

It's your world, your chance to make it better. Join AmeriCorps. Click here to learn more.

You'll actually look forward to your morning commute. Life is calling. How far will you go? Learn more about the Peace Corps

United We Serve - Let's Read.  Let's Move.

Smile!

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

Smile cards available at http://www.helpothers.org/

 

Do something nice for someone today. Even if it is just smiling at them. =)

Pink Ribbons and Profits

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Milking Cancer from Breast Cancer Action on Vimeo.

Disgusting. Shame on you Milk companies. And on New Balance. I just learned that they have a yearly cap on how much they donate—and we all know how much they must make off the pink ribbon. People want to buy things as a feel-good thing. The pink ribbon indicates money will be going towards breast cancer awareness or research. Any item sold with it that doesn’t have any portion going to the cause should not be sold. This is horrendous.

A wag of the finger to you New Balance. Pity. I own your shoes, a bag… all with pink ribbons. I won’t be buying from you again until you decide to lift the ‘cap’. That is the responsible thing to do. Period. And I will tell my friends and tell them to tell their friends etc. etc. Women talk…and we should walk right out of your stores empty handed and see how much profit you’ll make with informed consumers.

Consumers beware! Think before you pink… its a company that will help you be an informed consumer. You should know exactly how much companies donning the pink ribbon actually give to the cause and if there is a limit etc.

Suicide

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

I have always been an unabashed fan of the late poet Sylvia Plath.

I love her poetry, her writing. I can relate to the way her mind worked. They way her thoughts weave into the darkness, reaching out for hope even if she did not ultimately find it. I feel her poems in a way many cannot. It speaks to an all-too-familiar pain.

But no matter how dark and horrible life can be, and it definitely can be, there is nothing after this life. It is simply  nothing. I do not believe in God or afterlife. Once our bodies expire—we are gone. Everything bad and everything good and everything in between ceases to exist. For me, there is far too much in this world to be fascinated with to choose suicide.

Even if the situation you are currently in is horrific and I know it can be unimaginable, suicide is NOT the answer. There are millions of miles of earth, billions of opportunities to explore, trillions of new situations to experience and a plethora of new people to meet. There is just so much more to this life than where you are at any given moment.

This is what keeps me moving forward through the difficult times. And I will not pretend to be anything less than moody. I am a profoundly deep person. I feel things more intensely than most people. I react to them. I am sensitive. I am introspective. I am the quintessential poet. I admit I am melodramatic in my thoughts, in my feelings. But when things gets so dark for me, I try to remind myself to hold onto the vast intrigue, the unread books, the unvisited destinations, the unwritten poetry, the unmet people.

Last week I was re-reading some of Sylvia Plath’s works, admiring her way with words, her uncanny ability to put into words my pain even before I was born. I was thinking how it is such a shame she chose suicide. It is heartbreaking really. I wish I could have known her. I wish we could have had conversations over tea. I wish I could have absorbed some of the darkness surrounding her. She felt there was no escape from her life except death. Unfortunately, she set an example for her children—an example she can never undo.

16,836 days later her son, Nicholas Hughes, followed her example choosing to hang himself in his Alaskan home. He was an intelligent man of science. A marine biologist whose love for fish, fishing and the science of fisheries he inherited from his father. It was this love for nature that inspired him to move to Alaska many years ago. According to his sister he battled depression throughout his life even while passionately pursuing his research. Suicide may or may not be inherited, they are finding some genetic links but most experts believe it is not so much inherited as it is taught through example. Depression is often inherited and whether you are a fan of Plath or not, the connection between her decision to kill herself and his ultimate choice to do so—is connected.

Both Nicholas’ mother, Sylvia Plath, and his stepmother, Assia Wevill, committed suicide during his childhood. This cannot go unmentioned. Depression is difficult to survive. Again, suicide is not inherited but it can be taught as coping tool. Children whose parents have attempted suicide, not just succeeded, are six times as likely to try to take their own lives.1 This is significant. This could not have been what Sylvia Plath wanted for her little Nicholas.

It is too late for them both now, no matter what did or did not contribute to their decisions. Suicide is the ultimate choice for too many. But it is not the only way out of the darkness. Each of us can help prevent suicide. We have the responsibility to do so both for ourselves and others. Suicide affects many people—not just the person considering it—but it is not your only option. If you are suffering from depression and having suicidal thoughts there are other ways out. Get help now before it is too late.

Recognize the signs and symptoms. Know where to get help for yourself or others. If you feel suicidal or you know someone who does you or they can call 1-877-273-TALK (8255).

Here are some other suicide prevention / help links below:

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Suicide Awareness Voice of Education (SAVE)

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)

Suicide hotlines in your area (and national hotlines)

  1. http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2004-03-10-zinczenko_x.htm []