Nature is not your friend.

I am proud of many of our accomplishments as human beings
We are smart….at least, we are clever. And if we are clever, then we should always remember that we cannot tame nature. And if we abuse it, and manipulate it, and modify it, so as to fit our liking, for our pleasures, or even our needs, then we must realize that it could violently, or deceptively slowly, transition into something we did not expect, and hurt us, individually, or as a society.

Nature is not our friend. It is our home. And a living, breathing thing. And it will bite back.

Respect your Home. Your electricity comes from somewhere and has a cost. Use it mindfully. Your gasoline comes from somewhere and burning it has a cost. Use it mindfully. Your food comes from somewhere, and it has a cost, especially the animals, because their lives have been sacrificed. Choose your diet while respecting them and their environment.

How would you rate your lifestyle on its respect of your Home? On a scale of 1-10. Ten being perfect, an exact equilibrium of give and take between you and the environment.

You know that a 10 rating for humanity is probably impossible. And probably impossible for you, too.

But shrugging off responsibility as caretaker of our Home, because we can’t achieve a perfect relationship is careless. And in the end, it will leave us alone, like a single person who wants the perfect partner, and so he dies malnourished and alone. Just as we will if we don’t face the consequence of our relationship with our Home.

Disrespecting our relationship occurs when we do not strictly recycle our plastics and by overfishing our oceans, which throws our water ecosystem, and therefore the world’s ecosystem out of equilibrium.

We ignore our relationship with our Home by eating animals raised in factories with giant cesspools, whose heavy antibiotic regiments leak into our environment and create drug-resistant super bacteria, and whose fertilizers run off and cause algal blooms to neutralize life in around our river and ocean coastlines.

Our technologies can help us. It may give us meat raised in labs, and a solar powergrid powering our homes and vertical urban farms that don’t need food raised on factory farms, trucked across the country on highways filled with a steady stream of greenhouse gas-producing tractor trailers?

Can we cut back our consumption and make mindful choices in our diet while we improve our technology to replace our current inefficiencies? I think we can. Because, really, we have no choice, in order to maintain life as we know it in our Home for our children and for their children.

The most unfashionable way to wear your socks

Chewy

I couldn’t find the other gray sock in the drawer. I shrugged inwardly and laid the lonely mate on the dresser and rummaged around again. I found the solid black dress sock, then looked for its partner, but couldn’t find that one either. I tossed it up to join the other loner. Then I saw the dark blue dress sock and rummaged hopefully, flipping the same socks, happily coupled or lost in single life, but finding no match again. Inpatient and annoyed, I threw this third unclaimed sock with the other two, and then stared in irritation at the motley crew, lying there motionless and mocking. And then I saw my panel-patterned black dress sock…I grabbed it and looked through the bunch quickly, knowing it’s twin would surely be there. I rooted to the bottom, fingers tapping on the wood, then sent the socks tumbling around again. Disgusted, I stepped away and found some socks that were good enough lying near my shoes and put them on.

How much time did I spend over my socks? More than a couple minutes. Not too long, but for good reason. Since we are impressionable, so the fashion industry tries to keep us looking good. Not falling into a rut of wearing jeans and t-shirts which blends you into the crowd and then people don’t give you a second look. And of course, looking good makes you feel good.

But that time creating an outfit has a cost. Besides the time in front of your closet and the price you paid for the clothes, there’s a larger cost. An opportunity cost: What else could I’ve been doing?

Time is our most valuable commodity. A commodity is something that is in plenty. But new research indicates that time may not be in plenty.

In fact, science has found that the mortality rate for life is 100%

That means everything that is living will certainly die. It will no longer exist. Scary, but this is the conclusion of science.

So how else could you be spending your time? Depends on who needs you. And there is certainly someone out there who needs you. However it is that you present value, you’re not doing it while you’re piecing together your pretty self. Well, unless your value comes from looking pretty.

For most of us, our value comes from simply being there, and giving attention to someone. Giving your ear. Giving your help. Because someone needs your help. Probably many more than one, actually.

And they’re not worried about your socks.

I’ve never lost an argument since then.

calvin arguing

Wait a minute, without reaction, and the emotion passes, and you realize it wasn’t you, and it wasn’t them, but just a fleeting thing that is not you or them, just a signpost that comes up to point you one way or the other, not to dwell on, not to exaggerate, but acknowledge and move on.

The great Henry Ford: Fired from his first job and failed at his first two companies

Henry Ford

The tolerance for failure must be just as important as skill, because many successful people failed many times before they succeeded.

One of them was Henry Ford. Say what you will about his Anti-Jewish stance and his opposition of labor unions, but he had the confidence in his engineering designs to take the automobile, which had already been invented, and to take the assembly line idea from the meat-packing industry, and put them together. And this was after failing at his first two companies!

Interestingly, though he was against labor unions and his was the last auto company to accept them, he had a paternalistic policy to reform his workers’ lives both at home and at work.

The message? Get good at something, be resilient to get through your failures (because you will in all likelihood fail), and don’t be afraid to go against the conventional politics if you think you can rule your house better than others.

I got out of paying any consequence. Did you?

Organised crime

Big Banks Pay $5.6 Billion, Plead Guilty to Felonies…

The headline of a news story from NPR

The big banks have been found guilty and are paying big fines, but what can we do? As customers of their 401k’s, retirement accounts, and investment accounts? What can we do, as voters, to change their ‘too big to fail’ abuse of power…In order to protect ourselves?

