Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What do I say when my sister turns 50?

Like a 7-year-itch, turning 21, and retirement, 50 is a milestone not just marking longevity but also transition. It's a fortuitous celebration set like a gem among life's stresses, one that brings us to a moment when we have the chance to pause and focus with more clarity on choicepoints bursting with untapped potential.
Leap Higher
Amidst life's routine of tedium and traumas, we need these ritual pauses to remember that every passing moment, really, is also a beginning, worth our time and attention. When we forget to stop and note the starting moments, life is just a passing blur of resilience, fortitude, and grim jaw-setting determination. We keep stepping one foot blindly ahead, moving relentlessly toward that lifestyle package we signed on for back a milestone or several ago.

Unless we pause and re-evaluate, we may not notice the diminishing splendor of that bright and beckoning promise. Without our notice, what once seemed an apex has certainly shifted and shrunk like a tectonic plate subducting its heavy load under a rising uplift edge. Failure to attend the changing currents can suck us under as well.

But from the vantage of a momentary stopping point, we have an oversight opportunity, a chance to cautiously reconsider the inevitability of accepting the world as it presents. Heeding that nagging urge to resist the inertial undertow enables us to change course.

It's only when we refocus and rethink possibilities and choose to abandon old prescribed proscribed plans that we can discover what makes life worth our while. No thoughtless tweak, though, is enough to change 50's treadmill into fantastic freedom. Instead, just as Dick Fosbury turned high jump victory frontside up, what's needed is radical transformation.

No, of course it isn't YOU that needs to change (love you just as you are!); it's the view of society's expectations that needs the radical rethink. By those rules, 50 isn't the start of anything good, just a downhill subduction into old age. But the most admirable trailblazers mark 50 as an upward turning point, the perfect time to look the status in its reality and kick its quo into a higher orbit.

With deeper learning and stimulating growth, you can raise your sights to that higher standard of meaning, purpose, and evolutionary passion. Coming into that wisdom will buoy you with hope, inspire you to leap stationary boundaries into quantum waves of exciting potential, and motivate you to venture beyond accepting what is. In the realization that you can choose what you create, you are empowered to begin synergizing fullfillment of all your heart is truly yearning for.

Truly, celebrating 50 can be the start of the Best of your life. Leap higher.

Monday, May 27, 2013

When will the fracking frenzy cease?

Shale gas STILL isn't the solution to America's energy crisis or the world's development. It's just another fossil fuel patch with short term profits for the energy giants and long term consequences for people and the environment.

Liquid Natural Gas technology is neither a new energy solution nor environmentally safe. Halliburton was an early developer of the shale fracturing methodology, and the 2005 Bush/Cheney Energy Bill (Section 322) exempted natural gas drilling from the Safe Drinking Water Act. The pollution is unregulated.
No Fracking Way!
Before petrogiants are allowed more fracking exploitation or LNG exportation, it is imperative to ensure that the petrocompanies be required to shoulder the costs of cleaning up their mess. Instead of allowing exorbitant profit taking at the expense of polluting the land, water, and air, these companies must take environmental responsibility. To ensure the cleanup costs are paid by the fracking corporations, where it belongs, they must be required to escrow their excessive profits in a 100-year clean up fund.

By eliminating the short term profit incentive, these companies will be forced to rethink the long range effects of this dirty and dangerous extraction methodology. Since it's not likely the petrogiants will risk their fracking profits, that should signal the reality of how unsafe fracking is to the environment and prove once and for all that LGN is NOT the energy of the future.

We need to urge new Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz to consider ALL the consequences of moving forward and act to stop fracking and LGN exports before it is too late to save our environment.  It's past time to prioritize health and environment concerns over profits from fracking and LNG exports!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Who's helping US recover today?


After the devastating Oklahoma tornado this week, we've seen many images of people helping people. People rescuing trapped victims. People clearing debris. People comforting and feeding and aiding and consoling.
We're a nation that steps up. We volunteer. We donate. We help those in need. We work together to do the work that needs to be done. We fix the broken and heal the injured and rebuild what was devastated.
As the reporter noticed the traumatized animal under the [Oklahoma tornado] rubble, you’ll notice human hands reaching down, lifting up the debris, pulling the dog from its trap and holding it close in a gesture of gratitude, relief, love and pure joy.

