Archive for the ‘justice’ category

It’s a Mad World

November 17, 2008

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“It is extraordinary to me that you can find $700 billion to save Wall Street and the entire G8 can’t find $25 billion to save 25,000 children who die every day of preventable treatable disease and hunger,” the U2 lead singer told Clinton’s fourth annual philanthropic summit in New York. “That’s mad, that is mad.”

From Reuters article, “Crisis no excuse to ignore poverty“, Wed. Sept. 24, 2008

To help make a difference go to: http://www.one.org/

Finally…

November 5, 2008

obama-starkman

Nerdbots

October 2, 2008

I came across a great website called Nerdbots.

Description from the website: “Oddly obsessed with all things robot, married couple Nicholas and Angela from Kansas City, Missouri, decided on a whim one day to do nothing other than to build one themselves.

After piecing together parts found at their favorite antique and thrift stores, they created their first robot friend. Since that first day, Nicholas and Angela have added many fabulously geeky robots to their beloved robotic collection.”

What a concept… taking something considered to be junk, mixing it together, and restoring into something creative, fun and valuable. This is what we should be doing in our communities… and in our lives.

It’s Not Easy Eating Green

September 26, 2008

In an effort to feel better and loose weight, my wife and I began to drastically change our eating habits about 6 years ago. Our efforts increased 3 years ago before our son was born. We strongly desired for him to begin with a a pattern of healthy eating. It worked! He loves his fruit and veggies.

Over the last few years we have invested ourselves in being more educated about what we take into our bodies and how that food was prepared. My wife has read countless books and  websites, and has done an amazing job helping change the way we live and eat. We desire to live holistic, healthy lives… we’ve grown to care deeply about how the environment and animals are treated in the preparation of our food.

It has been encouraging to see a growing movement throughout North America for people to eat locally produced organic food. When we began this journey 5 or 6 years ago it was hard to find organic food outside of a limited (and expensive) selection at small health food stores. Now, virtually every supermarket provides a selection, helping make organic food more accessible and affordable. Click here to read an article on the befits of organic food.

This has not been easy. We still have “bad days” where we eat things outside of the norm. Often when I do eat something greasy or filled with preservatives, my body expresses it’s disdain in not-so-pleasant ways!

We have made a commitment to spend less in other areas in order to eat better. We eat out way less, pack lunches, and purchase more than 80% organic. We have also started trying to buy and support locally grown food. Recently we visited an amazing farm near our home called the Heritage Prairie Market, that  educates children and adults how to eat better and grow their own food. Very cool.

We want to start a garden in our neighborhood this spring, as a place to connect and encourage each other toward better living. This is something we have no experience with, but are excited to experiment and learn!

Tell me about your journey to get healthy and eat better… wherever you are at!

Stay tuned… my next post will be about kids eating better at school…  (subscribe if you like it!)

Casting a Vision for the Future…

September 4, 2008

I rarely discuss politics on this blog (or anything serious for that matter!) I have withheld my opinions about the presidential election, in part because I wanted to see how the nomination conventions would unfold. Also, because I do not want to be pigeon-holed and turn people away from reading.

But watching Governor Palin’s speech this evening sparked in me a response. I don’t know much about her except what I have been reading over the past couple of weeks. I was encouraged to see a woman placed on the ticket. I like the idea of their being compelling, thoughtful candidates from both parties.

Unfortunately, Governor Palin came across arrogant, smug, and bordering on desperation.
She didn’t spend time delivering the ideals of her party or running mate, but instead focused on McCain’s character versus Obama’s. I sat their wondering, “What do you bring to this election? …sell me!”

Her speech was a sarcastic attack on the celebrity and alleged lack of experience of Obama… coming from a self-proclaimed “PTA Hockey mom.” Needless to say, I felt that her speech lacked real substance.

I think many are distracted by the “rock-star” persona of Obama… I don’t think that’s why he is popular. Obama has a growing following because he eloquently paints a picture of a preferred future. He casts a vision… rather than trying to defend himself or his party. Can Obama deliver on that vision?  Well, that’s the million dollar question.

Republican candidates seem to spend so much energy on defending themselves and on spreading fear and negativity… younger generations are becoming impatient with this approach. The one exception I’ve noticed is Governor Mike Huckabee. His speech was articulate, respectful and compelling. His comments about the presidency being an office rather than just a symbol were intriguing.

But my question for the Republican party: how does growing big business and shrinking government help middle and low income families (the growing majority of Americans)?

I have the answer… it doesn’t. I experience the effects of this each day, and see it in the faces of the people in the community where I live. It is time for a change.

Unlikely Heroes

August 26, 2008

I am doing a bunch of writing these days, and one project I am working on is a Student Guide/Journal for the PlanetWisdom Events. It will help students respond and reflect through out their weekend experience. The theme for the event is Unlikely Heroes, inspiring students to take an active role in changing the world.

I have found a bunch of interesting (and some funny) quotes I am considering putting in the journal:

“Explore your mind, discover yourself, then give the best that is in you to your age and to your world. There are heroic possibilities waiting to be discovered in every person.” –Wilferd A. Peterson

“Here I come to save the day!” – MIghty Mouse

“Endure, Master Wayne. Take it. They’ll hate you for it. But that’s the point of Batman, he can be the outcast. He can make the choice that no one else can make, the right choice.”
– Alfred,  Batman: The Dark Knight

“Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words: “With great power comes great responsibility. This is my gift, my curse.” – Peter Parker, Spiderman 2

“I’m sure millions of viewers are wondering what it is like to wear the tights of justice. Well, it’s tingly and it’s uncomfortable.”
– The Tick

“Heroism is not just pulling a child from a burning house or a driver from an icy river or a kitten from a tall tree. Heroism is also holding the door for a frail elderly and driving courteously and cooperatively and listening with an attentive heart to a friend’s words. Small daily acts of love are as heroic as big once-in-a-lifetime acts of rescue.” – L. M. Heroux

Any good hero quotes I am leaving out?

The Dignity to Receive

April 4, 2008

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A powerful excerpt from one of my favorite authors, Henri Nouwen:

“Nobody is so poor that he/she has nothing to give, and nobody is so rich that he/she has nothing to receive.” These words by Pope John-Paul II, offer a powerful direction for all who want to work for peace. No peace is thinkable as long as the world remains divided into two groups: those who give and those who receive. Real human dignity is found in giving as well as receiving. This is true not only for individuals but for nations, cultures, and religious communities as well.

A true vision of peace sees a continuous mutuality between giving and receiving. Let’s never give anything without asking ourselves what we are receiving from those to whom we give, and let’s never receive anything without asking what we have to give to those from whom we receive.”

http://www.henrinouwen.org