What Will You Do? | Citizen Muscle BootCamp | “Man” by Steve Cutts

Regarding this post I recently did on my other blog https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/solution-to-what-will-you-do-citizen-muscle-boot-camp-be-a-climate-changemaker/

I’ve been engaged in the process guided by Annie Leonard who created the StoryofStuff.

ponder whether you choose to be a guardian or a destroyer

ponder whether you choose to be a guardian or a destroyer

This is my take so far, on a personal level, of why I’m involved:

I really believe that every animal and species has a right to be here sharing the planet with us, and that we (human beings) are sort of the stewards (guardians rather than destroyers); since we are the top predator and ultimately have done the most damage to the planet. I’ve seen images captured by scientists about the amount of plastic that has collected in several tremendously huge garbage patches in each ocean. I believe that even what we do here, in our own backyards, affect this. If we are aware of how we use materials like plastics and chemicals that drain in water run-off, going into streams and ultimately into the oceans, perhaps we would tread a bit more lightly and be more thoughtful in how we direct our actions. I notice for example that Pennsylvania has a dramatic amount of sunny days, and that we could create a community that embraces using this renewable energy. We are all responsible for how we tread on the earth and it is not our right to consider it merely as a commodity to make a profit from or use, abuse and discard.

I’m sure that you would want your children to be able to live in an environment with clean water & air, where there is a possibility to play outside and swim in streams, lakes and the ocean. And for your kids to know what their parents have done to respect and love all of the different species that make this earth so wonderful.

I’ve seen that in parts of China, people literally have to wear gas masks and the children can not play outside, but in fabricated airtight blowup gymnasiums. “In China, Breathing Becomes a Childhood Risk“. Do you recycle paper and plastics? Do you think about how your daily actions can add up and affect not only your local environment but also places far away, that are ultimately choking and destroying animals’ habitats that are far away?

Think about this quote by Albert Einstein: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” I’m sure that if all of us would take the time to stop and recognize how incredible this life is and see everything as a miracle, that time and one’s actions become less of a commodity, and more recognized as something vital and precious. Being consciously aware of how our actions contribute en masse, to everything, and stepping back to breathe in just how magnificent this planet and all of its creatures are, will propel us to think and act differently.

And because I feel that this animation “Man” by Steve Cutts says it quite humorously and eloquently, here it is again.

Man, animation, Steve Cutts

“Man” animation by Steve Cutts displaying the history of human beings’ cruelty towards life forms in 3 minutes.

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Love & Life | Documentary about Dian Fossey | Life Quotes to Act on

Tonight I did something unusual. After a full day of activities and finishing dinner at about 10pm, I turned on the television. Typically I’d prefer to play piano or bass guitar, go out to an open mic or chess night, or write…However after enjoying nature earlier in the day while doing some stuff that needed to be accomplished around the home, making sure that the animals and birds that make our yard (like a mini forest) their home were given ample water and seed, afterwards, I bicycled to the library to work all day on my book. On the way home, I visited a farm owned by Milton Hershey properties where I’ve met several of the care-takers over time, because I’m caught on their surveillance video cameras every time I stop there to visit the horses, a donkey donkey, and three cats which I’ve named: Goldie, Gordo and Groucho in this photo; from fore to background. Returning to this barn in 2014, I’ve sadly learned that Groucho has since died, hit by a car on the busy highway next to the property.golde_gordo_groucho_2

Yeah, so besides music and sports and writing and investigating things, I really do love animals.

It soon became clear why I ‘intuitively’ turned the TV on. I tuned in to a documentary “Gorillas in the Mist” about the American zoologist Dian Fossey played by Sigourney Weaver. Fossey studied gorillas in their habitat in the forests of Rwanda. She was initially encouraged by the anthropologist Louis Leaky and became one of the foremost primatologists in the world while she was alive.

