All the wonders

Twelve months have gone by in a quick succession of rapid fire days and short blissful pauses. January turned to March which turned to November before I knew is it was today. Saturday…the last Saturday in December 2014.

How did this happen? What happened to my sense of time that it feels as thought it should still be January. Not January now, but January 2014.

This year has been so joyous and hopeful that it is a wonder I have survived with my head clear and mind in one piece. Peace.

Peace seems to be an ever changing anomaly. The busier I got this year the clearer my mind got and in turn the clearer my goals became. Some goals…not all. I’m still unclear as to my professional direction in a business with endless possibilities. If only I could be a normal person who didn’t dream dreams the size of Texas and have expectations of a life bigger than it is. However I also want a small life. If that makes sense. I want to do gargantuan amounts of good, but live a life of simplicity.

Dreams of bigger houses aren’t what I want.

Dreams of bringing shelter to the homeless, food to the insecure, selfish dreams of changing lives are purely selfish as much as they are altruistic. I wouldn’t want to do it if it didn’t give me and the person in receipt of the help a smile. If it didn’t make me feel whole. It’s what I dream of though in the quiet moments and loud.

I would also choose a small life in a tiny apartment in the city. Just big enough to have friends over for coffee and muffins or family over for a Sunday dinner. Close to shops so I wouldn’t have to drive and parks so that I could walk around in the grass.

I’m closer at the end of 2014 to seeing these dreams become real. I have gotten to meet like-minded people during the last 12 months. People who want to create a place of peace and community. A sheltering tribe of new friends and colleagues. People who want to see us all reach our potential and see the limitless potential of possibility. I’ve been more active in the community. More excited about the prospects of what is to come.

Beginning in 2015, I will be a steering committee member for my companies non-profit and I will be continuing my role with TEDxYouth@Houston. I had so much fun with each group in 2014 that I can’t wait to see what we do in 2015. I got to do arts and crafts at a group home with some colleagues and help organize the big event for the youth in November. I’m excited.

I took some small advice to heart last year and it helped make it a splendid experience.

If you stop limiting yourself, you can do so much more. You will do things you dreamed because you aren’t holding yourself back because you don’t think you are qualified or you don’t think what you want is valid. Hogwash. It is valid and you can do it.

Repeatedly throughout the years I’ve heard that what you put out into the universe is what you get back. I try to live this way. I try to live better because of past missteps and errors in judgement. I try to see the joy in each moment because at any moment we could be gone. I work each problem as it comes up because if I don’t there is no super hero who will do it for me and the problem will only persist and/or grow.

2014 has been full of wonder.

2015 promises to have just a bit more.

I hope you get to hold the joy of this year’s end near, and embrace the future with an open heart and a clear mind.

Galveston Beach - Sunset September 29, 2013

Galveston Beach – Sunset September 29, 2013

Occupy is more than a movement its a change of existence

Today across the nation people are gathering. We are raising our voices in unison to our parents and forebearers to say that their way of doing things – their mindset – is no longer functional.

The progress of the past is not the progress of the future.

”We are the 99%” plan a demonstration Thursday in Washington: the “Tea Party” antidote

Sadly, there are people across the nation, and certainly in our own neighborhoods and families who do not understand. They witness us rocking the boat, and they shy away and say “SHAME ON YOU!”

I read on a facebook update, “We are all victims.” No, we are not. We are only victims if we allow ourselves to continue to live as victims. We are only victims if we do not take a stand and “decide to rise!” (Thank you Danielle La Porte for your pep talk today.)

We have sat and watched and listened and stood crippled by our own inexactitude. We have allowed the mainstream media and popular culture to mold and shape us into unrecognizable robots. We listen to the music handed to us, we watch the TV made for us, and we read the novels that are given to us by the educators of a system that is less than ideal.

When was the last time you read a book just because it looked interesting?

When did you do something simply because you thought it would teach you something?

Occupy America, Occupy Wall Street, the Occupy movement is just as much about the changing of our mindset as it is about corporate greed and the government’s undermining of our rights as citizens.

Yesterday, as I watched and reviewed a litany of information I was struck by the publics lashing out at these protesters calling them lazy, communists, hippies, and worse. I tried to explain to one group in a comment on yahoo’s article entitled,

(Please note that I wanted to copy and paste it here, but the link is no longer functioning.)

I stated that just because my view is different from the norm does not make me a communist. We don’t have communist goals. We do not think that we should be handed a bunch of free money. If you look at what me and millions of other people in my generation are saying you will not find communist idealism. We are not saying that every one deserves an equal portion of the pie.

We are saying that it’s time to remake the pie.

It’s time to go back to ground zero, to join forces as a population to remake and reform the errors of the past. Sometimes problems get so huge that all you CAN DO is full stop, back it up and start over. The democratic system is not broken. The perception of the people against this movement is that we are trying to abolish the system as it is. No…most of us are not.

The system is flawed – yes, but correctable.

The older generations raised us to believe that anything is possible if we work together and strive to make the world a better place. Then you threw us in front of a television and fed us bull shit, hoping that we wouldn’t wake up to realize the extent to which you have tried to brainwash us.

We are waking up.

We are finally realizing the truth of the consequences of your actions.

