Have you heard of the Burning Man festival? It’s held once a year in the desert of Nevada. Thousands of artists and computer geeks and just plain freaks gather and show-off their most outrageous work. People who attend it are pretty serious about it; its a definite sub-culture. And it’s certainly a fun party.
But more than that, hundreds of Burning Man attendees have formed a special group called Burners without Borders, where they help demolish and build around the world. In particular, they are helping Hurricane Sandy vicitims with my needed labor.
It’s rewarding to see smaller groups, not affiliated with any big companies or political groups pitching in and making a difference!
We don’t often see a direct correlation between a politician’s words and his or her deeds. In this case, the connection is quite evident. Joyce Banda, Malawa’s president, has taken decided action to ensure that the public she serves are her first priority:
A picture taken on May 14, 2012 shows Malawi Presidential Jet arriving at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe, from Mozambique where Malawi’s President Joyce Banda went on an official state visit. Malawi’s new leader, Africa’s latest woman president, does things differently. Joyce Banda is slashing the bling and returning to basics in one of the world’s most impoverished countries.
In her latest effort to improve relations with donors, Malawi’s president has decided to auction off her 14-seat jet and use the funds to help the poor.
Joyce Banda, Africa’s second female president, has never step foot onto the presidential jet that her predecessor bought –- a decadent purchase that outraged donors enough to cut back significantly on their funding, the BBC reports. Now, Banda is auctioning the jet, which cost about $13.3 million five years ago, and will use the proceeds to provide basic needs for her constituents who need it most.
Since inheriting an economy that “almost collapsed” when former President Bingu wa Mutharika suddenly died in April, Banda has been working to repair relations with key donors, including the International Monetary Fund, Business Day Live reports. She’s taken a number of austerity measures to improve the economy, but is also standing in solidarity with her citizens to show that she empathizes with their struggles.
For example, Banda cut her salary by 30 percent back in October, taking her income down to $42,000.
“It is a very low salary, but most Malawians are getting just as little as that,” Banda told Business Day Live. “So that’s fine, we have a nation to build. Perhaps the next president will get better than that.”
Source: Huffington Post
As I get ready to board an airplane later today, it got me thinking about flying. Some people hate it, some people love it…but most of us have to do it at some point or the other. So here are some quotes on airplanes and flying, to inspire you to journey into the sky and travel to new places:
If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.
Before we had airplanes and astronauts, we really thought that there was an actual place beyond the clouds, somewhere over the rainbow. There was an actual place, and we could go above the clouds and find it.there.
The century of airplanes has a right to its own music.
Airplanes may kill you, but they ain’t likely to hurt you. - Satchel Paige
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.
Leonardo da Vinci
The reason birds can fly and we can’t is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.
If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing.
What a great way to start your Monday! For some, January 7th represents the real return to normal life, after the holidays. The work week has started, the festivities have finished…time to look at inspiring images from 2012 to motivate you and not pressure you.
Caine Monroy is a nine-year-old kid who runs a homemade cardboard arcade out of his dad’s used-auto-parts store in East Los Angeles. When filmmaker Nirvan Mullick posted his 11-minute film about Caine’s arcade in April, millions watched it—and they contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars for a scholarship fund.
Learn more about Caine’s Arcade.
Wait a second. Before you click the “run away” button, remember that the concept of diet can be quite a positive one. Diets can free us from unwanted weight, physically as well as metaphorically. Diets can be symbolic, such as a “diet” from negativity. Here’s what other sage souls have to say:
“Dieting is the only game where you win when you lose!”
- Karl Lagerfeld
“People tend to be generous when sharing their nonsense, fear, and ignorance. And while they seem quite eager to feed you their negativity, please remember that sometimes the diet we need to be on is a spiritual and emotional one. Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul. Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action.”
- Steve Maraboli
“Just think of all those women on the Titanic who said, ‘No thank you’ to desert that night. And for what?!”
- Erma Bombeck
“Food is an important part of a balanced diet.”