Because I love animals so much and by the way studied ‘cultural anthropology’, I was mystified and mistified by the movie. Yeah, I made up the second word, because my eyes were tearing up during a lot of it. I could fully identify with Fossey’s love of the gorillas, instinct to protect them and fury over them being brutally killed just to serve as trophies for wealthy people. dian_fossey_gorillas

There is currently an illegal trade of endangered species which makes me ill. As you can read in this short segment about poaching in Africa “War Against Wildlife: Tusks and horns are no match for automatic weapons” in Sierra Club’s ‘Sierra Magazine’ July/August 2013, “Poachers are rapidly killing off Africa’s most iconic megafauna to make keychains and impotence cures.” They also mention that “wildlife poaching is highly militarized. Last year hundreds of Sudanese militiamen swept 600 miles south on horseback to slaughter 300 elephants in Cameroon. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, scores of elephants are being gunned down with automatic weapons fired from helicopters-some of them linked to the region’s national armies.” Here’s a photo of anti-poaching rangers and Congolese soldiers patrolling Garamba National Park-too late for this elephant killed for its tusks. Sierra_Magazine_shot_Congolese_anti-poaching_rangers The writer Paul Rauber also mentions that “the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species seems inadequate to deal with the crisis. Its decision in 2008 to allow African nations to legally sell more than 100 tons of stockpiled ivory to “accredited traders” in Japan and China revived what had been a moribund carving industry.”

Often Hollywood makes me ill as well, for different reasons. Each time a commercial came on to advertise some stupid made-for-TV show, I was irked as I hastily muted it and focused my attention on my computer screen. Yes, I was multi tasking – reading emails at the end of my work day. And no, I don’t have a ‘job’ with income, yet I am taking my work of writing and marketing my first eBook, very seriously. ‘-))

Yeah, so despite the fact that Hollywood does deliver some good material for sure, like this movie, I still snarl at a lot of the gimmicky stuff.

I wan’t so shocked at the end of the movie when Fossey was murdered, after seeing how personally involved she became in protecting these animals when in fact, she was encroaching on the livelihood and ‘habits’ that spread over several generations of the indigenous people who share their same habitat. I quickly looked Fossey up and sure enough, wikipedia states that the murder case was never solved.
Dian_Fossey_Art_of_Conservation
Point is, that I feel happy to have learned about her life, studies, about these creatures and just had an all around great day because I fully felt gratitude, enjoyment of communing with nature and animals, satisfied and thrilled with the writing I’m doing and just full of joy with appreciation of the simple things, riding a bicycle to commute, love nature and the animals I encounter and enjoy humans whom I meet as well. ‘-)

It was with this sense of feeling satisfied, that I happened to ‘bother’ to open one of the emails delivered to my inbox, which more often, I skip.

To explain, over the last years, in the process of trying to understand why I was drawn to stay in a relationship with a guy who was basically abusive towards me and critical more than supportive, I would investigate what it is about ‘me’ that caused me to devalue myself to this extent. In the process of trying to wrap my head around this and seek information, I’ve wound up ‘signing up’ to receive emails (in one of my email accounts) spanning topics on emotional health, codependency, narcissism, empowerment and well-being. In other words, in trying to fix ‘the problem’, I began to realize that it starts with fixing ‘oneself’. Over time I learned that I have to be accountable for my own actions and that I am ultimately responsible for my own happiness.

So even though in time I soon figured out that some of these (email saviors) are actually trying to entice the reader into ‘buying in’ to their system, there are genuinely some that deliver good messages.

I decided to share this one, because several of the life quotes’ I read were actually ones that I have heard and embraced before.

So here it goes, sponsored by ‘Its All About Women’ “Ways to LIve Life to the Fullest”

Sometimes, we just need to be reminded.

What are you going to do today to live life to the fullest?

Don’t wait ’till tomorrow to chase your dreams and goals. Because life is too short to just be a spectator…

Dare to be adventurous and step out of your comfort zone.

Notice the miracle of life in every moment, even the seemingly ordinary.

Chase your goals and dreams with discipline and determination, but never lose the childlike wonder that is thrilled by the ups and downs of the roller coaster ride.

Every day holds endless opportunities for you to participate in life, instead of just watching it go by.

some ‘quotes about life

• “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” T.S. Elliot

• “Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing.” Helen Keller

Helen Keller quote Security does not exist in nature - life a daring adventure

Helen Keller quote Security does not exist in nature – life a daring adventure

Helen Keller quote character not developed in ease and quiet

Helen Keller quote character not developed in ease and quiet

• “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” Charles Darwin

• “There are only two ways to live a life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein

• “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw

• “Enjoy life. This is not a dress rehearsal.” Anonymous

• “The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions.” Alfred Adler

• “It is better to wear out than to rust out (fade away).” Richard Cumberland

• “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” Goethe

• “Life, like a mirror, never gives back more than we put into it.” Anonymous

• “And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln

• “Life is a choice. Choose well.”