Something, surely?

Although these fines are about currency manipulation, which I know nothing about, we did bail them out for their other errors: Investing in risky mortgage bonds and crashing the market in 2008. Yet this bailout seems like nothing to me. Has anyone else felt their life change dramatically, or even at all, after we “paid” billions to the banks to bail them out?

Not me. I got out of paying any consequence. It was as if nothing happened. We paid them, they paid us back, with interest, and everyone keeps going, almost as if the banks did not nearly cripple the nation and the world with their carelessness.

The banks nourish us

We need them to keep our economy going and paychecks flowing. And they know it. And although they’re cautious after the crash, and although they’re paying fines, still there has been no personal cost. There were people who lost their jobs in the banks that failed, but the executives and managers and other workers of most of the banks have kept their jobs. Have they even seen a dip in their incomes and bonuses?

This matters because the deterrent to wrongdoing is about paying a personal cost, but apparently the majority has not. From Wall Street to us, here on Main Street, there has been no significant cost.

But there will be a cost. I wonder when it will come…? On our children…grand children? It will come, sooner or later. And it will probably be sudden, like the last market crash. And it will probably be harsh, especially on the middle class.

Neil Gaiman: “I hope you’ll make mistakes.”

NEIL-GAIMAN_510x380

Neil Gaiman

“Sometimes the way to do what you hope to do will be clear cut, and sometimes it will be almost impossible to decide whether or not you are doing the correct thing, because you’ll have to balance your goals and hopes with feeding yourself, paying debts, finding work, settling for what you can get.

“Something that worked for me was imagining that where I wanted to be – an author, primarily of fiction, making good books, making good comics and supporting myself through my words – was a mountain. A distant mountain. My goal.”

“And I knew that as long as I kept walking towards the mountain I would be all right. And when I truly was not sure what to do, I could stop, and think about whether it was taking me towards or away from the mountain.”

The best way to spend your time

Earth_from_above_1920x1200

Time. It’s what I spend every day like I’ve got nothing to lose.

Been ejected at celestial heights from that plane of birth, a babe without a parachute, just like all of us. Slowly falling, or maybe quickly, depending on how much stuff you’re entertaining in your head.

The ground looks so distant, but certain to meet us when the time comes.

So what’s the best way to spend your time?

How would I know?
You’ve got to figure that out yourself.

Federal court rules that the USDA violated federal law by withholding documents and hiding financial conflicts of interest

USDA cheese

You might be thinking, “Of course government advisors are influenced by money, because that’s our culture“.

But regardless, this should make you rethink the importance of conventional ideology, the belief about what constitutes a natural healthy human diet. Animal flesh and dairy….are they really necessary? Or do they just taste good?

Question “common sense”, because common sense changes as our knowledge base changes.

Sources:
http://www.pcrm.org/media/good-medicine/2001/winter/pcrm-wins-usda-lawsuit
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/USDA_Dietary_Guidelines

Google’s good intentions

Google NSA

Use other search engines besides Google. Bing, yahoo, whatever.

Why should we do this?
Because google is concentrating more and more power, in a profoundly life-impacting way. They are building a monopoly over information collection and control. I’m not talking conspiracy to take over the world. I’m just saying, spread the power around. Even the most well-intention individuals and organizations will abuse their power at some point if there is no check over them.

“I’d rather die of passion than die of boredom.”

Vincent-Van-Gogh-Alienated-Artist_SF_HD_768x432-16x9

The din of the cafes was growing with the setting sun as he walked the cobblestone streets of Auvers-sur-Oise. He came around the corner and saw the boys as he always did while returning home. The boys were always quarreling over something, distraught, and he always took time to engage them, and soon they’d be distracted by whatever joke he made. Today they were fidgeting over something which he could not see.

When the boys separated he was astonished to see that one was holding a small pistol.  “Be careful there,” he stepped forward, hands outstretched, “that is a dangerous toy you have.” He grasped the gun, but the boy did not let go, so the man pulled at it. He did not expect the sound of the firearm exploding and felt confused at the sting in his chest. Still holding the gun at his side, he looked down blankly and realized that the bullet had gone into him. The boys’ stared in surprise, which quickly became fear and they disappeared down the stone street.

Instead of pain, the man felt a curious, focused energy. He walked slow and calm until he found the doctor’s residence. The doctor had returned from his day of house calls and immediately examined him. “I cannot get to it,” he said finally, after they sat in a quiet room with only a clock ticking in the corner. He put a bandage over the wound with expert care, sealing it and the man’s fate. “It will be fine,” he told the man.

“I’m not worried anymore,” the man answered and sighed.

“What happened?” the doctor asked .

The man looked at him warmly “A mistake. I didn’t know what was happening. But I’m feeling better already.”

“Did you do this yourself?” the doctor asked.

The man did not answer, but laid his head back, and gazed out the window. “We don’t know what we do sometimes. I put my heart and soul into my work, and I have lost my mind in the process.”

The doctor glanced at him with narrowed eyes, eyes that knew how to judge the body, but not the mind. Yet even his professional judgment would not help the sepsis taking root in the man’s chest, the infection that would overtake the man’s health, and in a few hours his life.

Vincent Willem van Gogh.

Born: March 30, 1853, Zundert, Netherlands

Happy Birthday, Vincent.

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