- Fran Lebowitz
“A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.”
- Naomi Wolf
“No disease that can be treated by diet should be treated with any other means.”
So I’m sitting a bar playing Scrabble with my friend. She says the following:
“I’m going to get a massage tomorrow. Or Monday at the latest. I keep waiting to do things for myself, like there’s this perfect time in the future. But it’s now that I need the massage. I should get it now. Or damn soon.
“What if you can’t get an appointment?” I query.
“I’ll get a massage from someone. Even if its a 5-minute chair deal. The touch I need is now. I don’t have to wait for touch.”
Perhaps it was that second glass of cheap wine, but her point really struck home. Why delay? Why be in a constant state of wanting when you can dare to ask for something now? When it comes to touch, why can’t it be as much of a priority as paying a bill or going to the doctor?
Can you get a massage day? In some sort of way?
(And yes, self massage and a hot bath counts…but only if all other resources have been checked.)
While we’d like to believe friendships last forever, we know that many time they, well…end. It’s not easy, it’s not always pretty…but often its necessary for growth and peace. Here’s what some sages have to say:
So many friendships end with ‘We just stopped talking’. - Unknown
When a friendship is ending, if we could simply feel our feelings and move on, we would hurt less. - BJ Gallagher
Life ends when you stop dreaming, hope ends when you stop believing, love ends when you stop caring, friendship ends when you stop sharing… so share this with whomever you consider a friend.
The friendships of the world are oft confederacies in vice, or leagues of pleasure; ours has severest virtue for its basis, and such a friendship ends not but with life.
A friendship that can end never really began.
Friendship often ends in love; but love in friendship - never.
Charles Caleb Colton
Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one.
My friend, why have you drifted so far away? All motion is relative, maybe it is you who have moved away by standing still.
This piece made me smile this Monday morning. Most people equate break-ups with misery, tears and ice cream. But some creative (or unfortunate) types turn it on its head and make something creative of the enterprise…or accidentally leave it in a car while breaking into it…ouch!
Check out these fun stories:
A few years back, Philadelphian Eric Smith’s girlfriend told him she had met someone else. Making matters worse, at the time she told him this, the engagement ring he planned to give her lay in his pocket. So he did what any guy would do: He sold the canary yellow diamond ring on eBay, then spent the $2,000 on a suit of armor based on the character Masterchief from the videogame Halo. (All right, most guys wouldn’t do that.) He later wrote about the experience in a piece on Bygonebureau.com. From there, the essay landed on Reddit, and his tale of woe and video game costume redemption spread to a whole bunch of newspapers and websites. And the story may even have a happy ending. “There have since been other girls,” Smith told Reddit. “Chicks dig armor.”
Read more at JCK.
Our readers never cease to amaze me. They are kind, supportive and full of their own positive news to share.
Most recently, we received a comment from counselor Jerry Zondervan (above) who has graciously offered a Skype session to victims of Hurricane Sandy who are in need of counseling, grief or otherwise, to help them navigate this profoundly difficult time.
Here’s Jerry’s website. And please, don’t be afraid to reach out. People want to help and counseling is a great way to move forward or simply release pent-up pain and anxiety.
Secretly, we all know that when we change our environment, we make room for a change. My friend Carol Anne sent me this story:
After being single for more than 5 years, I was ready for a new partner. But I live in a small town and frankly, I had given up hope long ago of finding someone new around here. Then I thought about it: I can’t just wait around and be so passive.
So I cleaned my house.
Yep, that’s right: I simply cleaned my house. So much junk had accrued over the years, I just knew that I had to release some of that spare stuff to make room for someone else.
So what happened? Did I find my perfect love?
Well, life isn’t that easy, of course. With my house clean, I found myself wanting to go out more, engage more with the world. I felt ready, prepared. And when I did have a date (last week), I felt proud to show him my home.
Cleaning my house didn’t find me a new love. But it made room for it. And I feel ready for it now. Sounds kinda simple, right? Working from the inside out.