• “It’s the things that you ‘don’t do’ that you will regret.” Susan Sarandon

thanks for reading!

oh whatever, that's me the blogger c'est moi!

oh whatever, that’s me the blogger c’est moi!

By the way, I have so many things that I want to continue to blog about in addition to completing my eBook and beginning once again to compose more music, and yet, because I have no ‘funding’ or ‘sponsors’, I am barely able to keep afloat. Presently living in Berlin, Germany again, I have not even been able to pay all of my rent this last time. So I think I’m about to go off on that daring adventure “called life” into the unknown, since I will soon not really have a roof over my head. Therefore, hint hint, any donations will be accepted /-)) or if you know of billionaire, ask him/her to give me a little .001 %. Donate Button

“Battle for the Elephants” documentary speaks Louder than Words

I’m getting closer to figuring out what it is that I am here for in this lifetime. Though I am not sure where I will go next, having just watched a documentary featured on PBS http://www.pbs.org/programs/battle-elephants/ about the near extinction of elephants due to the skyrocketing pricetag of ivory on their heads primarily coming from the demand in China, I just had another realization.

wildlife_conservation_society_battle_for_the_elephants

I returned from a city that rarely sleeps – Berlin, Germany – to this sleepy town in Pennsylvania where I was raised. The impetus was to spend time with my father and reunite with my family, an homage to my parents. In this quiet place, I have maintained health and physical and intellectual fitness; doing outdoor sports, being in nature, playing musical instruments, reading, attending classes and taking in a lot of information. I’ve read plenty of articles in magazines such as the Smithsonian, National Geographic, UTNE Reader, Christian Science Monitor with worldwide scopes on social unrest, inequalities, imbalanced values, environmental hazards, greed (and some positive things ‘-) … I have been very fortunate that much of the information that has presented itself to me through local classes has been completely in synch with subjects that I have interest in. I believe it’s synchronicity or synchrodestiny, that I chose to return at this time. It has been a time and place of going inwards and absorbing – so that I could distill all of this information about the heart, spirit and mind…without distraction. Though I am absolutely pulled in many directions because of my interests, I realize that I very much adore and value the creatures that share our planet, many of which are nearing extinction. Something about this particular documentary, this evening lead me to believe that my purpose is to make a commitment to be a voice for those who have none. I don’t quite know how to effectively influence a population of a billion people to have empathy for the creatures that are being sacrificed for their commercial use of ivory – that has been going on for a thousand years – to satisfy their need to display wealth, taste, fine art, uphold religious iconography, meet their health needs or extenuate their impotence… but outside of joining a rebel force in East Africa to fire weapons at poachers, I will, to the best of my ability, convey information and tune whatever means I have with my body, mind, creativity, word, music and art, to raise the awareness and consciousness of the world to the plight of the creatures that we share it with, and to speak, for those who can’t speak for themselves. Statistics on Elephants in Africa

http://www.wcs.org/elephants/ The Wildlife Conservation Society provides you with various ways to help.

Stop the Demand


WCS plans to utilize Chinese social media platforms to encourage public engagement to reduce demand for ivory and influence how government agencies respond to the illegal ivory trade. We will support the creation of a social media hub in Beijing that focuses on information sharing, opinion mapping, building partnerships, and mobilization.

How You Can Help

Elephants can’t protect themselves against organized, armed criminals. To face down this tremendous threat, they’ll need the help of dedicated ecoguards who can intervene immediately. They’ll also need you.

http://events.nationalgeographic.com/events/films/2013/02/26/battle-elephants/

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/04/world/africa/africas-elephants-are-being-slaughtered-in-poaching-frenzy.html

nytimes_poaching_frenzy_africas_elephants_wiped_out

National_Geographic_information

“Law enforcement officials say organized crime has slipped into the ivory underworld, because only a well-oiled criminal machine – with the help of corrupt officials – could move hundreds of pounds of tusks thousands of miles across the globe…Like blood diamonds from Sierra Leone or plundered minerals from Congo, ivory, it seems, is the latest conflict resource in Africa, dragged out of remote battle zones, easily converted into cash and now fueling conflicts across the continent.”

Another recent article in the New York Times just appeared on the subject, with respect to the illicit trail of African ivory to China. Here is an important resource with many articles on the subject. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/world/africa/the-price-of-ivory.html?ref=asia

new york times article illicit trade of ivory to China

new york times article illicit trade of ivory

Here’s more information on the subject. http://www.care2.com/causes/will-african-elephants-be-extinct-in-ten-years.html

elephant_shot