Human hands.

As has always been the case in good times and bad, human hands are the things we see in action. They’re the agents of true intervention and rescue. Human hands pull us from the rubble. They bandage our wounds. They carry us to safety. They wipe our tears. They hold us close. And they will again  rebuild.
~ Seth Andrews

That's true in every community: In our towns and cities, we come together when disaster strikes. We help our neighbors whether storm or fire or  economic downturn or disaster of whatever nature wreaks havoc on our world*. People helping other people is a cherished American Value.

Except in one location: In the halls of Congress, in what should be the heart of our nation's capitol, we have a group of legislators that has no clue what this American Value means. They stand in the way of recovery. They refuse to extend a hand to help people who are suffering. They sequester and interrupt essential government services; they look away as layoffs leave children without the HeadStart of daycare that educates -- but they make sure their own paychecks are uninterrupted. They turn away as cutbacks take food deliveries away from needy housebound invalids -- but they keep feasting on lobbyist-supplied goodies for themselves. They absent themselves from committees and ignore the climate crisis even as freak storms decimate the land in one region after another. They filibuster and secretly slip unrelated corporate support into essential legislation but don't want to fund FEMA.

It's time to remind our supposed representatives: People help people. When disaster strikes, People extend a helping hand. Our representatives should support US and help not just People in Oklahoma but People throughout the whole nation to recover from the disasters keeping US down.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What can adults learn from this nine-year-old?

Nine-year-old Luke Sekera of Fryeburg ME is standing up to a bully trying to abuse his town.
Fryeburg, in rural Maine, has a natural spring that the town draws its water from. Nestlé, the world's biggest food and beverage corporation, is trying to intimidate Fryeburg's residents out of their water. When the town refused to enter a 45-year contract with Nestlé to give up its water source to allow the megacorporation to bottle it under the Poland Springs brand, Nestlé sued the town.

Mind you, with its water under the contract, the community would have to draw its water from an area where an old industrial site once stood. It's not right that, as Luke says "If we want to drink our town's natural spring water, we have to buy it in the store."

It's Fryeburg's aquifer and the people of Fryeburg have THE right to choose who can tap into its water source. Corporations need to realize that they don't control the earth.

As Luke points out: Giving up the water rights for 45 years would mean his children and grandchildren would not have a voice in this matter. "I want them to be proud of me," he says. "I must speak for them."

He speaks for many other people, too, showing them that when people stand for their rights, bullies lose their power to do wrong.

In this nation founded by patriots who stood up against royal bullying, adults today would benefit to remember: abusers, however big or politically connected, have no power to defeat people who stand for what they value.

You can stand up to the corporate megabully too: support Luke's petition on change.org.

Go Luke!   -- 8/1/14:  See the Update.

Friday, May 10, 2013

What future progress could YOU maximize today?

Imagine that the universe/multiverse is an entirety of infinite potential and imagine too that each of us, in however small a way, contributes to fullfilling its possibilities. What if by sharing our best thoughts and learning experiences and recombining what is known into new ideas we could really make a better world? – Imagine that you could leverage your little bit of input into progress for a better future!

A new scientific study has shown this is not only possible but how: Last fall, the journal Nature's Scientific Reports published a mathematical model that likens the growth pattern of social networks to the electrical firing between brain cells – and the dynamics of expanding galaxies.
Growth pattern of brain cells -- or galaxies -- or social networks
This computer simulation suggests that the universe and our social networks are growing like a giant brain: From the BigBang to the latest tweet, this study demonstrated that networks all build by sharing connections. According to the scientists, the rate of growth accelerates as a "power-law graph with strong clustering" that develops between various nodes.

Each growth node expands in proportion to its connective links – and a wider network of connections creates greater growth. That is: more similarity in the type of links resulted in limited growth, whereas junctions to many different connections broadened the progression into larger-scale complexity and more dynamic growth.

