Old friends pas…

Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.
~His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Hello all!

Finals are looming over Laura and me so unfortunately we just have time for a short post this Monday.  I love this quote, and I thought it might be inspirational to those of you out there who are having difficulty keeping your spirits up during this rainy winter.  Make your day a little more meaningful by helping a friend – sometimes just a smile and a wave can brighten someone’s day.  Spread the love everyone!

Happy holidays,

Joan

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Rapid Extinction

“The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles … hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages … And we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE are!

We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam … The planet’ll be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas.” George Carlin

Upon discovering George Carlin, I immediately loved his wit.

In one stand up of his, he made a few points about saving the environment. I agree with absolutely everything he said… except how the plastic bags and aluminum cans won’t make a difference. No litter makes a difference to Earth, when you look at Earth as if it’s not a life form containing millions and billions of other lifeforms. Oh, but it does.

Species go extinct, yes. That happens a lot, actually. 99% of life that has ever existed on Earth is now dead…and look how much life we still have. There’s been a lot of life. The thing is…. That 99% of life has gone extinct over the course of ~2.7 billion years. In the past 7 years alone, 121 species have gone extinct16,928 species are threatened to be extinct. The rate of extinction has gone up not due to natural causes, but us. For things like aluminum cans and plastic.

The power to change the rate of extinction does not lie within the big companies that dominate the world. It lies within the consumers; us. The key to changing the world is not feeding the fire. To be a responsible consumer, buy from responsible sellers.

  • Reuse what you were originally going to throw away (or recycle, but reusing is the best option).
  • Buy organic produce (produce grown without the use of pesticides or other unnatural agents in the soil)
  • Don’t buy from the big corporations that are money hungry. Focus on local businesses and honest organizations.

If we don’t feed the corporations that are using their tools to hurt the environment (typically as a byproduct, but a careless one), they cease to exist. Without a public to serve, they can’t keep harming the environment.

We don’t only practice environmental conservation because it’ll save our behinds in the future, we practice it because we care for the wellbeing of all species inhabiting this planet. We’re only a fraction of the population; the fraction that has the most influence; the responsibility to not get carried away with our technological ability and weapons of destruction.

Be responsible, recognize your power, change the world.

Love, Laura

Sources in MLA 7 Format

Endangered Species International. “Total Number of Extinct Species: 905 (was 784 in 2006).” Endangered Species International. Endangered Species International, 2006. Web. 29 Aug. 2013. <http://www.endangeredspeciesinternational.org/overview1.html&gt;.
Smithsonian. “Archean : The First Life on Earth.” Archean : The First Life on Earth. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, n.d. Web. 29 Aug. 2013. <http://paleobiology.si.edu/geotime/main/htmlversion/archean3.html&gt;.

The Ricochet

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer

It’s a Gloomy Day…

Some look at the world and see a world full of hate, crime, violence and just plain u-g-l-y. Having a healthy (or not so) perspective on life can drastically affect everything around you. If someone did see a world full of hate, crime, violence etc., perhaps they’d never go outside – they wouldn’t get together with friends (if they considered anyone to be a friend), they wouldn’t take their time to enjoy anything; simply because there wasn’t much to enjoy besides an alternate reality. Prepare for a hypothetical situation…

If this grumpster spent their entire life never looking forward to anything, never appreciating anything, every person they ever met would be impacted by the things he/she said or did in most likely a negative manner. What if (say it was a guy) this guy woke up mad because he realized he had to mail some overdue paperwork. He gets in his car and drives to the Post Office, tailgating the small blue car in front of him, cutting off a cyclist when turning right at an intersection. Upon reaching his destination, he gets out of his car, walks to the door and sees a woman trying to exit through the same door. Instead of waiting for her to leave, he opens the door which forces her to move out of the way with a grimace on her face. He drops his mail in the slot and leaves, with a feeling residing between doom and relief.