We are going to connect, correct, and contend with the changes that must be made in order to make the future for our children, one in which they don’t have to have the same struggles as we are faced with today.

Look around the media outlets today and check what the reports are about.

Check up on your congressmen and congresswomen, look at what they have done and are they doing anything?

Read and research the news for yourself. You will be shocked at the inaccuracy of some new stories.

Take the time to think about how you impact the world.

Take the time to think about how you could change your impact.

Take the initiative to play against type and stand for something.

Steve Jobs was a brilliant man, and today we mourn his passing. This portion of his speech from the graduation ceremonies at Stanford in 2010, speaks directly to this need to act now, don’t wait for someone else to do what you can do.

“It was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

Links to information about the Occupy movement can be found here:

Other thought – Ending Hunger…

So – the other day I thought I read a scholarship question about ending hunger, turns out it was about ending extreme world poverty. So I have to do a rewrite, but I thought I would share these thoughts with you guys, since hey you’re a captive audience. 🙂

She said scholarship? Did she say scholarship? I think she said scholarship?

Why?

Well folks, I am starting school again and plan to have finished everything including the masters that will get me my LMFP and LPC degrees in the next 5 years. I think I’d be pretty good at it, plus I am opening an organization down here for the underprivledged. So I need to be able to provide counseling. Charge the rich – give it to everyone else for free. (lol)

Anyway – these are some thoughts on ending hunger.

Teach a man to fish and he will never go hungry. How many times have we heard that? The problem with the logic of this statement is that times have changed. Yes, there are places where fishing and growing your own crops would be the best solution if you are hungry, but this is 2011. In this day and age we are plagued with pollution, and there are some places where it is just not encouraged to eat the food caught or grown. So, what are we to do? How can we have an effect on poverty and hunger? We must stop our excessive consumerism, stop hording groceries, and start giving to those who need it more.

Locally, almost every American can look in their pantry and see food that has been there for weeks, sometimes months and it is still not eaten. We now have television shows dedicated to people who use coupons to buy cheap groceries and then they sit in their homes gathering dust, while they go back out and buy more. These people live near you and you may even think the show is kind of cool, who wouldn’t want to get $500 worth of groceries for under $10. This waste has got to stop. These people need to see the other side of the aisle. They need to understand that some of their own friends and neighbors are unable to provide for themselves and could use some of the items that are gathering dust. As someone from the other side of the aisle who has faced hunger, I have seen that even I wouldn’t eat the kidney beans that I received at the food pantry, so it’s best to give them back. Give them to someone who will eat them. Give them to someone who could use them. Today it really isn’t about fishing, today it is about knowing your resources and providing to those resources. Donate food, money, and time to help those less fortunate than yourself.

When you see someone struggling ask if you can help. They may not have the courage to tell you they do not have enough to eat. We must start helping our neighbors, so many of the citizens of this country are hungry. These are the people that as you walk down the street smile and say that everything is great, but really they are part of this struggle. These are the people the government has determined make too much to need their help. If you don’t know anyone who would fit into that role then provide groceries to the food pantries, for some that is their only source of sustenance. A single mom trying to balance her finances with one job so that she can attend school to make a better life for her children, she would fit here. She is automatically ineligible for assistance as a student, but that doesn’t make the cost of daycare cheaper or an apartment more affordable. She is someone who is just above the bottom and way below the middle. She needs help.

Internationally, America is a nation that pledges $5 or $10 to every international disaster, but fails to see that these people need more than $5. They need our time, they need our patience, and they need our groceries. The US has a severe weight problem, while many parts of the rest of the world don’t have enough to eat. It would not be difficult to utilize a US flag freighter to load containers of supplies for foreign nations to help end their hunger problems. The American companies can use this in their advertising, use the cost to apply it to their bill with the IRS, and we would be able to send nations in need their supplies. The US government has tried something similar to this when delivering supplies to Haiti after their tragic earthquake, but they neglected to have the infrastructure at their destination in place to deliver those supplies to the ones most in need and people perished for this. Having a different approach in Haiti would have saved lives. When disaster strikes the first thing we do is check on our families, make sure then are okay. The second thing we do is try to find a way to help. If the governments and organizations in charge would have gone to the shelters where the citizens were gathering and asked for volunteers they would have received an overwhelming rush of help and would have been able to get the supplies out quicker. Various points of the operation seemed to lack direction, and maybe my outsider’s opinion doesn’t matter. I just know that with a little more effort on getting more hands involved and less heads mountains can be moved.

A close friend of mine has an organization to build bridges for heavily populated but low-income parts of the world. His approach is twofold. First he meets with the thinkers in the nation that needs his help and finds places in each country that have the greatest need. Second he meets with the locals in each village. In these villages he finds local people who show him where they want the bridge and then asks for volunteers to help him build it. He has been doing this for 20 years. The people know what they need, they know what they want, and with a little direction anything can be done. This is the approach that should be used to end hunger. Have a point person for contact that anyone in the world can email. From those emails, meet with the leaders of those countries, from that meeting find the communities most in need, and then – only then – bring in the stores of food to distribute to the communities using the local people as volunteer laborers. We don’t need a mass of red tape; we just need a foot path and maybe a bridge.