In human terms, this means sharing your information not just with like-minded peers but with a wider network of connections. Broadcasting shared thoughts, learning experiences, and recombinant ideas makes new connections – not just to more people but in ever-evolving ways.

–– That is, IFF we take the time to think about all the information download we receive we can grow. Just observing, retweeting, and forgetting isn't enough -- we have to pay attention and take time to be creative. Otherwise, we're just spinning our collective mental wheels in a more scatterbrained way!

Just as inbreeding in biology limits evolutionary adaptability, simply retweeting the same kittie pics keeps us stuck in the same old patterns. Superficial dabbling in however massive a network of shared content isn't the way to create actual progress. The world won't change if we let immutable laws lock us in the clockwork Newtonian paradigm. A narrow catechism of already-shared answers blinds the mind to broader outlooks. It's only when we recombine information quanta into something creatively new that we move beyond mere repetition.

From the BigBang's tiniest space-time units (more minuscule than subatomic particles) we've progressed beyond the capacity to expand as a vast clockwork universe. By consciously creating connections, humankind has evolved the capacity to choose what bits of progress add up to our future. But without creatively recombining quanta, there'll be nothing new in the universe.

It's your choice what evolves today. Just more information or bigger galaxy-like brains will keep us recycling through what's already known. To maximize progress into a future worth yearning for, we'll have to leverage our emerging bits of input by consciously collaborating with diverse nodes. If we can co-create some synergy, we'll make the quantumly creative leaps that will maximize progress to evolve a future we can't yet even begin to imagine.
I wonder... what you think.
PS – What are you waiting for? Turn off your computer and THINK about what this means for you – and all of us.

*Photo credit: www.sciencephoto.com

Friday, May 3, 2013

Wasn't habeus corpus a founding American value?

"Instead of justice for the September 11 attacks, Guantanamo has given the world torture, indefinite detention and unfair trials."
The flag at Guantanamo prison is a shameful admission of America's abuses.
Amnesty International is right: It is well past time to change course and close this detention facility.

I cannot believe that the America founded on the principles of justice and the right of habeus corpus continues to deny detainees at Guantanamo their basic right to trial. There is no excuse after more than a DECADE to continue to shield behind "Patriot Act" euphemisms for unAmerican practices.

This time of budget crisis should be a further incentive to proceed with closing the Guantanamo detention facility. It's time we urge Congress to get this no-brainer job done, today.

Not only is the US government obligated under international law to respect, protect and fulfill human rights, it's the American way and the right thing to do.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

How far are you going today?

Have you ever noticed that no one is where they want to be? We're always on the road, heading away from where we were to somewhere else we want to go.
Go Somewhere -- It's always your choice where you go
From the moment we get up in the morning, we are constantly moving on to the next item on our day's agenda. There's never a moment during the day when we sigh and are done. We're always going from one thing to another, from one activity to another, from one place to another. It's a neverending cycle of movement.

Even when we think we're at rest, our bodies are in a constant state of flux, never done -- breathing in and breathing out, digesting and eliminating, growing synapses and shedding cells.

We're so practiced at being in motion as we commute to jobs and travel to vacations and move closer to our dreams that we don't ever question where our lifelong trajectory is heading. If we think at all about that ultimate shared life destination, it is to map out the disposition of our accumulated things: a will to distribute our assets, a plan to dispose of our remains.

But what about the bigger picture? What about the true legacy we leave behind? Along with the dead body and bequeathable inheritances, we leave a world that we were responsible for shaping.

How are we doing today to prepare our world for its future? What are we doing in life to prepare for that ongoing impact after our physical presence has ceased its interactions in the world. Are we shaping a destiny that generations to come will admire? Are you working for long term improvement to progress along the slippery slope of life or just a quick and dirty self-serving boost to beat some others to the next obstacle?

Take a look at your motivation for living. Are you moving on a limited access path toward a narrow pinnacle no one else can share or are you helping to open and shape a more thoughtful, worthwhile way to keep improving the journey for everyone? The one plan will get you to an end, the other will continuously progress further than you can imagine.

Which choice will make you move farther in life?