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Archive for the ‘Charities’ Category

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
   —    Mahatma Gandhi
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On This Day In:
2019 Too True
2018 Simon Says
2017 Next Cell
2016 Important Knowledge
2015 Are You Still The Exception?
2014 In Answer
Days Are Passing
2013 Opportunity
2012 Appropriate Qualities
2011 A Place To Hang My Hat

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Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’
    ―    Martin Luther King, Jr.
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On This Day In:
2018 A Moment Of Union
2016 Symptoms
2016 Tossers
2015 Hunger
2014 Outside Dependence
2013 Doing Right
2012 A Short Course In Human Relations
If Death Be My Future
Strive
Such A Fool
2011 I’m Working For A Living

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We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread.  They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing:  the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
    —     Viktor Frankl
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On This Day In:
2017 Could You Repeat The Question?
2016 Still Busy?
2015 Why, Just This Morning…
2014 Just Kindness
2013 Now Shaking
2012 Absurdity, n.
2011 Minor Changes
Things I’ve Learned From Life – Nana Carter
Acting Out

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Cinderella 2015 as performed at the African-American Shakespeare Company

Cinderella 2015 as performed at the African-American Shakespeare Company

Earlier this month – December 19th, to be precise – I took Hil to see a play.  It was a musical production of Cinderella presented by the African-American Shakespeare Company.  The play has been running each Christmas season for over a decade and it is (was) easy to see why it has remained so popular.  It is magical!
I have a friend from work (Todd Risby) who performs in theater around the Bay Area and he’s been after me for a number of years to come see him in one of his productions.  Now, normally I just say no (politely, but firmly)…  I don’t like crowds.  I don’t like travelling in lots of traffic.  And most of all, I hate fighting for parking.  But lately, I’ve been trying to find things for Hil and me to go to so we can share more experiences.  Mainly, this is because although we both have a lot of stuff, we are not really “things” persons.  So, this was to be an early Christmas present.
Todd played two roles in this production (the Duke and Cinderella’s childhood father) and he was very good in both!  It’s funny how we can draw a sense of joy from someone else being up on stage, but I did.  As I watched him all I could think of was how happy I was for him to be living his dream and doing it well!
If you’ve seen the Disney film, you’ve got the gist of the story – pretty young girl, evil step-mother and two step-sisters, prince,  ball, slipper, and all.  Todd told me in advance it would be a musical and that it would be funny (it was).  What he didn’t say was ALL the rest.  This was not just a love story of a princess getting rescued by her prince charming.  It was a story of self-empowerment and self-belief.  And more importantly, it wasn’t only about Cinderella, it was also about the prince.
Now, if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ve probably come to realize I’m a big softy – and I unapologetically admit it – I am.  There is a point in the play where the prince and Cinderella stand at opposite ends of the stage and sing (to the audience and facing away from each other) about despairing of ever finding true love and then feeling that now, just maybe……  And I teared up.  I have heard it said that “true” art (music, dance, sculpture, painting or theater) touches you.  Sitting next to my wife of thirty years and remembering back to my own doubts of finding my true love, the performance “touched” me.
I have no idea how many of my readers are in the San Francisco Bay Area, but if you are around in the Christmas season, I highly recommend taking in one of these performances.  As I said above, this is an annual production and well worth taking your daughters or nieces to.  As I’ve stated many times in the past, support your local arts, particularly live performances.  Art makes us feel human.
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On This Day In:
2014 It Lies Ahead…
2013 At Least One Difference
2012 Are We, Are We?
On Not Playing The Game
Scale
2011 Nutcracker And Nooks
Seeing Differences

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Cancer Awareness Ribbons

Cancer Awareness Ribbons

The National Cancer Survivors Day is a secular holiday celebrated on the first Sunday in June in the United States.  The day is meant to demonstrate that life after a cancer diagnosis can be a reality.  My mom, who recently turned 87yrs old, is a 25+ years Cancer survivor.  (Go Mom!!)
Colored ribbons have come to mean support for many causes.  Above are the colors relevant to Cancer.  Please take a moment to pray for those currently suffering from all the various forms of cancer (and their families and loved ones).
Click on the link to visit the “Official” website of the National Cancer Survivors Day
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On This Day In:
2013 Distance, n.
Less Can Be More
2012 Rise Up!
The Gift
2011 Artful Courage
2010 A Handful of Lessons…

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I hope you will reflect on what you’ve done with your talent and energy.  I hope you will judge yourselves not on your professional accomplishments alone, but also on how well you work to address the world’s deepest inequities, on how well you treat people a world away who have nothing in common with you but their humanity.
   —   William (“Bill”) Henry Gates, III
In a letter to the Harvard community
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When a religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself;  and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it, so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, ’tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.
     —     Benjamin Franklin
[And why are we continuing to support “Faith Based” charities with government funds?  Would the Founding Fathers do so?    —    KMAB]
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Today I read two interesting articles.  One is about the use of telephones and the other about the costs of a “war” in Libya.
The first is titled: “Don’t Call Me, I Won’t Call You” and appeared at NYTimes.com.  Basically, it’s about how fewer and fewer people are using their phones to talk to anyone.  Mainly, it’s stated, because we are moving away from land lines and moving to cell phones and text messaging.  I’m not sure if the premise is valid, but I am (myself) a rare case in that I rarely use the phone and send fewer than one text message per day.  By comparison, my wife sends several hundred per month and all three of my kids send over 3,000 per month (EACH!).
I must admit even without a cell phone, I wouldn’t use the home phone.  For one thing, almost no one ever calls me.  And for another, most of the calls I do get are for charities and / or election campaigns and / or bogus business schemes / deals to help me refinance my mortgage or credit cards.  Anyway, I found the article an interesting read – as were the comments in reply.
The second article: “Costs of Libya operation already piling up” appeared at GovExec.com.  The article puts forward the first day and on-going cost of Operation Odyssey Dawn (pretty much as I proposed earlier) at over $100M for the first day and $30 to $100M per week because we are only providing no-fly coverage along the coast of Libya (where the oil fields and pipelines AND the rebels are located).  If we had to enforce the no-fly zone coverage over the whole country, the estimate is $100 to $300M per week!!
On the one hand, I don’t want to see upwards of 100,000 Libyans butchered by Gaddafi’s tanks and army, but on the other hand I wonder how many teachers, police and firemen (let alone bridges, roads and healthcare) we could be paying for with the $30 to $100M per WEEK we seem to be able to spend on this effort.
Being a cynic, I just think we’re getting close to the use by date on these 400 to 500 cruise missiles we’re going to burn-up during the next few months and I guess the President is being advised he might as well use them and pay to replace them as opposed to just dumping them in a land fill in Arizona or Nevada.  At least they’re made in America, so making the replacements will force the Republicans to pay for American jobs.
As a matter of fact, I think we should incorporate all American social programs (healthcare, education, etc) through the Department of Defense and then see if the Republicans will dare to cut the defense budget.  We could even do the same with some non-social programs like transportation, communications and food and drugs.  All of them have at least indirect influence on Defense – we have to have healthy high school graduates to join the military (healthcare, food and drugs and education) and we have to have decent roads to move food and weapons from farms and munitions plants to our bases and ports.  It’s a natural!!
While I am, of course, just  joking, it does give one pause to imagine the votes in Congress for cuts in military spending then.  Doesn’t it?
Finally, I’m going to be slightly rearranging my links to set up and move items to a Charities group.  Just in case you don’t notice the change…  Today’s addition is not really a charity (because it’s funded by the government), but I think it’s an interesting site.  It’s called U.S. AID.  Check it out…
“All I am saying, is give peace a chance…”
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