In his journey to mail his papers, he encountered at least 3 people (considering the cars surrounding him and bystanders). The first person, the driver getting tailgated, felt threatened and angry. Due to this, he/she drove in a panic with a hint of paranoia about having someone ram the end of his/her car. This panic caused him/her to run a red light at full speed while looking in the rear-view mirror, getting into a “T-bone” accident, critically injuring his/herself and killing the driver of the impacted vehicle. This affects the family of the red-light runner, as well as the deceased victim of the impact, and the witnesses of the scene. It goes on and on, and we’re still just at the tailgated car driver. Our guy doesn’t know what happened to the accident victims. Next? The cyclist! The cyclist is cut off and has to slam on the brakes to avoid being smacked by the metal body of a car. “What a jerk – I could’ve gotten hit,” He thinks. He continues safely on the road home. Upon reaching home, he logs onto the computer and updates his Facebook status: “Those A-holes on the road are at it again.”  Not only does this further his own anger by expressing it to a larger network of people, but it affects those who read the status as well. Who knows, what if one of the people who read the status wasn’t obeying the rules of the road the same day, or the day before? Last, the woman at the door… When she’s nearly pushed out of the way to avoid the opening door, she’s surprised at the lack of chivalry this grumpy man has. He didn’t even apologize, who is this guy? She quickly walks out and to her home, where she sits thinking about what happened. She doesn’t dwell on it too long, with the thought in mind that she has entire life to live – that was just one experience. Why let that drag her down?

Reversal

Some look at the world and see a world full of love, equality, balance and just plain b-e-a-u-t-y. If someone did see a world full of love, equality, balance, etc., it’s possible that they’d always be outside enjoying the wilderness, photographing, sparking new friendships and kindling old ones. They’d be doing whatever they please, because there’s a whole world out there for them to enjoy right here – no alternate one. That same guy that we had earlier, the grumpster, affected a lot of people in negative ways, despite the last woman who wasn’t going to let anyone rain on her parade. What if.. he wasn’t so stressed out about his paperwork being overdue? What if.. he recognized it was his own responsibility, and just accepted the situation? Let’s turn over the page, and start again.

If this happy-go-lucky fellow spent his entire life looking forward to everything, appreciating everything, every person they ever met would be impacted by the things he said or did in most likely a posative manner. What if he woke up worried because he realized he had to mail some overdue paperwork? He gets in his car and drives to the Post Office, continuing at a safe speed and allowing plenty of room for the small blue car in front of him, giving the “OK” to a cyclist to turn with the wave of his hand and a bright smile. Upon reaching his destination, he gets out of his car, walks to the door and sees a woman trying to exit through the same door. Instead of waiting for her to open the door, he beats her to the door and holds it open, surprising the young lady as she walks through the door-frame with blush on her cheeks; “Thanks,” with a smile. He drops his mail in the slot and leaves, with a feeling of relief, knowing he did the right thing as soon as possible.

In his journey to mail his papers, he encountered at least 3 people (considering the cars surrounding him and bystanders). The first person, the driver in the small blue car, enjoyed his/her drive listening to his/her favorite album. He/she drove for another few miles and safely arrived at home, being welcomed home by his/her family. The previous “victim” of the It’s a Gloomy Day… accident remains unharmed, shopping at the local thrift store. Our guy is still driving to the Post Office. The cyclist turns and continues safely on the road home. Upon reaching his apartment, he logs onto the computer and updates his Facebook status: “Man, it’s sure nice to come across kind people when out on the road. ”  Not only does this further his own happiness by expressing it to a larger network of people, but it affects those who read the status as well. Maybe a couple of his Facebook friends were wondering how safe the roads are, and are now confident to go on a bike ride. Last, the woman at the door… When the man opens the door for her, she’s almost a little surprised because she doesn’t experience that much anymore. Chivalry! What a nice guy. She quickly walks out and to her home, where she sits smiling about how pleasant her day turned out to be. She mailed her friend a letter, got the door opened for her, and now she can have a nice warm dinner.

When we commit an act, whether it be good or bad, we don’t necessarily think about the “cause and effect” of it all. We may intend for this act to only affect one person, but they have their own network of people. Things spread. We have to be careful. This world is beautiful, but it is struggling. The solution is being a conscious being, being aware of one’s own actions, and acting in a positive manner toward everyone. It’ll ricochet, bounce from person to person, and eventually will spread from just your small neighborhood to the entire country, then from country to country, to all around the world. One fish may not seem like a lot, until one  more joins, and one more, and one more…until they form a giant cloud, appearing as a giant beast of its own.

 

Keep your chin up.

Love, Laura

The Beginning of a New End

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“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” – Maria Robinson

Hello world from Joan and Laura! Currently writing at 12:51am PST on a very early Sunday day, we’re embarking on a new adventure: blogging to save the world! Yay. We have discussed time and time again how we would get our thoughts across to people without trumpeting our words down the streets, and our ideas just blossomed right into this! Here, either Joan or Laura will share insightful ideas about environmental- and self-awareness. Cheers to new beginnings!